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XXVI, No. 2
Native American Population in the Southeastern States: 1960-70
J Anthony Paredes and Kaye Lenihan . . .
Effects of a Wage-earning Subsistence Pattern on Backland
Choco, Panama by Donald L. Crusoe . .. . 57
An Analysis of Muskogee Kinship by Bennie C. Keel . 67
The Settlement Pattern and Toponymy of the Koasati Indians of
Bayou Blue by Donald G. Hunter . . . 79
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President George Magruder
Parkways Palms Apts., No. 235B
Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937
1st Vice President John W. Griffin
46 St. George St., St. Augustine,FL 32084
2nd Vice President Benjamin I. Waller
3161 S.E. Ft. King Ave.,Ocala, FL 32670
Secretary Nan D. Magruder
Parkways Palms Apts., No. 235B
Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937
Treasurer Donald L. Crusoe
National Park Service, P. O. Box 2416
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Editor-Resident Agent Ripley P. Bullen
102 Florida State Museum, University of
Florida, Gainesville, FL 32601
Three years: Dan D. Laxson
Two years: Yulee Lazarus
Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
One year: Wilma B. Williams
At large, for one year
Thomas H. Gouchnour
Richard D. Hagen
Wesley F. Coleman
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION IN THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES: 1960-70
J. Anthony Paredes and Kaye Lenihan
The phrase "Native Americans" is becoming more and more common as
a term for the descendants of the peoples encountered by Europeans and Afri-
cans who "discovered" the Americas. Two very recent anthologies on Amer-
ican Indians (Walker 1972; Bahr, et. al: 1972) use "Native Americans" in
their titles. The Indian Historian, a journal published by Native American in-
tellectuals, retains the word "Indian" in its title, but use of "Native American"
in titles of articles in the most recent issues reflects a growing preference for
the term. In general the phrase "Native Americans" appears to be increasing
rapidly in popularity among the most articulate, and sometimes militant,
The shift from American Indians to Native Americans is much more than
a terminological "gimmick"; it reflects important changes in the way some Na-
tive Americans perceive themselves, as well as changes in the perception of
American Indians by some members of the larger society. For the most part
Native Americans can no longer be regarded as conquered, "primitive" ab-
origines isolated in out-of-the-way reservations, but rather as a visible ethnic
and racial minority which is being incorporated, but not assimilated, into the
mainstream of American society. For one tribe, the Hupa, this transition in
status has been described by Bushnell (1968), and the very title of his article
neatly summarizes this shift of emphasis: "From American Indian to Indian
American. However, Indian-American has not caught on as a popular term,
probably because of the East Indian ambiguity of the phrase, and any usage of
the term "Indian" is regarded by some Native Americans as perpetuation of the
most ancient and fundamental mistaken conception held by the White man about
the Native Americans. In brief, the appeal of the term Native American lies in
its departure from the stereotypes associated with "Indian, its inclusion of
Aleuts and Eskimos as well as American Indians, and its consistency with other
minority group terminology such as Black-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and
Italian-Americans. Thus, usuage of "Native Americans" serves an important
function in the minority group identity-formation processes which Native Amer-
icans are currently experiencing nation-wide. Finally, as one young Cherokee
descendant said, "'American Indian' puts America first and the Indian last;
'Native American' puts the native part first and then the American. Thus, we
have chosen to use "Native American" in the title to our paper. "American
Indian" will no doubt long remain in the vocabulary of Native Americans as well
as Whites, but it is important to become aware of the new status and all else
that is implied by the term "Native American."
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 2, June 1973.
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
Although 19th century thinkers anticipated that the natives of North Amer-
ica would soon vanish as identifiable biological and social entities, Native
Americans have steadily increased in population since reaching its lowest point
in the early 1900' s. Indeed, by 1970 the number of American Indians in the
United States (792, 730) nearly equalled the estimated aboriginal population
(ca. 1, 000, 000) of North America north of Mexico in the year 1500. Recent
events such as the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island, well reported
on TV and in the press; the greater vociferousness of Native American thinkers
and leaders in the press; and the fascination of the mass media and the youth
culture alike for "things Indian" appear to have eradicated the myth of the van-
ishing American Indian.
While the general American public may now be sensitized to the presence
of a significant and vocal Native American minority group in the western states,
some parts of the northeast, and certain large cities, e. g., Chicago and New
York, there is much less awareness of a Native American population in the
South. Many Americans are, no doubt, aware of the Cherokee reservation in
North Carolina, the Seminoles of Florida, and, to a lesser extent, Choctaws
in Mississippi, but the average person is unaware of other sizable Native Amer-
ican groups scattered throughout the general population of the southern states.
A report by Gilbert (1948) provides clear documentation of the many and
often quite large, so-called "remnant" indian and "mestizo" enclaves in all the
eastern states in the 1940' s (Table I). However, the results of Gilbert' s survey
do not appear to be widely known in the anthropological community and among
the general public. Furthermore, since the time of Gilbert' s study the Native
American population of the Southeast has continued to grow and there are indica-
tions that Native Americans from elsewhere are rapidly entering the southern
states, particularly the metropolitan areas.
The major purpose of this paper is to assess the size of Native American
populations in the southeastern states in 1970, to describe the geographic dis-
tribution of these populations, to examine population increases since 1960, and
to suggest some possible explanations and implications of these demographic
trends. Data utilized are taken exclusively from published reports of the U.S.
Censuses of 1960 and 1970. We wish to thank John Billings, Joel McEachin, and
Debra Hazelton for their assistance in the tedious tasks of extracting and com-
piling the data for this study.
As social anthropologists expand their research perspectives to include
huge, complex societies they must augment their traditional interviewing and
participant-observation techniques with such sources of information as census
reports and other public documents. These kinds of data can be very important
in outlining broad cultural patterns and discovering leads to research problems
amenable to more traditional methods. The use of census data in this study has
PAREDES AND LENIHAN
been adopted in order to make a preliminary assessment of the extent to which
there are promising research questions at a regional level for the study of the
Native American minority in the contemporary Southeast.
Before proceeding to an examination of the data it is necessary to deal
briefly with the question, "Who is a Native American?" While there are many
special tribal, state, and federal definitions of American Indian, the U. S. Cen-
sus answer is simply that an American Indian is anyone who says that he is.
This was not always the case. Until the census of 1960 racial identification
was determined by the census-taker through visual impression, or questioning,
if the enumerator was unsure. Beginning with the census of 1960 racial identifi-
cation has been by self-report. Almost certainly there are errors produced by
this procedure, particularly in the case of census figures for American Indians.
However, some confidence in the census figures for Native Americans in the
Southeast is provided by the fact that those non-metropolitan counties showing
the highest figures for American Indians are precisely those counties which
have long been identified as containing concentrated enclaves of remnant Indian
and mixed-blood groups. Nonetheless, figures for American Indians may be
inflated somewhat by those who claim to be Indian but have little or no Indian
ancestry. On the other hand, such inflation could well be offset by those Native
Americans (of varying degrees of admixture with non-Indians) who for various
reasons desire to conceal or deny their Indian identity even on census forms.
Of course, as is true elsewhere in the country, many people who consider them-
selves to be American Indians, and are so regarded by others, have racially
Analysis of the Data
The total 1970 population of Native Americans in the Southeast (Alabama,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee) was 76, 656. The significance of this figure
has to be viewed relatively, however. In relation to the total U. S. Indian popu-
lation of 792, 730 the Indian population of the Southeast accounts for only 9. 7%
of the total. North Carolina alone with a population of 44, 406 represents 57. 9%
of the southeastern Native Americans and 5. 6% of the total national American
Indian population. Also when a total population of 76, 656 Indians spread out
over ten states is compared with a single tribe such as the Navajo who have a
population of approximately 100, 000 in a reservation about the size of West
Virginia, the number may seem to pale to insignificance. However, when
viewed within the context of southern history and the Indian Removal Policy of
the 1820' s and '30' s, a present-day Indian population of over 76, 000 is rather
impressive and goes far to disprove the notion that Native Americans have some-
how disappeared from the southern scene. Although Native Americans account
for only 22% of the total population of the Southeast, nationally Native Amer-
icans comprise 39% of the total U. S. population.
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
LOCATION OF SOUTHEASTERN AMERICAN INDIAN
AND MIXED-BLOOD GROUPS BY STATE AND COUNTY
(From: W. H. Gilbert Jr., 1948)
"Creoles" Baldwin, Mobile
"Cajuns" Upper Mobile, lower Washington
No specific group Benton, Sebastian, and Washing-
name listed ton (border Oklahoma)
Seminole Dade, Broward, Glades, Palm
Beach, Hendry, Highlands
Cherokee & Creek Burke
Houma Terrebonne, LaFourche
Chitimacha St. Mary' s
Tunica Avoyelles, LaSalle, Catahoula,
Coushatta (Koasati) Allen
Choctaw St. Tammany
"Red Bones" Calcasieu, Vernon, Allen,
pi Choctaws Neshoba*, 2 Newton, Jasper
Jones, Leake, Scott, Komper
olina Cherokees Swain*, Graham, Cherokee,
"Lumbees" ("Croatans") Robeson*, Bladen, Columbus,
Cumberland, Harnett, Sampson,
Machapunga Dale, Hyde
olina "Lumbees" (Croatans") Marlboro, Dillon, Marion, Horry
"Marlboro Blues" Chesterfield
"Brass Ankles" Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester
Berkeley, Orangeburg, Clarendon
"Red Bones" Richmond
e "Melungeons" Hancock Rhea, Hamilton
PAREDES AND LENIHAN
1. Local names of mixed-blood or "Mestizo" groups are enclosed in quotes.
2. Starred counties indicate the county with the greatest population concentra-
POPULATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN STATES
Totals 38,157 38,499 76,656
Turning to a breakdown by counties, it can be seen from Table III that of
the 888 counties which comprise the ten Southeastern states, the number of
counties containing 1-49 Indians far exceeds the total number of counties in all
other population categories. Again North Carolina must be considered as a
special case since of the five counties listed in the 1001-2000 category three
are in North Carolina and of the three in the +2000 category, 2 are North Car-
Caroline, Essex, Upper
King & Queen
Lee, Scott, Wise, Giles,
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN STATES
BY COUNTIES: 1970
0 1-49 50-100 101-250 251-500 501-1000 1000-2000 2000+
Alabama 2 55 5 2 2 1 -
Arkansas 2 67 2 2 3 -
Florida 3 40 8 8 6 1 1 -
Georgia 24 125 3 6 1 -
Louisiana 46 7 7 3 1
Mississippi 3 66 6 4 1 1 1 -
North Carolina 5 58 11 10 5 6 3 2
South Carolina 2 32 5 5 1 -
Virginia* 11 102 6 10 4 1 -
Tennessee 5 82 3 3 2 -
Metropolitan 0 34 18 30 19 3 1 1
Non-metropolitan 57 639 38 27 9 7 4 2
Totals 57 673 56 57 28 10 5 3
*Independent cities counted as counties
olina counties. These concentrations represent the Cherokee in western North
Carolina and, specifically, the Lumbee Indian population of approximately
30, 000 in south-central North Carolina. North Carolina aside, the 672 coun-
ties in the 1-49 category, plus the numbers of counties in the 50-100, and 101-
250 categories, indicate that in addition to the concentrations of Native Amer-
icans in the 46 counties with more than 250 Indians, Native Americans are
widely scattered throughout the rest of the South. Indeed, it is somewhat sur-
prising that there are only 57 counties without any Native Americans. A listing
of counties by these population categories is shown in Table IV.
