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Creek Indians, 





Nape /lipyair' a-KiGTsX'j' 
a/iftpa raura tu>v ypsvwv. 






V»> w iih ■•-,. SU s_ 




Li aire Art i 


By Daniel G. Brinton. 


Pkess of Wm. F. Fell & Co., 
1220-24 Sansom Street. 





No. IV. 





In the present work, Mr. ' Gatsctiet has carried out a much needed 
investigation. The tribes who inhabited the watershed of the north shore 
of the Mexican Gulf must always occupy a prominent place in the study 
of American Ethnology, as possibly connecting the races of North and 
South America, and those of the Valley of the Mississippi with those of 
Anahuac and Mayapan. 

Years ago the general editor of this series stated, in various publications, 
the problems that region offers, and on finding the remarkable legend of 
Chekilli, translated it and published it, as pointing to a solution of some of 
the questions involved. This legend has, at his request, been taken by Mr. 
Gatschet as a centre around which to group the ethnography of that whole 
territory, as well as a careful analysis of the legend and its language. 

The first volume contains the general discussion of the subject, and 
closes with the Creek version of the Legend and its translation. The 
second will contain the Hitchiti Version, the Notes, and Vocabulary. 

One statement of the author, overlooked in the proof reading, seems of 
sufficient importance to be corrected here. The Choctaw Grammar of 
the late Rev. Cyrus Byington was published complete, and from his last 
revision (1866-68), not as an extract from his first draft, as stated on page 
117. The full particulars are given in the Introduction to the Grammar. 




The present publication proposes to bring before the public, in popular 
form, some scientific results obtained while studying the language and 
ethnology of the Creek tribe and its ethnic congeners. The method of 
furthering ethnographic study by all the means which the study of lan- 
guage can afford, has been too little appreciated up to the present time, 
but has been constantly kept in view in this publication. Language is not 
only the most general and important help to ethnology, but outside of 
race, it is also the most ancient of all ; ethnologists are well aware of this 
fact, but do not generally apply it to their studies, because they find it too 
tedious to acquire the language of unlettered tribes by staying long enough 
among them. 

The help afforded to linguistic studies by the books published in and 
upon the Indian languages is valuable only for a few among the great 
number of the dialects. The majority of them are laid down in phoneti- 
cally defective missionary alphabets, about which we are prompted to 
repeat what the citizens of the young colony of Mexico wrote to the 
government of Spain, in Cortez's time : " Send to us pious and Christian 
men, as preachers, bishops and missionaries, but do not send us scholars, 
who, with their pettifogging distinctions and love of contention, create 
nothing but disorder and strife." 1 In the same manner, some Creek 
scholars and churchmen agreed five times in succession, before 1853, 
upon standard alphabets to be followed in transcribing Creek, but, as 
Judge G. W. Stidham justly remarks, made it worse each time. To arrive 
at trustworthy results, it is therefore necessary to investigate the forms of 
speech as they are in use among the Indians themselves. 

Very few statements of the Kasi'hta migration legend can be made 
available for history. It is wholly legendary, in its first portion even 
mythical ; it is of a comparatively remote age, exceedingly instructive for 
ethnography and for the development of religious ideas; it is full of that 
sort of naiueti which we like so much to meet in the mental productions 
of our aborigines, and affords striking instances of the debasing and 
brutalizing influence of the unrestricted belief in the supernatural and 

1 Quotation, ad sensum, from Benial Diaz" " Historia verdadera." 


miraculous. Of the sun-worship, which underlies the religions of all the 
tribes in the Gulf territories, only slight intimations are contained in the 
Kasi'hta legend, and the important problem, whether the Creeks ever 
crossed the Mississippi river from west to east in their migrations, seems 
to be settled by it in the negative, although other legends may be adduced 
as speaking in its favor. 

Owing to deficient information on several Maskoki dialects, I have not 
touched the problem of their comparative age. From the few indications 
on hand, I am inclined to think that Alibamu and Koassati possess more 
and Cha'hta less archaic forms than the other dialect-groups. 

From Rev. H. C. Buckner's Creek Grammar, with its numerous de- 
fects, I have extracted but a few conjugational forms of the verb isita to 
take, but have availed myself of some linguistic manuscripts of Mrs. A. 
E. W. Robertson, the industrious teacher and translator of many parts of 
the Bible into Creek. 

The re-translation of the legend into Creek and Hitchiti is due to Judge 
G. W. Stidham, of Eufaula, Indian Territory, who in infancy witnessed 
the emigration of his tribe, the Hitchiti, from the Chatahuchi river into 
their present location. My heartfelt thanks are also due to other Indians, 
who have materially helped me in my repeated revisions of the subject 
matter embodied in these volumes, and in other investigations. They 
were the Creek delegates to the Federal government, Chiefs Chicote and 
Ispahidshi, Messrs. S. B. Callaghan, Grayson and Hodge. 

I also fully acknowledge the services tendered by the officers of the 
TJ. S. Bureau of Ethnology, as well as by Dr. Daniel G. Brinton and by 
General Albert Pike, who placed the rich shelves of their libraries at 
my disposition. In the kindest manner I was furnished with scientific 
statements of various kinds by Messrs. W. R. Gerard, C. C. Royce and 
Dr. W. C. Hoffmann. 


Washington, August, 1884. 





/. Linguistic Groups of the Gulf States. 
Timucua, II. Calusa, 13. Tequesta, 15. Kataba, 15. Yuchi, 17. 
Cheroki, 24. Arkansas, 29. Taensa, 30. Tangipahoa, 34. 
Naktche, 34. Tonica, 39. Adai,4i. Pani, 42. Shetimasha, 44. 
Atakapa, 45. Bidai, 47. Korea, 47. The Westo and Stono In- 
dians, 48. The Linguistic Map, 49. 

II. The Maskoki Family. 

The Common Maskoki Language, 53. The Name Maskoki, 58. 
Tribal Divisions; the Yamassi, 62. Yamacraw, 65. Seminole, 
66. Apalachi, 74. Mikasuki, 76. Hitchiti, 77. The Hitchiti 
Dialect, 80. Alibamu, 85. Koassati, 89. Chicasa, 90. Tribes 
on the Yazoo River, 97. Cha'hta, 100. The Cha'hta Language, 116. 

III. The Creek Indians. 

Creek Settlements, 120. List of Towns, 124. The Indian Pathways, 
151. The Creek Government, 152. Tribal Divisions and Gentes, 
153. Civil Government, 156. The Warrior Class, 158. War 
Titles, 160. War Customs, 164. Organization of the Confederacy, 
168. The Public Square, 171. The Annual Busk, 177. Further 
Ethnographic Notes, 183. Creek History, 188. The Creek Dia- 
lect, 198. Lexical Affinities, 212. 

The KasVhta Migration Legend. 
Indian Migration Legends, 214. Migration Legends of the Creek 
Tribes, 222. TchikilU's Kasi'hta Legend, 235. The Text, 237. 
The Translation, 244. 







The early explorers of the Gulf territories have left to 
posterity a large amount of information concerning the natives 
whom they met as friends or fought as enemies. They have 
described their picturesque attire, their curious, sometimes" 
awkward, habits and customs, their dwellings and plantations, 
their government in times of peace and war, as exhaustively 
as they could do, or thought fit to do. They distinguished 
tribes from confederacies, and called the latter kingdoms and 
empires, governed by princes, kings and emperors. But the 
characteristics of race and language, which are the most 
important for ethnology, because they are the most ancient 
' in their origin, are not often alluded to by them, and when 
the modern sciences of anthropology and ethnology had 
been established on solid principles many of these southern 
races had already disappeared or intermingled, and scientific 
inquiry came too late for their investigation. 

A full elucidation of the history and antiquities of the 
subject of our inquiries, the Creeks, is possible only after 
having obtained an exhaustive knowledge of the tribes and 
nations living around them. The more populous among 
them have preserved their language and remember many of 
2 9 


their ancestors' customs and habits, so that active exploration 
in the field can still be helpful to us in many respects in 
tracing and rediscovering their ancient condition. Three 
centuries ago the tribes of the Maskoki family must have 
predominated in power over all their neighbors, as they do 
even now in numbers, and had formed confederacies uniting 
distant tribes. Whether they ever crossed the Mississippi 
river or not, the Indians of this family are as thoroughly 
southern as their neighbors, and seem to have inhabited 
southern lands for times immemorial. The scientists who 
now claim that they descend from the mound builders, do so 
only on the belief that they must have dwelt for uncounted 
centuries in the fertile tracts where Hernando de Soto found 
them, and where they have remained up to a recent epoch. 
In the territory once occupied by their tribes no topographic 
name appears to point to an earlier and alien population; 
and as to their exterior, the peculiar olive admixture to their 
cinnamon complexion is a characteristic which they have in 
common with all other southern tribes. 

My introduction to the Kasi'hta national legend proposes 
to assign to the- Creeks: (i) their proper position in the 
Maskoki family and among their other neighbors; and (2) 
to describe some of their ethnologic characteristics. The 
material has been divided in several chapters, which I have - 
in their logical sequence arranged as follows : 

Linguistic families traceable within the Gulf States. 

The Maskoki group ; its historic subdivisions. 

The Creek Indians ; tribal topography, historic and ethno- 
graphic notices, sketch of their language. 

In the history of the Creeks, and in their legends of migra- 
tion, many references occur to the tribes around them, with 
whom they came in contact. These contacts were chiefly of 
a hostile character, for the normal state of barbaric tribes 


is to live in almost permanent mutual conflicts. What follows 
is an attempt to enumerate and sketch them, the sketch to be 
of a prevalently topographic nature. We are not thoroughly 
acquainted with the racial or anthropological peculiarities of 
the nations surrounding the Maskoki proper on all sides, but 
in their languages we possess an excellent help for classifying 
them. Language is not an absolute indicator of race, but it 
is more so in America than elsewhere, for the large number 
of linguistic families in the western .hemisphere proves that 
the populations speaking their dialects have suffered less than 
in the eastern by encroachment, foreign admixture, forcible 
alteration or entire destruction. 

Beginning at the southeast, we first meet the historic 
Timucua family, the tribes of which are extinct at the present 
time ; and after describing the Indians of the Floridian Pe- 
ninsula, southern extremity, we pass over to the Yuchi, on 
Savannah river, to the Naktche, Taensa and the other stocks 
once settled along and beyond the mighty Uk'hina, or 
"water road" of the Mississippi river. 


In the sixteenth century the Timucua inhabited the northern 
and middle portion of the peninsula of Florida, and although 
their exact limits to the north are unknown, they held a 
portion of Florida bordering on Georgia, and some of the 
coast islands in the Atlantic Ocean, as Guale (then the name 
of Amelia) and others. The more populous settlements of 
these Indians lay on the eastern coast of Florida, along the 
St. John's river and its tributaries, and in the northeastern 
angle of the Gulf of Mexico. Their southernmost villages 
known to us were Hirrihigua, near Tampa Bay, and Tucururu, 
near Cape Canaveral, on the Atlantic Coast. 

The people received its name from one of their villages 
called Timagoa, Thimagoua (Timoga on De Bry's map), 
situated on one of the western tributaries of St. John's river, 


and having some political importance. The name means 
lord, ruler, master [atimuca "waited upon (muca) by ser- 
vants (ati)] ;" and the. people's name is written Atimuca early 
in the eighteenth century. We first become acquainted with 
their numerous tribes through the memoir of Alvar Nunez 
Cabeca de Vaca, the three chroniclers of de Soto's expedi- 
tion, and more fully through Rene de Laudonniere (1564). 
Two missionaries of the 'Franciscan order, Francisco Pareja 
(161 2 sqq.) and Gregorio de Mouilla (1635), have composed 
devotional books in their vocalic language. De Bry's Brevis 
Narratio, Frankfort a. M., 1591, contains a map of their 
country, and engravings representing their dwellings, fights, 
dances and mode of living. 

A few words of their language (Jengua timuquana in Spanish) 
show affinity with Maskoki, others with Carib. From 1595 
A. D. they gradually became converted to Christianity, re- 
volted in 1687 against their Spanish oppressors, and early in 
the eighteenth century (1706) were so reduced in number 
that they yielded easily to the attacks of the Yamassi Indians, 
who, instigated by English colonists, made incursions upon 
their villages from the North. Their last remnants withdrew 
to the Mosquito Lagoon, in Volusia County, Florida, where 
the name of the Tomoco river still recalls their tribal name. 

In 1564, Ren6 de Laudonniere heard of five head chiefs 
(paracusi) of confederacies in the Timucua country, and from 
Pareja we can infer that seven or more dialects were spoken 
in its circumference. The five head chiefs, Saturiwa, Holata 
Utina, Potanu, Onethcaqua and Hostaqua are only -tribal 
names (in the second, Utina is the tribal appellation), and 
the dialects, as far as known, were those of Timagoa, 
Potanu, Itafi, the Fresh-Water district, Tucururu, Santa Lucia 
de Acuera, and Mocama (" on the coast"). The last but 
one probably coincided with that of AIs. 

The AIs Indians, who held the coast from Cape Canaveral, 
where the Spaniards had the post Santa Lucia, to a lagoon 


once called Aisahatcha (viz., Ais river), were considered as 
a people distinct from the Timucua. They worshiped the 
sun in the shape of a stuffed deer raised upon the end of a 
high beam planted in the ground; this gave, probably, 
origin to their name Ais, for B. Romans interprets Aisa- 
hatcha by Deer river (itchi, itche deer, in Creek and Semi- 
nole). Their territory formed the northern part of the 
"province" of Tequesta. Cf. B. Romans, East and West 
Florida (New York, 1775), pp. 2. 260. 273. 281. Herrera, 
Dec. IV, 4, 7. Barcia, Ensayo, p. 118. 


The languages spoken by the Calusa and by the people next 
in order, the Tequesta, are unknown to us, and thus cannot 
be mentioned here as forming separate linguistic stocks. 
I simply make mention of these tribes, because they were 
regarded as people distinct from the Timucua and the tribes 
of Maskoki origin. 

The Calusa held the southwestern extremity of Florida, 
and their tribal name is left recorded in Calusahatchi, a river 
south of Tampa bay. They are called Calos on de Bry's 
map (1591), otherwise Colusa, Callos, Carlos, and formed a 
confederacy of many villages, the names of which are given 
in the memoir of Hernando d'Escalante Fontanedo (Memoire 
sur la Floride, in Ternaux-Compans' Collection XX, p. 22; 
translated from the original Spanish). These names were 
written down in 1559, and do not show much affinity with 
Timucua ; but since they are the only remnants of the Calusa 
language, I present the full list : " Tampa, Tomo, Tuchi, Sogo, 
No (which signifies 'beloved village'), Sinapa, Sinaesta, 
Metamapo, Sacaspada, Calaobe, Estame, Yagua, Guaya, 
Guevu, Muspa, Casitoa, Tatesta, Coyovea, Jutun, Tequemapo, 
Comachica, Quiseyove and two others in the vicinity. There 
are others in the interior, near Lake Mayaimi — viz., Cutespa, 
Tavaguemue, Tomsobe, Enempa and twenty others. Two 


upon the Lucayos obey to the cacique of Carlos, Guarunguve 
and Cuchiaga. Carlos and his deceased father were the 
rulers of these fifty towns." Fontanedo states that he was 
prisoner in these parts from his thirteenth to his thirtieth 
year; that he knew four languages, but was not familiar with 
those of Ais and Teaga, not having been there. 

One of these names is decidedly Spanish, Sacaspada or 
" Draw-the-sword " ; two others appear to be Timucua, Cala- 
obe (kala fruit; abo stalk, tree) and Comachica {hica land, 
country). Some may be explained by the Creek language, 
but only one of them, Tampa (itimpi close to it, near it) is 
Creek to a certainty; Tuchi resembles tutchi kidneys ; Sogo, 
sa-uka rattle, gourd-rattle, and No is the radix of a-no-kitcha 
lover, anukidshas I love, which agrees with the interpretation 
given by Fontanedo. Tavaguemue may possibly contain the 
Creek tawa sumach ; Mayaimi (Lake), which Fontanedo ex- 
plains by "very large," the Creek augmentative term mahi, 
and Guevu the Creek u-iwa water. 

The Spanish orthography, in which these names are laid 
down, is unfitted for transcribing Indian languages, perhaps 
as much so as the English orthography; nevertheless, we 
recognize the frequently-occurring terminal -esta, -sta, which 
sounds quite like Timucua. There are no doubt many geo- 
•graphic terms, taken from Seminole-Creek, in the south of 
the peninsula as well as in the north; it only remains to 
determine what age we have to ascribe to them. 

The Calusa bore the reputation of being a savage and 
rapacious people, and B. Romans (p. 292) denounces them as 
having been pirates. He informs us (p. 289), that "at Sandy 
Point, the southern extremity of the peninsula, are large 
fields, being the lands formerly planted by the Colusa 
savages;" and that "they were driven away from the conti- 
nent by the Creeks, their more potent neighbors." In 1763 
the remnants, about eighty families, went to Havannah from 
their last possessions at Cayos Vacos and Cayo Hueso (hueso, 


bone), where Romans saw the rests of their stone habitations 
(p. 291); now called Cayos bajos and Key West. 

On the languages spoken in these parts more will be found 
under the heading "Seminole." 


Of the Tequesta people on the southeastern end of the 
peninsula we know still less than of the Calusa Indians. There 
was a tradition that they were the same people which held 
the Bahama or Lucayo Islands, and the local names of the 
Florida coast given by Fontanedo may partly refer to this 

They obtained their name from a "village, Tequesta, which 
lay on a river coming from Lake Mayaimi (Fontanedo in 
Ternaux-C, XX, p. 14) and was visited by Walter Raleigh 
(Barcia, Ensayo, p. 161). The lands of the A'is formed the 
northern portion of the Tequesta domains, and a place called 
Mocossou is located there on de Bry's map. 

This extinct tribe does not seem to have come in contact 
with the Creeks, though its area is now inhabited by Semi- 


The Kataba Indians of North and South Carolina are 
mentioned here only incidentally, as they do not appear to 
have had much intercourse with any Maskoki tribe. The 
real extent of this linguistic group is unknown; being in 
want of any vocabularies besides that of the Kataba, on 
Kataba river, S. C, and of the Woccons, settled near the 
coast of N. C, we are not inclined to trust implicitly the 
statement of Adair, who speaks of a large Kataba confed- 
eracy embracing twenty-eight villages "of different nations," 
on Santee, Combahee, Congaree and other rivers, and speak- 
ing dialects of the Kataba language. The Waterees, seen by 
Lawson, probably belonged to this stock, and the Woccons 
lived contiguous to the Tuscarora-Iroquois tribe. 


The passage of Adair being the only notice on the extent 
of the Kataba language found in the early authors, excepting 
Lawson, I transcribe it here in full (History, pp. 224. 225): 
"About the year 1743, the nation (of the Katahba) consisted 
of almost four hundred warriors, of above twenty different 
dialects. I shall mention a few of the national names of 
those who make up this mixed language ; the K&tahba is the 
standard or court dialect — the Wateree, who make up a large 
town ; Eenb, Charah, \\-wah, now Chowan, Canggaree, Nachee, 
lamasee, Coosah, etc. Their country had an old waste field 
of seven miles extent, and several others of smaller dimen- 
sions, which shows that they were formerly a numerous people, 
to cultivate so much land with their dull stone axes, etc. ' ' 

After Charah a new page begins, and the -wah following, 
which has no connection with what precedes, proves that 
there is a printer's lacune, perhaps of a whole line. Eeno 
is given by Lawson as a Tuscarora town j 1 Charah is the 
ancient Sara, Saura, Saraw or Sarau mentioned by Lederer 
and others. The " Nachee " certainly did not speak a Kataba 
language, nor is there much probability that the Yamassi did 
so. By the Coosah are probably meant the Indians living 
on Coosawhatchee river, South Carolina, near Savannah. 
Adair, in his quality as trader, had visited the Kataba 
settlements personally. 2 

Penicaut, in his "Relation," 3 mentions a curious fact, 
which proves that the alliances of the Kataba extended over 
a wide territory in the South. In 1708, the Alibamu had 
invited warriors of the Cheroki, Abika and Kataba (here 
called Cadapouces, Canapouces) to an expedition against the 
Mobilians and the French at Fort Mobile. These hordes 

1 Reprint of 1860, pp. 97. 100. 101. 383. 

2 Cf. B. R. Carroll, Histor. Collect, of S. C, II, p. 243. Lawson states 
that the Congaree dialect was not understood by the Waterees and Chic- 

3 Margry, Dicouvertcs, V, 477. 

YUCHI. 17 

arrived near the bay, and were supposed to number four 
thousand men ; they withdrew without inflicting much 
damage. More about this expedition under "Alibamu," 
q. v. 


None of all the allophylic tribes referred to in this First 
Part stood in closer connection with the Creeks or Maskoki 
proper than the Yuchi or Uchee Indians. They constituted 
a portion of their confederacy from the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, and this gives us the opportunity to discuss 
their peculiarities more in detail than those of the other 
"outsiders." They have preserved their own language and 
customs; no mention is made of them in the migration legend, 
and the Creeks have always considered them as a peculiar 

General Pleasant Porter has kindly favored me with a few 
ethnologic points, gained by himself from Yuchi Indians, 
who inhabit the largest town in the Creek Nation, Indian 
Terr., with a population of about 500. "In bodily size they 
are smaller than the Creeks, but lithe and of wiry musculature, 
the muscles often protruding from the body. Their descent 
is in the male line, and they were once polygamous. It is a 
disputed fact whether they ever observed the custom of flat- 
tening their children's heads, like some of their neighbors. 
They call themselves children of the Sun, and sun worship 
seems to have been more pronounced here than with other 
tribes of the Gulf States. The monthly efflux of the Sun, 
whom they considered as of the female sex, fell to the earth, 
as they say, and from this the Yuchi people took its origin. 
They increase in number at the present time, and a part of 
them are still pagans. Popularly expressed, their language 
sounds 'like the warble of the prairie-chickens.' It is stated 
that their conjurers' songs give a clue to all their antiquities 
and symbolic customs. They exclude the use of salt from all 
drugs which serve them as medicine. While engaged in making , 


medicine they sing the above songs for a time; then comes 
the oral portion of their ritual, which is followed by other 

Not much is known of their language, but it might be 
easily obtained from the natives familiar with English. From 
what we know of it, it shows no radical affinity with any 
known American tongue, and its phonetics have often been 
noticed for their strangeness. They are said to speak with 
an abundance of arrested sounds or voice-checks, from which 
they start again with a jerk of the voice. The accent often 
rests on the ultima (Powell's mscr. vocabulary), and Ware 
ascribes to them, though wrongly, the Hottentot cluck. 

The numerals follow the decimal, not the quinary system 
as they do in the Maskoki languages. The lack of a dual 
form in the intransitive verb also distinguishes Yuchi from 
the latter. 

The earliest habitat of the Yuchi, as far as traceable, was 
on both sides of the Savannah river, apd Yuchi towns existed 
there down to the middle of the eighteenth century. 

When Commander H. de Soto reached these parts, with his 
army, the "queen" (sefiora, cacica) of the country met him 
at the town Cofetacque on a barge, a circumstance which 
testifies to the existence of a considerable water-course there. 
Cofetacque, written also Cofitachiqui (Biedma), Cofachiqui 
(Garcilaso de la Vega), Cutifachiqui (consonants inverted, 
Elvas) was seven days' march from Chalaque (Cheroki) 
" province," and distant from the sea about thirty leagues, as 
stated by the natives of the place. There were many ruined 
towns in the vicinity, we are told by the Fidalgo de Elvas. 
One league from there, in the direction up stream, was Talo- 
meco town, the "temple" of which is described as a won- 
derful and curious structure by Garcilaso. Many modern 
historians have located these towns on the middle course of 
Savannah river, and Charles C. Jones (Hernando de Soto, 
1880; pp. 27. 29) believes, with other investigators, that 

YUCHI. 19 

Cofetacque stood at Silver Bluff, on the left bank of the 
Savannah river, about twenty-five miles by water below 
Augusta. The domains of that "queen," or, as we would 
express it, the towns and lands of that confederacy, extended 
from there up to the Cheroki mountains. 

The name Cofita-chiqui seems to prove by itself that these 
towns were inhabited by Yuchi Indians ; for it contains 
kowita, the Yuchi term for Indian, and apparently " Indian 
of our own tribe." This term appears in all the vocabula- 
ries: kawita, man, male; kohwita, ko-ita, plural kohino'h, 
man; kota, man, contracted from kow'ta, kowita; also 
in compounds: kowet-ten-choo, chief; kohitta makinnung, 
chief of a people. The terms for the parts of the human body 
all begin with ko-. The second part of the name, -chiqui, is 
a term foreign to Yuchi, but found in all the dialects of 
Maskoki in the function of house, dwelling, (tchuku, tch6ko, 
and in the eastern or Apalachian dialects, tchiki) and has to 
be rendered here in the collective sense of houses, town. 
Local names to be compared with Cofitachiqui are : Cofachi, 
further south, and Acapachiqui, a tract of land near Apalache. 

The signification of the name Yutchi, plural Yutchiha, by 
which this people calls itself, is unknown. All the surround- 
ing Indian tribes call them Yuchi, with the exception of the 
Lenapi or Delawares, who style them Tahogalewi. 

But there are two sides to this question. We find the local 
name Kawita, evidently the above term, twice on middle 
Chatahuchi river, and also in Cofetalaya, settlements of the 
Cha'hta Indians in Tala and Green counties, Mississippi. 
Did any Yuchi ever live in these localities in earlier epochs? 
Garcilaso de Vega, Florida III, c. 10, states that Juan Ortiz, 
who had been in the Floridian peninsula before, acted as 
interpreter at Cofitachiqui. This raises the query, did the 
natives of this "capital" speak Creek or Yuchi? Who 
will attempt to give an irrefutable answer to this query ? 

The existence of a " queen " or cacica, that is, of a chief's 


widow invested with the authority of a chief, seems to show 
that Cofetacque town or confederacy did not belong to the 
Maskoki connection, for we find no similar instance in Creek 
towns. Among the Yuchi, succession is in the male line, but 
the Hitchiti possess a legendary tradition, according to which 
the first chief that ever stood at the head of their community 
was a woman. 

To determine the extent of the lands inhabited or claimed 
by the Yuchi in de Soto's time, is next to impossible. At a 
later period they lived on the eastern side of the Savannah 
river, and on its western side as far as Ogeechee river, and 
upon tracts above and below Augusta," Georgia. These tracts 
were claimed by them as late as 1736. John Filson, in his 
"Discovery etc. of Kentucky" vol. II, 84-87 (1793), gives 
a list of thirty Indian tribes, and a statement on Yuchi 
towns, which he must have obtained from a much older 
source: "Uchees occupy four different places of residence, 
at the head of St. John's, the fork of St. Mary's, the head of 
Cannouchee and the head of St. Tillis. 1 These rivers rise on 
the borders of Georgia and run separately into the ocean." 
To Cannouchee answers a place Canosi, mentioned in Juan 
de la Vandera's narrative (1569) ; the name, however, is 
Creek and not Yuchi. Hawkins states that formerly Yuchi 
were settled in small villages at Ponpon, Saltketchers and 
Silver Bluff, S. C, and on the Ogeechee river, Ga. In 1739 
a Yuchi town existed on the Savannah river, twenty-five miles 
above Ebenezer, which is in Effingham county, Georgia, near 
Savannah City (Jones, Tomochichi, p. 117 ; see next page). 
From notices, contained in the first volume of Urlsperger's 
" Ausfuhrliche Nachricht," pp. 845. 850-851, we gather 
the facts that this Yuchi town was five miles above the Apa- 
lachicola Fort, which stood in the " Pallachucla savanna," 
and that its inhabitants celebrated an annual busk, which 
was at times visited by the colonists. Governor Oglethorpe 
1 The present Satilla river; falsely written St Ilia, Santilla, St Tillie. 

YUCHI. 21 

concluded an alliance with this town, and when he exchanged 
presents to confirm the agreement made, he obtained skins 
from these Indians. Rev. Boltzius, the minister of the Salz- 
burger emigrants, settled in the vicinity, depicts their char- 
acter in dark colors ; he states " they are much inclined to 
Robbing and Stealing," but was evidently influenced by the 
Yamassi and Yamacraw in their vicinity, who hated them as 
a race foreign to themselves. Of these he says, " these Creeks 
are Honest, Serviceable and Disinterested." 1 • 

The reason why the Yuchi people gradually left their old 
seats and passed over to Chatahuchi and Flint rivers is 
stated as follows by Benj. Hawkins, United States Agent 
among the Creeks in his instructive "Sketch of the Creek 
Country" (1799).* 

In 1729, "Captain Ellick," an old chief of Kasi'hta, 
married three Yuchi women and brought them to Kasi'hta. 
This was greatly disliked by his townspeople, and he was 
prevailed upon to move across Chatahuchi river, opposite to 
where Yuchi town was in Hawkins' time; he settled there 
with his three brothers, two of whom had intermarried with 
Yuchis.. After this, the chief collected all the Yuchi people, 
gave ,them lands on the site of Yuchi town, and there they 

Hawkins eulogizes the people by stating that they are more 
civil, orderly and industrious than their neighbors (the Lower 
Creeks), the men more attached to their wives, and these 
more chaste. He estimates the number of their warriors 
("gun-men"), including those of the three branch. villages, 
at about two hundred and fifty. These branch towns were 
Intatchkalgi, "beaver-dam people"; Padshilaika, "pigeon 
roost"; and Tokogalgi, "tad-pole people", on Flint river 

1 Extract from Rev. B's Journal; London, 1734, !2mo, p. 37. 

2 Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. Ill, part first, pp. 
61-63 (Savannah, 1848). 

* See below : List of Creek Settlements. 


and its side creeks; while a few Yuchi had gone to the 
Upper Creeks and settled there at Sawan6gi. Yuchi, the 
main town, lay on the western bank of Chatahuchi river, on 
a tributary called Yuchi creek, ten and one-half miles below 
Kawita Talahassi, and two miles above Osutchi. Another 
water course, called " Uchee river," runs from the west into 
Oklokoni river, or "Yellow. Water," in the southwestern 
corner of the State of Georgia. Morse, in his list of Semi- 
nole settlements (1822), mentions a Yuchi town near Mika- 
suki, Florida. 

The main Yuchi town on Chatahuchi river was built in a 
vast plain rising from the river. W. Bartram, who saw it 
in 1775, depicts it as the largest, most compact, and best 
situated Indian town he ever saw; the habitations were large 
and neatly built, the walls of the houses consisted of a wooden 
frame, lathed and plastered inside and outside with a reddish 
clay, and roofed with cypress bark or shingles. He esti- 
mated the number of the inhabitants at one thousand or 
fifteen hundred. They were usually at variance with the 
Maskoki confederacy, and "did not mix" with its people, 
but were wise enough to unite with them against a common 
enemy (Travels, pp. 386. 387). 

The early reports may often have unconsciously included 
the Yuchi among the Apalachi 1 and Apalatchukla. Among 
the chiefs who accompanied Tomochichi, miko of the Yama- 
craw Indians, to England in 1733, was Umphichi or 
Umpeachy, "a Uchee chief from Palachocolas." 2 

William Bartram, who traveled through these parts from 
1773 to 1778, and published his "Travels" many years later, 3 
calls them " Uche or Savannuca,' ' which is the Creek Sawan6gi, 
or "dwellers upon Savannah river." This name Savannuca, 
and many equally sounding names, have caused much con- 

1 Cf. Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 95. 

2 Chas. C. Jones, Tomochichi, pp. 58. 83. 

3 Published Philadelphia, 1791. 

YUCHI. 23 

fusion concerning a supposed immigration of the Shawano 
or Shawnee Indians (of the Algonkin race) into Georgia, 
among historians not posted in Indian languages. Sawan6gi 
is derived from Savannah river, which is named after the 
prairies extending on both sides, these being called in Spanish 
sabana. Sabana, and savane in the Canadian French, desig- 
nate a grassy plain, level country, prairie, also in Span, pasture 
extending over a plain ; from Latin sabana napkin. It still 
occurs in some local names of Canada and of Spanish 
America. But this term has nothing at all in common with 
the Algonkin word shawano south, from which are derived 
the tribal names: Shawano or Shawnee, once on Ohio and 
Cumberland rivers and their tributaries ; Chowan in Southern 
Virginia; Siwoneys in Connecticut; Sawannoe in New Jersey 
(about 1616); Chaouanons, the southern division of the 
Illinois or Maskoutens. 

These tribes, and many others characterized as southerners 
by the same or similar Algonkin names, had no connection 
among themselves, besides the affinity in their dialects, which 
for the Chowans is not even certain. The tradition that 
Shawanos existed in Upper Georgia, around Tugelo, and on 
the head waters of the large Georgia rivers, requires therefore 
further examination. Milfort, in his M6moire (pp. 9. 10) 
states that lands were obtained from "les Savanogues, sauvages 
qui habitent cette partie (de Tougoulou)," for the plantation 
of vineyards, about 1775. The name of the Suwanee river, 
Florida, and that of Suwanee Creek and town, northeast of 
Atlanta, Georgia, seem to contain the Creek term sawani 
echo. By all means, these names cannot serve to prove the 
presence of the Shawano tribe in these eastern parts, but a 
settlement of Shawanos, also called Sawanogi, existed on Talla- 
poosa river, where they seem to have been mixed with Yuchi. 1 

A. Gallatin, "Synopsis of the Indian Tribes," p. 95, men- 

1 Cf. List of Creek Towns, and Penicaut, in B. French, Hist. Coll. La., 
new series, p. 126; Force, Some Notices on Indians of Ohio, p. 22. 


tions a tradition, according to which "the ancient seats of the 
Yuchi were east of the Coosa, and probably of the Chatahuchi 
river, and that they consider themselves as the most ancient 
inhabitants of the country." Of which country? If the 
whole country is meant, which was at the dawn of history 
held by Maskoki tribes, the name of the Yazoo river may be 
adduced as an argument, for the truth of this tradition, for 
yasu, yashu is the Yuchi term for leaf and any leaf-bearing 
tree, even pines (from ya, wood, tree), and Kawita has been 
mentioned above. From a thorough comparative study of 
the Yuchi language, the Maskoki dialects and the local 
nomenclature of the country, we can alone expect any reli- 
able information upon the extent and the area of territory 
anciently held by the Yuchi ; but at present it is safest to 
locate their "priscan home" upon both sides of Lower 
Savannah river. 


Intercourse between the Creek and the Cheroki Indians 
must have taken place in prehistoric times, as evidenced by 
local names, and more so by Cheroki terms adopted into the 
Creek language. 

The Cheroki, or more correctly, Tsalagi nation is essen- 
tially a hill people; their numerous settlements were divided 
into two great sections by the watershed ridge of the Alle- 
ghany mountains, in their language Unega katusi (" white, 
whitish mountains"'), of which even now a portion is called 
"Smoky Mountains." Northwest of that ridge lay the 
Cheroki villages of the Overkill settlement, dtari, Otali ("up, 
above"), along the Great and Little Tennessee rivers and their 
tributaries, while southeast of it, in the mountains of North 
Carolina and on the head waters of the Georgia rivers, ex- 
tended the towns of the Lower CheroM, or Erati (in Cheroki 
elati, below, nether). There were also a number of Cheroki 
villages in the northern parts of Alabama State, and du Pratz 
distinctly states, that the "Cheraquies" lived east of the 


Abe-ikas. 1 While calling a person of their own people by the 
name of Atsalagi, in the plural Anitsalagi, they comprise all 
the Creeks under the name of Kusa, from Coosa river, or 
more probably from the ancient, far-famed town of the same 
name : Agusa, Kusa, Giisa, a Creek person; Anigusa, the Creek 
people; Gusa uniwoni'hsti, the Creek language. 

The Cheroki language was spoken in many .dialects before 
the people emigrated to the lands allotted to them in the 
northeastern part of the Indian Territory, and even now a 
difference may be observed between the Western Cheroki 
and the Eastern or Mountain Cheroki, which is the language 
of the people that remained in the hills of Western North 
Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. 2 Mr. Horatio Hale has 
recently demonstrated the affinity of Cheroki with the Iro- 
quois stock; 3 Wendat and Tuscarora form other dialectic 
branches of it, showing much closer relation to the Iroquois 
dialects of Western New York than Cheroki. Thirty-two 
terms of the Keowe dialect (Lower Cheroki), taken down by 
B. Hawkins, are embodied in an unpublished vocabulary, 
which is in the possession of the American Philosophical 
Society in Philadelphia. 4 Another ancient dialect is that of 
Kitowa or Kitua ; this is the name by which the Cheroki are 
known among several northern tribes, as Delawares and Sha- 
wano (cf. below) ; it was also the name of a secret society 
among the Cheroki, which existed at the time of the Secession 

The Cheroki Indians are bodily well developed, rather 

1 Le Page du Pratz, Hist, de la Louisiane, II, p. 208 sq. (Paris, 1758) : 
" A l'est des Abe-ikas sont les Cheraquis." 

a The Mountain Cheroki are centering around Quallatown, Haywood 
county, N. C, and an United States agent is residing in their country. 
Their population is about 1600; others live in Northern Georgia. 

a H. Hale, "Indian Migrations, as evidenced by language." American 
Antiquarian, vol. V, pp. 18-28 and 108-124 ('883). 

* The name Keowe is taken from a narcotic plant used for catching 
fish, which grew in the vicinity of that village. 


tall in stature and of an irritable temper, flashing up easily. 
In the eighteenth century they were engaged in constant 
wars, and from their mountain fastnesses made sallies upon all 
the surrounding Indian tribes. The Iroquois or " Northern 
Indians" attacked them in their own country, as they also 
did the Kataba and Western Algonkins. A warlike spirit 
pervaded the whole Cheroki nation, and even women par- 
ticipated in their raids and fights. 1 

Wm. Bartram states, that the Cheroki men had a lighter 
and more olive complexion than the contiguous Creek tribes, 
adding that some of their young girls were nearly as fair 
and blooming as European women. H. Timberlake, who 
visited a portion of their villages (on Great Tennessee river) 
in 1762, represents them as of a middle stature, straight, well 
built, with small heads and feet, and 6f an olive color, 
though generally painted. They shaved the hair of their 
heads, and many of the old people had it plucked out by 
the roots, the scalp-lock only remaining. The ears were slit 
and stretched to an enormous circumference, an operation 
which caused them incredible pain and was adopted from 
the Shawano or some other northern nation. The women 
wore the hair long, even reaching to the knees, but plucked 
it out from all the other parts of the body, especially the 
looser part of the sex (Memoirs, pp. 49-51). Polygamy then 
existed among them. They erected houses extending some- 
times from sixty to seventy feet in length, but rarely over 
sixteen in width, and covered them with narrow boards. 
Some of these houses were two stories high, and a hot-house 
or sudatory stood close to every one of these capacious 
structures. They also made bark canoes and canoes of 
poplar" or pine, from thirty to forty feet long and about 

1 Lieut. H. Timberlake, Memoirs (London, 1765), pp. 70. 71. Urlsper- 
ger, Nachricht, I, p. 658, where they are called " Tzerrickey Indianer." 
D. Coxe calls them Sulluggees. 

1 The term for poplar, tsiyu, is also the term for canoe and for trough. 


two feet broad, with flat bottoms and sides. Pottery was 
made by them of red and white clay (Ibid., pp. 5.9-62). 

The male population was divided into a class of head-men 
or chiefs, recruited by popular election, the selection being 
made among the most valorous men and the best orators in 
their councils; and in two classes of "yeomen": the 
"warriors" and the "fighting men," these being inferior 
to the warriors. 

Distinction in reward of exploits was conferred through 
the honorary titles of Outacity, "man killer," Kolona, 
"raven" and "Beloved," names to which parallels will be 
found among the Creeks. (Ibid., pp. 70, 71.) 

Seven clans or gentes exist among the Cheroki, and many 
of them observe to the present day the regulations imposed 
by the gentile organization. They will not marry into their 
own gens or phratry, for instance. The totems of these 
gentes (anataya"we, gens, clan) were obtained in 1880 from 
Mr. Richard Wolf, delegate of the people to the United States 
government, as follows: 

1 . Aniweyahia anataya^we, wolf gens, the most important 
of all. 

2. Ane-igil6hi anataya"we, long hair gens. 

3. Anigodege'we, the gens to which Mr. Wolf belongs. 
They can marry into all gentes, except into the long hair 
clan, because this contains their "aunts" (a'loki). 

4. Anitsi'skwa, bird gens. 

5. Amwo'te,j>aint gens; (wo'te,wo'de, clay; diDxwo't\,painf). 

6. Anigo-ule, anikulg, acorn gens. 

7. Anisahone, blue gens. 

Besides the fact that gentes Nos. 2 and 3 belong to one 
phratry, the other phratries and their names were not remem- 
bered by the informant. The prefix ani- marks the plural of 
animate beings. 

The list of totemic gentes printed in Lewis H. Morgan, 
Ancient Society, p. 164, differs from the above in giving ten 


gentes, two being extinct, and one or two being perhaps 
phratries and not gentes: — 

i. fT^aniwhiya. 2. Red paint, aniw6te. 3. Long prairie, 
anigatagani'h. 4. Deaf (a. bird), dsuliniana. 5. Holly tree, 
anisdasdi. 6. Deer, anikawi'h. 7. Blue, anisahokni. 8. 
Long hair, anikalohair 9. Acorn, anidsula (extinct). 10. 
Bird, anidseskwa (extinct). 

The names of several Cheroki towns are mentioned by the 
historians of de Soto's expedition, which traversed a portion 
of their country ; by Adair, Timberlake and by Wm. Bartram, 
who has left a long list of their settlements. 

The rare publication : Weston (PI. Chas. Jennett), Docu- 
ments connected with the History of South Carolina, London, 
1856, 4to, contains an article by de Brahm, which gives an 
ethnologic sketch and many other particulars of the Southern 
Indians, and especially refers to the Cheroki (pp. 218-227). 
The English- Cheroki war, from February to August, 1760, 
is narrated pp. 208-213. 

The tradition that the Cheroki, or rather a portion of 
them, were found living in caves, is substantiated by the 
appellation "Cave-dwellers," given to them by the Northern 
Indians. The Comanches call them Ebikuita; the Senecas, 
Uyada, cave-men ; the Wendat, Uwatayo-r6no, from uwatayo, 
which in their language means "hole in the ground, cave ;" 
the Shawano call them 'Katowa, plural Katowagi ; and the 
Delawares by the same name, Gatohua (Barton, Appendix, 
p. 8: Gatt6chwa). This refers to Kitowa, one of their towns 
previously mentioned. Caves of the old Cheroki country 
were examined by archaeologists, and some of them showed 
marks of former occupation, especially caves in Sullivan and 
Hawkins counties, Tennessee. This reminds us of the Trog- 
lodytse and Mandritae of ancient times, of the Cliff-Dwellers 
on Upper Colorado river, New Mexico, and of other American 
tribes, which lived in caves. Thus a Shasti tribe, the Weo- 
how, are reported to have received this name from a " stone 


house" or rock dwelling situated in their country, east of 
Shasta River and south of the Siskiyou Mountains. 1 

Lists of the ancient Cheroki towns will be found in W. 
Bartram's Travels, p. 371-372 (forty-three), in H. Timber- 
lake (his map is also reproduced in Jefferys' Topography of 
N. A., an atlas in fol., 1762), and in J. Gerar W. de Brahm, 
Hist, of the Prov. of Georgia, Wormsloe 1849, f°l-> P- 54- 


None of the numerous Algonkin tribes lived in the imme- 
diate neighborhood of the Maskoki family of Indians, but of 
the Dakotan stock the Arkansas (originally Akansa — the 
Akansea of Father Gravier), dwelt in close proximity, and 
had frequent intercourse with this Southern nation. 

Penicaut relates 2 that the French commander, Lemoyne 
d'lberville, sailed up the Mississippi river, and sixty leagues 
above the mouth of the Yazoo found the mouth of the Arkan- 
sas river; eight leagues above, on the same western shore, 
was the nation of the Arkansas, and in their town were two 
other "nations," called Torimas and Kappas. By these 
warlike and hunting tribes he was received in a friendly 
manner. The men are described as stout and thick-set 
(gros et trapus), the women as pretty and light-complexioned. 
Imahao, another Arkansas village, is mentioned in Margry 
IV, 179. The affluent of the Mississippi on which the 
Arkansas were settled was, according to D. Coxe, Carolana, 
p. 11, the Ousoutowy river : another name for Arkansas river. 

From Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, who makes a special study of all 
the Dakota tribes, I obtained the following oral information, 
founded on his personal intercourse with individuals of the 
Kappa tribe : 

"Akansa is the Algonkin name by which the Kapa, Quapa 

1 Cf. Ind. Affairs' Report, 1864, p. 120. 

2 Margry, P., Decouvertes et Etablissements des Francais dans 1'ouest et 
dans le Sud de l'Amerique Septentrionale, Paris, 1S76, etc., V, 402. 


were called by the eastern Indians, as Illinois, etc. They 
call themselves Uga^pa and once lived in four villages, two 
of which were on Mississippi, two on Arkansas river, near 
its mouth : Their towns, though now transferred to the 
Indian Territory, northeastern angle, have preserved the 
same names : 

"i. Uga/pa/ti or 'real Kapa.' Uga/pa means 'down 
stream,' just as O'maha means 'up stream.' 

"2. Tiwadima", called Toriman by French authors. 

"3. Uzutiuhe, corrupted into O'sotchoue, O'sochi, Southois 
by the French authors. Probably means : ' village upon 
low-land level.' 

"4. Ta°wa"zhika or ' small village ; ' corrupted into Topinga, 
Tonginga, Donginga by the French. 

"The Pacaha 'province' of de Soto's historians is a name 
inverted from Capaha, which is Uga^pa. The form Quapa is 
incorrect, for Kapa (or Kapaha of La Salle), which is abbre- 
viated from Uga/pa." 

In 1 72 1 LaHarpe saw three of their villages on the Missis- 
sippi river, and noticed snake worship among these Indians. 


On account of the recent discovery of their conso- 
nantic language, which proves to be disconnected from any 
other aboriginal tongue spoken in North America, a peculiar 
interest attaches itself to the tribe of the Taensa Indians, 
whose cabins stood in Tensas county, Louisiana, bordering 
east on Mississippi river. The Tensas river, in French 
Bayou Tensa, which joins the Washita river at Trinity City, 
after forming a prodigious number of bends, and flowing 
past a multitude of artificial mounds, still keeps up the 
memory of this extinct tribe. 

In March 1700, the French commander L. d' Iberville 
1 cf. D. Coxe, Carolana, pp. n. 13. 


calculated the distance from the landing of the Natchez to 
that of the Taensas, following the river, at about 15^ 
leagues, and in the air-line, nj^ leagues. That Taensa 
landing, at the foot of a bluff nine hundred feet high (150 
toises), was about 32°$' Lat., while d'Iberville, trusting his 
inaccurate methods of measuring, located it at 32°47' Lat. 
(Margry IV, 413). 

The tribe occupied seven villages at the time of d'Iberville's 
visit, which were distant four leagues from the Mississippi 
river, and grouped around a semi-circular lake, probably 
Lake St. Joseph. One hundred and twenty of these cabins 
were extending for two leagues on the lake shore, and a 
"temple" was among them. The missionary Montigny, 
who visited the locality about the same epoch, estimated the 
population of that part of the Taensa settlement which he 
saw at 400 persons. " They were scattered over an area of 
eight leagues, and their cabins lay along a river. ' ' 

The seven villages visited by d'Iberville constitute one town 
only, as he was told. This means to say that they formed a 
confederacy. A Taensa Indian, who accompanied him, gave 
their names in the Chicasa trade language, or, as the French 
called it, the Mobilian jargon (Margry IV, 179). 

1. Taensas; from Cha'hta ta n dshi maize. 

2. Ohytoucoulas ; perhaps from uti chestnut; cf. utapa 

chestnut eater. For -ougoula, cf. p. 36. 

3. Nyhougoulas ; 

4. Couthaougoulas ; from Cha'hta uk'hata^ lake. 

5. Conchayon; cf. Cha'hta k6nshak reed, species of cane. 

6. Talaspa; probably from ta'lapi_^z/<?, or ta'lepa hundred. 

7. Chaoucoula; from Cha'hta issi deer, or hatche river, 

In the Taensa Grammar and Vocabulary of Haumonte, 
Parisot and Adam (Paris, 1882), the name by which the 
people called itself is Hastriryini "warriors, men, tribe;" 


cf. p. 91 : hastri to fight, make war; hastrir warrior, man; 
hastriryi people, tribe; but Tensagini also occurs in the texts, 
which would point to an extensive maize culture. 

The Taensa were sun worshipers, and had a temple with 
idols and a perpetual fire. When d'Iberville sojourned 
among them, lightning struck their temple and destroyed it, 
upon which the mothers sacrificed their infants, to appease 
the wrath of the incensed deity, by throwing them into the 
burning edifice (Margry IV, 414, etc.; V, 398). The people 
then rubbed their faces and bodies with earth. Nothing 
definite is known about their gentes, phratries and totems. 
Several French authors represent them as speaking the Naktche 
language (which is untrue) and as being of the same nation. 1 
D'Iberville states that their language differed from that of 
the Huma tribe. 

The remnants of a tribe called Mosopellea, probably of 
Illinois-Algonkin origin and previously residing west of the 
"Isle of Tamaroa," on western shore of Mississippi river, 
joined the Taensa, and were met there in 1682 by Tonti. 
They had been almost annihilated by the Iroquois. 2 

The Taensa had, at one time, formed an alliance with the 
Koroa, then on Yazoo river, and another with the Arkansas 

The Taensa grammar speaks of a northern and of a southern, 
more polished dialect, but does not locate them topographi- 
cally. The only word of Taensa which I have found to agree 
with any other language, is ista eye; it also occurs in Southern 
Dakotan dialects. 

1 Grammaire et Voc. Taensa, Introd., pp. xii. xiv. Compare also 
Margry, Die. et EtabU, I, 556-557, 566-568, 600-602, 609-610, 6*6; 
IV, 414. Their temple, described by le Sieur de Tonty (traveling with 
la Salle in 1682) in French, Hist Coll. of La., I, pp. 61. 64. 

2 Margry I, 610. Mosopblea, ibid. II, 237; Monsopela, on the map 
in D. Coxe, Carolana. 



In early colonial times a portion of the Northern Taensa, 
driven from their homes on the Taensa river by the rage of 
the Chicasa, fled to the Mobilians. The French settled them 
on the western side of Mobile bay, below Fort St. Louis, and 
thirty miles above Fort Conde, which stood on the site of 
the present city of Mobile. 1 The French called them " les 
petits Taensas" in contradistinction to the "great (or 
northern) Taensas," on Mississippi and Taensa rivers. About 
the middle of the eighteenth century one hundred of their 
cabins stood north of the French fort St. Louis, and also north 
of the Tohome Indian settlement. The Taensa were then 
speaking their native language and, besides this, a corrupt 
Chicasa dialect, called the Mobilian language by the French." 
Subsequently they must have removed from there to the 
eastern channel, for Bartram, Travels, pp. 401. 403, describes 
Taensa there as a "pretty high bluff, on the eastern channel 
of the great Mobile river, about thirty miles above Fort 
Conde, or city of Mobile, at the head of the bay .... 
with many artificial mounds of earth and other ruins." Dur- 
ing the wars of 1813-15 the adjacent country is called the 
" Tensaw country." 

It is not unlikely that these Taensa were identical with the 
"petits Taensas" seen by Lemoyne d' Iberville at the Huma 
town in March 1700, and described by him as migratory, 
but living most of the time at three days' distance west of 
Huma, and then warring against the Bayogoulas. They 
gained their sustenance by hunting, though buffaloes were 
scarce in their country, and were men of a fine physique 
(Margry IV, 408). In 1702 they defeated the Bayogoulas 
and burnt their village on Mississippi river ; the Bayogoulas 

1 At that time they were warring unsuccessfully against the Huma 
(1713); Penicaut (in Margry V, 508. 509) saw them at Manchac. 

2 T. Jefferys, Hist, of French Dominions in America; London, 1761 ; I, 
p. 162, sq. 


fled to the. French fort on that river, then commanded by 
Mr. St. Denis. If identical with the Taensa on Mobile river, 
these fights of theirs must have occurred during their passage 
from the North to the bay of Mobile. 


A third tribe, which may have stood in some connection 
with the two tribes above, are the Tangipahoa Indians settled 
in various places east of New Orleans, especially on Tangi- 
pahoa river, in southeastern Louisiana. A French author 
states that they formed one of the seven villages of the Acola- 
pissa. The name is written in different ways, and is inter- 
preted by Gov. Allen Wright as " those who gather maize 
stalks," from ta°dshe maize; api stalk, cob; ayua they gather. 
Penicaut defines the name differently, for he states (Margry 
V, 387) "we found (northwest of Lake Pontchartrain) a 
river, Tandgepao, which in the Indian signifies • bled blanc? " 
The Taensapaoa tribe, on the river of the same name, is re- 
ferred to in Bartram, Travels, p. 422 ; cf. p. 423. We have 
no notice concerning the language spoken by this tribe, 
which was, perhaps, incorporated into the Cha'hta living now 
around New Orleans ; thus we are unable to decide whether 
they spoke Cha'hta, like the other Acolapissa, or another 
tongue. The Tangibao tribe was " destroyed by the Oumas," 
as stated in a passage of Margry (IV, 168) ; by which is meant, 
that they were scattered and their tribal connection disrupted. 


Of the Lower Mississippi tribes the most powerful and 
populous was that of the Naktche, settled at the beginning 
of the eighteenth century in nine villages on and about St. 
Catherine creek (Lukfi-akula in Cha'hta: "clay-digging 
place" to daub houses with), in a beautiful and fertile coun- 
try. This stream wends its way first south, then west^ in a 
semi-eircular course, around the present city of Natchez, 


Mississippi, and runs at an average distance of three to four 
miles from it. Other Naktche villages existed in its vicinity. 

Naktche is the correct form of the tribal name, though this 
people appears to have called itself by some other appellation. 
Natchez is the old-fashioned plural adopted from French 
orthography ; we might just as well write Iroquoiz, Islinoiz 
or Adayez, instead of the terminal -s now designating the 
plural in French. The Cheroki Indians call a Nache, Natche 
or Naktche person A'no^tse, A'nno^tse, the people or tribe 
Anino/tse, shortened into Ani'htse, which proves that a gut- 
tural has been elided from the present form of the name. 
Isalakti, from whom Albert Gallatin obtained a vocabulary 
of the language, called himself a Nahktse, not a Natche chief. 

