Creek mythology

Creek mythology is related to a Creek Native American tribe who are originally from the southeastern United States, also known by their original name Mvskoke (or Muskogee), the name they use to identify themselves today.[1] Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. Modern Muscogees live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Their language, Mvskoke, is a member of the Creek branch of the Muskogean language family. The Seminole are close kin to the Mvskoke and speak a Creek language as well. The Creeks were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes. After the Creek War many of the Creeks escaped to Florida to create the Seminole.

History

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Illustration of a S.E.C.C. Falcon Dancer based on a Rogan plate from Etowah in northern Georgia

The early historic Creeks were probably descendants of the Mississippian culture peoples who lived along the Tennessee River, in what is now modern Tennessee[2] and Alabama, and possibly related to the Utinahica of southern Georgia. More of a loose confederacy than a single tribe, the Mvskoke lived in autonomous villages in river valleys throughout what are today the states of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama also consisted of many ethnic groups speaking several distinct languages, such as the Hitchiti, Alabama, and Coushatta. Those who lived along the Ocmulgee River and the Oconee River were called "Creek Indians" by British traders from South Carolina; eventually the name was applied to all of the various natives of Creek towns becoming increasingly divided between the Lower Towns of the Georgia frontier on the Chattahoochee River, Ocmulgee River, and Flint River and the Upper Towns of the Alabama River Valley.

The Lower Towns included Coweta, Cusseta (Kasihta, Cofitachequi), Upper Chehaw (Chiaha), Hitchiti, Oconee, Ocmulgee, Okawaigi, Apalachee, Yamasee (Altamaha), Ocfuskee, Sawokli, and Tamali. The Upper Towns included Tuckabatchee, Abihka, Coosa (Kusa; the dominant people of East Tennessee and North Georgia during the Spanish explorations), Itawa (original inhabitants of the Etowah Indian Mounds), Hothliwahi (Ullibahali), Hilibi, Eufaula, Wakokai, Atasi, Alibamu, Coushatta (Koasati; they had absorbed the Kaski/Casqui and the Tali), and Tuskegee ("Napochi" in the de Luna chronicles).

Cusseta (Kasihta) and Coweta are the two principal towns of the Creek Nation to this day. Traditionally the Cusseta and Coweta bands are considered to the earliest members of the Creek Nation.[1]

Creation

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Several S.E.C.C. Motifs on a ceremonial stone palette found at the Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville, Alabama

The Creek believed that the world was originally entirely underwater. The only land was a hill, called Nunne Chaha, and on the hill was a house, wherein lived Hesaketvmese ("master of breath"). He created humanity from the clay on the hill.

The Creek also venerated the Horned Serpent Sint Holo, who appeared to suitably wise young men.

In the underworld, there was only chaos and odd creatures. Master of Breath created Brother Moon and Sister Sun, as well as the four directions to hold up the world.

The first people were the offspring of Sister Sun and the Horned Serpent. These first two Creeks were Lucky Hunter and Corn Woman, denoting their respective roles in Creek Society.

Hesaketvmese (meaning "master of breath"; pronounced Hisakita imisi) was the supreme god, a solar deity. He is also called Ibofanga ("the one who is sitting above (us)").

References

  1. ^ a b Transcribed documents Archived February 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Sequoyah Research Center and the American Native Press Archives
  2. ^ Finger, John R. (2001). Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition. Indiana University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-253-33985-5.

See also

Choctaw mythology

Choctaw mythology is related to Choctaws, a Native American tribe originally from the Southeastern United States (Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana). In the 19th century, Choctaws were known as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes." Today the Choctaws have four tribes, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, and the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians.

The Choctaw and their ancestors have lived in the Mississippi region for about 4000 to 8000 years. Thousands of years of myth and story-making have contributed to a rich collection of history that spans the centuries. The Choctaw continue to tell and write about the legends that many have experienced in the American Deep South.

List of contemporary ethnic groups

The following is a list of contemporary ethnic groups. There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared cultural heritage, ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect; where the term "culture" specifically includes aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing (clothing) style, and other factors.

By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into ethnic subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."

A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Mary Musgrove

Mary Musgrove (c. 1700–1765) was of mixed Yamacraw and English ancestry. She facilitated in the development of Colonial Georgia and became an important intermediary between Muscogee Creek natives and the English colonists. She attempted to carve out a life that merged both cultures and fought for her own rights in both worlds.

Muscogee language

The Muscogee language (Muskogee, Mvskoke IPA: [maskókî] in Muscogee), also known as Creek, is a Muskogean language spoken by Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole people, primarily in the U.S. states of Oklahoma and Florida. Along with Mikasuki, when spoken by the Seminole it is known as Seminole.

Historically the language was spoken by various constituent groups of the Muscogee or Maskoki in what are now Alabama and Georgia. It is related to but not mutually intelligible with the other primary language of the Muscogee confederacy, Hitchiti/Miccosukee, spoken by the kindred Miccosukee (Mikasuki), as well as other Muskogean languages.

The Muscogee first brought the Muscogee and Miccosukee languages to Florida in the early 18th century and would eventually become known as the Seminoles. In the 19th century, however, the US government forced most Muscogees and Seminoles to relocate west of the Mississippi River, with many forced into Indian Territory.

Today, the language is spoken by around 5000 people, most of whom live in Oklahoma and are members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Around 200 speakers are Florida Seminoles. Seminole use of the language constitutes distinct dialects.

Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

The indigenous peoples of the Americas comprise numerous different cultures. Each has its own mythologies. Some are quite distinct, but certain themes are shared across the cultural boundaries.

Four mother towns
Groups and towns
Leaders
Languages
Culture
History
Politics and law
Federally recognized tribes (20th century)

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