A further breakdown of the data was made between those counties which
are metropolitan and those which are not metropolitan. A metropolitan county
is one designated by the United States Census as within a Standard Metropolitan
Statistical Area (SMSA), i.e. a county, or in some cases a group of contiguous
counties, containing at least one city with a population of 50, 000 or more. Cer-
tain of Virginia' s Independent Cities were also included in the metropolitan cat-
egory. It is important to keep in mind that non-metropolitan does not necessarily
mean rural and metropolitan is not synonymous with urban since a SMSA may in-
clude rural areas, and many small cities are not included in SMSA' s. The fig-
ures show that all metropolitan areas have some Native Americans and that in
general metropolitan areas tend to have larger Native American populations
than do non-metropolitan counties. There are more metropolitan than non-
metropolitan counties in the 101-500 population range, but of the 18 counties
with more than 500 Native Americans less than a third are metropolitan. Thus
PAREDES AND LENIHAN
Native American Populations in the Southeastern States by Counties
Alabama: Choctaw, Lamar; Arkansas: Calhoun, Lincoln; Florida: Holmes,
Lafayette, Liberty; Georgia: Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Crawford, Dade,
Dooly, Elbert, Hancock, Irwin, Jasper, Lamar, Morgan, Murray, Newton,
Pickens, Pierce, Polk, Rabun, Schley, Taliaferro, Taylor, Union, Webster,
Wilkinson; Mississippi: Greene, Prentiss, Webster; North Carolina: Alleg-
hany, Bertie, Greene, Martin, Tyrrell; South Carolina: Lee, Newberry;
*Virginia: Grayson, Greene, King George, Lee, Mathews, Orange, Rich-
mond, Surry, Bedford City, Emporia City, Norton City; Tennessee: Grainger,
Johnson, Moore, Pickett, Trousdale
(The 672 counties not listed elsewhere on this table are in this category)
Alabama: Baldwin (84), Calhoun (85), Dale (77), Monroe (60), Washington (63);
Arkansas: Crawford (56), Garland (59); Florida: Collier (66), Hardee (51),
Lake (88), Lee (62), Leon (62), Manatee (78), Sarasota (92), Seminole (64);
Georgia: Clayton (73), Dougherty (66), Gulinnett (60); Louisiana: Bossier (73),
Lafayette (50), Lafourche (100), Natchitoches (54), St. Bernard (66), St. Landry
(52), St. Tammany (67); Mississippi: Forrest (59), Jackson (66), Jones (88),
Lauderdale (65), Scott (55), Smith (57); North Carolina: Alamance (85),
Cabarrus (69), Cherokee (71), Craven (98), Haywood (58), Iredell (56), Nash
(51), Orange (52), Randolph (56), Rowan (89), Wayne (96); South Carolina:
Aiken (62), Beaufort Point (76), Colleton (74), Marlboro (50), Spartanburg (67);
*Virginia: Chesterfield (57), Halifax (69), Hanover (53), King and Queen (50),
Prince George (75), Portsmouth City (80); Tennessee: Bradley (57), Lauder-
dale (97), Sullivan (64)
Alabama: Madison (111), Montgomery (117); Arkansas: Pulaski (245), Wash-
ington (155); Florida: Bay (102), Brevard (155), Glades (250), Hendry (245),
Highlands (175), Okaloosa (110), Polk (201), Volusia (120); Georgia: Chatham
(110), Chattahoochee (132), Cobb (125), DeKalb (189), Muscogee (104), Rich-
mond (191); Louisiana; Allen (166), Caddo (142), Calcasieu (105), East Baton
Rouge (134), Rapides (121), St. Mary (236), Vernon (119); Mississippi: Harri-
son (136), Hinds (144), Kemper (131), Winston (132); North Carolina: Bladen
(115), Buncombe (133), Davidson (136), Durham (115), Forsyth (213), Gaston
(133), Moore (123), New Hanover (141), Person (173), Richmond (108); South
Carolina: Charleston (195), Dillon (230), Dorchester (136), Greenville (134),
Richland (244); *Virginia: Amherst (128), Caroline (175), Henrico (188), King
William (113), Prince William (104), Alexandria City (168), Chesapeake City
(129), Hampton City (125), Newport News City (193), Virginia Beach City (186);
Tennessee: Bledsoe (105), Hamilton (147), Knox (145)
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
Alabama: Jefferson (371), Mobile (346); Arkansas: Benton (268) Sebastian
(313); Florida: Duval (457) Escambia (484) Hillsborough (458) Orange
(347), Palm Beach (267), Pinellas (353); Georgia: Fulton (446); Louisiana:
Jefferson (289), Orleans (463), Plaquemines (264); Mississippi: Newton (432);
North Carolina: Graham (320), Harnett (382) Onslow (358), Wake (331), War-
ren (413); South Carolina: York (415); *Virginia: Arlington (271), Fairfax
(427), Norfolk City (456), Richmond City (337); Tennessee: Davidson (286),
Alabama: Escambia (541); Florida: Broward (664); Mississippi: Leake (535);
North Carolina: Columbus (949), Guilford (895), Halifax (718), Mecklenberg
(819), Sampson (770), Swain (996); *Virginia: Charles City (510)
Florida: Dade (1,085); Mississippi: Neshoba (1,603); North Carolina: Hoke
(1,739), Jackson (1,858) Scotland (1,065)
Louisiana: Terrebonne (2,265); North Carolina: Cumberland (3,199), Robeson
*Independent cities treated as counties.
SOUTHEASTERN NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATIONS BY METROPOLITAN
AND NON-METROPOLITAN RESIDENCE: 1960-1970
Metropolitan Non-metropolitan Total
1960 1970 In- 1960 1970 In- 1960 1970 In-
crease crease crease
Ala. 275 1161 322% 1001 1282 28% 1276 2443 91%
Ark. 212 733 246% 368 1281 248% 580 2014 247%
Fla. 1301 4322 233% 1203 2355 96% 2504 6677 162%
Ga. 349 1452 316% 400 893 123% 749 2345 213%
La. 489 1422 191% 3098 3872 25% 3587 5294 48%
Miss. 72 296 311% 3047 3817 25% 3119 4113 32%
N. C. 1812 6019 235% 36317 38387 6% 38129 44406 16%
S. C. 260 730 181% 838 1505 80% 1098 2235 104%
Va. 881 3116 247% 1271 1737 37% 2152 4853 126%
Tenn. 297 1127 279% 341 1149 237% 638 2276 257%
Totals 594820378 243% 47884 56278 18%
53832 76656 42%
PAREDES AND LENIHAN
the bulk of the total Native American population of the Southeast is accounted for
by a combination of a wide scattering of individuals and a few notable concentra-
tions of Native Americans in non-metropolitan counties.
Among the 76, 656 Native Americans in the Southeast 20, 378 or 27% live
in metropolitan counties. However, there are proportionately fewer metro-
politan Indians in the Southeast than there are nationally; 38. 8% of all Native
Americans live in metropolitan areas. Both the southeastern and national met-
ropolitan Indian percentages are lower than the total U. S. non-white percentage
of 73. 9% living in metropolitan areas and the 68% of the total U. S. population in
The most significant results of our preliminary survey of 1970 Native
American populations in the Southeast pertain to percentages of population in-
crease during the last ten years. During the period 1960-1970 there was an
overall increase of 42% in these populations in the Southeast. The more signi-
ficant figures, however, are those which show a Native American increase of
243% in metropolitan areas versus an increase of only 18% in non-metropolitan
areas. The only state in which the non-metropolitan population increased at a
greater rate than the metropolitan was Arkansas, but the difference was only
one of 2%. In Tennessee the metropolitan increase was only slightly greater
than the non-metropolitan. In all the other states in the Southeast there was a
significantly greater rate of increase in American Indians in metropolitan than
in non-metropolitan areas. For example, North Carolina experienced a 6%
non-metropolitan increase and a 233% metropolitan increase in numbers of
Indians. Florida had a 97% non-metropolitan increase and a 233% metropolitan
increase of Native Americans. In comparison to the 51.4% rate of increase in
the total Native American population of the United States, the total increase of
42% among Native Americans of the Southeast is fairly close to the national
Compared to demographic changes in the total population of the Southeast,
the population gains of Native Americans in the region are even more impressive.
The whole population of the Southeast increased by only 12. 2% in contrast to the
42% increase for Native Americans. In 1960 American Indians accounted for
only 04% of the total Southeastern metropolitan population; by 1970 the number
of metropolitan Native Americans constituted 11 % of the total, having increased
by 241 %, while the metropolitan population as a whole had gained by only 44%.
Although the 18% increase for non-metropolitan Native Americans in these states
is low compared to the rate of increase in metropolitan areas, the total south-
eastern non-metropolitan population actually decreased by 9. 2%. So, while the
general population is declining in non-metropolitan counties, Native Americans
continue to make gains in these areas while at the same time experiencing in-
creases in metropolitan areas at a rate over five times that of the metropolitan
population as a whole. We must, of course, keep these figures in perspective by
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
recognizing that the 76, 656 Native Americans in the Southeastern states represent
less than half of one percent of the 34, 066, 790 people in these states in 1970.