The name is of Shetimasha origin, I have reasons to assume. 
Naksh in that language means one that is in a hurry, one run- 
ning, naksh asi, 1 abbrev. naksh warrior; and the earliest 
French explorers may have heard that name from the Sheti- 
masha Indians settled on the Mississippi, where Bayou La- 
fourche, also called the river of the Shetimasha, branches off 
from it. Should the name belong to the Chicasa trade' 
language, we might think of the Cha'hta adverb : naksika aside, 
away from, referring to the site of the Naktche villages at 
some distance from the great "water-road," the Mississippi 

The Naktche tribe owes its celebrity and almost romantic 
fame to several causes : their towns were populous, the gov- 
ernment more centralized than that of the surrounding native 
populations ; the French settled in their vicinity, and hence 
their authors have left to posterity more information concern- 
ing their confederacy than concerning other tribes; their 
stubborn resistance to French encroachments gave them a 
high reputation for bravery ; their religious custom's, centering 
in a highly developed sun-worship, made of them an object 

1 Literally, " a hurrying man." In the sign language of the Mississippi 
plains, the sign for fighting or battle is the same as for riding a horse. 


of curious interest and far-going ethnologic speculation for 
the white colonists, whose views on the Naktche we must 
receive with the utmost caution. 

L. d'Iberville reports, that at the time of his visit (March 
1699) the villages of the Naktche made up one town only, 
and formed a complex of contiguous villages called Theloel 
or Thecoel 1 (Margry IV, 179). 

The annalist Penicaut, who visited these parts in 1704, 
states that the nine villages were situated in a delightful 
country, swarming with buffaloes, drained by rivulets and 
partly wooded. The village or residence of the head chief, 
the Sun, lay one league from the Mississippi river, and three 
other villages were on a brook, at a distance of half a league 
from each other. He alludes to their human sacrifices, the 
frequency of infanticide, and gives descriptions of their 
temple, perpetual fire, their "marche des cadavres" and 
articles of dress. The house of the Sun was large enough to 
contain four thousand persons ; he had female servants called 
oulchil iichon, and thirty male attendants ("laquais") or 
louts, the Allouez of other chroniclers. Mother-right pre- 
vailed among them (Margry V, 444-456). 

The Taensa guide, who accompanied d'Iberville to the 
Naktche tribe in 1699, furnished him a list of the nine 
villages, their names being given in the Chicasa trade lan- 
guage. I presume that they are given in the topographical 
order as they followed «each other on St. Catharine creek, 
from its mouth upward, since the "Naches" village or (resi- 
dence of the Sun was distant one league only from the Mis- 
sissippi river. We are not acquainted with the names given 
to these villages in the Naktche language. The etymologies 
of the Cha'Jita language were obtained from Allen Wright ; 
the suffixed word -ougoula is the Cha'hta 6kla people, tribe. 

1 The handwriting of this name is indistinct, but in the sequel, wherever 
this name is mentioned, Margry prints it Theloel. There can scarcely be 
any doubt of its identity with Thoucoue, the seventh village in the list. 


i. Naches; 

2. Pochougoula; " pond-lily people ," from Cha'hta pantchi 

pond lily. 

3. Ousagoucoulas ; " hickory people ," from Cha'hta u'ssak, 

ossak hickory. 

4. Cogoucoulas; " swan people" from 6kok swan. 

5. Yatanocas; 

6. Yroacachas; almost homonymous with the Arkansas 

village Imahao, mentioned above. 

7. Thoucoue ; probably identical with Theloel (cf. above) 

and the Thioux of later authors. 

8. Tougoulas; " wood ox forest people" from iti wood. 

9. Achougoulasj " pipe people" from ashunga pipe, liter- 

ally, " the thing they smoke from ; " cf. shungali 
/ smoke from. 

Although these names are considerably frenchified in their 
orthography, the meaning of some admits of no doubt. When 
I visited Natchez city in January 1882, I was informed that 
the White Apple village, called Apilua (Vpelois) and men- 
tioned by Le Page du Pratz, is supposed to have existed 
twelve to fifteen miles southeast of the city. The White Earth 
village and the village of the Meal were other settlements of 
theirs. Owing to incessant rains, I could not explore the sites 
to their full extent, but found a flat mound south of St. Catha- 
rine's creek, with a diameter of thirty-two feet and perfectly 
circular, which lay at the same distance from the Mississippi as 
given above for the residence of the Sun. Col. J. F. H. Clai- 
borne's History of Mississippi, vol. I, 40^-47, gives valuable 
extracts from French archives, pointing to the real sites of 
the Naktche habitations. The colossal mound of Seltzer- 
town stands but a short distance from the creek alluded to, 
and is fourteen miles from Natchez city to the northeast. 

The settlement of the French on the heights of Natchez, 
the growing animosity of the natives against the intruders, the 
three successive wars, the massacre of the colonists in Novem- 


ber, 1729, and the final dispersion of the tribe in February 
1730, are well-known historic facts and need not be repeated 
in this volume. The disorganized warriors retreated with 
their families to different parts of the country. One party 
fled across Mississippi river to some locality near Trinity 
City, La., where they entrenched themselves, but were at- 
tacked, defeated and partly captured by a body of French 
troops two years later. Another party reached the Chicasa 
country and was granted a home and protection by that tribe ; 
but the revengeful French colonists declared war upon the 
hospitable Chicasa for sheltering. their mortal enemies, and 
invaded their lands by way of the Yazoo river in 1736, but 
were compelled to retreat after suffering considerable loss. 
Fort Tombigbee, constructed in 1735, served as a second base 
for the French operations. Further French-Chicasa wars 
occurred in 1739-40 and in 1748. 1 

Later on, we find their remnants among the Creeks, who 
had provided them with seats on Upper Coosa river, and 
incorporated them into their confederacy. They built a 
village called Naktche, and a part of them went to reside in 
the neighboring Abikudshi town. Naktche town lay, in B. 
Hawkins' time (1799), on a creek of the same name, joining 
Coosa river sixty miles above its confluence with Tallapoosa 
river, and harbored from fifty to one hundred warriors 
(Hawkins, p. 42). A number of Naktche families, speaking 
their paternal language, now live in the hilly parts of the 
Cheroki Nation, Indian Territory. 

A body of Indians, called by French and English writers 
Thioux and Grigras, remained in the vicinity of the Natchez 
colony after the departure of the Naktche Indians, who had 
been the ruling tribe of the confederacy. It is doubtful 
whether these two divisions were of foreign or of Naktche 
origin, though the latter seems improbable. The .Grigras 

1 Cf. Adair, History, p. 354 sqq. On Fort Tombigbee, ibid., pp. 285, 


were called so on account of a peculiarity in their pronuncia- 
tion ; it probably referred to what the French call grasseyer, 
and the Canadian French parler gras. 1 Eleven Shawano 
were once brought to the villages as captives, and were known 
there as "Stinkards," "Puants," terms which served to 
interpret the Naktche term metsmetskop miserable, bad, 
wretched, inferior. 

The scanty vocabularies which we possess of the Naktche 
language contain a sprinkling of foreign terms adopted from 
the Chicasa or Mobilian. Two languages at least were spoken 
before 1 730 in the Naktche villages ; the Naktche by the 
ruling class or tribe ; the other, the Chicasa or trade language 
by the "low people ;" and hence the mixture referred to. 
Du Pratz gives specimens of both. Naktche is a vocalic 
language, rich in verbal forms, and, to judge from a few 
specimens, polysynthetic to a considerable degree in its 


Migratory dispositions seem to have inhered to the Tonica 
or Tunica tribe in a higher degree than to their southern 
neighbors, for in the short lapse of two centuries we see them 
stationed at more than three places. 

In a letter addressed by Commander Lemoyne d'Iberville 
to the Minister of the French Navy, dated from Bayogoulas, 
February 26th, 1700, he states that an English fur-trader and 
Indian slave-jobber had just visited the Tonica, who are on 
a river emptying into the Mississippi, twenty leagues above 

1 It is stated that the Thioux were a small body of Indians, reduced in 
numbers by the Chicasa, and then incorporated by the Naktche ; their 
language possessed the sound R. If this- latter statement is true, their 
language was neither of the Naktche nor of the Maskoki or Dakota 
family. In conversation the Grigras often used this word grigra, which 
also implies the use of the articulation R. Cf. Le Page du Pratz, IV, chap. 
ii, sect. I ; JefFerys, French Dom. in America, p. 162, and what is said of 
the Shawano under Yuchi, p. 


the Taensa Indians, at some distance from the Chicasa, and 
170 leagues from the Gulf of Mexico. When d'Iberville 
ascended the Yazoo river in the same year, he found a village 
of this tribe on its right (or western) bank, four days' travel 
from the Natchez landing. Seven villages were seen upon 
this river, which is navigable for sixty leagues. The Tonica 
village, the lowest of them, was two days' travel from Thysia, 
the uppermost (Margry IV, 180. 362. 398; V, 401). La 
Harpe mentions the establishment of a mission house among 
the Tonica on Yazoo river. 1 

In 1706, when expecting to become involved in a conflict 
with the Chicasa and Alibamu Indians, the Tonica tribe, or 
a part of it, fled southward to the towns of the Huma, and 
massacred a number of these near the site where New Orleans 
was built afterwards (French, Hist. Coll. of La., Ill, 35). 
The "Tunica Old Fields" lay in Tunica county, Missis- 
sippi State, opposite Helena, Arkansas. Cf. Cha'hta. 

They subsequently lived at the Tonica Bluffs, on the east 
shore of the Mississippi river, two leagues below the influx of 
the Red river. T. Jefferys, who in 1761 gave a description 
of their village and chiefs house, states that they had settled 
on a hill near the " River of the Tunicas," which comes from 
the Lake of the Tunicas, and that in close vicinity two other 
villages were existing (Hist, of French Dominions, I, 145— 
146) 2 Th. Hutchins, Louisiana and West Florida, Phila., 
1784, p. 44, locates them a few miles below that spot, oppo- 
site Pointe Coupee and ten miles below the Pascagoulas, on 
Mississippi river. So does also Baudry de Lozieres in 1802, 
who speaks of a population of one hundred and twenty men. 

In 181 7, a portion of the tribe, if not the whole, had gone 
up the Red river and settled at Avoyelles, ninety miles above 

1 French, Hist. Coll. Ill, 16; cf. Margry V, 525. The names of these 
villages to be given under Chicasa, q. v. 

2 This was probably the place where Le Page du Pratz saw them (about 
1720 or 1725) : "vis-a-vis de la Riviere Rouge," II, 220-221. 

adAi. 41 

its confluence with the Mississippi. A group of these Indians 
is now in Calcasieu county, Louisiana, in the neighbor- 
hood of Lake Charles City. 

A separate chapter has been devoted to this tribe, because 
there is a strong probability that their language differed en- 
tirely from the rest of the Southern tongues. Le Page du 
Pratz, 1.1., in confirming this statement, testifies to the exist- 
ence of the sound R in their language, which occurs neither 
in Naktche nor in the Maskoki dialects or Shetimasha (II, 
220-221). We possess no vocabulary of it, and even the 
tribal name belongs to Chicasa : tunnig post, pillar, support, 
probably post of territorial demarcation of their lands on 
the Yazoo river. The only direct intimation which I possess 
on that tongue is a correspondence of Alphonse L. Pinart, 
who saw some Tonica individuals, and inferred from their 
terms that they might belong to the great Pani stock of the 
Western plains. 


Of this small and obscure Indian community mention is 
made much earlier than of all the other tribes hitherto spoken 
of in this volume, for Cabeca de Vaca, in his Naufragios, 
mentions them among the inland tribes as Atayos. In the 
list of eight Caddo villages, given by a Taensa guide to 
L. d'Iberville on his expedition up the Red river (March 
1699), they figure as the Natao (Margry IV, 178). 

The Adai, Ata-i, Hata-i, Adayes (incorrectly called Adaize) 
seem to have persisted at their ancient home, where they 
formed a tribe belonging to the Caddo confederacy. Charle- 
voix (Hist, de la Nouvelle France, ed. Shea VI, p. 24) 
relates that a Spanish mission was founded among the Adaes 
in 1 715. A Spanish fort existed there, seven leagues west of 
Natchitoches, as late as the commencement of the nineteenth 
century. Baudry de Lozieres puts their population at one 
hundred men (1802), and Morse (1822) at thirty, who then 


passed their days in idleness on the Bayou Pierre of Red 
river. Even at the present time they are remembered as a 
former division of the Caddo confederacy, and called Hata-i 
by the Caddo, who are settled in the southeastern part of the 
Indian Territory. 

A list of about 300 Adai words was gathered in 1802 by 
Martin Duralde, which proves it to be a vocalic language 
independent of any other, though a few affinities are traceable 
with the Pani dialects. The orthography of that vocabulary 
cannot, however, be fully relied on. The original is in the 
library of the American Philosophical Society, in Philadelphia. 
Rob. G. Latham, in his "Opuscula; Essays, chiefly philo- 
logical," etc., London i860; pp. 402-404, has compared 
Adahi words with the corresponding terms of other North 
American languages, but without arriving at a definite result. 


The great family of Pani Indians has, in historic times, 
extended from the Platte river southward to the Gulf of 
Mexico. From the main stock, the Sanish or Arikari have 
wandered on their hunting trips north to the Middle Missouri 
river, while the Pani, in four divisions, had the Platte and 
its tributaries for their headquarters. The southern tribes 
are the Witchita, the Towakone or Three Canes, who speak 
the Witchita dialect, the Kichai and the originally Texan 
tribes of the Caddo and Waco (Weko, in Spanish : Hueco.) l 

The Pani . family was too remote from the Maskoki tribes 
to enter in direct connection with them. Some of the south- 
ern septs had intercourse with them, mainly through the 
French colonists. Fights between Caddos and Cha'hta are 
recorded for the eighteenth century. The Pani family is 
mentioned here simply because the legendary caves from 
which the Creek nation is said to have sprung lay on Red 

1 Cf. R. G. Latham, Opuscula, p. 400, who was the first to hint at a 
possible affinity of Caddo to Pani. 

PANI. 43 

river, within the limits of the territory held by some of the 
southern Pani nations. 

When L. d' Iberville ascended the western branch of the 
Red river, now called Red river (the eastern branch being 
Washita or Black river), in March 1699, ^ e saw an( ^ v i s i te d 
eight villages of the Caddo connection. His Taensa guide 
named them as follows : 

Yatache ; called Yatassi by Americans. 

Nactythos ; they are the Natchitoches. 

Yesito ; 

Natao ; the Adai above. 

Cachaymons ; 

Cadodaquis; full form, Cado-hadatcho or " chief tribe." 

Nataches ; 


The Cachaymons and the Cadodaquis had been previously 
visited by Cavelier de la Salle, when returning from the 
Cenys, in the central parts of Texas. 1 

The Caddo confederacy consists of the following divisions 
or tribes, as given me by a Caddo Indian in 1882 : 

Kado proper ; kado means chief, principal. 

Anadako, Anadaku ; also Nandako. 

Ainai, Ayenai ; also Hini, Inies upon an affluent of Sabine 
river; identical with the Tachies (Sibley). From 
this tribal name is derived Texas, anciently Tachus, 

Natchidosh, Nashedosh; the Natchitoches. 


Anabaidaitcho, Nabadatsu; the Nabedatches, who are 
nearly extinct now. 

Natassi; identical with the Nataches above. 

Nakuhedotch, Nakohodotse ; the Nagogdoches. 

Assine, Assini ; the Asinays of French explorers. 

Hadai ; the Adai, Adaye, q. v. 

1 Cf. Margry IV, 178. 313. 409. 


Yowa'ni, now in Texas. 

A'-ishj a few of these are now living in Texas, called 
Alish, Eyish by former writers. 

The Caddo relate, as being the mythical origin of their 
nation, that they came from a water-sink in Louisiana, went 
westward, shoved up earth by means of arrow-heads, and 
thus made a mountain. The totems of their gentes once 
were, as far as remembered, bear na-ustse, panther ko'she, 
w^ta-isha, snake kika, wild- cat wado, owl nea, 6-ush. 

When Milfort passed through the Red river country about 
1780, the Caddo, whom he describes as fallacious in trading, 
were at war with the Cha'hta (Memoire, p. 95). 

In 1705 some Colapissa from the Talcatcha river, four 
leagues from Lake Pontchartrain, settled upon the northern 
bank of this lake at Castembayouque (now Bayou Castin, at 
Mandeville), and were joined, six months after, by a party 
of "Nassitoches," whom famine had driven from their homes 
on Red river. 1 


These natives once dwelt in numerous settlements clustering 
around Bayou Lafourche, Grand river (or Bayou Atchafalaya), 
and chiefly around Grand Lake or Lake of the Shetimasha. 
All that is left of them — about fifty-five Indians, of a parent- 
age strongly mixed with white blood, reside at Charenton, 
St. Mary's Parish, on the southwestern side of the lake, 
though a few are scattered through the forests on Grand 
river. They call themselves Pdntch pinunkansh, "men alto- 
gether red." The name Shetimasha, by which they are 
generally known, is of Cha'hta origin, and means "they 
possess (imasha) cooking vessels (tchuti)." Their central 
place of worship was three miles north of Charenton, on a 
small inlet of Grand Lake. They worshiped there, by dances 
and exhaustive fasting, their principal deity, Kut-Nahansh, 
the "mid-day sun." 

1 P£nicaut, in Margry V, 459-462. 

atAkapa. 45 

They were not warlike, and never figured prominently in 
colonial history. When a portion of the tribe, settled on 
Bayou Lafourche, had murdered Mr. Saint-Cosme, a Naktche 
missionary descending the Mississippi river in 1703, they 
were attacked by the colonists and their Indian allies. The 
war ended with a speedy submission of the savages. They 
called the Naktche Indians their brothers, and their myths 
related that their " Great Spirit" created them in the country 
of that people, and gave them laws, women and tobacco. 
The Cha'hta tribes, who attempted to deprive them of their 
native land, made continual forays upon them during the 
eighteenth century. 

These Indians were strict monogamists. The chieftaincy 
was a life-long office among them. The chiefs lived in lodges 
larger than those of the common people, and their tobacco 
pipes were larger than those of the warriors. The foreheads 
of the children were subjected to the flattening process. 1 

Their language is extremely polysynthetic as far as deriva- 
tion by suffixes is concerned, and there are also a number of 
prefixes. For the pronouns thou and ye a common and a 
reverential form are in use. The faculty for forming com- 
pound words is considerable, and the numerals show the 
decimal form of computation. 


To close the list of the linguistic families encircling the 
Maskoki stock, we mention the Atakapa, a language which 
has been studied but very imperfectly. This tribe once ex- 
isted upon the upper Bayou Teche northwest and west of the 
Shetimasha, north and northwest of the Opelousa Indians, 
and from the Teche extended beyond Vermilion river, per- 
haps down to the sea coast. The Atakapa of old were a well- 
made race of excellent hunters, but had, as their name indi- 

1 Of these Indians I have given an ethnographic sketch in : Transact. 
Anthropolog. Society of Washington, 1883, Vol. II, pp. 148- 158. 


cates, the reputation of being anthropophagists (Cha'hta: 
hatak, Jiattak person, apa to eat). At first, they suffered no 
intrusion of the colonists into their territory and cut off 
expeditions attempting to penetrate into their seats. During 
the nineteenth century they retreated toward the Sabine river. 
The name by which they call themselves is unknown ; perhaps 
it is Skunnemoke, which was the name of one of their villages 
on Vermilion river, six leagues west of New Iberia. Cf. Th. 
Hutchins (Phila., 1784). 

The scanty vocabulary of their language, taken in 1802, 
shows clusters of consonants, especially at the end of words, 
but with its queer, half-Spanish orthography does not appear 
to form a reliable basis for linguistic conclusions. A few 
words agree with T6nkawe, the language of a small Texan 
tribe ; and according to tradition, the Karankawas, once the 
giant people of Matagorda bay, on the Texan Coast, spoke a 
dialect of Atakapa. These three tribes were, like all other 
Texan tribes, reputed to be anthropophagists. In extenua- 
tion of this charge, Milfort asserts that they "do not eat 
men, but roast them only, on account of the cruelties first 
enacted against their ancestors by the Spaniards" (p. 90). 
This remark refers to a tribe, also called Atakapas, which 
he met at a distance of five days' travel west of St. Bernard 

We have but few notices of expeditions sent by French 
colonists to explore the unknown interior of what forms now 
the State of Louisiana. One of these, consisting of three 
Frenchmen, was in 1703 directed to explore the tribes about 
the river de la Madeleine, now Bayou Teche. The two 
men who returned reported to have met seven "nations" 
there ; the man they lost was eaten by the natives, and this 
misfortune prompted them to a speedy departure. The loca- 
tion seems to point to the territory of the Atakapa. 1 
1 Pinicaut, in Margry V, 440. 

KOROA. 47 

The enumeration of the southern linguistic stocks winds up 
with the Atakapa; but it comprises only the families the 
existence of which is proved by vocabularies. Tonica and 
the recently-discovered Taensa furnish the proof that the 
Gulf States may have harbored, or still harbor, allophylic 
tribes speaking languages unknown to us. The areas of the 
southern languages being usually small, they, could easily 
escape discovery, insomuch as the attention of the explorers 
and colonists was directed more toward ethnography than 
toward aboriginal linguistics. 

The southern tribes which I suspect of speaking or having 
spoken allophylic languages, are the Bidai, the Koroa, the 
Westo and Stono Indians. 


Rev. Morse, in his Report to the Government (1822), states 
that their home is on the western or right side of Trinity river, 
Texas, sixty-five miles above its mouth, and that they count 
one hundred and twenty people. In 1850 a small settlement 
of five or six Bidai families existed on Lower Sabine River. 

The Opelousas of Louisiana and the Cances of Texas 
spoke languages differing from all others around them. 1 


The earliest home of this tribe, which figures extensively 
in French colonial history, is a mountainous tract on the 
western shore of Mississippi river, eight leagues above the 
Natchez landing. They were visited there, early in 1682, by 
the explorer, C. de la Salle, who noticed the compression of 
their skulls (Margry I, 558. 566). They were a warlike and 
determined people of hunters. In 1705 a party of them, 
hired by the French priest Foucault to convey him by water 
to the Yazoos, murderously dispatched him with two other 
Frenchmen (Penicaut, in Margry V, 458). A companion of 
C. de la Salle (in 1682) noticed that the "language of the 
1 American State Papers, I, pp. 722-24. 


Coroa differed from that of the Tinsa and Natche," but that 
in his opinion their manners and customs were the same 
(Margry.I, 558). 

Koroas afterward figure as one of the tribes settled on 
Yazoo river, formerly called also River of the Chicasa, and 
are mentioned there by D, Coxe, Carolana (1742). P- 10, as 
Kourouas. They were then the allies of the Chicasa, but 
afterward merged in the Cha'hta people, who call them Kolwa, 
Kulua. Allen Wright, descended, from a grandfather of this 
tribe, states that the term is neither Cha'hta nor Chicasa, and 
that the Koroa spoke a language differing entirely from 
Cha'hta. 1 A place Kolua is now in Coahoma county, prob- 
ably far distant from the ancient home of this tribe. The 
origin of the name is unknown; the Cha'hta word: ka n lo 
strong, powerful, presents some analogy in sound. 


lived - in the vicinity of the English colony at Charleston, 
South Carolina. Their predatory habits made them particu- 
larly troublesome in 1669-1671 and in 1674, when they had 
to be repulsed by an army of volunteers. The Stonos must 
have lived north of the colony, or on the upper course of 
some river, for, in 1674, they are described as "coming 
down ' ' (Hewat, Histor. Account of S. C. and Ga., London 
1779; I, 51. 77). Stono Inlet is the name of a cove near 
Charleston. Both tribes also met with disastrous reverses at 
the hands of the Savannah Indians, probably the Yamassi 
(Archdale). They are both mentioned as having belonged 
to the Kataba confederacy, but this does not by any means 
prove that they spoke Kataba or a dialect of it. As to the 
name, the Westo Indians may be identified with the Oustacs 
of Lederer (who are reported as being at war with the Ushe- 
rees), and with the Hostaqua of Ren6 de Laudonniere, who 
1 This is corroborated by the fact that the sound R did exist in the 
Koroa language: Jefferys (1761), I, 163. 


mentions them as forming a confederacy under a paracusi in 
the northern parts of the "Floridian" territory. Possibly 
the Creek word O'sta four, in the sense of " four allied tribes," 
has given origin to this tribal name (ostaka in Alibamu). 

The affinity of the extinct Congaree Indians, on Congaree 
river, is doubtful also; Lawson relates that they did not 
understand the speech of the Waterees and Chicarees. Cf. 
Kataba. Owing to the inactivity of the local historians, 
our ethnographic information, on the North and South 
Carolina Indians is extremely meagre and unsatisfactory. 


The linguistic map added to this volume is an attempt to 
locate, in a general way, the settlements pertaining to the 
Indians of each of the linguistic stocks of the Gulf States, as 
far as traceable in the eighteenth century. Some of them, 
as the Timucua and Yamassi settlements, are taken from dates 
somewhat earlier, while the location of the Atakapa tribe is 
known to us only from the first decennium of the nineteenth 
century. The marking of the linguistic areas by dots, point- 
ing to the tribal settlements, answers much better the purpose 
than the coloring of large areas, which conveys the erroneous 
impression that the population was scattered all over a certain 
country. This will do very well for densely populated coun- 
tries, or for tracts inhabited by roving, erratic Indians, whom 
we meet only on the west side of the Mississippi river. The 
Gulf States' Indians were no longer in the condition of pure 
hunting tribes; they had settled in stationary villages, and 
derived the main part of their sustenance from agriculture 
and fishing. 

The location of the Chicasa, Cheroki, Seminole and Caddo 
(Pani) tribes were not indicated with that completeness 
which the subject requires. The northwest corner of the 
map shows the tracts occupied at present in the Indian 
Territory by tribes of Maskoki lineage. 



Among the various nationalities of the Gulf territories the 
Maskoki family of tribes occupied a central and commanding 
position. Not only the large extent of territory held by 
them, but also their numbers, their prowess in war, and a 
certain degree of mental culture and self-esteem made of the 
Maskoki one of the most important groups in Indian history. 
From their ethnologic condition of later times, we infer that 
these tribes have extended for many centuries back in time, 
from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and beyond that river, 
and from the Apalachian ridge to the Gulf of Mexico. With 
short intermissions they kept up warfare with all the circum- 
iacent Indian communities, and also among each other. All 
the various dispositions of the human mind are represented 
in the Maskoki tribes. We have the cruel and lurking 
Chicasa, the powerful and ingenious but treacherous and 
corruptible Cha'hta, the magnanimous and hospitable, proud 
and revengeful Creek, the aggressive Alibamu, the quarrel- 
some Yamassi, and the self-willed, independent Seminole, 
jealous of the enjoyment of his savage freedom in the swamps 
and everglades of the semi-tropical peninsula. 

The irresolute and egotistic policy of these tribes often 
caused serious difficulties to the government of the English 
and French colonies, and some of them constantly wavered 
in their adhesion between the French and the English cause. 
The American government overcame their opposition easily 
whenever a conflict presented itself (the Seminole war forms 
an exception), because, like all the Indians, they never knew 
how to unite against a common foe. 

The two main branches of the stock, the Creek and the 
Cha'hta Indians, were constantly at war, and the remem- 
brance of their deadly conflicts has now passed to their 
descendants in the form of folklore. The two differ anthro- 
pologically in their exterior, the people of the western or 
Cha'hta branch being thick-set and heavy, that of the eastern 


or Creek connection more lithe and tall. Prognathism is 
not frequent among them, and the complexion of both 
is a rather dark cinnamon, with the southern olive tinge. 
The general intelligence of this gifted race renders it suscep- 
tible for civilization, endows it with eloquence, but does not 
always restrain it from the outbursts of the wildest passion. 

Among the tribes of the Maskoki family, we notice the 
following ethnographic practices: the use of the red and 
white colors as symbols of war and peace, an extensive system 
of totemic gentes, the use of the Ilex cassine for the manu- 
facture of the black drink, the erection of artificial mounds, 
the belief in a deity called "Master of Life," and original 
sun-worship. The eastern tribes all had an annual festival 
in the town square, called a. fast (puskita in Creek), and some 
traces of it maybe found also among the western connection. 
In the eastern and western branch (also among the Naktche 
people) the children belong to the gens of the mother, a 
custom which differs from that of the Yuchi and dates from 
high antiquity. No instances of anthropophagy are recorded, 
but the custom of scalping seems to have been indigenous 
among them. The early Timucua scalped their enemies and 
dried the scalps over their camp-fires. The artificial flatten- 
ing of the foreheads of male infants seems to have prevailed 
in the western branch only, but some kind of skull deforma- 
tion could be observed throughout the Gulf territories. The 
re-interment of dead bodies, after cleaning their bones from 
the adhering muscles several months after death, is recorded 
more especially for the western branch, but was probably 
observed among all tribes in various modifications. 

None of the customs just enumerated was peculiar to the 
Maskoki tribes, but common throughout the south, many of 
them being found in the north also. They were mentioned 
here only, to give in their totality a fair ethnographic picture 
of the Maskoki nationality. 

The genealogy of the Maskoki tribes cannot be established 


on anthropological, that is racial, characteristics ; these In- 
dians formerly incorporated so many alien elements into their 
towns, and have become so largely mixed with half-castes in 
the nineteenth century, that a division on racial grounds has 
become almost impossible. 

Hence, the only characteristic by which a subdivision of 
the family can be attempted, is that of language. Following 
their ancient topographic location from east to west, we ob- 
tain the following synopsis : 

First branch, or Maskoki proper. The Creek, Maskokalgi or 
Maskoki proper, settled on Coosa, Tallapoosa, Upper and 
Middle Chatahuchi rivers. From these branched off by 
segmentation the Creek portion of the Seminoles, of the 
Yamassi and of the little Yamacraw community. 

Second, or Apalachian branch. This southeastern division, 
which may be called also a parte potiori the Hitchiti connec- 
tion, anciently comprised the tribes on the Lower Chatahuchi 
river and, east from there, the extinct Apalachi, the Mikasuki, 
and the Hitchiti portion of the Seminoles, Yamassi and Yama- 

Third, or Alibamu branch comprised the Alibamu villages 
on the river of that name ; to them belonged the Koassati 
and Witumka on Coosa river, its northern affluent. 

Fourth, Western or Cha'hta branch. From the main people, 
the Cha'hta, settled in the middle portions of the State of 
Mississippi, the Chicasa, Pascagoula, Biloxi, Huma and other 
tribes once became separated through segmentation. 

The strongest evidence for a community of origin of the 
Maskoki tribes is furnished by the fact that their dialects 
belong to one linguistic family. The numerous incorporations 
of foreign elements have not been able to alter the purity of 
their language ; the number of intrusive words is very small, 
and the grammar has repelled every foreign intrusion. This 
is the inference we draw from their best studied dialects, for 


with some of them, as with Abika, we are not acquainted at 
all, and with others very imperfectly. The principal dialects 
of the family greatly differ from each other; Cha'hta, for 
instance, is unintelligible to the Creek, Koassati and Hitchiti 
people, and the speech of each of these three tribes is not 
understood by the two others. When Albert Gallatin pub- 
lished his vocabularies of Cha'hta and Creek, he was uncertain 
at first whether they were related to each other or not. On 
the other side, the difference between Cha'hta and Chicasa, 
and between Creek and Seminole, is so insignificant that 
these dialects may be considered as practically . identical. 
The degree of dialectic difference points approximately to 
the date of the separation of the respective communities, and 
untold centuries must have elapsed since the two main branches 
of the family were torn asunder, for Cha'hta differs about as 
much from Creek as the literary German does from Icelandic. 


Although the dialects of Maskoki do not now diverge from 
each other more than did the Semitic dialects two thousand 
years ago, the time when they all had a common language, 
or, in other words, the time . preceding the separation into 
four divisions must lie further back than eight or ten thousand 
years. We cannot expect to reconstruct the parent Maskoki 
language spoken at that time but very imperfectly, since the 
oldest text known to exist in any of the dialects dates from 
A. D. 1688 only. An approach to its reconstruction could 
be attempted by carefully comparing the lexicon and gram- 
matic forms of the dialects presently spoken, and an individual 
acquainted with them all, or at least with their four represen- 
tatives, might also compose a comparative grammar of these 
dialects as spoken at the present epoch of their development, 
which would reveal many points concerning the ancient or his- 
toric shape of the language once common to all these tribes. 

What the Maskoki dialects presently spoken, as far as 


published, have in common, may be stated in a general way in 
the following outlines : 

Phonetics. — The dialects possess the sound f and the palata- 
lized 1 ('-1), but lack th, v and r, while nasalization of the 
vocalic element is more peculiar to the western than to the 
eastern divisions. There is a tendency to pronounce the 
mutes or checks by applying the tongue to the alveolar part 
of the palate. The phonetic system is as follows : 

explosives : 

Not aspirated. Aspirated. 

Gutturals kg X 

Palatals tch,ts dsh, ds 

Linguals k' g' 

Dentals t d 

Labials p b f 

Vowels: — i, e, a, a, o, u; with their long and nasalized sounds, 

breaths : 
Spirants. Nasals. Trills. 


y £ '1 

sh 1 

s n 

w m 

The syllable is quite simple in its structure ; it consists either 
of a vowel only, or begins with one consonant (in the eastern 
division with one or two), and ends in a vowel. Deviations 
from this rule must be explained by phonetic alteration, 
elision, etc. The frequent occurrence of homonymous terms 
forms a peculiar difficulty in the study of the dialects. 

Morphology. — No thorough distinction exists between the 
different parts of speech, none especially between the nominal 
and the verbal element. The fact that all adjectives can be 
verbified, could be better expressed as follows : The adjectives 
used attributively are participles of attributive verbs and 
inflected for number like these, their so-called plural being 
the plural form of a verb. This we observe in Iroquois, 
Taensa and many other American languages ; it also explains 
the position of the adjective after the noun qualified. Some 
forms of the finite verb represent true verbs, while others, 
like the Creek forms, with tcha-, tchi-, pu-, etc., prefixed, 
which is the possessive pronoun, are nominal forms, and 
represent nomina agentis and nomina actionis. The three 
cases of the noun are not accurately distinguished from each 


other in their functions; substantives form diminutives in 
-odshi, -osi„ -usi, etc. The distinction between animate arid 
inanimate gender is not made in this language family; much 
less that between the male and the female sex. The possessive 
pronoun of the third person singular and plural (im-, in-, i-) 
is prefixed in the same manner to substantives to indicate 
possession, as it is to verbs to show that an act is performed 
in the interest or to the detriment of the verbal subject or 
object. The Cha'hta alone distinguishes between the inclu- 
sive and the exclusive pronouns we, our, ours, A dual exists 
neither in the noun nor in the pronoun, but in most of the 
intransitive verbs. The numerals are built upon the quinary 
system, the numeral system most frequent in North America. 
The verb forms a considerable number of tenses and incor- 
porates the prefixed object-pronoun, the interrogative and the 
negative particle ; it has a form for the passive and one for the 
reflective voice. By a sort of reduplication a distributive form 
is produced in the verb, adjective and some numerals, which 
often has a frequentative and iterative function. The lack of 
a true relative pronoun and of a true substantive verb is supplied 
in different ways by the various dialects ; the former, for in- 
stance, by the frequent use of the verbal in -t. Derivatives are 
formed by prefixation and suffixation, many of the derivational 
being identical with inflectional affixes in these dialects. 

Although Maskoki speech, taken as a whole, belongs to, 
the agglutinative type of languages, some forms of it, espe- 
cially the predicative inflection of the verb and the vocalic 
changes in the radicals, strongly remind us of the inflective 
languages. Words, phrases and sentences are sometimes 
composed by syncope, a process which is more characteristic 
of the agglutinative than of the inflective type, and is by 
no means confined to the languages of America. 

In the following comparative table I have gathered some 
terms of Maskoki which coincide in two or more of the dialects. 
The table may be helpful for giving a general idea of the 
lexical differences existing between the dialects explored : 




3 1=3 


e .= e 

g c * .S3-S ._ 

g . .-m. a3 | 2 ._ : = 3 3|3 3 |jil^||"rl|l 



i _ J ;j « — -a • 



Sj^If^asg-ggjlsI -a 

si's -a S2.-?='S5-S^'i-S-g^^'5>»SS , S-g 

i.sfic-SjSSSr'g 5'K SJfxiSM 


3 rt 

:2 £2.2 


o.a 6:2 a 

l:5.a -aii-a acJ£rjj; as o-cc a-oa.Sv.: a o OsC 

.S '3, si* b 

_'S A — Injsjijs B; 

.- .a .g - a -a a. c .a <a : 


B ^ 

£3— a 3 rt V 

2^-S^S E.S -a^£3 

tax iB* 

i a E 



S ?!-r.s 

•2-5 « 


= 5 = 

3 G-rt 

U u 

i O B.- O.- 

3 a, rt — -C .— 5 *« S3 a 


ace — -K <J 

fl o 03 o.tJ 

fl — 



-9 |||! 




« S'S 

32 « 

lHJllMlli S IIIllll:i!l!lll!Il^ ll ^ lls 

I 3 a"rt « B B-S OJ5 

. a-d 2j= 3 9a 0.0. 


The Chicasa of this comparative table is from a vo- 
cabulary taken by G. Gibbs (1866) ; the Seminole and the 
Mikasuki from Buckingham Smith's vocabularies printed in 
the Historical Magazine (Morrisania, N. Y.) for August, 
1866, and in W. W. Beach's: Indian Miscellany, Albany 
1877, p. 120-126. The latter differs but little from the 
Mikasuki of G. Gibbs, in the linguistic collection of the 
Bureau of Ethnology in Washington. The few words of 
Apalachi were drawn from the missive sent, A. D. 1688, to 
the king of Spain, to be mentioned under "Apalachi"; the 
Koassati terms I obtained in part at the Indian training 
school at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, partly from Gen. Alb. Pike's 
vocabularies, which also furnished the Alibamu terms. 

Readers will perceive at the first glance that Cha'hta is 
practically the same language as Chicasa, Creek as Seminole 
and Hitchiti as Mikasuki. Alibamu forms a dialect for itself, 
leaning more toward Cha'hta than Creek. The southeastern 
group holds a middle position between Cha'hta and Creek. 
As far as the queer and inaccurate Spanish orthography of 
Apalachi enables us to judge, this dialect again differs some- 
what from Hitchiti and Mikasuki. It will be well to remember 
that in Indian and all illiterate languages the sounds of the 
same organ-class are interchangeable ; thus, a word may be 
correctly pronounced and written in six, ten, or twelve 
different ways. Tchato rock, stone can be pronounced 
tchatu, tchado, tchadu, tsato, tsatu, tsado, tsadu, etc. This 
explains many of the apparent discrepancies observed in the 
comparative table, and in our texts printed below. 

A comparative study of the existing Maskoki vocabularies 
would be very fruitful for the ethnographic history of the 
tribes, and likely to disclose the relative epochs of their set- 
tlement, if those that we have now could be thoroughly relied 
on. In the comparative table subjoined I have received only 
such terms that answer to this requisite. 

There are terms which occur in all dialects in the same or 


nearly the same form, as hasi sun, itchu, issi deer, ofi, ifa 
dog, the terms for chief, black, yellow, bird, snake, buffalo, 
turtle, fox (also in Cheroki : tsu'hla), the numerals and the 
personal pronouns; they must, therefore, have been once 
the common property of the still undivided, primordial tribe. 
The fact that the words for chief (miki, mingo, miko), 
for hola'hta, and for warrior (taska, taskaya), agree in all 
dialects, points to the fact that when the tribes separated they 
lived under similar social conditions which they have kept up 
• ever since. The terms for maize disagree but apparently, and 
seem to be reducible to one radix, atch or ash ; the terms for 
dog agree in all dialects — hence, the Maskoki tribes planted 
maize and kept dogs before, probably many centuries before 
they separated ; and the term ifa went over from them to the 
Timucua. The word for buffalo, yanase, is the same in all 
dialects, and was probably obtained from the North, since 
the term occurs in Cheroki also (ya'hsa in Eastern Cheroki). 
The flame for salt, hapi, a mineral which had a sacrificial 
importance, is found also in Yuchi in the form tapi, but 
Creek has 6k-tchanua, Hitchiti : ok-tchahane. The term for 
tobacco agrees in all divisions of the stock (haktchumma), ex- 
cept in the Creek branch, where it is called hitchi, hidshi. 
This weed is said to have received its Maskoki names from a 
similarity of the top of the green plant with the phallus, 
which is called in Alibamu and Hitchiti : 6ktchi or aktchi. 


Maskoki, Maskdgi, isti Maskoki, designates a single person 
of the Creek tribe, and forms, as a collective plural, Masko- 
kalgi, the Creek community, the Creek people, the Creek 
Indians. English authors write this name Muscogee, Muskh- 
ogee, and its plural Muscogulgee. The first syllable, as 
pronounced by the Creek Indians, contains a clear, short a, 
and that the name was written Muscogee and not Mascogee, 
is not to be wondered at, for the English language, with its 


surd, indistinct and strongly modified vocalization, will con- 
vert the clearest a into a u. Whether the name Maskoki 
was given to the Creeks before or after the incorporation of 
the towns speaking other languages than theirs, we are unable 
to tell, but the name figures in some of the oldest documents 
on this people. The accent is usually laid on the middle 
syllable : Maskoki, Maskogi. None of the tribes are able to 
explain the name from their own language. 

The Cheroki call a Creek Indian Kusa, the nation Ani- 
kusa, probably because Kusa was the first Creek town they 
met, when coming from their country along Coosa river, Ala- 
bama. But why did the English colonists call them Creek 
Indians? Because, when the English traders entered the 
Maskoki country from Charleston or Savannah, they had 
to cross a number of streams and creeks, especially between 
the Chatahuchi and Savannah rivers. Gallatin thought 
it probable that the inhabitants of the country adjacent 
to Savannah river were called Creeks from an early time 
(Synopsis, p. 94). The French settlers rendered the term 
Lower Creeks by " Basses-Rivieres." 

The Wendat or Hurons call the Creek people Ku-u'sha, 
having obtained the name from the Cheroki. The Foxes 
or Utagami call one Creek man U'mashgo anene-u, the 
people U'mashgohak. B. S. Barton, New Views (1798), 
Appendix p. 8, states that the Delawares call the Creeks 
Masquachki : " swampland. ' ' 

Caleb Swan, who wrote a report on the Creek people in 
1791, mentions (Schoolcraft V, 259) a tradition current among 
them, that they incorporated the Alibamu first, then the 
Koassati, then the Naktche, and finally the Shawano. In 
his time the Shawano had four towns on the Tallapoosa river, 
and other Shawano (from the northwest) increased their 
population every year by large numbers. One of these 
towns was called Sawan6gi, another Kanhatki. A Muscogee 
creek is near Columbus, running into Chatahuchi river from 


the east. "Muskhogans" inhabited the tract north of 

The term is not derived from any known Maskoki word. 
If oki water formed a component part of it, it would stand 
first, as in the Hitchiti geographic terms Okelakni "yellow 
water,'' Okifen6ke "wavering, shaking waters," Okmulgi 
• 'bubbling water, ' ' Okitchobi ' ' river, " lit. ' 'large river. ' ' We 
are therefore entitled to look out for a Shawano origin of the 
tribal name, and remember the fact that the Creek Indians 
called the Shawano and the Lenape (Delawares) their grand- 
fathers. It will be appropriate to consult also the other 
Algonkin languages for proper names comparable with the 
one which occupies our attention. 

The Shawano call a Creek person Humasko, the Creek 
people Humaskogi. Here the hu- is the predicative prefix : 
he is, she is, they are, and appears often as ho-, hui-, ku-. 
Thus Humask6gi means "they are Masko" , the suffix -gi, -ki 
being the plural ending of the animate order of substantives , 
in Shawano. A word masko is not traceable at present in 
that language, but muskiggui means lake, pond, m'skiegu-pki 
or muskiegu-pki timbered swamp, musk'hanui nepl the 
water (nepi) rises up to, surrounds, but does not cover 
up. Miskekopke in Caleb Atwater's vocabulary (Archseol. 
Americ. I, p. 290), signifies wet ground, swamp. Rev. 
Lacombe's Cree or Knisteno Dictionary gives : maskek 
marsh, swamp, trembling ground unsafe to walk upon; Maske- 
kowiyiniw Ike Maskegons or JBogmen, a tribe of Crees, also 
called Maskekowok, who were formerly Odsbibwe Indians, 
but left Lake Superior to join the Crees; their name forms a 
striking parallel to our southern Maskoki. Rev. Watkins' 
Cree Dictionary, with its English, unscientific orthography, 
has muskag, muskak swamp, marsh; Muskagoo Swampy Indian, 
Maskegon; Muskagoowew he is a Swampy Indian. Here the 
predicative suffix -wew is placed after the noun, while hu- of 
Shawano stands before it. The Odshibwg Dictionary of 


Bishop Baraga has mashkig, plur. maskigon swamp, marsh; 
Mashki sibi Bad River; a corrupt form standing for Mashkigi 
sibi Swamp River. In Abnaki we have megua'k fresh water 
marsh, maskehegat fetid water. 

The Shawano word for creek, brook, branch of river is 
methtekui ; Shawano often has th where the northern dialects 
have s (thipi river, in Potawat. and Sauk : sibe, in Odshibwe : 
sibi) and hence the radix meth- is probably identical with 
mas- in maskek. 

The country inhabited by the Maskoki proper abounds in 
creek bottoms overflowed in the rainy season, as the country 
around Opelika " swamp-site " (from Creek: opilua, apilua 
swamp, laikita to be stretched out}, Opil-'lako "great swamp," 
west of the above (Hawkins, p. 50) and many other places 
rendered uninhabitable by the moisture of the ground. The 
countries of the Cha'hta and Chicasa also formed a succession 
of swamps, low grounds and marshes. In view of the fact 
that no other general name for the whole Creek nation was 
known to exist save Maskoki, and that the legend and the 
chroniclers of de Soto's expedition speak of single tribes 
only, we are entitled to assume this foreign origin^ for the 
name until a better one is presented. Another instance of 
an Algonkin name of an Indian nationality adopted by the 
Maskoki is that of isti Natuagi, or the " enemies creeping up 
stealthily," lit., " snake-men," by which the Iroquois, or Five 
Nations, are meant. 1 

In this publication I call the Maskoki proper by the name 
of Creeks only> and have used their name on account of the 
central location and commanding position of the Maskoki 
proper, to whom this appellation properly belongs, to 
designate the whole Cha 'hta-Maskoki family of Indians. 

It will also be remembered that several of the larger commu- 
nities of American Indians are known to the white population 
1 By this same name the Algonkihs designated many other Indians 
hostile to them; it appears in Nottoway, Nadouessioux, etc. 


exclusively through names borrowed from other languages 
than their own, as, for instance, the Kalapuya of Oregon, 
who call themselves Ame'nmei, Kalapuya (anciently Kala- 
puyua) being of Chinook origin, and the Pani, whose name 
is, according to J. H. Trumbull, taken from an Algonkin 
dialect, and means lungy, not bellicose, inferior, while their 
own name is Tsariksi tsariks " men of men." 1 Foreign 
names have also been given to the smaller tribes of the 
Shetimasha and Atakapa, names which are of Cha'hta 
origin; v. supra. The Patagonian and Argentinian tribes 
are mostly known to us under Chilian names, and the 
Aimbore or Nkra'kmun of Brazil we know only under the 
Portuguese name Botocudos. 



As early as the latter half of the sixteenth century, a tribe 
speaking a Maskoki language was settled on the shores of the 
Atlantic ocean, on lands included at present in the State of 
South Carolina, and from these shores they extended to some 
distance inland. In that country Rene de Laudonniere in 
1564 established a fortification in Port Royal Bay, called 
Charlefort, and the terms transmitted by him, being all of 
Creek origin, leave no doubt about the affinity of the natives, 
yatiqui interpreter, tola laurel, Olataraca, viz.: hola'hta 'lako, 
nom. pr. "the great leader." Shortly after, the Spanish 
captain Juan Pardo led an expedition (1566-67) through the 
countries along Savannah river, and the local names found in 
the report made of it by Juan de la Vandera (1569) also 
point to the presence of a people speaking Creek estab- 
lished on both sides of that river: 2 Ahoya "two going" ; Issa 

1 Prof. J. B. Dunbar, who composed an interesting ethnologic article on 
this tribe, thinks that Pani is a true Pani word : pariki horn, meaning their 
scalp lock; Magazine of American History, 1880 (April number), p. 245. 

2 Cf. Buck. Smith, Coleccion de Documentos ineditos, I, p. 15-19 
(Madrid, 1857). 


Cr. idshu ' ' deer ' ' ; Solameco, Cr. siili miko ' ' buzzard chief ' ' ; 
Canosi, Cr. ikano'dshi "graves are there" — the name of 
Cannouchee river, Georgia. 

After the lapse of a century, when British colonists began 
to settle in larger numbers in these parts, a tribe called 
Yamassi (Yemasee, Yamasee, Yemmassaws, etc.) appears in 
the colonial documents as settled there, and in the maritime 
tracts of Georgia and Eastern Florida. Thus G. R. Fair- 
banks, History of St. Augustine (1858), p. 125, mentions 
the following dates from Spanish annals: "The Yemasees, 
always peaceful and manageable, had a principal town, 
Macarisqui, near St. Augustine. In 1680 they revolted, 
because the Spaniards had executed one of their princi- 
pal chiefs at St. Augustine; and in 1686 they made a 
general attack on the Spaniards, and became their mortal 

The inroads of the Yamassi, in Cr. Yamassalgi, made in 
1687 and 1706 upon the christianized Timucua have been 
alluded to under "Timucua" (p. 12). 

The English surveyor Lawson, who traveled through 
these parts in 1701, calls them Savannah Indians, stating 
that they are "a famous, warlike, friendly nation of 
Indians, living at the south end of Ashley river." (Re- 
print of i860, p. 75.) Governor Archdale also calls them 
Savannahs'- in 1695; hence they were named like the 
Yuchi, either from the Savannah river, or from the savanas 
or prairies of the southern parts of South Carolina. The 
Yuchi probably lived northwest of them. A few miles 
north of Savannah city there is a town and railroad 
crossing, Yemassee, which perpetuates their tribal name. 
Another ancient authority locates some between the Com- 
bahee and the Savannah river, and there stood their largest 

1 Description of Carolina, London, 1707. The Yamassi then lived 
about eighty miles from Charleston, and extended their hunting excur- 
sions almost to St. Augustine. 


town, Pocotaligo. 1 Hewat (1779) states that they possessed 
a large territory lying backward from Port Royal Island, 
in his time called Indian Land (Hist. Ace, I, 213). Cf. 
Westo and Stono Indians, p. 48. 

They had been the staunchest Indian supporters of the 
new British colony, and had sent 28 men of auxiliary troops 
to Colonel Barnwell, to defeat the Tuscarora insurrection on 
the coast of North Carolina (17 12-13), wnen they suddenly 
revolted on April 15th, 1715, committed the most atrocious 
deeds against helpless colonists, and showed themselves to be 
quite the reverse of what their name indicates (yamasi, ya- 
massi, the Creek term for mild, gentle, peaceable ?). Among 
their confederates in the unprovoked insurrection were Kataba, 
Cheroki and Congari Indians. Wholesale massacres of colo- 
nists occurred around Pocotaligo, on Port Royal Island and 
at Stono, and the number of victims was estimated at four 
hundred. A force of volunteers, commanded by Governor 
Craven, defeated them at Saltketchers, on Upper Combahee 
river, southern branch, and drove them over Savannah river, 
but for a while they continued their depredations from their 
places of refuge (Hewat, Histor. Ace, I, 213-222). 

Names of Yamassi Indians mentioned at that period also 
testify to their Creek provenience. The name of a man called 
Sanute is explained by Cr. san6dshas I encamp near, or with 
somebody; that of Ishiagaska (Tchiagaska?) by ika akaska his 
scraped or shaved head; or issi akaska his hair (on body) 
removed. At a public council held at Savannah, in May- 
1 733, a Lower Creek chief from Kawita expressed the hope 
that the Yamassi may be in time reunited to his people ; a fact 
which fully proves the ethnic affinity of the two national bodies.* 

1 Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 84, recalls the circumstance that Pok'etalico is 
also the name of a tributary of the Great Kanawha river. This seems to 
point to a foreign origin of that name. 

2 Verbified intchayamassfs: I am friendly, liberal, generous, hospitable. 
• Cf. Jones, Tomochichi, p. 31. 


In Thomas Jeffery's Map of Florida, which stands opposite 
the title-page of John Bartram, Descr. of East Florida, 
London, 1769, 4to, a tract on the northeast shore of Pensa- 
cola bay is marked "Yamase Land." 

A tradition is current among the Creeks, that the Yamassi 
were reduced and exterminated by them, but it is difficult to 
trace the date of that event. W. Bartram, Travels, p. 137, 
speaks of the "sepulchres or tumuli of the Yamasees who 
were here slain in the last decisive battle, the Creeks having 
driven them to this point, between the doubling of the river 
(St. Juan, Florida), where few of them escaped the fury of 
the conquerors. . . . There were nearly thirty of these 
cemeteries of the dead," etc.; cf. ibid., p. 183. 516. Forty 
or fifty of them fled to St. Augustine and other coast fortresses, 
and were protected by the Spanish authorities; p. 55. 485. 390. 

After the middle of the eighteenth century the name 
Yamassi disappears from the annals as that of a distinct tribe. 
They were now merged into the Seminoles ; they continued 
long to exist as one of their bands west of the Savannah 
river, and it is reported "that the Yemasi band of Creeks 
refused to fight in the British- American war of 181 3." 

All the above dates permit us to conclude that, ethnograph- 
ically, the Yamassi were for the main part of Creek origin, 
but that some foreign admixture, either Kataba or Yuchi, 
had taken place, which will account for the presence of their 
local names of foreign origin. The Apalachian or Hitchiti 
branch of the Maskoki family must have also furnished ele- 
ments to those Yamassi who were settled southwest of Savan- 
nah city, for that was the country in which the Apalachian 
branch was established. 


This small tribe is known only through its connection with 

' the young British colony of Savannah and the protection 

which its chief, Tomochichi, extended over it. This chief, 

from some unknown reason, had separated from" his mother 


tribe of Apalatchokla town, and went to reside upon a river 
bluff four miles above the site of Savannah city. He subse- 
quently visited England and its court with Esquire Oglethorpe 
(in 1733), and died, about ninety-seven years old, in 1739, 
highly respected by his Indians and the colonists. The 
Yamacraw Indians, who had followed him to the Savannah 
river, consisted mainly of disaffected Lower Creek and of 
some Yamassi Indians. 

