The Creek Confederacy
Creek, A confederacy forming the largest division of the Muskhogean family. They received their name form the English on account of the numerous streams in their country. During early historic times the Creek occupied the greater portion of Alabama and Georgia, residing chiefly on Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, the two largest tributaries of the Alabama river and on the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. They claimed the territory on the east from the Savannah to St. Johns river and all the islands, thence to Apalachee Bay, and from this line northward to the mountains. The south portion of this territory was held by dispossession of the earlier Florida tribes. They sold to Great Britain at an early date their territory between Savannah and Ogeechee rivers, all the coast to St Johns river, and all the islands up to tidewater, reserving for themselves St Catherine, Sapelo, and Ossabaw Islands, and from Pipemakers Bluff to Savannah (Morse, N. Am., 218, 1776). Thus occupying a leading position among the Muskhogean tribes the Creeks were sufficiently numerous and powerful to resist attacks from the northern tribes, as the Catawba, Iroquois, Shawnee, and Cherokee, after they had united in a confederacy, which they did at an early day. The dominating tribes at the time of the confederation seem to have been the Abihka (or Kusa), Kasihta, Kawita, Oakfuskee, and some other tribe or tribes at the junction of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. Nothing certain can be said of their previous condition, or of the time when the confederacy was established, but it appears from the narratives of De Soto’s expedition that leagues among several of these towns existed in 1540, over which head chiefs presided.
Creek Confederacy Languages
For more than a century before their removal to the west, between 1836 and 1840, the people of the Creek confederacy occupied some 50 towns, in which were spoken 6 distinct languages, viz, Muscogee, Hittite, Koasati, Yuchi, Natchez, and Shawnee. The first three were of Muskhogean stock, the others were entirely alien incorporations. About half the confederacy spoke the Muscogee language, which thus constituted the ruling language and gave name to the confederacy. The meaning of the word is unknown. Although an attempt has been made to connect it with the Algonquian maskeg, ‘swamp,’ the probabilities seem to favor a southern origin. The people speaking the cognate Hitchiti and Koasati were contemptuously designated as “Stincards” by the dominant Muscogee. The Koasati seem to have included the ancient Alibamu of central Alabama, while the Hitchiti, on lower Chattahoochee river, appear to have been the remnant of the ancient people of southeast Georgia, and claimed to be of more ancient occupancy than the Muscogee. Geographically the towns were grouped as Upper Creek, on Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, Alabama, and Lower Creek, on middle or lower Chattahoochee river, on the Alabama-Georgia border. While the Seminole (q. v.) were still a small body confined to the extreme north of Florida, they were frequently spoken of as Lower Creeks. To the Cherokee the Upper Creeks were known as Ani-Kusa use, from their ancient town of Kusa, or Coosa, while the Lower Creeks were called Ani-Kawita, from, their principal town Kawita, or Coweta. The earlier Seminole emigrants were chiefly from, the Lower Creek towns.
Creek Indian Clans
- Ahalakalgi (Bog potato),
- Atchialgi (Maize),
- *Chukotalgi (toad). An extinct Creek clan, closely affiliated with the Toad or Sopaktalgi clan.
- Fusualgi (Bird), The Forest Bird (?) clan of the Creeks
- Halpadalgi (Alligator),
- *Hlahloalgi (Fish), An extinct Creek clan.
- Hutalgalgi (Wind), A principal Creek clan.
- *Isfanalgi, An extinct clan of the Creeks, said by Gatschet to be seemingly analogous to the Ishpani phratry and clan of the Chickasaw.
- Itchhasualgi (Beaver), (itchhasua ‘beaver’, algi ‘people’). A Creek clan. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legends, i, 155, 1884
- Itchualgi (Deer),
- Katsalgi (Panther),
- Koakotsalgi (Wild-cat),
- Kunipalgi (Skunk),
- * Muklasalgi,
- Nokosalgi (Bear),
- * Odshisalgi (Hickory-nut),
- * Okilisa,
- *Oktchunualgi (Salt),
- Osanalgi (Otter),
- Sopaktalgi (Toad),
- Takusalgi (Mole),
- Tsulalgi (Fox),
- * Wahlakalgi,
- Wotkalgi (Raccoon),
- Yahalgi (Wolf).
Creek Confederacy Towns and Villages
Below is a list of the Creek towns and villages. The smaller contained 20 to 30 cabins and the larger as many as 200. Tukabatchi, the largest, is said to have had 386 families in 1832. The towns were composed of irregular clusters of 4 to 8 houses, each cluster being occupied by the representatives of a clan.
Upper Creek Towns
Abihka, Abikudshi, Alkehatchee, Anatichapko, Assilanapi, Atasi, Atchinaalgi, Atchinahatchi, Aucheucaula, Canjauda, Cayomulgi, Chakihlako, Chananagi, Chatoksofki, Chatukchufaula, Chiaha, Cholocco Litabixee, Conaliga, Coosahatchi, Cow Towns, Eufaula, Fusihatchi, Ghuaclahatche, Hatchichapa, Hillabi, Hlanudshiapala, Hlaphlako, Hlahlokalka, Huhliwahli, Ikanachaka, Ikanhatki, Imukfa, Ipisogi, Istapoga, Istudshilaika, Kailaidshi, Keroff, Kitolopataki, Kohamutkikatska, Kulumi, Kusa, Littefutchi, Lutchapoga, Muklassa, New Eufaula, Ninnipaskulgees, Niuyaka, Oakfuskee, Oakfuskudshi, Okchayi, Okchayndshi, Ooeasa, Opilhlako, Oselarneby, Otituchina, Pakan Tallahassee, Pinhoti, Potchushatchi, Sakapatayi, Satapo, Saugahatchi, Sukaispoka, Taladega, Talasi, Talasihatchi, Talapoosa, Taliposehogy, Tukabatchi, Tukabatchi Tallahassee, Tukpafka, Tukhtukagi, Tuskegee, Uktaliasasi, Ullibahali, Wakokayi Weogufka, Wetumpka, Wewoka, Woksoyudshi. (See also Alibamu. )
Lower Creek and Hitchiti Towns
Amakalli Apalachicola Apatai Chattahoochee Chiaha Chiahudshi Chihlakonini Chiskatalofa Chukahlako Cotohautustennuggee Donally’s Town Ematlochee Finhalui Hatchichapa Hihagee Hlekatska Hogologes Hotalihuyana Huhlitaiga Itahasiwaki Kaila Kasihta Kawaiki Kawita Nipky Ocheeses Ocmulgee Oconee Okitiyakni Osotchi Sawokli Sawokliudshi Secharlecha Suolanocha Tamali Telmocresses Wikaihlako