The Florida anthropologist

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The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title:
Fla. anthropol.
Florida Anthropological Society
Place of Publication:
Florida Anthropological Society.
Publication Date:
Quarterly[<Mar. 1975- >]
Two no. a year[ FORMER 1948-]
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 24 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
v. 1- May 1948-

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
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Copyright [Florida Anthropologist Society, Inc.] Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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01569447 ( OCLC )
56028409 ( LCCN )
0015-3893 ( ISSN )


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Volume 50 Number 4
December 1997

Years ^

1947 1991



Editor's Page. Robert J. Austin 178
Introduction: The Cultures of Language in Southeastern Native America. Jason Baird Jackson 179
Style, Text, and Song in Choctaw Dance Songs. Victoria Lindsay Levine 183
Yuchi and Non-Yuchi: A Living Classification. Mary S. Linn 189
The Work of Tradition in Yuchi Oratory. Jason Baird Jackson 197
Demonstrating that One Can Work within Two Communities: Codeswitching
in Muskogee (Creek) Political Discourse. Pamela J. Innes 203
An Unusually Large Biface from the Pinellas Point Site, 8PI61. Albert C. Goodyear 209
Device for Measuring Depths of Objects in Test Pits. Arthur R. Lee 211
Sassaman and Anderson (Editors): Archaeology of the Mid-Holocene Southeast. I. Randolph Daniel, Jr. 213
Manucy: Sixteenth-Century St. Augustine: The People and Their Homes. Stanley C. Bond, Jr. 217
Baker and Kealhofer (Editors): Bioarchaeology of Native American Adaptation in the
Spanish Borderlands. Marvin T. Smith 218
About the Authors 223
Acknowledgment of Reviewers 224
Cover: The Malleability of Material Culture by Scott Mitchell.
Copyright 1997 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


Although The Florida Anthropologist has generally
published articles on archaeology and history, the intended
scope of the journal has always been the entire field of
anthropology. In this issue, we present four articles on the
use of language among modern Native Americans in the
southeastern United States. The papers were presented in a
symposium at the 1997 meeting of the American Anthropo-
logical Society. Jason Baird Jackson compiled and helped
edit the papers. His excellent introduction provides readers
with a preview of the topics covered, and also discusses the
importance of language in culture. As Jason notes, language
studies provide anthropologists and archaeologists with a

depth of cultural understanding that can only be obtained
through the study of living peoples. I hope that you will
take the time to read and digest these very interesting
Returning to archaeology, Al Goodyear has written a
short article that describes an unusually large biface from
the Pinellas Point site in St. Petersburg; Art Lee describes
a unique device for measuring the depth of artifacts and
features at excavations; and Randy Daniel, Stan Bond, and
Marvin Smith review three recently published books.



The following letter from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Division
of Recreation and Parks, was received by President Loren Blakeley in response to his comments in
the last issue of the journal regarding the Society's volunteer agreement with FDEP. He wished it to
be shared with the rest of the Society's members.

December 8, 1997

Mr. Loren R. Blakeley, President
Florida Anthropological Society, Inc.
6505 Gulfport Boulevard South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33707

Dear Mr. Blakeley:

Thank you for your letter and thoughtful gift of the "50th" Anniversary edition of The Florida
Anthropologist. We feel particularly honored that the Society has included a copy of the volunteer
agreement in this special edition which will, undoubtedly, be treasured by your members for many
We are also very pleased to read your comments about Florida State Parks at the Society's annual
meeting banquet. It is more than symbolic that our agreement was adopted essentially 50 years
following the Society's founding with assistance by state archaeologists who were employed by
Florida State Parks. Your kind remarks about Steve Martin are greatly appreciated. Steve has shown
tremendous leadership in his activities with cultural resource organization and projects for which we
are indebted.
We look forward to many more years of active partnership work with FAS and its Chapters. Our
combined activities with our sister agency, the Division of Historical Resources, holds a very bright
future for protecting, preserving, and interpreting Florida's fascinating archaeological resources.

Fran P. Mainella, CLP
Division of Recreation and Parks

VOL. 50 No. 4




Gilcrease Museum, 1400 Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127-2100
E-mail: jbjack237@aol. com

It is a statistical fact that The Florida Anthropologist has,
in its long history, primarily been a publishing venue for
research in Florida archaeology. Yet, while important
studies focusing on Native American prehistory, historic
archaeology, and bioarchaeology have commanded the
journal's pages, the Florida Anthropological Society and its
journal have remained in spirit and in name anthropological
endeavors. Study of the journal's back issues reveals a
steady stream of work representing the full breadth of
anthropological interest. This coverage has not only
included anthropology's so-called four fields archaeolo-
gy, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and
linguistic anthropology but has extended into interdisci-
plinary areas such as ethnohistory, cultural resource
management, and folklore.
While papers of linguistic scope have appeared at various
times in its pages, this is the first issue of the journal
devoted to presenting a collection of papers exploring the
role of language in American Indian cultural life. The
authors hope that the papers presented here will help
expand professional and avocational interest in this field
and provide a sense of the rich place language holds in
social life. While all of these papers deal with contempo-
rary Southeastern Indian societies, the problems and issues
dealt with here are universal to all human communities.
With a little imagination, we hope that our colleagues in
Southeastern archaeology can picture communities of
individuals (for instance, at Moundville or Fort Center, at
Tucabatchee italwa, atop a mound at Lake Jackson, or
among the Calusa) speaking; doing all of the same things
we do with language debating, politicking, teaching,
praying, singing but doing them in culturally, socially,
and linguistically specific ways. Work on language in social
life among contemporary Southeastern communities
provides a breadth and depth of understanding that should
inform all inquiry into Florida and Southeastern anthropolo-

Language and Culture in American Anthropology

Although some contemporary work in linguistics may
appear as foreign to practicing anthropologists as it does to
the man on the street, linguistics and anthropology share a
common heritage. The modern history of both fields in

North America begins with efforts to understand and
document the incredible diversity of Native North American
languages and cultures. In the early twentieth century,
Franz Boas's students, the first generation of professionally
trained American anthropologists, were committed to the
study of language as the central medium through which
cultural patterns were transmitted and social interactions
transacted. These scholars initiated a program of research
committed to documenting the rich diversity of American
Indian languages and to exploring the relevance of these
languages to the constitution of local cultures and the
conduct of social life. At the same time that they viewed
language as an important focus for study, they linked their
work in linguistics to a broad range of anthropological
concerns, from psychology to culture history, from ethno-
musicology to ethnoecology.
In some areas of Native North America, notably the
Northwest Coast and among the Iroquois, this integrated
tradition of anthropological linguistics has been fruitfully
continued. Yet, in most regions, linguists and their native
collaborators have gotten on with the work of describing
languages abstracted from their social and cultural contexts.
Unfortunately, anthropologists interested in language and
other expressive media have been too few to advance a
broad, collaborative program of research.
This is especially unfortunate because, in recent years,
language has emerged as the dominant symbol of culture,
tradition, spirituality, and identity in many native communi-
ties. Tribes whose languages are still spoken are working
at a frantic pace to develop programs for language educa-
tion and retention. In ways more obvious then ever before,
language has become central to the culture work of native
peoples. These developments, in turn, have opened the
door to new cultural processes and new forms of collabora-
tion between scholars and native communities. Current
research with native communities in the Southeastern U.S.
provides an opportunity to explore these emerging cultures
of language while regaining the broad perspectives on
language articulated by the founding figures of American
All of the papers presented here share an interest in
classic problems of anthropological linguistics. Ritual and
political oratory, musical poetics, and the social functions
of grammatical classifications were all among the topics


VOL. 50 No. 4




0 50 100

Figure 1. Tribal groups in eastern Oklahoma after removal. Groups enclaved within federally
recognized tribes are shown in shaded regions approximating their current locations. Recognized tribes
are shown within their pre-allotment political boundaries. Tribal towns and other local divisions are
not shown.

Franz Boas identified as central to the anthropological study
of Native American language and culture (1940).

The Cultures of Language in the Native Southeast

The papers collected here were first presented at the
meetings of the American Anthropological Association in
1996. The session provided an opportunity for the contribu-
tors to continue, in a public forum, the productive exchange
of ideas and experiences that they had already begun to
develop in informal settings. Their shared hope was to open
a dialogue between different disciplinary perspectives and
begin reestablishing a holistic tradition in the study of
language and expressive culture in Southeastern communi-
ties. The work reported here focuses on communities
located today in Eastern Oklahoma (Figure 1), but we have
benefitted greatly from the experiences of colleagues
currently at work in other Southeastern Indian settings.
Victoria Levine's extensive work on Southeastern dance
music provides the background for her consideration of the

poetic texts found in Choctaw songs. Her contribution here
derives from a larger project exploring the place of Choc-
taw music in two equally complex contexts. Viewed as
cultural and linguistic forms persisting through time,
Choctaw dances, songs, and song texts were at the center
of ritual settings during the nineteenth century (and earlier),
while today these same cultural forms are central to
demonstrations and performances promoting Choctaw
heritage. These changing contexts are of interest not only
to scholars, but also to Levine's Choctaw collaborators.
These performers of Choctaw music are the agents actively
preserving the literal and metaphorical texts of Choctaw
culture, even as they construct new performance contexts
for their musical and poetic patrimony.
In a musical register, the efforts of the dance enthusiasts
among the Choctaw people of Ardmore Oklahoma are
parallel to the efforts of their Yuchi neighbors to find new
means by which to preserve the Yuchi language as an
ongoing cultural resource in their community. Among the
Yuchi, children's classes, CD-ROM lessons, language


1997 VOL. 50(4)


camps, and master-apprentice programs are all new and
practical efforts directed toward the community goal of
seeing more Yuchi people speaking Yuchi. Mary Linn's
work with elderly Yuchi speakers has combined traditional
documentary fieldwork describing the grammar and lexicon
of the language with a range of efforts to directly assist
Yuchi people in their own language revitalization efforts.
Working closely with Yuchi people in Yuchi community
settings has made Linn attentive to the ways indigenous
languages are part and parcel of native cultures. While the
inseparability of language and culture has long been
recognized by anthropological linguists, the complicated
ways in which they interact are still beginning to be
The immense symbolic value that Yuchi people attach to
their language, the motivating factor in current revitaliza-
tion efforts, is only one aspect of the Yuchi culture of
language. Other cultural patterns are structured within the
language itself and are available as a resource for speakers
to use in social life. The focus of Linn's paper is the
manner in which the grammar of Yuchi makes a distinction
between Yuchi and non-Yuchi people. While such gram-
matical processes can be understood purely in terms of
grammatical rules, a much richer understanding emerges
when the social circumstances of the Yuchi people, past
and present, are considered. The maintenance of Yuchi
identity is not only a regular subject of Yuchi talk, it also
is a concern built into the means of talking itself.
Among the Yuchi, as among almost all contemporary
American Indian peoples, community efforts to preserve
native languages have to overcome powerful forces in the
larger American society that push native-language speakers
to abandon tribal languages and adopt English or other
standard European languages. The current generation of
Yuchi speakers represent the last group of Yuchi people to
learn Yuchi as a first language, prior to learning English.
The causes of language shifts such as this are complex and
varied, but their effects on other aspects of culture ramify
in ever more complicated ways.
For those Yuchis who participate in the traditional tribal
religion associated with the three Yuchi ceremonial
grounds, the loss of Yuchi language speakers has prompted
many changes in ritual practice. One of these is the
transformation of formal styles of oratory from Yuchi to
English. In my own paper, I explore one facet of this
transformation, looking at the expanded use of English
language oratory to provide explanations of Yuchi ritual to
young, monolingual ceremonial-ground participants.
Just as oratory plays an important role in Southeastern
Indian ceremonial contexts, it also is central to political
life. As in American society at large, public speaking and
politics are closely linked in contemporary Creek society.
In her paper, Pam Innes presents an examination of the
ways in which both English and Muskogee languages are
crucial resources in Creek political life, not only for
communicating messages directly, but also for signalling
general cultural attitudes and values. The situation of

contemporary Creek political discourse invites several
relevant comparisons. Creek politicians and citizens, like
their counterparts in mainstream American politics, tailor
their messages as well as their oratorical style when
reaching out to varied audiences. Innes's data remind us
that Creek society is heterogenous today, just as it has been
for hundreds of years. Creek bilingualism today should
evoke images of Southeastern Indian societies in the past.
While considering current uses of English and Muskogee,
it is not difficult to imagine Southeastern political leaders
switching between Apalachee and Choctaw, or Yuchi and
Shawnee, or Timucua and Spanish, or Natchez and Mobil-
ian Jargon, or Mikasuki and Seminole, at other times and
in other places.
Increasing attention by cultural anthropologists to the role
of language in social life and the construction of local
cultures is a promising sign for the future of American
anthropology, as is the renewed willingness of linguists to
see the structure of language as a resource embedded within
particular individual, historical, and sociocultural contexts.
Within North America, the most exciting development of
all is the growing interest and activity of Native American
individuals and communities in the study, documentation,
and preservation of tribal languages. Their interest and
commitment provide new opportunities for scholars to
collaborate in meaningful ways with contemporary native


SOutside Oklahoma, Southeastern Indian languages continue to be spoken
in Florida (Seminole dialect of Muskogee and Mikasuki), Mississippi
(Choctaw), North Carolina (Cherokee), Louisiana (Koasati and Choctaw),
and Texas (Alabama and Koasati).


On behalf of myself and the other contributors to this issue, I want to
extend appreciation to the Society for Linguistic Anthropology for
sponsoring our AAA session and to Robert Austin, editor of The Florida
Anthropologist, for facilitating publication of the session papers. Thanks
also are due to our knowledgeable discussant at the San Francisco
meetings, David Dinwoodie. Jack Martin also provided valued commen-
tary on the papers. Personally, I wish to thank all of the authors for their
generous sharing of ideas and for their collegial participation in this
project from conception to publication. I know they also share my
gratitude to the Southeastern Indian people who have shared so much of
their lives and languages with us. To be able to say that we have studied
with Choctaw, Yuchi, and Creek people, rather than studying the
Choctaw, Yuchi, and Creek has made a world of difference in our lives
as scholars and as human beings.

Reference Cited

Boas, Franz
1940 Introduction [to the] International Journal of American Linguistics.
In Race, Language and Culture, pp. 199-225. The Free Press,
New York.



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The Kill

oL n th o


Years '

1947 191

HOLOPAW depicts a middle Archaic campsite in north
Florida. Hunters are returning fro ccessful bear hunt; a
woman grinds tubers to WrWa- ;a small child is in awe
of a giant alligator;. dQGr an converses with traders from a
distant place. 0 eL foreground, a flintknapper works on
finishing his finely made projectile point.
THE HUNTERS illustrates a Paleoindian hunting party in
combat with a juvenile mastodon.
THE KILL depicts two Archaic period hunters preparing to
spear a large alligator in the depths of a southern cypress
CLOSING IN depicts a group of Paleoindian hunters closing
in on a mastodon and her calf.

CALUSA depicts the large village site at Pineland, Florida ca.
A.D. 900-1100. Featured on the cover of Florida's First

TATAMAHO depicts an Indian gigging a garfish while his son
playfully loads the catch in a basket. Nearby, a panther waits
for a free meal and a raccoon eagerly awaits leftovers.

THE RETURN depicts two tattooed Indians returning from a
day of fishing. Their canoe is loaded with fish and shellfish.
In the distance, smoke rises from a campsite hidden amidst
the mangroves and shaded by cedar trees.

BOSKITA depicts the Green Corn Ceremony, one of the most
important rituals of many southeastern Indian cultures.

SOLITUDE is based on t 1 0s of early European
explorers and depj s 4*itay hunter returning to his canoe
loaded with fiQol '


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Department of Music, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903

Among the Choctaw people of Ardmore, Oklahoma, the
most important repertory of traditional song is known as
Social Dance music. This repertory originally belonged to
the Ballgame ceremony; Social Dances were performed at
night to complement the Ballgame and its sacred rituals,
which were performed during the day. The Ballgame
focused on world renewal, the restoration of balance among
cosmic forces, and the repair and reconciliation of human
social relationships. The Ardmore Choctaw discontinued the
Ballgame in 1937, and their Social Dances became dormant
for nearly forty years. The Ardmore Choctaw recontextual-
ized the Social Dance repertory when they revitalized it in
1975, although the style and content of the repertory -
including song texts remained essentially unchanged.
The historical continuity of Choctaw song texts, despite
significant alterations in other aspects of Choctaw life,
suggests that these texts have played an important role in
the ongoing reproduction of Choctaw culture. This article
offers a preliminary exploration of the role of Social Dance
songs in Choctaw culture by considering their style and
expressive content in relation to changing performance
contexts.' Song texts are in many ways inseparable from
the musical elements with which they are interwoven, and
therefore I begin with an overview of Choctaw musical

Musical Style in Choctaw Social Dance Songs

The elements of Choctaw musical style, as well as the
shape and content of the Social Dance repertory, have been
described in several ethnographic and ethnomusicological
sources (Bushnell 1909; Densmore 1943; Draper 1980,
1983; Howard 1978; Howard and Levine 1990; Levine
1990, 1993, 1997); therefore only a brief summary is
necessary here. Social Dance songs, also known as Night
Dance or Stomp Dance songs, constitute the largest and
most widely known musical repertory from the Choctaw
Ballgame ceremony. Until 1937, the Ardmore Choctaw
used these songs to accompany the communal dances
performed throughout the night during their four-day
Ballgame ceremony. The Social Dances began at dusk and
were loosely divided into four segments, each with its own
internal sequence of distinctive songs and dances. The
performance of the Snake Dance at sunrise marked the
conclusion of the Social Dance phase of the Ballgame.
When the repertory was revitalized in 1975, the Ardmore

Choctaw began to perform Social Dance songs, with or
without the dances, in private gatherings restricted to
Choctaw people and invited guests, as well as in public
folkloric demonstrations, in venues ranging from youth
group meetings to retail store promotions. These perfor-
mances last from 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending upon
the purpose of the event. The performances usually take
place during the daytime and are completely unconnected
to the Ballgame in outward appearance, but maintain the
spiritual focus on renewal and reconciliation of human
social relationships.
The central components of Choctaw musical style may be
summarized as follows. Social Dance songs feature scales
having four to six notes with intervals a whole step or
larger, and the melodies range from a fourth to a tenth.
The meter changes frequently in most songs, and many
different rhythmic patterns and tempos are used. The
melodic contours of most Social Dance songs have a
descending inflection, and melodic rhythms tend to be
strongly accented through vocal pulsations. Choctaw singers
cultivate a moderately relaxed, slightly nasal vocal quality.
The songs use a variety of iterative, sectional, or strophic
forms, depending upon the song category.2 Most Social
Dance songs involve antiphony, or call and response; a
male song leader sings a solo phrase, which is answered by
the dancers in unison, with women singing one octave
above the men in most songs. The alternation between
soloist and chorus continues throughout the song and is an
important design element. A few Social Dance songs are
performed as solos by the lead singer. When they revital-
ized the Social Dance repertory, the Ardmore Choctaw
decided to accompany these songs with a double-headed
hand drum, played with a padded stick. Prior to 1937, their
parents had accompanied Social Dances with striking sticks,
which is the kind of accompaniment still used by the
Mississippi Choctaw.
Choctaw Social Dance songs have a dynamic quality, and
stylistic individuality among song leaders is valued highly.
The song leader improvises variations on his solo melodic
phrases according to rules that are not usually articulated,
but are clearly delineated through performance practice.
The leader may also recombine the melodic and poetic
phrases that belong to each song. The leader draws upon a
stock of traditional topics for word songs, but may vary the
precise language, as well as the number and order of lines
in the poem, from one performance to the next. This



VOL. 50 No. 4


flexible approach resonates with descriptions of song
improvisation among the Yuchi in the early twentieth
century (Speck 1980:66).
My primary consultants in Ardmore, the singers Buster
Ned and Adam Sampson, classify Social Dance songs into
four categories: Jump or Stomp Dances (Tolobli Hihla),
Walk or Tick Dances (Shotoni Hihla), Drunk or Corn
Dances (Ishko Hihla), and War or Drum Dances (Shinka
Boli Hihla). This classification reflects the structure of the
earlier nighttime dance event and the order in which dances
were performed. The song categories are distinguished
from one another by certain characteristics of musical style,
form, and textual content. Each category contains a number
of different songs, all of which are identified by the generic
title; any of these songs may be used to accompany the
standard choreography associated with the category. Each
category also includes some unique songs with individual
titles, which accompany a variant of the standard choreog-
raphy, as well as related optional dances. Thus, the Jump
Dance category includes the Starting Dance and the
Double-Head Dance, the Walk Dance category includes the
Stealing Partners Dance and Palata (performed to mark the
anniversary of a spouse's death), and so forth. The Snake
Dance (Sinti Hihla), which concludes Ardmore Social
Dance performances, constitutes a fifth category and stands
on its own musically and conceptually.
The Ardmore Choctaw have 91 songs in their revitalized
Social Dance repertory. The texts of most of these songs
consist entirely of vocables, or syllables that do not carry
lexical meaning, but are fixed and constitute an integral
part of the poetic sound of the performance. However, 22
of the songs employ words as well as vocables. Words in
Choctaw song texts always are framed by vocables and are
usually sung by the leader alone, although in a few songs
the dancers also sing words. The pronunciation of sung
words in Choctaw sometimes differs from that of spoken
words, and syllables may be added or deleted to adapt
words to the melody. A general discussion of the content
and expressive style of these texts contributes to an under-
standing of the role of Social Dance songs in contemporary
Choctaw culture.

