According to Creek traditions, the Confederacy migrated to the southeastern United States from the Southwest. The confederacy was probably formed as a defense against other large groups to the north. The name "Creek" came from the shortening of "Ocheese Creek" Indians -- a name given by the English to the native people living along the Ocheese Creek (or Ocmulgee River). In time, the name was applied to all groups of the confederacy.
Most of the groups of the confederacy shared the same language (Muskogean), types of ceremonies, and village lay-out. The Creek people lived in large permanent towns or italwa with smaller outlying villages or talofa that were associated with the larger town. Italwa were centered around plazas(pascova) used for dancing, religious ceremonies and games. It was here that the Sacred Fire was rekindled annually at the Green Corn Festival (Busk). Plazas in the towns also contained a rotunda -- a round building made of poles and mud used for council meetings -- and an open-air summer council house. The people in the villages attended ceremonies in the towns with which they were associated. Surrounding the plaza area were the family homes. Towns were governed by a Chief, or "Mico", an assistant chief, and a "Mico Apokta", who acted as speaker for the Chief, announcing his decisions to the people.
These characteristics are very similar to what is known about the prehistoric Mississippian Culture who occupied the Etowah Mounds village. The people of the Etowah Mounds are believed to be the ancestors of the Creeks who controlled the area until the early 1500's.
The modern capitol of the Creek Nation is in Okmulgee, OK.
Larry Worthy is Managing Editor of About North Georgia. He has been writing about the Creek Indians in the state of Georgia for more than 10 years. His most recent efforts include an expanded history of the Creek Confederacy for Our Georgia History
History of the Creek Nation in Georgia
Additional Creek links from Roadside Georgia
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