Summary and Conclusions
(1) In the 1970 census more than 75,000 people in the Southeast identified
themselves as American Indians;
(2) This population is widely dispersed among the general population, but
46 southern counties have Indian populations of more than 250;
(3) Populations of more than 250 tend to be in metropolitan areas, but non-
metropolitan concentrations of more than 250 are also found in most
(4) Non-metropolitan counties with more than 500 Native Americans out-
number metropolitan counties in this category by more than two to one;
(5) Between 1960 and 1970 the Native American population of the Southeast
had increased by a slightly lower percentage than did the American
Indian population of the nation as a whole;
(6) The rate of increase of southeastern Native Americans in metropol-
itan areas was more than ten times greater than their rate of increase
in non-metropolitan areas, but in absolute numbers the majority of
Native Americans live in non-metropolitan areas;
(7) Percentage gains of Native American populations in both metropolitan
and non-metropolitan areas far exceed those of the overall population
of the Southeast.
A variety of factors are probably responsible for increases in Native
American population of the Southeast. With continued improvement in medical
care and lowering of infant mortality rates the percentage of natural increase
undoubtedly has been raised. It is not unlikely that some people who did not re-
port themselves as American Indians in 1960 did so in 1970. Readiness to iden-
tify oneself as an American Indian has been stimulated in some areas by the suc-
cess of Indian land claims brought against the federal government during the
1960' s, e. g. the Eastern Creeks of Alabama and northwest Florida. Long-
standing tribal enclave groups such as the Houma, Cushatta, and Chitimacha
of Louisiana; the Choctaw of Mississippi; the Creek of Alabama; the Seminole
and Mikasuki of Florida; the Cherokee of North Carolina; the Catawba of South
Carolina; and the Pamunkey and Chickahominy of Virginia appear to have con-
tinued to grow; and with a reawakening sense of Indian identity perhaps propor-
tionately fewer of their mixed-blood members have been absorbed by the sur-
Of particular interest are the several enclaves of composite tribal and
racial origins who now seem to have firmly established their identity as Indians
(c.f. Hudson 1970, pp. 70-71, 116, 123-124). By far the largest and best-
known such groups are the Lumbees centered in Robeson County, North Car-
PAREDES AND LENIHAN
olina and altogether numbering more than 25, 000. The Lumbees came into
national prominence in the late '50' s following mass media coverage of their
successful rout of a Klu Klux Klan demonstration. The Lumbees, as well as
other similar groups, are increasingly being accepted by other Native Amer-
icans as fellow Indians.
The great percentage increase of Native American population in the met-
ropolitan southeast is most likely accounted for by two factors. First, in gen-
eral the South is urbanizing at a faster rate than any other major region of the
country and many indigenous Indians are moving to the cities. Secondly, it is
quite likely that Native Americans from other parts of the country relocated to
southern metropolises in the 1960' s. It seems likely that there is an "over-
flow" into the southeastern states from areas of high Native American concentra-
tion, particularly Oklahoma which borders on the Southeast. Economic growth
in the Southeast has probably done much to stimulate the immigration of Native
Americans, as well as others, into the region.
At this stage, of course, much remains to be done in specifying the
causes of Native American population increases in the Southeast. Finer anal-
ysis of more detailed census reports and related materials should provide us
with a much clearer understanding of demographic process among Southeast-
ern Native Americans during the 1960' s and at present.
We anticipate that in the 1970' s Native Americans will become more and
more prominent in the public life of the Southeast. Remnant groups that have
lain dormant for many years are beginning to organize politically. In February
of 1971 non-reservation Indians from throughout the eastern states, including
several southern states, held an organizing convention in Boston. Native Amer-
icans in the Southeast are rapidly gaining recognition from each other and from
other American Indians and national American Indian organizations. Social
scientists are beginning to pay more attention to Native Americans in the con-
temporary Southeast; for example, there is now a southeastern branch of the
Doris Duke Foundation Oral Indian History Project located at the University of
Florida. There are even some signs of emergent American Indian activism in
the Southeast. As a matter of fact, soon after the completion of the first draft
of this paper Florida' s Governor Askew called upon the state' s "7, 500 Indians"
to become "politically active" as he made a series of appointments which gave
persons of American Indian descent a majority on the State Indian Affairs Coun-
cil (St. Petersburg Times, March 23, 1972). With the growth of metropolitan
Native American populations more outspoken expressions of Indian grievances
and ethnic pride can be expected, since elsewhere it has been the large urban
areas that have most often fostered the current national surge of Indian activism.
A recent symposium (Hudson 1971) has explored the idea that the Old
South should be viewed as having been a complex, pluralistic, socio-cultural
NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION
system which included not only Whites and Blacks but also American Indians.
We suggest that now Native Americans must be acknowledged as an increasingly
important part of the New South.
Bahr, Howard M., Bruce A. Chadwick, and Robert C. Day
1972 Native Americans Today: Sociological Perspectives. Harper
and Row. New York.
Bushnell, John H.
1968 From American Indian to Indian American: The Changing Identity
of the Hupa. American Anthropologist, vol. 70, pp. 1108-16.
Gilbert, William Harlen, Jr.
1948 Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States. Annual Re-
port of the Smithsonian Institution, pp. 407-438.
Hudson, Charles M.
1970 The Catawba Nation. University of Georgia Press. Athens.
1971 (Editor) Red, White and Black: Symposium on Indians in the
Old South. University of Georgia Press. Athens.
U. S. Bureau of Census
1961 U.S. Census of Population: 1960. General Population Character-
istics, United States Summary/ Alabama/ Arkansas/ Florida/
Georgia/ Louisiana/ Mississippi/ North Carolina/ South Carolina/
Tennessee/ Virginia. Final Report PC (1) 1B/ 2B/ 5B/ liBi
12B/ 20B/ 26B/ 35B/ 42B/ 44B/ 48B. U.S. Government Printing
1972 U. S. Census of Population: 1970. General Population Character-
istics, United States Summary/ Alabama/ Arkansaa/ Florida/
Georgia/ Louisiana/ Mississippi/ North Carolina/ South Carolina/
Tennessee/ Virginia. Final Report PC (1) B1/ B2/ B5/ B11/
B12/ B20/ B26/ B35/ B4Z/ B44/ B48. U.S. Government Printing
Walker, Deward E. Jr.
1972 The Emergent Native Americans. Little, Brown and Company.
Florida State University
EFFECTS OF A WAGE-EARNING SUBSISTENCE PATTERN
ON BACKLAND CHOCO, PANAMA
Donald L. Crusoe
While in Panama in 1967 I had the opportunity to conduct an ethnographic
investigation among the Rio Chagres Choco. This Choco group is most unique
since it has adopted a wage-earning mode of subsistence. This new mode of
subsistence has stimulated some interesting cultural adaptations. It is my in-
tention to describe some of these adaptations and discuss their ramifications.
Ethnographically, the Chocd are very significant. Certain cultural as-
pects (such as the blowgun, poison darts and cases, roof apex pottery, maize
and metates, bark-cloth, and bark-hammers) have curious parallels in Mexico,
Melanesia, and the Amazon (Gordon 1957). These trait distributions may or
may not reflect transoceanic contact or migration, but most certainly they in-
dicate interareal communication.
The geographical position of the Choco enabled them to intercept cultural
ideas which were being transferred through their territory (Map 1). Yet, be-
cause they lived well within the tropical forests, the Choco could selectively
accept alien ideas and still maintain their ethnic identity. Other Panamanian
groups not shielded by the tropical forest, such as the Cuna or the Guaymi, re-
ceived the full impact of cultural transmission. This is exemplified in conquest
times when these groups felt the full impact of the Conquistatores' sword or
cross. As a result, the Guaymi are almost completely mestizo and the Cuna
would have been if they had not concerted their efforts to return to the tradi-
The tropical forest has shielded the Choco from strong acculturative for-
ces, and it is perhaps for this reason, as well as the lack of an elaborate ma-
terial culture, that ethnographic studies of the Choco are few. In addition to the
scarcity of knowledge, misconceptions have resulted from short term ethnogra-
phic studies which still plague the Choco ethnographic literature.
Jijon y Caamano has indicated that there is very little historic data on the
Choco. One reason for this is the fact that at conquest time the Choco were sup-
posedly a very warlike people. The early Spaniards at Santa Maria la Antigua,
Panama, as treacherous as they may have been, were unable to subdue the Choco.
A few early accounts, mainly of geographical significance, have been recorded.
One report from 1535 placed the Choco on the Rio Sinu and at San Sebastian de
Uruba (Jijon y Caamano 1938). Gordon (1957) feels that before the sixteenth
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 2, June 1973.
-r:~ C);:: ::;
Map 1. Chocd'occupy the stippled area
century, the Choco lived in scattered areas throughout the Department of Choco,
Colombia. If this is true, then it would seem that the Choco lived in the back-
lands, and with the annihilation or assimilation of the Zenu and Cueva, the
Choco became the dominant Indian group in the area, well before the arrival of
the Cuna in the early seventeen hundreds. In short, although the Cuna and the
Choc6 are neighbors, at conquest they were separated by several intervening
groups. Present day mistrust between the two groups is then a result of inter-
action probably since the beginning of the seventeenth century.
Stout (1948:273) has reported that the Choco are an exogamous group with
patrilineall lineages which may be clans. Further, he indicates that patrilocal
residence is the ideal but, due to some female-owned lands near the house of the
woman' s parents, the Choco may sometimes be matrilocal. The above descrip-
tion prompted Faron' s (1961, 1962) field study. In his first Choco article, Fa-
ron attacked Stout for "the jumbling of principles such as patrilocality and
matrilocality which seems to be a characteristic of 'reconstructions' based
on poor source material to which inadequate sociological theory has been ap-
plied" (Faron 1962:102).
The Rio Chagres Choco group is a result of the dynamic process of group
fission as described by Faron (1961). That is, the founders of the Rio Chagres
Choco migrated to this river system forming a new Choco district. Since the
Rio Chagres Chocd are a relatively new Choco district, many readily observable
cultural and social traits found among the older Choco districts are not as easily
discerned among the Rio Chagres Choco. The following aperju will illustrate
why certain traditional Choc6 customs are not readily discernable.
