Origin: Creek Nation
+Add origin to My Preferences
The Muscogee (or Muskogee), also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Their language, Mvskoke, is a member of the Muscogee branch of the Muscogean language family.
The Muscogee were descendants of the Mississippian culture peoples, who built earthwork mounds at their regional chiefdoms located throughout the Mississippi River valley and its tributaries. The historian Walter Williams and others believe the early Spanish explorers encountered ancestors of the Muscogee when they visited Mississippian-culture chiefdoms in the Southeast in the mid-16th century.
The Muscogee were the first Native Americans to be "civilized" under George Washington's civilization plan. In the 19th century, the Muscogee were known as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", because they had integrated numerous cultural and technological practices of their more recent European American neighbors. Influenced by their prophetic interpretations of the 1811 comet and earthquake, the Upper Towns of the Muscogee, supported by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, began to resist European-American encroachment. Internal divisions with the Lower Towns led to the Red Stick War (Creek War, 1813-1814); begun as a civil war within the Muscogee Nation, it enmeshed them in the War of 1812 against the United States.
During the Indian Removal of 1830, most of the Muscogee Nation moved to Indian Territory. The Muscogee Creek Nation based in Oklahoma is federally recognized, as are the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
While families include people who are directly related to each other, clans are composed of all people who are descendants of the same ancestral clan grouping. Like many Native American nations, the Muscogee Creek are matrilineal; each person belongs to the clan of his or her mother, who belongs to the clan of her mother. Fathers are important within the family system. But, within the clan, it is the mother's brother (the mother's nearest blood relation) who functions as the primary teacher, protector, disciplinarian and role model for children, especially for boys. Clan members do not claim "blood relation" but consider each other as family due to their membership in the same clan. This is expressed by their using the same kinship titles for both family and clan relations. For example, clan members of approximately the same age consider each other "brother" and "sister", even if they have never met before. Muscogee clans are as follows, an asterisk indicates extinction:
Bear Clan (*Muklasalgi, Nokosalgi),
Beaver Clan (Itamalgi, *Isfanalgi, Itchhasuaigi),
Bird Clan (Fusualgi),
Bog Potato Clan (Ahalakalgi),
Cane Clan (Kohasalki),
Deer Clan (Itchualgi),
Fish Clan (Hlahloalgi),
Fox Clan (Tsulalgi),
Hickory-Nut Clan (*Odshisalgi),
Maise Clan (Aktayatsalgi, Atchialgi),
Mole Clan (Takusalgi),
Otter Clan (Osanalgi),
Panther Clan (*Chukotalgi, Katsalg),
Raccoon Clan (*Wahlakalgi, Wotkalgi),
Salt Clan (*Okilisa, *Oktchunualgi),
Skunk Clan (Kunipalgi),
Toad Clan (*Pahosalgi, Sopaktalgi),
Turtle Clan (Locvlke) - related to Wind Clan
Wild-Cat Clan (Koakotsalgi),
Wind Clan (Hutalgalgi),
Wolf Clan (Yahalgi). - related to Bear Clan