There is still Cherokee

The Southeast (Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminoles)

Muskogee - one of the most important Indian language groups in the southeastern United States - is still spoken by about 6,200 of the 20,000 people of the Creek and Seminole tribes in Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida.

The Creek (whose self-name is "Muskogee") are a North American Indian people in the southeastern United States. Their language belongs to the Muskogee family of languages. In 1716 they formed the so-called "Creek Bund" with various other tribes (Seminoles, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Alabama, Muskogee), whose members settled most of Georgia and Alabama as far as the Gulf of Mexico. On February 12, 1825, some chiefs of the Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, in which they gave up most of the remaining tribal areas in Georgia. One of their chiefs, named William McIntosh, was shot dead as a traitor by other Creek Indians on May 31, 1825, for this reason. President Andrew Jackson's 1830 Indian Displacement Act displaced most of the Creek from its former territories in Georgia to Indian territory in Oklahoma.

The Creek Indians hunted, caught fish, and farmed.

They lived in villages made of wooden houses clad in clay on the outside and rectangular. Mostly they were built around a place designated for ceremonies. Often their houses were on small rivers (English: creek). For this reason, the creeks got their name from the European traders. Like many other peoples of the Southeast, the Creek preferred tattoos and other body jewelry.


The Cherokee (who called themselves "Tsalag", originally also Aniyunwiya and Anikituhwagi) are today the largest Indian people in North America. Their settlement area was originally the region from the Ohio River to what is now the US states of Georgia and Alabama.

With the Indian tribes of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminoles, they were counted among the five civilized nations. Developed between 1809 and 1819 Sequoyah, the son of a Cherokee and a European trader, its own syllabary (The Cherokee alphabet). Sequoyah, who had learned to read and write himself, wanted to develop a sign language for his tribe based on the model of the whites. This made the Cherokee tribe the only Indian tribe in North America that had its own alphabet. The Cherokee originally farmed corn, beans and pumpkins. They also hunted deer, bears and elk. Today, the Cherokee language is spoken by 12,000 to 22,000 people, and it is still written in its own script, the Cherokee alphabet.

Also the Chickasaw are a native of the Muskogee language family. Until they were forcibly resettled, until 1830 they lived in the region that is now the US states of Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee.

The Chickasaw tribe, which originally belonged to the Choctaw, was one of the so-called civilized tribes who lived in well-organized village communities with a well-thought-out legal system. Today, about 36,000 Chickasaw members still live in Oklahoma. They no longer have their own Indian reservation. There they lived in great poverty for a long time. In the 1970s, the US government revived the tribal government and allowed the Chickasaw elections, which also led to an improvement in living conditions. In 1987 only about 1,000 Chickasaw spoke their traditional language, most of them were over 40 years old. Also the Choctaw are a North American Indian tribe. They were one of the first North American Indian tribes to become acquainted with European immigrants. The Choctaw tribesmen were less bellicose than their enemies, the Chickasaw and the Creek. They lived in thatched huts made of mud-smeared tree bark and lived mainly on agriculture. With the help of simple tools, they grew corn, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and tobacco. After the first contact with white settlers, they also raised cattle. They sold the surplus they generated or exchanged it for other goods. In addition to agriculture, the Choctaw also lived from fishing and hunting. To do this, they used blowguns and arrows. Like the Seminoles and the Chickasaw, the Choctaw also bred their own horse breeds. From 1820 the members of the Choctaw tribe settled down and their way of life became more and more like the white immigrants. At that time the Choctaw people numbered about 21,000 members. After their forced resettlement to the Indian reservation in Oklahoma, in which about 14,000 Indians died, 4,000, the tribes of the Seminoles, Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw founded "The Five Civilized Nations" in 1859.
The Seminoles, which were originally tribal groups of the Creek, were given the nickname "The Runaway" from them. They lived in open houses, the roofs of which were covered with palm fronds. They mainly grew corn, which was also their main source of food. They also collected acorns, hunted deer, bears and rabbits and ate fishing. Like the Indians of the Creek, the Seminoles were also a very warlike people who repeatedly planned and carried out raids on the white settlers.


Photos 1-3:
public domain image 1 / Creek: Digital ID: cph 3b38801 Source: b & w film copy neg.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-92503 (b & w film copy neg.)
Image 2 / Creek: Digital ID: cph 3c10850 Source: b & w film copy neg.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-110850 (b & w film copy neg.)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Image 3 / Creek: Digital ID: ppmsc 02508 Source: digital file from original print
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsc-02508 (digital file from original print), LC-USZC4-1978
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
Image 4:
Sequoyah with a table of the Cherokee script he developed
Image 5:
Photo 6: Seminole chief
Image ID: libr0140, Treasures of the NOAA Library Collection
Photographer: Archival Photograph by Mr. Sean Linehan, NOS, NGS