The Rio Chagres Choco camp consists of sixteen persons who are all re-
lated to Antonio (the headman) either consanguinally or affinally. From his-
toric events Antonio and his wife (Mama Antonio) have related, their ages ap-
proximated fifty. Antonio came from the Gulf of Uraba, a southern Choco group.
Mama Antonio, on the other hand belonged to a northern Choc6 local group from
the Rio Mamani near the Rio Bayano.
Antonio had been married several times before Mama Antonio. After each
divorce he changed river districts and each change brought him nearer Panama
and further from the Chocd homeland. The availability of work during World
War II made the Rio Chagres area economically attractive. During the war
years, while working for the United States Government on road construction pro-
jects, Antonio constructed a house for his family just beyond the second group of
rapids on the Rio Chagres. By the end of the war, he had a great deal invested
--a house and cleared fields. Although he could have abandoned this investment
to return to Choco'district, he preferred living on the Rio Chagres where he
could take advantage of the services offered by the city and at the same time
live in a traditional Chocd manner.
WAGES AND BACKLAND CHOCO
In order to take advantage of the services offered by the city, money was
necessary. Therefore, he readily accepted a job with the United States Air
Force Tropic Survival School. The association with the Tropic Survival School
has created the wage-earning economic base upon which the Rio Chagres Choco
now depend. Everyone of working age (above ten) participates in the wage-
The Choco men act as resistance forces, attempting to inhibit the infil-
tration of Survival School students to a safety area by removing students' hats,
symbolizing capture. The central incentives in this exercise are the $1.00 per
hat the Choco receive and the glory of deceiving an Indian in the case of the
After the infiltration exercise, the students float down river to the beach
directly below Antonio' s house. In groups of fifteen to twenty the students are
taken to Antonio' s house and are given an ethnic lecture, instruction in methods
of confronting aboriginals, and a Chocd meal: boiled iguana. Basketry arti-
facts are sold as souvenirs to the students.
The Choco make between $25-30 for the day' s activities. Every male
who participates in the wage-earning situation receives an equal share of the
money collected from the infiltration exercise. Money from the basketry sale
is given to the husband of the female who made the artifact. The husband either
keeps the money or gives it to his wife, depending on the individual.
This wage-earning situation was also considered valuable to Kitalo, An-
tonio' s son-in-law. During the usual period of uxorilocal residence, Kitalo
realized the economic potential of the association with the Tropic Survival
School. As a result, instead of moving to another Choco district to establish
virilocal residence, Kitalo constructed his house just down river from Antonio' s.
Antonio' s eldest son, Antonito, returned from his year' s uxorilocal residence
to the Rio Chagres. He then decided that he would move to the city and work in
the Canal Zone. Unfortunately, he was treated badly and returned to the Rio
Chagres embittered with his experiences in the Zone. Upon his return he con-
structed his house only one hundred feet downstream from his father' s house
(Map 2). His brother later built a house about fifty feet downstream from his.
These houses could be seen from the central room of Antonio' s house. The
view was slightly obscured by a rather thin tree line running northeast to south-
west about fifty feet from Antonio' s house. Although Kitalo' s house was down-
stream, he spent little time there and had actually moved into a Choco house
that had been abandoned after a divorce. The group' s agricultural fields were
located directly behind Antonio' s house. This land was owned and worked co-
operatively by all.
The arrangement of houses at the Rio Chagres Choco camp is due to the
wage-earning situation. As Map 2 shows, the houses are clustered together in
o 1 o'
Map 2. Plan of ChocK quasi-settlement on Rio Chagres
a-c, houses belonging to headman (a, destroyed in recent flood); d, his
chicken coop; e, child's play house; f, eldest son's house; g-h, houses of
youngest married son; i, son-in-law's house (downstream); y, proposed
location eldest son's house. Agricultural fields (white areas) extend fur-
ther east than is indicated on map.
WAGES AND BACKLAND CHOCO
a settlement. However, distance between the houses appears to be more im-
portant than the clustering of the houses. Even though the Choco have con-
structed their houses in a rather restricted area, each household is an inde-
pendent unit and operates as though it were isolated. In this light, the distance
between the houses is most important. This type of house arrangement may
best be characterized as a quasi-settlement pattern because it looks like a
settlement but most functions are carried out independently by its components.
Faron (1962) indicates that the Choco are a bilaterally organized group
practicing local endogamy. Their riverine district arrangement appears to
sustain the endogamous situation. The Choco group referred to by Faron may
be characterized as a "climax" group. The Choco population in the Yavisa dis-
trict, referred to by Faron, is large enough for the dynamic aspects of the so-
cial order to function. Even though the Rio Chagres Choco are a fledgling dis-
trict, some aspects of the Choco' social order are evident. For instance, the
Chocd have the Hawaiian type of cousin terminology and though the terms may
differ from place to place, this has no bearing upon a direct analysis of Choco
social structure (Faron 1962).
Plantain groves are the most valued item owned by the Choco and sons
tend to inherit more than daughters. Upon the death of a household head, the
groves generally pass to "(1) the eldest unmarried son, (2) a daughter in the
absence of a son, (3) a widow if the son is a minor, or (4) the groves are aban-
doned" (Faron 1962:32).
Marriageable individuals fall just outside the imberana (incest group).
These individuals include the grandchildren of both parents, siblings and off-
spring, children of the parents, cousins, and the brother' s wife who is a widow.
There is no levirate nor a bride price, and residence is initially uxorilocal and
later virilocal (Reichel-Dolmatoff 1962).
The Choco marriage ceremony is rather simple. All observers have re-
ported that the ceremony consists of the groom sleeping with the bride for sev-
eral consecutive nights.
Since the groom resides in the household of the father-in-law, he generally
contributes to the subsistence quest. This uxorilocal residence pattern continues
till after the birth of the first child, or at least the first year of marriage. Re-
ports are not clear as to whether the groom may begin construction on his own
house during this first year or whether he must wait till this period is over to
Polygamy is an accepted practice. Generally, the second mate is chosen
from the same group just outside the imberana: aunts, nieces, or sisters of the
spouse. The first wife has more to say about the polygamous marriage than has
previously been reported in the literature. My observations among the Rio
Chagres Choco included an attempted polygamous marriage which failed and
ended in a divorce of the first wife.
A Choco male, who had been married several times prior, was having
extramarital affairs with his wife' s sister. The marriage was finally con-
summated with his wife' s sister and he decided to move her to his own resi-
dence where his first wife was living. Since he had served a period of uxori-
local residence for one daughter, a second such period was not necessary.
Upon arriving at his own household, his first wife went into a violent rage,
attempting to kill both her husband and her sister. They avoided her advances
and the enraged wife retreated to the house. There, still angry about the sec-
ond marriage, she destroyed all the household implements: baskets, hearth,
cooking utensils, and other moveable objects. These things were thrown over
the bluff upon which the house was standing. She then collected a few items,
set fire to the house, and took the dug-out, leaving her husband and her child
I attempted to discover more about this divorce but the response to my
questions was not enthusiastic. I did discover that: (1) it was more or less
acceptable for the husband to have a mistress but a second wife was not accept-
able to this Choco' s first wife, (2) the destruction of the household items was
the outward indication of the severance of the marital bonds, (3) the leaving of
the child reflected the fact that a female would apparently regain her status as
a never-married female upon the arrival at her own home district, and (4) the
son was not immediately allowed to rebuild another house, being forced to live
in his father' s household in much the same way as a newly married couple is
required to live. This latter situation was still in existence about six months
after the beginning of the study. Apparently, he had to observe a rather lengthy
waiting period to validate the divorce before he could build a new house.
Several years prior to the beginning of my study, a marriage was con-
summated but no period of uxorilocal residence was observed by the newlyweds.
The United States Air Force was making a Tropic Survival film at the Rio Cha-
gres Choco camp. Choco from the Yavisa district as well as the Rio Chagres
district participated in the film. One of the headman' s daughters and a Choco
from the Yavisa area were married. After the film was completed, the girl left
with her husband for his home district, without completing the required uxori-
local residence period. The headman was angered by the actions of his daughter
and consequently disowned her. No mention of this was ever made to me by the
Rio Chagres Choco. In fact, when asked how many children the headman had, I
was given the answer seven. When I questioned which of the people in the settle-
ment were his children, he included a young female that had been adopted after
her parents were killed, excluding the daughter that had been disowned.
WAGES AND BACKLAND CHOCO
Thus far I have made two important points: (1) the Rio Chagres Choco'
are economically dependent upon the wage-earning situation, and (2) this sit-
uation has created some very interesting cultural adaptations which have ser-
ved to both highlight and obscure some of the dynamics of the Choco social
order. These points need now be placed in proper historic and social perspec-
tive to fully illuminate the uniqueness of the Rio Chagres Choco group.
Since the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Choco have moved into new
areas: their most western boundary now extends to the Canal Zone. This new
boundary is approximately 250 air miles from the area of the first historic ref-
erences. The initial expansion was extended into geographical areas that were
under direct Spanish rule, and no doubt contact was frequent. Yet, it was not
until the sixteen hundreds that Catholic missionaries and others were able to
live among the Choco. Vocabulary lists and cultural descriptions indicate that
while acculturation has occurred, it is not to the degree found in other Pan-
amanian groups. On the whole, the material cultural assemblage reported by
authorities, shows that the Choco are relatively homogenous. That is, regard-
less of the locality, these Indians seem to be assimilating Panamanian and Co-
lombian culture at a rather modest rate. Various material cultural items are
continuous in geographical distribution and not enough data is available to dem-
onstrate dramatic replacement of items in the cultural inventory. If more data
were available from the seventeenth century, a different picture might have been
presented. As Kitalo intimated, the Choco take customs and material things
from the Panamanians which are most useful to them and at the same time they
discard old Choco customs which are no longer practical.
Linguistically, terms for items frequently used by the Choco may have no
Choco term. My informant said that in a few years he expected the Choco lan-
guage to be the same as Apanish. This statement has two very important as-
pects: (1) youthful Choco learn Spanish as the primary language in order to op-
erate in that cultural sphere, and (2) as more and more alien items are accep-
ted by the Choco, alien terms will be adopted to refer to the item or concept.
