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Wiwohka Tribe

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According to tradition, Wiwohka was a made-up or “stray” town, formed of fugitives from other settlements, or those who found it pleasanter to live at some distance from the places of their birth. One excellent informant stated that anciently it was called Witumpka, but the names mean nearly the same thing, “roaring water” and “tumbling water.” Both designations are said to have arisen from the nature of the place of origin of these people, near falls, and those may have been the falls of the Coosa. From the preservation of a purely descriptive name and their comparatively recent appearance in Creek history it may be fairly assumed that they had not had a long existence. Their name appears on the De Crenay map, in the lists of 1738, 1750, 1760, and 1761.[1] It is wanting from Bartram’s list, but reappears in those of Swan and Hawkins and in the census rolls of 1832.[2] The census of 1761 couples it with “New Town,” and gives the traders as William Struthers and J. Morgan.” The irregular nature of its origin may perhaps be associated with its later responsibility for the Creek war of 1813 and the Green Peach war in Oklahoma, both of which are laid to its charge. At the present time it has so far died away that but few real Wiwohka Indians remain. Its later relations were closest with the Okchai Indians with whom the survivors now busk.

The following is Hawkins’s description of this town as it was in 1799:

We-wo-cau; from we-wau, water, and wo-cau, barking or roaring, as the sound of water at high falls. It lies on a creek of the same name, which joins Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see, on its left bank, sixteen miles below that town. We-wo-cau is fifteen mile[3]above O-che-au-po-fau and four miles from Coosau, on the left side; the land is broken, oak and hickory, with coarse gravel; the settlements are spread out, on several small streams, for the advantage of the rich flats bordering on them and for their stock; they have cattle, horses, and hogs. Here commences the moss, in the beds of the creeks, which the cattle are very fond of; horses and cattle fatten very soon on it, with a little salt; it is of quick growth, found only in the rocky beds of the creeks and rivers north from this.

The hills which surround the town are stony, and unfit for culture; the streams all have reed, and there are some fine licks near the town, where it is conjectured salt might be made. The land on the right side of the creeks is poor, pine, barren hills to the falls. The number of gun men is estimated at forty.[4]

Footnotes

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  1. Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, v, p. 262; Ga. Hist Soc. Colls., III, p. 25; Senate Doc. 512, 23d Cong., 1st sess. iv, pp. 282-283.
  2. Ga. Col. Docs., VIII, p, 523
  3. The Library of Congress Manuscript has “17″
  4. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls. III, pp. 40-41.

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