Text in Choctaw Social Dance Songs

Choctaw Social Dance songs are in most cases short, self-
contained poems that feature a straightforward, matter-of-
fact style of expression; symbolism and metaphor are rare.
The songs use the first-person pronoun, differentiating the
narrator or song leader from the addressees or dancers, and
reflecting emotions and experience from a personal per-
spective. The songs speak to members of the local Choctaw
community, who are both the subjects of Social Dance song
texts and the objects of their performance. The flexible
approach to the performance of Social Dance poetry

described above is characteristic of songs that emphasize
this kind of human-to-human communication (Sherzer
1987:103). The songs are topical and action oriented, and
the scene set in most of the texts is the night-dance phase
of the early twentieth-century Ballgame ceremony. The
specific content and tone of the poetic texts differ to some
degree among the four main categories of Social Dances.
These features of Social Dance song texts may be illustrat-
ed through several examples.3
Jump Dance songs tend to be jocular, poking fun at
people or incidents in a friendly way, as in the following

Jump Dance Song

Ohoyo cha ya ha maka
Si tikba ishe ya hoka
Hobli chi pe la le na
Toloblili ish mia hali hoke

They say you are a woman.
You're going in front of me.
I might kick you out
While y'all are jumping.

This text refers to Jump Dance choreography. Men begin
the Jump Dance, but at a certain point, women may join
the dance line wherever they choose. This particular song
teases a woman who has placed herself at the head of the
dance line, usurping the song leader's position. This kind
of song is a reminder that the Ballgame event was not only
a time for serious reflection and spiritual renewal, it also
was a joyous social occasion and a time for fun.
Tick Dance, Drunk Dance, and War Dance song texts are
more serious and tend to address core values, such as the
importance of cultural continuity, community identity, and
proper social behavior. In one Tick Dance, the song leader
exhorts the community to listen to the song, to learn it, and
to perpetuate it.

Tick Dance

A ma okla chi ya mah
Tolowa hihla mah
Ohoyo chi ya mah
Tolowa hihla mah

Tolowa ha le na yo ho
Chi ma abichi li hoke
Falama ish iya ma
Kani oti ish si hobachi cho

My people there, listen!
Listen to this dance song.
Women there, listen!
Listen to this dance song.

This song, ha le na yo ho
I'm teaching it to you right.
When you go back,
Go somewhere and do as I do.

This text has a concordance with a Tick Dance song
Frances Densmore recorded among the Mississippi Choc-
taw in 1933.4
Another Tick Dance links Social Dance events to commu-
nity identity and refers to the earlier practice of performing
the repertory from dusk until dawn.


1997 VOL. 50(4)


Tick Dance

Uma okla chiya ma toka It is said you are my people.
Hihla ho chi bana You wanted to dance
Tolowa li hoke That's why I'm singing.

Tolowa ho li hoka If I keep on singing,
Akanka ola hoke Roosters will crow.

Maka ha li ma moma If I still keep singing,
Ona taha hoke Dawn will be here.

This song also has a concordance in Densmore's record-
ings. She published a musical transcription of the song
(Densmore 1943:170), and her unpublished field notes
(Densmore 1933) contain a paraphrase of the text:

I am dancing until
almost day
I hear a rooster crow.

The following Drunk Dance song admonishes laziness
while it advocates working to support the family and

Drunk Dance

Na chi takobi
Chai chi lakni

Tanchi bot oli
Owa ke li iya

Owa iya li
Na ha cha li

Na chi tokobi
Tanapo lakna

You are lazy
Your hoe is rusted.

Crack corn
Let's go to the forest.

I'm going to the forest
To cut something.

You are lazy
Your gun is rusted.

This song is a concordance to a "Hunting Song" Densmore
recorded. She provides the following translation (Densmore

Go and grind some corn, we will go camping.
Go and sew, we will go camping.
I passed on and you were sitting there crying.
You were lazy and your hoe is rusty.

A succinct but effective War Dance song evokes the
aroma of pashofa, the Choctaw version of corn soup,
cooking over an open fire as it was prepared for the
communal feasts enjoyed during Ballgame cycles. Like the
Tick Dance poem, this text connects song and dance to
community identity.

Tanchi to luboni
Uma okla chiya ma

Hihla ma chi bana
Toke tolowa li

The corn is cooking;
You are my people.

You wanted this dance,
That's why I'm singing.

Most of the word songs in the Ardmore Choctaw Social
Dance repertory are similar in style and content to the
examples presented here, and these songs are readily
understood in relation to their early twentieth-century
performance context. The songs express strong group
identification and solidarity; they focus on social bonds and
expectations within the Choctaw community and refer to
performances of the Ballgame ceremony. In contemporary
performance the songs use the present tense, but invoke a
reality that no longer exists; thus the songs reflect the
world view, values, and community structure of an earlier
time and place. Buster Ned and Adam Sampson assert that
they only perform Social Dance songs they themselves
learned as children prior to 1937. Although they created
new performance contexts for the Social Dance repertory,
connected to the Ballgame only in thought and oriented
toward current social realities, they reject the possibility of
composing new melodies or texts. On the most obvious
level, then, Social Dance songs display a kind of nostalgic
ethnicity among the Ardmore Choctaw. But some of the
word songs present a striking contrast in style and content,
requiring a deeper consideration of the history of the
Choctaw Ballgame ceremony and the ongoing processes of
cultural persistence and adaptation.

Context and Choctaw Social Dance Songs

The history of the Choctaw Ballgame ceremony is long
and complicated (Levine 1997), but what is central to this
discussion is that during the eighteenth century, the Ball-
game assumed increasingly greater significance and became
more elaborate in response to change in other domains of
Choctaw culture. Choctaw warfare declined and finally
ceased in the second half of the eighteenth century, and at
the same time, the Ballgame became an important venue for
enhancing individual status and for conflict resolution.
Medicine rituals, communal ceremonies, and musical
repertories previously associated with warfare were recon-
textualized as part of the Ballgame cycle. The Victory
Dance, performed upon the return of a war party, effected
the spiritual restoration of warriors to their peacetime
condition; its themes of reconciliation and renewal were
compatible with the Social Dance phase of the Ballgame
ceremony. Thus, when songs from the Victory Dance were
absorbed by the Ballgame, they entered the Social Dance
repertory. The musical and poetic legacy of this process is
revealed by one of the songs performed by the Ardmore
Buster Ned and Adam Sampson believe this song to be

War Dance




very old; they classify and perform it as a Tick Dance, but
the style and content of the text differ markedly from the
other songs in this genre.

Tick Dance

Yo ho he ya (Vocables)
Abi li ka no I should kill him
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Abi li ka no I should kill him
Ah minko ya kosh My chief is the one
Si tohoni hoka Who ordered me to.
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Abi li ka no I should kill him.

Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Si pisa he to He can't see me
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Si pisa he to He can't see me.
Iti yo inkya There's a tree standing there
Ima lo mali I'm hiding from him
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Ima lo mali I'm hiding from him.

Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Pisa mut ya ya Whomever sees it will cry
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Pisa mut ya ya Whomever sees it will cry
A nowali tok ma Where I walked
Pisa mut ya ya Whomever sees it will cry
Yo ho he ya Yo ho he ya
Pisa mut ya ya Whomever sees it will cry.

This poem contrasts with other Social Dance song texts in
two essential ways: 1) it is much longer than the other
texts, and 2) it tells the story of a successful ambush
carried out during a raid or war party. According to Ned
and Sampson, the last verse of the song refers to the
sorrow the victim's relatives will experience when they
discover the body. No other contemporary Choctaw Social
Dance song refers to killing or warfare, although another
text refers to symbols of warfare. This song has a concor-
dance in Densmore's recordings from 1933. While Dens-
more's consultant performed the song as part of the Social
Dance repertory, he actually classified it as a Victory Song,
linking it conceptually to the earlier war ritual. Densmore
(1943:127) translated the text as follows.

Where I went along they saw my tracks,
After I killed him they saw my tracks and cried.
My headman told me to kill him,
I killed him because my headman told me to,
I hid in the bushes after killing him, but they came near
seeing me.

This song also bears some relationship to a Choctaw
poem sent by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Ferdinand

Freilingrath in a letter of March 15, 1843 (Hilen 1966:516-
517). Longfellow wrote that the song had been translated
from Choctaw into English by a "gentleman from Missis-
sippi," but the gentleman's identity is unknown.

Song of the Ancient Choctaws

I slew the chief of the Muskokee,
And burned his squaw at a blasted tree,
By the hind-legs I tied up his cur,
He had no time to fondle her.
Hoo! hoo! hoo! the Muskokee!
Wah! wah! wah! the blasted tree!

I stripped his skull all naked and bare,
And here's his scalp with a tuft of hair.
His flesh is in the panther's maw,
His bloody bones the wolf doth knaw!
Hoo! hoo! hoo! the Muskokee!
Wah! wah! wah! the blasted tree!

A faggot from the blasted tree
Fired the lodge of the Muskokee;
His sinews serve to string my bow
When bent to lay my brethren low.
Hoo! hoo! hoo! the Muskokee!
Wah! wah! wah! the Blasted Tree!

William Clements, a scholar of Native American litera-
ture, has written that this song "represents the typical
results of Native American textmaking the conversion of
American Indian oral performances into printed texts -
throughout the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century"
(Clements 1992:34). Although the use of such a translation
as historical evidence may require an act of faith, if one
looks beyond its vulgar, sensational trappings, a relation-
ship emerges between this song and the Tick Dance or
Victory Song. Like the Victory Song, the original version
of "Song of the Ancient Choctaws" may have belonged to
a repertory of music once associated with war rituals and
later recontextualized by the Ballgame.


This preliminary study suggests that for the Choctaw,
Social Dance songs have provided an integral route to
tradition for at least two hundred years. The performance
of Choctaw Social Dances in late twentieth-century Oklaho-
ma is so widely separated in time and place from the
performance of Choctaw war rituals in eighteenth-century
Mississippi, it is hard to imagine any connection between
the two. Yet the music and especially the words of the
Social Dance songs have transcended time and place,
through adaptive processes that preserve a stable core of
beliefs and values while accommodating contemporary
realities. Music, language, and ceremonial performance are
interwoven in a complex network that supports the ongoing


1997 VOL. 50(4)


reproduction of culture. This network is what has enabled
the Choctaw to maintain a sense of tradition through
successive reinterpretations of various rituals, and more
recently, to build a sense of tradition into the revitalized
Social Dance repertory. Although they are few in number,
the Social Dance texts thus provide valuable insight into the
history of Choctaw music and contribute toward an under-
standing of what songs accomplish in the work of culture.


SAlthough I use the ethnographic present in this paper, my findings are
based on field research carried out in 1983 and 1985 near Ardmore,
Oklahoma. My approach reflects general interests in the ethnomusicology
of North American Indians rather than technical aspects of linguistics or
ethnopoetics, in which I am not trained. Very few Choctaw song texts
have ever been published, and they have not been discussed in previous
scholarly literature. Therefore, I hope to generate interest in Choctaw song
texts by providing this modest introduction.
2 Songs in iterative form involve several short, repetitive phrases strung
together in rapid succession. Sectional forms involve two or more discrete
sections of music, each of which is self-contained and musically distinc-
tive. Strophic forms involve a stanza of music that is repeated in its
entirety two or more times.
3 The orthography used in these examples differs from standard linguistic
practice, since these transliterations employ a practical orthography
devised by Buster Ned and Adam Sampson, who are native speakers of
Choctaw. Ned and Sampson transliterated, translated, and interpreted all
of the song texts with great ease and used everyday spoken English in
their translations, which suggests that Social Dance song texts do not
employ a form of sacred or archaic language. I have divided the lines and
stanzas of poetry according to melodic phrases and musical form.
4 Densmore evidently had difficulty interpreting this text, commenting

The interpreter first said the words meant, 'My friend, this song is
going away mocking me,' and added that the second word was literally
'people,' but understood to mean 'friend,' also that the word translated
'mocking' did not carry any unpleasant meaning, but could also be
translated 'imitating.' There was considerable discussion and it
developed that reference was being made to the phonograph which
would repeat the sound of Wesley's voice. The final translation
appeared to be addressed to the phonograph and was as follows, 'My
friend, when you go away you will sing like I sing' [Densmore

References Cited

Bushnell, David I., Jr.
1909 The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 48, Washington, D.C.
Clements, William M.
1992 "Tokens of Literary Faculty": Native American Literature and
Euroamerican Translation in the Early Nineteenth Century. In On
the Translation of Native American Literatures, edited by Brian
Swann, pp. 33-50. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington
Densmore, Frances
1933 Unpublished field notes. National Anthropological Archives,
Washington, D.C.
1943 Choctaw Music. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 133,
Washington, D.C.
Draper, David E.
1980 Occasions for the Performance of Native Choctaw Music.
Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology 3:147-173.
1983 Breath in Music: Concept and Practice among the Choctaw

Indians. Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology 4:285-300.
Hilen, Andrew (Editor)
1966 The Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Volume II: 1837-
1843. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cam-
Howard, James H.
1978 Oklahoma Choctaw Revive Native Dances. Actes du XLIe
Congres International des Americanistes 5:315-323.
Howard, James H., and Victoria Lindsay Levine
1990 Choctaw Music and Dance. University of Oklahoma Press,
Levine, Victoria Lindsay
1990 Choctaw Indian Musical Cultures in the Twentieth Century.
Ph.D. dissertation, Musicology, University of Illinois,
1993 Musical Revitalization Among the Choctaw. American Music
1997 Music, Myth, and Medicine in the Choctaw Indian Ballgame. In
Enchanting Powers: Music in the World's Religions, edited by
Lawrence E. Sullivan, pp. 189-218. Harvard University Center
for the Study of World Religions, Cambridge.
Sherzer, Joel
1987 Poetic Structuring of Kuna Discourse: The Line. In Native
American Discourse: Poetics and Rhetoric, edited by Joel Sherzer
and Anthony C. Woodbury, pp. 103-193. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
Speck, Frank
1980 Ethnology of the Yuchi Indians. AMS Press, New York.



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Department of Linguistics, University ofKansas, La wrence, Kansas 66045
E-nmil: mslinnlark cc. ukans. edu

Yuchi' is a language isolate originally spoken in the
Southeast, in what are today parts of Tennessee, Georgia,
and Alabama. The tribe was removed to Eastern Oklahoma
early in the nineteenth century and currently resides in the
areas of Sapulpa/Kellyville, Hectorville, and Bristow,
Oklahoma. There are approximately a dozen fluent speakers
of Yuchi, all over the age of sixty, and probably two dozen
more semi-fluent speakers. Many of the fluent and semi-
fluent speakers gather weekly in order to help teach the
language to anyone who shows up and to gather language
materials and talk and joke in Yuchi. They have sponsored
several language camps, one of which produced a children's
and beginner's class which has been active and well-sup-
ported for over two years now with weekly classes and
camps twice a year. Several of the younger language teachers
in the community recently have been participating in a
language immersion program with several of the elders, and
are making great strides in learning their native language.
These are just a few of the community-based activities which
focus on the critical health of Yuchi language. They reflect
a genuine and active concern for language revival and
Among many fascinating grammatical characteristics, the
Yuchi language has a unique noun class system. The nature
and use of this system in present-day Yuchi is the focus of
this paper. I will begin by explaining generally how the
Yuchi noun class system works, and then I will discuss the
semantic particulars of the Yuchi classification system.
Finally, I will show how this system has been subject to
language loss and decay since the 1930s and I will discuss
how the pattern of loss reflects Yuchi culture.