This latter statement was quite evident when discussions were being held in
Choco. In conversation, it seemed that about one word in ten was Spanish when
talking about the weather, but in a conversation about the operation of a radio,
for instance, greater than one half of the terms were Spanish.
If one looks solely at items or concepts that are of Choco origin or at those
of an alien origin, two completely different pictures are presented. With this in
mind, I asked my informant to indicate whether he would use the Spanish or the
Choco term in referring to certain items or concepts when speaking to his peers.
I categorized his responses to one hundred ten items into five general categories:
(1) foodstuffs-75% Choco words, (2) kin terms-100% Choco' words, (3) house-
hold items-30% Choco words, (4) tools-20% Choco words, and (5) atmospheric
conditions and natural phenomenon-90% Choco words.
As can be seen, Choco words occur in the greatest frequency in the
areas of kin terms, foodstuffs, and atmospheric conditions and natural phe-
nomenon. Recent additions to the culture carry the Spanish or the English
term, and these additions are mostly to be found in the artifact kit.
The ramifications of the data on the Choco are most important. In gen-
eral, there appears to be a degree of stability within the group as a whole.
Yet, the traditional ways are slowly giving way to acculturating forces. I feel
that this change is best exemplified by the case of the disownment. Since no
such event has been reported, it may be that marriage without fulfilling uxori-
local residence reflects the beginnings of acculturation pressures on the Choco
Today the backlands no longer afford protection nor isolation for the
Choco since radios bring the Choco into daily contact with Panamanian culture.
The metal kettle has long ago replaced its ceramic counterpart. Excursions
to nearby villages are made to buy items not readily attainable in the backlands.
Western clothing, shirts, slacks, dresses, lengths of cloth for the wraparound
skirts, and shoes are purchased by the Choco men in the markets. Children
now enjoy plastic toy boats as well as homemade bows and arrows. Youthful
females have "tea parties" with miniature sets purchased in the towns. The
outboard has replaced the paddle and pole which necessitated a change in the
construction of the cayuco (dugout canoe). This was done by constructing a nor-
mal cayuco, cutting off one end where the outboard was to be placed, and in-
serting a plywood stern. After this vessel was completed, the Choco hollowed
out another cayuco with a flattened stern out of a log. The gun and the fish-
hook have replaced the spear and blowgun. Finally, Arauz (1962) has also re-
ported that there is now a small Choco' colony living in the city of Panama:
possibly, the beginning of the end for the Choco as an ethnic group.
The Choco, living in the backlands along rivers and streams, have gen-
erally been able to avoid the main flow of contact with European derived cul-
tures. This factor was true perhsps until about the mid sixteen hundreds when
Catholic missionaries began gaining a foothold and converting the Choco. This
backland riverine pattern of living, fostered by the kinship system, aided in the
maintenance of their ethnic identity.
The Choco riverine settlement pattern may be changing from a riverine
district form to a quasi-settlement pattern with the introduction of wage-earning.
Strong acculturation pressures are now being placed upon the Rio Chagres Choco.
None-the-less, residence, inheritance, and kin terms appear to be consistent
with the culturally accepted forms.
WAGES AND BACKLAND CHOCO
Arauz, R. T. de
1962 Los Indios Teribes de Panama Informe Preliminar. Bulletin of
the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and
Ethnological Research, No. 6.
Faron, L. C.
1961 A Reintrepretation of Choco Society. Southwestern Journal of
1962 Marriage, Residence, and Domestic Group Among the Panamanian
Choco. Ethnology, 1:13-38.
Gordon, B. L.
1957 Human Geography and Ecology in the Sinu Country of Colombia.
Jijon y Caamano, J.
1938 Sebastian de Benalcazar. Quito.
1962 Contribuciones a la Etnografia de los Indios del Choco.
Revista Colombiana de Anthropologia, 11:169-188.
Stout, D. B.
The Choco. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 143.
AN ANALYSIS OF MUSKOGEE KINSHIP
Bennie C. Keel
The Muskogee were the dominant people of the Creek Confederacy during
the 18th and 19th centuries. The term Muskogee is apparently an Algonquin
word meaning "swamp" or "wet ground" (Swanton 1928:215). Originally the
Muskogee were 12 independent groups but they were forced to consolidate be-
cause of white colonial expansion. Historically they were divided into two
groups: the Upper Creeks (Coosa, Abihka, Wakokai, Pakana, Okchai, Hilibi
and Tukabahchee) living along the Alabama, Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers and
the Lower Creeks (Kasihta, Coweta, Eufaula, Atasi and Kolomi) who lived in
the Flint-Chattahoochee drainage. They were settled agriculturists with a com-
plex culture. Some authorities have postulated that all of the Muskhogean
speakers of the Southeast can be traced to the Mississippian expansion of the
11th and 12th centuries A. D. The Creeks along with the Cherokee, Chickasaw,
Choctaw and Seminole were accorded official government recognition as the
five civilized tribes.
This formal semantic analysis of Muskogee kinship is tendered to test
certain theoretical concepts and methodological procedures proposed by James
A. Goss (1969). The procedures followed were gleaned from his lectures. The
distinctive features used are those proposed by Kroeber (1909) although they
were modified somewhat. Additional sources were consulted but as none of
them had any direct effect on this analysis, other than to broaden my apprecia-
tion of kinship studies and linguistic analysis, they will not be listed.
The theoretical assumptions made in this paper are:
1. Language is structured.
2. Analysis of the structure of a particular language leads to better insights
into the culture since the culture is then viewed in terms of a system of
3. Insights gained from linguistic analysis can be extended into other sub-
structures because there is a correlation between a particular language
and the world view of its speakers.
Many hours were spent gathering kinship terms from Morgan (1871:
Table II). Many more hours were fruitlessly expended trying to arrange the
268 terms collected from this source into some kind of meaningful system for
analysis. Similarily, much time was spent gathering terms from Swanton
(1928:79-88) and arranging them into a meaningful system. From the outset it
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 2, June 1973.
was apparent that the Muskogee languages did not "wear their domains on their
sleeves" as clearly as Goss (1968) has shown for the Ute.
The choice of a female ego rather than a male deserves some comment.
This choice was predicated by the fact that the Creeks were matrilineal and
therefore it was felt that a female ego would more clearly illustrate the princi-
ples of a matrilineal system. Attention was given, however, both to terms used
by males and for terms used for affinial relatives when such usage helped to
clarify a particular situation or add significant details.
The following abbreviations are used in the analysis and in the body of
F = father S = Sister C = child o = older
M = mother s = son H = husband y = Younger
B = brother d = daughter W = wife
Pertinent phonological information as given in Swanton (1928: 33) is: 1 is
unvoiced 1, tc = English ch, vowels generally have continental values. The
use of / / indicates the enclosed word is Swanton's pholonogical rendering
of the Muskogee term. The following terms were collected from Swanton
(1928: 86). They fill out the 99 positions on the standard five generation
kingship chart. This paradigm of Muskogee kin terms is presented on a gen-
erational basis. All individuals to whom a particular term refers are listed
to the right of the term. Figure 1, keyed to the numbers to the left of the terms,
is included to help visualize these relationships.
Ego' s Generatio
MF, MFB, MMB, FF, FFB, FMB "Grandfather"
MM, MMS, MFS, FM, FMS, FFS (FS, FSd, FS sd, FSdd,
FSssd, FSsdd, FSdsd, FSddd) "Grandmother"
FB, FSs, FSss, FSds, FSsss, FSsds, FSdss, FSdds,
MSH "Little Father"
MS, FBW "Little Mother"
So, MSdo, FBdo "Elder Sister"
Sy, MSdy, FBdy "Younger Sister"
B, MSs, FBs "Brother
C (s & d) "Child"
SC, FBdC "Other (Little) Child"
MBs, MBd, FBss, FBsd, Bs, Bd, MSss, MSsd, MSds,
MSdd, MBss, MBsd, MBds, FBsss, FBssd, FBsds, FBsdd,
FBdss, FBdsd, FBdds, FBddd, Bss, Bsd, Bdd, Bds, ss,
sd, ds, dd, Sss, Ssd, Sds, Sdd, MSsss, MSssd, MSsds,
MSddd, MSsdd, MSdss, MSdsd, MSdds, MBsss, MBssd,
MBsds, MBsdd, MBdss, MBdsd, MBdds, MBddd "Grand-
From Morgan (1871: Table II) we can add two prefix morphemes which
Swanton states that he omitted. These morphemes will only be considered in
this section since they do not add anything to the pragmatics. They are /chu/
and /um/. They must represent some meaning akin to "my relative". The
prefix /chu/ is applied to all kin terms except /ossuswa/, here and only here,
is the prefix /um/ used. One could offer the following transformational rule
for this situation: A kin term consists of an obligatory modifier /chu/ plus a
base. /chu/ goes to /um/ in an environment two degrees removed from ego
but in ego's matrilineage, potentially in ego's matrilineage, or descended
from a male in ego' s matrilineage.
The diminuative suffix /-utci/, "little" is used with bases /Ik/, /tck/
and tchusw/ to form the terms for FB, et. al., MS and the children of MS and
FB respectively. /ki/ is associated with both parental terms and must mean
/I/ seems to be closely linked to the concept of masculinity, at least in
ego' s generation and the first ascending generation. It appears in the terms
/Iki/, father, /Ikutci/, FB, and /tcilwa/, "brother". Perhaps some of the
reasons that this suggested morpheme does not appear in the term for MB,
/pawa/ is that this individual is a member of the same matrilineage and there-
fore is not a potential father, nor are his male descendants terminologically
brothers. It/ seems to be associated with the feminine concept for it occurs
in a number of strictly feminine forms. It does not occur in /posi/ nor in
/Laha/. /posi/ will be dealt with below. /laha/ is used by a female to denote
her "older sister".
The terms used by females to designate older and younger sisters, /laha/
and /tcusti/ are the same terms that a male uses to denote his older and younger
brothers. These terms must mean the sibling of ego' s sex older and the sibling
of ego' s sex younger, respectively.
The bilaterality noted by several writers is apparent in the use of common
terms for parallel relatives (FB, FBW and their descendants and MS, MSH and
their descendants). Nothing that I have been able to determine in the morphology
would preclude such usage. This feature deserves more attention and will be
treated in more detail below.