The Creeks cannot give any account of the name Yama- 
craw, and the R, which is a component sound of it, does not 
occur in any of the Maskoki dialects nor in Yuchi. Cf. 
Chas. C. Jones, Historical Sketch of Tpmo-chi-chi, mico of 
the Yamacraws. Albany, 1868, 8vo. 


The term seman61e, or isti siman61e, signifies separatist 
or runaway, and as a tribal name points to the Indians 
who left the Creek, especially the Lower Creek settlements, 
for Florida, to live, hunt and fish there in entire independence. 
The term does not mean wild, savage, as frequently stated ; 
if applied now in this sense to animals, it is because of its 
original meaning, "what has become a runaway": pinua 
simanole wild turkey (cf. pin-apuiga domesticated turkey), 
tchu-ata seman61i, antelope, literally, " goat turned runaway, 
wild," from tchu-ata, itchu hi.ta.goat, lit., "bleating deer." 1 
The present Seminoles of Florida call themselves Ikaniii- 
ksalgi or "Peninsula-People" (from ikana land, niuksa, for 
in-yuksa its point, its promontory, -algi : collective ending) ; 
another name for them is Tallahaski, from their town Talla- 
hassie, now capital of the State of Florida. The Wendat or 
Hurons call them Ungiayo-rono, " Peninsula-People," from 
xmgikyo peninsula. In Creek, the Florida peninsula is called 
also Ikan-faski, the "Pointed Land," the Seminoles: Ikana- 

1 This adjective is found verbified in isimanolaidshit "he has caused 
himself to be a runaway." 


faskalgi "people of the pointed land." The name most 
commonly given to the Seminoles in the Indian Territory by 
the Creeks is Simano'lalgi, by the Hitchiti : Simano'la'li. 

Indians speaking the Creek language lived in the south of 
the peninsula as early as the sixteenth century. This fact is 
fully proved by the local names and by other terms used in 
these parts transmitted by Fontanedo (in 1559, cf. Calusa) : 
seletega! "run hither.'" now pronounced silitiga, silitka, 
abbrev. from isilitka ; isilitkas I run away, lit., I carry myself 
away, off; litkas I am running. Silitiga is now used as a 
personal name among the Creeks. 

We have seen that a portion of Fontanedo's local names of 
the Calusa country are of Creek origin, and that another 
portion is probably Timucua. The rest of them, like Yagua 
and others, seem to be of Caribbean origin, and a transient 
or stationary population of Caribs is mentioned by Hervas, 
Catalogo de las lenguas I, p. 386 as having lived in the Apa- 
lachi country. 1 

. The hostile encounter between Creeks and Calusa, men- 
tioned by Romans (cf. Calusa), probably took place about 
A. D. 1700, but the name Seminole does not appear as early 
as that. Previous to that event the Creeks seem to have held 
only the coast line and the north part of what is now the area 
of Florida State. A further accession resulted from the 
arrival of the Yamassi, whom Governor Craven had driven 
into Georgia and into the arms of their enemies, the Span- 
iards of Florida, after suppressing the revolt of 1 715 in which 
they had participated. 

The Seminoles of modern times are a people compounded 
of the following elements : separatists from the Lower Creek 
and Hitchiti towns ; remnants of tribes partly civilized by 
the Spaniards ; Yamassi Indians and some negroes. Accord- 
ing to Hawkins, Sketch of the Creek Country (1799), pp. 25. 
26, they had emigrated from Ok6ni, Sawokli, Yufala, Ta- 
1 Cf. Proceed. Am. Philos. Society of Phila., 1880, pp. 466, 478. 


ma'la, Apalatchukla and Hitchiti (all of which are Lower 
Creek towns), being invited to Florida by the plenty of game, 
the mildness of the climate and the productiveness of the 
soil. The Seminoles mentioned by him inhabited the whole 
peninsula, from Apalachicola river to the "Florida Point," 
and had the following seven towns : Seman61e Talahassi, 
Mikasuki, Witchotukmi, Alachua, Oklawaha 'lako, Talua- 
tchapk-apopka, Kalusa-hatchi. Some of the larger immigra- 
tions from the Creek towns into those parts occurred: in 
1750, after the end of the Revolutionary war, in 1808 and 
after the revolt of the Upper Creeks in 18 14. 

When Wm. Bartram traveled through the Seminole coun- 
try, about 1 773, he was informed that Cuscowilla, a town on 
a lake of the same name and a sort of Seminole capital, had 
been built by Indians from Ok6ni old town, settled upon the 
Alachua plains: " They abdicated the ancient Alachua town 
on the borders of the savanna, about fifty miles west from the 
river San Juan, and built here, calling the new town Cusco- 
willa. (About 1 7 10) they had emigrated from Oconee town, 
on the Oconee river, on account of the proximity of the 
white people. " They formerly waged war with the " Tomocos 
(Timucua), Utinas, Calloosas, Yamases" and other Florida 
tribes. 1 

The Seminoles were always regarded as a sort of outcasts 
by the Creek tribes from which they had seceded, and no 
doubt there were reasons for this. The emigration included 
many of the more turbulent elements of the population, and 
the mere fact that many of them spoke another dialect than 
the Maskoki proper (some belonging to the Hitchiti or south- 
eastern division of the family) is likely to have cast a shadow 
upon them. The anecdote narrated by Milfort (Memoire, 

1 Wm. Bartram, Travels, p. 97. 179. 190-193. 216. 217. 251. 379-380. 
The name Cuscowilla bears a curious resemblance to the Chicasa town 
Tuskawillao, mentioned by Adair, History, p. 353. Cf. also Okoni, in 
List of Creek Settlements. 


p. 31 1-3 1 7) furnishes ample proof of the low esteem in which 
the Seminoles were held by the Creeks. But, on the other 
side, emigration was favored by the Creek communities them- 
selves through the practice observed by some of their number 
to send away a part of their young men to form branch 
villages, whenever the number of the inhabitants began to 
exceed two hundred. Several towns will be found in our 
"List of Creek Settlements," in which the process of segmen- 
tation was going on upon a large scale in the eighteenth 

The Seminoles first appear as a distinct politic body in 
American history under one of their chiefs, called King 
Payne, at the beginning of this century. This refers more 
particularly to the Seminoles of the northern parts of what 
is now Florida; these Indians showed, like the Creeks, 
hostile intentions towards the thirteen states during and 
after the Revolution, and conjointly with the Upper Creeks 
on Tallapoosa river concluded a treaty of friendship with 
the Spaniards at Pensacola in May, 1784. Although under 
Spanish control, the Seminoles entered into hostilities with 
the Americans in 1793 and in 181 2. In the latter year Payne 
miko was killed in a battle at Alachua, and his brother, the 
influential Bowlegs, died soon after. These unruly tribes 
surprised and massacred American settlers on the Satilla river, 
Georgia, in 1817, and another conflict began, which termi- 
nated in the destruction of the Mikasuki and Suwanee river 
towns of the Seminoles by General Jackson, in April, 1818. 
After the cession of Florida, and its incorporation into the 
American Union (1819), the Seminoles gave up all their ter- 
ritory by the treaty of Fort Moultrie, September 18th, 1823, 
receiving in exchange goods and annuities. When the gov- 
ernment concluded to move these Indians west of the Missis- 
sippi river, a treaty of a conditional character was concluded 
with them at Payne's Landing, in 1832. The larger portion 
were removed, but the more stubborn part dissented, and 


thus gave origin to one of the gravest conflicts which ever 
occurred between Indians and whites. The Seminole war 
began with the massacre of Major Dade's command near 
Wahoo swamp, December 28th, 1835, and continued with 
unabated fury for five years, entailing an immense expenditure 
of money and lives. A number of Creek warriors joined the 
hostile Seminoles in 1836. 

A census of the Seminoles taken in 1822 gave a population 
of 3899, with 800 negroes belonging to them. The popula- 
tion of the Seminoles in the Indian Territory amounted to 
2667 in 1881 (Ind. Affairs' Rep.), and that of the Florida 
Seminoles will be stated below. There are some Semi- 
noles now in Mexico, who went there with their negro 

The settlements of the Seminoles were partly erratic, com- 
parable to hunters' camps, partly stationary. The stationary 
villages existed chiefly in the northern parts of the Seminole 
lands, corresponding to Southern Georgia and Northern 
Florida of our days. A very instructive table exists of some 
of their stationary villages, drawn up by Capt. Young, and 
printed in Rev. Morse's Report on the Indians of the United 
States (1822), p. 364. This table however includes, with a 
few exceptions, only places situated near Apalachicola river 
(east and west of it"), in Alabama, Georgia and Florida ; the 
list was probably made at a time when Florida was still under 
Spanish domination, which accounts for the fact that the 
county names are not added to the localities. Many of 
these towns were, in fact, Lower Creek towns and not be- 
longing to the Seminole proper, all of whom lived east of 
Apalachicola river, mostly at some distance from it. Seminole 
and Lower Creek were, in earlier times, often regarded as 
identical appellations; cf. Milfort, Mem., p. 118. 

The remarks included in parentheses were added by 



Micasukeys— (In eastern part of Leon county, Florida). 

Fowl Towns— Twelve miles east of Fort Scott (a place 
" Fowl Town " is now in Decatur county, Georgia, 
on eastern shore of Chatahuchi river). 

Oka-tiokinans— Near Fort Gaines (the Oki-tiyakni of our 
List of Creek Settlements; Fort Gaines is on Chata- 
huchi river, Clay county, Georgia, 31 38' Lat.) 

Uchees — Near the Mikasukey. 

Ehawhokales — On Apalachicola (river). 

Ocheeses— At Ocheese Bluff (Ocheese in southeast corner 
of Jackson county, Florida, western shore of Apa- 
lachicola river ; cf. List). 

Tamatles — Seven miles from the Ocheeses. (Cf. Tama'li, 
in List of Creek Settlements.) 

Attapulgas — On Little river, a branch of Okalokina (now 
Oklokonee river, or "Yellow Water," from oki 
water, lakni yellow, in Hitchiti; the place is in 
Decatur county, Georgia. From itu-pulga, boring 
holes into wood to make fire: pulgas I bore, itu 

Telmocresses — West side of Chatahoochee river (is Talua 
mutchasi, "Newtown"). 

Cheskitalowas — West side of Chatahoochee river (Chiska 
talofa of the Lower Creeks, q. v.) 

Wekivas — Four miles above the Cheskitalowas. 

Emussas — Two miles above the Wekivas (Omussee creek 
runs into Chatahuchi river from the west, 31 ° 20' 
Lat.; imussa signifies : tributary, branch, creek joining 
another water- course ; from the verb im-6sas). 

Ufallahs — Twelve miles above Fort Gaines (Yufala, now 
Eufaula, on west bank of Chatahuchi river, 31 55' 

Red Grounds — Two miles above the line (or Georgia 
boundary; Ikan-tchati in Creek). 


Etohussewakkes — Three miles above Fort Gaines (from itu 

log, hassi old, vrzkasl lie on the ground). 
Tattowhehallys — Scattered among other towns (probably 

talua hallui "upper town"). 
Tallehassas — On the road from Okalokina (Oklokonee 
river) to Mikasukey (now Tallahassie, or " Old 
City," the capital of Florida State). 
Owassissas — On east waters of St. Mark's river (Wacissa, 

Basisa is a river with a Timucua name). 
Chehaws — On the Flint river (comprehends the villages 

planted there from Chiaha, on Chatahuchi river). 
Tallewheanas — East side of Flint river (is H6tali huyana ; 

cf. List of Creek Settlements). 
Oakmulges — East of Flint river, near the Tallewheanas. 
From reports of the eighteenth century we learn that in the 
south of the Floridian peninsula the Seminoles were scattered 
in small bodies, in barren deserts, forests, etc., and that at in- 
tervals they assembled to take black drink or deliberate on 
tribal matters. It is also stated that in consequence of their 
separation the Seminole language had changed greatly from 
the original Creek; a statement which is not borne out by 
recent investigations, and probably refers only to the Semi- 
nole towns speaking Hitchiti dialects. 

By order of the Bureau of Ethnology, Rev. Clay Mac- 
Cauley in 1880 visited the Seminoles settled in the southern 
parts of the peninsula, to take their census and institute ethno- 
logic researches. He found that their population amounted 
to 208 Indians, and that they lived in five settlements to 
which he gave the following names : 

1. Miami settlement; this is the old name of Mayaimi 

Lake, and has nothing in common with the Miami- 
Algonkin tribe. 

2. Big Cypress, 26° 30' Lat. 

3. Fish-eating Creek, 26 37'; head-chief Tustenuggi. 

4. Cow Creek, fifteen miles north of Lake Okitch6bi. 


5. Catfish Lake, 28 Lat. The late Chipko was chief there, 
who had been present with Osceola at the Dade 
massacre in 1835. 

Traces of languages other than the Seminole were not dis- 
covered by him. 

In December 1882 J. Francis Le Baron transmitted to 
the Smithsonian Institution a few ethnologic notices and a 
vocabulary obtained from the Seminole Indians of Chipko's 
(since deceased) band, which he had visited in March 1881 
in their village near Lake Pierce. The dialect of the vocabu- 
lary does not differ from Creek in any appreciable degree. 
On marriage customs and the annual busk of these Indians he 
makes the following remarks : " They do not marry or inter- 
mix with the whites, and are very jealous of the virtue of 
their women, punishing with death any squaw that accepts 
the attentions of a white man. Some Seminoles exhibit a 
mixture of negro blood, but some are very tall, fine-looking 
savages. Their three tribes live at Chipko town, near Lake 
Oketchobee, and in the Everglades. They have a semi- 
religious annual festival in June or July, called the green 
corn dance, the new corn being then ripe enough to be 
eaten. Plurality of wives is forbidden by their laws. Tom 
Tiger, a fine-looking Indian, is said to have broken this rule 
by marrying two wives, for which misdemeanor he was ban- 
ished from the tribe. He traveled about one hundred miles 
to the nearest tribe in the Everglades, and jumped unseen 
into the ring at the green corn dance. This procured him 
absolution, conformably to their laws." 

We have deemed it appropriate to dwell at length on the 
history, topography and peculiar customs of the Seminoles 
on account of their identity with the Creek Indians, the main 
object of this research. We now pass over to the South- 
eastern or Apalachian group of Maskoki. 



The Hitchiti, Mikasuki and Apalachi languages form a 
dialectic group distinct from Creek and the western dialects, 
and the people speaking them must once have had a common 
origin. The proper names Apalachi and Apalatchukli are 
now extinct as tribal names, but are of very ancient date. 
The auriferous ledges of the Cheroki country were said to be 
within "the extreme confines of the Apalachi province" 
(Fontanedo, 1559), and the Apalachi found by Narvaez was 
fifteen days' march north of Aute, 1 a roadstead or harbor on 
the Gulf of Mexico, though the Indians had stated to him that 
it lay at a distance of nine days' travel only. The "province" 
of Apalachi probably included the upper part or the whole 
of the Chatahuchi river basin, and on account of the ending 
-okla in Apalatchukla, its origin must be sought in the Cha'hta 
or Hitchiti dialect. Rev. Byington explains it by helping 
people, allies, in the Cha'hta apalatchi okla, but the original 
form of the name is Apala^tchi okli, not apalatchi ; -^tchi is 
a Hitchiti suffix of adjectives, and apalui in that dialect 
means ' 'on the other side of. ' ' Hence the adjective apala/tchi : 
"those (people okli) on the other side, shore or river." 

The town of Apalachi, on Apalache bay, must be kept 
clearly distinct from the town of Apalachicola, or Apalatchu- 
kla, about fifty miles further west, on the river then called 
by the same name. 

Apalachi town was north of Apalachi bay, the principal 
port of which is now St. Marks. This was probably the place 
after which "Apalache provincia" was named in de Soto's 
time; Biedma, one of his historians, states (in Smith, Docum. 
ined., I, 48. 49), that "this province was divided by a river 
from the country east of it, having Aguile as frontierstown. 
Apalachi has many towns and produces much food, and (the 
Indians) call this land visited by^us Yustaga." This river 
was probably the St. Mark's river. Both names are also dis- 

1 Perhaps from the Hitchiti term a-titilis "I build or kindle afire: 1 


tinguished as belonging to separate communities in Margry IV, 
96. 117 (1699) and IV, 309. The western "Palachees" are 
laid down on the map in Dan. Coxe, Carolana, on Chatahuchi 
river, the eastern "Palachees" on a river in the northeast 
angle of the Gulf of Mexico; north of the latter are the 
Tommachees (Timucua). At present, a northwestern affluent 
of Okoni river, in Upper Georgia, is called Apalache river. 

Apalatchukla, a name originally belonging to a tribe, was 
in early times transferred to the river, now Chatahuchi, and 
from this to all the towns of the Lower Creeks. An instance 
of this is given by L. d'Iberville, who states (Margry IV, 
594- 595) tliat in 1 701 a difficulty arose between the Apalachi- 
colys and the Apalachis on account of depredations com- 
mitted ; that the Spanish call those Indians Apalachicolys, 
the French Conchaques, and that they counted about 2000 
families — an equal number of men being ascribed to the 
Apalachis, who were under Spanish rule. 

The name of the tribe and town was Apalatchukla, also 
written Pallachucla, Palachicola. This town was on the western 
bank of Chatahuchi river, i}& miles below Chiaha. In early 
times its tribe was the most important among the Lower Creeks, 
adverse to warfare, a "peace or white town," and called by 
the people Talua 'lako, Great Town. Like the town Apala- 
chi, the inhabitants of this town spoke a dialect resembling 
Hitchiti very closely. Apalachicola river is no,w the name 
of Chatahuchi river below its junction with the Flint river. 
More about this town in the : List of Creek Settlements. 

Later in the sixteenth century the boundary between the 
Timucua and the Apalachi lands is stated to have been on 
or near the Vacissa river ; Ibitachuco or Black Lake being 
the eastern Apalachi boundary, the westernmost town of the 
Timucua being Asile (Ausile, Oxilla). 

In 1638 the Indians of Apalachi made war against the 
Spanish colonists. Although the governor of Florida had 
but few troops to oppose, he marched against them and 


daunted their aggressiveness (sobervia) by forcing them to a 
disastrous retreat and following them into their own country 
(Barcia, Ensayo, p. 203). 

In 1688 a number of Apalachi chiefs (caciques) addressed 
a letter of complaint to Charles the Second, king of Spain 
(fi 700), concerning the exactions to which their former gov- 
ernors had subjected them, and other topics relating to their 
actual condition. The towns mentioned in the letter are San 
Luis de Apalachi, Ibitachuco, Pattali, Santa Cruz, Talpatqui, 
Vasisa, San Marcos. The original, with its Spanish transla- 
tion, was reproduced in a fac-simile edition in i860 by 
Buckingham Smith (fol.), and other documents written in 
Apalachi are preserved in the archives of Havana, the seat of 
the archbishopric, to which Apalachi and all the other settle- 
ments comprised within the diocese of St. Helena belonged. 

Christianized Apalachis, who had been frequently raided 
by Alibamu Indians, fled in 1 705 to the French colony at 
Mobile, where Governor de Bienville gave them lands and 
grain-seed to settle between the Mobilian and Tohome tribe; 
cf. Penicaut in Margry V, 461. 485, where their religious 
festivals and other customs are described. Like the Apalachis, 
the tribe of the heathen Taouachas had quitted the Spanish 
territory for being harassed by the Alibamu, and fled southwest 
to the French, who settled them on Mobile river, one league 
above the Apalachis (1710; in Margry V, 485-487). Some 
Cha'hta refugees had been settled at the " Anse des Chactas," 
on Mobile bay, the year preceding. In the nineteenth century 
the last remnants of the Apalachi tribe were living on the 
Bayou Rapide, in Louisiana, and about A. D. 1815 counted 
fourteen families. 


"Miccosukee" is a town of Florida, near the northern 
border of the State, in Leon county, built on the western 
shore of the lake of the same name. The tribe established 
there speaks the Hitchiti language, and must hence have 


separated from some town or towns of the Lower Creeks 
speaking that language. 

The tribe was reckoned among the Seminole Indians, but 
does not figure prominently in Indian history before the out- 
break of the Seminole war of 1817. It then raised the " red 
pole " as a sign of war, and became conspicuous as a sort of 
political centre for these Southern " soreheads.' ' The vocabu- 
laries of that dialect show it to be practically identical with 
that of Hitchiti town. Cf. the comparative table, p. 56. 
More notices on this tribe will be found under : Seminole. 


The Hitchiti tribe, of whose language we present an exten- 
sive specimen in this volume, also belongs to the southeastern 
group, which I have called Apalachian. 

Hitchiti town was, in Hawkins' time, established on the 
eastern bank of Chatahuchi river, four miles below Chiaha. 
The natives possessed a narrow strip of good land bordering 
on the river, and had the reputation of being honest and 
industrious. They obtained their name from Hitchiti creek, 
so called at its junction with Chatahuchi river, [and in its 
upper course Ahiki (Ouhe-gee) ; cf. List] from Creek : ahi- 
tchita "to look up (the stream)." They had spread out into 
two branch settlements : Hitchitudshi or Little Hitchiti, on 
both sides of Flint river, below the junction of Kitchofuni 
creek, which passes through a county named after it ; and 
Tutalosi on Tutalosi creek, a branch of Kitchofuni creek, 
twenty miles west of Hitchitudshi (Hawkins, p. 60. 65). 
The existence of several Hitchiti towns is mentioned by C. 
Swan in 1791; and Wm. Bartram states that they "speak 
the Stincard language." There is a popular saying among 
the Creeks, that the ancient name of the tribe was Atchik'hade, 
a Hitchiti word which signifies white heap (of ashes). 

Some Hitchiti Indians trace their mythic origin to a fall 
from the sky, but my informants, Chicote and G. W. Stid- 


ham, gave me the following tale: "Their ancestors first 
appeared in the country by coming out of a canebrake or 
reed thicket (utski in Hitchiti) near the sea coast. They 
sunned and dried their children during four days, then set 
out, arrived at a lake and stopped there. Some thought it 
was the sea, but it was a lake ; they set out again, traveled 
up a stream and settled there for a permanency." Another 
tradition says that this people was the first to settle at the 
site of Okmulgi town, an ancient capital of the confederacy. 

The tribe was a member of the Creek confederacy and 
does not figure prominently in history. The first mention I 
can find of it, is of the year 1733, when Gov. Oglethorpe met 
the Lower Creek chiefs at Savannah, Ga., to conciliate their 
tribes in his favor. The "Echetas" had sent their war- 
chiefs, Chutabeeche and Robin with four attendants (Ch. C. 
Jones, Tomochichi, p. 28). The Yutchitalgi of our legend, 
who were represented at the Savannah council of 1735 by 
"Tomehuichi, dog king of the Euchitaws," are probably the 
Hitchiti, not the Yuchi. Wm. Bartram calls them (1773) 
"Echetas" also. 

The dialect spoken by the Hitchiti and Mikasuki once 
spread over an extensive area, for local names are worded in 
it from the Chatahuchi river in an eastern direction up to 
the Atlantic coast. To these belong those mentioned under 
"the name Maskoki," p. 58. 

According to Wm. Bartram, Travels, pp. 462-464, the fol- 
lowing towns on Chatahuchi river spoke the " Stincard " 
language, that is a language differing from Creek or Musco- 
gulge : Chiaha (Chehaw), Hitchiti (Echeta), Okoni (Occone), 
the two Sawokli (Swaglaw, Great and Little). From this it 
becomes probable, though not certain, that the dialect known 
to us as Hitchiti was common to them all. The Sawokli 
tribe, settled in the Indian Territory, have united there with 
the Hitchiti, a circumstance which seems to point to ancient 


Like the Creeks, the Hitchiti have an ancient female dia- 
lect, still remembered and perhaps spoken by the older people, 
which was formerly the language of the males also. The 
woman language existing among the'Creek Indians is called by 
them also the ancient language. A thorough study of these 
archaic remnants would certainly throw light on the early 
local distribution of the tribes and dialects of the Maskoki in 
the Gulf States. 


The following ancient hunting song may serve as a speci- 
men of the female dialect of Hitchiti ; the ending -i of the 
verbs, standing instead of -is of the male dialect, proves it to 
be worded in that archaic form of speech. Obtained from 
Judge G. W. Stidham: 

Hantun talankawati a'klig ; eyali. 

Suta! kaya! kayap'hu! 
aluktchabakliwati alclig ; eyali. 

Suta! kaya! kayap'hu ! 
aluktigonknawati aOdig ; ayali. 

Suta! kaya! kayap'hu! 
aluk'hadsha-aliwati aldig; eyali. 

Suta ! kaya ! kayap'hu ! 
hantun ayawati aldig; ayali. 

Suta! kaya! kayap'hu! 

Somewhere (the deer) lies on the ground, I think ; I walk about. 

Awake, arise, stand up ! 
It is raising up its head, I believe ; I walk about. 

Awake, arise, stand up ! 
It attempts to rise, I believe ; I walk about. 

Awake, arise, stand up ! 
Slowly it raises its body, I think; I walk about. 

Awake, arise, stand up ! 
It has now risen on its feet, I presume; I walk about. 

Awake, arise, stand up ! 


At every second line of this song the singer kicks at a log, 
feigning to start up the deer by the noise from its recesses in 
the woods. The song-lines are repeated thrice, in a slow 
and plaintive tune, except the refrain, which is sung or rather 
spoken in a quicker measure, and once only. For the words 
of the text and of the refrain, cf. the Hitchiti Glossary. 


of the Maskoki language-family is analogous, though by no 
means identical with the Creek dialect in its grammatic out- 
lines. Many points of comparison will readily suggest them- 
selves to our readers, and enable us to be comparatively short 
in the following sketch. 

The female dialect is an archaic form of Hitchiti parallel 
to archaic Creek ; both were formerly spoken by both sexes. 
Only the common form (or male language) of Hitchiti will 
be considered here. 


The phonetic system is the same as in Creek, except that the 
sonant mutes, b, g, are more distinctly heard (d is quite rare). 
The processes of alternation are the same in both dialects. 
Many vowels of substantives are short in Creek, which appear 
long in Hitchiti: a'pi tree: H. a'pi; ha'si sun, moon: H. 
ha'si ; ni'ta day : H. nita etc. 



Noun. The case inflection of the substantive, adjective, of 
some pronouns and of the nominal forms of the verb is effected 
by the suffixes : -i for the absolute, -ut for the subjective, -un 
for the objective case : yati person, yatut, yatun ; naki what, 
which, nakut, nakun. A few verbals inflect in -a, -at, -an ; 
for instance, those terminating in -hunga. 

The diminutive ending is the same as in Creek : -odshi, 


To the Creek collective suffix -algi corresponds -a'li, which 
is, in fact, the third person of a verbal plural : miki chief, 
mika.'\i the class of chiefs and: " they are chiefs." Mask6ki : 
Maskoka'li the Creek people; fapli'hitchi wind, fapli'htcha'li 
wind clan, wind gens. 

Hitchiti has a greater power of verbifying substantives 
than Creek: miki chief, mik61is lam chief; tch6yi pine-tree, 
tch6yus it is a pine tree. 

There is no real substantive verb in the language, and ad- 
jectives, when becoming verbified, are turned into attributive 
verbs, as in Creek : wan ti strong, hard; tsawantus / am strong; 
wantus he, it is strong, hard; wantatik not strong; wantigus he 
is very strong; wantatis he is not strong; wanta'hlatis he is not 
strong at all. 

The gradation of the adjective is expressed either by the 
attributive verb, to which isi-, is- is prefixed, or in some other 
ways syntactically : 

Kddsuni tchatu-kunawun isinwantfis iron is harder than 

ukitchubi okildsi ihayuykiki o'latiwats a lake is deeper than 
a river; lit. "to river the lake in its depth does not 
come up." This may also be expressed: okilosi 
(u)kitchobi isihayu^kuwats ; lit. "a lake (than) a 
river more-deepens." 
ya hali'hlosaka lapkun u"weikas this boy is the tallest; lit. 

"this boy all surpasses in height." 
yat yakni tchaih'-apiktcha^ayus this is the highest mountain; 

lit. "this ground-high stands ahead." 
The numeral has two forms for the cardinal number : one 
used attributively, and another, abbreviated from it, used 
exclusively for counting ; there are, outside of this, forms for 
the ordinal, for the distributive, and for the adverbial 
numeral. The list of the numerals is as follows : 



Cardinals. Ordinals. 

1 'lamin 'lahai'h indshuatki 

" beginning" 

2 toklan tuka' satdklaka . 

3 tutchlnan tutchi satotchinaka 

4 sitakin sita'h isitagika 

5 tcha/gipan tcha'hgi istcha/gipaka 

6 ipagin ipa isipagaka 

7 kulapakin kiilapa iskulapakika 

8 tusnapakin tusnapa istusnapakika 

9 ustapakin ustapa isustapakika 
Io pok6lin pukii ispokdlika 
20 pok6li tuklan ispokol-toklaka poko-tukulakan ispukuli-tuklan 

loo tchukpi 'lamin istchukpi-'lamikatchukpi-'lamakanistchukpi-'la- 

Folded four times is expressed by the cardinal : po'l6tki sitaki ; folded 
eight times: po'l6tki tusnapakin. 

The personal pronoun appears in different forms : sub- 
jective absolute ; subjective prefixed to verbs and objective 

Subjective absolute: Subj. prefixed : Objective: 


























tcha-, am-, an-, a- 

he, she, it i'hni 

im-, in-, i- 

we pu'hni pu-, po- pu- 

ye tchi'hnitaki tchi-, inverted: itch- tchi-, w. suffix 

they i'hnitaki im-, in-, i- 

anali (usually analut) myself, 2 s. tchi'hnali, 3 s. i'hnali ; 
pu'hnali ourselves, 2 pi. tchi'hnalitaki, 3 pi. i'hnalitaki. 

The possessive pronoun. 


am-, an-, a- 

tcha-, inverted: atch- 



tchi-, inverted: itch- 

his, her, its 

im-, in-, i- 

im-, in-, i- 


pu'hni, pu- 

pun-, pu-, po- 


tchi/tchi, tchi- 

tchi-, with suffix 


im-, in-, i- 

i- etc., with suffix. 


tchalbi my hand or hands, tchilbi, ilbi; pulbi our hand at 

hands, tchilbu/tchi, ilbi. 
dntchiki my house or houses; tchintchiki, intchiki; puntchiki, 

tchintchigo/tchi, intchigo^tchi. 
Demonstrative pronouns : ma, mut, mta (Cr. ma); ya, yat, 

yan or yftn (Cr. hia); yakti, yaktut, yaktun (Cr. 

asa); ma'hmali the same. 
Demonstr.-relat. pronoun : naki, nakut, nakun which, what. 
Interrogative pronouns : no'li ? n6'lut or n6'lut i ? no'lun 

or no'lun i ? who ? naki ? nakut ? nakun ? which ? 

what? nakon i? what is it? 
The Hitchiti verb equals the Creek verb in the abundance 
of inflectional forms. In order to show the inflection of 
a verb (or rather a part of it), going parallel to the one 
chosen as the Creek paradigm, we select isiki to take, to 
carry ; awiki being used when a plurality of objects is con- 
cerned ; Creek : isita, tchawita. 

isilis I take, 2 s. isitskas, 3 s. isis ; ipl. isikas, 2 pi. isatchkas, 

3 pi. isa'li. 
awalis I take, pi. of obj., 2 s. awitskas, 3 s. awas; 1 pi. awikas, 

2 pi. awatskas, 3 pi. awa'lis. 
i'hsilis I took a short time ago (Cr. isayanks); a'hwalis. 
isanis I took several days ago (Cr. isaimatas) ; also / had 

taken; awanis. 
isiliktas / have taken many years ago (Cr. isayantas); awa- 

isilalis I shall take (Cr. isa'lis); awalalis. 
isis! pi. isitis! take it! a' wis! a'witis! (ora'watis!) 
isi^tchi having taken, holding in one's hands; awi/tchi. 
i'hsik (object) taken, part, pass.; a'hwak. 
isigi, isiki to lake, the taking; awigi, awiki. ^ 

isi, isut, isun one who takes, carries; awi, awut, awun. 
isihunka, -at, -an one who took, has taken; awihunka, 

-at, -an. 
isahika, -at, -an one who is going to take; awahika, -at, -an. 


From this verb isiki, awiki the language does not form 
any passive, reciprocal, reflective and causative voice, but 
employs verbs from other radices instead. The interrogative 
and negative inflection is as follows : 

isatas I do not take, 2 s. isitskatis, 3 s. Isitis; 1 pi. isikatis, 
2 pi. isatskatis, 3 pi. (?); awatas I do not take, pi. of 
obj., awitskatis etc. 
Isilus? do I take? 2 s. isitskus? 3 s. isus? 1 pi. isigo? 2 pi. 

isatsko? 3 pi. (?). awalus? do I take? etc. 
isata'sOs? dolnottake? 2 s. isitskatibos? 3 s. isitisos? 1 pi. 
isikatibSs? 2 pi. isatskatibos? 3 pi. (?). awata'sos? 
do I not take? etc. 
A form for the 3. pi. was remembered by none of my 
informants, who state that the Hitchiti render it by a circum- 
scriptive sentence. 

A specimen of the objective or compound conjugation of 
the verb I strike, bata'plilis, runs as follows : 
I strike thee once tchibataplilis, repeatedly tchibataspilis 
I strike him, her once bata'plilis bataspilis 

ye tchibatap'holilis tchibatas'h6pilis 

them batas'hupilis batas'hupilis 

He, she strikes me once: tchabataplis, repeatedly: tchabataspis 
thee tchibataplis tchibataspis 

him, her bataplis bataspis 

us pubataplis pubataspis 

ye tchibatap'holis tchibatas'hopis 

them bataspis batas'h6pis 

The same verb to strike gives origin to the following genera 
verbi, each appearing under two different forms, and all 
being quoted in the present tense of the declarative mode, 
affirmative voice : 
Active: bata'plilis I strike (now) by one blow- 

bata'spilis I strike (now) by several blows 
Passive: tchabatapkas I am struck once, by one blow 

tchabataspkas lam struck more than once (obsolete) 


Reciprocal: itibataplikas we strike each other once 

itibataspigas we strike each other repeatedly 
Reflective : ilbata'plilis I strike myself by one blow 

ilbataspilis I strike myself by several blows 
Causative: bataplidshilis I cause to strike once 

bataspidshilis I cause to strike repeatedly. 
Postpositions govern the absolute case of the noun just 
as they do in Creek: 

konut tchigi i-a^nun i-aulidshis the skunk stays under the 

sawut ahi igapun untcho^olis the racoon sits on the top of 

the tree. 
otaki labaki near or around an island. 
6tagi apalu-un on the other side of the island. 
yantuntun hitchkatigan beyond sight, is an instance of a 
postposition figuring as preposition, and is connected with 
the objective case of a noun. It is not a real postposition, 
but an adverb used in this function. 


The disconnected remarks on the Alibamu Indians which 
we find in the documents and chronicles represent them as 
early settlers on Alabama river, at a moderate distance from 
the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. In our legend 
they are introduced among the four tribes contending for the 
honor of being the most ancient and valorous. 

D. Coxe, Carolana, p. 24 mentions their tribal name in the 
following connection : "On Coussa river 1 are the Ullibalies 2 , 

1 Anciently Coosa, Coussa river was a name given to our Coosa river, 
as well as to its lower course below the junction of Tallapoosa, now called 
Alabama river. Wright's Ch. Dictionary has : alua a burnt place. 

1 In the report of the Fidalgo de Elvas, Ullibahali, a walled town, is 
not identical with Alimamu. Ullibahali is a name composed of the 
Alibamu : 61i village, town and the Hitchiti : bahali down stream, and 
southward, which is the Creek wahali South. 


Olibahalies, Allibamus; below them the Tallises." Allen 
Wright derives Alibamu (also written Allibamous, Alibami, 
Albamu, incorrectly Alibamon) from Cha'hta : alba thicket and 
i.yalrnuj>lace cleared (of trees, thickets): alba ayamule I open or 
clear the thicket. If this derivation is correct, the name, with 
its generic definition, could apply to many localities simulta- 
neously. Let us hear what Sekopechi or "Perseverance," 
an old man of that tribe, related to Agent Eakin concerning 
their early migrations and settlements. (Schoolcraft, Indians 
I, 266 sqq) : 

" The Great Spirit brought the Alabama Indians from the 
ground between the Cahawba and Alabama rivers, and they 
believe that they are of right possessors of this soil. The 
Muscogees formerly called themselves Alabamians (" thicket- 
clearers"?), but other tribes called them Oke-choy-atte, 
"life." 1 The earliest oral tradition of the Alibamu of a 
migration is, that they migrated from the Cahawba and Ala- 
bama rivers to the junction of the Tuscaloosa (?) and Coosa 
rivers, where they sojourned for two years. After this they 
dwelt at the junction of the Coosa and Alabama rivers, on 
the west side of what was subsequently the site of Fort 
Jackson. It is supposed that at this time they numbered 
fifty effective men. They claimed the country from Fort 
Jackson to New Orleans for their hunting grounds." 

Whatever may be the real foundation of this confused nar- 
rative, it seems that the Alibamu reached their later seats 
from a country lying to the west or southwest, and that they 
showed a preference for river-junctions, for this enabled them 
to take fish in two rivers simultaneously. Another migration 
legend of this tribe, as related by Milfort, will be given and 
accounted for below. 

Biedma relates that H. de Soto, when reaching the "Ali- 
bamo province," had to fight the natives entrenched within a 
palisaded fort (fuerte de Alibamo, Garc. de la Vega) and the 
1 Oktch6yi is the Cha'hta term for living, alive. 


Fidalgo of Elvas : that the cacique of Chicaca came with the 
caciques of Alimamu and of Nicalasa, 1 whereupon a fight took 
place. But that Alibamo province lay northwest of Chicaca 
town and province, and was reached only after passing the 
Chocchechuma village on Yazoo river ; it was probably not 
the Alibamu tribe of the later centuries. In the report of 
Tristan de Luna's expedition no mention is made of the 
Alibamu Indians, though it speaks of "Rio Olibahali." 

In 1702 five French traders started with ten Alibamu 
natives from Mobile, for the country where the tribe resided. 
They were killed by these guides when at a distance of ten 
leagues from the Alibamu village, and M. de Bienville, then 
governor of the French colony, resolved to make war on 
the tribe. He started with a force of seventy Frenchmen 
and eighteen hundred Indian auxiliaries ; the latter deserted 
after a march of six days, and finally the party was compelled 
to return. A second expedition, consisting of Frenchmen 
only, was not more successful, and had to redescend Alabama 
river in canoes. Mr. de Boisbriand, the leader of a third 
expedition, finally succeeded in destroying a camp of Ali- 
bamu, sixty-five miles up the river, in killing the inmates 
and capturing their women and children, who were given to 
the Mobilians, their allies. 2 This action was only the first 
of a series of subsequent troubles. 

An alliance concluded by the Alibamu with the Mobilians 
did not last long, for in 1708 they arrived with a host of 
Cheroki, Abika and Kataba Indians, in the vicinity of the 
French fort on Mobile Bay, where Naniabas, Tohomes and 
Mobilians had settled, but were foiled in their attack upon 
the .Mobilians through the watchfulness of the tribe and of 
the French colonists. The whole force of their aggressors and 
their allies combined was estimated at four thousand warriors 
(id., Margry V, 477~478; cf. 427). 

1 Gallatin, Syn. p. 105, proposes to read Nita-lusa, Black Sear. 
3 Relation of PSnicaut, in Margry V, 424-432. 


In 1 713, after the Alibamu had made an inroad into the 
Carolinas with a host of Kataba and Abika Indians, their 
confederates, the head-chief of the first-named tribe besought 
the French commander at Mobile bay to erect a fort in his 
own country. The offer was accepted, and the tribe was 
helpful in erecting a spacious fort of about three hundred 
feet square, on a bluff overlooking the river, and close to 
their village (id., Margry V, 510-511). This fort, built 
near the junction of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, was called 
Fort Toulouse, and by the British colonists Fort Albamu, or 
Alebama garrison. 

When Fort Toulouse was abandoned in 1762, some Alibamu 
Indians followed the French, and established themselves 
about sixty miles above New Orleans, on Mississippi river, 
near the Huma village. Th. Hutchins (1784), p. 39. esti- 
mates the number of their warriors settled there at thirty. 
Subsequently they passed into the interior of Louisiana, where 
some are hunting and roving in the woods at the present 
time. The majority, however, settled in Polk county, in 
the southeastern corner of Texas, became agriculturists, and 
about 1862 numbered over two hundred persons. Some 
Alibamu reside in the Indian Territory. Cf. Buschmann, 
Spuren d. azt. Spr., p. 424. 

The former seats of the tribe, near the site of the present 
capital, Montgomery, are described as follows : 

Colonel Benj. Hawkins, United States Agent among the 
Creeks, saw four Alibamu towns on Alabama river, below 
Koassati. " The inhabitants are probably the ancient Ala- 
bamas, and formerly had a regular town." (Sketch of the 
Creek Country, pp. 35-37, 1799.) The three first were sur- 
rounded by fertile lands, and lay on the eastern bank of 
Alabama river. Their names were as follows : 

Ikan-tchati or "Red Ground," a small village, with poor 
and indolent inhabitants. 

Tawassa or Tawasa, three miles below Ikan-tchati, a small 

koassAti. 89 

village on a high bluff. Called Taouacha by the French, cf. 
Tohome. The Koassati word tabasa means widower, widow. 

Paw6kti, small town on a bluff; two miles below Tawassa. 

A'tagi, a village four miles below the above, situated on 
the western bank, and spreading along it for two miles. Also 
written At-tau-gee, Autaugee, Autobi. Autauga county is 
named after it. 

These Alibamu could raise in all about eighty warriors ; 
they did not conform to Creek custom, nor did they apply 
the Creek law for the punishment of adultery. Although 
hospitable to white people, they had very little intercourse 
with them. Whenever a white person had eaten of a dish 
and left it, they threw the rest away, and washed everything 
handled by the guest immediately. The above towns, together 
with Oktchoyudshi and Koassati were, upon a decree of the 
national council at Tukabatchi, November 27th, 1799, united 
into one group or class under one " warrior of the nation." 
The dignitary elected to that post of honor was Hu'lipoyi of 
Oktchoyudshi, who had the war titles of hadsho and tustenoggi. 
(Hawkins, pp. 51. 52.) Cf. Witumka. 


The ancient seat of this tribe was in Hawkins' time (1 799), 
on the right or northern bank of Alabama river, three miles 
below the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. Coosada, 
Elmore county, Alabama, is built on the same spot. " They 
are not Creeks," says Hawkins (p. 35), although they con- 
form to their ceremonies ; a part of this town moved lately 
beyond the Mississippi, and have settled there." G. W. 
Stidham, who visited their settlement in Polk county, Texas, 
during the Secession war, states that they lived there east of 
the Alibamu, numbered about 200 persons, were pure-blooded 
and very superstitious. Some Creek Indians are with them, 
who formerly lived in Florida, between the Seminoles and 

the Lower Creeks. 



Their tribal name is differently spelt : Coosadas, Koosati, 
Kosadi, Coushatees, etc. Milfort, Mem. p. 265, writes it 
Coussehate. This tribe must not be confounded with the 
Conshacs, q. v. 

From an Alibamu Indian, Sekopechi, we have a statement 
on the languages spoken by the people of the Creek con- 
federacy (Schoolcraft, Indians, I, 266 sq.) : " The Muskogees 
speak six different dialects : Muskogee, Hitchitee, Nauchee, 
Euchee, Alabama and Aquassawtee, but all of them generally 
understand the Muskogee language." This seems to indicate 
that the Alibamu dialect differs from Koassati, for this is 
meant by Aquassawtee; but the vocabularies of General 
Albert Pike show that both forms of speech are practically 
one and the same language. 

Historic notices of this tribe after its emigration to western 
parts were collected by Prof. Buschmann, Spuren d. aztek. 
Sprache, p. 430. Many Koassati live scattered among the 
Creeks in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, at Yufala, for 

Witumka, on Coosa river, spoke, according to Bartram, the 
"Stincard" language, and was a town of the Alibamu divi- 
sion. Cf. List of Creek Settlements. 


The northern parts of Mississippi State contain the earliest 
homes of the warlike tribe of Chicasa Indians which histori- 
cal documents enable us to trace. Pontotoc county was the 
centre of their habitations in the eighteenth century, and was 
so probably at the time of the Columbian discovery ; settle- 
ments of the tribe scattered along the Mississippi river, in 
West Tennessee and in Kentucky up to Ohio river, are 
reported by the later chroniclers. 

In the year 1540 the army of Hernando de Soto crossed a 
portion of their territory, called by its historians " Chicaca 
provincia," and also visited a town of this name, with a 


smaller settlement (alojamiento) in its vicinity named Chi- 

Two rivers anciently bore the name of "Chicasa river," 
not because they were partially or exclusively inhabited by 
tribes of this nationality, but because their headwaters lay 
within the Chicasa boundaries. This gives us a clue to the 
topographic position of the Chicasa settlements. Jefferys (I, 
153), states that " Chicasa river is the Maubile or Mobile river, 
running north and south (now called Lower Alibama river), 
and that it takes its rise in the country of the Chicasaws in 
three streams." When L. d'Iberville traveled up the Yazoo 
river, the villages on its banks were referred to him as lying 
on " la riviere des Chicachas." 1 

The most lucid and comprehensive account of the Chicasa 
settlements is found in Adair's History. 

James Adair, who was for several years a trader among the 
Chicasa, gives the following account of their country and 
settlements (History, p. 352, sq.) : "The Chikkasah country 
lies in about thirty-five degrees N. Lat., at the distance of 
one hundred and sixty miles from the eastern side of the 
Mississippi . . . about half way from Mobille to the 
Elinois, etc. The Chikkasah are now settled between the 
heads of two of the most western branches of Mobille river 
and within twelve miles of Tahre Hache (Tallahatchie). . 
. . In 1720 they had four contiguous settlements, which 
lay nearly in the form of three parts of a square, only that 
the eastern side was five miles shorter than the western, with 
the open part toward the Choktah. One was called Yaneka, 
about a mile wide and six miles long . . . ; another was 
ten miles long . . . and from one to two miles broad. 
The towns were called Shatara, Chookheereso, Hykehah, 
Tuskawillao, and Phalacheho. The other square, Chookka 
Pharaah or " the long-house," was single and ran four miles 
in length and one mile in breadth. It was more populous 
1 Margry IV, 180. 


than their whole nation contains at present . . . scarcely 
450 warriors." From Adair's text it appears that the three 
towns were but a short distance from the fortified places held 
by them at the time when he composed his History (published 
1 7 75). They were about Pontotoc or Dallas counties, Missis- 

The Chicasa settlements are referred to in detail by B. 
Romans, East and West Florida, p. 63: "They live in the 
centre of an uneven and large nitrous savannah ; have in it 
one town, long one mile and a half, very narrow and irreg- 
ular; this they divide into seven (towns), by the names 
of Melattaw 'hat and feather,' Chatelaw 'copper town,' 
Chukafalaya 'long town,' Tuckahaw 'a certain weed,' 
Ashuck hooma 'red grass.' Formerly the whole of them 
were enclosed in palisadoes." Unfortunately, this list gives 
only five towns instead of the seven referred to. 

D. Coxe, Carolana (1741) says, when speaking of the 
Tennessee river (p. 13. 14): "River of the Cusates, Chera- 
quees or Kasqui river . . . ; a cataract is on it, also the 
tribe of the Chicazas." An early French report alludes to 
one of their villages, situated thirty leagues inward from a 
place forty leagues above the mouth of Arkansas river. 
"From Abeeka to the Chickasaw towns the distance is 
about one hundred and fifty-nine miles, crossing many 
savannahs; " B. Romans, E. and W. Florida, p. 313. 

Through all the epochs of colonial history the Chicasa 
people maintained their old reputation for independence and 
bravery. They were constantly engaged in quarrels and 
broils with all their Indian neighbors: sometimes with the 
cognate Cha'hta and with the Creeks, at other times with the 
Cheroki, Illinois, Kickapu, Shawano, Tonica, Mobilians, 
Osage and Arkansas (Kapaha) Indians. In 1732 they cut to 
pieces a war party of the Iroquois invading their territory, 
but in 1748 cooperated against the French with that confed- 
eracy. J. Haywood, in his Natural and Aboriginal History 


of Tennessee (1823), p. 240, alludes to a tradition purporting 
that the Chicasa had formerly assisted the Cheroki in driving 
the Shawanese from the Cumberland river; the Cheroki 
desired war, and attacked the Chicasa shortly before 1769, 
but were utterly defeated by them at the " Chicasa Old 
Fields," and retreated by way of Cumberland river and the 
Cany Fork. On the authority of chief Chenubbee, the same 
author states (p. 290) that a part of the Chicasa established 
themselves on Savannah river, opposite Augusta, but that 
misunderstandings with the Creeks made them go west again. 
In 1 795" the Chicasa claimed the land opposite Augusta, and 
sent a memorial to the United States Government to substan- 
tiate that claim. Another fraction of the tribe, called the 
Lightwood-Knots, went to war with the Creeks, but were 
reduced by them, and have lived with them in peace ever 
since. These facts seem to have some reference to the settle- 
ment of a Chicasa band near Kasi^ta, and east of that town ; 
cf. Kasi'hta. 

Penicaut mentions an intertribal war between them and 
the Cha'hta, and relates a case of treason committed by a 
Cha'hta chief in 1 703. 1 A war with the Creeks occurred in 
1 793, in which the Americans stood on the Chicasa side. 

The policy of the Chicasa in regard to the white colonists 
was that of a steady and protracted enmity against the 
French. This feeling was produced as well by the intrigues 
of the British traders residing among them as by their hatred 
of the Cha'hta, who had entered into friendly relations with 
the French colonists, though they could not, by any means, 
be called their trusty allies. By establishing fortified posts 
on the Yazoo and Little Tombigbee rivers, 2 the French threat- 
ened the independence of these Indians, who began hostilities 

1 Margry V, 433 sqq. 

2 The site once occupied by Fort Tombigbee is now called Jones' 
Bluff, on Little Tombigbee river. Cf. Dumont in B. F. French; Histor. 
Coll. of La., V, 106 and Note. 


against them in 1722, near the Yazoo post, and urged the 
Naktche to a stubborn resistan'ce against French encroach- 
ments. They sheltered the retreating Naktche against the 
pursuing French, 1 besieged the commander Denys at Fort 
Natchitoches, though they were repulsed there with con- 
siderable loss, defeated the French invading their country at 
Amalahta (1736), at the Long House, or Tchuka falaya 
(Adair, p. 354), and other points, and in the second attack of 
1 739-40 also baffled their attempts at conquering portions of 
Chicasa territory. 

The relations of these Indians with the United States were 
regulated by a treaty concluded at Hopewell, 1786, with Pio 
mico and other Chicasa chiefs. Their territory was then 
fixed at the Ohio river on the north side, and by a boundary 
line passing through Northern Mississippi on the south side. 
They began to emigrate to the west of Arkansas river early 
in this century, and in 1822 the population remaining in 
their old seats amounted to 3625. Treaties for the removal 
of the remainder were concluded at Pontotoc creek, October 
20th, 1832, and at Washington, May 24th, 1834. 

After their establishment in the Indian Territory the politi- 
cal connections still existing between them and the Cha'hta 
were severed by a treaty signed June 22d, 1855. The line 
of demarcation separating the two "nations," and following 
the meridian, is not, however, of a binding character, for 
individuals of both peoples settle east or west of it, wherever 
they please (G. W. Stidham). 

No plausible analysis of the name Chicasa, which many 
western tribes, as well as the Chicasa themselves, pronounce 
Shikasa, Shikasha, has yet been suggested. Near the Gulf 

1 Adair, History, p. 353, asserts that the real cause of the third Naktche- 
French war lay in the instigations of the Chicasa. On the causes and 
progress of the hostilities between the French and the Chicasa, cf. pp. 
353-3S 8 - Tne y attacked there his own trading house, cf. p. 357. Cf. 
also Naktche, in this vol., pp. 34-39. 


coast it occurs in many local names, and also in Chickasawhay 
river, Mississippi, the banks of which were inhabited by 
Cha'hta people. 

In language and customs they differ but little from their 
southern neighbors, the Cha'hta, and must be considered as 
a northern branch of them. Both have two phratries only, 
each of which were (originally) subdivided, in an equal 
manner, into four gentes ; but the thorough-going difference 
in the totems of the 8-12 gentes points to a very ancient 
separation of the two national bodies. 

The Chicasa language served as a medium of commercial 
and tribal intercourse to all the nations inhabiting the shores 
of the great Uk-'hina (" water road "), or Lower Mississippi 
river. Jefferys (1, 165), compares it to the " lingua franca in 
the Levant ; they call it the vulgar tongue. ' ' A special mention 
of some tribes which spoke it is made by L. dTberville 1 : 
" Bayagoula, Ouma, Chicacha, Colapissa show little difference 
in their language;" and "The Oumas, Bayogoulas, Theloel, 
Taensas, the Coloas, the Chycacha, the Napissa, the Ouachas, 
Choutymachas, Yagenechito, speak the same language and 
understand the Bilochy, the Pascoboula." As we have seen 
before, three of the above tribes, the Naktche portion of the 
Theloel settlements, the Taensa and the Shetimasha had 
their own languages, but availed themselves of the Chicasa 
for the purposes of intertribal barter, exchange and com- 
munication. The most important passages on this medium 
of trade are contained in Le Page du Pratz, Histoire (II, 218. 
219): "La langue Tchicacha est parlee aussi par les Chatkas 
(sic!) et (corrompue) paries Taensas; cette langue corrompue 
est appel6e Mobilienne par les Francais," etc., and in Margry 
V, 442, where P6nicaut alleges to have studied the languages 
of the Louisiana savages pretty thoroughly for five years, 
"surtout le Mobilien, qui est le principal et qu'on entend 
par toutes les nations." Cf. the article Naktche. 
1 Margry IV, 412 and 184. 


A few terms in which Chicasa differs from main Cha'hta 
are as follows : 

Chicasa kuishto panther, Cha'hta kuitchito 

k6e domestic cat, kato (Spanish) 

Isto large, tchito 

iskitinusa small, iskitine 

hushi bird, fushi 

The Chicasa trade language also adopted a few terms from 
northern languages, as : 

pishu lynx, from Odshibwe pishiu ; also an Odshibwe totem- 

■piakixaxas. persimmon, changed in the French Creole dialect 
to plaquemine. 

sbishikushi gourd-rattle or drum, Margry IV", 175. 

sacacuya war-whoop, la huee. 