The Yuchi Noun Class System

Yuchi participates in a noun class system (in contrast to a
noun classifier system) or concordial classifier system. The
noun classes in Yuchi form a limited set. There are three
inanimate classes corresponding to the inherent positions
"sitting," "standing," and "lying," marked by -i. fa, and -
e, respectively. There are five animate classes, we-/-wenro. hi
-/-hq ni (with alternations he-/-hen3 ), and s'e-/-s'ent. -se/-
senq, 'e-/-'enq, and o-/-'oni (with alternations i-/-ini),~ corre-
sponding to non-Yuchi living beings, Yuchi male (men's
speech and women's speech, respectively), Yuchi female,
related Yuchi female of ascending generation, and Yuchi
male or female of spousal status or ascending generation,
respectively. Classification is fused with the morpheme of

definiteness suffixed to the noun phrase. In other words,
whenever a singular noun phrase is definite, the appropriate
noun class marker must be suffixed to the end of the com-
plete noun phrase (Linn 1996). Examples of the class
markers can be seen below.3

1) a. teNisoso
te-Ci gogo

b. k'"jinetifa senq

c. s's ayogwa'e naedi'ne


e. dzene yomp'as
dzene yomp'ae

f. Henwy hetPos'ineheni


Henry s'et^os'ines'enl


g. Jo segow&'neseen

h. Dilaha Lou'en3


i. Bill'oni age '0on

age o-n

"That mulberry is rotten"
mulberry-Cl rotten

"She's inside the store"

"I can't see the field
you're talking about"
field Dir-you-talk-Cl

"the short-tailed dog"

dog tail

"Henry's hat"
(men's speech)

"Henry's hat"
(women's speech)

"Jo's blanket"

"my great-grandmother

"Bill (my husband) is
here He(Y)-is




VOL. 50 No. 4

L As1997 Vo M)

The Yuchi noun class system requires concord with other
parts of the sentence. The third-person pronominal prefix to
the verb must agree with the class marker suffix on the

2) a. Henrys'eno s'edin'ej "I saw Henry"
(Yuchi man, woman's speech)

b. Maryt'enq wedin'ej

"I saw Mary"

Finally, the class markers are obligatory and do not change.
All nouns are assigned a class and this class does not change
once it has been assigned.5 This is true of the Yuchi classes
as well. A person may be assigned one class marker by a
person equal to his or her age, and another one by a younger
person. For example, a grandmother may be referred to as
se- by her peers but be referred to as 'e- by her grandchil-
dren. However, the class markers do not change for a given
speaker. For example, if a young woman is speaking, the
men her age will always be s'e-, the women her age will
always be se-, and her grandmother will always be 'e. The
exception to this is the change in status from s'e- to 'o- of the
Yuchi man she marries.
In Yuchi, class markers are necessary to the proper forma-
tion of the verb phrase and to the creation of a grammatical
definite noun phrase upon first reference. However, the class
marker may be dropped from the noun phrase in discourse
after the first reference unless they wish to show focus or
emphasis. For fluent speakers, the assignment of nouns to
the appropriate noun class is not a problem as part of the
obligatory morphological system, but disagreements arise
among less fluent speakers. This is a sign of language loss
and will be discussed below.

Semantics of Yuchi Noun Classes

Inanimate Class: Sitting, Standing, Lying Position

Yuchi nouns are first classified by whether they are animate
or inanimate. The inanimate class in Yuchi includes all plants
and fungi as well as non-living things. Inanimates are further
classified according to the inherent position of the object.
The positions are sitting, standing, and lying, and the class
markers were created from the main verbs fi "sit," fa
"stand," and 'e "lie." In many cases, the semantic feature of
position has been extended to include that of shape. Standing
is naturally extended to vertical, thin shape (i.e., tall), and
lying is extended to horizontal and thin (i.e., long and/or
flat). Sitting is extended to roundish or no definite shape, and
is thus used as the default class. In fact, the most salient
features are tall/thin (standing) and long/thin (lying). Without
these marked features, nouns are routinely classified as
having no definite shape (sitting). There is nothing unusual
about this type of noun class system. Shape is a salient
characteristic of objects and is a common classification of
nouns throughout the world (Allan 1977:300-303). In
addition, grammaticizing position has been found in varying

languages throughout the world, including the Siouan
language family in North America (Barron and Serzisko
1982; Watkins 1976).6
Abstract nouns are found in all three categories. Although
many of the nouns associated with verbalization (e.g.,
language, song, story, a lie) are classified as -'e (lying
position), motivation for classification of abstract nouns into
one of the three positional categories is not transparent.
There is some room in the inanimate class markers for verbal
play. For example, body parts take inanimate class markers
which may be interchanged in order to humorously point out
the odd or accentuated shape of someone's features.
There is only one inanimate third-person pronominal, ho-,
so classification by position is neutralized in the pronominal
form. Furthermore, ho- is routinely dropped from the verb.
I have only heard it naturally occur in some commands.
Similarly, the inanimate position classes only occur with
singular definite nouns. The distinctions are neutralized in the
plural, with all inanimate nouns taking one plural marker -ha.
The learners generally breathe a sigh of relief here.

Animate Class: Yuchi Membership

Animacy in Yuchi is divided into two classes: those who
are members of the Yuchi tribe and those who are not.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Yuchi noun classes is
this distinction between Yuchis and non-Yuchis. When
surveying the languages of the world, grammaticizing of the
distinction between members and non-members of a commu-
nity is extremely rare. In fact, I have not found this classifi-
cation recorded in any grammar or discussion of noun
Membership in the Yuchi class is rigid. It is restricted to
people born of Yuchi descendants. It does not matter if this
line comes from the mother or the father, or if one can claim
only one Yuchi great-grandparent. If you are of Yuchi
blood, then you are automatically classified as Yuchi.
Generally everyone is known and the division is quite clear.
Yet, with more publicity about the Yuchis in local papers,
including advertising about the language camps, there have
been young people attending camps who were not known to
the speakers who were there. When this happens, the
speakers, keeping with common courtesy, ask the new
arrivals who they are related to. As soon as the relationship
is established, their conversations in Yuchi refer to these
people as Yuchi. However, one new arrival was asked the
same questions. There was some confusion about who the
great-grandparent was. I have noticed that even to this day
Yuchi speakers refer to this person with the non-Yuchi
marker, although the person claims Yuchi heritage and has
been an active participant. I inquired about this to one of the
speakers, and his answer was that he simply wasn't sure of
the connection as he had not known of the great-grandparent.
No social exclusion has occurred, yet the person does not
receive the Yuchi class inclusion morpheme. It is doubtful
then that Yuchi class membership would extend to only one
great-great grandparent or beyond, as the living members
would probably have little or no knowledge of the rela-


7 991 Voo 50(4)


tionship. It should also be noted that a group in Georgia that
claims ancestry from the Yuchis is not discussed using the
Yuchi class membership.
Except through birth, then, membership in the Yuchi class
is closed. A person who marries a Yuchi will not assume a
Yuchi class morpheme. Although inclusion is quite apparent
in other social ways, it cannot be achieved grammatically. In
addition, a person cannot be bestowed membership into the
grammatical class as an honor. Again, other mechanisms are
in place for such acceptance into the community, but it does
not extend to classification in the language.
There are two apparent exceptions to this, although they
may not be exceptions at all to the speakers. Jesus is most
often, though not regularly by everyone, referred to with the
Yuchi male pronominal. From the physical point of view, a
man born in Palestine could not have been Yuchi by birth,
but the metaphysical son of God as part of everyone and
everything certainly can be seen as Yuchi. The Yuchi
preacher, Maxey Simms, ended his life story in Wagner's
Yuchi Tales (1930:328) saying, "He makes me both weak
and strong." Mr. Simms used the Yuchi male pronominal in
his reference to Jesus. Also, the Yuchi word gohaetone,
translated as "God," was consistently included in the non-
Yuchi class in earlier texts (Wagner 1930:328; Wolff
1951:49). However, several speakers today feel that both
forms in (3) are acceptable, with God taking either the non-
Yuchi marker or the Yuchi male marker.

3) a. gohatone we'wede
gohaetone we-'wede

b. gohatone he'wede
gohaetone he-'wede

"He speaks"
God he(Ny)-talk

"He speaks"
God he(Y)-talk

Members of the Yuchi tribe are further classified by the sex
of the referent, then by kinship to referent, and finally by age
of the referent in relationship to the speaker. In addition to
the classification system, morphological alternations occur in
the Yuchi class based on the sex of the speaker. In other
words, Yuchi has a men's and women's speech, similar to
that of Koasati described by Haas (1944). In Yuchi, this
difference in men's and women's speech shows up almost
exclusively in the choice of the class markers when the
speaker is referring to a Yuchi male or a group of Yuchis.
The classes are discussed in more detail below.
hq-/-hq nq and he-/henj: Used by men to refer to a Yuchi
male, related or not.
s'e-/s'enq: Used by women to refer to a Yuchi male, related
or not.
se-/senq: Used by both men and women to refer to a Yuchi
woman who is approximately the same age or younger than
the speaker, related or not.
'e-'enq: Used by both men and women to refer to a woman
of an older generation who is related (e.g., grandmother,
great aunt). It is a term of respect.
'o-/-'onq: Used by both men and women to refer to their
Yuchi spouse. Some families use this class marker to refer

any older Yuchi male or female, related or not, who is older
than the speaker. It is a more general term of respect. One is
more likely to use this class with an older family member,
but it is not restricted to family members.
The last form 'o-/-'onq when used as the general respect
marker, is less like a true class marker in that a person may
be referred to by-the same speaker, at different times, using
both the informal form or 'o-/-'onq. However, this appears
to be rare and may be an indication of forgetfulness on the
speakers' parts. In most cases, the person has been assigned
the respectful form by a speaker and this will not vary.
The relationship (kinship of older female 'e/-'enq and
spousal 'o-/-'onq) and age ('o-/-'onq) classes are used to
show respect. In this sense they are more formal than the
markers hq-/-hq nQ and s'e-/-s'enq- for Yuchi males (includ-
ing Jesus and God as seen above) and se-/-senQ for females.
In his discussion of the Yuchi pronominal, Wagner
(1934:327) remarked, "The reflection of the social structure
of the tribe in the pronominal forms is an interesting and rare
example of an interrelation between culture and language."
Such richness in classification based on familial relationship,
sex of referent, and age is not as rare as Wagner thought,
occurring in languages as diverse as Jacaltec (Craig 1986)
and Vietnamese. Yet all animate classes do reflect the social
structure and how the society expects its members to behave
within that structure. They reflect who has high or low status
and how these groups interact (Craig 1986; Denny
1976:126). In addition, the differences in men's and wo-
men's speech are often reflected in the degree of formality
and informality the speakers are supposed to show to the
addressee or referent (Haas 1944:146-147; Hinton 1994:141-
143). With this in mind, Yuchi social structure gives status
and respect to related, older females. It also gives status and
respect to any person older than the speaker, generally in the
family, and to the speaker's spouse. The women are expected
to be more formal in regard to any male.
Like the inanimate classes, the animate Yuchi classes are
neutralized in the plural. Only the difference between men's
and women's speech is retained.
hq-/-hq nq: Used by men to refer to a group of Yuchis, or
a group of Yuchis and non-Yuchis. The sex, age, and
kinship of the group are not relevant.
'o-/-'onq or 'i-/-'inq: Used by women to refer to a group of
Yuchis, or a group of Yuchis and non-Yuchis. The sex, age,
and kinship of the group are not relevant.
Therefore, in mixed groups of Yuchis, the significant
feature is only their Yuchiness.

Animate Class: Non-Yuchi

If animacy is divided into Yuchi and non-Yuchi, then such
a division demands that all animals are non-Yuchi, along
with all people who are not Yuchi. As discussed above, any
person not of Yuchi descent cannot be assigned any Yuchi
class marker. Thus, dogs, bears, chiggers, spiders, turtles,
Creeks, Shawnees, whites, blacks all are in the same class of
non-Yuchi. Of course, this creates some humor in the



classroom when teachers explain that dogs and non-Yuchi
humans are referred to in the same way. I should stress,
however, that the class is not seen as derogatory. It simply is
not Yuchi. Unlike the other classes, the non-Yuchi distinc-
tion is kept in the plural. The plural non-Yuchi noun class
morpheme retains the -wenQ form, but shifts the regular
primary stress from the ultimate syllable in the singular to the
penultimate in the plural. The plural morpheme can be seen
in (5c) below.
The non-Yuchi class marker we- is used as a compound
element to form many, but not all, of the animal names and
animal and human body parts. Therefore, not only are cows,
hawks, deer, and such created with we-, but also feather/hair,
claw/fingernail, and bone. The words for rainbow, winter,
and lightening also contain the animate non-Yuchi com-
pound. However, these phenomena act like inanimates in the
class and agreement system. Examples of these can be seen
in (4) below.

4) a. wedine

b. wedze

c. wet's




There are three exceptions to the animate non-Yuchi class;
exceptions, that is, according to Western classification. The
sun, the moon, and stars all take the animate non-Yuchi class
marker -wen. The animacy of the sun and moon is not
immediately transparent, as can be seen in (5a-b).

5) a. tsowen
tsoni or tso:n

b. Safawen
.safon3 or safaon

c. 'y4iwen5
y'A'ye 03

"the sun" (historical full form)
"the sun" (contracted form only

"the moon" (full form)
"the moon" (contracted form)

"the star"

The sun is never given in the uncontracted form;R thus, it
always occurs with the class marker. The moon is most often
given in the uncontracted form too. Contraction which results
in the rounding and backing of the stem vowel is found only
where the non-Yuchi morpheme -we has been contracted
(Linn 1997). It is clear to the fluent speaker that the sun and
moon are animate non-Yuchi. However, since the we-
morpheme is altered in the contraction, this information is
often lost to the non-fluent ear. Yet, the sun and the moon

are always definite by nature, similar to English.

Language Loss and the Classification System

Classification systems are sensitive to the pressures of
language contact. The breakdown of these specialized
systems often are symptomatic of language loss. This is no
different in Yuchi. After all, there has been over two
hundred years of intense contact with English, with the
contact becoming more frequent after removal. By the time
Wagner was working with the Yuchis on the language in the
late 1920s, there had been over thirty years of white settle-
ment in Yuchi lands in Oklahoma. The Yuchis have been
active in every war, which has taken the men and some
women away from their homes, and they are currently
experiencing a more aggressive urbanization of their lands
which lie outside the city of Tulsa. Besides the tribal ceremo-
nial grounds, there is no place which is just Yuchi, and there
is no one school which keeps all the Yuchi children together.
Even with language renewal programs, there is evidence of
language decay in the community.
The inanimate noun classes in Yuchi have become subject
to language decay. Semi-speakers tend to use the default
class marker -4i more. These same speakers, when con-
fronted with new terminology, tend to use -4i first despite a
more appropriate class choice. Meaning is not obscured to
the fluent speakers, but their speech may be termed as "odd"
or "not quite right." In addition, younger learners of the
language, although fascinated with the distinctions, find them
hard to learn and use appropriately. The inanimate class
markers are counted among the frustrations of learning
Yuchi, and when one is exasperated with how much there is
to learn, one class marker -i roughly equivalent to the
English use of "the," is a convenient and understandable
alternative. Although appropriate class markers often are
taught along with new words, there is a general allowance of
these errors for beginning learners. Speakers express their
optimism that although it is not completely correct, the
learner will catch on. After all, there is hardly any reason to
correct or insist on these morphemes when the learners are
just grasping new sounds and words. The advanced learners
are encouraged to be more precise, but it is still not seen as
a major error.
At one time, the animate Yuchi class expressed more
distinctions for family relationships and age. Wagner
(1934:327) noted that younger speakers were already making
fewer choices in regard to age and respect than their elders.
As there is no complete record of the classification system
before Wagner, it is not possible to know whether the system
had already undergone changes by the beginning of this
century, or to what degree. In order to better understand the
changes that have taken place, I will give Wagner's descrip-
tions of the animate Yuchi classes and compare them to the
classes as they are today (see Tables I and 2)9.
hi-/-h/ ni: Was used by men to refer to a Yuchi male,
related or not, of any age. This is similar to usage today.
However, it also was used to refer to any Yuchi female, not
related to the speaker.


1997 VoL. 50(4)


EIN eee ee

Table 1. Wagner’s (1934) animate Yuchi class pronominal

LE A S ,

Related Related Unrelated Unrelated
Referent Speaker Older Not Older Older Not Older

Male men ha- h9- hg- ha
Referent women i- s’e- *j-/ °o- *0-
Female men "e se- h9- h9-
Referent women *e- se- se- se-

Table 2. The present-day animate Yuchi class pronominal


Related Related Unrelated Unrelated
Referent Speaker Older Not Older Older Not Older

Male men h9- hg- hg- ha
Referent women se-/(’o-) s’e- s’e-/(’0-) s’e-
Female men *e- se- se- se-
Referent women _’e-/’o- se- se- se-

s’e-/s’enq: Was used by women to refer to a Yuchi male,
related to the speaker, who is approximately the same age as
or younger than the speaker. Today, this class includes all
Yuchi males, related or not. It can be used for males older
than the speaker unless the speaker wishes to indicate respect
by using the ’o-/’on2 forms.

se-/seng: Was used by both men and women to refer to a
Yuchi female who is approximately the same age or younger
than the speaker. When used by men, however, it referred
only to women who were related. When used by women, it
referred to any female, related or not, just as it does today.

*e/-’eng: Was used by both men and women to refer to a
female of an older generation who is related. There has been
no change in this category. However, these forms are rarely
used today. I have not heard these forms given freely in
older tapes, current classes, or to me (Ballard n.d.; Bigler
and Marsey 1991, 1992), although several speakers have
verified their form and use when asked directly. They ex-
pressed that they had not heard these formssused in years,
but agreed that they exist. Several families were not familiar
with these forms. Instead, they use the more general respect
forms ’o-/-’on2 for older female relatives as well.

*o-/-’ong: Was used by women only to refer to a Yuchi
male not related to the speaker. Men did not use it, as they
can today. There is no mention of its being used specifically
for a spouse as it is today, although an unrelated male
speaker would include a woman's spouse. ’°

*i-/’ ing: Was used by women only to refer to a Yuchi male
of an older generation and related to the speaker. Wagner
specified that it was a term of respect. This class does not
exist today. The forms ’i-/-’ing do exist today, but they are
alternate forms for the plural ’o-/-'on2. They have been
incorporated into the plural ‘o-/-"on class as irregular forms.
Wagner footnoted that ’i- was difficult to find outside of one
class of verbs. He wrote that ’o- was already becoming more

generalized in meaning and extended to the older genera-
tions, and thus was used the same as ’i- with all other verbs.
The leveling that was begun in Wagner’s time was complete
at least by the 1970s as Ballard (1975) found the same usage
as I have described.

The plural forms also have undergone changes.

ha-/-ha ng: Was used by men to refer to a group of Yuchis,
or a group of Yuchis and non-Yuchis. The sex, age, and
kinship of the group are not relevant. No change in category.

’o-/-’on2: Was used by women to refer to a group of
Yuchis, or a group of Yuchis and non-Yuchis. The sex, age,
and kinship of the group are not relevant. There has been no
change in this category except that today the class includes
the alternate forms ’i-/-’ing. They occur on some verb
paradigms and on the plural forms of the irregular posses-
sives of familial relations, both male and female, and of any
age (e.g., nephews, daughters, brothers, uncles). In Wag-
ner’s time ’i-/-’inQ were a separate class (see above).

