. Southeast Native Peoples

12 11 2012


A research guide to the Five Southeastern Tribes:
the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole

created by the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State

Tribes and Languages of the Southeast
Wikipedia: Southeast Woodlands

SE Native American Indians are considered members of the Woodland Indians
There are approximately 30 tribes in the SE territory, among them

– QuaPaw
– Chickasaw
– Natichez
– Choctaw
– Acawama
– Cherokee
– Caiawba
– Creek
– Yamsee
– Apacchee
– Seminole

State territory ranges in and around:

– AR
– KY
– TN
– LA
– MS
– AL
– GA
– NC
– SC
– FL
– PR & VI (?)

Tribes & States:

– Catawba Indian Nation, Catawba, SC
– Chitmacha Indian Tribe of Louisiana, Charenton, LA
– Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Elton, LA
– Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, NC
– Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, Jena, LA
– Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, Miami, FL
– Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Philadelphia, MS
– Poarch Creek Indians, Atmore, AL
– Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hollywood, FL
– Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Marksville, LA

In researching some of these tribes, it seems all tribes have common themes throughout history. They share similarities in the following areas:

– early nomadic ways, especially in following food sources
– tribes, bands and clan structures
– hunter-gathering to farming, to reservation life
– spiritual and ritual ceremonies for almost every action taken in their daily lives
– arts & crafts:
– daily hand tools (hunting, cooking, etc.)
– clothing, jewelry, art work, pottery, etc.
– story tellers (elders passing on history of their people and used in training young people
– dancing and singing

Southeastern Tribes
Southeastern tribes lived in states like Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama. They were hunters and gatherers. Some of them moved from one area to another but the majority stayed in the same area. It just depended on where they lived and how much food was available.

Some of the tribes lived in round homes much like wigwams – made from logs and sticks, then covered with grass. There was a hole in the top so light could enter. A few tribes had two-storey frame houses covered with bark, others had thatch-roofed houses.

The food hasn’t changed that much over the years. It’s still the same typical diet of southeastern diets. They ate cornpones, corn bread, hominy grits, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes. They also had more possum, bear and most other available meats, but rarely pork. Turkey was a regular meal as well as veggies.

Some of the Southeastern tribes were into bright colors, while others probably didn’t have that option. In the summer the woman usually went naked from the waist up. In the winter they wore moss and wool. One of the styles of clothing that became popular later on was a long skirt and a cloth that went over the shoulders.

The Green Corn Festival was one of the most important ceremonies. It happened in the fall. Tribal members circled a cooking fire, carrying corn. After the corn was boiled, it was hung up above the fire as a sacred offering to the Great Spirit. A new fire was built and enough corn for the entire village was made while people danced.

Did U Know?
Southeastern tribes were famous for intermarriage. The Shawnee Chief, Blue Jacket, was an adopted Caucasian. There was even an African American, John Horse, who was a Seminole warrior. Many others were a mix of races and tribes. Nobody cared as long as the culture was kept alive

Read more: American Indian | Native | First Nations | Plains and Southeastern Tribes | Sioux | Cheyenne




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