Lewis H. Morgan published in his Ancient Society (New 
York, 1877). p. 163, a communication from Rev. Chas. C. 
Copeland, missionary among the Chicasa Indians, on the 
totemic gentes observed by him. Copeland states that the 
descent is in the female line, that no intermarriage takes place 
among individuals of the same gens, and that property as 
well as the office of chief is hereditary in the gens. The fol- 
lowing list will show how considerably he differs from Gibbs' 
list inserted below : 

Panther phratry, k6a. Its gentes: 1. ko-intchush, wild 
cat; 2. fushi, bird; 3. nanni, fish ; 4. issi, deer. 

Spanish phratry, Ishpani. Its gentes: 1. shawi racoon; 2. 
Ishpani Spanish; 3. mingo Royal; 4. huskoni ; 5. tunni 
squirrel; 6. hotchon tchapa alligator; 7. nashoba wolf; 8. 
tchu'hla blackbird. 

Further investigations will show whether the two gentes, 
Ishpani and mingo, are not in fact one and the same, as they 
appear in Gibbs' list. This list is taken from a manuscript 
note to his Chicasa vocabulary, and contains nine "clans " 
or iksa, yeksa : 


Spane or Spanish gens ; mingos or chiefs could be chosen 
from this gens only, and were hereditary in the 
female line; sha-e or racoon gens; second chiefs 
or headmen were selected from it ; kuishto or tiger 
gens; ko-intchush or catamount gens ; nani or fish 
gens ; issi or deer gens ; haloba or ? gens ; foshe or 
bird gens ; hu n shkon6 or skunk gens, the least re- 
spected of them all. 
An account in Schoolcraft, Indians I, 311, describes the 
mode of tribal government, and the method by which the 
chiefs ratified the laws passed. Sick people, when wealthy, 
treated their friends to a sort of donation party (or potlatch 
of the Pacific coast) after their recovery ; a custom called 
tonshpashupa by the tribe. 


Along the Yazoo river existed a series of towns which seem 
to have been independent at the time of their discovery, but 
at a late period, about 1836, were incorporated into the 
Chicasa people. Some were inhabited by powerful and 
influential tribes, but it is uncertain whether any of them 
were of Maskoki lineage and language or not. 1 During the 
third Naktche-French war, the Yazoo tribes suffered consid- 
erably from attacks directed upon them by the Arkansas 
Indians. The countries along Yazoo river are low and 
swampy grounds, subject to inundations, especially the 
narrow strip of land extending between that river and the 

The Taensa guide who accompanied Lemoyne d'Iberville, 
up the Yazoo river in March 1699, enumerated the villages 
seen on its low banks in their succession from southwest to 
northeast, as follows (Margry IV, 180) : 

1 I have treated of some of these tribes (Tonica, Koroa) in separate 
articles. Moncachtape said to du Pratz, that the Yazoo Indians regarded 
the Chicasa as their elders, " since from them came the language of the 


i. Tonica, four days' travel from the Naktche and two 
days' travel from the uppermost town, Thysia. Cf. 
Tonica, p. 39 sqq. 

2. Ouispe ; the Oussipes of Penicaut. 

3. Opocoulas. They are the Affagoulas, Offogoula, Oufe- 

ogoulas or "Dog-People" of the later authors, and 
in 1 784 some of them are mentioned as residing eight 
miles above Pointe Coupee, on W. bank of Missis- 
sippi river. 

4. Taposa ; the Tapouchas of Baudry de Loziere. 

5. Chaquesauma. This important tribe, written also Cho- 

keechuma, Chactchioumas, Saques'huma, etc., are 
the Saquechuma visited by a detachment of de 
Soto's army in their walled town (1540). The 
name signifies " red crabs." Cf. Adair, History, p. 
352: "Tahre-hache (Tallahatchi), 1 which lower 
down is called Chokchooma river, as that nation 
made their first settlements there, after they came 
on the other side of Mississippi. . . . The 
Chicasaw, Choktah and also the Chokchooma, who 
in process of time were forced by war to settle be- 
tween the two former nations, came together from 
the west as one family," etc. Cf. B. Romans, p. 
315. Crab, crawfish is soktchu in Creek, saktchi 
in Hitchiti. 

6. Outapa ; called Epitoupa, Ibitoupas in other documents. 

7. Thysia; at six days' canoe travel (forty-two leagues) 

from the Naktche. They are the Tihiou of Dan. 

Coxe (1741). 

Penicaut, who accompanied d'Iberville in this expedition, 

gives an account of the Yazoo villages, which differs in some 

respects from the above : Going up the river of the Yazoux 

for four leagues, there are found on the right the villages 

1 A large northern affluent of Yazoo river, in northern parts of Missis- 
sippi State. 


inhabited by six savage nations, called "les Yasoux, les Offo- 
goulas, les Tonicas, les Coroas, les Ouitoupas et les Oussipes." 
A French priest had already fixed himself in one of the 
villages for their conversion. 1 

D' Iberville was also informed that the Chicasa and the 
Napissas formed a union, and that the villages of both were 
standing close to each other. The term Napissa, in Cha'hta 
na n pissa, means spy, sentinel, watcher, and corresponds in 
signification to Akolapissa, name of a tribe between Mobile 
Bay and New Orleans, q. v. Compare also the Napochies, 
who, at the time of Tristan de Luna's visit, warred with the 
Coca (or Kusa, on Coosa river?): "Cocas tenian guerra con 
los Napochies "; Barcia, Ensayo, p. 37. 

D. Coxe, Carolana, p. 10, gives the Yazoo towns in the fol- 
lowing order : The lowest is Yassaues or Yassa (Yazoo), then 
Tounica, Kouroua, Samboukia, Tihiou, Epitoupa. Their 
enumeration by Baudry de Loziere, 1802, is as follows: 
" Yazoos, Offogoulas, Coroas are united, and live on Yazoo 
river in one village; strength, 120 men. Chacchioumas, 
Ibitoupas, Tapouchas in one settlement on Upper Yazoo river, 
forty leagues from the above." Cf. Koroa. 

Another Yazoo tribe, mentioned at a later period as con- 
federated with the Chicasa are the Tchula, Chola or "Foxes." 

Yazoo is not a Cha'hta word, although the Cha'hta had a 
"clan" of that name: Ya'sho okla, Yashukla, as I am in- 
formed by Gov. Allen Wright. 2 T. Jefferys (I, 144) reports 
the Yazoos to be the allies of the " Cherokees, who are under 
the protection of Great Britain." He also states that the 
French post was three leagues from the mouth of Yazoo river, 
close to a village inhabited by a medley of Yazoo, Couroas 
and Ofogoula Indians, and mentions the tribes in the follow- 
ing order (I, 163): "Yazoo Indians, about 100 huts; further 
up, Coroas, about 40 huts; Chactioumas or "red lobsters", 

* Cf. Margry V, 401 and Note. 2 Cf. article on Yuchi, p. 24. 


about 50 huts, on same river ; Oufe-ouglas, about 60 huts; 
Tapoussas, not over 25 huts." 


The southwestern area of the Maskoki territory was occu- 
pied by the Cha'hta people, and in the eighteenth century 
this was probably the most populous of all Maskoki divisions. 
They dwelt in the middle and southern parts of what is now- 
Mississippi State, where, according to early authors, they had 
from fifty to seventy villages ; they then extended from the 
Mississippi to Tombigbee river, and east of it. 

The tribes of Tuskalusa or Black Warrior, and that of 
Mauvila, which offered such a bold resistance to H. de Soto's 
soldiers, were of Cha'hta lineage, though it is not possible at 
present to state the location of their towns at so remote a 

On account of their vicinity to the French colonies 
at Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans, and on other points of the 
Lower Mississippi, the Cha'hta associated early with' the colo- 
nists, and became their allies in Indian wars. The French and 
British traders called them Tetes-Plattes, Flatheads. In the 
third French war against the Naktche a large body of Cha'hta 
warriors served as allies under the French commander, and 
on January 27, 1730, before daylight, made a furious on- 
slaught on their principal village, killing sixty enemies and 
rescuing fifty-nine French women and children and one 
hundred and fifty negro slaves previously captured by the 
tribe (Claiborne, Mississippi, I, 45. 46). In the Chicasa war 
fourteen hundred Cha'hta Indians aided the French army in 
its attack on the Chuka p'haraah or Long-House Town, as 
auxiliaries (Adair, History, p. 354). 

They continued friends of the French until (as stated by 
Romans, Florida, p. 74) some English traders found means 
to draw the eastern party and the district of Coosa (together 
called Oypat-oocooloo, "small nation") into a civil war 

cha'hta. 101 

with the western divisions, called Oocooloo-Falaya ("long 
tribe"), Oocooloo-HanalS ("six tribes"), and Chickasaw- 
hays, which, after many conflicts and the destruction of East 
Congeeto, ended with the peace of 1763. 

The Cha'hta did not rely so much on the products of the 
chase, as other tribes, but preferred to till the ground exten- 
sively and with care. Later travelers, like Adair, depict 
'their character and morality in very dark colors. In war, 
the Cha'hta east of the Mississippi river were less aggressive 
than those who resided west of it, for the policy of keeping 
in the defensive agreed best with their dull and slow dispo- 
sition of mind. About 1732, the ordinary, though contested 
boundary between them and the Creek confederacy was the 
ridge that separates the waters of the Tombigbee from those 
of the Alabama river. Their principal wars, always defensive 
and not very sanguinary, were fought with the Creeks ; in a 
conflict of six years, 1765-1771, they lost about three hundred 
men (Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 100). Claiborne mentions a 
battle fought between the two nations on the eastern bank 
of Noxubee river, about five miles west of Cooksville, Noxu- 
bee County, Mississippi. Charles Dobbs, the settler at the 
farm including the burying-ground of those who fell in that 
battle, opened it in 1832, and found many Spanish dollars 
in the graves. It was some three hundred yards northeast of 
the junction of Shuqualak creek with the river. A decisive 
victory of the Cha'hta took place at Nusic-heah, or Line 
creek, over the Chocchuma Indians, who belonged to the 
Chicasa connection ; the battle occurred south of that creek, 
at a locality named Lyon's Bluff. 1 

Milfort establishes a thorough distinction between the 
northern and the southern Cha'hta as to their pursuits of 
life and moral character. The Cha'hta of the northern sec- 
tion are warlike and brave, wear garments, and crop their 
hair in Creek fashion. The southern Cha'hta, settled on 
1 Claiborne, Mississippi, Appendix, I, p. 485. 486. 


fertile ground west of Mobile and southwest of Pascogoula, 
are dirty, indolent and cowardly, miserably dressed and 
inveterate beggars. Both sections could in his time raise 
six thousand warriors (p. 285-292). The mortuary customs, 
part of which were exceedingly barbaric, are spoken of with 
many details by Milfort (p. 292-304); their practices in cases 
of divorce and adultery (p. 304-311) are dwelt upon by 
several other writers, and were of a revolting character. 1 

No mention is made of the " great house" or " the square" 
in Cha'hta towns, as it existed in every one of the larger 
Creek communities, nor of the green corn dance. But they 
had the favorite game of chunks, and played at ball between 
village and village (B. Romans, p. 79. 80). The men assisted 
their wives in their agricultural labors and in many other 
works connected with the household. 2 The practice of 
flattening the heads extended to the male children only; 
the Aimara of Peru observed the same exclusive custom. 

The collecting and cleaning of the bones of corpses was 
a custom existing throughout the southern as well as the 
northern Indians east of Mississippi river, and among some 
tribes west of it. Every tribe practiced it in a different 
manner; the Cha'hta employed for the cleaning : "old gen- 
tlemen with very long nails," and deposited the remains, 
placed in boxes, in the bone houses existing in every town. 3 
Tombigbee river received its name from this class of men : 
itumbi-bikpi " cofHn-maker. " The Indians at Fort Orange 
or Albany (probably the Mohawks) bound up the cleaned 
bones in small bundles and buried them : De Vries, Voyages 
(1642) p. 164; the Nanticokes removed them to the place 
from which the tribe had emigrated (Heckewelder, Delawares, 
p. 75 sq.) Similar customs were observed among the Dakota- 

1 Cf. B. Romans, E. and W. Florida, p. 86-89. 

* B. Romans, p. 86. He describes education among the Cha'hta, p. 76. 
77 ; the sarbacane or blow-gun, p. 77. 
3 B. Romans, p. 89. 90. 

cha'hta. 103 

Santees, Shetimashas and several South American tribes. 
Captain Smith mentions the quiogozon or burial place of 
Virginia chiefs. 1 

The Cha'hta also had the custom, observed down to the 
present century, of setting up poles around their new graves, 
on which they hung hoops, wreaths, etc., for the spirit to 
ascend upon. Around these the survivors gathered every 
day at sunrise, noon, sunset, emitting convulsive cries during 
thirty to forty days. On the last day all neighbors assembled, 
the poles were pulled up, and the lamentation ended with 
drinking, carousing and great disorders. 2 

The Chicasa a_e not known to have settled west of the 
Mississippi river to any extensive degree, but their southern 
neighbors and relations, the Cha'hta, did so at an early 
epoch, no doubt prompted by the increase of population. 
The Cha'hta emigrating to these western parts were looked 
at by their countrymen at home in the same light as the 
Seminoles were by the Creeks. They were considered as 
outcasts, on account of the turbulent and lawless elements 
which made up a large part of them. 

On the middle course of Red river Milfort met a body of 
Cha'hta Indians, who had quitted their country about 1755 
in quest of better hunting grounds, and were involved in 
frequent quarrels with the Caddos (p. 95). 

The French found several Cha'hta tribes, as the Bayo- 
goula, Huma and Acolapissa, settled upon Mississippi river. 
In the eighteenth century the inland Shetimasha on Grand 
Lake were constantly harassed by Cha'hta incursions. About 
1809 a Cha'hta village existed on Washita river, another on 

1 Cf. Lawson, History of Carolina (Reprint i860), p. 297. More 
information on Cha'hta burials will be found in H. C. Yarrow, Indian 
mortuary customs ; in First Report of U. S. Bureau of Ethnology, 1879- 
1880 ; especially p. 185. 

2 Missionary Herald of Boston, 1828 (vol. xxiv) p. 380, in an article 
on Religious Opinions, etc., of the Choctaws, by Rev. Alfred Wright. 


Bayou Chicot, Opelousas Parish, Louisiana. Morse mentions 
for 1820 twelve hundred Cha'hta Indians on the Sabine and 
Neche rivers, one hundred and forty on Red river near 
Nanatsoho, or Pecan Point, and many lived scattered around 
that district.. At the present time (1882), encampments of 
Biloxis, who speak the Cha'hta language, exist in the forests 
of Louisiana' south of Red river. 

The Cha'hta nation is formally, though not locally, divided 
into two iksa (yeksa) or kinships, which exist promiscuously 
throughout their territory. These divisions were denned by 
Allen Wright as: 1. Kashap-ukla or kashapa ukela (6kla) 
"part of the people; " 2. Ukla i n hula'hta "people of the 

Besides this, there is another formal division into three 
okla, districts or fires, the names of which were partly 
alluded to in the passage from B. Romans : 
6kla falaya " long people "; 
ahepat 6kla "potato-eating people "; 
6kla hannali " Sixtown people," who used a special dialect. 
The list of Cha'hta gentes, as printed in Lewis H. Morgan, 
Ancient Society* stands as follows : 

First phratry: kushap 6kla or Divided People. Four 
gentes: 1. kush-iksa, reed gens. 2. Law okla. 3. Lulak- 
iksa. 4. Linoklusha. 

Second phratry : wataki hulata or Beloved People, "people 
of head-men": Four gentes: 1. chufan iksa, beloved people. 
2. iskulani, small {people}; 3. chito, large {people); 4. 
shakch-ukla, cray-fish people. 

Property and the office of chief was hereditary in the gens. 

As far as the wording is concerned, Morgan's list is not 

satisfactory, but being the only one extant I present it as it is. 

Rev. Alfred Wright, missionary of the Cha'hta, knows of 

six gentes only, but states that there were two great families 

who could not intermarry. These were, as stated by Morgan,- 

1 Published New York, 1877. pp. 99. 162. 

cha'hta. 105 

the reed gens and the chufan gens. Wright then continues : 
" Woman's brothers are considered natural guardians of the 
children, even during father's lifetime ; counsel was taken for 
criminals from their phratry, the opposite phratry, or rather 
the principal men of this, acting as accusers. If they failed 
to adjust the case, the principal men of -the next larger 
division took it up ; if they also failed, the case then came 
before the itimoklushas and the shakch-uklas, whose decision 
was final. This practice is falling in disuse now." A busi- 
ness-like and truly judicial proceeding like this does much 
honor to the character and policy of the Cha'hta, and will 
be found in but a few other Indian communities. It must 
have acted powerfully against the prevailing practice of 
family revenge, and served to establish a state of safety for 
the lives of individuals. 

More points on Cha'hta ethnography will be found in the 
Notes to B. F. French, Histor. Collect, of La., Ill, 128-139. 

The legends of the Cha'hta speak of a giant race, peaceable 
and agricultural (nahullo) 1 , and also of a cannibal race, both 
of which they met east of the Mississippi river. 

The Cha'hta trace their mythic origin from the "Stooping, 
Leaning or Winding Hill," Nani Waya, a mound of fifty 
feet altitude, situated in Winston county, Mississippi, on the 
headwaters of Pearl river. The top of this "birthplace" of 
the nation is level, and has a surface of about one r fourth of 
an acre. One legend states, that the Cha'hta arrived there, 
after crossing the Mississippi and separating from the 
Chicasa, who went north during an epidemic. Nanna 
Waya creek runs through the southeastern parts of Winston 
county, Miss. 

Another place, far-famed in Cha'hta folklore, was the 
"House of Warriors," Taska-tchuka, the oldest settlement in 

1 Nahullo, nahunlo means : greater, higher race, eminent race ; though 
the original meaning is that of "more sacred, more honorable." A white 
man is called by the Cha'hta : nahullo. 


the nation, and standing on the verge of the Kushtush 1 . It 
lay in Neshoba county, Mississippi. It was a sort of temple, 
and the Unkala, a priestly order, had the custody or care of 
it. The I'ksa A'numpule or "clan-speakers" prepared the 
bones of great warriors for burial, and the Unkala went at 
the head of the mourners to that temple, chanting hymns in 
an unknown tongue. 2 

The curious tale of the origin of the Cha'hta from Nani 
Waya has been often referred to by authors. B. Romans 
states that they showed the "hole in the ground," from 
which they came, between their nation and the Chicasa, and 
told the colonists that their neighbors were surprised at seeing 
a people rise at once, out of the earth (p. 71). The most 
circumstantial account of this preternatural occurrence is 
laid down in the following narrative." " When the earth 
was a level plain in the condition of a quagmire, a superior 
being, in appearance a red man, came down from above, 
and alighting near the centre of the Choctaw nation, threw 
up a large mound or hill, called Nanne Wayah, stooping 
or sloping hill. Then he caused, the red people to come 
out of it, and when he supposed that a sufficient number had 
come out, he stamped on the ground with his foot. When 
this signal of his power was given, some were partly formed, 
others were just raising their heads above the mud, emerging 
into light,* and struggling into life. . . . Thus seated 
on the area of their hill, they were told by their Creator 
they should live forever. But they did not seem to under- 
stand what he had told them ; therefore he took away from 
them the grant of immortality, and made them subject to 

1 C-ustusha creek runs into Kentawha creek, affluent of Big Black river, 
in Neshoba county. 

2 Claiborne, Mississippi, I, p. 518. 

8 Missionary Herald, 1828, p. 181. 

4 Compare the poetic vision, parallel to this, contained in Ezekiel, 
ch. 39. 

cha'hta. 107 

death. The earth then indurated, the hills were formed by 
the agitation of the waters and winds on the soft mud. The 
Creator then told the people that the earth would bring forth 
the chestnut, hickory nut and acorn ; it is likely that maize 
was discovered, but long afterward, by a crow. Men began to 
cover themselves by the long moss (abundant in southern 
climates), which they tied around their waists; then were 
invented bow and arrows, and the skins of the game used 
for clothing. ' ' 

Here the creation of the Cha'hta is made coeval with the 
creation of the earth, and some features of the story give 
evidence of modern and rationalistic tendencies of the 
relator. Other Cha'hta traditions state that the people came 
from the west, and stopped at Nani Waya, only to obtain 
their laws and phratries from the Creator — a story made to 
resemble the legislation on Mount Sinai. Other legends 
conveyed the belief that the emerging from the sacred hill 
took place only four or five generations before. 1 

The emerging of the human beings from the top of a 
hill is an event not unheard of in American mythology, 
and should not be associated with a simultaneous creation 
of man. It refers to the coming up of primeval man 
from a lower world into a preexistent upper world,, through 
some orifice. A graphic representation of this idea will be 
found in the Navajo creation myth, published in Amer. 
Antiquarian V, 207-224, from which extracts are given in 
this volume below. Five different worlds are there supposed 
to have existed, superposed to each other, and some of the 
orifices through which the "old people" crawled up are 
visible at the present time. 

The published maps of the Cha'hta country, drawn, in colo- 
nial times, are too imperfect to give us a clear idea of the situ- 
-ation of their towns. From more recent sources it appears 
that these settlements consisted of smaller groups, of cabins 
1 Missionary Herald, 1828, p, 21S-. 


clustered together in tribes, perhaps also after gentes, as we 
see it done among the Mississippi tribes and in a few in- 
stances among the Creeks. 

The "old Choctaw Boundary Line," as marked upon the 
U. S. Land Office map of 1878, runs from Prentiss, a point 
on the Mississippi river in Bolivar county (33 37' Lat.), 
Miss., in a southeastern direction to a point on Yazoo river, 
in Holmes county. The "Chicasaw Boundary Line" runs 
from the Tunica Old Fields, in Tunica county, opposite 
Helena, on Mississippi river (34 33' Lat.), southeast through 
CofFeeville in Yallabusha county, to a. point in Sumner county, 
eastern part. The "Choctaw Boundary Line" passes from 
east to west, following approximately the 31 50' of Lat., from 
the Eastern boundary of Mississippi State to the southwest 
corner of Copiah county. All these boundary lines were 
run after the conclusion of the treaty at Doak's Stand. 

The Cuska Indians, also called Coosa, Coosahs, had settle- 
ments on the Cusha creeks, in Lauderdale county. 

The UMa-fal&ya, or "Long People," were settled in 
Leake county. (?) 

The Cofetalaya were inhabiting Atala and Choctaw coun- 
ties, settled at French Camp, etc., on the old military road 
leading to Old Doak's Stand; General Jackson advanced 
through this road, when marching south to meet the 
English army. 

Pineshuk Indians, on a branch of Pearl river, in Winston 

Boguechito Indians, on stream of the same name in Neshoba 
county, near Philadelphia. Some Mugulashas lived in the 
Boguechito district; Wiatakali was one of the villages. 
"Yazoo Old Village " also stood in Neshoba county. 

Sixtowns or English-Towns, a group of six villages in Smith 
and Jasper counties. Adair, p. 298, mentions "seven towns 
that lie close together and next to New Orleans", perhaps 
meaning these. The names of the six towns were as follows : 

cha'hta. 109 

Chinokabi, Okatallia, Killis-tamaha (kilis, in Creek : inkilisi, 
is EnglisK), Tallatown, Nashoweya, Bishkon. 

Sukinatchi or "Factory Indians" settlement, in Lowndes 
and Kemper counties. Allamutcha Old Town was ten miles 
from Sukinatchi creek. 

Yauana, Yowanne was a palisaded town on Pascagoula 
river, or one of its affluents; cf. Adair, History, 297-299. 301. 
He calls it remote but considerable ; it has its name from 
a worm, very destructive to corn in the wet season. French 
maps place it on the same river, where "Chicachae" fort 
stood above, and call it : "Yauana, dernier village des Choc- 
taws." "Yoani, on the banks of the Pasca Oocooloo 
(Pascagoula)"; B. Romans, p. 86. 

An old Cha'hta Agency was in Oktibbeha county. 

Cobb Indians ; west of Pearl river. 

Shuqualak in Noxubee county. 

Chicasawhay Indians on river of the same name, an affluent 
of the Pascagoula river; B. Romans, p. 86, states, that "the 
Choctaws of Chicasahay and the Yoani on Pasca Oocooloo 
river " are the only Cha'hta able to swim. 

It may be collected from the above, that the main settle- 
ments of the Northern Cha'hta were between Mobile and 
Big Black river, east and west, and between 32 and 33° 30' 
Lat., where their remnants reside even nowadays. 


In the southern part of the Cha'hta territory several tribes, 
represented to be of Cha'hta lineage, appear as distinct from 
the main body, and are always mentioned separately. The 
French colonists, in whose annals they figure extensively, 
call them Mobilians, Tohomes, Pascogoulas, Biloxis, Mou- 
goulachas, Bayogoulas and Humas (Oumas). They have all 
disappeared in our epoch, with the exception of the Biloxi, 
of whom scattered remnants live in the forests of Louisiana, 
south of the Red river. 


The Mobilians seem to be the descendants of the inhabit- 
ants of Mauvila, a walled town, at some distance from the 
seat of the Tuscalusa chief, and dependent on him. These 
Indians are well known for their stubborn resistance offered 
in 1540 to the invading troops of Hernando de Soto. 

Subsequently they must have removed several hundred 
miles south of Tuscalusa river, perhaps on account of inter- 
tribal broils with the Alibamu; for in the year 1708 we find 
them settled on Mobile Bay, where the French had allowed 
them, the Naniaba and Tohome, to erect lodges around their 
fort. Cf. Alibamu. On a place of worship visited by this 
tribe (1792), Margry IV, 513. 

The Tohome, Thomes, Tomez Indians, settled north of 
Mobile City, stood in the service of the French colony, and 
adopted the Roman Catholic faith. Besides the Naniaba 1 
and Mobilian Indians, the French had settled in their 
vicinity a pagan Cha'hta tribe from the northwest and an 
adventitious band of Apalaches, who had fled the Spanish 
domination in Florida. We are informed that the language 
and barbarous customs of the Tohomes differed considerably 
from those of the neighboring Indians. Their name is the 
Cha'hta adjective tohobi, contr. t6bi white. 

In 1 702 they were at war with the Chicasa. Their cabins 
stood eight leagues from the French settlement at Mobile, on 
Mobile river, and the number of their men is given as three 
hundred. They spoke a dialect of the Bayogoula. Cf. 
Margry IV, 427. 429. 504. 512-14. 531. The Mobilians 
and the Tohomes combined counted three hundred and fifty 
families : Margry IV, 594. 602. 

The Touachas settled by the French upon Mobile bay in 1 705 , 
were a part of the Tawasa, an Alibamu tribe mentioned above. 2 

1 " Fish-eaters," from Cha'hta nani, nannies,*, apa to eat. On Turner's 
map (1827), Nanihaba Island lies at the junction of Alabama with Tom- 
bigbee river, and Nanihaba Bluff lies west of the junction. 

2 Margry V, 457. 

cha'hta. Ill 

The Paseogoula, incorrectly termed Pascoboula Indians, 
were a small tribe settled upon Paseogoula river, three days' 
travel southwest of Fort Mobile. Six different nations were 
said to inhabit the banks of the river, probably all of Cha'hta 
lineage ; among them are mentioned the Pascogoulas, Cho- 
zettas, Bilocchi, Moctoby, all insignificant in numbers. The 
name signifies "bread -people," and is composed of the 
Cha'hta paska bread, (Ma. people, the Nahuatl tribal name of 
the Tlascaltecs being of the same signification: tlaxcalli 
tortilla, from ixca to bake. Cf. Margry IV, 154-157. 193. 
195. 425-427- 45 1 - 454- 602. 

A portion of these Indians may have been identical 
with the Chicasawhay Indians, and with the inhabitants 
of Yauana. 

The Biloxi Indians became first known to the whites by 
the erection of a French settlement, in 1699, on a bay called 
after this tribe, which is styled B'luksi by the Cha'hta, and 
has some reference to the catch of turtles (luktchi turtle). 

"We thought it most convenient to found a settlement 
in the Bilocchy bay ; ... it is distant only three leagues 
from the Pascoboula river, upon which are built the three 
villages of the Bilocchy, Pascoboula and Moctoby." Margry 
IV, 195; cf. 311. 451. We also find the statement that the 
Bayogoulas call the Annocchy : Bilocchy (pronounced : Bi- 
lokshi), Margry IV, 172. Penicaut refers to their place of 
settlement on Biloxi bay in 1704 in Margry V, 442. On 
their language cf. Margry IV, 184; quoted under Chicasa, q. v. 

Later on they crossed the Mississippi to its western side, 
and are mentioned as wanderers on Bayou Crocodile and its 
environs (1806), which they frequent even now, and on the 
Lake of Avoyelles. 

The Mugulashas (pron.: Moogoolashas) were neighbors of 
the French colonists at Biloxi bay, and a people of the same 
name lived in the village occupied by the Bayogoulas. 
Mougoulachas is the French orthography of the name. Their 


name is identical with Imuklasha or the "opposite phratry" 
in the Cha'hta nation, from which Muklasha, a Creek town, 
also received its name. In consequence of this, generic 
meaning of the term this appellation is met with in several 
portions of the Cha'hta country. 

Previous to March 1700, there had been a conflict between 
them and the Bayogoulas, in which the latter had killed all 
of the Mugulashas who were within their reach, and called in 
families of the Colapissas and Tioux to occupy their deserted 
fields and lodges. Cf. Margry IV, 429., Boguechito Indians, 
Bayogoula and Acolapissa. 

The Acolapissa Indians appear under various names in the 
country northwest to northeast of New Orleans. They are 
also called Colapissa, Quinipissa, Quiripissa, Querepisa, forms 
which all flow from Cha'hta okla-plsa "those who look 
out for people," guardians, spies, sentinels, watching men. 
This term refers to their position upon the in- and out-flow 
of Lake Pontchartrain and other coast lagoons, combined 
with their watchfulness for hostile parties passing these 
places. It is therefore a generic term and not a specific 
tribal name ; hence it was applied to several tribes simul- 
taneously, and they were reported to have seven towns, 
Tangibao among them, which were distant eight days' travel 
by land E. N. E. from their settlement on Mississippi river. 
Cf. Margry IV, 120. 167. 168. Their village on Missis- 
sippi river was seen by L. d'Iberville, 1699-1700, twenty-five 
leagues from its mouth (IV, 101). Their language is spoken 
of, ibid. IV, 412. At the time of Tonti's visit, 1685, tnev 
lived twenty leagues further down the Mississippi than in 
1 699-1 700. They suffered terribly from epidemics, and joined 
the Mugulashas, q.v., whose chief became the chief of both 
tribes; Margry IV, 453. 602. On "Colapissas" residing on 
Talcatcha or Pearl river, see Pani, p. 44. The Bayogoulas 
informed d'Iberville in 1699, that the " Quinipissas " lived 
fifty leagues east of them, and thirty or forty leagues distant 

cha'hta. 113 

from the sea, in six villages: Margry IV, 119. 120. Are 
they the Sixtown Indians ? 

The Bayogoula Indians inhabited a village on the Missis- 
sippi river, western shore (Margry IV, 119. 155), conjointly 
with the Mugulashas, sixty-four leagues distant from the 
sea, thirty-five leagues from the Humas, and eight days' 
canoe travel from Biloxi bay. 

Gommander Lemoyne d' Iberville graphically describes 
(Margry IV, 170-172) the village of the Bayogoula with its 
two temples and 107 cabins. The number of the males was 
rather large (200 to 250) compared to the paucity of women 
inhabiting it. A fire was burning in the centre of the 
temples, and near the door were figures of animals, the 
"choucoiiacha" or opossum being one of them. This word 
shukuasha is the diminutive of Cha'hta: shukata opossum, 
and contains the diminutive terminal -ushi. Shishikushi or 
"tambours f aits de calebasses," gourd-drums, is another Indian 
term occurring in his description, 1 probably borrowed from 
an Algonkin language of the north. A curious instance of 
sign language displayed by one of the Bayogoula chiefs will 
be found in Margry IV, 154. 155. 

The full form of the tribal name is Bayuk-okla or river-tribe, 
creek- or bayou-people; the Cha'hta word for a smaller river, 
or river forming part of a delta is bayuk, contr. bSk, and 
occurs in Boguechito, Bok'humma, etc. 

The JIuma, Ouma, Houma or Omma tribe lived, in the 
earlier periods of French colonization, seven leagues above 
the junction of Red river, on the eastern bank of Mississippi 
river. L. d'Iberville describes their settlement, 1699, as 
placed on a hill-ridge, 2^ leagues inland, and containing 140 
cabins, with about 350 heads of families. Their village is 
described in Margry IV, 177. 179. 265-271. 452, located by 
degrees of latitude: 32 15', of longitude: 281 25'. The 

1 Margry IV, 175 : " des tambours chychycouchy, qui sont des cale- 


limit between the lands occupied by the Huma and the 
Bayogoula was marked by a high pole painted red, in Cha'hta 
Istr-ouma (?), which stood on the high shores of Mississippi 
river at Baton Rouge, La. 1 Their hostilities with" the Tangi- 
pahoa are referred to by the French annalists, and ended in 
the destroying the Tangipahoa town by the Huma ; Margry 
IV, 168. 169. Cf. Taensa. A tribe mentioned in 1682 in 
connection with the Huma is that of the Chigilousa; Margry 

I, 563- 

Their language is distinctly stated to have differed from 
that of the Taensa, IV, 412. 448, and the tribal name, a 
Cha'hta term for red, probably refers to red leggings, as 
Opelusa is said to refer to black leggings or moccasins. 

They once claimed the ground on which New Orleans 
stands, and after the Revolution lived on Bayou Lafourche. 2 
A coast parish, with Houma as parish seat, is now called 
after them. 

The country south of the Upper Creek settlements, lying 
between Lower Alabama and Lower Chatahuchi river, must 
have been sparsely settled in colonial times, for there is but 
one Indian tribe, the Pensacola (pa n sha-6kla or "hair-people" 
mentioned there. This name is of Cha'hta origin, and there 
is a tradition that the old homes, or a part of them, of the 
Cha'hta nation lay in these tracts. On Escambia river there 
are Cha'hta at the present time, who keep up the custom of 
family vendetta or blood revenge, and that river is also men- 
tioned as a constant battle-field between the Creeks and 
Cha'hta tribes by W. Bartram. 8 When the Cha'hta concluded 
treaties with the United States Government involving cessions 
of land, they claimed ownership of the lands in question, 
even of some lands lying on the east side of Chatahuchi 
river, where they had probably been hunting from an early 

1 Thomas Hutchins, French America, Phila., 1784, p. 40. 

* Penicaut in Margry V, 395. 

* Travels, p. 436: "the bloody field of Schambe"; cf. 400. 414. 

cha'hta. 115 

period. A list of the way-stations and fords on the post-road 
between Lower Tallapoosa river and the Bay of Mobile is 
appended to Hawkins* Sketch, p. 85, and was probably 
written after 1813; cf. p. 83. This post-road was quite 
probably an old Indian war-trail traveled over by Creek 
warriors to meet the Cha'hta. 

The Conshac tribe, the topographic and ethnographic posi- 
tion of which is difficult to trace, has been located in these 
thinly-inhabited portions of the Gulf coast. La Harpe, whose 
annals are printed in B. F. French, Histor. Coll. of Louisiana, 
Vol. Ill, states (p. 44) that "two villages of Conshaques, 
who had always been faithful to the French and resided near 
Mobile Fort, had been driven out of their country because 
they would not receive the English among them (about 
1720)." The Conshacs and Alibamu were at war with the 
Tohome before 1702 ; cf. Margry IV, 512. 518. L. d'lber- 
ville, in 1702, gives their number at 2000 families, probably 
including the Alibamu, stating that both tribes have their 
first settlements 35 to 40 leagues to the northeast, on an 
eastern affluent of Mobile river, joining it five leagues above 
the fort. From these first villages to the E. N. E. there are 
other Conshac villages, known to the Spaniards as Apalachi- 
colys, with many English settled among them, and 60 to 65 
leagues distant from Mobile. 1 Du Pratz, who speaks of 
them from hearsay only, places them north of the Alibamu, 
and states that they spoke a language almost the same as the 
Chicasa (Hist. p. 208). "A small party of Coussac Indians 
is settled on Chacta-hatcha or Pea river, running into St. 
Rose's bay, 25 leagues above its mouth." 2 On the head- 
waters of Ikanfina river, H. Tanner's map (1827) has a locality 
called : Pokanaweethly Cootsa O. F. 

The origin of these different acceptations can only be 

1 Margry IV, 594. 595. 602. 

2 Thorn. Hutchins, French America, p. 83 (1784). B. Romans, Florida, 
p. 90. 


accounted for by the generic meaning of the appellation 
Conshac. It is the Cha'hta word kanshak: (i) a species of 
cane, of extremely hard texture, and (2) knife made from it. 
These knives were used throughout the Gulf territories, and 
thus d'Iberville and du Pratz call by this name the Creek 
Indians or Maskoki proper, while to others the Conchaques 
are the Cusha, Kusha, a Cha'hta tribe near Mobile bay, 
which is called by Rev. Byington in his manuscript dictionary 
Konshas, Konshaws. That the Creeks once manufactured 
knives of this kind is stated in our Kasi'hta migration legend. 

the representative of the western group of Maskoki dialects, 
differs in its phonetics from the eastern dialects chiefly by the 
more general vocalic nasalization previously alluded to. 
Words cannot begin with two consonants ; the Creek st is 
replaced by sht, and combinations like //, bt, nt do not 
occur (Byington's Grammar, p. 9). In short words the 
accent is laid upon the penultima. 

The cases of the noun are not so distinctly marked as they 
are in the eastern dialects by the case-suffixes in -/and -n, but 
have often to be determined by the hearer from the position 
of the words in the sentence. But in other respects, case 
and many other relations are pointed out by an extensive 
series of suffixed or enclitic syllables, mostly monosyllabic, 
which Byington calls article-pronouns, and writes as sepa- 
rate words. They are simply suffixes of pronominal origin, 
and correspond to our articles the, a, to our relative and 
demonstrative pronouns, partly also to our adverbs, prepo- 
sitions and conjunctions. They form combinations among 
themselves, and supply verbal inflection with its modal 
suffixes or exponents. Adjectives possess a distinct plural 
form, which points to their origin from verbs, but in sub- 
stantives number is not expressed except by the verb con- 
nected with them, or by means of separate words. 

cha'hta language^ 117 

There are two classes of personal pronouns, the relative 
and the absolute (the former referring to something said 
previously), but the personal inflection of the verb is effected 
by prefixes, the predicative suffix 'h being added to the end 
of each form in the affirmative conjugation. Only the first 
person of the singular is marked by a suffix : -It (increased by 
'h:-WK). The lack of a true substantive verb to be is to 
some extent supplied by this suffix -'h. Verbal inflection is 
rich in tenses and other forms, and largely modifies the radix 
to express changes in voice, mode and tense. The sway of 
phonetic laws is all-powerful here, and they operate whenever 
a slight conflict of syllables disagreeing with the delicate ear 
of the Cha'hta Indian takes place. 

Of abstract terms there exists a larger supply than in many 
other American languages. 

Several dialects of Cha'hta were and are still in existence, 
as the Sixtown dialect, the ones spoken from Mobile bay to 
New Orleans, those heard on the Lower Mississippi river, 
and that of the Chicasa. The dialect now embodied in the 
literary language of the present Cha'hta is that of the central 
parts of Mississippi State, where the American Protestant 
missionaries had selected a field of operation. 

Rev. Cyrus Byington (born 1793, died 1867) worked as a 
missionary among this people before and after the removal 
to the Indian territory. He completed the first draft of his 
"Choctaw Grammar" in 1834, and an extract of it was 
published by Dr. D. G. Brinton. 1 His manuscript "Choctaw 
Dictionary," now in the library of the U. S. Bureau of 
Ethnology, fills five folio volumes, contains about 17,000 
items (words, phrases and sentences), and was completed 
about 1833. The missionary alphabet used by him, which is 
also the alphabet of Cha'hta literature, is very imperfect, as 
it fails to express all sounds of the language by signs for each, 

1 Published in Proceedings of American Philosoph. Society, 1870 (56 
pages), 8vo. 


and entirely neglects accentuation. The pronunciation of 
Cha'hta is so delicate and pliant that only a superior scien- 
tific alphabet can approximately express its peculiar sounds 
and intonations. 

Cha'hta has been made the subject of linguistic inquiry by 
Fr. Miiller, Grundzuge d. Sprachwissenschaft, II, 232-238, 
and by Forchhammer in the Transactions of the Congres des 
Americanistes, 2d session, 1877, 8vo.j also by L. Adam. 


The Creek Indians or Maskoki proper occupy, in historic 
times, a central position among the other tribes of their 
affiliation, and through their influence and physical power, 
which they attained by forming a comparatively strong and 
permanent national union, have become the most noteworthy 
of all the Southern tribes of the United States territories. 
They still fdrm a compact body of Indians for themselves, 
and their history, customs and antiquities can be studied at 
the present time almost as well as they could at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century. But personal presence among the 
Creeks in the Indian Territory is necessary to obtain from 
them all the information which is needed for the purposes of 
ethnologic science. 

There is a tradition that when the Creek people incor- 
porated tribes of other nations into their confederacy, these 
tribes never kept up their own customs and peculiarities for 
any length of time, but were subdued in such a manner as to 
conform with the dominant race. As a confirmation of this, 
it is asserted that the Creeks annihilated the Yamassi Indians 
completely, so that they disappeared entirely among their 
number; that the Tukabatchi, Taskigi and other tribes of 
foreign descent abandoned their paternal language to adopt 
that of the dominant Creeks. 

But there are facts which tend to attenuate or disprove 
this tradition. The Yuchi, as well as the Naktche tribe and 


the tribes of Alibamu descent 1 have retained their language 
and peculiar habits up to the present time, notwithstanding 
their long incorporation into the Creek community. The 
Hitchiti, Apalatchukla and Sawokli tribes, with their branch 
villages, have also retained their language to this day, not- 
withstanding their membership in the extensive confederacy, 
a membership which must have lasted for centuries ; and in 
fact we cannot see how the retention of vernacular speech 
could hurt the interests of the community even in the slightest 
way. There were tribes among the Maskoki proper, which 
were said to have given up not only their own language, but 
also their customs, at a time which fell within the remem- 
brance of the living generation. Among their number was 
the Taskigi tribe, 2 on the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa 
rivers, whose earlier language was probably Cheroki. But, 
on the other side, a body of Chicasa Indians lived near 
Kasi^ta in historic times, which during their stay certainly 
preserved their language as well as their traditional customs. 
From Em. Bowen's map it appears that Chicasa Indians also 
lived on Savannah river (above the Yuchi) for some time, 
and many Cheroki must have lived within the boundaries of 
the consolidated Creek confederacy. The more there were 
of them, and the nearer they were to their own country, the 
more it becomes probable that they preserved their own 
language and paternal customs. The existence of Cheroki 
local names amid the Creek settlements strongly militates 
in favor of this; we have Etowa, Okoni, Chiaha, Tama'li, 
Atasi, Taskigi, Amakalli. 

In the minds of many of our readers it will ever remain 
doubtful that the Creek tribes immigrated into the territories 
of the Eastern Gulf States by crossing the Lower Mississippi 
river. But there is at least one fact which goes to show that 

1 Witumka (Great), Muklasi, and the four Alibamu villages named by 
Hawkins. To these we may add Koassati. 

2 Hawkins, p. 39. 


the settling of the Creeks proceeded from west to east and 
southeast. The oldest immigration to Chatahuchi river is 
that of the Kasi/ta and Kawita tribes, both of whom, as our 
legend shows, found the Kusa and the Apalatchukla with 
their connections, ■ in situ, probably the Abi/ka also. If 
there is any truth in the Hitchiti tradition, the tribes of this 
division came from the seashore, an indication which seems 
to point to the coast tracts afterwards claimed by the Cha'hta. 
All the other settlements on Chatahuchi river seem younger 
than Kasi/ta and Kawita, and therefore the Creek immigra- 
tion to those parts came from Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. 
At one time the northern or Cheroki-Creek boundary of the 
Coosa river settlements was Talatigi, now written Talladega, 
for the name of thjs town has to be interpreted by " Village 
at the End," italua atigi. If the name of Tallapoosa river, 
in Hitchiti Talepusi, can be derived from Creek talepu'la 
stranger, this would furnish another indication for a former 
allophylic population in that valley; but '1 rarely, if ever, 
changes into s. The Cheroki local names in these parts, 
and east from there, show conclusively who these "strangers" 
may have been. 

It appears from old charts, that Creek towns, or at least 
towns having Creek names, also existed west of Coosa river, 
as on Canoe creek : Litafatcha, and on Cahawba river : Talua 
hadsho, "Crazy Town," together with ruins of other villages 
above this. 


The towns and villages of the Creeks were in the eighteenth 
century built along the banks of rivers and their smaller 
tributaries, often in places subject to inundation during large 
freshets, which occurred once in about fifteen years. The 
smallest of them contained from twenty to thirty cabins, 
some of the larger ones up to two hundred, and in 1832 
Tukabatchi, then the largest of all the Creek settlements, 
harbored 386 families. Many towns appeared rather com- 


pactly built, although they were composed of irregular clusters 
of four to eight houses standing together; each of these 
clusters contained a gens ("clan or family of relations," 
C. Swan), eating and living in common. The huts and 
cabins of the Lower Creeks resembled, from a distance, 
clusters of newly-burned brick kilns, from the high color 
of the clay. 1 

It will be found appropriate to distinguish between Creek 
towns and villages. By towns is indicated the settlements 
which had a public square, by villages those which had none. 
The square occupied the central part of the town, and was 
reserved for the celebration of festivals, especially the annual 
busk or fast (puskita), for the meetings of chiefs, headmen 
and ' ' beloved men, ' ' and for the performance of daily dances. 
Upon this central area stood the " great house," tchuka 'lako, 
the council-house, and attached to it was a play-ground, 
called by traders the ' ' chunkey-yard. ' ' Descriptions of these 
places will be given below. 

Another thoroughgoing distinction in the settlements of 
the Creek nation was that of the red or war towns and the 
white or peace towns. 

The red or kipdya towns, to which C. Swan in 1791 refers 
as being already a thing of the past, were governed by war- 
riors only. The term red refers to the warlike disposition of 
these towns, but does not correspond to our adjective bloody; 
it depicts the wrath or anger animating the warriors when 
out on the war-path. The posts of their cabin in the public 
square were painted red on one side. 

The present Creeks still keep up formally this ancient dis- 
tinction between the towns, and count the following among 
the kipaya towns : 

Kawita, Tukabatchi, 'La- 'lako, Atasi, Ka-ilaidshi, Chiaha, 

1 Cf. Yuchi, p. 22. At the time of the conquest of Mexico by Cortez, 
many of the interior towns of that country were whitewashed in the same 
manner, by means of a shining white clay coating. 


Usudshi, Hutali-huyana, Alibamu, Yufala, Yufala hupayi, 
Hilapi, Kitcha-pataki. 

The white towns, also called peace towns, conservative towns, 
were governed by civil officers or mikalgi, and, as some of the 
earlier authors allege, were considered as places of refuge 
and safety to individuals who had left their tribes in dread 
of punishment or revenge at the hand of their pursuers. The 
modern Creeks count among the peace towns, called talua- 
mikagi towns, the following settlements : 

Hitchiti, Okfuski, Kastyta, Abi'hka, Abi/kudshi, Talisi, 
Oktchayi, Odshi-apofa, Lutchap6ka, Taskigi, Assi-lanapi or 
Green-Leaf, Wiwu^ka. 

Quite different from the above list is the one of the white 
towns given by Col. Benj. Hawkins in 1799, which refers to 
the Upper Creeks only : Okfuski and its branch villages (viz : 
Niuya/a, Tukabatchi Talahassi, Imukfa, Tutokagi, Atchinalgi, 
Okfuska'dshi, Sukap6ga, Ipis6gi); then Talisi, Atasi, Fus'-ha- 
tchi, Kuliimi. For this list and that of the kipaya towns, cf. 
his "Sketch," p. 51. 52. 

The ancient distinction between red and white towns began 
to fall into disuse with the approach of the. white colonists, 
which entailed the spread of agricultural pursuits among these 
Indians ; nevertheless frequent reference is made to it by the 
modern Creeks. 

Segmentation of villages is frequently observed in Indian 
tribes, and -the list below will give many striking instances. 
It was brought about by over-population, as in the case of 
Okfuski ; and it is probable that then only certain gentes, 
not a promiscuous lot of citizens, emigrated from a town. 
Other causes for emigration were the exhaustion of the culti- 
vated lands by many successive crops, as well as the need of 
new and extensive hunting grounds. These they could not 
obtain in their nearest neighborhood without warring with 
their proprietors, and therefore often repaired to distant 
countries to seek new homes (Bartram, Travels, p. 389). 


The frequent removals of towns to new sites, lying at short 
distances only, may be easily explained by the unhealthiness 
of the old site, produced by the constant accumulation of 
refuse and filth around the towns, which never had anything 
like sewers or efficient regulations of sanitary police. 

The distinction between Muscogulge and Siincard towns, 
explicitly spoken of in Wm. Bartram's Travels (see Appen- 
dices), refers merely to the form of speech used by the tribes 
of the confederacy. This epithet {Puants in French) may 
have had an opprobrious meaning in the beginning, but not 
in later times, when it simply served to distinguish the prin- 
cipal people from the accessory tribes. We find it also used 
. as a current term in the Naktche villages. 

Bartram does not designate as Stincards the tribes speaking 
languages of another stock than Maskoki, the Yuchi, for 
instance ; not even all of those that speak dialects of Maskoki 
other than the Creek. He calls by this savorous name the 
Muklasa, Witumka, Koassati, Chiaha, Hitchiti, Okoni, both 
Sawokli and a part of the Seminoles. He mentions the 
towns only, and omits all the villages which have branched 
off from the towns. 

The present Creeks know nothing of such a distinction. 
Although I do not know the Creek term which corresponded 
to it in the eighteenth century, it is not improbable that such 
a designation was in vogue ; for we find many similar oppro- 
brious epithets among other Indians, as Cuitlateca or "excre- 
menters" in Mexico; Puants or Metsmetskop among the 
Naktche 1 ; Inkalik, "sons of louse-eggs" among the Eskimo; 
Ka'katilsh or "arm-pit-stinkers" among the Klamaths of 
Southwestern Oregon; Moki or Mfiki," cadaverous, stinking," 
an epithet originally given to one of the Shinumo or Moki 
towns for lack of bravery, and belonging to the Shinumo 
language : miiki dead. 

The plural forms : tchilok6ga and tchilokogalgi designate 
1 Dumont, M&m. histor. de la Louisiane, I, 181. 


in Creek persons speaking another than the Creek language ; 
tchilokas / speak an alien language. "Stincards" would be 
expressed in Creek by isti fambagi. • Of all the gentes of the 
Chicasa that of the skunk or hushkoni was held in the lowest 
esteem, some of the lowest officials, as runners, etc., being 
appointed from it ; therefore it can be conjectured that from 
the Chicasa tribe a termMike "skunks," "stinkards," may- 
have been transferred and applied to the less esteemed gentes 
of other nations. 


In this alphabetic list of ancient Creek towns and villages 
I have included all the names of inhabited places which I 
have found recorded before the emigration of the people to the 
Indian Territory. The description of their sites is chiefly 
taken from Hawkins' "Sketch," one of the most instructive 
books which we possess on the Creeks in their earlier homes. 
Some of these town names are still existing in Alabama and 
Georgia, although the site "has not unfrequently changed. 
I have interspersed into the list a few names of the larger 
rivers. The etymologies added to the names contain the 
opinions of the Creek delegates visiting Washington every 
year, and they seldom differed among each other on any 
name. The local names are written according to my scien- 
tific system of phonetics, the only change introduced being 
that of the palatal tch for ch. 


AbVhka, one of the oldest among the Upper Creek towns; 
the oldest chiefs were in the habit of naming the Creek 
nation after it. Hawkins speaks of Abikudshi only, not 
of Abi'hka. It certainly lay somewhere near the Upper 
Coosa river, where some old maps have it. Emanuel 
Bo wen, "A new map of Georgia," has only "Abacouse," 
and this in the wrong place, below Kusa and above 


Great Talasse, on the western side of Coosa river. A 
town Abi'hka now exists in the Indian Territory. The 
name of the ancient town was pronounced Abi'hka, 
Api/ka and written Obika, Abeka, Abeicas, Abecka, 
Beicas, Becaes, etc. ; its people are called Api^kanagi. 
Some writers have identified them with the Kusa and also 
with the Conshacs, e. g. du Pratz. 1 D. Coxe, Carolana, 
p. 25, states that "the Becaes or Abecaes have thirteen 
towns, and the Ewemalas, between the Becaes and the 
Chattas, can raise five hundred fighting men " (1741). 
A part of the most ancient Creek customs originated 
here, as, for instance, the law for regulating marriages 
and for punishing adultery. The Creek term abi'hka 
signifies "pile at the base, heap at the root" (abi stem, 
pole), and was imparted to this tribe, "because in the 
contest for supremacy its warriors heaped up a pile of 
scalps, covering the base of the war-pole only. Before 
this achievement the tribe was called sak'hutga door, 
shutter, or simat'hutga italua shutter, door of the towns or 
tribes." Cf. ak'hutas I close a door, sak'hutga hawidshas 
I open a door. 

Abiku'dshi, an Upper Creek town on the right bank of 
Natche (now Tallahatchi) creek, five miles east of Coosa 
river, on a small plain. Settled from Abika, and by 
some Indians from Natche, q. v. Bartram (1775) states, 
that they spoke a dialect of Chicasa ; which can be true 
of a part of the inhabitants only. A spacious cave exists 
in the neighborhood. 

Ahiki creek, Hitchiti name of the upper course of Hitchiti 
creek, an eastern tributary of Chatahuchi river. Haw- 
kins (p. 60) writes it Ouhe-gee creek. • The name signi- 
fies "sweet potato-mother" (ahi, iki), from the circum- 
stance that when planting sweet potatoes (ahi), the fruit 

1 The map appended to the French edition of Bartram identifies them 
with the Kfisa : " Abikas ou Coussas." 


sown remains in the ground until the new crop comes to 

Alabama river is formed by the junction of Coosa, and 
Tallapoosa rivers; pursues a winding course between 
banks about fifty feet high, and joins Tombigbee river 
about thirty miles above Mobile bay, when it assumes the 
name of Mobile river. Its waters are pure, its current 
gentle; it runs about two miles an hour, and has 15-18 
feet depth in the driest season of the year. Boats travel 
from the junction to Mobile bay in about nine days, 
through a fertile country, with high, cleared fields and 
romantic landscapes (Hawkins). The hunting grounds 
of the Creeks extended to the water-shed between the 
Tombigbee and the Coosa and Alabama rivers. 