The analysis of Muskogee kinship terms led to the development of the fol-
lowing grammatical statement: Kinship term = Modifier + Base + (Modifier).
A0 eZ o
' /0o 6
9 A 9
3 0 89
13 13 rL /2.
.r 5J 5
SAAA AA4A AAaAA AA3
Fig. 1. Muskogee kinship diagram.
_ i_ ,,_
From the analysis of the 13 terms given above, the following six bases were
Basel /potca/ Base4 /Laha/
Base2 /Iki/ Base5 /pawa/
Base3 /tchuswa/ Base6 /ossuswa/
The following modifiers were found: Mod1 or /chu/, Mod2 or /um/,
Mod3 or /utci/.
The relationship between /chu/ and /um/ has been explained above.
/utci/ was determined to be a diminuative suffix as mentioned earlier. When
this modifier is added to a base to generate another term the final vowel is
dropped from the base, e.g. /tchuswa/ to /tchusw/+/utci/ becomes /tchuswutci/.
The above analysis allowed the Muskogee system to be diagrammed as follows:
Kin Transforms to Base3 Modifier3
Term (S.1.3.1.) Base4
Distinctive features of the analysis are:
1. Lineal: all relatives in ego's lineage, i.e., grandparents, parents, siblings,
ego' s children and their children. The extended use of /posi/ beyond the lineals
defined above is discussed later.
2. Female link; relationship is traced through the mother, /tcki/ in some
manner or through /tckutci/ "little mother".
3. Ego's generation: persons classed as being ego's generational equivalents.
4. Male: self explanatory.
5. Ascending generation: allows a preliminary bifurcation of four generations
into the two categories that follow.
6. First ascending generation: ego's parents and their generational equivalents
versus ego's grandparents and their generational equivalents.
7. First descending generation: ego's children and their generational equivalents
versus ego's grandchildren and their generational equivalents.
8. Relative age: this feature divided members of the same generation into two
groups. It is applicable only in ego' s generation to siblings of the same sex as
9. Some apparent conflicts in this scheme, e.g., /posi/, /Ikutci/ and /ossuswa/
will be discussed later.
In the preceding analysis it would have been better had I had no ideas con-
cerning Muskogee kinship and social organization. Problems now clearly under-
stood, at earlier times only complicated the analysis. The seemingly inconsis-
tences in the system, i. e. different terms for the descendants of MB and FS,
the wide use of the term /posi/, grandmother, and /Ikutci/ can be explained
only in terms of the system and the cultural milieu in which it functioned. The
terms that caused me such pain are treated individually in some detail below.
The extended use of /posi/ has been mentioned. I wish to make a few ad-
ditional remarks concerning this term. It is postulated that this term is under-
stood as a primary kinship term when applied to lineal ancestors in the second
ascending generation. It becomes a secondary kinship term when applied to
collateral relatives lower than the generation of grandparents. The term is fur-
ther extended when it is applied to all older women in the mother's clan, the
father' s clan and to females of similar age in the phatries to which the clans of
mother and father belong. This term of great respect is applied to numerous
individuals which stand in special relationship to ego.
/pawa/ is the term for mother' s brother, an individual who stood in a
very special relationship with the children of his sisters. After his marriage
he was not a resident of ego' s matrilocal group, his children were not mem-
bers of ego' s matrilineage or clan. The same holds true at least to a degree
for FS, /posi/, her children always belonged to a clan different from that of ego
(actually to ego' s father' s clan). An explanation for the use of /posi/ to denote
FS has been offered above. The terms used for the descendants MB and FS are
/Tkutci/, FB and the male descendants of FS could become member's of
ego' s matrilocal group through marriage. The relationship between the terms
used for FB and MSH is interesting when it is pointed out that the terms are
identical, the terms used to denote MS and FBW were also identical, /tckutci/.
/tckutci/ MS and FBW show the same structural relationship as /Ikutci/
which was applied to FB and MSH. As /Ikutci/ was "little father", /tckutci/
was "little mother".
/ossuswa/, "grandchild" is a broad classificatory term used to cover fZ
positions on the kinship chart (Fig. 1, 13). The use of this term for one's own
lineal descendants in the second descending generation is readily appreciated.
The extension of the term to parallels (descendants of FB and MS) can be ex-
plained by reference to the two preceding paragraphs. After all, they are the
descendants of "little father" and "little mother". Hopefully the following ex-
planation will account for the extension of this term to the children of MB. As
Me tci -wa
Male + iaha
^ Rel. Age c
+ M + +ki
y^ ~~- '^"-------- tck
1st A.Gen. tc
+ -- tchuswa.
1st D.Gen o
Ascd. Ge. Male---ckuti
FeAscd. Gen. tustci
+l l ~ ------ kutchuswutci
Female link --_
Fig. 2. Muskogee kinship tree based on distinctive feature analysis.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURE MATRIX
SDistinctive M i M y a o Q M
Features M W -
C P w S i' I -j (C
Kinship t4 0 o
Terms M M |
/potca/ + + + -
/posi/ + +
/Iki/ + + + +
/tcki/ + + +
/laha/ + + -+
/tcusti/ + + -
/tcilwa/ + + + -
/tchuswa/ + + +
/tchuswutci/ + +
/tckutci/ + + +
/pawa/ + + + +
/ossuswa/ + -
noted, MB, /pawa/ occupied a special place in ego's life. He was not a mem-
ber of ego' s matrilocal group, a situation that leads not necessarily to /Ikutci/.
It is suggested that because of his special position in regards to ego, the fact
that he was a clansman and consanguineal relative, his children were given a
term which brought them closer to ego. The same was not true for the descen-
dants of FS, who were called, "grandmother" and "little father". It is assumed
that these terms were used because the male descendants of FS could become
members of ego' s matrilocal group in the same way that FB became a member,
through marriage but the female descendants who could never change their
matrilocal group were given a term of respect, /posi/.
It would be most interesting to know what terms would have been used for
the descendants of a union between MB and FS. Would these individuals been
referred to as /posi/ and /,kutci/ which would have indicated that they were
in the father' s clan of ego, or as /ossuswa/ out of respect for the maternal
Other views of Muskogee Kinship
Quotations from two sources are offered to show the utility of the present
analysis in generating explanations of "how the system really works". Swanton
(1928:87) writes "Terms for the sister's children are not determined by clan
lines because they may be used for the children of father' s brother' s daughter
.. It is evident in other words, that the determining factor in the use of
these terms is the relationship which several persons to whom they are applied
bears to self, not the relation which they bear to his clan or exagamous group"
(Swanton 1928:87). Eggan (n. d. :3) is only partially correct in stating "The ex-
tensions of kinship, except for the descendants of father' s sister, were on the
basis of the clan. "
Swanton is in error in his appraisal of the functional structure of the kin-
ship system. In order to minimize confusion in terminology in a society where
clan ties were very strong, the levirate and sororate practiced, and marriage
between sets of brothers and sisters common, the term used for MS and FBW
was identical. Another identical term was used for FB and MSH and a third
term was used for the descendants of these relatives that denoted them as "little
(other) children" of ego. The use of these terms made allowances for the mar-
riage patterns just cited.
Eggan' s view that terms for descendants of FS were not based on clan ties
can be dismissed by pointing out that they were kinsmen and the males could be-
come a member of ego' s matrilocal group by marriage. Thus males in this re-
lation were denoted by terms that were congruent with the operation of the sys-
tem. Females in this relationship were denoted by a special term of great re-
The following comments are to indicate some of the ways that kinship
concepts permeated all of Muskogee culture. The data was culled from Swan-
ton' s (1922, 1928, 1928b) extensive work on the Creek Indians.
Often names were teknonymic. Clans were thought to be related in the
same manner as individuals. Behavior between the members of a phratry fol-
lowed the modes of behavior proper between kinsmen.
The very origin of clans was explained in terms of improper relationships
between males and females of the parental clan. If such incestuous conduct was
responsible for the formation of all clans among the Creek we might observe that
they were much more sexy and less restrained than some of their neighbors.
The Creeks had a total of 47 clans while the Cherokee had but seven. The mem-
bers of the descendant clans referred to the parental clans with kinship terms,
e. g. the Wind clan was called "grandmother" by a number of clans, the /Noko-
salgi/, Bear clan referred to the /Tahalgi/, Wolf clan as "uncle" while the
latter referred to the former as "nephew".
In earlier times members of the "white" moiety, /Hathagalgi/ took spouses
from the "red" moiety, /Tchlokagali/. Are we looking at a further extension
of the incest taboo? Marriage was not favored with members of the father's
clan since the relationship was felt to be too ?close. "
Muskogee etiquette was based on kinship and clan relations to a large
degree. Joking relationships existed between all members of one' s own clan
and the members of the same sex as ego of the father' s clan. Ceremonial
games were played during the Green Corn celebration between a man and his
wife' s sisters. Perhaps this was a basis for making the levirate and the soro-
rate more acceptable to individuals? It was deemed proper to speak disparag-
ingly of one' s own clan in the presence of fellow clansmen, who of course took
the remarks to mean the opposite of what was actually said, yet one was to al-
ways speak highly of his father's clan.
Totemic animals were addressed as parents. One could collect a pay-
ment from a non-clansman for the injury or death of a totem animal. Bartram
(Swanton 1928b:490) notes that the Indians would not kill snakes for fear that the
snake' s living relatives would seek revenge. Both of these concepts seem to
stem from the idea of clan revenge. Torts were committed against individuals.
Satisfaction for any injury could be obtained from any member of the perpetrator' s
Kinship terms were even extended to other tribes, e. g., the Coosa called
the Chickasaw /tcusti/, "younger brother".
Some towns stood in special relationships with others and this position
was acknowledged by the use of kinship terms. /Otciapofa/ was called /tcki/,
mother, by both /Tulsa/ and /Okfuskee/.
On levels closer to the individual we see that education was a function of
the clan. "The father has no care of his own children" (Swanton 1928a:363).
Discipline was administered by members of the matrilocal group or by MB.