To summarize the changes, the marker(s) for related older
men have been lost. The women have lost the unique marker
*i- used for related older men. Instead, they may now use the
more general ’o-. Men did not have a marker for related
older men in Wagner’s time. It was either already Jost to the
men or it never existed. By the symmetry of the rest of the
forms, I would suggest that there had been a form at some
time in the past. The distinction between related and unre-
lated people of the opposite sex has been lost except for
referring to the speaker's spouse. In this case, the woman’s
marker ’o- referring to any unrelated male has been lost
except for having become specialized for husbands. The men
have apparently adopted this for referring to wives as well.
The loss of the difference between related (se-) and unre-
lated (h9-) females in the men’s speech has caused the
distinction in men’s speech to be lost when referring to
unrelated women. The women’s speech today is seen as a
way women are to show respect to men. The men used to
have to show the same variations but have lost most of these
forms in the last seventy years. This is not uncommon.
Women often are more conservative in language use,
retaining older and even archaic forms (Haas 1944; Hinton

Except when referring to an older female relative, the loss
suffered has been mainly in classification by family rela-
tionship. At first, this is surprising as who is or is not one’s
relation is a matter of constant comment in the community.
Some speakers feel that family relationships expressed in the
language were synonymous with clan membership (Bigler
n.d.). The role of clans in Yuchi society is practically non-
existent today, with very few people knowing their clan, so
the loss could be explained by the loss of clans. However,
there is serious question as to whether clans ever played a
significant role in Yuchi society or if they were a later
borrowing from the Creeks (Jackson 1996). The system as
it was described by Wagner and verified by several speakers
included no mention of clan affiliation. The loss of distinc-
tions in the language towards family members could be due
to the lessening of need to keep strict track of relationships
for purposes of marrying. As more and more Yuchis marry

THE~ FToR[mA AwmonnpoLovis 10mu OOCV~.aIAI%

outside of the tribe, the risk of intermarrying has decreased,
and so the need to keep family members of the opposite sex
more formal or separate has decreased as well. Another
explanation is that the informality of white Oklahoma society
towards family has increasingly leveled the formalities in
Yuchi society and language through contact.
The simplification of age reference is understandable. The
fluent speakers are the oldest Yuchis and thus have little or
no opportunity to use class markers for a person of older age
than they unless they are speaking of deceased elders and
relatives. The lack of use is currently affecting the marker
used for Yuchi husbands and wives. All the fluent speakers
alive today are married to non-Yuchis. So all speakers use
the non-Yuchi we- marker when referring to their spouses,
and not a Yuchi respect marker. In addition, the speakers
today treat each other as being the same level of respect,
despite differences in age (there are still two generations of
speakers) and family relationships. It appears that Yuchi
society is less formal now than it was in the past.
I have recently heard one learner inquire about the respect
class marker which had been used to refer to one's grand-
mother. He has since begun to use this class marker for his
daughter to learn. Obviously, he feels a need for his daughter
to reinforce respect for her grandmother by expressing it
grammatically. Furthermore, my presence in the community
has made the learners and speakers aware that these markers
exist. The speakers are concerned now that they create
environments in which they can use these more respectful
forms so that the learners can hear their use.
Although the respect classes of family relationship and age
are endangered, the difference in men's and women's speech
for using the classification system is not. Many young
Yuchis know very little about their native language. How-
ever, what they do know they tell me: Yuchi is hard, Yuchi
makes a distinction between the way men and women speak,
and Yuchi makes a difference between Yuchis and non-
Yuchis. It is clear that the speakers are not only aware but
also proud of these facts about their language (although I
generally argue with the first point). The difference between
men's and women's speech is one of the first facts about
Yuchi presented in classes. With all the pronominal forms,
it is seen, at least for the female learners, as an extra burden
at first. However, the women feel it is special and the proper
way to address men. The s'e-/s'enq forms are still abundant
in conversation for learners to hear and pick up on."
In stark contrast to the inanimate classes and the Yuchi class
distinctions for relationship and age, the non-Yuchi distinc-
tion is not breaking down. Learners rarely, if ever, make
mistakes between Yuchi and non-Yuchi. Once the difference
is introduced, there are no problems in conceptualizing the
difference or in seeing the need to make this difference.
Unlike the abstract nouns, whose sitting, standing, lying
classification is not predictable and whose relationship and
age forms change according to speaker, the Yuchi/non-Yuchi
classification has no gray areas; one either is or is not Yuchi.
If errors occur in the non-Yuchi distinction, then the elders
routinely and vigorously, but not without humor, correct the
learner. The Yuchi/non-Yuchi classification is alive and well.

In the process of language loss and revival, elder speakers
are making relatively conscious choices about which parts of
the language will be kept and hopefully passed on by what
they present and what they choose to correct or overlook.
Part of this is due to their sensitivity to the abilities of their
students and their natural language-teaching abilities of taking
the learning process a step at a time. Part also may be due to
the feeling that maybe everything cannot be passed on in the
amount of time they have left. The adult learners are,
consciously or not, learning the structures that they see
relevant to learn, and are presumably relevant to the world
around them. The position of an object or idea may not seem
as relevant to today's world as the distinction of being male
or female and of being Yuchi. Yuchis may not know what
clan they belong to or who all their relatives are, but they do
know that they are Yuchi, and not Creek, and not white.
The initial motivation for the creation of the distinctions
within the animate class will most likely remain a mystery.
The third-person classification seems to be a later (although
still quite old) innovation, as the third-person pronominals
always are on the outer layer of the verb (Nicklas 1995:618).
How late or early this innovation is can not be known since
there is no related language to compare it with in order to get
a time depth. The conceptual system of membership in the
tribe (Yuchi/non-Yuchi), although not found in any other
languages, is a natural extension of definiteness. The people
with whom you spend every day are the most known and
thus specific and definite, and all other with whom you have
little or no daily contact, are less individual and thus less
definite (Kenneth Miner, personal communication, 1997).
The motivation to preserve the grammatical distinction
between tribal members and non-tribal members is clear.
The Yuchis are a smaller tribe, not federally recognized, and
barely known to many of the whites who now live in their
tribal lands of Oklahoma. In order not to be completely
absorbed into the Creek Nation or into the mainstream white
culture, and to maintain their cultural uniqueness, the
retention of the Yuchi/non-Yuchi distinction remains a strong
motivation. Indeed, the very existence of the classes under-
scores their uniqueness.
Edward Sapir, in his 1921 book Language, wrote this of
noun classes:

It is almost as if at some period in history the unconscious mind
of the race had made a hasty inventory of experience, commit-
ted itself to a premature classification that allowed no revision,
and saddled the inheritors of its language with a science that
they no longer quite believed in nor had the strength to
overthrow [Sapir 1921:100].

This seems true of many noun class systems, and perhaps
even of the Yuchi classification of inanimates by position.
However, the Yuchi/non-Yuchi classification is a living
classification system, and the inheritors have not been
saddled with a science but have been given a tool for their


The name of the language and tribe can be spelled two ways: Yuchi and

TuF Frnrmn A rnamnnpf iver

looMVu canJ1


Euchee. The first has been the standard spelling used in academic publi-
cations. The second was the spelling of the Euchee Mission, a boarding
school in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, run by the United Methodist Church. Both
spellings are used within the community today, although there is a
tendency towards the E-spelling. To be consistent with academic publi-
cations, I have chosen to use the Y-spelling with no intent of disrespect to
those who prefer the E-spelling.

2 Notice that all the animate definite morphemes (-wena -hang -s’en...)
are identical to the pronominals with an additional -n9. This is the verb
"be," so the full definite marker may be translated as two morphemes:
“non-Yuchi he/she/t is." However, fluent speakers do not readily break this
down but see it as one morpheme. The Yuchi pronominal system is
actually more complex than given in the text. First, there are the alterna-
tions in the singular Yuchi male (men’s speech) and in the plural (women’s
speech) in some verb paradigms. The alternations will not be discussed
here and either form may be given in the text. Second, there are two
classes of verbs in Yuchi, each with its own series of both subject and
object pronominals. For the sake of simplicity in the text discussion I will
use only the forms from one of the classes.

3 all examples in Yuchi are given in standard American Phonetics
Association conventions with the exception that the graph / is used in place
of7. Glottal stops before glides represent ejective glides. All Yuchi data
are given in phonemic transcription. The conventions given in the
transcriptions are as follows: Cl = class marker (fused with definiteness);
Dir = directional; (Ny) = non-Yuchi person; O = object; Past = past
tense; S = subject; V= verb; Vr = verbalizer; (Y) = Yuchi person. Ail
pronouns are transcribed simply with their English translation.

“ There is one exception to this agreement rule. The irregular -’ing forms
on plural family members will agree with the regular plural pronominal ’o-
in women’s speech, as can be seen below.

“My sisters are walking"
(women’s speech)
my-sister-Cl they walk

dzowene-i nq ’ofafa

dzo-weene-"ing ’o-fafa

5 ‘There are two exceptions to this rule. The words "ladder" and "broom"
are assigned to the -fa class (standing). However, some speakers felt that
they might use the class marker ‘e (lying) if these items were on the
ground. This was more easily done with the item "ladder." These are truly
irregular, as other potentially changeable items do not change (Linn 1996).
© The positionals found in the Siouan language family are not true noun
class markers. Instead of being assigned to one class, the position of the
referent is determined by its position at the time of the utterance.

7 Added to this is the curious fact that only the non-Yuchi class marker
we- participates in a phonological process of contraction, as seen with the
items "the sun” and "the moon" (Linn 1997).

8 The sun is never given in the uncontracted form today, or in Wagner's
time. Speakers cannot break it down as sun plus "the," nor can they use it
as a base on which a new -wen9 or inanimate class marker (if one is trying
to solicit a change in attitude) can be added.

> In Table 2, parentheses indicate optional use, but it does not include
parenthetical ’o- used for referring to one’s husband or wife. These are
strict usages for spouses. A parenthetical ’o- in these cases would be
misleading since it would look like the marker could apply to any unrelated
older or not older male or female. The ’o- in Table | is used only for the
general respect marker.

In fact, I have not seen this use mentioned in another work on the

language, yet all the speakers today agree that this is the appropriate way
to refer to a Yuchi spouse.
"| itis hard to determine the success of the women’s speech to be passed
on to learners. There are no adult females actively learning the language.
The young girls attending classes are just now becoming acquainted with
this idea.


This work, and all other work that I do on the Yuchi language, could not
be possible without the generosity and cooperation of the Yuchi people. In

particular, I would like to thank William Cahwee, Henry Washburn,
Josephine Bigler, Maxine Barnett, Josephine Keith, Maggie Marsey, and
Martha Squire, who have worked with me on this topic with patience and
care. I would also like to thank Greg Bigler for many helpful comments
and for sharing his own insights into the respect pronouns and men’s and
women’s speech, among other aspects of the language. The whole Bigler
family has opened their home to me during my research, and I could not
have done it without them. I also would like to thank Akira Yamamoto and
Ken Miner at the University of Kansas for help with this manuscript and
for providing many useful suggestions. My research on Yuchi noun
classification has been funded in part by the California American Indian
Languages Center and the Philips Fund of the American Philosophical
Society. I am thankful for their assistance. Any mistakes are solely mine.

References Cited

Allan, Keith
1977 Class markers. Language 53:2, 285-311.
Ballard, W. Lewis
1975 Aspects of Yuchi Morphophonolgy. In Studies on Southeastern
Indian Languages, edited by James Crawford, pp. 163-187.
University of Georgia Press, Athens.
n.d. Yuchi (Yuchi) Language Texts and Transcripts. Unpublished
field notes, 1970-75, in possession of the author.
Barron, Roger, and Fritz Serzisko
1982 Noun Class Markers in the Siouan Languages. Apprehension:
Das spracheliche Erfassen von Gegenstuden, edited by Hansja-
kob Seiler and Franz Stachowiak, pp. 85-105. Language Univer-
sals Series, Volume 1: Hf. Gunter Narr Verlag, Tubingen.
Bigler, Gregory
n.d. Muterials froma Yochi Language Class, Volume HI. Manuscript
in possession of the author.
Bigler, Gregory, and Maggie Marsey
1991 Yuechi-haw Go-wa-da-na: Materials fom a Yuchi Language
Class, Volume I. Sapulpa Indian Community of the Muscogee
Creek Nation, Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
1992 Yuchi-haw Go-wa-da-na: Materials from a Yochi Language
Class, Volume If. Sapulpa Indian Community of the Muscogee
Creek Nation, Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Craig, Colette
1986 Jacaltec Noun Class Markers: A Study in Language and Culture.
In Noun Classes and Categorization: Proceedings of a Sympo-
sium on Categorization and Noun Classification, Typological
Studies, Volume 7, edited by Colette Craig, pp. 263-293. John
Benjamin’s Publishing Company, Amsterdam.
Denny, J.P.
1976 What are Noun Class Markers Good For? Papers from the 12th
Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, pp. 122-
Haas, Mary
1944 Men’s and Women’s Speech in Koasati. Language 20:142-149.
Hinton, Leanne
1994 Men’s and Women’s Talk. Flutes of Fire: Essays on California
Indian Languages, edited by Leanne Hinton, pp. 139-143.
Heydey Press, Berkeley.
Jackson, Jason Baird
1996 “Everybody has a part; even the little bitty ones": Notes on the
Social Organization of Yuchi Ceremonialism. The Florida
Anthropologist 49:121-130.
Linn, Mary S.
1996 Positionals in Yuchi/Euchee. 1994 Mid-American Linguistics
Confrence Papers, Volume IT, edited by Frances Ingemann, pp.
576-587. Department of Linguistics, University of Kansas,
1997 Us and Them: Contraction in Yuchi. Kansas Working Papers in
Linguistics 21:2. in press.
Nicklas, T. Dale
1995 Marking the Beneficiary in Muskogean, Dakota, and Yuchi.
1994 Mid-American Linguistics Conference Papers, Volume I,
edited by Frances Ingemann, pp. 611-621. Department of


Linguistics, University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Sapir, Edward
1921 Language. Harcourt Brace, New York.
Wagner, Gunter
1934 Yuchi. Handbook ofAmerican Indian Languages, Volume 3. pp.
291-384. Columbia University Press. New York.
1930 Yuchi Tales. Publications of the American Ethnological Society
XIII. edited by Franz Boas, pp. x-357. G.E. Stechert and Co.,
New York.
Watkins, Laurel J.
1976 Position in Grammar: Sit, Stand, Lie. Kansas Working Papers in
Linguistics 1:16-41.
Wolff, Hans
1951 Yuchi Text with Analysis. International Journal of American
Linguistics 17:48-51.



Gilcrease Museum, 1400 Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127-2100
E-mail: jbjack237@aol. cor

One concern emerging from new work in the study of
language and culture in the constitution of social life is the
examination of tradition as a local framework for organiz-
ing both spoken discourse and understandings of culture.
This approach, found increasingly in linguistic and cultural
anthropology, sees tradition not as a quality of persistent
cultural forms, but as an understanding of the past socially
constructed in the present (Bauman 1992; DeMallie 1988).
As developed specifically by Dell Hymes (1975) and
Richard Bauman, traditionalization is a process of context-
ualizing discourse by linking it to a valued past. In particu-
lar, this connection is made to preceding speech events
either evoked directly, as reported speech, or indirectly
through the use of historically resonant genres (Briggs and
Bauman 1992; Lucy 1993). This textual linkage of the
present with the past can be used to promote feelings of
cultural continuity and to enhance the authoritativeness of
speech and its authors.
Performed within the context of their most significant
community rituals, the speeches of Yuchi orators provide
a powerful opportunity to publicly evoke and interpret
Yuchi cultural knowledge.' In studying Yuchi ritual
oratory, I have identified a variety of cultural functions at
work in present-day practice (cf. Urban 1993:241). In this
paper, I focus on one particular function, ritual exegesis,
which has become increasingly prominent in recent Yuchi
oratory. Also considered are some related questions of
voice that have been of interest in recent works in linguistic

Yuchi Oratory

The setting for ritual oratories are open-air ceremonial
grounds associated with the three Yuchi settlements in
eastern Oklahoma. As among other Woodland peoples,
these ceremonial grounds are both sacred sites for the
performance of collective rituals and organizations of
personnel committed to these performances (Jackson 1996).
Each Yuchi orator, known formally as a "speaker," is
selected by the ground's chief, and his main task is to
deliver speeches that are the formal closing of all-night
ceremonials known as "stomp dances." A speaker also will
be called upon to speak at other ceremonial-ground events,
such as during the daytime dances of the Green Corn
ceremonial (Figures 1, 2, and 3). In his oratory, the orator
speaks on behalf of the chief, and his audience includes

members of the home community as well as delegations
from the other Yuchi grounds. Also regularly present are
visiting groups from Creek, Shawnee, Cherokee, and
Seminole ceremonial grounds.
When I began work with the Yuchi, each of the three
ceremonial communities had its own speaker. Two of these
men were bilingual and fluent in Yuchi, while one spoke
only English. The process of shifting the language of
oratory from Yuchi to English began well before my
entrance into their community; however, with the passing
of the last Yuchi-speaking orator in 1996, the shift to
English was made complete. What has most interested me
about this transition is that Yuchi oratory in English has
retained the valued poetic forms and cultural functions
attributed to older oratory in Yuchi. In contrast, other
North American Indian communities have faced a crisis
under similar conditions of language shift. Among some
communities, once significant ritual speech genres have
been abandoned with the loss of native languages. In other
ritual communities, increasingly elaborate steps are being
taken to preserve a linguistic ideology that asserts that only
appropriate native languages are suitable in ritual contexts.
A case of this type is the practice of Oklahoma Seneca-
Cayuga ritualists bringing Iroquoian speakers from Canada
to speak at their annual Green Corn Ceremony.
Newman Littlebear, the remaining orator from the group
of three with whom I first studied, continues to serve as
speaker at the Polecat ceremonial ground. Presently he also
fills this role at the two other Yuchi grounds, while
younger men prepare to move into this role. Mr. Littlebear,
whose speeches are the focus of my work on oratory, is
universally recognized as a gifted speaker, and his knowl-
edge of songs and rituals have given him a prominent place
in the Yuchi community as a whole. His attention to the
content and style of the older Yuchi-language oratory has
enabled him to play the decisive role in translating the
genre into English a fact recognized by the Yuchi chiefs
and leaders.
Of the many functions served by oratory today, most
seem to have long held a place in the practices of the Yuchi
and their Creek neighbors. Frank Speck's observations of
Yuchi ritual oratory in 1905 match the testimony of the
elders who have been consultants in my recent work (Speck
1909:119-120). Now, as then, orators seek to cement social
relations within the community, as well as between the
community and its neighbors. Speakers also relate commu-


VOL. 50 No. 4




Figure 1. Newman Littlebear delivers a speech during the ribbon dance at the 1997 Green Corn
Ceremonies held at the Duck Creek Ceremonial Ground. He is standing in front of the chiefs' arbor

facing east.

nity history, articulate moral norms, communicate the
appreciation of the chiefs, and express collective thanksgiv-
ing to the Creator. New to oratory practice today is an
increased attention to ritual exegesis that is related to
current concerns about cultural preservation.

Ritual Exegesis

In characterizing the role of ritual among the Shokleng
people of lowland South America, Greg Urban (1996)
observed that ritual, as a tangible experience shared
throughout the community as a whole, was not the subject
of circulating, referential discourse. Public discussion was
reserved for subjects beyond common experience. In this
case, rituals were embodied in lived experience, not
conversation. Characterizing their ritual life in the past,
Yuchi elders describe it in terms similar to Urban's
Shokleng account. This change is explicitly addressed in
Transcript 1. This excerpt is from a speech that preceded
a discussion of the calendar made of knotted elm bark that
is prepared one week before the annual Green Corn
ceremonial at the Polecat Ceremonial Ground (Transcript
1).2 Here Mr. Littlebear notes that in the past, specific
rituals were not always explained, but now the chief wishes
them to be made explicit.
Under older norms, elders tell of accumulating ritual
knowledge slowly through quiet observation over a lifetime
of continuous community involvement. They were expected
to listen to what was told to them, but felt discouraged
from asking questions. Elders today, while possessing a

Transcript 1. Excerpt from a speech describing the bark
calendar prepared to count the days until the annual Green
Corn Ceremonial at the Polecat Ceremonial Ground. Newman
Littlebear, June 31, 1995.

A lot of things we don't understand.

A lot of things we--
we take for granted,
we don't explain.

Some of us been here many years.

Maybe they never HAD said.

Maybe we just see, try to observe.

