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Creek - A powerful confederacy of southeastern Indians of the same family as the Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw.  The confederacy was built around a group of dominant tribes, called the Muskogee.  While six languages were spoken in the confederacy, the Muskogee language was the most common.

The name Creek was given them because when they were first known to the Carolina colonists, and for a long time after that, the main body of Creeks lived in Alabama on the banks of the present Ocmulgee River, called by the colonists "Ocheese Creek."  At first the Indians were known as those who lived on the creek, and finally the colonists got into the habit of calling them simply Creek.

The Creek were friendly to the English and enemies of the French and the Spanish.  the only time they had trouble with the Americans was during the Creek War, 1813-1814, when they were defeated by General Andrew Jackson.  Previous to this they had sold the rights to their land along the Atlantic Coast to Governor James Oglethorpe for the Colony of Georgia.  Between 1836 and 1840 they removed with their slaves, as they were slave holders, to the Indian Territory.  Later they became one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

The Creek were proud, haughty, arrogant, and very brave.  They liked decoration and ornament and were fond of music and ball playing The Creek men were often more than six feet tall, but their women were described by early writers as "short in stature and well formed."

In time of war tall red poles were erected in the public squares of their towns or settlements.  These poles were in charge of men known as "bearers of the red."  So Creek warriors were termed "red sticks" by the white soldiers.  "White towns" were known as "peace towns."

On the first day of their year a fire was built in the center of the square of each town.  Four logs were placed to form a cross, each log pointing in a direction of the compass.  From this fire each woman carried away her share of embers so that she might have a new hearth fore for the year.

In the center of each village, too, stood a temple, sacred to the sun, where burned an eternal fire.  It was never allowed to go out.

The Creek celebrated the Festival of the Busk when the corn was ripe enough to be eaten, and drank a black drink, or yopon, made from a species of holly.  They buried their dead under the bed where they had died.

Related Information within this Site
[ Alibamu ][ Busk ][ Crockett ][ Fire Making ][ Five Civilized Tribes ]
[ Games ][ Mingo ][ Mound Builders ][ Pawnee ][ Red Sticks ]
[ Seminole ][ Tattooing ][ Tomochichi ][ Trails ][ Yopan ]