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Tukabahchee Tribe

Tukabahchee was not only considered one of the four “foundation sticks” of the Creek Confederacy, but as the leading town among the Upper Creeks, and many add the leading town of the whole nation. During later historic times it was the most populous of all the upper towns, and is to-day the most populous without any exception. Like the other head towns, it has a special ceremonial title, Spokogi, or Ispokogi. Jackson Lewis thought this meant that Tukabahchee brooded over the other towns like a hen over her chickens. Another old Creek was of the opinion that it meant “to hold something firmly,” since it was this town that held the confederacy together. Gatschet interprets it as “town of survivors,” or “surviving town, remnant of a town.”1 It can not be said, however, that any of the suggested interpretations has great probability in its favor. As some early writers give the second consonant as t instead of k, the initial word in the name may have been tutka, fire. The original Spokogi were supposed to be certain beings who descended from the upper world to the Tukabahchee and brought them their medicine. From the intimacy which long subsisted between the Tukabahchee and Shawnee I am inclined to think that the resemblance between this word and that of one of the Shawnee bands, Kispokotha, or Kispogogi, is more than accidental. It would certainly be a shock to almost any Creek to be told that this reputed capital of the confederacy, from which, according to some of them, the busk ceremonial was derived, was not originally a true Muskogee town at...

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