Southeastern Creek Indians Essay

1331 words - 5 pages

Southeastern Creek Indians

By the 17th century the Muscoggee members migrated from west of the Mississippi to inhabit the areas of Georgia and Alabama were English traders first encountered the Muscoggee. The English called them Creeks; it appears that they lived in by the creeks and streams of Alabama in addition to Georgia. Creek Nation was the most powerful Indian political unit in North America with the exception of the Iroquois Confederacy of upper New York. In the early 18th century the Muscoggee nation consisted an estimated ten thousand people including more than three thousand warriors. This ancient culture also had a complex political structure that was neither overawed nor envious of the European power and culture. I will discuss the cultural overview of the Creek Indian's social structure such as housing and how they gather sources of substances with the insight of political views and constitution of warfare.

The essential tribal units of the Creeks were called Idalwa or Towns that resembled of a Greek city-state. Creeks did not have one single tribe but a collection of other tribes, the oldest town appeared to have been Cusseta, Coweta, Arbeka, Coosa, and Tuckabatchee. By the 18th century the Creek Nation had up to sixty Towns. These Towns were spilt into two categories the Red Towns meaning the conduct or war, and the White Towns meaning peace. Local representation by each Town was done by a micco or chief. Each micco was elected for life by the Town council which a micco chaired. The Town was arranged in a public square which had three structures. The chokofa or round building of mud-plastered sticks and poles; The Town Council conducted winter meetings in its warm interior; the square were they had a fire continuously burning in the center of the space. The family dwellings were surrounding the public square. Each family had its own lot and some having up to four houses in addition some having two-story structure. Every house had its own purpose to a family for example; one house would hold food storage for winter other houses would be used for entertainment.

Families were divided into clans which met that most clans were found in almost all of the Towns. To keep the Creek Confederacy each man married would move form the household of his mother to that of his wife's mother. Marriage within a clan was viewed as incest and was not allowed. As Gale encyclopedia of Native American Tribes put it "Creek towns were city-state that chose to belong to the confederacy for protection against common enemies." Sometimes enemies were in the clans and crimes were commitment in the town. The social control rested primarily with the clan whose discipline began with childhood. Unsocial behavior was punishable in most cases by the clan rather than by the government. Punishment was often more practical the vengeful. To make things as peaceful as one clan could religion was a central means of life. The Creeks believed in an Esaugeta Emissee...

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