On ceremonial occasions each clan had a special /pawa/, mother's brother or
"uncle" which addressed his clansmen and impressed on them the modes of
Marriage was arranged by clan aunts and uncles. The practice of the
levirate and the sororate has been mentioned a number of times, but to see
how important the maintenance of affinial relationships were we need only look
at the restrictions placed on widows and widowers. At the death of her husband
the widow took up residence with members of her husbands clan. There she re-
mained for four years while a suitable mate was sought. Only after four years
of mourning was she able to marry outside of her husband' s clan. In the case
of a widower, he remained as a member of his wife's matrilocal group while a
suitable new spouse was sought. If one was found then remarriage could occur
at the end of one year, however, if none was found then he was restricted from
marriage for four years.
Inheritance points out the special relationship that we have mentioned be-
tween ego' s children and MB. At the death of /pawa/ "all relics are taken
possession of by the deceased sister's eldest son" (Swanton 1928:337).
The rough and tumble stick ball game in which honors could be won that
equalled those won it war was called the "brother of War. "
In Muskogee religion the "breath master", /Esakata-Emishe/ was asso-
ciated with the sun, his manifestation on earth was fire and it was called "grand-
n. d. Social organization of the Indians of the Southeast. Unpublished
manuscript on file at Ocmulgee National Monument. Macon, Ga.
1955 Social Anthropology: Methods and Results. In Social Anthropology,
pp. 485-551, Fred Eggan, editor. University of Chicago Press.
Goss, James A.
1968 Some semantic correlates of Southern Ute nominal subclass selec-
tion. Paper presented at 67th Annual Meeting of the American
Anthropological Association, Seattle.
1969 Anthropology 503, "Linguistic Anthropology", class notes.
Kroeber, Alfred L.
1909 Classificatory systems of relationship. Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 39, pp. 77-84.
Morgan, Lewis H.
1871 Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family.
Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, Vol. 17. Anthropo-
logical Publications edition, 1966.
Swanton, John R.
1922 Early history of the Creek Indians and their neighbors. Bureau
of American Ethnology, Bulletin 73. Washington.
1928 Social organization and social uses of the Indians of the Creek
Confederacy. Forty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of
American Ethnology, pp. 23-472. Washington.
1928b Religious beliefs and medical practices of the Creek Indians.
Forty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology,
pp. 473-672. Washington.
THE SETTLEMENT PATTERN AND TOPONYMY OF THE KOASATI
INDIANS OF BAYOU BLUE
Donald G. Hunter
This geographical-anthropological study was prepared in partial fulfill-
ment of Geography 404 (Special Problems) under the assistance and direction
of Dr. William Knipmeyer, Department Head, Social Sciences, and Mr. Hir-
am F. Gregory, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Northwestern State Uni-
versity, Louisiana. It was prepared as a basic delineation of the study area,
settlement pattern, and toponymy of the Koasati Indians in Allen Parish, Lou-
isiana. This paper in some respects relates to Dr. Daniel Jacobson' s unpub-
lished dissertation The Koasati: Culture Change. Many of the subjects dis-
cussed herein were mentioned by Jacobson in his report approximately twenty
years ago. It is the author' s goal to delve further into the settlement pattern
and general geography of the Koasati without unjust repetition. The time span
between the former paper and this one adds justification for its preparation.
Such congruence as exists merely emphasizes the conservative nature of the
Mr. Bel Abbey served as the key informant. He, his wife Nora, and his
two daughters, Mrs. Myrna Wilson and Mrs. Joyce Celestine, kindly supplied
the geographical and linguistic data presented here. His interest and the time
that he so unselfishly donated made this paper feasible. Mr. Solomon Battise,
administrator of the tribal store, on several occasions helped the author with
difficult Koasati nomenclature and the descriptions of the community. Special
thanks are also extended to Mr. Martin Abbey, chief of the Koasati, for his
permission to conduct this research. To the rest of the Koasati go many thanks
for their warm hospitality during the many afternoons of fieldwork.
Katherine Hunter, the author' s wife, actively participated in much of the
fieldwork. She also served as chief critic during the fieldwork and proofread
the manuscript several times. Hiram F. Gregory supplied many beneficial
suggestions during the fieldwork and in the course of manuscript preparation.
He and his wife Jeanette also helped to proofread and to critique the manuscript.
To these people and to many others go the thanks for their constant inspiration
The Koasati were first encountered by De Soto' s expedition in what is now
the state of Alabama (Bourne 1904:109-111). They are known to have become
members of the Creek Confederacy around 1760 (Adair 1775:257) though Hawkins
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 2, June 1973.
Fig. 1. Mr. and Mrs. Bel Abbey; Rebecca and Dennis Wilson, grandchildren
(1848) relates: "These Indians are not Creeks, although they conform to their
Koasati is a language of the Moskogean stock. Swanton (1922:201) re-
lates that the Koasati are closely related to the Alabamas "as shown by their
language. However, present Koasati informants explain that they could not
understand the old Alabama speakers at the Livingston reservation. Koasati
informants could give equivalents for certain Choctaw words without being able
to speak the latter language. Many of these words sound remarkably similar
(e. g. lusa (Choctaw) corresponds to lucha (Koasati), tole (Choctaw) to tolka
(Koasati) these words meaning black and ballgame respectively.)
Some of the Koasati under the leadership of Chief Red Shoes withdrew
Fig. 2. Map of the Koasati community
from the Creek Confederacy and moved to the Red River in 1793 (Swanton 1922:
204). Shortly after 1832 the remainder of the tribe moved west of the Missis-
sippi River and established two towns (Swanton 1922:204). A portion of these
people left for Texas and the rest remained in the present state of Louisiana.
The Koasati established one town on the Calcasieu River at Indian Village, Lou-
isiana (Jacobson 1954:124). In 1884 the Koasati moved to their present location
on Bayou Blue after being cheated out of their land by white settlers (Jacobson
The Koasati settlement is located three miles north of Elton, and approxi-
mately seven miles southeast of Oberlin, Louisiana. The community lies in the
southwestern prairie region of the state (Fig. 2) and is characterized primarily
by its almost level terrain. Bayou Blue confines this area on the west, south,
and east and empties into Bayou Nezipique some five miles east of the settle-
ment. Two larger streams, the Calcasieu River and the Whiskey Chitto, con-
verge twelve miles to the west.
Much of the area is covered by stands of pine with some admixture of
hardwood timber. Hardwoods predominate in low-lying swampy areas and along
streams. Much of the land today is cultivated for rice agriculture because of the
natural "hardpan" which holds soil moisture. Other areas are utilized for pasture.
The Indian community consists of forty-four occupied households which
represent an increase of five in the number of those recorded by Jacobson for
1935 (1954:135). The placement of dwellings configurates a dispersed settle-
ment pattern with clusters in the northeastern and southwestern portions of the
area (Jacobson 1954:135). These concentrations appear to be the result of land
loss from failure to pay taxes or from sale. Bel Abbey has pointed out several
old house sites which would seem to negate the separation of these two areas in
previous years. Although there is no Koasati term that refers to this specific
settlement such as would a town name, the phrase, atomma imistelka, is used
to designate an Indian place. When that phrase is followed by firm the meaning
is lightly changed to translate "the Indian place over there. "
Dwellings appear to cluster by kinship. In most cases there seems to be
a tendency towards patrilocality. Neolocality ranks second and matrilocality,
third. Bel Abbey states that it is customary for the couple to move into the
household of the groom' s father, but if the couple wishes they establish a new
home. These groupings on the basis of kinship seem restructured by Anglo-
Saxon traditions governing the holding of property by the males. The lack of
land for sale restricts neolocality; matrilocality appears to be limited to the
more traditional families.
A study of Koasati house types from the 1700' s to 1954 has been presented
(Jacobson 1954:147). Today two types of houses are represented at the settle-
ment. The basis for distinction is primarily size, not architectural style. Jac-
obson described one of the larger structures in 1954 (Jacobson 1954:126). It,
and others like it, are wooden frame houses directly comparable to much lo-
cal rural southern architecture. Some are painted; equal numbers remain.
The second type is a simple one or two room tar-paper or plain wood
frame house. The reduced size appears to be a function of the number of people
occupying it. Usually a single person or a husband and wife inhabit this type
The Koasati house is termed isha. A fairly typical representation of such
a dwelling, the home of Bel Abbey, is presented in Figure 3. Several areas
within the yard serve as loci for specific activities conducted by the family.
One of the most frequently utilized of these is in front of the house within the
boundaries of the fence or holita (Fig. 3, Area 1). Here there seems to be no
segregation of activities by age-sex distinctions. Women produce basketry,
crafts, and perform various other household tasks such as sewing; children
play; and men make small handicrafts. The area also serves as a place of re-
laxation and social intercourse during the hot and humid summer afternoons.
Shade, open circulation of air, and maximum visibility of the road in front of
the house makes this area popular.
These same three criteria seem the reasons for choosing Area 2 as a
location of rather frequent utilization. Here the division of labor is based on
sex. Though there are no set rules governing the use of the area by males
only, females infrequently take advantage of it. Most common operations per-
formed here are the construction of bows, whistles, and blowguns for sale.
There is no word for this particular place though it would be called nace' iteli-
boka faurm ("fix something over there"). Both areas are used seasonally; with
the cold and rainy winters these activities are either moved inside or aban-
doned until warmer weather.
The gardens (one behind and the other to the side of the house) are two
additional areas of specific land utilization. Beans, okra, onions, and some
corn are grown. Primarily, the children work these, a noticeable shift away
from previous years when the adults tended the gardens. This seems to be
largely the result of increasing salaried work on the nearby farms which leaves
little time for gardening. The garden is called holita chakawa or "picket fence."
Other areas of the yard are allotted to the hog pens (shoka holita), the
privy (isha shi or "little house"), and the nashichikika ("put anything in it" or
storage shed. Although chickens are allowed to roam the yard, a chicken house
occupies the area adjacent to the privy and is designated by koloce imisha. In
this case imisha denotes a particular type of house, opposed to isha which trans-
lates "house. In the same manner the storage shed is also referred to as still
tolena imisha or "tool house. The first two words appear to be English loan
words taken from "steel" and "tool. "
In previous years, two Indian settlements were recognized within the area.
Bayou Blue marked the boundaries and separated the two into eastern and west-
ern divisions. The people were the same; all Koasati, yet they were different.
Attempts were made to establish these differences but all failed. The only ex-
planation was that different families (specifically the Langleys, Johns, and Wil-
sons) originated west of Bayou Blue. As time passed the area around the old
church and the old cemetery (Fig. 2) decreased in population. Some of the Koa-
sati moved to the Alabama reservation, some moved to various locations in
search for work, and others were absorbed into the eastern settlement.