But this morning the Chief has ah
said ah
he wants you
to see this,
what we do at this time,
this bark and this stick.

We always do this
at the Arbor--
Arbor Dance.

relatively full knowledge of ritual forms, regret that they
lack complete knowledge of the meanings they believe were
once associated with their dances and ceremonies. The
explicative function in recent oratory is grounded in exper-


1997 VOL. 50(4)



ience of these feelings and a recognition by elders that
most younger Yuchi are unable to participate to the
degree that they themselves were able to. Responding
to the constraints of the work world and the distrac-
tions of modern American life, Yuchi leaders have
transformed their understanding of appropriate methods
of cultural transmission. The emergence of new forms
of collective action, aimed at cultural preservation, was
taken up in an oratory by Mr. Littlebear at the Duck
Creek Ceremonial ground in 1996. An except from this
speech is given as Transcript 2. The "gathering up" he
refers to in the last sentence includes Yuchi language
classes, culture and history projects, and focus-group
meetings with outside researchers. Some of the new
methods of cultural transmission that the Yuchi leaders
have discovered include tape recording ceremonial
songs, preserving records of ritual events on video
tape, holding practice sessions to teach dances, and
facilitating cooperative ethnographic research. All of
these practices are new to the Yuchi community, and
they represent fundamental shifts in Yuchi understand-
ings of their own culture. It is interesting that concern
over the loss of the distinctive cultural practices that
are the basis for Yuchi identity has drawn people into
more intense participation in ongoing communal life.
Once involved, participants are exposed to emerging
forms of activity designed to promote cultural continu-
ity. Thus, concerns over culture change produce
changed institutions, but these institutions are rooted in
a concern with preserving cultural continuity. In this
context, elders observe that the ceremonial grounds, in
many ways, are more vital and active now than they
have been during their lifetimes.

Voices in Oratory

The notion of voice, derived from the work of
Mikhail Bakhtin (1984), and the concern for authorship
explored by Erving Goffman (1981), have assisted me
in understanding the ways Mr. Littlebear's speeches are
effective as traditionalizing performances. Bakhtin and
Goffman, as well as numerous recent researchers, are
interested in exploring the ways in which the words that
circulate in both formal speaking events and everyday
conversation shape and are shaped by the complicated
relationships characteristic of social life.3
Formally, Mr. Littlebear and other Yuchi orators speak
on behalf of the chief of the host community. The process
of delivering an oratory begins when the chief makes a
request of the speaker to speak and explains the topics to be
addressed. The chief fills the role that Goffman labeled "the
author," while his speaker acts as "the animator." The chief
as author is always evoked in these speeches, usually in a
framing such as that given at the beginning of a speech in
part (a) of Transcript 3. Chiefs are typically quiet, reserved
individuals, whereas speakers are recognized as outgoing
and gifted with language. These two individuals are

Figure 2. Newman Littlebear giving a closing speech at the
conclusion of the Duck Creek Ceremonial Ground's Arbor
Dance, 1997. He speaks on behalf of Chief Simon Harry, who
is seated behind him. This photograph looks northwest from a
seat beneath the south arbor.

combined in ritual ideology, where the speaker is some-
times referred to as the chief's or the ground's "tongue."
The speaker is a metaphorical extension of the chief he
serves, and the chief is the embodiment of the ground as a
Bakhtin's idea of voice seeks to reflect the realization that
the words spoken in social life often originate with, or
reflect the views of, individuals other than the person
speaking. Words originally composed by others can be
faithfully quoted, misquoted, or paraphrased. The speech or
ideas of another may be represented as one's own, or
alternatively one's own sentiments can be framed as those
of someone else. With a change in tone of voice, a speaker
can both quote the words of another speaker and add a
subtle or not so subtle comment on those words. Such
complications are commonplace in the way language is
used. Oratory is often a particularly rich arena in which the
voices of various parties are woven into a complex whole.



Transcript 2. Excerpt from a speech discussing the Yuchi
ribbon dance, a dance performed by the women of the
ceremonial grounds during their Green Corn Ceremonials.
Newman Littlebear, Duck Creek Ceremonial Ground, June 28,

Perhaps some of these-
these ladies
in this circle
had a great grandmother
that did these dances
and they carried on.

How much longer can it last?

How much longer can all of our ceremonials
continue on?

I say to the young generation
it's in your hands.

How well you respond
to what we still have,
that is the answer.
How well you learn,
pay attention.

Because some
of us people
had a little interest when we were young
we are still able to continue on
to this modern day.

There are many things in this life
in this modern time that can distract you
gets our attention
and causes us
to forget about our ways
our ways of life
that have been going on so long.

relationship with their audiences by addressing current
concerns while at the same time displaying an impressive
knowledge of the tradition." For a Yuchi speaker, this is
done through reference to past practices and beliefs,
manifest through reference to what the ancestors did and
said. By locating present-day ritual in the historical stream
of Yuchi cultural life, the speaker establishes the tradition-
ality of his interpretations. A dense example of this process
can be observed in the fourth transcript excerpt, also drawn
from the discussion of the bark calendar. This passage
draws on the voice of the ancestors in indirect reported
speech in order to authorize and provide warrant for
present-day practices.4 The connection from the past to the
present is provided by "we," here referring to the elders
who have experienced this continuity throughout their lives.
The social value of this continuity is created when the
audience of young participants is included in the unfolding
of Yuchi life. As John DuBois (1986) and Wallace Chafe
(1993) have both noted, locating present-day interpretations
of culture in the words and actions of respected ancestors
is a key rhetorical technique for establishing and distribut-
ing responsibility in oral discourse. Such reliance on
ancestral wisdom increases the believability and significance
of Mr. Littlebear's account.
The linking of narratives in the present to speech and
action in the past is an expression of the more general
process of traditionalization. From the point of view of
Yuchi ritualists, few elders who are active in the ceremoni-
al grounds remain. Most participants are young and so have
not experienced direct contact with decades of ritual life.
Thus, for the elders wishing to foster continuity with the
past and for young people trying to establish a connection

Transcript 3. Voices and reports of speech excerpted from
two speeches by Newman Littlebear at the Polecat ceremonial
ground, June 31, 1995 and May 25, 1996.

But now days we talk about it
we gather up
have meetings
and discuss
what we still have
and try
to find ways
that we can continue on.

The modern Christian sermon, which combines the voice
of God, of Jesus, and of Biblical figures (both attested in
text and hypothesized), with modern voices (real and
imagined) and that of the preacher, provides one familiar
example. By isolating several of the voices emerging in
Mr. Littlebear's speeches, Transcript 3 provides several
examples of this general phenomenon.
While the Yuchi chiefs and speakers formally combine
their voices in Yuchi oratory, other voices enter as well.
Discussing oratory cross-culturally, Alessandro Duranti
(1992:156) has observed: "The most well-known and
respected orators tend to be those individuals who establish

(a) The chief has
asked me to say a little bit
this dance.

(b) Like he [the chief] said:
"They count eight days
when we finish up
counting today."

(c) I guess in the old, old time
as we [elders] understand it
they [ancestors] said that this--
this was their calendar.

(d) The Almighty promised us
a pretty long life
hut you've got to be careful.

But I [speaker] have reached my time
with what He [the Creator] said.


1997 VOL. 50(4)


with this tradition, such dis-
course plays a key role in the
maintenance of cultural forms
and Yuchi identity.


In addition to enhancing the
authority and historicity of
ceremonial-ground speeches,
combining the voices of the
speaker, the chief, the ancestors,
the elders, and the Creator
serves to enhance the communi-
ty-building function of such
speeches (McDowell 1990). All
of these voices posit a harmoni-
ous ideal community, manifest
in an extended family housed in
the ceremonial ground, referred
to in oratory as a "big house.
Despite temporary failures, the
Yuchi people in the past approx- Figure 3. Jimmie Sk
imated this ideal and their suc- Ground, 1992. Photogl
cess is tangible in the persistence
into the present of past cultural practices. The speaker's
role in this work of tradition is central. At the current
moment, Yuchi elders are pleased with the success they
have had mobilizing the energy of the younger people.
They attribute the current vitality of their communities to
the work of the orators who accepted responsibility for
translating the experience of the Yuchi past into compelling
speeches in the present.

Transcript 4. Excerpt from the speech describing the bark
calendar. Newman Littlebear, Polecat Ceremonial Ground,
June 31, 1995.

As we understand it, [elders]
they said that this-- [ancestors]
this was their calendar
when it comes to this
which is coming ahead of us. [all present members].

As Briggs and Bauman (1992) have noted, genres such as
ritual oratory can be crucial in negotiating issues of
identity. They write, "When great authority is invested in
texts associated with elders or ancestors, traditionalizing
discourse by creating links with traditional genres is often
the most powerful strategy for creating textual authority"
(Briggs and Bauman 1992:148). In recognizing the power
and importance of their oratory practices, Yuchi ritualists
know what contemporary linguistic anthropology is only
beginning to discover.

eeter delivers an oratory at the Duck Creek Ceremonial
raph by David Crenshaw. Used with permission.


To avoid confusion in the academic literature, I have retained the
established spelling "Yuchi." Many community members prefer "Euchee,"
the spelling associated with the Euchee Mission boarding school. In
quoting most Yuchi people, and in writing on behalf of the community,
1 use the latter form.
2 All transcripts are derived from recordings made during Yuchi
ceremonial-ground events. Line breaks represent extended pauses in Mr.
Littlebear's delivery. Sentence groups approximate written English.
Words in capital letters were produced with increased volume. Contextual
information is added within brackets.
3 For this paper I have condensed and simplified the discussion of
participant roles characteristic of Yuchi oratory. The insights of Bakhtin
and Goffman have been built upon by a number of researchers who have
provided more refined approaches to the subject. These issues are explored
in fuller detail in my forthcoming dissertation. For state-of-the-art
assessments, see especially Levinson (1988) and Irvine (1996). For an
ethnographic case from Africa comparable to the Yuchi one introduced
here, see Yankah (1995).
4 As somewhat technical terms used in language study, the contrast
between direct and indirect reported speech may be illustrated by an
example given in Lucy (1993:20).

Direct: John said "Oh, am I tired."
Indirect: John said (that) he was tired.

As in Yuchi oratory, the choice of particular pronouns significantly affects
how these sentences are interpreted.


Research among the Yuchi has been facilitated by many Yuchi friends,
especially the families of the chiefs and officers of the three ceremonial
grounds. Formal approval for my research came from the Euchee (Yuchi)
Tribe of Indians and the three Yuchi Chiefs. My debt to Newman




Littlebear, as well as to the late James Brown and Jimmie Skeeter, the last
two Yuchi-speaking orators, is enormous. Linda Littlebear Harjo, David
Dinwoodie, Richard Bauman, and Raymond J. DeMallie provided valuable
comments. Financial support for my studies among the Yuchi has come
from the Phillips Fund of the American Philosophical Society, the Jacobs
Fund of the Whatcom Museum Society, the Central States Anthropological
Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and at
Indiana University, the David C. Skomp Fund of the Department of
Anthropology, the University Graduate School, and the College of Arts
and Sciences. Appreciation is extended to all of these institutions. Neither
they, nor any of the people who have shared their time and insight with
me, are responsible for the interpretations I have offered here.

References Cited

Bakhtin, Mikhail
1984 Problems ofDostoevsky's Poetics. Edited and translated by Caryl
Emerson. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Bauman, Richard
1992 Contextualization, Tradition, and the Dialogue of Genres:
Icelandic Legends of the Kraftaskdld. In Rethinking Context:
Language as an Interactive Phenomenon, edited by Alessandro
Duranti and Charles Goodwin, pp. 125-145. Cambridge Uni-
versity Press, New York.
Briggs, Charles, and Richard Bauman
1992 Genre, Intertextuality, and Social Power. Journal of Linguistic
Anthropology 2:131-172.
Chafe, Wallace
1993 Seneca Speaking Styles and the Location of Authority. In
Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse, edited by Jane H.
Hill and Judith T. Irvine, pp. 72-87. Cambridge University Press,
New York.
DeMallie, Raymond J.
1988 Lakota Traditionalism: History and Symbol. In Native North
American Interaction Patterns. Mercury Series Number 112,
edited by Regna Damell and Michael K. Foster, pp. 2-21.
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec.
DuBois, John
1986 Self-Evidence and Ritual Speech. In Evidentiality: The Linguistic
Coding of Epistemology, edited by Wallace Chafe and Johanna
Nichols, pp. 313-336. Ablex, Norwood, N.J.
Duranti, Alessandro
1992 Oratory. In Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular
Entertainments, edited by Richard Bauman, pp. 154-158. Oxford
University Press, New York.
Goffman, Irving
1981 Forms of Talk. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
Hymes, Dell
1975 Folklore's Nature and the Sun's Myth. Journal of American
Folklore 88:345-369.
Irvine, Judith T.
1996 Shadow Conversations: The Indeterminacy of Participant Roles.
In Natural Histories of Discourse, edited by Michael Silverstein
and Greg Urban, pp. 131-159. University of Chicago Press,
Jackson, Jason Baird
1996 'Everybody has a part, even the little bitty ones': Notes on the
Social Organization of Yuchi Ceremonialism. The Florida
Anthropologist 49:121-130.
Levinson, Stephen C.
1988 Putting Linguistics on a Proper Footing: Explorations in Goff-
man's Concepts of Participation. In Erving Goffnan: Exploring
the Interaction Order, edited by Paul Drew and Anthony Woot-
ton, pp. 161-227. Northeastern University Press, Boston.
Lucy, John
1993 Reflexive Language and the Human Sciences. In Reflexive
Language: Reported Speech and Metapragmatics, edited by John
A. Lucy, pp. 9-32. Cambridge University Press, New York.

McDowell, John H.
1990 The Community Building Mission of Kamsi Ritual Language. In
Native Latin American Cultures Through Their Discourse, edited
by Ellen B. Basso, pp. 67-84. Folklore Institute, Bloomington,
Speck, Frank G.
1909 Ethnology of the Yuchi Indians. Anthropological Publications of
the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania 1(1).
University Museum, Philadelphia.
Urban, Greg
1993 The Represented Functions of Speech in Shokleng Myth. In
Reflexive Language: Reported Speech and Metapragmatics, edited
by John A. Lucy, pp. 241-259. Cambridge University Press,
1996 Metaphysical Community: The Interplay of the Senses and the
Intellect. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Yankah, Kwesi
1995 Speaking for the Chief. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


1997 VOL. 50(4)



Anthropology Department, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73019

As noted in previous studies, codeswitching, or the use of
two or more languages within the same utterance, serves
several purposes. The majority of these studies have found
that the use of codeswitching is a means of demonstrating
the validity of one's claim to a particular social identity
(Auer 1984; Heller 1982; Innes 1991; Myers-Scotton
1993). Within political meetings involving members of the
Oklahoma Muskogee (Creek)' community, however, code-
switching is used to demonstrate linguistically that individu-
als can move between two different communities those
of the traditional Muskogee (Creeks) and the modern,
Anglo-oriented community. In the arena of Muskogee
(Creek) political discourse, use of Mvskoke2 indicates both
a connection with the traditional community and a recogni-
tion of its distinct economic and political concerns. Use of
English signifies an ability to work within the Anglo-
American community, which is necessary if one wishes to
address many of the concerns of the traditional community.

The Muskogee (Creek) Community

In order to understand why some Muskogee (Creek)
people utilize codeswitching for the purpose of demon-
strating an ability to work in both the traditional and
modern communities, it is necessary to understand what
their society is like. The Muskogee (Creek) tribe is the
result of a confederation of many native peoples who
formerly lived in the Southeastern United States. This
confederacy included peoples of many different tribal and
linguistic backgrounds, the majority of whom appear to
have entered the confederacy for military reasons after
contact (Swanton 1922:318-320, 1928:692-702; Wright
1986). As peoples were incorporated into the Creek
Confederacy, they were established as tribal towns or
tvlwvlke (singular: tvlwv), the arenas in which everyday life
was transacted (Bartram 1928:382-383, 400-401; Pope
Each tvlwv was independent with its own governing
officials and responsibility for the welfare of its own
citizens. Tvlwvlke could act autonomously or with other
Confederate tvlwvlke, depending on the situation and the
views of their leaders (Adair 1930:278-283; Opler
1952:171, 173). By the early 1700s, the European powers
active in the Southeast and, later, the United States gov-

ernment, tended to treat these various peoples as though
they formed a single entity known as the Muskogee or,
more commonly, Creek Indians (Moore 1988:169-170;
Sturtevant 1971:98). Among traditional Muskogee (Creeks),
their primary political and social alliance is to their stomp
ground or their church.3,4 Many of the social and political
aspects of the historic tvlwvlke have been retained within
these religious institutions.
The Muskogee (Creeks) had frequent dealings with
Anglo-Europeans in the Southeast. Interaction with Anglo-
Europeans was fostered by Muskogee (Creek) involvement
in the deerskin trade, participation in many military actions
both with and against Anglo-Europeans, and political
importance due to the Muskogee (Creeks') vast landhold-
ings and large population. The last factors, large landhold-
ings and population, caused the Muskogee (Creeks) to be
removed to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in the 1830s
(Green 1982:126-139, 174-186; Moore 1988:172-173).
Currently, the majority of Muskogee (Creek) people live in
seven counties in eastern Oklahoma. They are a federally
recognized tribe with a centralized, constitutional govern-
ment located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The many dealings that Muskogee (Creek) people have
had with Anglo-Europeans/Anglo-Americans have been
partially responsible for some splits within the tribe. When
Anglo-European factors began trading with tvlwvlke, they
often produced children of mixed (Anglo-Creek) ancestry
as well as trade relations. Through time, a division between
those of mixed ancestry and full-blood Muskogee (Creeks)
began to arise, a division that exists today (Moore 1988).
Throughout Muskogee (Creek) history, one often finds that
those of mixed ancestry were more likely to endorse ideas
proposed by the United States government and were more
likely to be involved in capitalistic economic ventures. Full-
bloods, however, were less likely to support such endeav-
ors, being more likely to retain traditional Muskogee
(Creek) values and strategies. For many of those who
attend the meetings from which my data have been ob-
tained, the use of Mvskoke is an indication that one has ties
to the traditional community. Such characterizations are
mirrored in the data at hand, though the behavior of the
full-bloods investigated here shows that they now view an
ability to cross divisions within the general Muskogee
(Creek) community as an asset.



