The Creek Indians
Location and Background
The early English traders gave the Creek native Americans their name because they usually built their villages on or near creeks or rivers. If they were to still have their villages it would include areas of Northern Florida and Eastern Louisiana and Southern Tennessee.
The majority of the villages were located along the banks of the Coosa, Tallaposa, Flint, Ocmulgee, and Chattachoochee rivers. The native word for the most powerful band of Creeks was the ?Muskogees?. The Creek native Americans were the most powerful and widespread tribe of the Southeast culture area. It was also thought that the Creeks were long lost ancestors of the Mound Builders.
?The Chief of The Creek village or tribe was called an amirco, but he was not the absolute ruler.? His job in the village included making important decisions.Once he made a decision many town criers would go out to announce the it to other tribes within the Creek.
The Creeks were agricultural, but war like. The number of Creeks at one time was 30,000. The villages were separated into two red and white. Red towns had warriors who launched raids far and wide for purposes of honor and revenge. Red Creeks usually held war dances often to protect them selves in battle. Within the white towns lived most of the peace makers who kept track of alliances and gave sanctuary to refugees or poor people. White Creeks held ceremonies such as the signing of treaties or alliances.
Each village had a town square at its center with seats where spectators could sit.The town square was used for ceremonies and games. Each village had a circular town house with clay walls and a cone shaped bark roof about 25 feet high. This was a ceremonial lodge and was also used for shelter for the homeless. Some town houses were smaller with a slanted bark roof only about 10 feet high. The most common house had a slanted bark roof with the roof about 7 feet high these were used for individual families, it held about, four to five people in it.. Each family had a summer and winter house both were packed with mud. The summer house was often used as a guest house for when visitors came to visit. They also owned their own granary which was half open and they also had a warehouse which was open on all four sides similar to a chickee. The warehouse was usually bigger because this is where they stored items. the warehouse also was about 10 to 15 feet in height and 20 feet wide.
The Creek Native Americans were farmers or hunters and gatherers. They hunted first then they farmed for food. In the Creek villages or towns they grew corn, beans, squash,pumpkins, melons, and sweet potatoes. Each family usually planted and tended their own garden the garden was close to their house.
Healing and Medicine Men
Believing that diseases were caused by evil spirits, the Creeks used charms and magic to remove the evil from a person. The magic was usually done by people supposed to have the power to control spirit forces. The Creeks might have called them "mystery man," "singer," or "the wonderful." Which many people called the medicine men . The medicine men also served as priests in leading ceremonies. Some treatments included using herbs and roots as medicines. Men and women other than medicine men could prepare medicines and nurse the sick.
How They Buried the Dead
They sometimes buried the dead in the ground sometimes they put them in caves or they mummified them leaving there body to dry up. Cremation was also practiced by the Creek tribes. Usually the ashes were buried in pottery vessels. Almost regularly food and the ornaments, implements, and other personal belongings of the dead were placed with the remains.
In 1830 Andrew Jackson, the president of the United States sign the Indian Removal Act. This began a period of relocation of eastern tribes that were sent to the west of the Mississippi river. 15,000 who were forced to leave died from hunger or disease. After the Creeks rebelled along with other tribes the United States army killed any who rebelled against them. In the end they were moved to