Amakalli, Lower Creek town, planted by Chiaha Indians 
on a creek of that name, which is the main water-course 
of Kitchofuni creek, a northern affluent of Flint river, 
Georgia. Inhabited by sixty men in 1 799. The name 
is not Creek; it seems identical with Amacalola, the 
Cheroki name of a picturesque cascade on Amacalola 
creek, a northern affluent of Etowa river, Dawson county, 
Georgia. The derivation given for it is: ama water, 
kalola sliding, tumbling. 

Anati tchdpko or "Long Swamp," a Hillabi village, ten 
miles above that town, on a northern tributary of 
Hillabi creek. A battle occurred there during the 
Creek or Red Stick war, January 24th, 1814. Usually 
written Enotochopko. The Creek term anati means 
a brushy, swampy place, where persons can secrete 

Apalatchukla, a Lower Creek town on the west bank of 
Chatahuchi river, 1^ miles below Chiaha. In Hawkins' 
time it was in a state of decay, but in former times had 
been a white or peace town, called (even now) Italua 
'lako "large town," and the principal community among 


the Lower Creek settlements. The name was abbre- 
viated into Palatchukla, and has also been transferred 
to the Chatahuchi river ; that river is now called Apa- 
lachicola below its confluence with the Flint river. Cf. 
Sawokli-udshi. Bartram (Travels, p. 522) states: The 
Indians have a tradition that the vast four-square ter- 
races, chunk yards, etc., at Apalachucla, old town, were 
"the ruins of an ancient Indian town and fortress." 
This "old town" lay one mile and a. half down the 
river from the new town, and was abandoned about 
1 750 on account of unhealthy location. Bartram viewed 
the " terraces, on which formerly stood their town-house 
or rotunda and square or areopagus," and gives a lucid 
description of them. About fifty years before his visit 
a general killing of the white traders occurred in this 
town, though these had placed themselves under the 
protection of the chiefs (Travels, pp. 388-390"). Con- 
cerning the former importance of this "white" town, 
"W. Bartram (Travels, p. 387) states, that " this town is 
esteemed the mother town or capital of the Creek con- 
federacy ; sacred to peace ; no captives are put to death 
or human blood spilt there; deputies from all Creek 
towns assemble there when a general peace is proposed." 
He refers to the town existing at the time of his visit, 
but implicitly also to the " old Apalachucla town." The 
ancient and correct form of this name is Apala^tchukla, 
and of the extinct tribe east of it, on Apalache bay, 
Apala/tchi. Judge G. W. Stidham heard of the fol- 
lowing etymology of the name : In cleaning the ground 
for the town square and making it even, the ground and 
sweeping finally formed a ridge on the outside of the 
chunk-yard or play-ground; from this ridge the town 
was called apala^tch'-ukla. More upon this subject, cf. 
Apalachi. An Apalachicola Fort on Savannah river is 
mentioned on p. 20. 


Apatd-i, a village of the Lower Creeks, settled by Kasi'hta 
people on Big creek or Hatchi 'lako, twenty miles east 
of Chatahuchi river, in Georgia. The name refers to 
a sheet-like covering, from apatayas I cover; cf. patakas 
I spread out; the Creek word apata-i signifies any 
covering comparable to wall-papers, carpets, etc. The 
town of Upotoy now lies on Upotoy creek, Muscogee 
county, Alabama, in 32 38' Lat. 

Assi-ldnapi, an Upper Creek town, called Oselanopy in 
the Census list of 1832. It probably lay on Yellow Leaf 
creek, which joins Coosa river from the west about five 
miles below Talladega creek. From it sprang Green- 
leaf Town in the Indian Territory, since lani means 
yellow and green at the same time. Green is now more 
frequently expressed by pahi-lani. 

Atasi, or Atassi, an Upper Creek town oh the east side 
of Tallapoosa river, below and adjoining Kalibi hatchi 
creek. It was a miserable-looking place in Hawkins' 
time, with about 43 warriors in 1766. Like that of all 
the other towns built on Tallapoosa river, below its falls, 
the site is low and unhealthy. The name is derived from 
the war-club (a'tassa), and was written Autossee, Ottossee, 
Otasse, Ot-tis-se, etc. Battle on November 29th, 1813. 
A town in the Indian Territory is called after it A'tesi, 
its inhabitants Atesalgi. ' 'A post or column of pine, forty 
feet high, stood in the town of Autassee, on a low, cir- 
cular, artificial hill." Bartram, Travels, p. 456. Cf. 

Alchina-dlgi, or " Cedar Grove," the northernmost of all 
the Creek settlements, near the Hillabi-Etowa trail, on 
a side creek of Tallapoosa river and forty miles above 
Niuya'a^a. Settled from Lutchapoga. 

A t china Hdtchi, or " Cedar Creek," a village settled by 
Indians from Ka-ilaidshi, q. v. on a creek of the same 


Chatahuchi,*. former town of the Lower Creeks, on the 
headwaters of Chatahuchi river. Probably abandoned 
in Hawkins' time ; he calls it " old town Chatahutchi ; " 
cf. Chatahuchi river. Called Chata Uche by Bartram 
( I 77S)> Chatahoosie by Swan (1791). 

Chatahuchi river is the water-course dividing, in its 
lower portion, the State of Alabama from that of Georgia. 
On its banks were settled the towns and villages of the 
Lower Creeks. Its name is composed of tchatu rock, 
stone and hutchi marked, provided with signs, and hence 
means: " Pictured Rocks." Rocks of this description 
are in the bed of the river, at the "old town Chatahu- 
chi," above Hu'li-taika (Hawkins, p. 52). Other names 
for this river were : Apalachukla river (Wm. Bartram), 
Cahoiiita or Apalachoocoly river (Jefferys' map in John 
Bartram's report). 

Che'l&ko Mini, or "Horse-Trail," a Lower Creek town 
on the headwaters of Chatahuchi river, settled by 
Okfuski Indians. Mentioned in 1832 as Chelucco- 
ninny. Probably identical with Okfuski-Nini; see Ok- 
fuskudshi, and : Indian Pathways. 

Chi a ha, or Tchiaha, Chehaw, a Lower Creek town just 
below Osotchi town and contiguous to it, on western 
bank of Chatahuchi river. The Chiaha Indians had in 
1799 spread out in villages on the Flint river, of which 
Hawkins names Amakalli, Hotali-huyana; and at Chiahu- 
dshi. Here a trail crossed the Chatahuchi river (Swan, 
1791). A town of the same name, " where otters live," 
existed among the Cheroki. An Upper Creek town 
of this name, with twenty-nine heads of families, is 
mentioned in the Census list of 1832 (Schoolcraft 
IV, 578). 

Chiahu' dshi , or "Little Chiaha," a Lower Creek town 
planted by Chiaha Indians in a pine forest one mile and 
a half west of Hitchiti town. Cf. Hitchiti, pp. 77. sqq. 


Chiska talbfa, a Lower Creek town on the west side of 
Chatahuchi river. Morse, Report, p. 364, refers to it 
under the name of " Cheskitalowas " as belonging to 
the Seminole villages. Is it Chisca, or " Chisi provin- 
cia ", visited by the army of H. de Soto in 1540 ? Haw- 
kins states that Chiske tal6fa hatche was the name given 
to Savannah river (from tchiska base of tree). 

Coosa River, (i)an affluent of Alabama river in Eastern 
Alabama, in Creek Kusa-hatchi, runs through the roughest 
and most hilly district formerly held by the Creek 
Indians. "It is rapid, and so full of rocks and shoals 
that it is hardly navigable even for canoes": Swan, in 
Schoolcraft V, 257. Cusawati is an affluent of Upper 
Coosa river, in northwestern Georgia, a tract where 
Cheroki local names may be expected. 

(2) A water-course of the same name, Coosawhatchie, 
passes southeast of Savannah City, South Carolina, into 
the Atlantic ocean. For the etymology, see Kusa. 

Fin'-hdlu i, a town of the Lower Creeks or Seminoles. The 
name signifies a high bridge, or a high foot-log, and the 
traders' name was "High Log" (1832). 

A swamp having the same name, Finholoway Swamp, 
lies in Wayne county, between the lower Altamaha and 
Satilla rivers, Georgia. 

Fish- Ponds, or Fish-Pond Town; cf. 'La'lo-kalka. 

Flint River, in Creek 'Lonotiska hatchi, an eastern 
Georgian affluent of Chatahuchi river, and almost of 
the same length. Creeks, Yuchi and Seminole Indians 
were settled on it and on its numerous tributaries, one 
of which is 'Lonoto creek, also called Indian creek, 
Dooley county, Georgia. From 'lonoto flint. 

Fort Toulouse ; cf. Taskigi. This fort was also called, 
from the tribe settled around it, Fort Alibamu, Fort 
Albamo, Fort Alebahmah, Forteresse des Alibamons. 
Abandoned by the French in 1 762. 


Fu si- hate hi, Fus'-hdtchi, or "Birdcreek," a town of the 
Upper Creeks, built on the right or northern bank of 
Tallapoosa river, two miles below Hu'li-Wali. Remains 
of a walled town on the opposite shore. 

Hate hi t chap a, or "Half-way Creek," a small village 
settled in a pine forest by Ka-ilaidshi Indians, q. v. 

Hickory Ground; cf. Odshi-ap6fa. 

Hillabi, pronounced Hi'lapi, an Upper Creek town on 
Ko-ufadi creek, which runs into Hillabi creek one mile 
from the village. Hillabi creek is a western tributary of 
Tallapoosa river, and joins it eight miles below Niuya^a. 
The majority of the Hillabi people had settled in four 
villages of the vicinity in 1799, which were: 'Lanudshi 
apala, Anati tchapko, Istudshi-laika, Uktaha 'lasi. 

A battle took place in the vicinity on November 18th, 
1 8 1 3. Though the name is of difficult analysis, it is said 
to refer to quickness, velocity (of the water-course?) 

Hitchiti , a Lower Creek town with branch villages; cf. 
Hitchiti, p. 77 sqq. 

Hit chitu'dshi; cf. Hitchiti, p. 77. 

Hbtali-huydna, a Lower Creek town, planted by Chi- 
aha Indians on the eastern bank of Flint river, six miles 
below the Kitchofuni creek junction. Osotchi settlers 
had mingled with the twenty families of the village. 
The name means: "Hurricane Town," for hutali in 
Creek is wind, huyana passing; it therefore marks a 
locality once devastated by a passing hurricane. Called 
Tallewheanas, in Seminole list, p. 72. 

Hu ' li- taiga, a Lower Creek village on Chatahuchi river, 
planted by Okfuski Indians. Bartram calls it Hothteto- 
ga, C. Swan : Hohtatoga (Schoolcraft, Indians V, 262) ; 
the name signifies "war-ford," military river-passage. 

Hul' i-Wa' hli, an Upper Creek town on the right 
bank of Tallapoosa river, five miles below Atasi. This 
town obtained its name from the privilege of declaring 


war (hu'li war, awa'hlita to share out, divide) ; the decla- 
ration was first sent to Tukabatchi, and from there among 
the other tribes. The town bordered west on Atas'- 
hatchi creek. The name is written Clewauley (1791), 
Ho-ithle-Wau-lee (Hawkins), Cleu-wath-ta (1832), 
Quale, Clewulla, etc. 

Ikanatch&ka, or Holy Ground, a town on the southern 
side of Alabama river, built on holy ground, and there- 
fore said to be exempt from any possible inroads of the 
white people. Weatherford, the leader of the insurgent 
Creeks, and their prophet Hilis'-hako resided there; 
the forces gathered at this place by them were defeated 
December 23d, 1813. From ikana ground, atchaka be- 
loved, sacred. 

Ik an' -hatki, or "white ground," a Shawano town just 
below Kulumi, and on the same side of Tallapoosa river. 
"Cunhutki speaks the Muscogulge tongue"; W. Bar- 
tram (1775). 

Im u kfa , an Upper Creek town on Imukfa creek, west of 
Tallapoosa river. Near this place, in a bend or penin- 
sula formed by the Tallapoosa river, called Horse Shoe 
by the whites, the American troops achieved a decisive 
victory over the Red Stick party of the Creek Indians 
on March 25th, 1814, which resulted in the surrender of 
Weatherford, their leader, and put an end to this bloody 
campaign. Not less than five hundred and fifty-seven 
Creek warriors lost their lives in this battle. The term 
imukfa is Hitchiti, for (1) shell; (2) metallic ornament of 
concave shape ; Hawkins interprets the name by " gorget 
made of a conch." In Hitchiti, bend of river is hatchi 
pa/utchki; ha'htchafashki, hatsafaski is river-bend in 
Creek. Tohopeka is another name for this battle-field, 
but does not belong to the Creek language. 

Intatchkdlgi, or '* collection of beaver dams," a Yuchi 
town of Georgia settled twenty-eight miles up Opil-'lako 


creek, a tributary of Flint river. A square was built by 
the fourteen families of this town in 1798. Tatchki 
means anything straight, as a dam, beaver dam, line, 
boundary line, etc., ikan'-tatchka survey-line ; the above 
creek was probably Beaver- dam creek, an eastern tribu- 
tary of Flint river, joining it about 32 15' Lat. 

Ipisbgi, an Upper Creek town upon Ipis6gi creek, a large 
eastern tributary of Tallapoosa river, joining it opposite 
Okfuski. Forty settlers in 1799. Cf. Pin-h6ti. 

Istapbga, an Upper Creek settlement not recorded in the 
earlier documents ; a place of this name exists now east 
of Coosa river, Talladega county, Alabama. The name, 
usually written Eastaboga, signifies: "where people 
reside " (isti people; ap6kita to reside). 

Istudshi-laika, or "child lying there," a Hillabi 
village, on Hillabi creek, four miles below Hillabi town. 
It owes its name to the circumstance that a child was 
found on its site. 

Ka-ilaidshi, an Upper Creek town, on a creek of the 
same name, which joins Oktchoyi creek, a western tribu- 
tary of Tallapoosa river, joining it fifteen miles above 
Tukabatchi. The two villages, Atchina Hatchi and 
Hatchi tchapa, branched off from this town. The name 
was variously written Ki-a-li-ge, Kiliga, Killeegko, Kio- 
lege, and probably referred to a warrior's head dress : ika 
his head; ilaidshas I kill. 

Kan' -tchati, Kanshade, "Red dirt," "Red earth," an 
Upper Creek town, mentioned in 1835 as " Con- 
chant-ti." Conchardee is a place a few miles north- 
west of Talladega. 

Kasi' hta, a Lower Creek town on the eastern bank of 

' Chatahuchi river, two and a half miles below Kawita 

Talahassi; Kasi'hta once claimed the lands above the 

falls of the Chatahuchi river on its eastern bank. In 

this town and tribe our migration legend has taken its 


origin. Its branch settlements spread out on the right 
side of the river, the number of the warriors of the town 
and branches being estimated at 180 in 1799; it was 
considered the largest among the Lower Creeks. The 
natives were friendly to the whites and fond of visiting 
them; the old chiefs were orderly men, desirous and 
active in restraining the young "braves" from the 
licentiousness which they had contracted through their 
intercourse with the scum of the white colonists. Haw- 
kins makes some strictures at their incompetency for 
farming ; " they do not know the season for planting, or, 
if they do, they never avail themselves of what they 
know, as they always plant one month too late " (p. 59). 
A large conical mound is described by him as standing 
on the Kasi'hta fields, forty-five yards in diameter at its 
base, and flat on the top. Below the town was the \ old 
Cussetuh town," on a high flat, and afterwards "a Chica- 
saw town " occupied this site (p. 58). A branch village 
of Kasi' hta is Apata-i, q. v. The name Kasi' hta, Kasi^ta, 
is popularly explained as "coming from the sun" (ha'si) 
and being identical with hasi'hta. The' Creeks infer, 
from the parallel Creek form hasoti, "sunshine," that 
Kasi'hta really meant "light," or "bright splendor of 
the sun; " anciently, this term was used for the sun him- 
self, "as the old people say." The inhabitants of the 
town believed that they came from the sun. Cf. Yuchi. 
A place Cusseta is now in Chatahuchi county, Georgia, 
32 20' Lat. 

Kawaiki , a town of the Lower Creeks, having forty- five 
heads of families in 1832. Kawaiki Creek is named 
after quails. 

Kawita, a Lower Creek town on the high western bank 
of Chatahuchi river, three miles below its falls. The 
fishery in the western channel of the river, below the 
falls, belonged to Kawita, that in the eastern channel 


to Kasi'hta. In Hawkins' time (1799) many Indians 
had settled on streams in the vicinity, as at Hatchi 
ika, "Creek-Head." Probably a colony of Kawita 

Kawita Talahdssi, "old Kawita Town," a Lower Creek 
town two miles and a half below Kawita, on the western 
side of the river, and half a mile from it. Old Kawita 
town was the "public establishment" of the Lower 
Creeks, and in 1799 could raise sixty-five warriors; it was 
also the seat of the United States agent. Kawita Tala- 
hassi had branched off by segmentation from Kasi'hta, 
as shown in the migration legend, and itself has given 
origin to a village called Witumka, on Big Yuchi creek. 
The town was a political centre for the nation, and is 
referred to by the traveler Wm. Bartram (1775), p. 389. 
463, in-the following terms: "The great Coweta town, 
on Chatahuchi or Apalachucly river, twelve miles above 
Apalachucla town, is called the bloody town, where the 
micos, chiefs and warriors assemble, when a general war 
is proposed, and here captives and state malefactors are 
put to death. Coweta speaks the Muscogulgee tongue." 
Colden, Five Nations, p. 5, mentions an alliance con- 
cluded between the Iroquois of New York and the 
Cowetas; but here the name Cowetas is used in the 
wider sense of Creek Indians or Lower Creek Indians. 
The Creek form is Kawitalgi, or isti Kawitalgi. Written 
Caouita by French authors. Cf. Apalatchukla. 

Kitcho-pat&ki, an Upper Creek town, now name of a 
Creek settlement in the Indian Territory. From kitchu 
"maize-pounding block of wood" ; pataki "spreading 
out." Kitchopataki creek joins Tallapoosa river from 
the west a few miles below Okfuskee, in Randolph 
county, Alabama. 

Koassati, an Upper Creek town. Cf. special article on 
this tribe, pp. 89. 90. 


Kulumi, Upper Creek town on right side of Tallapoosa 
river, small and compact, below Fusi-hatchi and con- 
tiguous to it. A conical mound, thirty feet in diameter, 
was seen by Hawkins, opposite the "town-house." 
A part of the inhabitants had settled on Likasa creek. 
The signification of the name is unknown, but it may 
have connection with a'hkolumas / clinch (prefix a- for 
ani /). Of the "old Coolome town," which stood on 
the opposite shore of Tallapoosa river, a few houses were 
left at the time of Bartram's visit, c. 1775 (Travels, 

P- 395)- 
Ku sa,(.i) an old capital of the Creek people, referred to as 
Coca by the historians of de Soto's expedition, on the 
eastern bank of Coosa river, between Yufala and Natche 
creeks, which join Coosa river from the east, a quarter 
of a mile apart. 1 The town stood on a high hill in the 
midst of a rich limestone country, forty miles above 
Pakan-Talahassi and sixty above Taskigi, q. v. Bartram 
saw it (1775), half deserted and in ruins. "The great 
and old beloved town of refuge, Koosah, which stands 
high on the eastern side of a bold river, about two hun- 
dred and fifty yards broad, that runs by the late danger- 
ous Alebahma fort, down to the black poisoning Mobille, 
and so into the gulph of Mexico:" Adair, History, p. 
395 . This town, which was also, as it seems, the sojourning 
place of Tristan de Luna's expedition (1559), must have 
been one of the earliest centres of the Maskoki people, 
though it does not appear among its "four leading 
towns". Its inhabitants may at one time have been 
comprised under the people of the neighboring Abi'hka 
town, q. v. K6sa is the name of a small forest-bird, re- 
sembling a sparrow ; but the name of the town and river 
could possibly be an ancient form of o'sa, Osa, 'osa poke 
or pokcweed, a plant with red berries, which grows plen- 
1 Now called Talladega and Tallahatchi creeks. 


tifully and to an enormous height throughout the South. 
Cf. Coosa river. It is more probable, however, that the 
name is of Cha'hta origin ; cf. (3). 

(2) A town, "Old Kusa" or "Coussas old village," 
is reported a short distance below Fort Toulouse, on the 
northern shore of Alabama river, between Taskigi and 
Koassati. It was, perhaps, from this place that the Ala- 
bama river was, in earlier times, called Coosa or Coussa 
river, but since Hawkins and others make no mention of 
this town, I surmise that it was identical with Koassati, 
the name being an abbreviation from the latter. 

(3) The Kusa, Cusha or Coosa towns, on the Kusa 
Creeks, formed a group of the eastern Cha'hta settle- 
ments. From Cha'hta kush reed, cane which corresponds 
to the koa, koe of Creek. Cf. p. 108. 

'L&'lo-kdlka, "Fish-Pond Town," or "Fish-Ponds, " 
an Upper Creek town on a small creek forming 
ponds, fourteen miles above its junction with Alko- 
hatchi, a stream running into Tallapoosa river from the, 
west, four miles above Okfuski. The name is abbrevi- 
ated from 'la'lo-akalka fish separated, placed apart; 
from 'Ik'lofish, akalgas I am separated from. This was a 
colony planted by Oktchayi Indians, q. v. 

'Lanudshi apala, or "beyond a little mountain," a 
Hillabi place fifteen miles from that town and on the 
northwest branch of Hillabi creek; had a "town-house ' ' 
or public square. 

'Lap'lako, or "Tall Cane," "Big Reed," the name of 
two villages of the Upper Creeks, mentioned in 1832. 
'Lap is a tall cane, from which sarbacanes or blow-guns 
are made. 

' Le-katchka, ' Li-i-k&tchka, or "Broken Arrow," a 

Lower Creek town on a ford of the southern trail, 

which crossed Chatahuchi river at this point, twelve 

miles below Kasi'hta and Kawita (Swan, 1791). Bar- 



tram calls it Tukauska, Swan : Chalagatsca. Called so 
because reeds were obtained there for manufacturing 
arrow shafts. 

Lutchapbga, or "Terrapin-Resort," an Upper Creek 
town, probably near Tallapoosa river. The village 
Atchina-algi was settled by natives of this town (Haw- 
kins, p. 47), but afterwards incorporated with Okfuski. 
Also mentioned in the Census list of 1832. A place 
called Loachapoka is now in Lee county, Alabama, 
about half-way between Montgomery and West Point. 
From lutcha terrapin, p6ka killing-place ; poyas I destroy, . 
kill; pdka occurs only in compound words. 

H. S. Tanner's map (1827) marks an Indian town 
Luchepoga on west bank of Tallapoosa river, about ten 
miles above Tukabatchi Talahassi; also Luchanpogan 
creek, as a western tributary of Chatahuchi river, in 33 
8' Lat., just below Chatahuchi town. 

Muklasa, a small Upper Creek town one mile below 
Sawan6gi and on the same side of Tallapoosa river. In 
times of freshet the river spreads here nearly eight miles 
from bank to bank. Bartram states, that Mucclasse 
speaks the "Stincard tongue," and the list of 1832 writes 
" Muckeleses." They are Alibamu, and a town of that 
name is in the Indian Territory. " The Wolf-king, our 
old, steady friend of the Amooklasah Town, near the late 
Alebahina" (Adair, History, p. 277). The name points 
to the Imuklasha, a division of the Cha'hta people; 
imtikla is the " opposite people," referring to the two 
iksa, jKashap-ukla and Ukla i"hula'hta. Cf. Cha'hta, p. 
104^ and Mugulasha, p. in. 112. 

Natch,e (better Naktche), on "Natche creek, five miles 

above Abiku'dshi, scattering for two miles on a rich 

flat below the fork of the creek, which is an' eastern 

tributary of Upper Coosa river." 1 Peopled by the 

1 Now called Tallahatchi creek. 


remainder of the Naktche tribe on Mississippi river, 
and containing from fifty to one hundred warriors in 
1799. The root talua was dug by them in this vicinity. 
Bartram states, that " Natchez speak Muscogee and 
Chicasaw" (1775). 

Niuy&x a , village of the Upper Creeks, settled by Tukpafka 
Indians in 1777, twenty miles above Okfuski, on the east 
bank of Tallapoosa river. It was called so after the 
Treaty of New York, concluded between the United 
States Government and the Creek confederacy, at a date 
posterior to the settlement of this town, August 7th, 1790. 

Nofafi i creek, an affluent of Yufabi creek. Cf. Yufabi, 
and Annotations to the Legend. 

Odshi-aJ>bfa, or " Hickory-Ground," an Upper Creek 
town on the eastern bank of Coosa river, two miles 
above the fork of the river; from o'dshi hickory, api 
tree, stem, trunk, -ofa, -ofan, a suffix pointing to locality. 
The falls of Coosa river, one mile above the town, can 
be easily passed in canoes, either up or down. The town 
had forty warriors at the time of Hawkins' visit (1799). 
Identical with Little Talisi; Milfort, p. 27: "le petit 
Talessy ou village des Noyers." A map of this section 
will be found in Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 255. Literally: 
" in the hickory grove." 

Okfuski (better Akfaski), an Upper Creek town, erected 
on both sides of Tallapoosa river, about thirty-five miles 
above Tukabatchi. The Indians settled on the eastern 
side came from Chatahuchi river, and had founded on 
it three villages, Che'lako-Ni'ni, Hul'i-taiga, Tchuka 
l'ako, q. v. In 1799 Okfuski (one hundred and eighty 
warriors) with its seven branch villages on Tallapoosa 
river (two hundred and seventy warriors) was considered 
the largest community of the confederacy. The shrub 
Bex cassine was growing there in clumps. These seven 
villages were : Niuyaya, Tukabatchi Talahassi, Imukfa, 


Tu/tukagi, Atchina-algi, Ipisogi, Suka-ispoka. The 
Creek term akfaski, akfuski signifies point, tongue of a 
confluence, promontory, from ak- down in, faski sharp, 
pointed. Tallapoosa river was also called Okfuski river. 

Okfusku'dshi, or "Little Okfuski," a part of a small 
village four miles above Niuya^a. Some of these people 
formerly inhabited Okfuski-Nini, on Chatahuchi river, 
but were driven from there by Georgian volunteers in 
1793. Cf. Che'lako-Nini. 

O ki-tiydkni , a lower Creek village on the eastern bank 
of Chatahuchi river, eight miles below Yufala. Haw- 
kins writes it O-ke-teyoc-en-ni, and Morse, Report, p. 
364, mentions among the Seminole settlements, " Oka- 
tiokinans, near Fort Gaines." Oki-tiyakni, a Hitchiti 
term, means either whirlpool, or river-bend. 

Okmulgi (r), a Lower Creek town on the east side of Flint 
river, near H6tali-huyana. The name signifies ' ' bubbling, 
boiling water," from H. 6ki water; mulgis it is boiling, 
in Creek and Hitchiti. 

(2) East of Flint river is Okmulgi river, which, after 
joining Little Okmulgi and Ok6ni rivers, forms Altamaha 

Okoni, a small Lower Creek town, six miles below Apa- 
lachukla, on the western bank of Chatahuchi river; 
settled by immigrants from a locality below the Rock 
Landing on Ok6ni river, Georgia. They spoke the 
"Stincard tongue," and probably were Apalachians 
of the Hitchiti-Mikasuki dialect. Cf. Cuscowilla, under 
the head of: Seminole. The name is the Cheroki term 
ekuoni river, from ikaa. great, large, viz.: "great water." 
Bartram, who encamped on the site of the old Okoni 
town on Ok6ni river, states (Travels, p. 378), that the 
Indians abandoned that place about 1710, on account 
of the vicinity of the white colonists, and built a town 
among the Upper Creeks. Their roving disposition im- 


pelled them to leave this settlement also, and to migrate 
to the fertile Alachua plains, where they built Cuscowilla 
on the banks of a lake, and had to defend it against the 
attacks of the Tomocos, Utinas, Calloosas (?), Yamases 
and other remnant tribes of Florida, and the more 
northern refugees from Carolina, all of whom were 
helped by the Spaniards. Being reinforced by other 
Indians from the Upper Creek towns, " their uncles," 
they repulsed the aggressors and destroyed their villages, 
as well as those of the Spaniards. This notice probably 
refers to the Indian troubles with the Yamassi, which 
occurred long before 1710, since inroads are recorded as 
early as 1687. Hawkins, p. 65, states that the town 
they formerly occupied on Ok6ni river stood just below 
the Rock Landing, once the site of a British post about 
four miles below Milledgeville, Georgia. 
Oktchdyi, an Upper Creek town built along Oktchayi 
creek, a western tributary of Tallapoosa river. The 
town, mentioned as Oak-tchoy in 1791, lay three miles 
below Ka-ilaidshi, in the central district. Cf. 'La'lo- 
kalka. Milfort, Memoire, p. 266. 267, calls the tribe : 
les Oxiailles. 
Oktchayu' dshi, a "little compact town" of the Upper 
Creek Indians, on the eastern bank of Coosa river, be- 
tween Otchi-apofa and Taskigi, its cabins joining those 
of the latter town. Their maize fields lay on the same 
side of the river, on the Sambelo grounds, below Sam- 
belo creek. They removed their village to the eastern 
side of Tallapoosa river on account of former Chicasa 
raids. The name of the town, "Little Oktchayi," 
proves it to be a colony or branch of Oktchayi, q. v.; 
PI. Porter says it is a branch of Okfuski. 
OpiV - 'lako , or "Big Swamp," from opilua swamp, 'lako 
large. (1) An Upper Creek town on a stream of the 
same name, which joins Pakan'-Talahassi creek on its 


left side. The town was twenty miles from Coosa river ; 
its tribe is called Pinclatchas by C. Swan (1791). 

(2) A locality west of Kasi'hta; cf. Talisi. 

(3) A stream running into Flint river, Georgia. Cf. 

Osotchi, Osutchi, Osudshi, or Usutchi, a Lower Creek 
town about two miles below Yuchi town, on the 
western bank of Chatahuchi river, whose inhabitants 
migrated to this place in 1794 from Flint river. The 
town. adjoins that of Chiaha; Bartram calls it Hoositchi. 
The descendants of it and of Chiaha have consolidated 
into one town in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory. 
Cf. Hawkins, p. 63. 

Padshilaika, or "Pigeon Roost;" (1) a Yuchi town on 
the junction of Padshilaika creek with Flint river, Macon 
county, Georgia, about 32 38' Lat. The village suf- 
fered heavily by the loss of sixteen warriors, who were 
murdered by Benjamin Harrison and his associates ; cf. 
Hawkins, p. 62 sq. 

(2) Patsilaika river was the name of the western 
branch of Conecuh river, in Southern Alabama, Coving- 
ton county, which runs into Escambia river and Pensa- 
cola bay. From padshi pigeon, and laikas I sit down, am 

Pdkan'- Talahdssi, Upper Creek town on a creek of 
the same name, which joins Coosa river from the east, 
forty miles below Kusa town. From ipakana, may apple, 
italua town, hassi ancient, in the sense of waste. G. W. 
Stidham interprets the name: "Old Peach Orchard 

Pin'-hoti, or "Turkey-Home," an Upper Creek town on 
the right side of a small tributary of Ipis6gi creek ; cf. 
Ipisogi. The trail from Niuya^a to Kawita Talahassi 
passed through this settlement. From pinua turkey, huti, 
hoti home. 


Pdlchus'-hdtchi, Upper Creek town in the central dis- 
trict, on a stream of the same name, which joins Coosa 
river from the northeast, four miles below Pakan'-Tala- 
hassi. The town was in Coosa or Talladega county, 
Alabama, forty miles above the junction; the name 
signifies "Hatchet-Stream": potchusua hatchet, ax; 
hatchi water-course. 

Sakapatayi, Upper Creek town in the central district, 
now Socopatoy, on a small eastern tributary of Potchus'- 
hatchi, or Hatchet creek, Coosa county, Alabama; pro- 
nounced also Sakapat6-i by Creek Indians. Probably 
refers to water-lilies covering the surface of a pond, the 
seeds of them being eaten by the natives; from sak- 
patagas I lie inside (a covering, blanket, etc.) A legend, 
which evidently originated from the name already exist- 
ing, relates that wayfarers passing there had left a large 
provision-basket (saka) at this locality, which was upset 
and left rotting, so that finally it became flattened out : 
from pataidshas / spread out something; patayi, partic. 
pass., shaken out. 

Sauga Hatchi, Upper Creek town on a stream of the 
same name, which runs into Tallapoosa river from the 
east, ten miles below Yufala. In 1 799 the thirty young 
men of this place had joined Talisi town. Hawkins, 
p. 49, renders the name by "cymbal creek." Sauga is 
a hard-shelled fruit or gourd, similar to a cocoa-nut, used 
for making rattles ; safikas I am rattling. 

Sawanbgi , or "Shawanos," a town settled by Shawano - 
Algonkins, but belonging to the Creek confederacy. It 
stood on the left or southern side of Tallapoosa river, 
three miles below Likasa creek. The inhabitants (in 
1799) retained the customs and language of their coun- 
trymen in the northwest, and had joined them in their 
late war against the United States. Some Yuchi Indians 
lived among them. The " town -house " was an oblong 


square cabin, roof "eight feet pitch," sides and roof 
covered with pine-bark. Cf. Ikan'-hatki. 

Saw ok It, or Great Sawokli, Sa-ukli, a Lower Creek town, 
six miles below Okoni, on the west bank of Chatahuchi 
river, and four miles and a half above Wilani ("Yellow 
Water ") Creek junction. The Hitchiti word sawi means 
racoon, ukli town; and both Sawokli towns spoke the 
"Stincard tongue" (Bartram). Called Chewakala in 
1 791; Swaglaw, etc. Among the Hitchiti the mikalgi 
were appointed from the racoon gens only. 

Sawokli-u'dshi, or "Little Sawokli," a Lower Creek 
town on the eastern bank of Chatahuchi river, four miles 
below Okoni town ; contained about twenty families in 
1799. About 1865 both Sawokli towns in the Indian 
Territory have disbanded into the Talua 'lako ; cf. Apa- 

Suka-ispbka, or Suka-ishp6gi, called "Hog Range" by 
the traders, a small Upper Creek village situated on the 
western bank of Upper Tallapoosa river, twelve miles 
above Okfuski; its inhabitants had in 1799 moved, for 
the larger part, to Imukfa. It is the place called else- 
where Soguspogus, Sokaspoge, Hog Resort, the name 
meaning literally: "hog-killing place." Cf. Lutcha- 

Ta.latigi, now Talladega, an Upper Creek settlement in 
the central district east of Coosa river. A battle was 
fought there November 7th, 181 3. The name signifies 
"border town," from italua town and atigi at the end, 
on the border; cf. atigis "it is the last one, it forms the 
extremity." Cf. Kusa (1). 

Talisi, abbrev. Talsi, or: "Old Town," a contraction of 
the term italua hassi; a town of the Upper Creeks on 
the eastern bank of Tallapoosa river, opposite Tuka- 
batchi, in the fork of Yufabi creek. In Hawkins' time 
the natives of this place had for the larger part left the 


town and settled up Yufabi creek, and the chief, 
Hobo-i'li miko, was at variance with the United States 
and Spanish colonial authorities. The traders' trail from 
Kasi'hta to the Upper Creek settlements crossed Yufabi 
creek twice at the "Big Swamp," Opil'-'lako. The 
Census of 1832 calls Talisi: "Big Tallassie or the 
Halfway House." 

Talisi, Little, a town of the Upper Creeks, identical 
with Odshi-apofa, q. v. 

Tallapoosa river, a considerable tributary of Alabama 
river, full of rocks, shoals and falls down to Tukabatchi 
town ; for thirty miles from here to its junction with the 
Coosa, it becomes deep and quiet. The Hitchiti form 
of the name is Talapusi; cf. Okfuski. A little village 
named Tallapoosa lies on the headwaters of Tallapoosa 
river, from which the river perhaps received its name ; 
cf. talepu'li stranger (in Creek). 

Talua 'lako, properly Italua 'lako, "the Great Town," 
the popular name of Apalatchukla, q. v., the latter being 
no longer heard at the present time. 

Talua mutckdsi, (1) The new name for Tukabatchi 
Talahassi, q. v. It is commonly abbreviated into Tal- 
modshasi "Newtown." ' From italua town, mutchasi new. 
(2) A Lower Creek town, on west shore of Chatahuchi 
river, mentioned by Morse (1822) as: Telmocresses, 
among the Seminole towns. 

Ta m a 'li, a Lower Creek town on Chatahuchi river, seven 
miles from Odshisi (Morse; Report, p. 364). Hawkins 
writes it Tum-mult-lau, and makes it a Seminole town. 
Probably a Cheroki name; there was on the southern 
shore of Tennessee river, between Ballplay creek and 
Toskegee, a settlement called Tommotley town in early 
maps; cf. Jefferys' Atlas of N. America (map of 1762). 

Taskigi or Tuskiki, a little, ancient Upper Creek town, 
built near the site of the former French Fort Toulouse, 


. at the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. It 
stood on the high shore of Coosa river, forty-six feet 
above its waters, where the two rivers approach each 
other within a quarter of a mile, to curve out agaiD. On 
this bluff are also five conic mounds, the largest thirty 
yards in diameter at the base. The town, of 35 warriors, 
had lost its ancient language and spoke the Creek (1799). 
The noted A. MacGillivray, head chief of the Creeks in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century, or as he was 
styled, "Emperor of the Creek Nation," lived at Taskigi, 
where he owned a house and property along Coosa river, 
half a league from Fort Toulouse; Milfort, Memoire, p. 
27. On the immigration of the tribe, cf. Milfort, pp. 
266. 267. 

The name of the town may be explained as : "jumping 
men, jumpers," from Cr. taska-is, ta'skas I jump (tulup- 
kalis in Hitchiti); or be considered an abbreviated form 
of taskialgi warriors; cf. taskaya citizen (Creek), and 
Hawkins, Sketch, p. 70. But since the town formerly 
spoke another language, it is, in view of the frequency 
of Cheroki names in the Creek country, appropriate to 
regard Taskigi as linguistically identical with " Toske- 
gee, ' ' a Cheroki town on Great Tennessee river, southern 
shore, mentioned by several authors, and appearing on 
Lieutenant H. Timberlake's map in his Memoir, repro- 
duced in Jefferys' Topography (Atlas) of North America, 
dated March, 1762. 

Jchiika 'Idko, or "Great Cabin" of the public square, 
(1) A Lower Creek town on Chatahuchi river, settled by 
Okfuski Indians. 

(2) A place of the same , name is mentioned in the 
Census of 1832 as an Upper Creek town. 

Tokogalgi, or "tadpole place," a small Yuchi settlement 
on Kitchofuni creek, a northern affluent of Flint river, 
Georgia, which joins it about 31 40' Lat. Beaver dams 


existed on branches of Kitchofuni creek ; cf. Hawkins, 
p. 63. The present Creeks call a tadpole tokiulga. 
Tukab&tchi, an Upper Creek town built upon the 
western bank of Tallapoosa river, and two miles and a 
half below its falls, which are forty feet in fifty yards. 
Opposite was Talisi town, q. v. Tukabatchi was an 
ancient capital, decreasing in population in Hawkins' 
time, but still able to raise one hundred and sixteen 
warriors. The town suffered much in its later wars with 
the Chicasa. Cf. Hu'li-Wali. The traders' trail crossed 
the Tallapoosa river at this place. Bartram (1775) states 
that Tuccabatche spoke Muscogulge, and the Census of 
1832 considers it the largest town among the Creeks, 
with three hundred and eighty-six houses. Here, as at 
a national centre, the Shawano leader, Tecumseh, held 
his exciting orations against the United States Govern- 
ment, which prompted the Upper Creeks to rise in arms 
(1813). Tugiba^tchi, Tukipa'htchi, and Tukipa^tchi 
are the ancient forms of the name (Stidham), which is 
of foreign origin. The inhabitants believe that their 
ancestors fell from the sky, or according to others, came 
from the sun. Another tale is, that they did not origi- 
nate on this continent; that when they arrived from 
their country they landed at the "Jagged Rock," tchato 
tcha^a/a 'lako, and brought the metallic plates with 
them, which they preserve to the present day with 
anxious care. In Adair's time (cf. Adair, History, pp. 
178. 179, in Note) they consisted of five copper and two 
brass plates, and were, according to Old Bracket's ac- 
count, preserved under the "beloved cabbin in Tucca- 
batchey Square" (A. D. 1759). Bracket's forefathers 
told him that they were given to the tribe " by the man 
we call God," and that the Tukabatchi were a people 
different from the Creeks. The plates are mentioned in 
Schoolcraft's Indians, V, 283 (C. Swan's account), and 


rough sketches of them are given in Adair, 1. 1. They 
appear to be of Spanish origin, and are produced at the 
busk. The town anciently was known under two other 
names : Ispok6gi, or Italua ispokogi, said to mean " town 
of survivors," or " surviving town, remnant of a town"; 
and Italua fatcha-sigo, " incorrect town, town deviating 
from strictness." With this last appellation we may 
compare the Spanish village-name Villa Viciosa. 

On national councils held there, cf. Hawkins, Sketch, 
p. 51 (in the year 1799) and Milfort, p. 40 (in the year 
1780) and p. 266. 

Tukabatchi Talah&ssi, or "old town of Tukabatchi," 
an Upper Creek town on west side of Tallapoosa river, 
four miles above Niuya/a. Since 1797 it received a 
second name, that of Talua mutchasi or "new town." 
The Census list of 1832 calls it Talmachussa, Swan in 
1 791: Tuckabatchee Teehassa. 

Tukpafka, "Spunk-knot," a village on Chatahuchi river, 
Toapafki in 1832, from which was settled the town of 
Niuyajfa, q. v. A creek of the same name is a tributary 
of Potchus'-Hatchi, q. v. Tukpafka, not Tutpafka, is 
the correct form ; it means punky wood, spunk, rotten 
wood, tinder. 

Tuxtu-kagi, or "Corn cribs set up" by the Okfuski 
natives to support themselves during the hunting season, 
was an Upper Creek town on the western bank of Talla- 
poosa River, twenty miles above Niuy&jfa. The trail 
from Hillabi to Etowa in the Cheroki country passed 
this town, which is near a spur of mountains. Men- 
tioned as "Corn House" in the Census list of 1832, as 
Totokaga in 1791. Tu/tu means a crib; kagi is the past 
participle of kakls, q. v. 

Tu t a Id si , a branch village of Hitchiti town. Cf. Hitchiti, 
p. 77. The Creek word tutal6si means chicken, in 
Hitchiti tatayahi; its inhabitants, who had no town- 


square, are called by the people speaking Hitchiti: 

Uktaha-s&si, or "Sand-Heap," two miles from Hillabi 
town, of which it was a branch or colony. Cf. Hillabi. 
If the name was pronounced Uktaha lasi, it is " sand- 

U-i-ukufki, Uyukufki, an Upper Creek town, on a creek 
of the same name, a tributary of Hatchet creek (Haw- 
kins, p. 42) ; Wioguf ka (1832). The name points, to 
muddy water: o-iwa water, ukufki muddy ; and is also 
the Creek name for the Mississippi river. Exists now in 
Indian Territory. Cf. Potchus'-hatchi. 

Wako-k&yi, Waxokd-i, or "Blow-horn Nest," an 
Upper Creek town on Tukpafka creek, a branch of 
Potchus'-Hatchi, a water-course which joins Coosa river 
from the east. Also written Wolkukay by cartographers ; 
Wacacoys, in Census List of 1832 ; Wiccakaw by Bar- 
tram (1775). Wako is a species of heron, bluish-grey, 2 ' 
high; kayi breeding-place. Another "Wacacoys" is 
mentioned, in 1832, as situated on Lower Coosa river, 
below Witumka. 

Watula Hbkahdtchi. The location of this stream is 
marked by Watoola village, which is situated on a run 
joining Big Yuchi creek in a southern course, about 
eighteen miles west of Chatahuchi river, on the road 
between Columbus, Ga., and Montgomery, Ala. 

Wi-kai 'Idko, or "Large Spring," a Lower Creek or 
Seminole town, referred to by Morse under the name 
Wekivas. From u-iwa, abbrev. u-i water, kaya rising, 
'lako great, large. A Creek town in the Indian Terri- 
tory bears the same name. 

Witumka, (1) Upper Creek town on the rapids of Coosa 
river, east side, near its junction with Tallapoosa. Haw- 
kins does not mention this old settlement, but Bartram, 
who traveled from 1773 to 1778, quotes Whittumke 


among the Upper Creek towns speaking the " Stincard 
tongue," which in this instance was the Koassati 

(2) A branch town of Kawita Talahassi, and twelve 
miles from it, on Witumka creek, the main fork of 
Yuchi creek. The place had a town-house, and ex- 
tended for three miles up the creek. • The name sig- 
nifies "rumbling water;" from u-i, abbrev. from u-iwa 
"water," and tumkis "it rumbles, makes noise." 

Wi tumka Creek, called Owatunka river in the migration 
legend, is the northern and main branch of Yuchi creek, 
which runs into the Chatahuchi river from the north- 
west, and joins it about 32 18' Lat. The other branch 
was Little Yuchi creek or Hosapo-laiki ; cf. Note to 
Hawkins, p. 61. 

Wiwuxka, or Wiw6ka, Upper Creek town on Wiw6ka 
creek, an eastern tributary of Coosa river, joining it 
about ten miles above Witumka. The town was fifteen 
miles above Odshi-ap6fa, and in 1799 numbered forty 
warriors. Called Weeokee in 1 791; it means: "water 
roaring,": u-i water, wo/kls it is roaring. 

Woksoyu'dshi, an Upper Creek town, mentioned in the 
Census List of 1832 as " Waksoyochees, on Lower Coosa 
river, below Wetumka." 

Yu chi , a town of foreign extraction belonging to the Lower 
Creeks ; has branched out into three other villages. Cf. 
Yuchi, p. 21. 

Yufabi creek, an eastern tributary of Tallapoosa river, 
joining . it a short distance from Tukabatchi. Nofapi 
creek, mentioned in the legend, is now Naufaba creek, 
an upper branch of "Ufaupee creek," joining it in a 
southwestern direction. 

Yufd la , (1) Y. or Yufala Hatchi, Upper Creek town on 
Yufila creek, fifteen miles above its confluence with 
Coosa river. Called Upper Ufala in 1791. 


(2) Upper Creek town on the west bank of Talla- 
poosa river, two miles below Okfuski in the air line. 

(3) town of the Lower Creeks, fifteen miles below 
Sawokli, on the eastern bank of Chatahuchi river. In 
1 799 the natives had spread out down to the forks of 
the river in several villages, and many had negro slaves, 
taken during the Revolutionary war. The Census of 
1832 counted 229 heads of families. This name, of 
unknown signification, is written Eufaula. 


A correct and detailed knowledge of the Indian trails 
leading through their country, and called by them warpaths, 
horse trails, and by the white traders " trading roads," forms 
an important part of Indian topography and history. Their 
general direction is determined by mountain ranges and gaps 
(passes), valleys, springs, water-courses, fordable places in 
rivers, etc. The early explorers of North American countries 
all followed these Indian trails : Narvaez, Hernando de Soto, 
Tristan de Luna, Juan del Pardo, Lederer and Lawson, 
because they were led along these tracks by their Indian 
guides. If we knew with accuracy the old Indian paths of 
the West, we would have little difficulty in rediscovering the 
routes traveled by Coronado's and Penalossa's troops in New 
Mexico and in the great wastes of the Mississippi plains. In 
hilly lands these trails are, of course, easier to trace than in 
level portions of the country. 

The best-known trails leading from the east to the Creek 
towns were as follows : 

1. The upper trail or " warpath" crossed Chatahuchi river 
at Che'lako-Nini by a horse ford, about sixty miles above 
Kasi/ta; cf. Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 255, and Adair, History, 
pp. 258. 368. 

2. The "High Tower path" started from High Shoals on 
Apalachi river, which is the southern branch of Okoni river, 


and went almost due west to " Shallow Ford " of Chatahuchi 
river, about twelve miles right north of Atlanta, Georgia, in 
the river bend. 

3. The southern trail crossed the Chatahuchi river, coming 
from the Ok6ni and Okmulgi rivers, 1 at the " Broken Arrow," 
'Le-katchka, while other travelers crossed it at the Yuchi 
towns, which cannot have been distant from the "Broken 
Arrow." The Tallapoosa river was passed at Tukabatchi; 
cf. Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 254. 

From Tukabatchi it crossed over almost due west, as repre- 
sented in Em. Bowen's map, to Coosa river, which was passed 
by a horse-ford, then followed the Coosa river up to Coosa 
old town. This is the trail partly traveled over by the Kasi/ta 
tribe, as described in the migration legend. 

4. The trail leading from St. Mary's river, Georgia, to the 
Creek towns went into disuse since 1783, and at the time of 
Swan's visit (179 1) was difficult to trace. Cf. Schoolcraft, 
V, 256. If correctly represented in Tanner's map of 1827, 
a road then running from St. Mary's river to the Hitchiti 
ford of the Chatahuchi river crossed that river at Hitchit- 


The social organization of all the Indian nations of America 
is based upon the existence of the tribe. The tribe itself is 
based upon smaller units of individuals which are joined 
together by a common tie; this tie is either the archaic 

1 Bartram, Travels, p. 54, gives the following particulars : " On the 
east bank of the Okmulgee this trading road runs nearly two miles 
through ancient Indian fields, the Okmulgee fields . . . with artificial 
mounds or terraces, squares, etc." This horsepath began at the Rock 
Landing on Ok6ni' river, a British post just below Wilkinson and about 
four miles below Milledgeville, Georgia, passed Fort Hawkins built upon 
the Okmulgi old fields, then the site of Macon, on the shore opposite, 
then Knoxville, then the old Creek agency on Flint river, then crossed 
Patsilatka creek, the usual ford on Chatahuchi river lying between 
Kasi^ta and Apata-i Creek. 


maternal descent, or the more modern tie of paternal descent, 
or a combination of both. Among the Indians of North 
America east of the Rocky mountains, and also among many- 
tribes west of them, the single groups descending from the 
same male or female ancestor form each a gens provided 
with a proper name or totem generally recalling the name of 
an animal. 

Among the Creeks, Seminoles and all the other Maskoki 
tribes descent was in the female line. Every child born 
belonged to the gens of its mother, and not to that of its 
father, for no man could marry into his own gens. In case 
of the father's death or incapacity the children were cared 
for by the nearest relatives of the mother. Some public 
officers could be selected only from certain gentes, among 
which such a privilege had become hereditary. Regulations 
like these also controlled the warrior class and exercised a 
profound influence upon the government and history of the 
single tribes, and it often' gave a too prominent position to 
some gentes in certain tribes, to the detriment or exclusion 
of others. The Hitchiti and Creek totems were the same. 

The administration of public affairs in the Creek nation 
can be studied to best advantage by dividing the dates on 
hand into three sections : the civil government of the Creek 
tribe ; the warrior class ; the confederacy and its government. 
What we give below will at least suffice to give readers a 
better understanding of some points in the migration legend. 
But before we enter upon these points, let us consider the 
basis of Indian social life, the gens. 


Parallel to the two iksa of the Cha'hta the Creeks are 
divided into two fires (tutka), a civil fire and a military fire. 
The term fire evidently refers to council fires, which had to 
be kindled ceremonially by the friction of two pieces of wood. 
The term fire was also applied by Shawanos and other North- 


ern Indians to the States formed by the early colonists, and 
is still used of the States now constituting the American 
Union : the thirteen fires, the seventeen fires, etc. 

Concerning the gentes (alaikita) of the Creek people, it is 
important to notice that in their towns each group of houses 
contained people of one gens only, 1 and these gentes are 
often mentioned in their local annals ; and that the gens of 
each individual was determined by that of his mother. 
Some of the towns had separate gentes for themselves, all 
of which had privileges of their own. 

Marriage between individuals of the same gens was pro- 
hibited ; the office of the miko and the succession to property 
of deceased persons was and is still hereditary in the gens. 
In the Tukabatchi town the civil rulers or mikalgi were 
selected from the eagle gens; those of Hitchiti town from the 
racoon gens only; of Kasi^ta from the bear gens ; those of 
Taskigi probably from the wind gens. The beloved men or 
istitchakalgi of Kasi/ta were of the beaver gens. 

In adultery and murder cases the relatives of the gens of 
the injured party alone had the right of judging and of 
taking satisfaction ; the miko and his council were debarred 
from any interference. This custom explains why treaty 
stipulations made with the colonists or the Federal Govern- 
ment concerning murders committed have never been 
executed. 2 

There is probably no Indian tribe or nation in North 
America having a larger number of gentes than the Maskoki 
proper. This fact seems to point either to a long historic 
development of the tribe, through which so large a seg- 
mentation was brought about, or to internal dissensions, 
which could produce the same result. About twenty gentes 

* A similar distribution is observed in the villages, hunting and war 
camps of the Pani and Southern Dakotan tribes, and was very strictly 
enforced by them. 

2 Cf. Hawkins, p. 75. 

Owing to the absence of the Author on official 
duties in the Indian Territory, the Map which 
should accompany this volume has not been pre- 
pared. It will therefore be issued with the second 


are now in existence, and the memory of some extinct ones 
is not lost in the present generation. 

The list of Creek gentes, as obtained from Judge G. W. 
Stidham, runs as follows : 

Nokdsalgi bear gens ; from nok6si bear. 

Itchualgi deer gens, from itchu deer. 

Katsalgi panther gens ; katsa panther, cougar. 

Koakotsalgi wild-cat gens ; koa-k6tchi wild-cat. 

Kunipalgi skunk gens ; kuno, k6no skunk. 

W6tkalgi racoon gens ; wo'tko racoon. 

Yahalgi wolf gens ; yaha wolf. 

Tsiilalgi fox gens ; tsfila fox. 

Itch'hasualgi beaver gens; itch'hisua beaver. 

Osanalgi otter gens ; osana otter. 

Halpadalgi alligator gens ; halpada alligator. 

Fusualgi bird gens ; ffiswa forest bird. 

Itamalgi, Tamalgi, (?) cf. tamkita to fly. 

Sopaktalgi toad gens; sopaktu toad. 

Takusalgi mole gens ; taku mole. 

Atchialgi maize gens ; atchi maize. 

Ahala^algi sweet potato gens; aha sweet potato, long marsh- 

Hutalgalgi wind gens ; hfitali wind. 