VOL. 50 NO. 4



The Political Forum

The data analyzed for this paper were collected at
meetings of a group called the Tribal Towns Organization
(TTO) from 1988 to 1991. This group was initially formed
to address the concerns of those Muskogee (Creek) citizens
who felt issues of importance to them were not being dealt
with by their representatives in Muskogee (Creek) govern-
ment. It also was designed to provide a means through
which leaders from the more traditional political structures,
the churches and grounds, could interact with leaders from
the constitutional Muskogee (Creek) Nation government.
The TTO thus provides a political forum in which members
of the traditional Muskogee (Creek) community can discuss
issues and air grievances. The citizens who take part in
these meetings are generally older, conservative/traditional,
full-blood Muskogee (Creek) people from rural areas. The
overwhelming majority of those who attend these meetings
are fluent in both Mvskoke and English, with some fluent
in only one of the two languages, generally English.
The TTO is governed by a board consisting of a chair-
man, a vice-chairman, a secretary, a treasurer, and two
members-at-large. These positions are not indicative of any
political position within the larger Muskogee (Creek)
community. The governing board of the TTO is not
recognized by Muskogee (Creek) Nation government as a
body with any political power or authority. However, the
TTO is recognized by traditionalists from the churches and
grounds as a vehicle for interacting with Muskogee (Creek)
Nation government. This appears to be one of the reasons
that some of the members of the TTO's governing board
display their abilities to work between the traditional
Muskogee (Creek) and the Anglo-oriented Muskogee
(Creek) communities.
In contrast to the general members and board members
who take part in TTO meetings, many of those in Musko-
gee (Creek) Nation government are younger, middle-aged
people from urban areas. Muskogee (Creek) Nation
government officers are elected by popular vote. Some of
the representatives and government employees do take part
in traditional religious ceremonies and some are fluent in
Mvskoke. All governmental business, however, is conduct-
ed in English, including signing up for and proving one's
eligibility for tribally administered social programs.
Many traditional Muskogee (Creeks) believe that they are
unsuccessful in their attempts to enroll in social programs
and receive benefits because of their discomfort with
English. Frustration with Muskogee (Creek) Nation's
reliance on English as the language of business transaction
is a recurrent theme in TTO meetings. Traditional Musko-
gee (Creeks) also believe that Muskogee (Creek) Nation
employees who cannot speak Mvskoke cannot understand
the problems encountered by those who do. Thus, language
is a matter of concern for most of those who attend TTO

Codeswitching by Candidates
Running for Political Office

Candidates running for Muskogee (Creek) Nation political
offices often attend at least one TTO meeting prior to
election. Tribal Towns Organization board members often
will sponsor a meeting solely for the candidates, allowing
them to present their platforms and answer questions. For
most candidates, this is the only time that they attend a
TTO meeting. Attendance is generally high at meetings
when candidates running for National Council or other
positions are present. At each of the meetings from which
the following excerpts were taken, microphones and a tape
recorder were in plain view. Candidates often were asked
by the presiding TTO officer to speak into the micro-
phones. All in attendance were thus made aware that the
proceedings were being recorded.
Each of the excerpts presented below were transcribed
and translated from the tapes made at each meeting. The
tapes were transcribed, and an initial, fairly free translation
was performed by the author. The transcriptions reflect
each speaker's use of Mvskoke. In some cases, the speak-
ers use forms that deviate from standard (typical) Mvskoke
use. The translations were checked with two fluent speakers
of Mvskoke. The sessions with the Mvskoke speakers were
critical for checking the accuracy of the translations.
During the translation checks, the Mvskoke speakers
provided insight about particular usages and noted where
they thought instances of codeswitching were notable. As
a final check of the accuracy of the analysis presented here,
the Mvskoke speakers were asked to comment on the
analysis and conclusion.
The speaker in the first example of codeswitching in
Creek political discourse, JB, is a conservative candidate
for principle chief.5 There were approximately 60 people in
attendance at the meeting on April 13, 1991. This was a
general meeting, not a forum for candidates running for
offices in Muskogee (Creek) Nation government, although
JB was allowed some time to present his platform. Within
his speech, JB specifically addressed the linguistic concerns
of the traditional population, asserting that his administra-
tion will be open to them.

1 When I was with, ah, the Oklahoma City Association, Creek
2 Association up there, whether somebody asked for it or not,
3 I conducted the language, I conducted the meeting in both
4 languages. That's the way I did it. And I'm proud of it.
5 Because there are some people that can understand English
6 and some that cannot. So I made sure that everybody knew
7 what was goin' on. Ponvkv hokkolen vntv mecimvts. Nvkaf-
8 rervn spoken owat. Hokkolen mecimvt vntv. [If we were in
9 a meeting, I conducted it in both languages. That's the way
10 I did it. I conducted the meeting in both languages.] And if
11 I get elected, I'll do it again. Whether they want to hear it or
12 not. I want to speak my language wherever I go. Este likat
13 temponahoyis stowosat. [I was speaking to a man before the
14 meeting in Creek.] That's good. And I'll do it everywhere I
15 go.


1997 VOL. 50(4)


JB's statement that, "there are some people who can
understand English and some that cannot," makes it clear
that he is aware of the linguistic split within Muskogee
(Creek) society. His choice to codeswitch shortly after that
statement is an overt symbol that he can move between
those who speak English and those who speak Mvskoke. In
the last phrase of line 11, he also calls attention to tradi-
tionalists' perception that the Anglo-oriented community has
disdain for Mvskoke speakers. JB then goes on to portray
himself as one who is comfortable with and proud of his
ability to speak Mvskoke. Implicit in this is the message
that he is determined to make his administration accessible
to traditionalists.
The second example of codeswitching comes from a
candidate's forum on August 10, 1991, designed to allow
the candidates running for principle and second chief to
present campaign speeches and answer questions from the
audience. Approximately 50 people attended this meeting,
but very few asked questions. BH was one of two candi-
dates for principle chief who tried to show that they could
speak Mvskoke and that each was amenable to increasing
the use of Mvskoke in Muskogee (Creek) Nation govern-
ment if either was elected. As can be seen by the laughter
at the end of this excerpt, BH's fluency in Mvskoke and,
by extension, his ability to address the concerns of the
traditional population were not entirely convincing.

1 The picture will be, as the, as the, as the principle chief,
2 working' with the council and working' with the people,
3 and establishing a great communication system. Being
4 able to get the information out to the people and to be
5 able to see that all our, all our, all our information is
6 gotten there, all information is, is gotten back to the
7 council and to the principle chief, there's got to be a, a
8 greater mechanism than what we have today for this
9 information to go back and forth. Communication. And,
10 as we understand that, you know, ah, ah, you know,
11 stecate ponakv ponayit os. [I speak Mvskoke.] Komisat,
12 vwahet owis. [I think, I scatter it.] You know. So,
13 MM: LMowvn
14 kerret vwahancey! [If you know it then you will scatter
15 it!].
16 BH: (3 second pause) Ok. [laughter]

BH's statement that he thinks he "scatters" the language
(lines 11 and 12) is, in essence, an admission that he is not
fluent in Mvskoke. MM's response, which appears to be
encouraging BH to continue trying to use the language is,
in actuality, a test of BH's fluency. BH fails the test on
three counts: he pauses before his response, his response is
in English, and he does not have a forceful rejoinder to
MM's comment. BH appeared to realize that he had not
passed, for he did not codeswitch again in his speech.
Instead, he discussed topics that he thought would interest
the traditional community and described himself, in Eng-
lish, as someone who would keep their concerns in mind.
Candidates may utilize codeswitching as a means of
winning votes from the traditional community because it is

commonly known that many traditionalists are frustrated
due to their inability to receive some of the benefits to
which they feel entitled, primarily because of problems
encountered in the enrollment process. These problems
often are explained as resulting from the government
employee's or representative's inability to speak Mvskoke.
Codeswitching between English and Mvskoke during TTO
political meetings in order to promote the candidate's
identity as one who will work for the benefit of the mem-
bers of the traditional community appears to be a response
to this assertion.
There is evidence that the members of the traditional
community are aware of the reasons why candidates use
Mvskoke in campaign speeches. The following excerpt,
also taken from the August 10, 1991 meeting, makes this
perfectly clear. BW, who was not running for any govern-
ment position, was asked to address the members on
another issue clarifying Muskogee (Creek) Nation's right
to provide law enforcement on tribal properties. He
preceded his speech with this overt warning against believ-
ing that a candidate who speaks in Mvskoke will be able
and/or willing to listen to the traditionalist's concerns.

1 I would like to bring this point up. It's something other that
2 you people need, need to realize. That you're gonna have
3 candidates this year that's gonna come up here, pound the
4 table, and talk Creek. I've seen some of your people from
5 Okfuskee County, and I'm not bad-mouthing anybody, but
6 they get up here and talk Creek and when they go to the
7 Council office, they set there and nod their head and a white
8 man tells 'em how to vote. And you ain't gonna change it.
9 So, people, don't be fooled by a person I wish I could talk
10 Creek. But I wasn't raised that way. But I am Indian. And I
11 will fight for the Indian people.

The audience responded to BW's statements with nods
and verbal agreement. Comments similar to these come up
frequently when candidates with questionable understanding
of the traditional community codeswitch in political venues.
Remarks of this sort show that, despite candidates' common
use of codeswitching as an attempt to give the impression
of a connection with the traditional community, codeswitch-
ing for this reason often is unsuccessful. However, many
candidates probably believe that codeswitching is far less
taxing than the alternative means of establishing a bond
with the traditional community frequent attendance at
their gatherings.

Codeswitching by Traditionalists

Each of the previous examples involved people outside of
the traditional community looking for the support of those
within the community. While codeswitching for this reason
is common around election time, codeswitching also is used
by some members of the traditional community as a means
of elevating their social roles. The first case of this sort is
taken from the April 13, 1991 meeting. JP, a member of
the audience at this meeting, also is a leader of one of the




stomp grounds. JP's comments are in response to a ques-
tion, posed by one TTO board member, about pursuing
federal funds to finance stomp-ground maintenance. JP
makes the case that the care of the stomp grounds should
rest solely on the shoulders of the ground members,
without help from the federal government. His argument
rests on the assumption that if his ground were to accept
federal funds, the federal government would then have a
way of pressuring ground members and/or eliminating the
ground. In this speech, he uses Mvskoke and English to
make both of these points.

1 We do not need federal funds. You know why I'm sayin'
2 that. Federal fund, if it ever gets into our tribal grounds,
3 nakettoknawv government vpohetvn nowatstecate eyvnicekot
4 nowat [How can we ask the government for some money if
5 we don't help ourselves]? 'There's no way I can help them
6 if they're not trying to help themselves,' market [he says]. If
7 we had a federal fund, federal government pomvnicv [our
8 benefactor], he can withdraw that fund or whatever. 'Emvnic-
9 vket kotat os,' mahket. [He can withdraw it [funding] by
10 saying we're not trying to help ourselves.] Hvtvm [now], he
11 can use that ground for collateral some sort of way.

This example seems to contradict the assertion that
codeswitching between English and Mvskoke is used for the
benefit of the traditional speakers, as well as for the benefit
of the codeswitcher. Here, in lines 6-11, JP suggests that
the stomp grounds not make use of available federal funds,
which would pay for utility improvements. While this
appears to be a very beneficial type of funding from the
outside, many stomp-ground members fear the use of such
funds precisely for the reasons JP voices in lines 7-11.
They fear that the federal, state, local, or tribal government
will try to dissolve their stomp grounds. JP, by using both
languages in his argument, is able to reach all people within
the traditional community and presents himself as a leader
who is looking out for the good of his stomp ground.
The second case of codeswitching from Mvskoke to
English by a member of the traditional community arises in
a speech given by TH, one of the leaders of the TTO. TH
also is a leader at a stomp ground and is well known and
respected in the traditional community. His speech on May
9, 1987, addresses benefits to which some members of the
traditional community may be entitled, but about which
they may be unaware. The example which follows, in
which he tells people how they may find out about social
security and offers to make the arrangements for an
informational meeting, occurs after he has explained what
some of the eligibility requirements are. TH codeswitched
repeatedly between Mvskoke and English throughout this

1 You wan' get information: 600 North Mission, Okmulgee. A,
2 hvtvm onkv, club, organization pomvlahket pomponayepet
3 kowat cenowat. Vhaketv enhayet, social security representa-
4 tive, vlahket. Eyvpohonayis. [A, now and, club, organization
5 if we want to, we can ask someone to come speak to us. A

6 law maker, social security representative, he will come.
7 We'll listen to him.]

TH's codeswitching serves several purposes in this short
excerpt. His switch into English in lines 4 and 5, "social
security representative," is included to clarify exactly what
kind of governmental representative will come speak to
them. Vhaketv enhayet is a generic term for a government
employee, though it is most often used when referring to a
legislator. Codeswitching into English at this point is
necessary simply for clarification.
TH's choice to codeswitch as he introduces the idea of
having the social security representative speak to the group
is indicative of more than a need to clarify something to his
audience. TH gives the address of the social security office
in English (line 1) but then goes on, primarily in Mvskoke,
to suggest that the social security representative can come
to the group. His choice of language here is significant
because his suggestion is made for the good of his tradition-
al audience, many of whom have less than reliable trans-
portation and might be unable to get to the office in
Okmulgee. TH's proposal offers them a means of having
their questions answered without having to face the risk of
being stranded some distance from home.
Such a meeting with the social security representative
would only be informative, however, if someone with TH's
codeswitching ability were present. As stated earlier, many
traditional Muskogee (Creek) people are much more
comfortable in Mvskoke than in English. As the leader of
the TTO, TH is offering his services in this regard, in the
name of the entire "club, organization" (line 2). TH is held
in high regard by other members of the traditional commu-
nity in part because of his willingness to act as the transla-
tor in meetings of this sort.
The final case of codeswitching by a member of the
traditional community also involves one of the leaders of
the TTO. JS is a Baptist preacher at a rural church and has
long been concerned with the plight of Muskogee (Creek)
people in rural areas. His speech on October 13, 1990, is
an attempt to get more people to come to subsequent TTO
meetings. JS, prior to this excerpt, discussed the role that
the TTO has in an investigation of diabetes, a serious health
issue in the entire Muskogee (Creek) community. JS also
suggested that, with strong community support, the TTO
may be able to help the traditional community deal with
other concerns.

1 I think, I've been thinking you know, a lot of 'em don't
2 come. You all tell them people, now, it's not our meeting
3 here, sitting behind the desk. It's, it's, it's they meeting
4 mowakton [it's theirs]. They might to think that, so long's
5 he's an Indian or anybody, it's they meeting. Mvtvntos
6 kicvkvts [Tell them it's theirs], you all tell 'em it's they
7 meeting. It's not just us sitting' behind the desk now. It's they
8 meeting, mvnton [theirs] like we're meeting here. Stecate
9 vtekat [every Indian] it's for every Indian meeting, for
10 everyone to come. That's their meeting. So, you all see
11 somebody, tell 'em that's going to be a meeting that day.


1997 VOL. 50(4)


12 Then tell 'em that's belong to them. 'Cenake vnton kicet,'
13 kicvkvs. ['It's your meeting,' tell them.] 'Cause they'll tell
14 everybody.

Prior to the meeting at which this speech was made, a
number of TTO board members had expressed disappoint-
ment with the low numbers of people attending meetings.
At this point in the TTO's history, board members were
beginning to push for greater TTO involvement in research
affecting the entire Muskogee (Creek) population. The
board was cognizant that the TTO would probably not be
included in research grants unless it was able to show that
its meetings were well attended.
JS finds a way to weave board members' concerns into a
speech in which he touches on issues of importance to the
traditional community. Codeswitching in this context serves
to exhort all in attendance, whether fluent in Mvskoke or
English, to alert others that the organization exists and that
its meetings are open to the public. If JS's codeswitching is
fruitful bringing about a rise in the number of people
attending and causing the TTO to be included in other
research grants then he will have done well for both the
TTO and its target population, those in the traditional


Switching between Mvskoke and English is a meaningful
act in Muskogee (Creek) political discourse. In this paper,
codeswitching for the purpose of intimating that one is
wishing to help those in the traditional Muskogee (Creek)
community has been explored. Establishing this connection
to the traditional community is profitable for both those
who are and are not already members of this community.
Non-members running for political offices in Muskogee
(Creek) Nation, such as JB and BH, codeswitch in hopes of
garnering the traditionalist vote. Members gain prestige
when they become recognized as people working for the
good of the community and who will use their ability to
translate from English to Mvskoke, or vice versa, to that
It is most difficult for non-members of the traditional
community to attain the desired result of codeswitching.
The vast majority of Muskogee (Creek) people consider
codeswitching by candidates for political office to be simply
a ploy for the traditional vote. This was made clear in
BW's statement that, "they [candidates] get up here and talk
Creek and when they go to the Council office, they set
there and nod their head and a white man tells 'em how to
vote." This belief makes most traditionalists skeptical of
codeswitching candidates, even when the candidate is fluent
in Mvskoke and codeswitches while discussing an issue of
importance to the traditional community. In essence, this
supports the claim that codeswitching is of some value in
the traditional community, even though it is difficult for
most non-member political candidates to benefit from the

Codeswitching appears to be most useful for those who
are members of the traditional community. In each case
presented above, the use of both English and Mvskoke puts
the speaker in the position of a knowledgeable, capable
intermediary who can work for the good of the traditional
people who need help with the topic he has discussed.
These individuals are not looking to obtain an office within
Muskogee (Creek) -Nation government. Rather, they are
increasing their standing within the traditional community
by exhibiting their ability to speak the language of the
other, the Anglo-oriented bureaucracy. Their abilities in
both languages allow them to prove or suggest an ability to
work between both communities, with the good of the
traditional community at heart. As a result, they are
approached frequently by members of the traditional
community who are having problems interacting with the
Anglo-oriented Muskogee (Creek) Nation government.
Codeswitching for this reason probably exists in other bi-
or multi-lingual communities, especially when people must
use a second language in order to accomplish important
business. It would seem that people who wish to become
intermediaries or brokers must be able to advertise their
abilities linguistically, just as the speakers in the Muskogee
(Creek) examples do. While of interest to sociolinguists,
comparison of codeswitching behaviors used by prestige-
seeking members of various communities also may be
illuminating for anthropologists interested in studying social
boundary maintenance and political behavior.
The topics that bring out codeswitching behavior in
political discourse also may be of interest to anthropologists
and sociolinguists. Speakers' sense that there is a need to
codeswitch about particular topics suggests that these topics
are both important and problematic for members of the
community being addressed. Codeswitching in the context
of political discourse thus deserves thorough consideration
by sociolinguists.


SBoth Muskogee and Creek are derived from names given to the
Muskogee (Creek) historically by non-Muskogee (Creek) people.
Muskogee is derived from an Algonquian word, muskegg," and was
probably bestowed upon the Muskogee because of their well-watered
environs (Swanton 1979:218). The English came to refer to the most
populous group within the Confederacy, the Muskogee, as "Creeks" by
English traders who first gave the name to those Muskogee living on
Ochesee Creek (Wright 1986:2). As trade between the English and
Muskogee living in other areas flourished, the term "Creek" was applied
to additional Muskogee towns. Traditionalists prefer the use of Muskogee
to refer to their tribe, though many use the term Creek when talking about
themselves and their language.
2 The name of the native language spoken by Muskogee (Creek) people
is presented in their orthography. For information regarding the orthogra-
phy and sound correspondences, see Martin and Mauldin (1996).
3 "Stomp ground" is a term that refers to a social unit that practices the
stomp-dance religion or to the physical location at which the religious
ceremonies take place. The stomp-dance religion is essentially a continua-
tion of the religion practiced by Southeastern peoples in prehistory.
4 As noted in Moore (1988) and Opler (1952), many Muskogee (Creek)
churches, retain many of the physical and social characteristics ascribed



to the historic tvlwvlke. Rural Baptist churches are the majority exhibiting
these qualities. Some of the tvlwvlke-like characteristics include: strong ties
of kinship among members, frequent social interaction and economic
exchange involving members, and the physical arrangement of the church
and camp (residential) structures.
5 Speakers are identified by their initials. Mvskoke portions of their
discourse are in italics. English translations, in brackets, are provided
directly after the Mvskoke utterance. Each line is numbered for easy refer-
ence in the discussion that follows.