Earlier both areas had stickball grounds and competed actively against one
another in the games. This itself would seem to suggest that the idea of the old
Creek intra-town divisions moietiess) persisted at least in terms of this sport.
None of the present informants were able to give the exact locations of the old
stickball fields, though the sport was conducted at the present location of the
church until the mid-1940' s. Perhaps this area had served the same function
prior to this time.
Two Koasati graveyards exist within the community (Fig. 2). The oldest of
these (Fig. 4) is situated approximately one-half mile to the east of the site of the
old church (actually a school which also served as a church). With construction
of the new St. Peter' s, the new cemetery was the preferred place of burial. At
present it is not clear whether the area served this function before the new
church was established. Regardless of this, the older cemetery lost popularity.
It is still utilized by families who think that their deceased relatives would rather
be buried there. Perhaps this is further indication of previous moiety divisions
within the community. Unfortunately there are no ethnographic descriptions of
the moieties of the Creeks using different cemeteries.
Both burial grounds are very similar. Each is referred to as ihani snaho.
Ihani translates as "land;" snaho equates with "somebody rich. It seems
sensible from the archaeological point-of-view as much of the wealth of the de-
ceased was interred with him. As the burials accumulated, the area would be-
come a "rich land. The two areas are not distinguished by separate terms.
Each is placed east of the church within a distance of one mile and both
are surrounded by barbed wire fences. Jacobson (1954:126) describes three
types of grave markers: a low mound of earth which is surrounded by a small
picket fence, a grave with a wooden plank serving as a headstone, and others
with the conventional stone or cement markers. Many of the graves are also
marked both at the head and foot by shrubbery and/or rose bushes. This ser-
ves to mark grave locations after the wooden plank headstones have rotted away.
Today the small fences which surrounded certain burials are no longer
utilized. The purpose of these seems to have served to keep people and ani-
mals from wandering over the graves before the cemetery was enclosed with a
fence. Bel Abbey stated that in addition to the small fences, certain families
used to build a small house around the grave or construct a shade over it.
Graves are oriented east to west, placing the body so as to face the east,
a pattern observed at the Alabama reservation near Livingston, Texas. Both
cemeteries represent the pattern of burial found at the Arthur Patterson site, a
nineteenth-century cemetery which is attributed to the Alabama-Koasati (Hsu
1969:47). Each was oriented from east to west with its head lying to the west
The church, trading post, and minister' s house are all centrally located
and serve as centers of Koasati activities (Fig. 2). The church (Fig. 6) serves
a dual function of a site for religious services and as a school. Here Koasati
children study until they complete the fourth grade in preparation for entrance
into the public schools in Elton. Prior to this time the children can speak little
if any English. The building also serves as a place for meetings concerning the
The baseball park (poko itolka) and the minister' s house (polochi imisha)
are loci for many recreational activities including baseball, basketball, and
ping pong. The trading post (Fig. 7) adjacent to the church provides a place for
gathering and serves as an outlet for local handicrafts. It was opened in 1966
and is administered by Mr. Solomon Battise. Among its features are a public
phone which is used by most of the Koasati and a store which sells candy, cold
drinks, and tobacco. Each of the cultural features so far discussed contributes
(hog pens) *-,** ** c '
S holit/ chakawa
isha shi '.* ':-(garden) a r '
O (privy)-*.;*A*.*, 10,."** A. #* ,'I OC
ko/oce imish nshichk
(chicken house) (storage house)
towards the importance of this area
as one of the focal points in Koasati
The road plan within the com-
munity differ from those in the sur-
rounding area. The major parish
roads and highways tend to follow
the section lines or at least parallel
the lines that divide the section into
halves or quarters. Within the set-
tlement, roads (hene)are less angu-
lar and tend not to be on a line paral-
leling an equal division of the section.
STwo major paths (henoce) connect
7 lWarea I Sportions of the settlement. At the
time of Jacobson's fieldwork, the larg-
(fence) est one ran from the southwest to the
e northeast (Fig. 2) leading to the
church. As more Koasati families ob-
O 6 24 tained automobiles these paths were
feetarea abandoned in favor of the new parish
N roads. Paths are primarily used to-
Fig. 3. Plan of Koasati house and yard day by children on foot or bicycles.
Many of the irregular roads in the
area are undoubtedly some of those
that have survived under a veneer of asphalt or gravel. Bel Abbey stated that
paths at one time led from each house to the area around the church in such a
manner as to resemble the spokes of a wheel. Most of these were small and
could accommodate only foot passage. A few people owned wagons and the
trails from their houses were larger. These were the ones that became roads.
The smaller paths were abandoned as houses were vacated and as the automo-
bile made road travel more efficient.
Roads and paths have no specific names within the community. To des-
ignate a particular road, reference will be made in terms of the location of a
certain residence. To point out a place along the road, the area will be de-
scribed in respect to that portion of the road between two dwellings or other
Very few specific traditional uses of land are still found in the Koasati
community. This is partly due to the large amounts of private lands in the re-
gion. Consequently, those activities which can be practised on Koasati land or
on non-posted lands are the only ones that survive. Those existing are also
shared by Anglo-Saxon, French, and Negro families in the area.
Among these are fishing in accessible portions of Bayou Blue. Mayhaws
are gathered in the low-lying areas along Bayou Blue during late spring to early
summer. Likewise, blackberries are harvested along roadsides in the late
summer. Hunting is enjoyed by some of the men during the regular seasons.
Longleaf pine needles are gathered all year round for the manufacture of coiled
baskets. No one activity or combination of all of the above seems essential for
the maintenance of the Koasati community.
Comparisons to Traditional Creek Settlements
Descriptions of the early Creek settlements follow. Swanton (1922:209-10)
writes: "Each town had a ceremonial center, containing three special features.
At one end was the rotunda, or 'hot house. Sometimes situated on an elevation
it was circular in plan, with eight central posts and two circles of posts support-
ing a roof daubed with clay and covered with pine bark. The walls likewise were
plastered, and the only entrance lay variously to the east or south". In addition
to this was the square ground for use during warm weather and the chunky yard
across from the rotunda (Spencer and Jennings 1965:42).
Fig. 6. Church
; . -
Fig. 7. Trading post
Creek towns at the time of contact represented two types of settlement
patterns. Hawkins (1848:37-39) describes the town of Tuskegee as tightly com-
pact and fortified. Another Creek town, Coweta, was dispersed some two miles
along the Chattahoochee River (Hawkins 1848:52-55).
The Koasati settlement on Bayou Blue is dispersed and the central area
near the church, the isha choba ("big house"), approximates the old ceremonial
center within a creek town. The church is no longer circular in shape and made
of waddle daub, but the door still opens to the south. It serves not only as a
place of worship, but also, as a central meeting place for tribal affairs. To
the west of the church is the poko itolka where stickball was played until re-
cently; now the game is baseball. The situation here is similar to the Creek
towns in Oklahoma where ball fields are located to the west of the square grounds
(Swanton 1911: P1. 10). No equivalent of the actual squares and stomp grounds
can be found. The dance grounds were known to have been beside the ball
All roads and paths that appear to be of Koasati origin lead to the church
grounds. Similar paths probably connected dwellings to the center of each town.
In conclusion, the settlement pattern of the Bayou Blue Koasati appears to be a
retention of the traditional form that was common among the Creek at the time
of European contact.
1775 The History of the American Indians. London.
1904 Narratives of the Career of Hernando de Soto, Vol. II. New York.
1848 A sketch of the Creek Country, 1798-99. Georgia Historical
Society Collections, Vol. III. Savannah.
Hsu, Dick Ping
1969 The Arthur Patterson site a mid-nineteenth Century Site,
San Jacinto County, Texas. Archaeological Survey Report,
No. 3. Texas State Building Commission and Texas Water
1954 The Koasati: Culture Change. unpublished Ph. D. dissertation,
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
Spencer, Robert F. and Jesse D. Jennings
1965 The Native Americans. Harper and Row. New York.
Swanton, John R.
1911 Indian tribes of the lower Mississippi Valley and adjacent coast
of the Gulf of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology,
Bulletin 43. Washington.
1922 Early history of the Creek Indians and their neighbors. Bureau
of American Ethnology, Bulletin 73. Washington.
February 25, 1973
Copies of THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST may be purchased from
the Society at $6. 00 per volume ($1. 50 for single and $3. 00 for double numbers)
for Volumes I through XIX; for Volumes XX through XXV the price is $4. 00 per
volume ($1.00 for single and $2.00 for double numbers). Volumes 1:1-2; 6:1,
4; 8:2; 10:1-2; 13:1; 17:1; 18:1; 21:4; and 24:1 are out of print. An index,
covering volumes I-XXIV, is available at $1.00.
Copies of the FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS,
a monograph series, are available at $2.00 each for Nos. 1, 2, 5, and 6.
No. 4 is $4.00 and No. 3 is out of print.
Orders with remittances should be sent to either the Treasurer or the Editor.
The Society has no resale discount for dealers or resale agents.
INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST publishes original papers in all
subfields of anthropology with an emphasis on archaeology. Contributions
from allied disciplines are acceptable when concerned with anthropological
problems. The journal's geographical scope, in order of importance, in-
cludes Florida, Southeastern United States, Caribbean, and related regions.
Manuscripts should be double spaced and typed on one side only of an
8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet leaving at least a 1 inch margin on all sides. Contri-
butors are referred to American Antiquity and the Chicago Manual of Style
for matters of style and reference. Textual references should be similar to
"Smith 1964: 78-80; Jones 1969: Pl. II, b). No footnotes. In the "Refer-
ence Cited" section, at the end of an article, do not abbreviate names of ser-
ies or journals. Books need full title, publisher's name, and place.
All illustrative material-line drawings (in India ink) adid photographs-
should be included in one numbered series of "Figures" suitable for a maxi-
mum reduction to 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. Parts of figures are designated by
lower case letters. Figures must be accompanied by brief descriptive cap-
tions. All tabular material must be included in separately numbered "Tables. "
Twenty-five reprints without covers of each article are furnished free
to each author or group of authors. Additional copies, withor without covers,
may be purchased but the editor must be informed of the number desired when
the article is offered for publication.