Aktayatsalgi (signification unknown). 

(-algi is the sign of collective plurality — the okla of 

The following gentes are now extinct, but still occur in 
war names : 

Pah6salgi; occurs in names like Pah6s'-hadsho. 

Okilisa; cf. Killis-tamaha, p. 109. 

'La'lo-algi fish gens ; 'la'lo fish, occurs in war names like 
'La'lo yah61a, etc. 

Tchukotalgi, perhaps consolidated with another gens ; it 
stood in a close connection with the Sopaktalgi. Also pro- 
nounced Tsu^6di ; Chief Chicote is named after it. 


Odshisalgi hickory nut gens ; 5'dshi hickory nut. Some 
believe this gens represented the people of Otchisi town, p.71. 

Oktchunualgi salt gens ; oktchunua salt. 

Isfanalgi; seems analogous to the Ispani phratry and gens 
of the Chicasa. 

Wa'hlakalgi ; cf. Hu'li-wa'hli, town name. 

Mu^lasalgi ; said to mean " people of Muklasa town "j cf. 
Imuklasha, under Cha'hta. 

The Creek phratries and their names were not fully re- 
membered by my informants. The only points which could 
be gathered were, that individuals belonging to the panther 
and the wildcat gentes could not intermarry, nor could the 
Tchukotalgi with the individuals of the toad gens or 
Sopaktalgi. This proves that the two groups formed each a 
phratry, which perhaps comprised other gentes besides. It 
is possible that among the above totemic gentes some are in 
fact phratries and not gentes ; and the two fires (or tutka) 
of the Creeks are not real phratries, but formal divisions 


Several gentes, with their families, united into one town or 
settlement, live under one chief, and thus constitute a tribe. 
The tribe, as far as constituting a politic body governing 
itself^ is .called in Creek italua, which could also be rendered 
by: community or civil district. Amitaluadshi is " my own 
town, where I belong," amitalua "my own country." 
, Italua also signifies nation. Another term, talofa, means 
town- or village, city as a collection of houses without any 
reference to its inhabitants. 

The executive officer of each town is the tniko or chief, 
formerly called "king" by the whites. His duty is to 
superintend all public and domestic concerns, to receive 
public characters, to listen to their speeches, the contents of 
which were referred to the town, and to "deliver the talks" 
of his community. The town elects him for life from a 


certain gens. When he becomes sick or old he chooses an 
assistant, who is subject to the approval of the counsellors 
and head men. When the miko dies the next of kin in the 
maternal line succeeds him, usually his nephew, if he is fit 
for office. 

Next in authority after the miko are the mikalgi and the 
counsellors, both of whom form the council of the town. 
The council appoints the Great Warrior, approves or rejects 
the nominations for a miko's assistant, and gives advice in 
law, war or peace questions. 

Next in authority after the council is the body of the hini- 
halgi, old men and advisers, presided over by the hiniha 
'lako. They are in charge of public buildings, supervise the 
erection of houses for new settlers, direct the agricultural 
pursuits and prepare the black drink. They are the " masters 
of ceremonies," and the name hiniha, iniha, which is no 
longer understood by the present generation, is said to signify 
" self-adorner," in the sense of "warrior embellished with 
body paint." Hiniha 'lako, abbreviated into Nia'lako, is 
now in use as a personal name, and recalls the name of the 
celebrated Seminole chief Neamathla (hiniha ima'la). In 
the Hitchiti towns they were comprised among the class of 
the beloved men. Before the broken days, nita^atska, they 
consulted about the time of the busk, and during the busk 
directed the performances. 

Beloved men or isti-tch&kalgi follow next in rank after the 
above. They are the men who have distinguished themselves 
by long public service, especially as war leaders, and the 
majority of them were advanced in age. C. Swan states that 
the beloved men were formerly called mikalgi in white 

Then follows the common people. For the tustSnuggi 
'lako or Great Warrior, cf. "Warrior Class" and "Creek. 

Since Indian character expresses itself in the most pro- 


nounced, self-willed independence, the power of the authori- 
ties was more of a persuasive than of a constraining or 
commanding nature. This will appear still better when we 
speak of the warrior class ; and it may be appropriate to 
remember that no man felt himself bound by decrees of a 
popular assembly, by edicts of chiefs and their counsellors, 
or by treaties concluded by these with alien tribes or govern- 
ments. The law exercised by the gens was more powerful 
than all these temporary rulings, and, in fact, was the real 
motive power in the Indian community. 

The distinction between red and white towns is not clearly 
remembered now, and there are very few Creeks living who are 
able to tell whether such or such a town was red or white. As 
soon as the agricultural interests began to prevail over the 
military, through the approach of the colonial settlements, this 
feature had to disappear, and the social order also changed from 
the gens or <pbh\ into that of civitas. Adair,. Hist., p. 1 5 9, seems 
inclined to identify the white (or "ancient, holy, old beloved, 
peaceable towns ' ') with the ' ' towns of refuge, ' ' one of which 
was Kusa. 


The geographic position of the Creeks in the midst of 
warlike and aggressive nations was a powerful stimulant for 
making " invincibles" of their male offspring. The ruling 
passion was that of war; second to it was that of hunting. A 
peculiar incentive was the possession of war-titles, and the 
rage for these was as strong among the younger men as that 
for plunder among the older. The surest means of ascending 
the ladder of honor was the capture of scalps from the enemy, 
.and the policy of the red or bloody towns was that of fostering 
the warlike spirit by frequent raids and expeditions. In some 
towns young men were treated as menials before they had 
performed some daring deeds on the battle-field or acquired 
.a war title. 1 To become a warrior every young man had to 
1 Milfort, MSmoire, p. 251. 


pass through a severe ordeal of privations called fast, puskita, 
from the fifteenth to the seventeenth year of his age. This 
initiation into manhood usually lasted from four to eight 
months, but in certain rare instances could be abridged to 
twelve days. 

A distinction of a material, not only honorific character 
was the election of a warrior to actual command as paka'dsha 
or tustenuggi 'lako. 


After the young man had passed through the hardships of 
his initiation, the career of distinction stood open before 
him, for he was now a tassikaya or brave} According to 
Hawkins' Sketch, the three degrees of advancement in com- 
mand were as follows : 

The tassikaya, who after initiation appears qualified for 
actual service in the field, and is promising, is appointed, 
leader (isti paka'dsha, or paka'dsha) by the miko or chief of 
his town. When he distinguishes himself, he obtains a seat 
in the central cabin of the public square. When out on the 
warpath the leader was called imisi, immissi, q. v., and when 
initiated to the faculty of charming the approaching enemy 
by physic and songs, ahopaya, q. v. 

Warriors of the paka'dsha class, who had repeatedly dis- 
tinguished themselves on expeditions, could be promoted, 
when a general war was declared, to the charge of upper 
leader, isti paka'dsha 'lako, or tustenuggi. 

The highest distinction was that of the great warrior, 
tustenuggi 'lako, of whom there was one in every town. This 
dignitary was appointed by the miko and his counsellors, 
and selected by them among the best qualified warriors. His 
seat was at the western end of the mikalgi cabin in the 
public square. In Milfort's time this dignitary had become 

1 Tassik4ya, contr. taskaya, pi. taskialgi — in Cha'hta taska, in Apalache 
taskaya, etc. 


a civil and military officer, 1 and nowadays his functions are 
those of a civil functionary only. 

In cases when the towns had resolved upon a general war, 
a leader for all the town-tustenuggis was appointed in the 
person of a " generalissimo, ' ' called also paka'dsha, tustenuggi, 
or tustenuggi 'lako. 

Among the Creeks now inhabiting the Indian Territory 
the nomenclature has been altered from the above. A young 
man is called tassikaya after receiving the war-title and 
having some employment during the busk; he becomes 
tustenuggi after being declared as such by a vote of his town ; 
but in aboriginal times a young man was not called tustenuggi 
before he had shown his bravery by the taking of at least one 


War-titles are important distinctions bestowed in almost 
every part of the world, for military achievements; but, to pre- 
serve their distinctive value, are usually conferred only on a 
small portion of the warriors. Among the Creeks war- 
names are, however, so common that at present one is con- 
ferred upon every young man of the people. According to 
the old reports, a Creek warrior of the eighteenth century 
could obtain a war-title only after taking one or several 
scalps, but the traditions current among the modern Creeks 
are silent on this point. In earlier days many warriors had 
several, even four or five of these titles (tassikaya inhotchif ka), 
and when participants of a war party were present in numbers 
at the taking of a scalp, each of them obtained a war-title 
according to the report of the fight made by the paka'dsha 
on his return home. The war-titles were not always, though 
most frequently, conferred upon the warriors during the 
busk, or within the square. 

Chief Chicote informs me, that the names in question were 

1 Milfort, Memoire, p. 237 : " Aujourd'hui il est le premier chef de la 
nation pour le civil et pour le militaire." 


distributed by the "beloved men" or ist'-atsakalgi while 
sitting in their cabins or arbors on two opposite sides of the 
square. The ist'-atsakalgi called out young men from the 
side opposite to them, and imparted one of the five titles to 
be mentioned below, according to their free choice, and 
simultaneously intrusted each with some office connected 
with the busk. These offices consisted either in sweeping the 
area or in carrying water, in building and keeping up the 
fire in the centre, in setting up the medicine-pots or in help- 
ing to prepare black drink. War-titles and busk-offices were 
formerly given also to such who had never joined a war party. 
The use of the other name, which every man had obtained 
during childhood, was prohibited within the square. 

To the five war-titles below, the totem of the gens was 
often added, so that, for instance, one of the yaholalgi, who 
offered the black drink, could be called itcho yahola hadsho, or 
y. miko, y. fiksiko, etc. It is said, that anciently some titles 
were limited to certain clans only. The idea that advance- 
ment by degree was connected with these titles is an erroneous 
inference from our own military institutions. Although 
regarded as war-names at the present time, they seem to 
have been mere busk-titles from the beginning, and are such 
even now. In connection with itcho deer, a gens name, they 
are as follows : 

itcho tassikaya deer warrior. 

itcho hadsho tassikaya deer crazy (foolish, mad, drunken) 

itcho fiksiko tassikaya deer heartless warrior. 

itcho yahola tassikaya deer hallooing warrior. 

itcho ima"la tassikaya deer {leading f) warrior. 

Other war-titles were : hola'hta tustenuggi, miko tustenuggi, 
hiniha, hiniha 'lako. Inhola'hti, plur. inhola/tagi figures in 
war-titles, but stands in no connection with the busk. The 
appellation of immikagi comprehends all the men of that 
gens from which the miko in the town ceremonies, not the 


miko as a political office-holder, is selected. The pronoun 
im-, in-, i- in all these names (ihinihalgi, intastena^algi, 
etc.), signifies that they "belong to the miko" of the tribal 

War-titles should be clearly distinguished from war-names 
and other names. Any of the nine appellations contained in 
the item above, and any name composed with one of them, 
is a war-title ; all others, as Old Red Shoe, are simply names 
or war-names. Women and boys never had but one name, 
and whenever a warrior had, by successive campaigns, five 
or six honorific titles conferred upon him, he became gen- 
erally known by one or two of these only. 

These names and war-titles are highly important for the 
study of Creek ethnography, and have been already referred 
to in the chapter on gentes. A brief list of war-names of 
influential men is contained in Major C. Swan's Report, as 
follows •} 

" Hallowing King (Kawita) ; White Lieutenant (Okfuski) ; 
Mad Dog (Tukabatchi miko) ; Opilth miko (Big Talahassi) ; 
Dog Warrior (Naktche); Old Red Shoe (Alibamu and Koas- 
sati). To these may be added the " dog king," Tamhuidshi, 
of the Hitchiti, mentioned in the prooemium of the legend, 
and " a war-leader, the son of the dog -king of the Huphale 
town." 2 The Cha'hta war-titles frequently end in -abi, -api : 
killer ; cf. the Creek term poyas, tip6yas I kill." 

The Creeks often conferred war-titles on white men of note, 
and made Milfort, who became a relative of the chief McGil- 
livray by marriage, the chief warrior of the nation. The 
ceremonies performed on that occasion are described at 
length by himself. 8 

1 1791 — Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 263. 

2 Adair, History, p. 278. 

» Milfort, Memoire, p. 41 sqq., 220 sqq. The council of the 
nation, assembled at Tukabatchi, conferred this charge on him in May 


We give a few instances of historical and recent Creek 
war-names and war-titles : — 

Abi/kudshi miko, Hutalg'-ima'la, Kawita tustenuggi, all 
members of the Creek " House of Kings." 

Assi yahola " the black drink hallooer j" Osceola, chief. 

Hiniha 'lako hupayi "great hiniha charmer," a Creek 
leader in the battle at Atasi and other engagements. 

Hopu-i hl'l'-miko "good child-chief." 

Hopu-i hi'li yah61a "handsome child yah61a"; a Creek 

Hu'li 'ma'hti "war-leader," a frequently occurring war- 
name; 'ma'hti is abbreviated from homa^ti. 

Hutalgi miku "chief from wind gens;" is chief of Taskigi 

Ifa hadsho, or "dog warrior"; cf. Hawkins, p. 80. 

Ispahidshi, name of a headman, and usually spelt Spie- 
chee: "whooping, brawling" while taking off the 

Katsa hadsho " tiger-hadsho," a Seminole chief, erro- 
neously called Tigertail. 

Kosisti, abbr. Kosti; occurs in Kosti fiksiko, etc. The 
signification is lost, but we may compare the town 
Acostehe, visited by de Soto's army in coming south 
from the Cheroki country. 

'Lawa^aiki "lying in ambush; creeping up clandestinely." 

Miko ima'la " chief leader. " 

Nfikusi ili tchapko "long-footed bear," war- name of S. B. 
Callahan, Creek delegate, to the United States Gov- 

Sutak'ha^ki "men fighting in a line." 

Talua' fiksiko "heartless town;" presently judge of the 
Wiwu^ka district, I. T. 

Tassikaya miku "chief warrior;" president House of 

U^taha.-sasi hadsho "sandy-place hadsho;" chief. 


Waksi, Cha'hta term referring to the drawing up of the 
prepuce. . Occurs in Waksi hola'hta and other Creek 
titles, perhaps also in the tribal name of the Waxsaws 
on Santee river, S. C, and in Waxahatchi, town in 
Alabama. The name conveyed the idea of a low, 
unmanly behavior, but had no obscene meaning. 
Other nations regard epithets like these (iiciXXat, verpt") 
as highly injurious, and load their enemies with them, 
as the Tchiglit-Inuit do the Tinn6 Indians of the 
interior: taordshioit, ortcho-todsho-eitut. 1 


A few notes on the war-customs of the Creeks, which 
resembled those of most Southern tribes, may be useful for 
shedding light on the early migrations of the people and 
upon the tactics observed in their campaigns. 

The principal motive for Indian wars being the conquest 
of scalps, slaves, plunder and hunting grounds, the Creeks, 
conscious of their great power, were not very particular in 
finding causes for warfare, and did not even advance specious 
reasons for declaring war. Thus, Adair gives as the true 
cause of a long war between the Creeks and Cheroki, the 
killing and scalping of two Chicasa hunters by a Shawano 
" brave." This man took refuge among the Cheroki people, 
and war was declared to them by the Creeks, because they 
then had concluded a war alliance with the Chicasa (History, 
p. 278). 

It is rather improbable that a declaration of war always 
preceded the attack, for the advance into the hostile 
territory was made clandestinely 2 ; but the resolution- of 
starting upon the warpath was heralded in the towns with 

1 E. Petitot, Tchiglit, preface p. xi. 

2 The Timucua of Florida declared war by sticking up arrows in the 
ground around the town or camp of the enemy on the evening before the 
attack (Ren6 de Laudonniere, " Histoire Notable"). 


great ceremonies. Of these we shall speak under the heading : 

The Creeks of old were in the habit of carrying on their 
warfare chiefly in small bodies, like other Indian tribes. 
Small commands are better enabled to surprise the enemy or 
his camps in clandestine or night attacks, or to cut off hostile 
warriors, than large ones. There are instances that the 
Creeks formed war-parties of four men only. Their leader 
was then styled imisi, immissi or " the one carrying it for 
them," this term referring to the battle-charm or war-physic. 
War-parties of forty to sixty men are mentioned also. 

When warriors started for the." field of honor" in larger 
or smaller bodies, they were led by a commander (paka'dsha) 
who simultaneously was an ahopaya or hopaya, " charmer at 
a distance.' 1 Men of this order had, like other warriors, to 
undergo, while quite young, a severe course of initiation 
into manhood, which also comprised instructions in herb- 
physicking. To become initiated they camped away from 
other people, and had for their only companion the old con- 
juror, who for four months initiated them and taught them 
the incantations intended to act as charms upon the enemy. 
To begin with, a fast of either four or eight days and the 
eating of certain bitter weeds was prescribed, to purify the 
system and to prepare the youth for a ready comprehension 
of the objects of tuition. The whole process was sometimes 
repeated for another four months, in the spring of the year 
following, and differed in every town. The knowledge thus 
acquired, it was believed, imparted to the person a full con- 
juring power and charmer's influence over the antagonist, 
and enabled him to conquer the hostile warriors at a distance 
(hupa-i) and before reaching them, or to make them come 
near enough for easy capture. 

When the Great Warrior started on the warpath he gave 
notice to the participants where he would strike camp that 
night, and then set out, sometimes with one or two men 


only. A war-whoop and the discharge of his gun were the 
signals of his departure, and were responded to by his fol- 
lowers by acting in the same manner. The other warriors took 
their time, and went to rejoin him one or two days after. 
A man taking part in a war-expedition was called hu'li-a'la. 

A war party always proceeded in Indian file, each man 
stepping into the footprints of the foregoing; to prevent the 
enemy from knowing their number. This explains also the 
episode of the legend referring to the tracks lost in the bottom 
of the river, q. v. 1 The tracks, footprints, strokes of hatchets 
visible on the bark of trees, etc., differed in every American 
tribe. Among the Creeks the last man in the file often 
sought to cover the tracks by placing grass upon them. A 
considerable force of scouts hovered around the marching 
file, to prevent surprises ; the leader marched at the head of 
the file. 

The attack was made in true Indian and savage fashion, 
before daybreak. The warriors crept up as silently as pos- 
sible, tried to dart their missiles from secret spots, and 
never exposed their bodies to the enemy when they could 
cover them by some eminence or rock, tree or bush. The 
leader took a position in the rear. The Chicasa Indians 
continually taunted the colonial troops upon the fearless but 
useless exposure of their men to the battle-fire of the wary 
Indian braves. Milfort relates that his men fought nude, 
because they had noticed that the fragments of clothing 
entering the body with the point of the missile rendered the 
wound much more dangerous than the missile itself. 

When making prisoners the Creeks habitually spared only 
the lives of children, killing mercilessly the adult males and 
females. They even burnt many of them at the stake, and 
Milfort claims that this barbaric custom was abandoned 
only through his influence (Mem., pp. 219-220). 

1 Milfort, Mem., p. 217. 218. Walking through watercourses neces- 
sarily destroyed all vestiges of a marching body of warriors. 


The food on which they subsisted, on their expeditions, 
was pounded maize, contained in a small bag, which they 
carried upon their bodies. 

The encampments for the night (hapu) were round-shaped, 
every man lying in contiguity to another in a circle, and 
leaving only a small issue, which was guarded by the com- 
mander. After the commander's signal no one was allowed 
to move from his place. The same order was observed when 
the army halted during the day, and the same arrangement 
is conspicuous in the campings of the Southern Dakota tribes, 
as Iowa, Ponka, Uga^pa, etc. 

A graphic description of southern war-camps is found in 
B. Romans, Florida, p. 65 : "A Choctaw war-camp is cir- 
cular, with a fire in the centre, and each man .has a crutched 
branch at his head to hang his powder and shot upon and 
to set his gun against, and the feet of all to the fire; a 
Cherokee war-camp is a long line of fire, against which they 
also lay their feet. A Choctaw makes his camp, in traveling, 
in form of a sugar loaf; a Chicasa makes it in form of our 
arbours ; a Creek like to our sheds or piazzas, to a timber- 
house. ' ' The Creek war-camps in the woods were constructed 
in such a manner that the exact number of the party could 
at once be ascertained. 1 

After their return the warriors placed the scalps in the 
public square, or divided them among their acquaintances. 
Anciently the privilege of raising the scalp-pole (itu tchati) 
belonged to two tribes only, the Kasi^ta and the Kawita. 2 
The cause for this is shown in our half-mythic migration 
legend. The tradition that the custom of scalping was but 
recently imported among the Creeks from the Northern 
Indians was manufactured for a purpose, and invented by 
many other tribes also, to appear more human in the eyes 
of the white settlers. Scalping and the drying of scalps had 

1 Swan, in Schoolcraft V, 280. 

1 Cf. Hu'li-Wa'hli, and the name of this town. 


been observed in 'Florida as early as 1564 by Ren<§ de Lau- 


The Creek confederacy, or "league of the Muscogulgee" 
was a purely political organization connecting the various 
and disparate elements, which composed it, for common 
action against external aggression. It had no direct influence 
on the social organization of the tribes, and the most appro- 
priate term for this, and other Indian confederacies as well, 
is that of war-confederacy, war-league or symmachy. In 
Creek the Maskoki confederacy is called isti Maskdki imiti- 

To call this loose assemblage of towns and tribes a military 
democracy, in the sense that the majority of the votes decided 
a question brought before the people in a manner that was 
binding for the citizens, is entirely wrong and misleading, 
for Indians regard their actions subject to their own decisions 
only, or, at the utmost, to those of their individual gens. 
Every Creek town or individual could go on the warpath or 
stay at home, in -spite of any wish or decree issued by the 
chiefs or assembled warriors. The young warriors, anxious 
to obtain fame and war-titles, joined the war-parties on the 
call of a leader. In questions of war unanimity was seldom 
attained in the council of a town, much less in the whole 
nation; "it is not recollected by the oldest man, that more 
than one-half of the nation went to war at.the same time or 
'took the war-talk.'" 

"When the miko and his councillors are of opinion that 
the town has been injured, the Great Warrior lifts the war- 
hatchet, atasi, against the offending nation. But as soon as 
it is taken up, the miko and his council may interpose, and 
by their prudent counsels stop it, and proceed to adjust the 
misunderstanding by negotiation. If the Great Warrior per- 
sists and ' goes out,' he is followed by all who are for war." 

These words, quoted from the "Sketch" of the United 


States agent, B. Hawkins, plainly show, that the initiative 
for war rested with the civil authority, and not with the 
military. But it is possible that Hawkins speaks of white or 
peace-towns only, and not of the red towns (p. 72). He 
continues as follows : 

"Peace is always determined on and concluded by the 
m.iko and councillors, and peace-talks are always addressed 
to the cabin of the miko. In some cases, where the resent- 
ment of the warriors has run high, the miko and council have 
been much embarrassed." 

All this proves that every town had the privilege to begin 
warfare for itself, independent of the confederacy, provided 
that the civil government consented to the undertaking. 
This fact plainly shows the perfect independence of the 
Indian tribe from the war-confederacy, and forms a striking 
contrast to our ideas of a centralized state power. In some 
instances the Creek towns left their defensive position to act 
on the offensive principle, but they were not sustained then 
by the Maskoki confederacy. 

The chief of the confederacy had to advise only, and not 

to command ; he was of influence only when endowed with 

superior talent and political ability. The chief and principal 

warriors had annual meetings in the public square of some 

central town, on public affairs ; they drank assi, exchanged 

tobacco, and then proceeded to debate. Time and place of 

these conventions were fixed by a chief, and the space of time 

between warning and that of assembly was called " broken 

days." Major C. Swan, after whose report this passage is 

quoted (Schoolcraft V, 279) states that the title of the chief of 

the confederacy was the great beloved man, while Milfort, who 

was himself invested with the charge of great warrior of the 

nation, styles him " Le Tastanegy ou grand chef de guerre," 

adding, however, that in his time he was the highest authority 

in civil and military affairs (Memoire, Note to p. 237). The 

English, French and Spaniards frequently called him the 


Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks, a term which is 
not entirely misapplied when taken in its original sense of 
"military commander," the imperator of the Romans. 

At a later period the meeting of the confederacy usually 
took place at Tukabatchi, which had become the lafrgest 
community. From the above it results, however, that the 
Creeks had no capital town in the sense as we use this term. 
Col. B. Hawkins, who attempted to introduce some unity 
among the towns for the purpose of facilitating the transac- 
tion of business of the nation, and their intercourse with the 
United States Government, proposed various measures, as the 
classing of the towns into nine districts ; these were adopted 
at Tukabatchi by the chiefs of the nation, on November 27th, 
1799. 1 

The small degree of respect which the Creek towns paid 
to international treaties (sitimfatchita) or other solemn engage- 
ments made with the whites, as sales of territory, etc., is 
another proof for the looseness of the "powerful Creek con- 
federacy." After giving, a list of six influential headmen of 
different towns, Major C. Swan declares that a treaty made 
with these chiefs would probably be communicated to all the 
people of the country, and be believed and relied upon 
(Schoolcraft V, 263). Subsequent events have shown this to 
be founded on a misapprehension of the Indian character, 
which is that of the most outspoken individuality. 

Major C. Swan, who only traveled through the country to 
leave it again, makes the following interesting statement 
concerning the political and social status of the disparate 
tribes composing the Creek confederacy (179 1 ; in School- 
craft V, 259. 260) : 

" Their numbers have increased faster by the acquisition 

of foreign subjects than by the increase of the original stock. 

It appears long to have been a maxim of their policy to give 

equal liberty and protection to tribes conquered by them- 

1 Cf. his Sketch, pp. 51. 52. 67. 68. 


selves, as well as to those vanquished by others, although 
many individuals taken in war are slaves among them, and 
their children are called of the slave race, ,and cannot arrive 
to much honorary distinction in the country, on that 


All the Creek towns, viz., the more populous settlements, 
had laid out a square-shaped piece of ground in or near their 
central part. It contained the only public buildings of the 
town, the great house and the council-house, and, as an 
appurtenance, the play-ground. The square was the focus 
of the public and social life of the town ; its present Creek 
name, intchuka' 'lako, is taken from the "great house" as its 
principal portion. 

From the eighteenth century we possess three descriptions 
of the square and the ceremonies enacted in it, which are 
entering into copious details; that of W. Bartram, describing 
the square of Atasi town (about 1775); that of C. Swan, 
describing that of Odshi-ap6fa, or the Hickory Ground (1 791), 
and last, but not least, the description of the square at Kawita, 
by B. Hawkins (1 799). All the towns differed somewhat in 
the structure of the great house and of the council-house, 
but in the subsequent sketch we shall chiefly dwell upon those 
points in which they all seem to agree. Public squares still 
exist at the present time in some of the pure-blood towns of 
the Creek nation, Indian Territory, and the busk, in its 
ancient, though slightly modified form, is annually celebrated 
in them. The ground-plan of the square at the Hickory 
Ground is represented in Schoolcraft's Indians V, 264. 

Of other buildings destined for public use I have found no 
mention, except of granaries or corn-cribs, which were under 
the supervision of the miko. 

'Wit great house, tchuku 'lako, also called "town-house," 
"public square," like the square in the midst of which it 
was placed, was formed by four one-story buildings of equal 


size, facing inward, and enclosing a square area of about 
thirty feet on each side. 1 They were generally made to face 
the east, west, north and south. 

These buildings, which had the appearance of sheds, con- 
sisted of a wooden frame, supported on posts set in the 
ground and covered with slabs. They were made of the 
same material as their dwelling houses, but differed by having 
the front facing the square open, and the walls of the back 
sides had an open space of two feet or more next to the eaves, 
to admit a circulation of air. Each house was divided into 
three apartments, separated by low partitions of clay, making 
a total of twelve partitions. These apartments, called cabins 
(t6pa) had three 2 seats, or rather platforms, being broad 
enough to sleep upon ; the first of them was about two feet 
from the ground, the second eight feet above the first, and 
the third or back seat eight feet above the second. Over the 
whole of these seats was spread a covering of cane-mats, as 
large as carpets. They were provided with new coverings 
every year, just before the busk ; and since the old covers 
were not removed, they had in the majority of the squares 
eight to twelve coverings, laid one above the other. Milfort 
states that each cabin could seat from forty to sixty persons 
.(Memoire, p. 203). 

Caleb Swan, who, in his above description of the cabins 
'in the square, copied the original seen at Odshi-ap6fa or 
'Little Talassie, where he stopped, differs in several particu- 
lars, especially in the allotment of the cabins to the authori- 
ties, from Hawkins, who resided in Kawita. Swan assigns 
.the eastern building to the beloved men, the southern to the 
warriors, the northern to the second men, etc., while the 
.western building served for keeping the apparatus for cooking 
black drink, war physic, and to store lumber. According to 

1 Hawkins says : Forty by sixteen feet, eight feet pitch, the entrance 
at each corner (p. 68). 
• 2 Hawkins: two seats. 


Hawkins, the western building, fronting east, contained the 
mikos and high-ranked people; the northern building was 
the warriors'; the southern that of the beloved men, and the 
eastern that of the young people and their associates. "The 
cabin of the great chief faces east," says Milfort, p. 203, "to 
indicate that he has to watch the interests of his nation con- 
tinually. ' ' The three cabins of the mlkalgi or old men, facing 
west, are the only ones painted white, and are always orna- 
mented with guirlands (at Kawita). On the post, or on a 
plank over each cabin, are painted the emblems of the gens 
to which it is allotted ; thus the buffalo gens have the buffalo 
painted on it. 

From the roofs were dangling on the inside heterogeneous 
emblems of peace and trophies of war, as eagles' feathers, 
swans' wings, wooden scalping knives, war clubs, red-painted 
wands, bunches of hoops on which to dry their scalps, bundles 
of a war-physic called snake-root {sinika in Cheroki), bas- 
kets, etc. Rude paintings of warriors' heads with horns, 
horned rattlesnakes, horned alligators, etc., were visible 
upon the smooth posts and timbers supporting the great 
house. In the "painted squares" of some of the red or war- 
towns the posts and smooth timber were painted red, with 
white or black edges, this being considered as a mark of 
high distinction. Other privileged towns possessed a covered 
square, by which term is meant a bridging over of the entrance 
spaces left between the four buildings by means of canes laid 
on poles. 

In the centre of the area of the "great house " a perpetual 
fire was burning, fed by four logs, and kept up by public 
ministrants especially appointed for the purpose. The inside 
area is called impask6fa, "dedicated ground." 

The "square" was hung over with green boughs, in sign 
of mourning, when a man died in the town; no black 
drink was then taken for four days. When an Indian was 
killed who belonged to a town which had a square, black 


drink had to be taken on the outside of the square, and every 
ceremony was suspended until the outrage was atoned for. 
To each great house belonged a black drink cook, and from 
the young warriors two or three men were appointed to 
attend to those who took this liquid every morning ; they 
called the townspeople to this ceremony by beating drums 
(C. Swan). 

After the close of their council-meeting in the council- 
house, the miko, his councillors and warriors repaired to 
the chiefs cabin in the "great house." They met there 
every day, drank the assi or black drink, continued delibera- 
tions on public and domestic affairs, attended to complaints 
and redressed them; then conversed about news while 
smoking, or amused themselves at playing "roll the bullet" 
in a sort of ten-pin alley. The name of this game is 'li-i 
tchallitchka. Bartram, p. 453, states that the chiefs cabin 
at Atasi was of a different construction from the three other 

But besides being the central point of the town for all 
meetings of a public character, the great house was the festive 
place for the annual busk and the daily dance ; it occasionally 
served as a sleeping place for Indians passing through the 
town on their travels. The special locations allotted to the 
persons in authority and the gentes on the cabin-sheds are 
described under the heading : The annual busk. 

The council-house or tchukofa 'lako stood on a circular 
mound or eminence, in close contiguity to the northeast 
corner of the "great house." It is variously called by 
travelers :■ hot-house, sudatory, assembly-room, winter council- 
house, mountain-house, 1 or, from its circular shape, rotunda. 
Its appearance is generally described as that of a huge cone 
placed on an octagonal frame about twelve feet high, and 
covered with tufts of bark. Its diameter was from twenty-five 
to thirty feet, and in the larger towns the building could 
1 Adair, History, p. 421. 


accommodate many hundred persons. 1 Its perpendicular 
walls were made of thick posts, daubed with clay on the 
outside. Contiguous to the walls, one broad circular seat, 
made of cane-mats, was going around the structure on the 
inside, and in the centre the fire was burning on a small 
elevation of the ground. The fuel consisted of dry cane or 
dry pine slabs spKt fine ; and, as if it were to give a concrete 
image of the warming rays of the sun, these split canes were 
disposed in a spiral line which exhibited several revolutions 
around the centre. No opening was provided for the escape 
of the smoke or the admission of fresh air, and the building 
soon became intolerably hot ; but at dance-feasts the natives 
danced around the fire in the terrible heat and dust, without 
the least apparent inconvenience. 2 

The council-house served, to some extent, the same pur- 
poses as the "great house," but was more resorted to in the 
inclement season than in summer. Every night during winter 
the old and young visited it for conversation or dance, and 
in very cold weather the old and destitute went there to 
sleep. In all seasons it was the assembly-room of the miko 
and his counsellors for deliberations of a private character ; 
there they decided upon punishments to be inflicted, as whip- 
ping etc., and entrusted the Great Warrior with the execution 
of the sentences. Previous to a war-expedition the young 
men visited the hot-house for four days, prepared and drank 
their war-physic, and sang their war- and charm-songs under 
the leadership of conjurers. 8 Milfort was installed into the 
charge of "Great Warrior of the Nation" in the Kawlta 
council-house by solemn orations, the smoking of the pipe, 

1 Hawkins, Sketch, p. 71, Bartram, Travels, p. 448 sqq. 

2 Bartram states that the Creek rotundas were of the same archi- 
tecture as those of the Cheroki, but of much larger dimensions : Travels, 
p. 449. 

3 Hawkins, Sketch, p. 79. 


the drinking of the assi-decoct and other ceremonies, 1 and 
then conducted to the- "great house. "- 

When the natives gathered in this structure for sweating, 
either for promoting their health or as a religious ceremony, 
they developed steam by throwing water on heated stones, 
then danced around the fire, and went to plunge into the 
chilling waves of the river flowing past their town. 

The play-ground occupied the northwestern angle of the 
public square, and formed an oblong segment of it, of rather 
irregular shape. It was made distinct from the rest of the 
square by one or two low embankments or terraces ; in its 
centre stood, on a low circular mound, a four-sided pole or 
pillar, sometimes forty feet high. A mark fastened on its 
top served at appointed times as a target to shoot at with 
rifles or arrows. Around the pole the floor of the yard was 
beaten solid. 

The play-ground, ta'dshu in Creek, was called by the white 
traders chunkey-yard, chunk-yard, from the principal game 
played in it. This game, the chunkey- or tchungke-game, 
consisted in throwing a pole after the chunke, a rounded 
stone which was set rolling upon its edge. Cf. Adair, Hist., 
p. 401. 402. There was also a sort of ball play in use among 
the Creeks and many other Indian tribes, by which a ball 
(puku) was aimed at an object suspended on the top of a 
high pole, or, as it is played now, at the top of two twin 
poles (puk-abi), called sometimes "maypoles." In summer 
time dances were also performed in this yard, and Bartram 
saw "at the corner of each farther end a slave-post or strong 
stake, where the captives that are burnt alive are bound." 2 

1 Milfort, Memoire, p. 211. 2 Travels, p. 518. 



The solemn annual festival held by the Creek people of 
ancient and modern days is the puskita, a word now passed 
into provincial English (busk); its real meaning is that of 
a fast. In the more important towns it lasted eight days ; in 
towns of minor note four days only, and its celebration differed 
in each town in some particulars. The day on which to begin it 
was fixed by the miko and his council, and depended on the 
maturity of the maize crop and on various other circumstances. 
Its celebration took place mainly in the "great house" 
of the public square, and from Hawkins' description, who 
saw it celebrated in Kasi^ta, 1 we extract the following par- 
ticulars : 

In the morning of thejirst day the warriors clean the area 
of the great house and sprinkle it with white sand, at the 
time when the black drink is being prepared. The fire in 
the centre is made by friction, very early in the day, by a 
ministrant especially appointed for the purpose, called the 
fire-maker. Four logs, as long as the span of both arms, are 
brought to the centre of the area by the warriors, and laid 
down end to end, so as to form a cross. Each end of this 
cross points to one of the cardinal points of the compass. 
At the spot where the logs converge, the new fire is kindled 
and the logs are consumed during the first four days of the 
puskita. The women of the turkey gens dance the turkey- 
dance, pinua opanga, while the powerful emetic pa'ssa is 
being brewed. It is drank from noon to mid-afternoon, 
after which the tadpole-dance, tokiulka opanga, is danced 
by four males and four females, who are called the tokiulka 
or tadpoles. In the evening the men dance the dance 
of the hiniha: hiniha opanga, and continue it till day- 

The second day begins with the performance of the gun- 
dance, itch'ha opanga, danced by females about ten o'clock 
1 Remember well that Kasijjfta is a white or peace town. 


in the forenoon. 1 At noon the men approach the new fire, 
rub some of its ashes on the chin, neck and belly, jump head 
foremost into the river, and then return to the great house. 
Meanwhile the females prepare the new maize for the feast, 
and the men on arriving rub some of it between their hands, 
then on their face and breast, after which feasting begins. 

The third day the men pass by sitting in the square. 

On the fourth day the women rise early to obtain a spark 
of the new fire ; they bring it to their own hearths, which 
were previously cleaned and sprinkled with sand, and then 
kindle their fires on them. When the first four logs are 
consumed, the men repeat the ceremony of rubbing the ashes 
on their chin, neck and belly, and then plunge into water. 
Subsequently they taste salt and dance the long dance, opanga 

The fifth day is devoted to the bringing in of four other 
logs, which are disposed and kindled as aforementioned, and 
then the men drink assi. 

On the sixth and seventh day the men remain in the "great 

The ceremonies of the eighth or last day in the square and 
outside of it are of a peculiarly impressive character. Four- 
teen species of physic plants are placed in two pots containing 
water, then stirred and beaten up in it. After the aliktchalgi 
or conjurers have blown into the mixture through a small 
reed, the men drink of the liquid and rub it over their joints 
till afternoon. The names of the medical plants were as 
follows : 

i. miko huyanl'tcha. 

2. t61a or sweet bay. 

3. atchina or cedar (the leaves of it). 

4. kapapaska, a shrub with red berries. 

1 The dance is called so, because the men fire off guns during its 
performance; another name for this dance is taputska opanga; cf. 
tapodshidshas I am shooting. 


5. tchul'-issa; signifies: "pine-leaves." 

6. atak'la lasti, a shrub with black berries. 

7. tutka hilissiia, the " fircphysic. " 

8. tchufi insakka afaga, " rabbit-basket-string, ' ' a vine-like 

plant resembling the strawberry plant. 

9. tchfifi masi, a species of cane. 

10. hilissua hatki, the "white physic "; abbrev. hilis'-hatki. 

11. tutka tchokishi, a moss species. 

12. u-i lani, " yellow water ": the Jerusalem oak. 

13. oktchanatchku, a rock-moss. 

14. koha lowagi "switch cane, limber cane." 

To these plants the modern Creeks add, as a fifteenth one, 
the pa'ssa ; cf. below. 

Then another singular mixture is prepared, of which the 
ingredients must have been of symbolic significance : Old 
maize cobs and pine burs are placed in a pot and burned to 
ashes. Four girls below the age of puberty bring ashes from 
home, put them in the pot, and stir up all together, after 
which the men mix white clay with water in two pans. One 
pan of the wet clay and another of the ashes are brought to 
the miko's cabin, the other two to that of the warriors, who 
rub themselves with the contents of both. Two men appointed 
to that office then bring flowers of "old man's tobacco," isti 
atchuli pakpagi, prepared on the first day of the busk, in a 
pan 10 the miko's cabin, and a particle of it is given to every 
person present. Upon this the miko and his councillors 
walk four times around the burning logs, throwing some of 
the "old man's tobacco" into the fire each time they face the 
east, and then stop while facing the west. The warriors then 
repeat the same ceremony. 

At the miko's cabin a cane having two white feathers on 
its end is stuck out. At the moment when the sun sets, a 
man of the fish gens takes it down, and walks, followed by 
all spectators, toward the river. Having gone half way, he 
utters the death-whoop, and repeats it four times before he 


reaches the water's edge. After the crowd has thickly con- 
gregated at the bank, each person places a grain of "old 
man's tobacco " on the head and others in each ear. Then, 
at a signal repeated four times, they throw some of it into 
the river, and every man, at a like signal, plunges into the 
water, to pick up four stones from the bottom. With these 
they cross themselves on their breasts four times, each time 
throwing one of the stones back into the river and uttering 
the death-whoop. Then they wash themselves, take up the 
cane with the feathers, return to the great house, where they 
stick it up, then walk through the town visiting. 

The mad dance, opanga hadsho, is performed after night- 
fall, and this terminates the long ceremony. 

The celebration of the puskita had a favorable influence 
upon the minds of the people, for it was a signal of amnesty, 
absolving the Indian of all crimes, murder excepted, and 
seemed to bury guilt itself in oblivion. All former quarrels 
and hatred were forgotten and man restored to himself and 
to the community. Indians renewing past quarrels after this 
solemn festival, were severely reprimanded by others. This 
change of mind was symbolized by the custom of the women 
of breaking to pieces all the household utensils of the past 
year, and replacing them by new ones ; the men refitted all 
their property so as to look new, and it was considered 
extremely disgraceful, even for the most indigent, to eat any 
of the new maize before the annual busk (Sketch, pp. 75-78). 1 

The foregoing sketch would be incomplete without the 
addition of another account of a four days' puskita, which C. 
Swan witnessed at Odshi-ap6fa, near the confluence of the 
Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers ; it explains and amplifies many 
of the incidents related by Hawkins. 

1 For further particulars of the medicine-plants, see the items in the 
Notes and in the Creek Glossary. 


The account inserted in Swan's article (Schoolcraft, Indians 
V, 267. 268) is signed "Anthony Alex. M'Gillivray," who was 
then a chief of the nation, and related by marriage to Milfort. 
We gather from his statements, that at Odshi-ap&fa or 
"Hickory Ground," which is a white town also, the " priest, 
or fire-maker of the town" had the privilege of determining 
the days of the busk, and that in doing so he was led by the 
ripening of the maize-crop and by the growth of the cassine- 
shrub. At the break of the first day he went to the square, 
unattended by others, dressed in white leather moccasins and 
stockings, with a white dressed deer-skin over his shoulders, 
and produced there the new fire, by the friction of two dry 
pieces of wood. When the spark was blazing up, four young 
men entered the area at the openings of its four corners, each 
holding a stick of wood ; they approached the new fire with 
high reverence, and placed the ends of their sticks to it " in 
a very formal manner." Then four other young men came 
forward in the same manner, each holding an ear of the 
newly-ripened Indian corn, which the conjurer took from 
them and with formalities threw into the fire. Then four 
other men entered the square in the same manner, car- 
rying branches of the new cassine, some of which the priest 
threw into the fire, the rest being immediately parched 
and cooked for ceremonial use. The mysterious jargon which 
he muttered during this ceremonial act was supposed to form a 
conversation with the great "master of breath." 

The male population having in the meantime gathered in 
the cabins, the prepared black drink is served to them, and 
sparks of the new fire are carried and left outside the build- 
ings for public use. The women bring it to their homes, 
which they have cleaned and decorated the day before for 
the occasion by extinguishing the old fires and removing 
their ashes throughout the town. They are forbidden to 
step into the square, but dance with the children on its 
outside. On the second day the men take their war-physic, 


a decoction of the button-snake root, in such quantities as 
would produce strong spasmodic effects. The third day is 
spent by the older men in the square, in taking black drink, 
etc., by the young men in hunting or fishing for the last day 
of the festival. The females pass the first three days in 
bathing, and it is unlawful for the males to touch any of them 
even with the tip of the finger. Both sexes are compelled 
to abstain rigidly from any food, especially from salt. The 
fourth day all classes congregate in the "great house" 
promiscuously; the game killed on the previous day is 
given to the public, and the women are cooking the provi- 
sions brought in from all sides, over the new fire. After this 
convivial day the evening dances conclude the annual fest- 
ivity. Any provisions left over are given to the "fire- maker." 

Less circumstantial descriptions of this curious ceremony, 
which is frequently called from analogy the "green corn 
dance," are contained in Adair's History, Argument VIII, in 
Bartram, Travels, pp. 507. 508, in Milfort and many other 
writers. It appears from all that the busk is not a solstitial 
celebration, but a rejoicing over the first fruits of the year. 
The new year begins with the busk, which is celebrated in 
August or late in July. Every town celebrated its busk at a 
period independent from that of the other towns, whenever 
their crops had come to maturity. 

Religious ideas were connected with the festival, for the 
benefits imparted to mankind by the new fruits were the gifts 
of the sun, which was symbolized by the fire burning in the 
centre of the square. The new .fire meant the new life, 
physical and moral, which had to begin with the new year. 
Everything had to be new or renewed ; even the garments 
worn heretofore were given to the flames. The pardon 
granted to offenders gave them a chance to begin a new 
and better course of life. It was unlawful to pass between 
the fire in the area and the rising sun, for this would have 
interrupted the mystic communication existing between the 


two. The rigorous fasting observed also fitted the people 
to prepare for a new moral life, and made them more recep- 
tive for the supernatural ; the convivial scene which closed 
the busk typified the idea that all men, whether low or high, 
are born brethren. The black, drink was the symbol of puri- 
fication from wickedness, of prowess in war and of friendship 
and hospitality. 

Although the ritual of the busk differed in every Creek 
tribe, many analogies can be traced with well-known cus- 
toms among the Aztec and Maya nations, whose "unlucky 
five days" at the year's close equally terminated with rejoic- 
ings, as the precursors of a new life. 


Abundant material for the study of ethnography is on hand 
for the earlier and later periods of the Creek nation ; but' 
here we have to restrict ourselves to some points which are 
especially adapted to the illustration of the migration legends. 
TheTrelation of husband to wife and family being the founda- 
tion of all tribal, social and political life, should certainly 
be treated as fully as it deserves, but in this context only 
incident notes can be given on this subject. 

Condition of Females. — Although succession among all 
Maskoki tribes was in the female line, the females occupied 
a subordinate condition among the Creeks, and in their 
households were subjected, like those of other Indians, to a 
life of drudgery. Divorces were of frequent occurrence. 

On the first days of the busk females were not permitted 
to enter the area of the square, nor were they admitted to 
the council-house whenever the men were sitting in council 
or attending to the conjurer's performances. The women 
were assigned a bathing place in the river- currents at some 
distance below the men. It is also stated that a woman had 
the privilege of killing her offspring during the first lunation 
after the birth, but when she did so after that term she was 


put to death herself. 1 This may have been the practice in a 
few Creek tribes, but it is doubtful that such was the general 
law in all, except in regard to illegitimate offspring. 

The occupations of Creek women are described by Cpt. 
B. Romans, p. 96 (1775), in the following succinct form : 

" The women are employed, besides the cultivation of the 
earth, in dressing the victuals, preparing, scraping, braining, 
rubbing and smoaking the Roe-skins, making macksens of 
them, spinning buffaloe wool, making salt, preparing cassine 
drink, drying the chammrops and passiflora, making cold 
flour for traveling, gathering nuts and making their milk ; 
likewise in making baskets, brooms, pots, bowls and other 
earthen and wooden vessels." 

Initiation. — Indian parents bring up their children in a 
manner which better deserves the name of training than that 
of education. They think children become best fitted for 
future life when they can, for a certain period of their ages, 
roam around at will and act at their own pleasure. They do 
not reprobate or punish them for any wanton act they may 
commit ; hence the licentiousness of both sexes up to the 
time of marriage, and the comparative want of discipline 
among warriors on their expeditions. But the boys were 
taught to harden their constitutions against the inclemencies 
of the seasons and the privations in war, and this result they 
most successfully attained by the so-called initiation, and also 
by continued bodily exercise before and after that solemn 
period of their lives. B. Romans (1 775) sketches the training 
of the Creek youths in the following words (p. 96) : " Creeks 
make the boys swim in the coldest weather ; make them fre- 
quently undergo scratching from head to foot, through the 
skin, with broken glass or gar-fish teeth 2 , so as to make them 
all in a gore of blood, and then wash them with cold water ; 

1 Milfort, M6m., p. 251. 

2 Also practiced once a year upon the Shetimasha warriors, on their 
knee-joints, by men expressly appointed to this manipulation.- 


this is with them the arcanum against all diseases ; but when 
they design it as a punishment to the boys, they dry-scratch 
them, /. e., they apply no water after the operation, which 
renders it very painful. They endeavor ... to teach 
them all manner of cruelty toward brutes," etc. 

This sort of treatment must have been abundantly pro- 
ductive of rheumatism and other affections, though we have 
many instances of Creek Indians reaching a high age. Of 
the initiation which the Creek boys underwent before attaining 
their seventeenth year, B. Hawkins gives a full and circum- 
stantial account, which shows that superstitions had entered 
into the customs of private life of the Creeks as deeply as 
they had into those of other Indian tribes. 

The ceremony of initiating youth into manhood, says B. 
Hawkins 1 , is usually performed at the age from fifteen to 
seventeen, and is called puskita {Justing), like the busk of 
the nation. A youth of the proper age gathers two handfuls 
of the sowatchko plant, which intoxicates and maddens, and 
eats this very bitter root for a whole day, after which he 
steeps the leaves in water and drinks from this. After sunset 
he eats two or three spoonfuls of boiled grits. 2 He remains 
in a house for four days, during which the above performances 
are repeated. Putting on a new pair of moccasins (stillipai/a), 
he leaves the cabin, and during twelve moons abstains from 
eating the meat of young bucks, of turkey-cocks, fowls, peas 
and salt, and is also forbidden to pick his ears and to scratch 
his head with his fingers, but must use a small splinter to 
perform these operations. Boiled grits — the only food 
allowed to him during the first four moons — may be 
cooked for him by a little girl, but on a fire kindled 
especially for his own use. From the fifth month any 
person may cook for him, but he has to serve himself first, 
using one pan and spoon only. Every new moon he 

1 Sketch of the Creek Country, pp. 78. 79. 
1 Maize pounded into grits. 


drinks the pa'ssa or button-snake root, an emetic, for -four 
days, and takes no food except some boiled grits, hu'mpita 
hatki, in the evening. At the commencement of the twelfth 
lunation he performs for four days the same rites as he did 
at the beginning of the initiation, but on the fifth he leaves 
the cabin, gathers maize-cobs, burns them to ashes, and with 
these rubs his whole body. At the end of the moon he 
elicits transpiration by sleeping under blankets, then goes 
into cold water, an act which ends the ceremony. The herb 
medicines are administered to him by the isti paka'dsha 
'lako or "great leader," who, when speaking of him, says: 
pusidshedshe'yi sanatchumitcha'tcha-is, 1 "I am passing him 
through the physicking process repeatedly," or: naki omalga 
imaki'la'dshayi sa'lit 6mas, tchi, "I am teaching him all the 
matters proper for him to think of." If he has a dream 
during this course of initiation, he has to drink from the 
pa'ssa, and dares not touch any persons, save boys who are 
under a like course. This course is sometimes shortened to i 
a few months, even to twelve days only, but the performances 
are the same. 

The purpose of the initiation of boys, corresponding to 
the first-menstruation rites of females, was the spiritual as 
well as the physical strengthening of the individual. While 
the physical exposures and privations were thought to render 
him strong in body and fearless in battle, the dreams coming 
upon him, in consequence of the exhaustion by hunger and 
maddening by all sorts of physic, were supposed to furnish 
him visions, which would reveal to him enchanting views for 
future life, material riches and the ways to acquire them, the 
principles of bravery and persistence, the modes of charming 
enemies and game at a distance, of obtaining scalps, and pros- 
pects of general happiness and of a respected position in his 
tribe. 2 

1 Slightly altered from the words given by Hawkins. 

2 Cf. what is said of the initiation of the ahopayi and imisi,pp. 159. 165. 


Commemorative Beads. — To perpetuate the memory of his- 
torical facts, as epidemics, tribal wars, migrations, the Creeks 
possessed the pictorial or ideographic writing, the material 
generally used for it being tanned skins. Besides this, which 
was common to the majority of Indian tribes of North America, 
Milfort (pp. 47-49) mentions another mode of transmitting 
facts to posterity, which shows a certain analogy with the 
wampum-belts of the Iroquois and Algonkin tribes. 

It consisted of strings of small beads, in shape of a narrow 
ribbon {banderole) or rosary {chapelei). The beads are de- 
scribed as being similar to those called Cayenne pearls in 
Milfort's time, varying in color, the grains being strung up 
one after the other. The signification of each bead was deter- 
mined by its shape and the position it occupied in its order 
of sequence. Only the principal events were recorded by 
these beads, and without any historic detail ; hence a single 
string often sufficed to recall the history of twenty or twenty- 
five years. The events of each year were kept strictly distinct 
from the events of any subsequent year by a certain arrange- 
ment of the grains, and thus the strings proved reliable 
documents as to the chronology of tribal events. The oldest 
of the mikalgi (les chefs des vieillards) often recounted to 
Milfort, who had risen to the dignity of "chief warrior" in 
the nation, episodes of early Creek history, suggested to them 
by these "national archives." 

Many old traditions of historic importance must have been 
embodied in these records ; but the only one given by Mil- 
fort, referring to the emigration of the Creeks from their 
ancient cave-homes along Red river, is so mixed up with 
incredible matter, that the fixation of the events, as far as 
then remembered, must have taken place many generations 
after the arrival of the Creeks in their Alabama homes. 
Milfort himself, at the head of two hundred Creek men, 
undertook an expedition to that renowned spot, to gratify 
himself and his companions with the sight of the place itself 


from which the nation had sprung forth, and all this solely 
on the strength of the belief which these bead-strings had 
inspired in his companions. 

Further notices on Creek ethnology may be found in 
B.F. French, Hist. Collect, of Louisiana, III, 128-139, in the 
"Notes;" also in Urlsperger's "Nachricht," "Vol. I, chapter 
5, 859-868, a passage describing especially Yamassi customs. 


To offer a history of the Creek tribe from its discovery . 
down to our epoch to the readers does not lie within the 
scope of this volume, and for want of sufficient documents 
illustrating the earlier periods it could be presented in a 
fragmentary manner only. But a few notes on the subject, 
especially on the Oglethorpe treaties, will be of interest to 
the reader. 