Several individuals have assisted in the production of this article. Drs.
John Moore and Morris Foster introduced me to the TTO and have
provided me with many insights in discussions about some of the data
analyzed in this article. Conversations with Jason Jackson about Yuchi
discourse and his invitation to be on a panel at the 1996 American
Anthropology Association conference caused me to first consider writing
about the political utility of codeswitching in Muskogee (Creek) discourse.
The body of this work is a result of the paper presented at that conference.
Finally, many thanks also are due to Bertha Tilkens and Linda Alexander,
both of whom provided a great deal of help with the translations and
interpretations presented here. "Mvto," kicis.

References Cited

Adair, James
1930 Adair's History of the American Indians. The Watauga Press,
Johnson City, TN.
Auer, J. C. P.
1984 Interpretive Sociolinguistics: Migrants, Children, Migrant
Children. G. Narr, Tubingen.
Bartram, William
1928 Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and
West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of
the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the
Choctaws. Dover Publications, New York.
Green, Michael D.
1982 The Politics of Indian Removal: Creek Government and Society in
Crisis. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
Heller, Monica S.
1982 Negotiations of Language Choice in Montreal. In Language and
Social Identity, edited by John J. Gumperz, pp. 108-118. Cam-
bridge University Press, New York.
Innes, Pamela J.
1991 Codeswitching in Formal Creek Discourse. MA thesis, Anthropol-
ogy Department, University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Martin, Jack B. and Margaret McKane Mauldin
1996 A Dictionary of Creek (Muskogee) with Notes on the Florida and
Oklahoma Seminole Dialects of Creek. Ms. (Fifth Preliminary
Version), College of William and Mary and the University of
Moore, John H.
1988 The Mvskoke National Question in Oklahoma. Science and
Society 52(2):163-190.
Myers-Scotton, Carol
1993 Social Motivations for Codeswitching: Evidence from Africa.
Oxford University Press, New York.
Opler, Morris E.
1952 The Creek "Town" and the Problem of Creek Indian Political
Reorganization. In Human Problems in Technological Change: A
Casebook, edited by Edward H. Spicer, pp. 165-180. Russell Sage
Foundation, New York.
Pope, John
1792 A Tour Through the Southern and Western Territories of the
United States of North-America; the Spanish Dominions on the
River Mississippi, and the Floridas; the Countries of the Creek

Nations; and many Uninhabited Parts. John Dixon, Richmond,
Sturtevant, William C.
1971 Creek into Seminole. In North American Indians in Historical
Perspective, edited by E. B. Leacock and N. O. Lurie. Random
House, New York.
Swanton, John R.
1922 Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors. Bureau
of America Ethnology Bulletin 73. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C.
1928 Social Organization and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek
Confederacy, and Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the
Creek Indians. Bureau ofAmerican Ethnology Report 42. Govern-
ment Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
1979 The Indians of the Southeastern United States. Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C.
Wright, J. Leitch, Jr.
1986 Creeks and Seminoles: Destruction and Regeneration of the
Muscogulge People. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.


1997 VOL. 50(4)


An Unusually Large Biface from the Pinellas
Point Site, 8PI61


South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and
Anthropology, University of South Carolina,
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
E-mail: goodyeara@garnet. edu

The bifacially worked blade shown in Figure 1 was found
by the author on the beach of the Pinellas Point site (8PI61)
in St. Petersburg on August 22, 1966. It was found
approximately between 7th and 8th Streets South where, if
continued, the streets would merge with Tampa Bay. The
Pinellas Point site is an eroded prehistoric shell midden
some 700 meters in length with a multicomponent occupa-
tional history that began in late Paleoindian times and
extended through the historic period (Goodyear 1968).
The biface is unusual for its extraordinary size, whole
condition, and high quality workmanship. It is symmetrical
in plan view with an ovate-shaped base with a slight taper.
There was no attempt at making a stem. Its maximum
dimensions are 20.5 cm in length, 5.84 cm in width, and
1.33 cm in thickness. The bifacial workmanship is quite
good with biface-thinning scars terminating at the midline
of the piece resulting in little stack from hinge terminations.
There is slight hinge stacking on one face suggesting that
this was the dorsal surface of a preform flake. However, no
cortex is present nor is there any area without retouch
which might indicate the unmodified portion of a preform
flake. The biface is relatively straight when viewed from
the side, with no curvature suggesting a flake preform.
Fine pressure work is present bifacially along both blade
edges which indicate that the biface was ready for use.
The biface was carefully examined macroscopically and
with a lOx lens. All edges are relatively sharp. Flake-scar
arises on dorsal and ventral faces seem crisp. There is no
differential dullness on the blades edges, the base, or the
tip, which might suggest wear, nor is there any intentional
grinding for hafting. A hole in the biface is a natural flaw
in the chert. The hole edges are sharp, with no indication
of wear from hafting or suspension. The overall fresh,
crisp condition of the biface suggests that it had recently
washed out of its geoarchaeological context and had not
been subject to natural processes of erosion from wind or
There is no macroscopic evidence of thermal alteration

to the chert. There is a uniform dull gray to bluish-gray
color throughout. There are no lustrous surfaces on the
flake scars nor any islands of dull chert surrounded by
lustrous scars indicating thermal alteration. In 1990 the
biface was shown to Sam Upchurch, a professor of geology
at the University of South Florida and an expert on Florida
chert sources. According to Upchurch, the chert is local to
the Tampa Bay region and probably came from the Hills-
borough River Quarry Cluster (Upchurch et al. 1982; cf.
Goodyear et al. 1983:Figure 8).
At present there is no way to determine the age or
cultural affiliation of the biface. Austin (1993) describes a
similar large biface, 20.9 cm in length, from a burial
mound known as the Royce Mound near Lake Placid. It
was a little more slender (width = 4.6 cm) and had a
slightly contracting stem. Both faces were intentionally
abraded. Based on consultation with Sam Upchurch, Austin
(1993:299) reports that the biface appears to have been
made of chert exotic to Florida, perhaps from the midcon-
tinent area. In addition to this whole biface, Austin record-
ed a second oversized but broken biface which also had a
rounded, contracting stem (Austin 1993:Figure 6). The
chert source for this biface was central or northern Florida.
It appears to have been thermally altered based on the
presence of lustrous flake scars. Through cross dating of
artifacts, Austin (1993:305) assigns the age of the Royce
Mound to the middle Woodland Period dating from about
A.D. 1 to A.D. 350.
Austin (1993:299-300) has reviewed the Florida literature
for the occurrence of oversize whole and intentionally
broken bifaces. These bifaces are usually found in mortuary
contexts and often are broken, ground, and made of cherts
exotic to Florida. There also is a strong middle Woodland
temporal association. At the Pinellas Point site, decorated
pot sherds were rare as most of the pottery observed was
a plain, dark-colored, sand-tempered ware (Goodyear
1968:74). Four Deptford sherds were reported including
three Deptford Linear Check Stamped and one unique
stamped. One sherd of Swift Creek Complicated Stamped,
Early Variety was found, as well as five sherds of St.
Johns Check Stamped and two pieces of West Florida Cord
Marked. None of the classic Weeden Island incised or
punctated mortuary pottery was observed at the time of the
original site description (Goodyear 1968:79). One definite
exotic artifact was a galena pendant (Goodyear 1968:Figure
3). Austin (1993:300) also found a cube of galena at the
Royce Mound. By the time it was studied and reported in
the 1960s, the Pinellas Point site was essentially a wave-
eroded midden. A few years earlier, a shell mound located


2 z


Figure 1. Obverse and reverse faces of a large biface found at the Pinellas Point site, 8PI61.

1997 VOL. 50(4)



at about the middle of the site was bulldozed and spread for
a house site (Goodyear 1968:74). Very little bone, human
or otherwise, was seen eroding on the beach. Beyond these
fragmentary observations, little else can be said about the
original archaeological context of the biface recovered
Because of its unusual size and rarity, it was thought that
the biface should be documented in the literature for any
light it might shed about other occurrences in Florida or
perhaps eventually for the Pinellas Point site itself. As
previously noted, the site has an unusually long and rich
occupational history and it is located at the extreme south-
ern end of the Pinellas peninsula, a geographic location that
may explain its favored use through prehistory.


I would like to thank Sam Upchurch for identifying the chert, Tommy
Charles for photography, and Robert Austin for his consultation on similar
large bifaces in Florida. The biface is on permanent deposit with the St.
Petersburg History Museum.


Austin Robert, J.
1993 The Royce Mound: Middle Woodland Exchange and Mortuary
Customs in South Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 46:291-309.
Goodyear, Albert C.
1968 Pinellas Point: A Possible Site of Continuous Indian Habitation.
The Florida Anthropologist 21:74-82.
Goodyear, Albert C., Sam B. Upchurch, Mark J. Brooks, and Nancy N.
1983 Paleo-Indian Manifestations in the Tampa Bay Region, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 36:40-66.
Upchurch, Sam B., Richard N. Strom, and Mark G. Nuckels
1982 Methods of Provenance Determination of Florida Cherts. Report
submitted to the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau
of Historic Sites and Properties, Tallahassee.

Device for Measuring Depth of Objects in Test

1250 9th Avenue N., Naples, Florida 34102
E-mail: arlee@naples. net

"Jean-Paul, le Zed!" Thus, a worker in a French excava-
tion pit asks a neighbor to pass the device for measuring
the depth at which he has found an artifact.
In French and other European archeology, the location of
an object is recorded by using Cartesian coordinates as in
a chart, in which "S" denotes distance from the left or west
side of a test pit, "Y" is the distance from the near or south
side, and "Z" ("Zed") is the distance from the base on
which the object rests to the datum level. This last mea-
surement is commonly made by using a device in which the
level of water in a transparent plastic tube is measured on
a scale, its level being that of a water-filled container
outside the excavation pit (Figure 1). The level in the

Figure 1. General view of test pit with water container
in the background, tubing leading into the test pit, and
Walt Buschelman holding the vertical rod.

container is that of the datum point for the dig (or one
easily subtracted from the site datum).
The advantages of such a system are that it requires only
one person to make the vertical measurement, and there is
less chance of error due to a sagging level affecting the
arithmetic in subtracting from the area's datum level. One
disadvantage is that if the rod with the tubing attached is
knocked over, water will spill out and the water in the
container will have to be restored to its datum-level mark.
Another potential disadvantage is that the tubing connecting
the rod and the container may brush soil into the pit from
the edge of the wall. To guard against these problems, the
container must be secured against being knocked over
(Figure 2). Also, the apparatus does not fit in a pocket, as
do a line level and steel tape.
Components. These include: 1) a container made of
material that is relatively transparent, so that the water level
can be seen through its sides and can be marked with the
water level, 2) fittings on its bottom or side to which plastic
tubing can be attached, 3) a calibrated rod to which the
other end of the tubing can be attached (Figure 3), and 4)


Figure 2. Water container is secured to keep it from
being displaced. Mark shows water level which is at
site's datum level (if that level is not practical, the water
level should be at a figure that is easily subtracted from
the site datum).

water (adding a bit of food coloring makes it more visible).
Costs. 1) container $6.69 for the one I used, there are
other types; 2) tubing I used 15 feet of quarter-inch
plastic tubing at 20 cents a foot; length depends on whether
it is to be used in one or more pits; 3) rod I used a six-
foot by three-quarter-inch aluminum angle rod costing
$9.59. Length is optional but it is a relief to be able to read
it standing up after kneeling in the pit; 4) adhesive-backed
calibrated tape of the type used on work benches $6.29;
5) fittings to attach the tubing to the container $2.59; 6)
aluminum wire $1.19; 7) Total $29.35.
Construction. The container may have its outlet at the
bottom or it can be placed on the side, which lets one rest
the container on a flat surface. The calibrated tape is
attached to an interior side on the angled rod, with 0 at the
base. The base of the rod is notched to hold a loop of the
tubing. The tubing is attached to the rod by aluminum wire
passed through holes bored in the rod (there are adhesives
which would hold the tubing in place but I chose the wire).

Figure 3. Close-up view shows a calibrated tape at-
tached to an aluminum rod. Wire is used to secure the
tubing. A flat rod is sometimes used, but angled rod
protects the calibration tape and decreases the chance of
the tubing being detached. Food coloring makes the
water more visible.

The open end of the tubing is at the top of the rod (I tried,
in an excavation at Pineland, to secure the tubing with
transparent adhesive tape, but dirt on the exposed adhesive
soon obscured the numerals).
Tips for use. Chances of the tubing brushing dirt into the
excavation pit are lessened if a loop of tubing is tied
loosely to the rod near its top.

1997 VOL. 50(4)



Archaeology of the Mid-Holocene Southeast. Kenneth E.
Sassaman and David G. Anderson, Editors. University
Press of Florida, Gainesville, 1996. xx + 388, figures,
tables, references, index, $60.00 (cloth).

Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University,
Greenville, North Carolina 27858

One weekend during the summer of 1979, a colleague and
I took a busman's holiday from an archaeological survey
we were doing on the east coast near Ormond Beach, and
visited a complex of mounds in nearby Tomoka State Park.
We knew little about these mounds beyond the fact that A.
E. Douglass had investigated some of the them in the ni-
neteenth century and recovered two small caches of
bannerstones. Once inside the park, I could see why
Douglass was attracted to the site. An impressive series of
at least seven and possibly nine shell and sand mounds, the
largest of which was about 3 m high, ran along a creek
near the intracoastal waterway. Our investigations were less
ambitious than Douglass's excavations, however. We made
a sketch map of the complex and inspected some old pot
holes, noting the presence of a few human bone fragments.
While I was not surprised to find evidence of burials in the
mounds, I was puzzled by the total absence of pottery
anywhere on the site. This absence stood in contrast to the
relative ease with which St. Johns pottery could be found
on the surface of several shell middens we had located on
our survey near the park. Since St. Johns sites are relative-
ly common in the area, I assumed that the mounds were
temporally related to the middens. It never occurred to me
- nor, I suspect, others at that time that the mounds
might predate the appearance of ceramics on the coast. In
any case, I left the park somewhat puzzled but impressed.
Over a decade later, new investigations at Tomoka
Mounds now point to the probable reason why pottery has
not been found at the site: the mounds are Archaic- period
earthworks [see The Florida Anthropologist 45(4)]. In fact,
mound building is just one of several new characterizations
of the Archaic Period summarized in the important new
volume, Archaeology of the Mid-Holocene Southeast. In
this latest addition to the Ripley P. Bullen monograph
series, Kenneth Sassaman and David Anderson have
assembled a collection of articles that provide a framework
for rethinking current views concerning the Middle and
Late Archaic periods of the Southeast.
This volume is the second book born out of the efforts of
South Carolina researchers to synthesize the state's prehis-
tory for resource management purposes. (The first volume,
The Paleoindian and Early Archaic Southeast, also was

edited by Anderson and Sassaman (see review in The
Florida Anthropologist 50[2]). Consequently, the editors
invited several contributors to synthesize particular aspects
of mid-Holocene archaeology resulting in this volume. The
book contains 15 chapters organized topically into five
sections: mid-Holocene environments, technology, subsis-
tence and health, regional settlement variation, and regional
interaction and organization. Temporally, the mid-Holocene
is defined between 8000 and 3000 B.P. Spatially, the
Southeast includes the land east of the Mississippi River
and south of the Ohio River Valley, although some authors
include areas that might otherwise be considered parts of
the Midwest or Middle Atlantic regions.
The first section dealing with mid-Holocene environments
contains chapters by Joseph Schuldenrein on the geoarchae-
ology of the Southeast and by William Watts, Eric Grimm,
and T.C. Hussey on the vegetational history of the region.
Reviewing geoarchaeological evidence, Schuldenrein
outlines human land-use patterns during the mid-Holocene.
Landscape sequences, best known from alluvial histories in
the Piedmont and Appalachian Plateau, point to several
trends that are generalized across the Southeast. Beginning
with the onset of the mid-Holocene, there was a reduction
in sea-level rise and a leveling of river gradients. Subse-
quently, stream systems became entrenched in their present
channels as lateral accretion was followed by overbank
deposition. This period of deposition coincides with the
appearance of Middle Archaic sites over several valley sys-
tems. Even greater stabilization occurred along terraces and
floodplains during the Late Archaic Period as Late Archaic
settlement proliferated.
It is worth noting that much of the data for these interpre-
tations are drawn from cultural resource management
(CRM) work which deserves particular credit for essentially
pioneering our understanding of mid-Holocene site forma-
tion. Unfortunately, Coastal Plain eolian environments,
which would include much of Florida, have received only
limited research and are "terra incognita" according to
Schuldenrein. Why this should be the case in Florida is
difficult to understand considering the amount of CRM
work done in the state.
In contrast to the paucity of geoarchaeological work in
Florida, there has been a comparative wealth of palynolog-
ical studies performed in some of the state's numerous
ponds and lakes. Indeed, the vegetational reconstruction of
Florida is one of the best known in the Southeast. William
Watts, of course, is primarily responsible for this work,
and in Chapter 2 he and his colleagues, Eric Grimm and T.
C. Hussey, paint a broad-brush history of the Holocene
forests of the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coastal
plain. Much of this chapter will be familiar to those who



have read Watts's work. Nevertheless, Watts places Florida
in a regional context and pollen data from three new sites
in the Southeast, including Lake Barchampe in Hamilton
County, are reported for the first time. In brief, the new
studies support the known early Holocene pattern of
oak/herb vegetation being replaced by pine/swamp vegeta-
tion during the mid-Holocene. This replacement, however,
was not simultaneous across the region. Rather, it was time
transgressive, with pine expansion taking place first in
South Carolina about 8000 years ago and last in southern
Florida around 4500 years ago. Moreover, the rate of
vegetational change was slow, taking up to 3000 years in
some places. One implication of this change is, that while
steady, such transformation would probably not have been
observable in one human lifetime.
While Watts's research provides essential information
concerning late Pleistocene and early Holocene landscapes,
the authors caution that their studies provide only regional
environmental data which are less likely to be applicable to
specific archaeological sites, except in those rare cases
where a site adjoins a pollen location. With respect to this
caveat, a good opportunity was missed to collect data from
the Tampa Bay region several years ago during the salvage
work done along the proposed Interstate 75 route through
Hillsborough County. Since virtually all of the known
pollen sites in Florida have come from locations well inland
along the spine of the state, one wonders how different
pollen profiles would be from sites nearer Tampa Bay.
The book's second section contains three chapters on
stone-tool technology. The first of these by Daniel Amick
and Philip Carr focuses on Archaic Period lithic technology
as derived from technological organization studies. Primari-
ly following the ethnoarchaeological studies of Lewis
Binford, technological organization has become the frame-
work guiding most lithic analyses during the past two
decades. In essence this approach proposes that stone-tool
assemblages can vary functionally, temporally, and spatially
within any one system, and that assemblage variability can
be influenced by environmental, economic, and social
factors. Amick and Carr provide overviews of stone-tool
assemblage variability as revealed by selected studies
spanning the Paleoindian through Mississippian periods. Of
relevance here are the Middle and Late Archaic period
summaries that explain how stone-tool technologies reflect
variability in Archaic settlement systems. For the former
period, a trend towards more expedient technologies (as
compared to Early Archaic assemblages which were heavily
curated) associated with increased residential mobility. For
the latter period, with an increase in population, studies are
cited that propose an increase in the use of curated technol-
ogies and the logistical procurement of stone associated
with decreased settlement mobility. Unfortunately, Florida
is virtually absent in their mention of significant mid-
Holocene technological studies. With all the work done on
Archaic sites in central Florida over the past two decades,
this absence would not be for the want of data.
In one of the most thought-provoking papers in the

