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Guale Tribe and Yamasee Tribe

The coast of what is now the State of Georgia, from Savannah River as far as St. Andrews Sound, was anciently occupied by a tribe or related tribes which, whatever doubts may remain regarding the people just considered, undoubtedly belonged to the Muskhogean stock.1 This region was known to the Spaniards as “the province of Guale (pronounced Wallie),” but most of the Indians living there finally became merged with a tribe known as the Yamasee, and it will be well to consider the two together. From a letter of one of the Timucua missionaries we learn that the Guale province was called Ybaha by the Timucua Indians,2 and this is evidently the Yupaha of which De Soto was in search when he left the Apalachee. “Of the Indians taken in Napetuca, ” says Elvas, “the treasurer, Juan Gaytan, brought a youth with him, who stated that he did not belong to that country, but to one afar in the direction of the sun’s rising, from which he had been a long time absent visiting other lands; that its name was Yupaha, and was governed by a woman, the town she lived in being of astonishing size, and many neighboring lords her tributaries, some of whom gave her clothing, others gold in quantity.”3 As the description of the town and its queen corresponds somewhat with Cofitachequi, perhaps Ybaha or Yubaha was a general name for the Muskhogean peoples rather than a specific designation of Guale. The towns of Guale lay almost entirely between St. Catherines and St. Andrews Sounds. An early Spanish document refers to “the 22 chiefs of Guale.”...

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