- 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
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.
within this Site
][ Busk ][ Crockett
][ Fire Making ][ Five
Civilized Tribes ]
][ Mingo ][ Mound
Builders ][ Pawnee ][ Red
][ Tattooing ][ Tomochichi
][ Trails ][ Yopan ]