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Creek Confederacy. This name is given to a loose organization which constituted the principal political element in the territory of the present States of Georgia and Alabama from very early times, probably as far back as the period of De Soto. It was built around a dominant tribe, or rather a group of dominant tribes, called
Muskogee. The name Creek early became attached to these people because when they were first known to the Carolina colonists and for a considerable period afterward the body of them which the latter knew best was living upon a river, the present Ocmulgee, called by Europeans “Ocheese Creek.” The Creeks were early
divided geographically into two parts, one called Upper Creeks, on the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers; the other, the Lower Creeks, on the lower Chattahoochee and Ocmulgee. The former were also divided at times into the Coosa branch or Abihka and the Tallapoosa branch and the two were called Upper and Middle Creeks respectively. Bartram (1792) tends to confuse the student by denominating all of the true Creeks “Upper Creeks” and the Seminole “Lower Creeks.” The dominant Muskogee gradually gathered about them, and to a certain extent under them, the Apalachicola, Hitchiti, Okmulgee, Sawokli, Chiaha, Osochi, Yuchi, Alabama, Tawasa, Pawokti, Muklasa, Koasati, Tuskegee, a part of the Shawnee, and for a time some Yamasee, not counting broken bands and families from various quarters. The first seven of the above were for the most part among the Lower Creeks, the remainder with the Upper Creeks. (For further information, see the separate tribal names under Alabama, Georgia, and Florida)
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