The Creek Indians (or
Muskogee) belong to the Muskhogean linguistic stock. The historical Creek, a
union known as the Creek Confederacy was made out of the remains of the several
separate tribes that occupied Georgia and Alabama in the American Colonial
Period. It is believed that the Creek culture began as a way to guard against
other larger conquering Indian tribes of the region. The Confederacy was in
constant flux, its numbers and land possessions ever-changing as small bands
joined and withdrew from the alliance.
In the early 1500's, the Creeks dominated all of the South-East United States up
until the 1600's when the Cherokee, and later the Europeans, would force them
westward to Alabama and ultimately to what is now known as Oklahoma.
The name Creek, from the shortening of "Ocheese Creek" Indians came
from the English colonists to the tribes living along the Ocmulgee River, (or
Ocheese Creek). It was common practice at the time for the colonists to
designate tribes based upon their geographical location.
The tribes that were part of the confederacy were called tribal towns (or Italwa).
Each maintained political autonomy and proprietary land holdings. Smaller
surrounding villages ( or Talofa), associated with the larger town were created
as populations grew. The Creek were sedentary and lived in thatched huts, not
the teepees ( or wigwams) used by nomadic tribes. They built their homes around
the Pascova, sophisticated ceremonial centers which also included impressive
earth pyramids. The Creek practiced agriculture and raised cows, horses and pigs
as livestock. Each year, the Green Corn Festival (or Busk) was held at the
Pascova where the Sacred Fire would be rekindled.
As time passed, The Italwa began to spread out, and at the end of the 1700's
homes were beginning to be separated by miles of crops. Some began to build log
homes with chimneys, perhaps based on their exposure to the Europeans and their
predisposition to architectural engineering.
Creek Governmental structure was comprised of the following: Chief (or Mico),
Assistant to the Chief and a Chief Speaker (or Mico Apokta, and is believed to
be a model for a large part of today's Western Governments.
Be sure to visit our FAQ
section for further information about the Creek Indians