In the year following their departure from the West Indies 
(1540), the troops led by H. de Soto traversed a portion of 
the Creek territory, taken in its extent as known to us from 
the end of the eighteenth century. De Soto's presence is 
proved by the mention of Creek tribes bearing Creek names 
in the reports of his three chroniclers. The most circum- 
stantial report in topography is that of the Knight of Elvas. 
He states that de Soto's army usually marched five to six 
leagues a day in peopled countries, but when passing through 
deserted lands proceeded faster. From Chiaha H. de Soto 
reached Coste in seven days. From Tali, probably con- 
tiguous to Coste, he marched for six days, through many 
towns, to Coca, arriving there July 26th, 1540. Leaving this 
town after a stay of twenty-five days, he reached Tallimuchase 
on the same day, Ytava on the next, and had to remain there , 
six days, on account of a freshet in the river. Having crossed 
the river he reached Ullibahali town, fortified by a wooden 
wall, and on the next day stopped at a town subject to the 
lord of Ullibahali, to reach Toasi the dav after. Then 


he traversed the Tallise "province," peopled 'with many- 
towns, and entered the great pueblo of Tallise on September 
18th, to stay there twenty days. Many other towns were 
visible on the opposite side of the " maine river," on which 
Tallisi 1 stood. On leaving this pueblo he reached Casiste on 
the same day, and Tuscalusa, whose chief was lord of many 
territories, after another march of two days. From there 
Piache, on a great river, was reached in two days, and Mavila 
in three days from Piache. De Soto arrived in Mavila on 
October 18th, and the whole distance from Coca to Tuscalusa 
is computed by the Knight of Elvas at sixty leagues, the 
direction of the route being from north to south. In this 
particular Biedma differs from him. 

The villages of Chiaha (Chisca, Ychiaha, China, var. lect.) 
and of Coste (Costehe, Acostehe) provinces were fortified 
and stood on river-islands. This latter circumstance makes 
it probable that they lay on Tennessee river, and hence were 
held by Cheroki Indians. Tali is either the Creek term tali 
dry, exsiccated, or the Cha'hta tali rock. Coca, then in a 
flourishing condition, is the town of Kusa. Talli-muchasi, 
or "Newtown," near Coca, is clearly a Creek term, and so 
is Ytava, Itawa, which I take for the imperfectly articulated 
italua, tribe. Toasi is, I think, the town of Tawasa, which 
was one of the Alibamu villages, q. v., and lay on the. southern 
shore of the Alabama river. 

Tallisi is undoubtedly Talua-hassi, "old town," but which 
one of the numerous settlements of this name it may have 
been is now impossible to determine. Casiste resembles 
Kasi'hta, but cannot have been Kasi/ta on Chatahuchi river, 
for de Soto reached Tuskalusa or "Black Warrior," which I 
take to be a town on the river of that name, within two days 
from Casiste, traveling west. 8 Piache, if Creek, could be 

1 Italisi, var. lect. 

2 For Casiste compare K.6sisti, a term appearing in Creek war-titles;, 
its signification is unknown. 


api-udshi little pole, small tree. Garcilaso de la Vega states 
that Tascalusa was on the same river (?) as Tallisi and below 
it. The documents of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
frequently give names of localities and tribes to the local 
chiefs, as was done here in the case of Tascalusa, Mavila, 
Alimamu and others. Chiaha is a Cheroki name, and is 
explained elsewhere as "place of otters." Some modern 
critics believe that de Soto's army did not cross the moun- 
tains into what is now North Carolina and Tennessee, the 
"over-hill" seats of the Cheroki people, but only skirted the 
southern slope of the Apalachian ridge by passing through 
Northern Georgia west into Northern Alabama, and then 
descending Coosa river. In order to determine de Soto's 
route in these parts, we have to decide first, whether the 
days and directions of the compass noted by his chroniclers 
deserve more credence than the local names transmitted in 
cases when both form conflicting statements. The names of 
localities could not be pure inventions ; they prove by them- 
selves, that tribes speaking Creek or Maskoki proper were 
encountered by the adventurous leader in the same tracts 
where we find them at the beginning of this nineteenth cen- 
tury. It follows from this that the Creek immigration from 
the west or northwest, if such an event ever occurred within 
the last two thousand years, must have preceded the time of 
de Soto's visit by a long lapse of time. Thus the terms 
italua, tal6fa, talassi belong to the Creek dialect only; had 
H. de Soto been in a country speaking a Hitchiti dialect, he 
would have heard, instead of these, the term 6kli, and 
instead of talua mutchasi: okli himashi. 1 

In 1559 another Spanish leader, Tristan de Luna, disem- 
barked in or near Mobile bay, then went north in quest of 
gold and treasure, reached Nanipacna, or "pueblo Santa 
Cruz de Nanipacna," and from there arrived, after experi- 

1 When stopping at Ullibahali, he was in the country of the Alibamu, 
rfor 6la, ula is the term for town in their dialect. Cf. p. 85 (Note). 


encing many privations and trials, among the Cocas, who 
were then engaged in warfare with the Napochies (na n pissa? 
cf. Chicasa). He made a treaty of alliance with the Cocas, 
and deemed it prudent to return. The distance from Coca 
to Nanipacna was twelve days, from there to the harbor 
three days' march. 1 

In 1567 Captain Juan del Pardo set out from St. Helena, 
near Charleston Harbor, S. C, on an exploration tour with 
a small detachment, following partly the same aboriginal 
trail which had guided de Soto through the wastes of Georgia 
and the Cheroki country. On leaving the banks of the Ten- 
nessee river, he turned south, touching Kossa, a sort of a 
capital (evidently Kusa), thenTasqui, Tasquiqui and Olitifar. 
These are the only names of places mentioned by his chroni- 
cler, Juan de la Vandera (1569), which refer to the Creek 
country. Tasquiqui cannot be anything else but Taskigi, 
near the junction of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. 

From the beginning of the eighteenth century the French, 
Spanish and British colonists endeavored to win over the 
tribes of the confederacy to their interests. The Spaniards 
established in Northern Florida paid honors to the "emperor 
of the Cowetas," therewith hoping to influence all the Lower 
and Upper Creeks, and in 1710 received Kawita delegates 
with distinction at St. Augustine. After the conflict with 
the Spaniards the British established Fort Moore for trading 
purposes among the Lower Creeks. In 1713 chiefs of the 
Alibamu, Koassati and other tribes visited the French colony 
at Mobile, entered into friendly relations, invited them to 
construct Fort Alibamu, also called Fort Toulouse, near 
Odshi-apofa, q. v., and were helpful in erecting it. The 
French entertained a small garrison and a trader's post there, 
and subsequently the fort was called Fort Jackson. 

1 Cf. Barcia, Ensayo, p. 37. The report is almost entirely devoid of 
local names, which alone could give indications upon the route traveled 


The first British treaty with the Creeks was concluded by 
James Oglethorpe, Governor of the Carolinas. He set out 
May 14th, 1733, from Charleston, his residence, and on 
May 1 8th met in council the representatives of the Lower 
Creek tribes at Savannah. During the meeting many facts 
of interest were elicited. The Creeks then claimed the terri- 
tory extending from the Savannah river to the Flint river, 
and south to St. Augustine, stating that their former number 
of ten tribes had been reduced to eight. Wikatchampa, the 
Okoni miko, proclaimed that his tribe would peaceably cede 
to the British all lands not needed by themselves. .The 
Yamacraw chief Tomochichi, then banished from one of the 
Lower Creek towns, spoke in favor of making a treaty with 
the foreigners, and Yah61a 'lako, miko of Kawita, allowed 
Tomochichi and his relatives "to call the kindred, that love 
them, out of each of the Creek towns, that they may come 
together and make one town. We must pray you to recall 
the Yamasees, that they may be buried in peace among their 
ancestors, and that they may see their graves before they 
die; and our own nation (of the Lower Creeks) shall be 
restored again to its ten towns." The treaty of land-cession, 
commerce and alliance was signed May 21st, and ratified by 
the trustees of the colony of Georgia, October 18th, 1733. 
It stipulated a cession of the lands between the Savannah 
and Altamaha rivers, and of some islands on the Atlantic 
coast, to the British; it further stipulated promises to enter 
into a commercial treaty at a later date, to place themselves 
under the general government of Great Britain, to live in 
peace with the colonies, to capture runaway slaves and deliver 
them at Charleston, Savannah or Palachukla garrison for a 
consideration. The treaty was confirmed by pledges on the 
side of the Creeks, which consisted in a bundle of buckskins 
for each town, whereas the English made presents of arms, 
garments, etc. , in return. The Indians expressed a desire of re- 
ceiving instruction through teachers, and the success obtained 


in concluding this first treaty was mainly attributed to the influ- 
ence of Tomochichi upon his fellow-countrymen. The eight 
tribes represented were Kawita, Kasi/ta, Osutchi, Chiaha, Hi- 
tchiti, Apalatchukla, Ok6ni, Yufala. The "two lost towns" 
were certainly not those of the Sawokli and Yuchi, although 
these do not figure in the list. Only one of the headmen 
signing the treaty of 1733 figures in the prooemium of 
our legend (written in 1735): "Tomaumi, head warrior of 
Yufala, with three warriors;" he is identical with Tamokmi, 
war captain of the Eufantees (in 1735). Chekilli is not 

The above treaty is printed in : Political State of Great 
Britain, vol. 46, p. 237 sqq; extract in C. C. Jones, Tomo- 
chichi, pp. 27-37. 

Although encouraged by this first successful meeting with 
the Creeks> the colonists knew so well the fickleness of the 
Indian character that they were distrustful of the steadiness 
of their promises, and thus sought to renew the friendly rela- 
tions with them as often as possible. 

A convention was arranged with the chiefs of the Lower 
Creeks at Savannah in 1735, during which the legend of the 
Kasi^ta migration was delivered, but it does not appear 
whether any new treaty stipulations were mooted or not at 
that meeting. 

Just after his return from England, Governor Oglethorpe 
again came to Savannah on October 13th, 1 738, to meet in 
council the mikos of Chiaha, Okmulgi, Otchisi and Apa- 
latchukla, who were accompanied by thirty warriors and fifty- 
two attendants. They assured him of their firm and continued 
attachment to the crown, and notified him that deputies of 
the remaining towns would come down to see him, and that 
one thousand warriors of theirs were at his disposal. They 
also requested that brass weights and sealed measures should 
be deposited with the mikos of each town, to preclude the 
traders settled among them from cheating. 


On the 17th of July, 1739, Oglethorpe with a large retinue 
started to meet the Creeks in their own country, at Kawita. 
He traveled up Savannah river to the Yuchi town, twenty- 
five miles above Ebenezer, then followed the inland trail, 
for two hundred miles, without meeting any Indians. The 
council lasted from August nth to 21st, and terminated 
in a treaty, by which the towns renewed their "fealty" to 
the king of Great Britain, and confirmed their cessions 
of territory, while Oglethorpe engaged that the British 
should not encroach upon their reserved lands, and that 
their traders should deal fairly and honestly with the Indians. 
The towns on Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers participated in 
the treaty. 1 

It may be regarded as a consequence of this compact, that 
Creek warriors joined the British as auxiliaries in the expe- 
dition against St. Augustine in 1742. 

Important and detailed information on the relations of the 
Creeks and all other Southern tribes with the British and 
French settlers of colonial times may be found in the docu- 
ments preserved at the State Paper Office, London. The 
contents of such papers as relate more especially to South 
Carolina are hinted at in numerous abstracts of them given 
in a catalogue in Collections of South Carolina Historical 
Society, Vols. I, II, Charleston, 8vo (Vol. II published in 
1858); cf. II, 272. 297-298. 315-317. 322, etc. Compare 
also W. de Brahm's writfngs, mentioned in : Appendices. 

An incomplete and unsatisfactory, though curious list of 
the elements then (17 71) composing the Maskoki confede- 
racy and of its western allies is contained in B. Romans, East 
and West Florida (p. 90). The passage first alludes to the 
Seminoles as allies, and then continues : " They are a mixture 
of the remains of the Cawittas, Talepoosas, Coosas, Apa- 
lachias, Conshacs or Coosades, Oakmulgis, Oconis, Okchoys, 
Alibamons, Natchez, Weetumkus, Pakanas, Taensas, Chacsi- 
1 Cf. C. C. Jones, Tomochichi, pp. 113-119. 


hoomas, Abekas and some other tribes whose names I do 
not recollect." 

An interesting point in early Creek history is the settle- 
ment of Cheroki Indians in Georgia, and their removal from 
there through the irruption of the Creeks. W. Bartram, 
Travels, p. 518, in describing the mounds of the country, 
states "that the region lying between Savanna river and 
Oakmulge, east and west, and from the sea coast (of the 
Atlantic) to the Cherokee or Apalachean mountains (filled 
with these mounds) was possessed by the Cherokees sinoe 
the arrival of the Europeans ; but they were afterwards dis- 
possessed by the Muscogulges, and all that country was 
probably, many ages preceding the Cherokee invasion, in- 
habited by one nation or confederacy (unknown to the 
Cherokees, Creeks) . . . etc." In another passage he gives 
a tradition of the Creeks, according to which an ancient town 
once built on the east bank of the Okmulgi, near the old 
trading road, was their first settlement in these parts after 
their emigration from the west. 

The topographic names from the Cheroki language through- 
out Georgia testify strongly to the presence of Cheroki Indians 
in these countries. The tracts on the Ok6ni and Okmulgi 
are nearer to the seats of the Elati Cheroki than the Creek 
settlements on Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, where Cheroki 
local names occur also. 

The legend reported by C. Swan (Schoolcraft V, 259) that 
the Creeks migrated from the northwest to the Seminole 
country, then back to Okmulgi, Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, 
deserves no credit, or applies to small bodies of Indians 

From an ancient tradition John Haywood 1 relates the 
fact (pp. 237-241) that when the Cheroki Indians first settled 
in Tennessee, they found no other red people living on Ten- 

1 John Haywood, the Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee 
(up to 1768). Nashville, 1823. 


nessee river, except a large body of Creeks near the influx of 
Hiwassee river (and some Shawanese on Cumberland river). 
They had settled "at the island on the Creek path," meaning 
a ford of the Great Tennessee river, also called "the Creek 
crossing," near the Alabama State border. At first they lived 
at peace with them, but subsequently attacked them, to drive 
them out of the country. By stratagem they drew them from 
their island, with all the canoes in their possession, to a place 
where others lay in ambush for them, engaged them in battle, 
took away their canoes to pass over to the island, and 
destroyed there all the property of the tribe. The enfeebled 
Creeks then left the country and went to the Coosa river. 

The Broad river, a western affluent of Savannah river, 
formed for many years the boundary between the Cheroki 
and the eastern Creeks. It figures as such in Mouson's map 
of 1773. 

The Creeks remained under the influence of the British 
government until after the American Revolutionary war, and 
in many conflicts showed their hostility to the thirteen states, 
struggling for independence. Thus they acted in the British 
interest when they made a night attack on General Wayne's 
army, in 1782, led by Guristersigo, near the Savannah river. 
An attack on Buchanan's station was made by Creek and 
Cheroki warriors near Nashville, Tenn., in 1792. Treaties 
were concluded with them by the United States at New 
York, August 7th, 1790, and at Coleraine, Georgia, June 29th, 
1 796. An article of these stipulated the return of captured 
whites, and of negro slaves and property to their owners in 
Georgia. Trading and military posts were established among 
them, and an agent of the Government began to reside in one 
of their towns. Further cessions of Creek lands are recorded 
for 1802 and 1805." 

Instigated by the impassionate speeches of Tecumseh, the 
Shawano leader, the Upper Creeks, assisted by a few Yuchi 
and Sawokli Indians, revolted in 1813 and massacred the 


American garrison at Fort Mimms, near Mobile bay, Ala- 
bama, on August 30th of that year. General A. Jackson's 
army subdued the revolt, after many bloody victories, in 
the battle of the Horse-Shoe Bend, and by taking Pensacola, 
the seaport from which the Spaniards had supplied the 
insurrection with arms. A peace treaty was concluded on 
August 9th, 1814, embodying the cession of the Creek lands 
west of Coosa river. Surrounded as they were by white 
settlements on all sides, this revolt, known also as the Red 
Stick War, was the last consequential sign of reaction of 
the aboriginal Creek mind against civilizing influences. 

Previous to the departure from their lands in the Gulf 
States to the Indian Territory (1836-1840), scattering 
bands of the Creeks joined the Seminoles in 1836, while 
others took arms against the United States to attack the 
border settlements and villages . in Georgia and Alabama. 
These were soon annihilated by General Scott. The treaty 
of cession is dated April 4th, 1832, and the lands then granted 
to them in their new homes embraced an area of seven mil- 
lions of acres. On October nth, 1832, the Apalachicola 
tribe renewed a prior agreement to remove to the west of 
Mississippi river, and to surrender their inherited lands at 
the mouth of the Apalachicola river. Only 744 Creeks 
remained east of the Mississippi river. 

At the outbreak of the Secession war, in 1861, the Creeks 
separated into two hostile parties. Chief Hopo'li yahola 
with about 8000 Creeks adhered firmly to the Union cause, 
and at the head of about 800 of his warriors, aided by auxili- 
ary troops, he defeated the Confederate party in one engage- 
ment ; but in a second action he was defeated, and with his 
followers fled into Kansas. Both rencontres took place in 
the territory of the Cheroki Indians, in November and 
December, 1861. 

The statistic dates of the Creek population given before 
B. Hawkins' time are mere estimates. In 1732 Governor 


Oglethorpe reported 1300 warriors in eight towns of the 
Lower Creeks (Schoolcraft V, 263. 278), and in 1791 all 
the Creek "gun-men" were estimated to number between 
5000 and 6000; the same number is given for these in the 
census of 1832 (Schoolcraft V, 262 sqq.; VI, 333), living 
in fifty-two towns, the whole population being between 25,000 
and 30,000. In the same year the Cha'hta population was 
conjectured to amount to 18,000 (Schoolcraft VI, 479). The 
Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1881 
gives a Creek population of 15,000, settled upon 3,215,495 
acres of land ; one half of these are tillable, but only 80,000 
acres were cultivated during that year by these Indians. 

of Maskoki is a harmonious, clearly vocalized form of speech, 
averse to nasalization. In forms it is exceedingly rich, but 
its syntax is very simple and undeveloped. An archaic form, 
called the female language, exists outside of the common 
Creek, and mainly differs from it in the endings of the verbs. 


Creek possesses all sounds of the general Maskoki alphabet ; 
but here and in Hitchiti the gutturals g, k, x are often pro- 
nounced with the tongue resting upon the fore or alveolar 
part of the palate. The alternating processes observed here 
also occur in most other Indian and illiterate languages : tch, 
dsh alternate with ts, ds, h with k, x> g with the other gut- 
turals, b with p, d with t, a with e, o with u. The accent 
shifts for rhetoric and syntactic causes, and many unaccented 
syllables are pronounced long. In the pronunciation of the 
natives there is a sort of singing modulation, which likes to 
lengthen the last syllables of a sentence. 1 Syllables not final 
generally terminate in a vowel. 

1 Thus the Creek verbal ending -is, though short by itself, generally 
becomes -Is, when concluding a sentence; also the Hitchiti ending -wats, 



The nominal inflection shows but three cases : The first in 
-i (or -a, -o, -u), which may be called absolute j 1 the subject- 
ive case in -t, -it (-at, -ut), and the objective in -n, -in (-an, 
-un. The absolute case, when used as a vocative, often 
lengthens or strongly accentuates the last syllable. The 
suffix -n indicates the direct and indirect object, and also 
sometimes the locative case. Diminutives are formed by 
means of the suffix -odshi, -udshi. 

Substantive. The substantive noun does not inflect for 
number except in a few terms designating persons which form 
a plural in -agi, -aki : miko chief, mikagi chiefs, to be distin- 
guished from mikalgi class from which chiefs are chosen; 
hunanwa man, hokti woman ; hunantagi, hdktagi. It is the 
archaic form of -akls, the verbal ending of third person plural 
of certain verbal inflections. Cf. -a'li in Hitchiti. 

The suffix -algi, though sometimes used as a plural suffix, 
designates collectivity : u-ikaiwa spring of water, u-ikaiwalki 
place with water-springs, and u-ikai°alki people living at the 
springs; aliktcha conjurer, aliktchalgi conjurers as one body, 
taken in a body. 

The parts of speech being but imperfectly differentiated, 
tenses can be expressed in nouns by adding suffixes : miko 
chief, mikotati, miko-o'ma one who was, has been chief; 
miko-ta'lani a future chief; adsulagitati the defunct fore- 

Adjectives form a real plural by appending the suffix -agi, 
-aki to the base. This applies, however, only to a limited 
number of adjectives, like : 

1 Absolute case has to be regarded as a provisional term only. I call 
it absolute, because the natives, when giving vocables of the language 
not forming part of a sentence,- mention, them in that case in Creek, in 
Hitchiti, in Koassati, etc. In the sentence this case often corresponds, 
however, to the status constructus of the' Hebrew. 


atchula old, pi. atchulagi 
hi'li good, hi'lagi 
tchati red, tchataki 
yiktchi strong, yiktchaki 

The majority of the adjectives and of the attributive verbs 
derived from them form derivatives, which in some instances 
may be called distributive, in others frequentative and itera- 
tive forms. They are formed by a partial reduplication of 
the radix, when the basis is monosyllabic, or often of the last 
syllable of the basis, when the word is polysyllabic. Exam- 

lasti black, laslati black here and black there; verbified : 
lanis, laslanis it is black. 

hallui high, halhawi each of them high. 

suf ki deep, sufsuki deep each, or deep in spots. 

sulgi many, sulsugi many of each. 

h61waki bad, holwah6ki each bad. 

likwi rotten; lik'howi (animals), likliwi (vegetables). 

kotchukni short, kotchuntchoki short in spots. 

silkosi narrow, silsikosi narrow in places, from silki strip. 

Adjectives are made negative by appending the privative 
particle -go, -gu, -ko, -ku : itskisusi having a mother, itskisu- 
siko motherless; hi'li good, hi'ligo not good, bad. 

Gradation of adjectives and of attributive verbs formed 
from these can be effected in different ways, which are more 
perfect and expressive here than in those Indian languages 
which can express gradation only by syntactic means. 

A comparative is formed by prefixing isim-, isin-, isi-, 
apheretically sim-, sin-, si- to the adjective or the attributive 
verb, the two objects compared standing usually before the 
adjective or verb. This prefix is composed of the particle 
isi-, is- and the possessive pronoun im-, in-, i- of the third 
person (s. and pi.), and corresponds somewhat to our 
than, as. The object compared stands in the absolute case. 


kat'tcha yaha. isin'lakit 6mis the panther (kat'tcha) is larger 

('lako large) than the wolf '(yaha ; 6mis is so). 
tchatu tchitu-^unap-hatki (i-)sintchalatuit 6mis iron (tchatu) 

is harder than silver. 
ma tchi'panat ma h6ktudshi (i-)simmahis this boy is taller 

than that girl. 
A superlative is formed by placing i'li-, apheretically 'li-, 
before the comparative : mahi tall, isimmahi taller than, 
i'lisimmahi, 'lisimmahi, 'lisimahi tallest of, lit. "still taller 
than the taller ones." 

ma tsuku halhawat i'lisihalluit omis this house is the highest; 

lit. "higher than the high ones." 
A superlative may be expressed also by using the compara- 
tive instead : ma tchipanat anhopuitaki omalgan isimmahis 
"that boy is the tallest of all my children "; lit. "that boy is 
taller than all my children. ' ' Or the superlative is expressed 
by the augmentative adverb mahi : very, quite, greatly, largely 
yiktchi mahi, the strongest, which at the same time means : 
very strong, quite strong; 'lako mahi largest and very large ; 
mahimahi tallest and very tall; the latter also being expressed 
by a lengthening of the vowel : ma'hi very tall. 

Minuitive gradation is effected by inversion of the sense 
in the sentence and the use of the comparative ; they say : 
"silver is costlier than iron," instead of saying: "iron is 
less costly than silver." 

What we call prepositions are generally nominal forms in 
Creek, inflected like nouns and placed after their comple- 
ments as postpositions, governing the absolute case : 

unapa, subj. unapat, obj. unapan above, on the top of; 'lani 

unapa (or : 'lani yuksa) on the top of the mountain. 
tchuku-6fan laikas / stay within, in the house; -6fan, -ofa, 
-ufa, -of is also temporal suffix : when, while, during: 
ya o'lolopi-6fan in this year. 
inukua atigin ak'hui'l he stands in the water up to (atigin) 

his neck. 



tsa'lki a'li^kan on account of my father. 

tchuku ilidshan, under the house. 

itu ilidshan, itu tchiskan under the tree. 

Numerals. The cardinal numeral has a full form ending 
in -in, and another abbreviated from it used in counting 
objects, and not extending beyond ten; an ordinal, with 
prefix -isa-, is-, apheret. sa-, s- ; a distributive substituting -akin 
to -in of the cardinal, and an adverbial form in -a. 






ihatitchiska first 




sahok61at second 






o'stin, u'stin 
































tchukpi hamgin tchukpi hamgin 

istchukpi hamgat 




hamgakin and 
one to each 


ahamkutcha once 


hokolakin and hokolahakin 

ahokola twice 

two to each 








" 5 





ipakakin and ipahakin 









tchinapahakin and tchinapakakin tchinapaka 

ostapahakin and Ostapakakin ustapa^a 

palakin and palahakin pala 

pali-hokolakin pali-hok61a 

tchukpi hamgakin tchukpi hamgat 


tipa^6tchki "folded once" 
tipa^6'hli o'stin " folded four times" 
tipa^6'hli tchinapakin "folded eight times" 
hamha^osi "one here and one there, scattered." 
The personal pronoun is as follows : 
/ ani, subj. anit, obj. anin, abbr. am-, an-, a- 
thou tchimi, tchimit, tchimin tchim-, tchin- 
he, she, it imi, imit, imin im-, in-, i-, m- 

we p6mi, pumi ; p6mit, pomin pom-, pum-, pon- 
ye tehimitaki, etc. tchintagi 

they imitaki, etc. intaki 

Cha'hta distinguishes between the inclusive and exclusive 
pronouns we, our, but Creek and Hitchiti do not. 

The possessive pronoun is as follows: 
my tcha- ; am-, an-, a- tchaka my head 

thy tchi- tchika thy head, 

his, her, its im-, in-, i- ika, his, her, its head 

our punagi, pu-tagi, pu-, po- puka.tkki,p6ka.ourheads 

your tchinakitaki,tchimitaki,tchi-tagi tchikatagi your heads 
their inakitaki, imitagi, i-tagi ikataki their heads 

The possessive relation is usually expressed : 
(i) by the possessive pronoun prefixed to the object pos- 
sessed : tchaka my head, anhopuitaki my children. 
(2) when two nouns, especially substantives, stand in the 
relation of possession, the possessor stands in the 
absolute case before the object possessed, the pronoun 
im-, in-, i- being prefixed to the latter, 
isti Mashkoki imikana the land of the Creek men. 
adshi intalapi ear of maize; lit. "maize its ear." 
adsh' imapi stalk of maize. 
ingi itchki his thumb; lit. "his hand its mother." 

Other pronouns : 
isti person is used as indefinite pron. : somebody; istika 
somebody's head, a person' s head; stillipai/a boot, from 
isti, ili, pai^a; isti hapu somebody's campingplace. 


ista'mat, pi. istamataki ? who f 

ist6mat? abbr. istat? (s. and pi.) which ? which one? 

hia, ya, i-a this (close by); subj. hiat, obj. hian (in Chero- 
ki: hia this, this one). 

ma, mat, man this (further off). 

asa, asat, asan that (far off). 

Verb. The Creek verb is of the polysynthetic type, and 
inflects by means of prefixes, infixes and (chiefly by) suffixes. 
It possesses an affirmative, negative, interrogative and distrib- 
utive form, which latter is used as a form for the plural of 
the subject in the intransitive verbs ; it also has a large num- 
ber of conversational forms usually derived by contraction, 
ellipses, etc., from the regular or standard forms; and in 
some of its inflections also a reverential besides the common 
form. It is rich in modes, verbals and voices and may be 
called extremely rich in tense-forms, when we compare to it 
the poverty of many .other American languages. 

The verb incorporates the direct and indirect pronominal 
object and inflects for person. In certain conjugational forms 
the personal affix is a prefix, in others a suffix. The historic 
tense, a sort of aorist, is formed by the infix -h- and a change 
of the radical vowel occurs at times, though not so often as 
in Cha'hta. Intransitive verbs show special forms, according 
to the number of the subject (singular, dual, plural). Very 
frequently these latter forms are made from different roots, 
as will be seen from the instances given below. Many transi- 
tive verbs have, when their object stands in the plural, a 
(distributive) form differing entirely or partially from the one 
referring to an object in the singular; a few others show this 
change, when their subject passes from the singular to the 
plural number. Other transitive verbs are combining the 
two inflections just described. 

Adjectives can be verbified and then appear in the shape 
of attributive verbs: hauki, pi. hauhaki hollow; haukas I am 
hollow., hafckis it is hollow, hauhakis they are hollow. No 


real substantive verb being extant, its want is supplied by 
omas, m6mas, t6yas / am so, I am such; these are conju- 
gated regularly, and when connected with the verbals in -t 
(-at, -it, -ut) of any verb, compose a periphrastic conjugation 
which displays itself in an almost infinite number of forms. 

From all this it becomes evident, that the Creek verb sur- 
passes in its large power of polysynthesis the Algonkin, Da- 
kota and Kalapuya verb, and in the richness of its forms 
approaches closely to the Iroquois verb, which is poorer in 
tenses, but has an impersonal conjugation and fourteen per- 
sons to each tense of the finite verb. Creek is likely to 
surpass also the Basque verb, which has become proverbial 
for the almost infinite number of its intricate verb forms. 1 

I propose to. give below the inflection of the Creek verb in 
its general outlines only, as far as necessary to give an idea 
of the subject. The Creek conjugation is regular throughout 
in its standard forms, though the conversational form has 
introduced modifications. 

Inflection of isita to take, carry, hold (one object) and of 
tchawita to take (more than one object). Only three tenses 
were given here as examples of tchawita, although it has as 
many modes, tenses and other forms as isita. 

Active Voice. 
Affirmative conjugation. 
Declarative mode. 
Present: isa-is, or isas I am taking, 2 s. isitchkis, 3 s. isis; 

1 pi. isis, isis, 2 pi. isa'tchkis, 3 pi. isakis. 
tchawa-is or tchawas / am taking (more than one obj.), 

2 s. tchawitchkis, 3 s. tchawis; 1 pi. tchawls, 2 pi. 
tchawa'tchkis, 3 pi. tchawa'kis. 

The preterit tenses : i'hsas I took, 2 s. i'hsitchkis, 3 s. i'hsis; 
1 pi. i'hsis, 2 pi. i'hsa'tchkis, 3 pi. i'hsa'/kis. 

1 " L'invincible vencido " is the title of the first conjugational system of 
Basque, as published by Larramendi. 


tcha'hwas I took (pi. of obj.), 2 s. tcha'hwitchkis, etc. 
isayangis, I have taken, 2 s. isitchkangis, 3 s. isangis,-kis; 

1 pi. isiyankis, 2 pi. isakatchkankis, 3 pi. isakankis. 
tchawayangis I have taken (pi. of obj.), 2 s. tchawitchkan- 

kis, etc. 
isayatis I took (indefinite, aorist or historic past tense), 2 s. 

isitchkatis, 3 s. isatis; 1 pi. isiatls, 2 pi. isatchkatis, 

3 pi. isakatis. 
isayantas / took (long . ago), 2 s. isitchkantas, 3 s. isantas, 

isaimatas / had taken, 2 s. isitchkimatas, 3 s. isimatas, etc. 
The future tenses : isa'lis I shall take, 2 s. isitchka'lis, etc. 
isa'lanas I am going to take, 2 s. isa'lanitchkis, 3 s. 

isa'lanis, etc. 
isipayatita'lis I shall have taken, 2 s. isipitchkatita'lis, 3 s. 

isipatita'lis, etc. 

Conditional or subjunctive mode. 
(6mati, omat if, when, connected with the verbal in -n.) 
Present : isan 6mat(i) if I take, 2 s. isitchkin omat, 3 s. 

isin 6mat, etc. 
Preterit: isa'yatin omat if I had taken, 2 s. isitchkatin 

omat, etc. 
Future: isa'lanan 6mati'h if I am going to take, 2 s. 

isa'lanitchkin 6mati'h, etc. 

Potential mode. 
isayis / can take, 2 s. isitchkls, 3 s. isls, isi-is, etc. 
isa'lanayat talkis I must take, I have to take, 2 s. isa'lanitcha 

Isa/ant omatin omas I ought to have taken, 2 s. isa^ant omatin 

isi waitayis I may take, 2 s. isitchki waitis, 3 s. isi waitls. 
isa'lani waitayis probably I shall take (at some future time), 

2 s. isa'lanitchki waitis/or waitayis. 
isayi titiyls (abbr. tayis) I am able to take, 2 s. isitchki 




Imperative mode. 
2 s. isas ! do thou take! (as a command). 
2 pi. isakis ! do ye take! 

2 s. isipas ! take! (reverential or exhortative). 
2 pi. isipakis ! take ye! ye may take! 

Verbals, or nominal forms of verb. 
isita to take, the taking; tchawita (pi. of obj.) 

Present: isa-i 

2 s. isitchki 

3 s. isi 

i pi. 


subj. isa-i t, isat obj. isa-in 

I taking, la taker. 
isitchkit isitchkin 

thou taking. 
isit isin 

he, she taking. 
isit isin 

we talcing, we takers. 

2 pi. 


isitchkit isitchkin 
ye taking. 



isakit isakin 
they taking. 

Preterit : 


isa'yatit isa'yatin 
I having taken. 

2 s. 


isitchkatit isitchkatin 
thou having taken. 



isatit isatin 
he, she having taken. 

i pi. 


2. isakatchkati 3. isakati etc. 

Future : 


isa'lanan I going to take. 


isa'lanitchkin thou going to take. 


isa'lanin he, she going to take. 

pi. isa'lani,isa'lanatchki,isaka'lani, etc. 
isakofan, abbr. isakof while taking. 
isikofan, " isikof before he took. 
isiga/kan, " isiga because he takes or took. 
isa'lani^kan, " isa'laniga because he will take. 


Interrogative conjugation (specimen). 

isaya? do 1 take f 2 s. isitska?, 3 s. isa? 1 pi. isiya? 2 pi. 

isatska? 3 pi. isa'ka? 
tchawaya? do I take? (pi. of obj.), etc. 

Negative conjugation: 

isakasldo not take; 2 s. isitskigus, 3 s. isigus; 1 pi. isigus, 
2 pi. isatskigus, 3 pi. isagigus. 

tchawakus I do not take (pi. of obj.), etc. 
Negative-interrogative conjugation : 

isa'ko? do I not take I 2 s. isitskigo? 3 s. isi'go? 1 pi. isi'go? 

2 pi. isatskigO? 3 pi. isagigS? (suffix -go often nasalized 
into -g5 n , -ko°, -ku n ). 

tchawa'ko ? do I not take? etc. 
Conjugation with indirect object : 
imisas / take for somebody, I take from somebody, 2 s. 
imisitchkis, 3 s. imisis; 1 pi. imisls, 2 pi. imisatchkis, 

3 pi. imisa'kis. 

intchawas I take for somebody (pi. of obj.), etc. 
Medial conjugation : 

isipas J take for myself, 2 s. isipitchkis, 3 s. isipis; 1 pi. 

isipls, 2 pi. isipatskis, 3 pi. isakipis. 
tchawipas Hake for myself (jh. of obj.), etc. 

Passive Voice. 

It is formed from the active voice by inserting ho-, hu- 
after the basis of the verb. From isas / take is formed 
tchas'hoyas (for tcha-is-hoyas) I am taken; -s- being the only 
sound of the radix remaining. 

Present: tchas'hoyas lam taken, I am being taken; 2 s. 
tchis'hoyas, 3 s. is'h6yas; 1 pi. putcha-uhoyas, 2 pi. 
tchitcha-uhoyakas, 3 pi. tcha-uh6yas. 

Past: tchas'hohyis, I was taken. 

Future: tchas'hoya'lanis, I shall be taken. 

Part. pass, ^artic. i'hsik; pi. of obj. a'hwak taken. 


Other Voices. 

Reciprocal voice : ititchawls we take each other. 

u'hlatkas I fall on, upon: itu'hlatkas I attack, have a 
Reflective voice : i-isas I take or carry myself. 

yiklas I pinch; iyiklas I pinch myself. 
Causative voice. This form had better be called a deriva- 
tive form than a voice, as will appear from the following 
instances : 

isipuidshas / cause to take. 

puskas I fast; puskipuidshas I make fast, puska'dshas 
I make, cause to fast; puskidsha'dshas I cause to fast 
for initiation. 
hatkis it is white, hatidshas I whiten. 
ki'las I know, ki'lidshas I inform, apprize, i-uki'l- 

kuidshas I explain myself. 
hui'las / stand, hui'lidshas I set up, place, make 
Impersonal voice. A paradigm of an impersonal verb, in- 
flected with its pronominal object, is as follows : 

isanhi'lis it is good for me (hl'li good), 2 s. istchinhi'lis, 
3 s. isinhi'lis; ispunhi'lis it is good for us, 2 pi. 
istchinhi'lagis, 3 pi. isinhi'lagis. 

Other -Conjugational Forms. 

Paradigms of verbs inflected with the subject-pronoun 
standing either separate or incorporated : 

anit bvassldo, am the cause of antalgosis lam alone (for anit 

tchimit omadshksh tchintalg6sis thou art alone 

imit 6mis intalg6sis 

pomit omls we do puntalgosis awrfpuntalgosakis 

tchintagit omadshksh tchintalgosakis 

(i)mitagit omls intalgosakis 


Objective or compound conjugation. 

A transitive verb connected with its direct pronominal 
object runs as follows : 

yiklita to pinch, the pinching. 

tchiyiklas I pinch thee. 

yiklas I pinch him, her, it, or I pinch one object. 

tchiyikla/as I pinch ye. 

yikla/as I pinch them, or several objects. 

tchayiklitchkis thou pinchest me. 

puyiklitchkis thou pinchest us. 

yiklis he, she pinches (another). 

yiklakos, contr. yiklaks I do not pinch him, her, it. 

yikb£ak5s I do not pinch them. 

tchiyiklakos I do not pinch thee. 

tchiyiklaya? do I pinch thee i 

yiklaya? do I pinch him, her, it? 

yiklakaya? do I pinch them ? 

A transitive verb connected with its indirect pronominal 
object conjugates in the same manner, unless there is in it 
the idea/or the benejit of, or for the detriment of, or from, away 
from somebody or something connected" with it. In this 
case the pronoun im-, in-, i- is prefixed; paradigm given 

kaidshita to say, the saying, kaidshas I say. 

tchikaidshas (for tchikaidsha-is) I say to thee. 

kaidsha-is, kaidshas I say to him, her, it (to one person). 

tchikaidshaka'-is I say to ye. 

kaidshaka'-is I say to them (to several persons). 

tchakaidshis he, she says to me. 

tchikaidshis he, she says to thee. 

kaldshis he, she says to (to another). 

pukaidshis he says to us. 

tchikaidshagis he says to ye. 

kaidshagis he says to them (to several persons). 

tchikaidshi-is we say to thee. 


tchakaitchatchkis^ say to me. 

tchikaitchakakls they say to ye. 

kaidshakakls they say to them. 

Intransitive Verbs. 

Subject in the singular, dual and plural number : 

ala/as / come, alahdkis we two come, ye'dshls we come. 

6'las I arrive, o'lh6yis, o'la'-idshis. 

homa^ta-is I am ahead, I lead, du. and pi. homa^'h6ti-is. 

wakas I am lying, wak'hdgis, lumhis. 

hui'las I stand, sihokis, saba^lis. 

a'las I am about, wilagis, fullis. 

tchiyas I enter, tchu^alagis, sidshiyis. 

On a special use made of the verbal dual, cf. Ceremonial 


Transitive Verbs. 

Object in the singular and plural number ; the latter form 
also marking a repetition of the act. 

ilidshas I kill, pasatas. 

hayas I make, hahaidshas; pi. of subject hayakis. 

mutchasidshas I make new, mutchasakuidshas. 

ki'la'dshas I cause to know, apprize, ki'lakuidshas. 

tulas I/elKja. tree etc.), tultuidshas I fell repeatedly , or many 

falapas I split; itun fala'hlidshas T split many sticks sepa- 

nafkas I strike, nafnakas. 

hopilas 1 inhume, hopilhuidshas and hopila*as. 

tadshas I cut off, sever, wa'las. 

Many conjunctions are formed from the auxiliary verbs 
omas, m6mas and thus are in fact verbs, not particles. In 
spite of the frequent use to which they are put they do not 
relieve the sentence of its heaviness to any perceptible extent ; 
for what we call incident clauses and also many co-ordinate 


principal sentences are uniformly expressed by groups of 
words, the verb of which stands in the -t or -n verbal, which 
nearest corresponds to our participle in -tag; or to having 
(h. gone, carried), sometimes five or six of them, followed at 
the close by a finite verb. Instances of this our Creek text 
affords almost on every page. This sort of incapsulation 
greatly embarrasses interpreters in the rendering of Creek 
texts in any of the modern European languages, which have 
a tendency towards analytic and an aversion to synthetic 
structure of the sentence, and therefore use conjunctions 
freely. A conjunction corresponding in every respect to our 
and exists in none of the Maskoki dialects. 

The syntax is remarkably simple and uniform ; the multi- 
plicity of grammatic forms precludes the formation of many 
syntactic rules, just as in Sanscrit. The position of the words 
in the sentence is: subject, object, verb. The adjective 
when used attributively stands after the noun qualified. 

Lexical Affinities. 

Several Creek words possess a striking resemblance with 
words of equal or related signification, pertaining to other 
languages. Some of them are undoubtedly borrowed, while 
others may rest on a fortuitous resemblance. A few of them 
were pointed out by H. Hale, in Amer. Antiquarian V, 120. 
I consider as being borrowed from Cheroki : 

Cr. atasi war-club, in Cher, atsa, at'sa ; occurs in the Cher, 
war-name : At'sa utegi the one throwing away the 
war-club. It contains the idea of being bent, crooked ; 
inata atassini the snake is crawling. 

Cr. tchn'ska. J>ost-oah, H. tchiski ; Cher. tchusk6. 

Cr. yenasa, Cha'hta yanash bison, buffalo; Cher, yanasa. 

The Creek sulitawa soldier and the Cha'hta shulush shoe 
were borrowed from the French terms soldat and Soulier 
(from Lat. subtalare). 

Alike in Creek and Cheroki, but of uncertain provenience 


are tsiila, tchulajfo*, in Yuchi satchoni ; hia, i-a this, this one 
(pron. dem.) Compare also Cr. nini road, trail with Cher, 
na^nohi, na-£n6hi road. The Cr. words tiwa hair, scalp, and 
wahu winged elm are said to be borrowed from foreign lan- 
guages. It will be noticed, that names of plants, and 
especially of animals hunted by man often spread over 
several contiguous linguistic areas. 

The Maskoki dialects, it must be acknowledged, have re- 
mained remarkably free from foreign admixture. 




There are events in the history of a people, which are 
remembered with difficulty or displeasure and therefore soon 
drop from the memory of men. But there are other incidents 
which pass from father to son through many generations, and 
the remembrance of them, though altered in many particulars 
and variously recounted, seems to be undying. Events of 
this kind are migrations, long warfare or decisive battles, 
which resulted either in defeat or victory, alliances with 
cognate or friendly tribes, times of abundance, of famines 
and epidemics. To be of easy remembrance, there must be 
something connected with these events which forcibly strikes 
the imagination and in later times stands out as the principal 
fact, while minor features of its occurrence disappear or 
become subject to alterations in the progress of time. 

This also shows the process, how historic legends and 
traditions ,are forming among uncultured nations, which are 
possessed of imperfect means only for the transmission of 
ideas to posterity. Whenever this traditionary lore is written 
down by a civilized people, then the gathering of these tales, 
half mythic and half historic, forms a commencement of 
historiography, and by later generations is regarded as valued 
material for clearing up the dawn of history. 

The historic legends of the different nations vary exceed- 
ingly in their contents, at least as much as do the nations 



themselves. There are some that speak of the chiefs only 
and not of the people, or fill the tales with mythic heroes and 
impossible events, while the more sober and intelligent restrict 
the miraculous element to narrow limits, though never ex- 
cluding it entirely. There are peoples and individuals who 
will not give credence to a legend which does not contain 
miracles. Many of the North American tribes, especially on 
the Pacific coast, have no knowledge of early events in their 
tribe, because a severe law prohibits them from calling their 
dead relatives by their names. This superstition alone suffices 
to destroy the historic sense in the population, but does not 
seem to have operated among the Aztecs, Mayas and Quichhuas 
to any noticeable degree. 

All nations of the globe have migrated from earlier into 
more recent seats, but with many of them these migrations 
took place in epochs so far distant that they have lost all 
recollections of them. These latter we call autochthonic ; 
the .Kalapuya of Willamet Valley, Oregon, and the Washo 
around Carson, Nevada, who claim to have originated from 
bulrushes in the vicinity, belong to these. All tribes of the 
Maskoki stock possess migration legends, and so do the 
Dakota and Iroquois. Their migration legends are inter- 
mingled with myths and mythic ideas; nevertheless, they 
prove that the migrations took place in comparatively recent 
times, and that these accounts are not pure astronomical or 
other fictions; 

A full knowledge of Maskoki mythology would certainly 
help us in the understanding of their migration tales, but this 
subject has not been investigated as yet. Their principal 
mythic power is the " Master of Life " or " Holder of Breath, ' ' 
in Creek Isakita immissi, a divine being, which is as thor- 
oughly North American as Jahve, an ancient sun- and thunder- 
god, is of Semitic, and Dyaus, Zeus, Jupiter, the Sky-god, is 
of Aryan origin. The proper sense of the Creek name is 
"the one who carries, takes the life or breath for them;" it 


is the embodiment of the idea that a great, powerful spirit 
gives life, or what is synonymous with it, breath to them 
(to persons, animals), and takes it off from them at will 
(isakita life, breath; im- pron. poss. 3d person, isas F take, 
when the object stands in the singular) ; isi, issi taker, holder. 
The Master of Life, also called Suta-laikati, "resident in the 
sky," is not a pure abstraction, but has to be brought into 
connection with the sun-worship of all Americans, which 
again became associated with the cult of the fire-flame. The 
idea that the Creeks knew anything of the devil of the Chris- 
tian religion is a pure invention of the missionaries ; being 
christianized, they call him now: isti futchigo "the man 
acting perversely," taso^la'ya, or: isti nikle-idsha atsu'li "the 
old person-burner ' ' (ani nikle-idshas I burn somebody, some- 
thing); the Yuchi call him "the swinging man," just as they 
call a ghost " a hunting man." The Shetimasha name for 
the devil is neka, which properly means conjurer, sorcerer 
and witchcraft. 

In the eyes of the missionaries and Christian settlers, the 
paramount importance and abstract character of the Master 
of Breath made him appear as the centre of an almost mono- 
theistic religion ; but on closer investigation it will be found 
that the Creeks believed in many genii and mythic animals 
besides, two of which were the isti-papa and the snake, which 
furnished the snake horn as a war-talisman. It would be singu- 
lar indeed, if the Creeks were the only Indians of America 
who believed solely in the Great Spirit and not also in a 
number of lesser conceptions of imagination, as dwarfs, giants, 
ogres, fairies, hobgoblins and earth-spirits. 

The myths referring to the origin of nations often stand 
in close connection with myths accounting for the ages of 
the world or successive creations, with migration legends, and 
with culture-myths, explaining the origin of certain institu- 
tions, manufactures and arts. 

Many of these myths are etymological, as that of the 


Greeks, stating that they originated from stones thrown, by 
Deucalion behind himself Qda? stone, and la6$ people) ; that 
of Adam, being created from earth; adam, in Hebrew, 
signifies person and mankind, adorn, adum, fem. adumah red, 
ruddy, bay-colored, adamah earth, ground, land, from its red- 
dish color, admoni red-haired. 

Although the origin from the earth is certainly, the most 
natural that could suggest itself to primitive man, there are 
a number of nations claiming provenience from the sky 
(the Tukabatchi were let down from the sky in- a gourd or 
calabash) : from the sun (Yuchi), from the moon, from the 
sea, from the ashes of fire (Shawano), from eggs (Quichhua) 
or certain plants. 

The Aht, on the western coast of Vancouver Island, allege 
that animals were first produced at Cape Flattery, Washington 
Territory, and from the union of some of- these with a star, 
which fell from heaven, came the first men, and from them 
sprang all the race of Nitin-aht, Klayok-aht and Makah or 
Klass-aht Indians. 1 

Wherever a mythic origin from an animal, especially from 
a wild beast, is claimed for man, it is usually done to explain 
the totem of the gens to which the originators of the tale 

Among the nations tracing their mythic origin to the earth, 
or what amounts to the same thing, to caves, deep holes, 
hills or mountains, are the Porno of Northern California, who 
believe that their ancestors, the coyote-men, were created 
directly from a knoll of red earth, 2 still visible in their 
country ; the Nahua, whose seven tribes issued from Chicom- 
oztoc or the "Seven Caves." 

A tribe of the Y6kat group, the Tinlul in Southern Cali- 
fornia, claims that their forefathers issued from badger-bur- 

1 J. G. Swan, the Makah Indians, p. 56, in Smithsonian Contributions. 

2 Stephen Powers, Tribes of California, p. 156. 



rows, and they derive their tribal name from these holes, 
which are extremely frequent through their country. 1 

Six families representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois 
are called out to the upper world from a cave on the Oswego 
River by the "Holder of the Heavens," Tarenyawagon.' 

Traditions on early migrations, which have originated in 
the people to which they refer and bear the imprint of genu- 
ineness, not that of a late fabrication by conjurers or mixed- 
bloods, usually contain indications of importance which are 
confirmed by archseologic and linguistic researches. The 
tradition of the Hebrews, which tells of their immigration 
into Palestine from the countries of the north across the 
Euphrates, is substantiated by their tribal name ibri "one 
who has crossed." The Hellenic, especially Doric tradition 
of an immigration from Thrace and Macedonia through 
Epirus and Thessalia into Greece is confirmed by linguistic 
and historic facts, but the Roman legend concerning the 
descent of the founders of the "Eternal City " from Troy 
was acknowledged to be a pious fraud by the ancients them- 

The Indians of the upper and middle part of the peninsula 
of California claim descent from the Yuma population north 
of them ; the TinnS- Apache of New Mexico and the Gila 
river, Arizona, also point to an ancient home in the far 
north, and both traditions are confirmed by the affinities of 
their dialects. In many instances, though by no means in 
all, the migrations are seen to follow the direction of the 
longitudinal'axis of the continent. In North America another 
line of migration is observed besides, that from west to east ; 
nevertheless, the Yuchi and some Dakota and Iroquois tribes 
have moved in a direction exactly opposite. 

i Communicated by Dr. Walter J. Hoffman. Powers writes the name : 

2 The myth is given below in full; taken from E. Johnson, Legends, 
etc. pp. 43, sqq. 


It is erroneous to believe that a people had but one migra- 
tion legend, because only one has come to our knowledge. 1 
This would be a thorough misapprehension of the various 
agencies which are at work in producing folk-lore. Every 
tribe of a people or nation has its own migration myth or 
legend, which in some points coincides, in others conflicts 
with those of the neighboring septs. Conflicting traditions 
will be noticed below, not only among the Maskoki nations 
at large, but also within the narrower limits of the Creek 
towns or tribes. 

To the reproduction and critical examination of the differ- 
ent Creek migration legends transmitted to us we premise a 
short chapter on the mythic and legendary tales referring to 
the migrations of the other Maskoki nations. 

The account of the Cha'hta migration, as given in the Mis- 
sionary Herald, of Boston, Vol. XXIV (1828), p. 215, was 
referred to in a short extract in this volume, under Cha'hta, 
pp. 106. 107. 

The narrative of the interpreter, who seems to have been 
somewhat imbued with the spirit of rationalism, continues 
as follows : 

" When they emigrated from a distant country in the west, 
the Creeks were in front, the Cha'hta in the rear. They 
travelled to a ' good country ' in the east ; this was the in- 
ducement to go. On the way, they stopped to plant corn. 
Their great leader and prophet * directed all their move- 
ments, carried the hobuna or sacred bag (containing ' medi- 
cines ') and a long white pole as the badge of his authority. 
When he planted the white pole, it was a signal for their en- 
campment. He was always careful to set this pole perpen- 
dicularly and to suspend upon it the sacred bag. None were 
allowed to come near it and no one but himself might touch 

1 " Quod non est in scriptis, non est in mundo." 

» Prophet, in Cha'hta, is hopayi and corresponds in his name to the 
ahopaya, hopaya of the Creeks, q. v. 


it. When the pole inclined towards the east, this was the 
signal for them to proceed on their journey ; it steadily in- 
clined east until they reached Nanni Waya. There they 

This story does not mention any crossing by the Cha'hta 
of the turbid waters of the mighty Mississippi, but accounts 
quite satisfactorily for the mysterious inclination of the pole, 
for the prophet must have been careful to suspend the satchel 
with the war-physic always on the eastern side, so as to have 
the pole brought down in that direction by the weight of the 
pouch. The tale contains a similar motive as that of the 
foundation of the citadel at Thebes by Kadmus, who was 
ordered by an oracle to follow a wandering heifer until it 
would settle in the grass, and then to found a city on the spot. 

Follows the account of the Chicasa migration, as told by 
their old men to the United States agent stationed among 
them, and printed in Schoolcraft, Indians, I, 309 sq : 

" By tradition they say they came - from the West ; a part of 
their tribe remained in the West. When about to start east- 
ward they were provided with a large dog as a guard and a 
pole as guide ; the dog would give them notice whenever an 
enemy was near at hand, and thus enable them to make their 
arrangements to receive them. The pole they would plant 
in the ground every night, and the next morning they would 
look at it, and go in the direction it leaned. They continued 
their journey in this way until they crossed the great Missis- 
sippi river, and on the waters of the Alabama river arrived 
in the country about where Huntsville, Alabama, now is. 
There the pole was unsettled for several days, but finally it 
settled and pointed in a southwest direction. They then 
started on that course, planting the pole every night", until 
they arrived at what is called the Chickasaw Old Fields, 1 

1 The Chicasa Old Fields were, as I am informed by Mr. C. C. Royce, 
on the eastern bank of Tennessee river, at the islands, Lat. 34 35' and 
Long. 86° 31'. 


where the pole stood perfectly erect. All then came to the 
conclusion that that was the Promised Land, and there they 
accordingly remained until they emigrated west of the State 
of Arkansas, in the years 1837 and 1838." 

