Tag Archive for: creek indians

The St. George Island in Florida is a picturesque location littered with amazing sand dunes, pine trees and sea oats. The St. George Plantation measures approximately 1.87 square miles, which is equivalent to about 46 castles, a paradise on the island that serves as the perfect getaway for families and group trips.

The island has a rich history and especially that of its original inhabitants: the Creek Indians (the Muscogee). They were from the Mississippi culture, people who built earthwork mounds at their chiefdoms along the Mississippi River area. The Muscogee were the first Native Americans to be called ‘civilized’ by President George Washington’s civilization program in the list of the famous ‘Five Civilized Tribes’ in the 19th Century.

The Muscogee before the 1700’s wore clothes made from deer skin or bark fabric. Women wore knee-high skirts while the men had breechcloths. This changed however when the Europeans came and introduced their clothing style. They traditionally ate crops of corn, beans, squash, melon, and sweet potatoes which they grew. The men of the society also dined on hunted deer, wild turkeys, and small game. Their tastes expanded in the 1800’s when they farmed cows, horses, and pigs.

The Muscogee have been called the Creek/Muscogee Conservancy that rose after the first Spanish expedition led by Hernando De Soto – a Spanish explorer and conquistador – coming from the large losses of the Muscogee and the Indian Slave Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Conservancy was a loose alliance between the Muscogee-speaking survivors and descendants.

The Conservancy had four mother towns or ‘idalwa’; Abihka, Coosa, Tuckabutche, and Coweta. The idalwa was the basic social unit in their society which had a democracy led by the village chief the ‘Mico.’ The Mico led the warriors into battle and led the villages while being in authority as long as he could still persuade the people to his side on matters. The Mico was helped by his second-in-command the ‘heniha’ and lesser chiefs the ‘micalgi.’ Others also advised him, including respected village elders, medicine men (‘yahola’) and the principal military adviser (‘tustunnuggee’ or ‘ranking warrior’).

The Mico’s authority was complemented by the clan mothers of each clan, their most important social unit. The clans organized hunts, distributed land, arranged marriages, and punished lawbreakers. Women were important as they had the matrilineal kinship system where inheritance was through the maternal line and the children were considered to belong to their mother’s clan. Among the first clans was the ‘Wind Clan’ which produced many of the Micos.

The Muscogee were forcibly relocated to the Indian Territory during the Indian Removal in the 1830’s and are now living in Oklahoma, recognized by the Federal Government as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.