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Creek Burial Customs

The Creeks had burial customs resembling those of the Chickasaw, and, in some instances, deposited the remains of their dead beneath the floors of their habitations. To quote from Bartram: ” The Muscogulges bury their deceased in the earth. They dig a four-square deep pit under the cabin or couch which the deceased lay on, in his house, lining the grave with Cypress bark, where they place the corpse in a sitting posture, as if it were alive; depositing with him his gun, tomahawk, pipe, and such other matters as he had the greatest value for in his life time.” And when Romans referred to the same people, he said: ” The dead are buried in a sitting posture, and they are furnished with a musket, powder and ball, a hatchet, pipe, some tobacco, a club, a bow and arrows, a looking glass, some vermillion and other trinkets, in order to come well provided in the land of spirits.” Another traveler a few years later, in 1791, left a brief account of the customs of the Creeks, and said in part: “Upon the Decease of an Adult of either Sex, the Friends and Relations of the Decedent religiously collect whatever he or she held most dear in Life, and inter them close by and sometimes in their Owner’s Grave. This pious Tribute to their Dead includes Horses, Cows, Hogs, and Dogs, as well as Things inanimate.” And the same writer mentioned the Creek’s belief in ghosts, which tends to recall the somewhat similar belief prevalent among the Choctaw. He told how ” The Creeks in approaching the Frontiers of...

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