"While the pole was in an unsettled condition, a part of 
their tribe moved on east, and got with the Creek Indians, 
but so soon as the majority of the tribe settled at the Old 
Fields, they sent for the party that had gone east, who 
answered that they were very tired, and would rest where 
they were awhile. This clan was called Cush-eh-tah. They 
have never joined the parent tribe, but they always remained 
as friends until they had intercourse with the whites ; then 
they became a separate nation." 

"The great dog was lost in the Mississippi, and they 
always believed that the dog had got into a large sink-hole 
and there remained; the Chickasaws said they could hear 
the dog howl just before the evening came. Whenever any 
of their warriors get scalps, they give them to the boys to 
go and throw them into the sink where the dog was. After 
throwing the scalps, the boys would run off in great fright, 
and if one should fall in running, the Chickasaws were cer- 
tain he would be killed or taken prisoner by their enemies. 
Some of the half-breeds, and nearly all of the full-bloods 
now believe it." 

" In traveling from the West to the Promised Land in the 
East, they have no recollection of crossing any large water- 
course except the Mississippi river ; they had to fight their 
way through enemies on all sides, but cannot now remember 
the names of them. When they left the West, they were 
informed that they might look for whites and that they 
would come from the East; that they should be on their 
guard to avoid them, lest' they should bring all manner of 
vice among them. ' ' 

The end of this relation looks rather suspicious for its 
antiquity, or may be a later addition. The throwing of the 


scalps into the sink has to be considered as a sort of sacrifice, 
although it is difficult to say which power of nature the dog 
represented. The howling of the dog before evening and 
the direction of the pole seem to indicate the state of the 
weather and the moisture of the ground, which could give 
origin to fevers. That the passage : " the dog was lost in 
the Mississippi," should read : " the dog was lost in the State 
of Mississippi," is plainly shown by the sentences following 
the statement. 

The migration legends now current among the Alibamu 
and the Hitchiti are but short in form and have been referred 
to under the respective headings. 


The following legends of the Creek Indians are the only 
ones I have been able to obtain, although it may be taken 
for certain, that every one of the larger centres of the Creek 
nation had its own story about this. The legend in Url- 
sperger and in Hawkins are both from Kasi'hta. Milfort's 
was probably given to him at Odshi-ap6fa, and a fragment of 
the Tukabatchi legend is inserted under Tukabatchi, p. 147. 

Migration Legend as recounted to Col. Benj. Hawkins by Taskaya 

Miko, of Apata-i, a branch village of Kasi'hta. " Sketch " 

of B. Hawkins, pp. 81-83. 

" There are in the forks (akfaski) of Red River or U-i tchati, 
west of Mississippi River, U-i ukufki, two mounds of earth. 
At this place the Kasi^ta, Kawita and Chicasa found them- 
selves, and were at a loss for fire. They were here visited by 
the hayoyalgi, four men who came from the corners of the 
world. One of them asked the Indians, where they would 
have their fire (tutka). They pointed to a spot; it was made 
and they sat down around it. The hayoyalgi directed that 
they should pay particular attention to the fire, that it would 
preserve them and let Isakita imissi, the holder of breath, 


know their wants. One of the visitors took them to show 
them the pa'ssa, another showed them the miko huyanl'dsha, 
then the cedar or atchina and the sweet-bay or t61a. (One or 
two plants were not recollected, and each of these seven 
plants was to belong to a particular tribe, imalaikita. 1 ) After 
this, the four visitors disappeared in a cloud, going in the 
direction whence they came. 

* ' The three towns then appointed their rulers. The Kasi/ta 
chose the bear gens or nukusalgi to be their mikalgi, and the 
Istanalgi a to be their iniha-'lakalgi or men second in com- 
mand. The Kawita chose the 'la'loalgi or fish gens to be 
their mikalgi. 

"After these arrangements, some other Indians came from 
the west, met them, and had a great wrestle with the three 
towns ; they made ballsticks and played with them, with bows 
and arrows, and with the atassa, the war club. They fell 
out, fought, and killed each other. After this warring, the 
three towns moved eastwardly, and met the Abika on Coosa 
river. There they agreed to go to war for four years against 
their first enemy ; they made shields, tupelukso, of buffalo 
hides and it was agreed, that the warriors of each town should 
dry and bring forward the ika halbi or scalps of the enemy 
and pile them ; the Abika had a small pile, the Chicasa were 
above them, the Kawita above them, and the Kasi/ta above 
all. The two last towns raised the itu tchati, red or scalp- 
pole, and do not suffer any other town to raise it. Kasijfta is 
first in rank. 

"After this, they settled the rank of the four towns among 
themselves. Kasi^ta called Abika and Chicasa tchatchusi, 
my younger brothers. Chicasa and Abika called Kasi/ta and 

>■ alaikita means totemic gens, imalaikita one's own gens, or Us particu- 
lar gens. 

> No such gens or division exists among the Creeks now. 

* The present Creek word for shield is masanagita. The tupelukso 
consisted of a round frame, over which hides were stretched. 


Kawita tcha'laha, my elder brothers. Abika called Chicasa 
ama'hmaya or my elders, my superiors, and Chicasa some- 
times uses the same term to Abika. 

"This being done they commenced their settlements on 
Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, and crossing the falls of Talla- • 
poosa, above Tukaba^tchi, they visited the Chatahutchi river, 
and found a race of people with flat heads in possession of 
the mounds in the Kasi^ta fields. TJjiese people used bows 
and arrows, with strings made of sinews. The allktchalgi 
or great physic makers sent some rats in the night-time, 
which gnawed the strings, and in the morning they attacked 
and defeated the flat-heads. They crossed the river at the 
island, near the mound, and took possession of the country. 
After this they spread out eastwardly to Otchisi-hatchi or 
Okmulgi river, to Okoni river, to Ogltchi or How-ge-chuh 
river, to Chiska talofa hatchi or Savannah river, called some- 
times Sawanogi. They met the white people on the seacoast, 
who drove them back to their present situation. 

" Kasi^ta and Chicasa consider themselves as people of one 
fire, tutk-itka hamkushi, 1 from the earliest account of their 
origin. Kasi^ta • appointed the first miko for^the Chicasa, 
directed him to settle in the large field (sit down in the big 
savanna), where they now are, and govern them. Some of 
the Chicasa straggled off and settled near Augusta, from 
whence they returned and settled near Kasi/ta, and thence 
rejoined their own people. Kasi/ta and Chicasa have re- 
mained friends ever since their first acquaintance. ' ' 

Extract from : " History of the Moskoquis, called to-day 

Creeks ;" a chapter in " Memoire" of Milfort, pp. 229-265 : 

Everybody knows, that when the Spaniards conquered 

1 Ttitk-itka hamkushi: of one town, belonging to one tribe; literally: 
" of one burning fire :" tutka_/f«, itkis it burns, hamkin one, -ushi, suffix : 
belonging to, being of. 


Mexico, they experienced but little difficulty in subduing the 
peaceable nation inhabiting those southwestern countries by 
means of their firearms, which proved to be far superior to 
the bows and arrows of their opponents, and against which 
courage availed almost nothing. The ruler Montezuma 
saw the impossibility of resisting, and called to his aid the 
neighboring tribes. At that epoch the Moskoquis formed 
a powerful separate republic in the northwest of Mexico; 
they succored him with a numerous body of warriors, . but 
were frightfully decimated by the Spaniards, who dismem- 
bered Montezuma's domain, and almost completely depopu- 
lated it. The conquerors also extended their sceptre over 
the territory of the Moskoquis, who, disdaining abject slavery, 
preferred to leave their native country to regain their former 

They directed their steps to the north, and having marched 
about one' hundred leagues reached the headwaters of Red 
river in fifteen days. From there they followed its course 
through immense plains, blooming with flowers and verdure 
and stocked with game, for eight days. Innumerable flocks 
of aquatic and other birds congregated around the salt ponds 
of the prairie and on the waters of Red River. Encountering 
clumps of trees upon their way, they stopped their march. 
Scouting parties were dispatched to explore the surroundings ; 
they returned in a month, having discovered a forest, the 
borders of which were situated on Red river, and contained 
ample subterranean dwellings. The Moskoquis went on, and 
on reaching the spot, discovered that these dwellings were 
hollows made in the soft ground by buffaloes and other ani- 
mals, which had been attracted by the salty taste of the earth. 
The tribe concluded to settle at this quiet place and began to 
sow the grains of maize which they had brought from their 
Mexican home. Being in want of other tools, they managed 
to cut and trim pieces of wood with sharp-edged stones; 
these wooden sticks were then charred and hardened in the 


fire, to serve as agricultural implements. Thereupon they 
fenced in the fields selected for planting by means of rails 
and pickets, so as to prevent the wild animals from eating 
the maize-crop, and apportioned some of the land to each 
family 1 in the tribe. While the young people of both sexes 
were occupied at the agricultural work, the old ones were 
smoking their calumets. Thus many years were passed in 
happy retirement and abundance of material riches. 

But soon their destinies took a downward turn, and forced 
them to expatriate themselves for a second time. A number 
of their men were killed by the Albamo or Alibamu, and the 
young men sent after them were unable to meet the hostiles 
and to chastise them. The mikos attributed this to the 
want of unity in their military organization, and as a remedy 
for it instituted the charge of Great Warrior or tustenuggi 
'lako. His authority lasted at first only during the war- 
expedition commanded by him, but within that time his 
power was unlimited, and he could not be called to any 

Led by a tustenuggi of their choice, they pursued the Ali- 
bamu, and finally caught up with them near a forest on the 
banks of the Missouri river. The war-chief ordered the wind 
gens, to which he belonged, to cross the river first, then 
followed the bear gens, then the tiger gens, and so forth. 
On their march the vanguard was formed by the young braves, 
the rear-guard by the old men, and the non-combatants were 
placed in the centre. They surprised the Alibamu, who then 
inhabited subterranean dwellings (souterrains), and massacred 
a large number of them ; then these retreated in haste along 
the Missouri river, descending on its right or southern banks. 
When again closely pressed by the pursuing Moskoquis, who 
had defeated them more than once, the Alibamu crossed over 
to the left side of the river ; but this did not save them from 
pursuit, for the Moskoquis followed them to the opposite 
1 Family is probably meant for gens, or totem-clan. 

milfort's migration legend. 227 

side, defeated them in a sharp encounter, and drove them in 
the direction of Mississippi river, in which many found a 
watery grave in their hasty flight. 

The two belligerent tribes now crossed Mississippi river, 
and the Alibamu, having an advance of eight days over their 
pursuers, fled before them into the interior parts to the east. 
The Moskoquis discovered their tracks and followed them to 
the Ohio river, north shore, thence to the influx of Wabash 
river, then crossed Ohio river into what is now Kentucky, 
continued their march in a southern direction, and finally 
arrived in the Yazoo country, where they stayed for several 
years. The caves in which they lived exist to the present 
day; some of them were excavated by themselves, while 
others were found ready for occupation. 

In the meantime the Alibamu had remained in the fertile 
tracts along Coosa river. Their warriors cut off and scalped 
some of the Moskoqui scouts, who had come to ascertain 
their whereabouts. This deed so embittered the injured 
tribe, that their mikos resolved to dispossess the enemy of 
their territory for the third time. They crossed Gumberland 
and Tennessee rivers, followed Coosa river in marching along 
its banks from south to north, 1 but were too late for the 
Alibamu, who had previously left the country, partly for 
Mobile, partly for the tracts held by Cha'hta Indians. 
. The Moskoquis then quietly occupied the country which 
they had conquered and spread out along the rivers Coosa, 
Tallapoosa, Chatahutchi, Flint, Okmulgi, Great and Little 
Okoni and Ogitchi, till they reached Savannah river at the 
place where Augusta is now standing. 

The Moskoquis, after taking possession of this wide extent 
of territory, sent their warriors down Mobile river in pursuit 
of the Alibamu, who had placed themselves under the protec- 
tion of the French. The French commander sought to pre- 

1 p. 262: " dans la direction du nord." Perhaps we have to add the 
words: "austtd." 


vent a war between the two bodies of Indians, and succeeded 
in arranging a truce of six months and in determining with 
accuracy the hunting grounds of both. Leaders and warriors 
of the Moskoquis then descended the river and concluded a 
lasting peace with the hostile tribe in the presence of the 
French commander. They even invited the Alibamu to join 
their confederacy by offering them a tract of land on what is 
now Alabama river, with the privilege of preserving their own 
customs. The Alibamu accepted the offer, settled on the 
land, built a town on it, called Coussehate, and since then 
form an integral part of the Moskoqui people, which now 
assumed the name of Creeks. 

As a sequel to his wonderful story of the pursuit of the 
Alibamu by the Creeks and the final peaceable settling down 
of both, Milfort adds some points on the early doings and 
warrings of the Creeks, which had occurred but a limited 
number of years before, his stay in the tribe, and were re- 
counted to him by one of the mikos from their memorial 
beads, like the legendary migration : 

About the time of Coussehate' s foundation an Indian tribe 
dismembered by the Iroquois and Hurons, the Tukabatchi, 
fled to the Creeks, and asked for shelter. Lands were as- 
signed and the fugitives built on it a town; which they 
named after themselves, and where the general assemblies 
of the entire people are sometimes meeting. This kind re- 
ception encouraged the Taskigi and the Oxiailles (Oktchayi) 
who were also annoyed by their warlike neighbors, to seek a 
place of safety among the Creeks. Their request was granted 
also. The former settled at the confluence of Coosa and 
Tallapoosa rivers, the Oxiailles ten leagues to the north of 
them, in a beautiful prairie near a rivulet. 

Shortly after this event, the ■ small tribe of the Yuchi 
(la petite nation des Udgis), partly dismembered by the 
British, also fled to the Creek towns and were given a ter- 
ritory on Chatahutchi river. Likewise did a part of the 

milfort's migration legend. 229 

Chicasa apply for help ; they were assigned seats on Yazoo 
river, "at the head of Loup river," 1 and- soon extended their 
habitations up to the Cheroki boundaries. A few years after, 
the unhappy Naktche took refuge among the Chicasa, who 
by protecting them underwent the displeasure of the French 
colonists. They attacked the Chicasa and in spite of their 
superior artillery were disastrously beaten near Loup river. 
A second attack of theirs was warded off by the tribe, by 
acceding to the peace arrangements proposed by the French. 
The Naktche then passed over to the Creeks and obtained 
lands on Coosa river ; they built there the towns of Natchez 
and of Abikudshi, near two high mountains having the ap- 
pearance of sugar-loaves. The head men of the Creeks went 
to New Orleans in order to arrange matters amicably with 
the French and permitted them to erect a fort at Taskigi, 
subsequently called Fort Toulouse, and the tribes were help- 
ful in erecting it. 

Jealous of the erection of this advanced trade-post by their 
hereditary enemy, the British asked for permission to' build 
a fort on Ogitchi river, twenty miles west of Augusta, Georgia, 
but were roundly, and in unmistakable terms, refused by the 
Creek towns. After the loss of the Canadian provinces, Fort 
Toulouse was evacuated by the French. The Creeks, much 
dismayed at the departure of their friends, and filled with 
aversion against the British and Spaniards, were compelled to 
open their towns to the English traders, to obtain the needed 
articles of European manufacture. 

Follows the recital of the incorporation of some families of 
Apalachicola, Shawano and Cheroki Indians into the com- 
munity of the Creeks (Mem., pp. 276-285). Unfortunately 
the statement concerning the immigration of the Cheroki is 
without any details, and therefore is of no avail in localizing 

1 Better known as Neshoba river, State of Mississippi ; nesh6ba, Cha'hta 
term for gray wolf. 


the Cheroki towns or colonies within the Creek territory 
(p. 285). The author states that the immigration was caused 
by the pressure exercised upon the tribe by the English and 
Americans ; it was therefore of a quite modern date, if Mil- 
fort can be trusted. 

In 1781, on the 1st of February, Milfort, great war-chief 
of the Creeks, left his home at Little Talassi, half a league 
above the ancient Fort Toulouse, at the head of two hundred 
young braves, to visit the legendary caves on Red river, from 
which the nation had issued in bygone times. They crossed 
the territories held by the Upper Cha'hta, passed through 
Mobile, the confluence of Iberville bayou with Mississippi 
river, St. Bernard bay on 'the coast, and following a northern 
direction, finally reached a forest on Red river, about 150 
leagues above its junction with Mississippi river. They 
crossed these woods, which were situated on an eminence on 
the river side, and stood in face of the caves (cavernes), the 
objective point of the expedition. 

The noise of a few gun-shots brought out of these spacious 
cavities a large number of bisons, wild oxen and wild horses, 
which ran, frightened as they were by the unusual explosions, 
head over heels, over precipices of more than eighty feet of 
perpendicular height into the slimy waters of Red river. 
The only description Milfort gives of these caves goes to 
show that there were several or many of them, situated in 
close vicinity to each other, and that those seen could easily 
contain fifteen to twenty thousand families. The party con- 
cluded to pass the inclement season in these grottoes, which 
they had reached about Christmas time. Here they hunted, 
fished and danced until the end of March, 1782, then started 
for the Missouri, and subsequently for home, well supplied 
with the products of the chase. 


Remarks on Taskaya Miio's Kasthta Legend. 
A closer study of this legend reveals many points of import- 
ance for the better understanding of Tchikilli's narrative, 
as both have evidently been derived from the same original 

The locality where the tribes of the Kasi^ta, Kawita and 
Chicasa came from is placed here in the same point of the 
compass as in Tchikilli's story, in the west. Whether the 
forks of the Red river were supposed to coincide with the 
"mouth of the earth" in the legend can be decided only 
when we shall have a better knowledge of Creek folklore. 
If Hawkins' informant used the passive form of hidshas to see, 
when speaking of the appearance of the Kasi/ta, it would be 
more appropriate to say originated, were born than the expres- 
sion we find in the text: "found themselves." The subter- 
ranean dwellings, mentioned and visited by Milfort as being 
the legendary home of the "Moskoquis," are not mentioned 
here; and in French colonial times the " Forks of Red river" 
designated the confluence of Washita and Red rivers. 

The hayoyalgi, coming from the four corners of the world to 
light the sacred fire, the symbol of the sun, are the winds fanning 
it to a higher flame, and the purpose of the story is to make an 
oracular power of the sacred flame, by which the Holder of 
Breath, or Great Spirit, could be placed in communication 
with his Indian wards, and enabled to take care of them. 

The notice that each of the seven plants distributed to the 
Indians belonged, or was the emblem of a certain gens or 
division of people, is gathered from this passage only, and 
probably refers to the ingredients of some war-physic, which 
only a limited number of the gentes may have been entitled 
to contribute to the annual puskita. The precedence of some 
favored gentes before others in regard to offices of peace 
or war is frequently observed among Northern as well as 
Southern tribes of Indians. 1 The number four is conspicuous 
1 Cf. what is said of the wind gens in Milfort's migration legend. 


here as well as in the legend related by Tchikilli ; we have 
four hayoyalgi, four principal chieftaincies, four years of 
warfare, etc. 

The cause of "the warring, or the pretense for it, against 
"some other Indians from the west" is curiously similar to 
the rivalry in athletic sports, which took place between the 
western Iroquois and their subdivisions, and finally led to the 
destruction of the Erie or Ka'hkwa Indians (Cusick, John- 
son). The names of "brothers, cousins, elders," which 
occur here, are terms of intertribal courtesy, which we find 
also, perhaps in a more pronounced manner, among the New 
York Iroquois. The Creeks called the Delaware and Shawano 
Indians grandfathers, because they regard their customs and 
practices as older and more venerable than their own ; others 
state, because they occupied their countries further back in 
time than the Creeks did theirs. 

The facts subsequently related are given without such 
chronological dates as we find with the previous ones, but 
the narrator evidently tried to condense into the space of a 
few years what it took generations to accomplish. This is 
very frequently observed in legendary tales. The spreading 
out of the people from the Tallapoosa river to the Chata- 
hutchi and from there to the Savannah must have involved 
a warfare, struggling, migration and settling down of several 
centuries, for the advance of the Maskoki proper in this 
direction was tantamount to the formation of the- Maskoki 
confederacy by subduing or incorporating the tribes standing 
in their way, and to the still more lengthy process of settling 
among them. What nation the flat-heads or aborigines of 
the country may have belonged to, will be discussed in the 
remarks to Tchikillis' tale. That there were Creek-speaking 
Indians on the Atlantic coast as early as 1564, has been shown 
conclusively in the article Yamassi ; but their expulsion from 
there by the white colonists occurred but one hundred and 
fifty years later. 


A certain objective purpose is inherent in these legends, 
which is more of a practical than of a historical character ; 
it intends to trace the tribal friendship existing between the 
Kasi^ta and the Chicasa, or a portion of the latter, to remote 
ages. It must be remembered, that both speak different 
languages intelligible to each other only in a limited number 
of words. An alliance comparable to this also exists between 
the Pima and Maricopa tribes of Arizona; the languages 
spoken by these even belong to different families. 

The period when the Chicasa settlement near Kasi^ta was 
broken up by the return of the inmates to the old Chicasa 
■ country is not definitely known, but may be approximately 
set down in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Later 
on, a war broke out between the Creeks and Chicasa. Kasi/ta 
town refused to march against the old allies, and "when the 
Creeks offered -to make peace their offers were rejected, till 
the Kasi/ta interposed their good offices. These had the 
desired effect, and produced peace" (Hawkins, p. 83). 

Remarks to Milforfs Legend. 
Milfort's "History of the Moskoquis," as given above in 
an extract, is a singular mixture of recent fabrications and 
distortions of real historic events, with some points traceable 
.to genuine aboriginal folklore. 

Nobody who has the slightest knowledge of the general 
history of America will credit the statement that the Creeks 
ever lived in the northwestern part of Mexico at Montezuma's 
and Cortez' time, since H. de Soto found them, twenty 
years later, on the Coosa river ; and much less the other state- 
ment, that they succored Montezuma against the invader's 
army. 1 That they met the Alibamu on the west side of Mis- 
sissippi river is not impossible, but that they pursued them 
for nearly a thousand miles up that river to the Missouri, and 

1 A Chicasa migration from Mexico to the Kappa or Uga^pa settle- 
ments, on Arkansas river, is mentioned by Adair, History, p. 195. 


then down again on the other or eastern side of Mississippi, 
is incredible to anybody acquainted with Indian customs and 
warfare. The narrative of the Alibamu tribal origin given 
under : Alibamu, p. 86, locates the place where they issued 
from the ground between the Cahawba and the Alabama 
rivers. That the Creeks arrived in Northern Alabama in or 
after the time of the French colonization of the Lower Mis- 
sissippi lands, is another impossibility, and the erection of 
Fort Toulouse preceded the second French war against the 
Chicasa 4>y more than twenty years, whereas Milfort repre- 
sents it as having been a consequence of that war. 

It is singular and puzzling that Maskoki legends make so 
frequent mention of caves as the former abodes of their own 
or of cognate tribes. Milfort relates, that the Alibamu, 
when in the Yazoo country, lived in caves. This may refer 
to the Cha'hta country around "Yazoo Old Village" (p. 108), 
in Neshoba county, Mississippi ; but if it points to the Yazoo 
river, we may think of the chief Alimamu (whose name stands 
for the tribe itself), met with by H. de Soto, west of Chicaca, 
and beyond Chocchechuma. A part of the Cheroki anciently 
dwelt in caves ; and concerning the caverns from which the 
Creeks claim to have issued, James Adair gives the following 
interesting disclosure ; " It is worthy of notice, that the Mus- 
kohgeh cave, out of which one of their politicians persuaded 
them their ancestors formerly ascended to their present terres- 
trial abode, lies in the Nanne Hamgeh old town, inhabited 
by the Mississippi-Nachee Indians, 1 which is one of the most 
western parts of their old -inhabited country." The idea 
that their forefathers issued from caves was so deeply engrafted 
in the minds of these Indians, that some of them took any 
conspicuous cave or any country rich in caves to be the 
primordial habitat of their race. This is also confirmed by 
a conjurer's tricky story alluded to by Adair, History, 
pp. 195. 196. 

1 Cf. Abiku'dshi, p. 125. Adair, History, p. 195. 


A notion constantly recurring in the Maskoki migrations 
is that they journeyed east. This, of course, only points to 
the general direction of their march in regard to their starting 
point. As they were addicted to heliolatry, it may be sug- 
gested that their conjurers advised them to travel, for luck, to 
the east only, because the east was the rising place of the 
sun, their protector and benefactor. Cosmologic ideas, like 
this, we find among the Aztecs, Mayas, Chibchas and many 
other American nations, but the direction of migrations is 
determined by physical causes and not by visionary schemes. 
"Wealth and plunder prompted the German barbarians, at the 
beginning of the mediaeval epoch of history, to migrate to the 
south of Europe ; here, in the Gulf territories, the inducement 
lay more especially in the quest of a country more productive 
in grains, edible roots, fish and game. It may be observed 
here, that from the moving of the heavenly bodies from east 
to west the Pani Indians deduced the superstition that they 
should never move directly east in their travels. 1 This, how- 
ever, they rarely observed in actual life at the expense of 


The Kasi'hta migration legend, in its detailed form as now 
before us, has been transmitted in the following manner : 

After Tchikilli had delivered it in the year 1735 at Savan- 
nah, in the presence of Governor Oglethorpe, of the colonial 
authorities and people, and of over sixty of his Indian fol- 
lowers (cf. p. 193), the interpreter handed it over, written 
upon a buffalo skin, to the British, and in the same year it 
was brought to England. To these statements, the American 
Gazetteer* adds the following particulars, which seem to be 

1 John B. Dunbar, The Pawnees; in Mag. of Amer. History, 1882, 
(3d article) g 10. 

a London, 1762, vol. II, Art. Georgia; cf. Ch. C. Jones, Tomochichi, 
p. 74. Brinton, Ch.-M. Legend, p. 5. 


founded on authentic information : " This speech was curi- 
ously written in red and black characters, on the skin of a 
young buffalo, and translated into English, as soon as deliv- 
ered in the Indian language. . . . The said skin was 
set in a frame, and hung up in the Georgia Office, in West- 
minster. It contained the Indians' grateful acknowledgments 
for the honors and civilities paid to Tomochichi, etc." 

Upon the request of Dr. Brinton, Mr. Nicholas Trubner 
made researches in the London offices for this pictured skin, 
but did not succeed in finding it. He discovered, however, 
a letter written by Tchikilli, dated March, 1734, which is 
deposited in the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane. 1 

The chances of rediscovering the English original of the 
legend are therefore almost as slim as those of recovering the 
lost books of Livy's History. But a translation from the 
English has been preserved in a German book of the period, 
and the style of this piece shows it to be an authentic and 
comparatively accurate rendering of the original. The Ger- 
man book referred to is a collection of pamphlets treating of 
colonial affairs, and published from 1735 to 1 741 ; its first vol- 
ume bears the title: AiisfuehrlicheNachrichtvondenSaltzburg- 
ischen Bmigranten, die sich in America niedergelassen haben. 
Worin, etc. etc., Herausgegeben von Samuel Urlsperger, Halle, 
MDCCXXXV. The legend occupies pp. 869 to 876 of this 
first volume, and forms chapter six of the "Journal" of 
von Reck, the title of which is as , follows : Herrn Philipp 
Georg Friederichs von Reck Diarium von Seiner Reise nach 
Georgien im. Jahr 1735. F. von Reck was the commissary 
of those German-Protestant emigrants whom religious per- 
secution had expelled from Salzburg, in Styria, their native 

1 Brinton, Ch.-M. Legend, pp. 5. 6. 


Naki Tchikilli isti Masko'ki Hatchapala'h Hatchata 
tipa'^ad immikut hamm&'kit opunayatis Sawa'na talofan, 
o'h'lolopi 1735, momen i-atikoyatis moh'men yanas- 
ha'lpin u#hutsa'hudsatis. 

Tchikilli isti Masko'ki Hatchapala Hatchata tipakad 
immikut; Antitchi Kawitalgi i'mmiko ma/it; Illidshi 
mikko; Osta Kasi^talgi immikko; Tammidsho hu'li 
mikko; Wali Apala'h'ltsuklalgi hu'li kapitani; Puipa- 
edshi mikko; Tamhuitchi Yutchitalgi imifa mikko; 
Mitikayi Oku'nalgi inhu'li mikko; Tuwidshedshi mikko; 
Huyani Tchiyahalgin Qkmulgalgi tibajrad inhu'li mikko; 
Stimalague'htchi Osotsalgi immikko; Hupi'li Sawoklalgi 
immikko; Iwanagi mikko; Tamokmi Yufantalgi inhu'li 
kapitani tun, tustano/algi pali-tut'tchinit apakin opunayit 
okatis : 

Momad nita o'dshin ikana idshokuat hasi-aklatgatin 
o'dshit o'men hawajfladls; momof man Kasi'htalgi ikan- 
dsho^uan a'sosa-id anakuasin inkakida hayatis tche. 
Mu'mof ikanat tchapaka-ikit hopuitakin inlo/adis ; ma 
mo'man akiiyi'htchit inha'-a^latkosin apo/adls; momas 
apalluat isafuli'htchit matawan i-apokatis. Momis isti 
sulgad i-upan fik'hunnatis muma/an hi'lit-we'tis koma- 

Mumitu istomas i'kana hubuitagi inlo/atid imomitcha'- 
dshin, inhi'likut hasi-ossatifatchan apiyatis. ( up !) 

Mo'hmit apiyit oi-ua okii'fki tchikfit lipakfit waggin 
use/tchit, hapu hayit f igabin uhhayatgadis. Isin hayatgi 
apiyit nl'ta hamgad yafgadin uiwa tsa-atid waggin 



u'le'htchadls. Moh'mit man apogit u'h'lolopi hokolin 
'la'lotas man pasatit pipit apokatis. . Mumas wi-ka'wat 
inhi'lagikun inhi'lagigadis. Uyuwa tchadad iyuksa fadsan 
apiyadls, momof tini'tki o'kin impohatis nakitoha ko'hmet 

Mumad ikodshi tchatit 'lanin ossit omatit okin hid- 
shatis; momad ma'lani unapan yahaikida okid pohakatls 
Nagitun omad hi'htchagls ka'/tchid isti u/tiitatis ; 
miimatin totka sakid halluin aligapit omatit mat yahaikida 
okit omin hidshakatis. f-a 'lani 'lani immikkun kaitchid 
hodshifatls. Hayumas tinitki imiingls mo'men isti 
impingalagi imungat o'mis. 

Man isti italoa ma'la/la^a tut'tchinin itihidshatis 
momad ma 'lani tutka ossi o'dshan ahitidshatit isfiillin 
itihidshatis; mo'hmet man imahilissua omas inhitchkin 
naki ita-u siilkin ahupu'llinakatls. 

Ha'si-ossati fatsan atit tiitka hatkid immala'katis, 
momas istomitchakigatis. Wahala fatsan atit tutka 
okulatid immalakatis, mumas ma-o istomidshikatis. 
Akelatka fatchan atit tutka lastid immalakatis, ma-o 
istomidshikadis. Ispogi hunisa fatchan atit tiitka tcha- 
atitut lanit immalakatis. Hia totka 'lani ahi'tki o'dshi 
ahitidshi isfullatid itu^kalan; hia totkan hayomi atikas 
o'dshit o's. Ma-o yaha-iki 6'mas odshid omls. 'Lani 
unapan pukabit u/ui'lit omatit fik'hi'lkigut istuka'idhi 
mahid omatin ista'mat isto'hmit omatin fik'hunnls ma^as 
sigatis. Istudshi i'tski-susikon ma itun i'lanafaikit 
ilihotchatis ; mo'hmet ma pukabi i'hsit ho'li apiyatas 
isfiillatis. A'tassa omid omatis. Hayomis odshls ma- 
omid, ito-u'h matawat omatis. Hiatawan naki i-alunga 
ma'la/'la/a o'stid yahaigit istumitskatad i-u^ki'lkuidshit 
odshin inhitchkadls ; ihatitchiska : passa; sahokolad: 


mikko-huyanidsha ; satot'tchinad : sawatsku'h; isustad; 
hishi loputski ; hayomit inhitchkadls. 

Imahilissua inhitchkadi ps'skat pissa mikko-hoya- 
nidsha tipakan isiafastid omants. Hia piiskita o'h'lolopi 
omalgan i-ilawidshit naki homa lokfsat atigat man 
weyit omis. Ma imahilissua inhitchekadi ayat hiiktagides 
ipuskis, momin omad tutka itaman i'la-itidshit apokin 
nlta tsa^gipas, ipakas, kulapa^as 6'lin inhuyanad i'la-awld 
omatis. Hian mumikun ii'mad imahilissuatas imahopanid 
omika; momin hoktage-u'h tchafindshagigo hakitayid 

Ma-6mofa mahin ista italuat adsuleidshitut omit 
homa/'hotit innakmagit shihpki-titayiha komitan itimay- 
oposkit isiho^atis. Italuat 6'sttga- pukaben tchaktcha- 
hi'htchid: "faki dshadin istchaditchagi'hlis ; -lanitut 
omasim nik'lufat tchatit omika makakadis. Mumih'tchid 
ponho'li ili'tchkan apiagi'l mu'men ista italuat- atit 
istigaha'lpi yaweikit, itu tchaktchahidshati ii'hlanin oniat, 
mad atchiillld oma'lis " itiga'dshadis. 

Omalgat momitchita komit, omasim Kasi/talgi ta'htit 
yawaigit pokabi aksomidsha'^tchin hitchgigo ha^adls. 
Momiga mat itallua adsulli mahad omis komhuyidadis. 
Tchikasalgit awaihigadis, momen Atilamalgi i'la-aweihi- 
gadis; miimas Abi/kagitawat u'hlani ayidshadshad isti- 
to'lkua atikusi-tayin yawaigadls. 

Ma-6mof fu'sua ok'holatid 'lakid a'latis; ihadshi 
tchapgld, impafnita lamhi imantalidshid. Nita umalgan 
alagit istin pasatit papit a'latis. Hokti ahakin hahit, 
hia fusua a'latin ihuilaidsha/adis. Hia fiisua ma naki 
inhahoyadi i'hsit isayipati'tut, hofonen i'lisala^atls. 
Odshipin omad nakitas hitchkuidshi waitis komakatis. 


Hofoni hakin tchissi tchatit hl'tchkatis momen ma fiisuat 
i'lkito-aitis koma^atis. 

Ma tchissin itimpunayagit istumidshakatit i'lgi imilid- 
shagitayad itimpunayakatis. Ma fusua itcha-kuadaksin 
in'ii apakln o'dshid omatis. 

Momen ma tchi'ssit itsa kuadaksi ifakan kalagit 
intadshatis istomit issi-imanaitchiko-tidayin hayatis; 
momen man ilidisha/atis. Ma fiisua fusua omal immikkun 
kaidsha/atis. Lamhi-u mikko 'lakid o'mis komagid 
o'mis ; momiga hii'lidas apiyis adam hi'lka hakadas fiillis ; 
momof lamhi-hadshi ko'htsaktsahidshid isfiillid omis. 
Tchatad ho'lit omin hatgatit hi'lka ahopakat omis. 
Ihu'Ht tafa hatkin isnihaidshit idshu'kuan hatidshit 
awola'dshit lamhi okit hakin omat istofan ili'htchikos. 

Hia nagi mu'hmof iyupan ma apokati inkapa/kit apiyit 
nini hatkid wakin o'laitchatis; pahitas nak-omalgat 
hatkusi-algid omatis. Momen istit fulli-hi'lit omadin 
idshakadis. Ma nini itahualapi/tchit anakuasin nodsha'd- 
shadis. Isafuli/shit nini istomid omad yihidsha/adis 
momitisti istomid fiillit omati, ma ni'nin ati/git atchaka- 
piyakatin isamumides 6'hmis komit omadls. Man atihaigit 
apiyit Kolos'hatchi magidan ak'hadapidshatis; Kolos'- 
hatchi kedshad tchadu-algid ikpdshid omeka. 

Ma hatsi tayytchit apiyit hasi-ossati- fatchan Kosa 
magida italluat apokin i'limu'laitchatis ; hian apokin 
o'h'lolopi' ostad 6'ladis. Kosalgit okatit isti-papat tchatu 
haiikin paikld istin pumpasatit omitutanks makatis. 

Kosi^talgit okatit illidshida komid hidshi-is ma/adis. 
Ikanan ku'la-it udshi ha'lpin hiiyan hahid isu/lanatis. 
Mo'hmitto-lopotskin o'htalaitchatis ma isti-papa adshaka- 
yigotitayin hahit u'hapiyadis, no'hmit sa-okan ma tchato 


haiikit isti-papa paikan i'limuhucikatis. Ma isti-papa 
tsabakihi'lit a-osa'-iyit assidshatis afosalgat iti'laputit. 
Isti hamkusit ilatin ahi'lit omls omalgi mahatin monks 
ho'hmit, istudshi itski-sosikon imawaigakatis ikan-haukin 
awolaidshit at ofan. Man isti-papa o'hlitaigit igan-haiiki 
inhayakatin u'hlataikin, tsulikusua ahit'hukin isnafkit 
ilidshajfatis. Ifiini hayumas isfolli imiingat o'mis. Pal- 
hamgad tsatitun palhamgit ok'holatid omis. 

Isti-papa nita iskulapak' omalgan i'laagit isti pasatit 
omatis. Munga ma ili'htchuf matawan fik'hunnin nita 
kolapagl 6'lin i'lietchatis. Ma isagi'letchkan ho'litas 
apia'lanit i-ititakuitchat nita ipagin imaposkit iskulapa- 
katin apiyid omatis. Ifonin i-ahu'lkasitchid isapi-in 
omad ihitskihi'lin fiillid o'mis. 

O'h'lopi o'stad 6'lin Kosa talofa apokati ingapa^kit 
apiyat hatch! Nofapi ka-etchid u'laitchatis yomad Kalasi- 
hatchi ka'hodshid hakitos. Man u'h'lolopi hokolin 
fik'hiin-nadls. Momid adshidis odshikoka naki yelungan 
'la'lun yomen humpa^atis, momlt itcha-kutaksi haheidshit 
in'li-tati itchhasua iniitin 'lonotutis, yoman siyokfanfa- 
edshit kuha-tukah'lin islafka hayatis. 

Hia apokati inkapa/kit apiyad hatchi Watulahagi 
makitan o'laitchatis. Watulahaki Hatchi kaidshad 
watulat tidayit latkid omit hahokadin ahudshif it umho- 
yadls ; man ni'hli hamgin nodsha'dshatis Hadam apiyad 
hatchi oiwa u'hlatkid odshin u'laidshatis ; o-itiimkan 
hotchifadis, I'lin hayatki hatchi hamgin u'laitchatis 
Afosafiska ke'dshid. 

I'lin hayatki ma hatchin tayi/tchit apiyad 'lani halluit 
laikin hu'laitchadin-istit apokin hi'dshatis, nini hatki 
hayi fullangid o'mis komatis. Mii'nga 'li-habkin hahi-it 
isitch'hatis isti hi'laglt omin o'mad gi'lidan komidut. 


Momas 'li hatki tchatakue'htchit i'lasidsh'hatis mu'hmen 
immikun hidshe'dshajfadin hi'likugdos makatis; 'lit 
hat'hagid i'lafulidshin o'mad u'hapihi-id ihaliwa umusas, 
hupuitagi ihitchkuidshit i'lasawasa natchkatis, mumas 
tchatiduga u'hapihiatskas kiidshatis. Momi istomas isti 
istomid omakat hitchitan komit u'hapiyi sasatis ; mu'matin 
sumitchipin o'laitchatls. 

Ninit 6-i sakun akadapgid o'min hidsha^adis momadit 
ma nini tabala i'lussigod omin hidshit ma isti uyuan 
isaktchiyit omiga i'lasosa-igos komadis. 

Man 'lanit liigid o'mis mo'terell magitat mu'madit 
a'lkasatiilga nafhugls ma-iikid hakid omis, momin maisti 
man apogit 6madsh5ks kiimhuid omis. Hu'lidas apiyit 
fullin omofa hia inhagi istamaitas po'^ki algln pohagit 
fullid omis. 

Ma uyuan apa-idshidshit apiyit u'hlatkid odshin 
o'laitchadin tchatu 'l'ak'lagid odshin hidshatis man 
itcha-/udaksit o'hlomhin hidshadls ; momit ma isti nini 
hatki hayi fullangid omadshuksh komatis. 

Istofas istan apiyit fullati homan isti hokolin wilako- 
idshit fullid omis. Hia hiima-wilakad 'lani halluin 
o'htchimhokadin talofat odshin hidshatis, 'Li-hatkin ma 
talofa isitch'hatis mu'mas ma isti talofa ati/kad 'li-i 
tchatin asitch'hatis. 

Momof kasih'talgi tchapak'ho^atis mu'hmit ma italuan 
isapingalidshinomoftchokS isiti aipialis komatis. Tchadun 
uyuan akpalatit taigagi titayin hahi-it u'htayidshatis 
moh'mit talofa imisatis ma isti ika tapikstagid omajfatis 
umalgan pasatit hokolgsgn ahusitcha'tchatls. Assitchi 
isapiyad i'fa hatkin is'hih'tchit illidshatis. Hokolusi 
aho'skadin assidshit isapiyad nini hatkid waggin 
o'laitchadin talofat odsatchukit ikodshin ih'tchit, hia isti 


hidshida komi hopo-iyitangid omadshoks komatis. Hian 
Palajftchuklalgi apokitos mo'men ma o/huanapsld 
Tamodsa'-idsi omis. 

Kasi'htalgi imagi'laitska tchati-palatkan i-adshid 
emunkatis; momas Pala/tchuklalgit assin iskuidshatis 
hi v lkida isahopakan mo'hmit imponayatis: "pofigi 
hat'hagidos momintchime-u matapoma'lis podsu'shuadshi 
tchati-algatin takuagi *tchit ; istchigi'lga'li tchinatakin 
hat'h^edshaksh ! " gedshatis-ka-edshatls. 

Momidu istomas podshu'shuadshin ayiktchi imiinkatis 
momas Pala^tchuklalgit isawatchitchikut imi'hsit intuba 
lidshan hopitaltis Pala^tchuklalgit tafatkin imatis mo'hmit 
piimmikut hamgushikas kaidshatls; mu'hmati atigad 
istofas ito/kalgit apoki imu'ngatatis.- 

U-i 'lako palahamgin apoki sasin apaluat tapalan apoki 
sasatis. Apoki ha'mgad Kasi^talgin ka/dshit; apawan 
Kowitalgin kahodshid omis ; momas isti hamgusid omis 
momit Hatchapala Hatchata tipa^ad isti Maskoki italua 
homa^hotid omis. Momidu istomas Kasi/talgi ta^tit 
ikuadshi tchati tutka tchati hidshatit omit italua tchati-u 
hayatit omika, ifigi tchatadi waika'lungo imungat omis 
muntumas palahamgad hatkidun palahamgit tchatidut 

Ha/yomat nini hatki maimat isihi'lit omati gi'lagidos. 
TamodshaMshi talepo'lat omidatitas istungun inlopa'- 
idshitad gi'lagitos. Squire Oglethorpe adshakkahid mikko 
'lakon iThi^tchit oponayat i'limpo/it i'limunahin 
pohagidut akasamagid omeka. 


" What Chekilll, the Head-chief of the Upper and 
" Lower Creeks said, in a Talk held at Savannah, 
"Anno, 1735, and which was handed over by the 
" Interpreter, Written upon a Buffalo-skin, was, 
" word for word, as follows : 

" ' Speech, which, in the year 1735, was delivered at Sd- 
" ' vannah, in Georgia, by ChekUli, Emperor of the 
" ' Upper and Lower Creeks ; Antiche, highest Chief 
" ' of the town of the Cowetas, Eliche, King ; Ousta, 
" 'Head Chief of the Cussitaws, Tomechaw, War King; 
" ' Wali, War Captain of the Palackucolas, Poepiche, 
" ' King ; Tomehuichi, Dog King of the Euchitaws; 
" ' Mittakawye, Head War Chief of the Okonees, Tuwe- 
" ' chiche, King ; Whoyauni, Head War Chief of the 
" ' Chehaws and of the Hokmulge Nation ; Stimelaco- 
"' weche, King of the Osoches ; Opithli, King of the 
" ' Jawocolos ; Ewenauki, King ; Tahmokmi, War Cap- 
" ' tain of the Eusantees; and thirty other Warriors. 

" ' At a certain time, the Earth opened in the West, 
" ' where its mouth is. The earth opened and the Cussi- 
" ' taws came out of its mouth, and settled near by. But 
" ' the earth became angry and ate up their children ; 
" ' therefore, they moved further West. A part of them, ' 
" ' however, turned back, and came again to the same, 
" ' place where they had been, and settled there. The 
" ' greater number remained behind, because they thought 
" ' it best to do so. 


tchikilli's kasi'hta legend. 245 

" ' Their children, nevertheless, were eaten by the 
" ' Earth, so that, full of dissatisfaction, they journeyed 
" ' toward the sunrise. 

" ' They came to a thick, muddy, slimy river, came 
" ' there, camped there, rested there, and stayed over 
" ' night there. 

"'The next day, they continued, their journey and 
" ' came, in one day, to a red, bloody river. They lived 
" ' by this river, and ate of its fishes for two years ; but 
" ' there were low springs there ; and it did not please 
" ' them to remain. They went toward the end of this 
" ' bloody river, and heard a noise as of thunder. They 
" ' approached to see whence the noise came. At first, 
" ' they perceived a red smoke, and then a mountain 
" ' which thundered ; and on the mountain, was a sound 
" ' as of singing. They sent to see what this was ; and 
" ' it was a great fire which blazed upward, and made this 

singing noise. This mountain they named the King 

of Mountains. It thunders to this day; and men are 
" ' very much afraid of it. 

" ' They here met a people of three different Nations. 
" ' They had taken and saved some of the fire from the 
" ' mountain ; and, at this place, they also obtained a 
" ' knowledge of herbs and of many other things. 

" ' From the East, a white fire came to them ; which, 
" ' however, they would not use. 

" ' From Wahalle, came a fire which was blue ; neither 
" ' did they use it. 

" ' From the West, came a fire which was black ; nor 
" ' would they use it. 

" ' At last, came a fire from the North, which was red 
" ' and yellow. This they mingled with the fire they had 


" ' taken from the mountain ; and this is the fire they use 
" ' to-day ; and this, too, sometimes sings. 

" ' On the mountain was a pole which was very rest- 
" ' less and made a noise, nor could any one say how it 
" ' could be quieted. At length, they took a motherless 
" ' child, and struck it against the pole ; and thus killed 
" ' the child. They then took the pole, and carry it with 
" ' them when they go to war. It was like a wooden 
" ' tomahawk, such as they now use, and of the same 
" ' wood. Here, they also found four herbs or roots, 
" ' which sang and disclosed their virtues : First, Pasaw, 
" ' the rattle-snake root ; Second, Micoweanochaw, red- 
" ' root ; Third, Sowatchko, which grows like wild fennel ; 
" ' and Fourth, Eschalapootchke, little tobacco. 

" ' These herbs, especially the first and third, they use 
" ' as the best medicine to purify themselves at their Busk. 

" ' At this Busk, which is held, yearly, they fast, and 
" ' make offerings of the first-fruits. 

" ' Since they learned the virtues of these herbs, their 
" ' women, at certain times, have a separate fire, and re- 
" ' main apart from the men five, six, and seven days, for 
" ' the sake of purification. If they neglect this, the 
" ' power of the herbs would depart ; and the women 
" ' would not be healthy. 

" ' About that time a dispute arose, as to which was 
" ' the oldest and which should rule ; and they agreed, as 
" ' they were four Nations, they would set up four poles, 
" ' and make them red with clay, which is yellow at first, 
" ' but becomes red by burning. They would then go to 
" ' war ; and whichever Nation should first cover its pole, 
" ' from top to bottom, with the scalps of their enemies, 
" ' should be the oldest. 


" ' They all tried, but the Cussitaws covered their pole 
" ' first, and so thickly that it was hidden from sight. 
"'Therefore, they were looked upon, by the whole 
" ' Nation, as the oldest. 

" ' The Chickasaws covered their pole next ; then the 
" 'Atilamas; but the Obikaws did not cover their pole 
" ' higher than the knee. 

" ' At that time, there was a bird of large size, blue in 
" ' color, with a long tail, and swifter than an eagle, which 
" ' came every day and killed and ate their people. They 
" ' made an image, in the shape of a woman, and placed 
" ' it in the way of this bird. The bird carried it off, and 
" ' kept it a long time, and then brought it back. They 
" ' left it alone, hoping it would bring something forth. 
" ' After a long time, a red rat came forth from it, and 
" ' they believe the bird was the father of the rat. 

" ' They took council with the rat, how to destroy its 
" ' father. Now the bird had a bow and arrows ; and the 
" ' rat gnawed the bow-string, so that the bird could not 
" * defend itself; and the people killed it. They called 
" ' this bird the King of Birds. They think the eagle is 
" ' also a great King ; and they carry its feathers when 
" .' they go to War or make Peace : the red mean War, 
" ' the white, Peace. If an enemy approaches with 
" ' white feathers and a white mouth, and cries like, an 
" ' eagle, they dare not kill him. 

" ' After this, they left that place, and came to a white 
" ' foot-path. The grass and everything around were 
" ' white ; and they plainly perceived that people had 
" ' been there. They crossed the path, and slept near 
" ' there. Afterward, they turned back to see what sort 
" ' of path that was, and who the people were who had 


" ' been there, in the belief that it might be better for 
• " 'them to follow that path. They went along it, to a 
" ' creek, called Coloosehutche, that is Coloose-creek, be i 
" ' cause it was rocky there and smoked. 

" ' They crossed it, going toward the sunrise, and came 
" ' to a people and a town named Coosaw. Here they 
" ' remained four years. The Coosaws complained that 
" ' they were preyed upon by a wild beast, which they 
■" ' called man-eater or lion, which lived in a rock. 

" ' The Cussitaws said they would try to kill the beast. 
" ' They digged a pit and stretched over it a net made of 
" ' hickory-bark. They then laid a number of branches, 
" ' crosswise, so that the lion could not follow them, and 
" ' going to the place where he lay, they threw a rattle 
" ' into his den. The lion rushed forth, in great anger, 
" ' and pursued them through the branches. Then they 
" ' thought it better that one should die rather than all, 
" ' so they took a motherless child, and threw it before 
" ' the lion, as he came near the pit, The lion rushed at it, 
" ' and fell in the pit, over which they threw the net, and 
" ' killed him with blazing pinewood. His bones, how- 
" ' ever, they keep to this day ; on one side, they are red, 
" ' on the other, blue. 

" ' The lion used to come every seventh day to kill the 
" ' people. Therefore, they remained there seven days after 
" ' they had killed him. In remembrance of him, when 
" ' they prepare for War, they fast six days and start on 
" ' the seventh. If they take his bones with them, they 
"'have good fortune. 

" ' After four years, they left the Coosaws, and came to 
" ' a River which they called Nowphawpe, now Ccdlasi- 
" ' hutche. There, they tarried two years ; and as they 


' had no corn, they lived on roots and fishes, and made 
' bows, pointing the arrows with beaver teeth and flint- 
' stones, and for knives they used split canes. 

They left this place, and came to a creek, called 
' Wattoolahawka hutche, Whooping-creek, so called 
'from the whooping of cranes, a great many being 
' there. They slept there one night. 

" ' They next came to a River, in which there was a 
' waterfall ; this they named the Owatuaka-river. 

" ' The next day, they reached another River, which 
' they called the Aphoosa pheeskaw. 

" ' The following day, they crossed it, and came to a 
'high mountain, where were people who, they believed, 
'were the same who made the white path. They, 
' therefore, made white arrows and shot them, to see if 
'they were good people. But the people took their 
' white arrows, painted them red, and shot them back. 
' When they showed these to their Chief, he said that 
' was not a good sign ; if the arrows returned had been 
' white, they could have gone there and brought food 
' for their children, but as they were red they must not 
' go. Nevertheless, some of them went to see what sort 
' of people they were ; and found their houses deserted. 
' They also saw a trail which led into the River ; and 
' as they could not see the trail on the opposite bank, 
' they believed that the people had gone into the River, 
' and would not again come forth. 

" ' At that place, 'is a mountain, called Moterell, which 
' makes a noise like beating on a drum ; and they think 
' this people live there. They hear this noise on all 
' sides, when they go to War. 

" ' They went along the River, till they came to a 




'waterfall, where they saw great rocks; and on the 
' rocks were bows lying ; and they believed the people 
' who made the white path had been there. 

" ' They always have, on their journeys, two scouts 
' who go before the main body. These scouts ascended 
' a high mountain and saw a town. They shot white 
' arrows into the town ; but the people of the town shot 
' back red arrows. 

" ' Then the Cussitaws became angry, and determined 
' to attack the town, and each one have a house .when 
' it was captured. 

" ' They threw stones into the River, until they could 
' cross it, and took the town (the people had flattened 
' heads), and killed all but two persons. In pursuing 
' these, they found a white dog, which they slew. They 
' followed the two who escaped, until they came again 
' to the white path, and saw the smoke of a town, and 
' thought that this must be the people they had so long 
' been seeking. This is the place where now the tribe 
' of Palachucolas live, from whom Tomochichi is de- 
' scended. 

" ' The Cussitaws continued bloody-minded ; but the 
' Palachucolas gave them black drink, as a sign of 
'friendship, and said to them: Our hearts are white, 
' and yours must be white, and you must lay down the 
' bloody tomahawk, and show your bodies, as a proof 
' that they shall be white. 

" ' Nevertheless, they were for the tomahawk ; but the 
' Palachucolas got it by persuasion, and buried it under 
'their beds. The Palachucolas likewise gave them 
' white feathers ; and asked to have a Chief in common. 
' Since then they have always lived together. 

It t 


" ' Some settled on one side of the River, some on the 
other. Those on one side are called Cussetaws, those 
" ' on the other, Cowetas ; yet they are one people, and 
" ' the principal towns of the Upper and Lower Creeks. 
" ' Nevertheless, as the Cussetaws first saw the red smoke 
" ' and the" red fire, and make bloody towns, they cannot 
" ' yet leave their red hearts, which are, however, white. 
" ' on one side and red on the other. 

" ' They now know that the white path was the best 
" ' for them. For, although Tomochichi was a stranger, 
" ' they see he has done them good ; because he went to 
" ' see the great King with Esquire Oglethorpe, and 
" ' hear him talk, and had related it to them, and they 
" ' had listened to it, and believed it.' "