volume, Kenneth Sassaman concludes the second section by
offering a new perspective on interpreting three technologi-
cal innovations atlatl weights, grooved axes, and stone
vessels that appear during the mid-Holocene. Tradition-
ally, these items have been interpreted in an economic
context. That is, they were developed to improve the
efficiency with which people could capture and process
food. Sassaman presents an alternative interpretation,
suggesting instead that these items reflect Archaic social
innovations used in exchange networks to underwrite long-
distance alliances. He discusses how the elaborate form,
site contexts, and geographic clustering of these artifacts
are better understood when viewed from a regional perspec-
tive reflecting alliances between groups designed to ensure
long-term economic security. If this was the case, there is
little evidence that Florida was significantly involved with
groups elsewhere in the Southeast. The lone Florida
exception is the atlatl weights cached at the Tomoka
Mounds. Although the exact sources) of these artifacts
remains unknown, the fact that at least some of the artifacts
were made from greenstone and soapstone suggests a
source at least several hundred km away. If Sassaman's
interpretation is correct, then this cache is evidence linking
an alliance with a group in the Piedmont farther to the
Sassaman and R. Jerald Ledbetter review the data on
Middle and Late Archaic architecture in the next chapter.
While traditional notions of ephemeral structures have
characterized much of mid-Holocene archaeology, Sassa-
man and Ledbetter's synthesis of data collected over the
last decade belies the notion of impermanent architecture in
at least some parts of the Southeast. The best evidence for
habitation structures characterized by prepared clay
floors sometimes associated with postholes are found in
the lower Illinois, Tennessee, Green, and Tombigbee river
valleys. Along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, shell rings and
mounds form another type of Archaic architecture. (More
is said about these mounds in later chapters.)
Section III, entitled Subsistence and Health, presents a
much-needed synthesis on Archaic diet and health. The
section begins with a summary of paleoethnobotanical
research by Kristen J. Gremillion. Gremillion notes that the
mid-Holocene has been of little interest to paleoethnobotan-
ists, largely because of a perceived continuity with the early
Holocene in the use of plant foods, particularly with
hickory nuts. But Gremillion points out that this stability
may be more apparent than real due to the rarity of
paleoethnobotanical data from mid-Holocene contexts.
Consequently, what is viewed as stability on a regional
level may mask important local variation, both spatially and
temporally in plant use. And, even if the use of plant foods
was relatively similar to the early Holocene, this adaptive
stability should not be taken for granted as it requires
explanation in the same manner as dietary change would.
Towards this end, Gremillion summarizes present evidence
for mid-Holocene plant use, identifies important research
issues (e.g., the environmental and human changes to the


1997 VOL. 50(4)


landscape that favored plant domestication, the relative
importance of various mast resources on foraging adapta-
tions, and the origins of plant domestication in the South-
east), and provides some guidelines to ensure that this
research potential is achieved.
Like botanical remains, zooarchaeological data are a
rarity in Archaic sites, so Bonnie Styles and Walter
Klippel's discussion of faunal exploitation in the following
chapter is a welcome addition to the volume. Not just a
review of previous work, Styles and Klippel present an
interassemblage analysis of faunal data collected from six
sites located along the Tennessee, Ohio, and central
Mississippi river valleys spanning the early to mid- Holo-
cene. In brief, they document a trend towards an increased
use of aquatic resources and white-tailed deer during this
time. Moreover, their analysis indicates that this trend is
not a uniform subsistence strategy across the Southeast. For
instance, the increased emphasis of aquatic resources varies
in terms of specific target species among sites: higher
frequencies of fish at some sites, higher frequencies of
aquatic mollusks at others, and the increased use of aquatic
turtles at still others. What this subsistence pattern might
imply for areas outside the Midsouth is difficult to say,
particularly for the coastal portions of Florida. Neverthe-
less, a similar pattern of deer and aquatic resources would
not be unexpected for the inland portions of the state.
The Midsouth is again featured in Maria Smith's bio-
archaeological review. In particular, she focuses on a
discussion of trauma and occupational stress in skeletal
collections primarily from Kentucky, west Tennessee, and
northern Alabama. Apparently, the Midsouth was no
Garden of Eden during the Archaic Period as Smith
documents several cases of deliberate and accidental trauma
among populations. I also was somewhat surprised to learn
of the evidence for scalping and dismemberment trophy
taking. Apparently, prehistoric warfare in the Southeast has
some antiquity. Although the bioarchaeology of Florida
does not figure in this discussion, Smith does state that the
collections from Tick Island, Republic Groves, Bay West,
and Gauthier are understudied but fundamentally important
to understanding Archaic adaptations.
Regional settlement variation is the topic of Section IV.
David Anderson's chapter takes on the ambitious task of
looking at settlement trends for the entire Archaic period
from ten Southeastern states. Using data from state site
files, he examines the regional distribution of Early,
Middle, and Late Archaic sites with respect to settlement
organization, mobility, and territoriality. Despite survey
bias problems, which Anderson identifies, this sort of work
is needed to provide the "big picture" with regards to
settlement distributions. There is much to digest in this
chapter as interpretations are given on a state-by-state basis.
With respect to Florida, the state ranks fourth in the
number of recorded Archaic sites (over 17,000); this
number accounts for 7% of the recorded sites in the state,
over half of which date to the Late Archaic. Not surprising-
ly, major site concentrations are seen in the northern

portion of Florida along several major river valleys, along
the coast and upland areas east of Tampa Bay, and along
the St. Johns River.
Southeastern settlements along the Gulf and Atlantic
coasts is the subject of Michael Russo's chapter. The
evidence from coastal Florida figures prominently in this
chapter as Russo's and others work along the Florida coast
has essentially altered conventional ideas about the timing
and intensity of mid-Holocene occupations. In particular,
Russo challenges the conventional notion that mid-Holocene
sea-level rise was too rapid to provide the resources
necessary for stable human occupation of the coast. Indeed,
evidence now exists that suggests sedentary preceramic
Archaic populations existed on the coast and inland along
the St. Johns River. Even more remarkable are 7000-year-
old dates from a deeply buried oyster midden at Horr's
Island on the southwest coast of the state. Elsewhere on the
island are a large village midden and four mounds with
dates spanning between 4600 and 5200 B.P. Given the
evidence for year-round occupation of the coast, Russo
proposes the presence of two separate but contemporary
cultural traditions in Florida during the mid-Holocene: a
socially complex sedentary coastal society largely isolated
from a more egalitarian and mobile interior foraging group.
While this notion has intriguing implications for cultural
evolution, further demonstration of this possibility is
Moving to Virginia, Dennis Blanton's chapter gives
further consideration to coastal occupations with a case
study on inundated sites from the Chesapeake Bay Estuary.
New data from near-shore sites are used to revise current
coastal settlement models to better account for the presence
of submerged sites. What is particularly intriguing about
the new data that Blanton introduces is its unconventional
source Chesapeake Bay fishermen. Over the past several
years Blanton has interviewed several fishermen who have
recovered prehistoric artifacts from the bay bottom by
tongingg" for clams. In the process of grubbing bay
bottoms with tongs, artifacts often are collected along with
clams. Drawing an analogy with shovel testing on land,
Blanton suggests that by tonging bay bottoms, fishermen
are inadvertently sampling archaeological resources in
submerged areas. And, not surprisingly, there are patterns
with respect to the kinds of artifacts that have been recov-
ered and the locations where they have been found. In
particular, Late Archaic artifacts large stemmed points,
chipped- and ground-stone axes, and adzes dominate
these collections. Moreover, the artifacts come from
offshore sites located at the upper edge of submerged
terraces. Since these large ground- and flaked-stone
artifacts are generally regarded as being associated with
intensively occupied sites, Blanton argues that these sites
represent Late Archaic base camps, documented examples
of which are rare on dry land. Blanton suggests further that
these presumed base camps provide a settlement counterpart
to the more numerous and smaller terrestrial sites which
have been identified as temporary extractive sites in the




region. Apparently, Archaic settlement in the Chesapeake
Bay region exhibited considerably less permanence and
more residential mobility than that of the Gulf Coastal
I found the final section, dealing with mid-Holocene
regional integration and social organization, the most
interesting portion of the book. Virtually every chapter
contains some of the most innovative thinking with respect
to new perspectives on Archaic lifeways. Richard Jeffries
leads the section by summarizing new data on the existence
of long-distance exchange. While unusual or distinctive
artifacts often made of nonlocal materials have been known
to exist in mid-Holocene assemblages for some time,
Jeffries's summary of the evidence suggests that long-
distance exchange in the eastern U.S. was present in
several areas of the Southeast by as early as 6000 B.P. In
particular, Jeffries discusses stylistically similar bone pins
from the lower Ohio-central Mississippi River valleys,
oversized Benton points and Turkey Tail-like points from
the middle Tennessee-upper Tombigbee River valleys, and
Benton-like bifaces from the Savannah River Valley. These
artifacts were exchanged in regional networks to insure
regular contact between otherwise separate and distant
groups. The need for contact arose as an insurance mecha-
nism in response to increasing social and environmental
risk associated with increased hunter-gatherer sedentism
during the mid-Holocene.
Essentially, this chapter parallels Sassaman's contribution
since they both are proposing similar explanations for the
presence of unusual artifacts in Middle and Late Archaic
sites. Moreover, the two articles complement each other in
that Sassaman focuses on bannerstones and grooved axes
representing possible exchange networks in the Piedmont
and Ridge and Valley regions, while the exchange networks
discussed by Jeffries (excluding the central Mississippi-
Lower Ohio valley) link sites in Coastal Plain locations.
Jeffries also uses the same evidence as Sassaman the
occurrence of bannerstones made from nonlocal stone
recovered from the Tomoka Mounds to propose a mid-
Holocene network between Middle Archaic groups in
northeast Florida and groups located farther to the north.
Social organization and the Shell Mound Archaic is the
topic of the following chapter by Cheryl Claassen. Claassen
prefaces her discussion by considering how one defines the
Shell Mound Archaic (SMA). Aside from including the
conventional group of sites along the Green and Tennessee
rivers, she points out that no consistent criteria have been
used to define the term. In fact, Claassen notes that she has
reconsidered some of her own criteria (e.g., the presence
of human burials in mounded shell with few indications of
features) and reminds us that defining the SMA is a
problem involving both spatial and temporal considerations.
She even asks whether such regional manifestations as the
Archaic mounds on the Florida coast should be included
under the Shell Mound Archaic. Perhaps this increased
awareness of the range of variation in shell mound sites is
why Claassen actually stops short of providing an explicit

definition of the term. Given this ambiguity, one wonders
if the rubric has outlived its usefulness.
However one chooses to label the various cultural mani-
festations that created the shell-mound sites in the South-
east, Claassen clearly eschews environmental explanations
for the their origins. Based on a review of the historical
records of musseling activity, Claassen persuasively argues
that the occurrence of shell mounds was not dictated by
resource availability since so many potentially exploitable
river locations in the Southeast lack any significant Archaic
shell accumulations. Rather, she asserts that the use of shell
was prompted more by social reasons, "so much so that
even site location and matrix were expressions of cultural
concerns" (p. 242). Drawing on discussions detailed in
earlier publications, she briefly considers the topics of site
function (many shell- mound sites were constructed for
burial purposes as opposed to being simply occupation
sites), gender (women increased their prestige through the
addition of shellfishing activities), and mortuary treatment
(an analysis of shell beads from burial contexts suggests
different bead territories that reflect "the expression of
particular religious beliefs and occupation" during the Late
Archaic [p. 257]. In fact, Claassen notes that there is some
correspondence between these bead provinces and Jeffries
engraved bone pin regional network).
Whether one considers the shell mounds of Florida as part
of the SMA or not, the presence of preceramic Archaic
mounds in Florida and Louisiana is exciting news. This
subject is covered in Michael Russo's contribution to this
section. Noting the historical conceptual bias against the
possibility of Archaic-period mound building, Russo
provides a context for understanding the difficulty research-
ers have had with the idea of mound building prior to the
Woodland. In particular, Russo describes the ambiguity
behind the evidence that did exist with respect to the early
recognition of Archaic mounds: the problem of distinguish-
ing intentional mounds from midden accumulations, the
absence of definitive burials, few temporally diagnostic
artifacts, and dates from questionable contexts. Neverthe-
less, recent research in Louisiana and Russo's own work in
Florida is providing persuasive evidence for mound con-
struction spanning the fifth and sixth centuries before
present. Horr's Island, as mentioned above, is the best
studied of these mound groups. The site includes at least
three and possibly four sand and shell mounds (the largest
is over 6 m high), which were constructed during the
Middle to Late Archaic periods. Another Florida example
includes the Tomoka mounds, where recent work indicates
mound construction dating to around 4500 years ago.
Excavations in these mounds were limited so their exact
function remains an open question, although the presence
of isolated burials in the upper portions of two mounds
does imply ceremonial purposes. Further credence for
mound burial is suggested by another possible Archaic
mound at Tick Island, on the St. Johns River. Partially
mined and excavated more than thirty years ago, over 175
Middle Archaic burials were recovered from the site. While


1997 VOL. 50(4)


the Tick Island site was originally described as a "ceme-
tery" rather than a mound, Russo believes that the mound-
ing activity at the site has been overlooked.
Archaic earthworks, of course, have significant implica-
tions for Southeastern prehistory, particularly with respect
to the issues of sedentism and cultural complexity. Russo
indicates that an economy based on aquatic resources,
rather than plant cultivation, provided an abundant and
reliable food base to create the surplus time and labor
necessary for mound construction. Furthermore, he points
out that there is little evidence to date to indicate that any
significant degree of social ranking existed within these
groups. Rather, Russo asserts that most mounds could have
been built by a small group with an impermanent or
apolitical leadership. Certainly, much more data are needed
to support these ideas, but the notion that Archaic mounds
were uniquely different from subsequent Woodland and
Mississippian earthworks is intriguing.
Fittingly, the concluding chapter deals with the unique
Poverty Point site. It is somewhat ironic, however, that
where other authors in this book tended to upgrade the
scale of interaction, and to some extent the complexity of
mid-Holocene cultures, Jon Gibson's paper seeks to do the
opposite with the Poverty Point culture. Summarizing
recent work detailed elsewhere, Gibson reinterprets the
character of Poverty Point. Geographically, he limits
Poverty Point's sphere of influence to the Lower Mississip-
pi Valley while temporally restricting its duration to a few
centuries beginning about 3300 B.P. Of course, the site still
remains unique with respect to the Southeast, and much of
what is unique is reflected in the earthworks and abundant
exotic stone recovered at the site. Both of these features are
also reexamined by Gibson. Drawing on the evidence of
Archaic mounds in Florida and Louisiana, Gibson argues
that mound building existed as a tradition prior to their
presence at Poverty Point and that the mounds there are not
a Poverty Point innovation. Furthermore, he proposes that
the mounds were the result of "the spiritual inspiration and
motivation that made a people want to work, even without
threat of reprisal" (p. 305). No need for chiefly elite here.
Nevertheless, Gibson does admit to the necessity of some
level of leadership at Poverty Point, which he sees reflected
in the coordination of the exchange of exotic stone. And, as
opposed to the ritual use that focused the exchange of
exotic goods in Woodland times, the exchange in exotic
stone during the Poverty Point Period served a functional
or utilitarian purpose (e.g., Dover flint was used for hoes).
In any event, Poverty Point was a special place with a
sizable population that oversaw the distributions of stone to
the outlying countryside. As noted above, Gibson now
believes this area of influence was considerably smaller
than previously thought not more than a 30 km radius.
In other words, Gibson believes that the term "Poverty
Point culture" has no usefulness beyond the Lower Missis-
sippi Valley. If true, we will have to reevaluate the nature
of the Elliot's Point complex on the Gulf Coast of Florida,
which has traditionally been interpreted to reflect Poverty

Point influences.
In sum, it is difficult to find fault with this book, other
than reading it has forced me to rewrite my class lecture on
the Southeastern Archaic. The book is a bit pricey, but buy
it anyway. There is not a weak essay in it, which is rare in
a volume of this type. And the section introductions by
Sassaman and Anderson provide an organizational unity
also rare in such collections. In particular, those who are
interested in Florida archaeology will better appreciate the
unique nature of the state's coastal adaptations during the
mid-Holocene. All readers, however, will better appreciate
the diversity of Archaic adaptations in the Southeast.
Several decades ago, in Trend and Tradition, Joseph
Caldwell essentially defined Archaic-period inhabitants of
the eastern woodlands as an efficient but rather homoge-
nous group of foragers. With the publication of Archae-
ology of the Mid-Holocene Southeast, we see a regional and
chronological variation in the Archaic that includes mound
building, long-distance exchange, intergroup strife, and a
better understanding of technology and subsistence practic-
es. Quite simply, Sassaman and Anderson, along with the
contributors to this volume, have succeeded in redefining
the Archaic.

Sixteenth Century St. Augustine: The People and Their
Homes. Albert Manucy. University Press of Florida,
Gainesville, 1997. xv + 160 pp., figures, tables, referenc-
es, index, $24.95 (cloth).

U.S. Army Environmental Center, SFIM-AEC-EQN,
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland 21010-5401

Since the publication of The Houses of St. Augustine in
1962, Albert Manucy and St. Augustine architecture have
been synonymous. This single work does not, however,
reflect the full extent of research and interpretation carried
out since the 1930s by Manucy. His passing has left a large
gap in the St. Augustine preservation and research commu-
nity. Fortunately, Albert Manucy lived to see the publica-
tion of Sixteenth Century St. Augustine: The People and
Their Homes. This volume represents the fruition of a
career spent investigating past lifeways in the Spanish
colonial empire.
No single avenue of inquiry can give a complete descrip-
tion and interpretation of a past historic culture. Manucy
brings together the best of documentary research, archaeo-
logical data, and ethnographic analogy to paint a fuller
picture of St. Augustine's first decades. Cartographic
evidence gives important details about town layout and
specific construction features. This material includes
drawings of some of the early wooden forts that protected
the town's citizens from attack. Sixteenth-century written
descriptions of St. Augustine add vital information on the
landscape, natural setting, and daily lives of the soldiers
and settlers. Manucy also uses documents to illuminate the


lives of specific individuals and households within the three
established European social classes he distinguishes: lower,
middle, and upper. Archaeological data supply an empirical
side to this study. Building plans, lot layouts, and sixteenth-
century material culture all contribute to Manucy's interpre-
tation. Because St. Augustine has been continuously
occupied, many of the sixteenth-century deposits have been
destroyed by later ground-disturbing activities. Therefore,
Manucy relies on analogies with the folk architecture and
folk culture of Spain to bring sixteenth-century St. Augus-
tine to life.
Through description, analogy, and interpretation Manucy
has built the sixteenth-century community. As he stated in
his Epilogue:

The faint traces of sixteenth-century Spanish structures
uncovered archaeologically in Florida, even when illuminated
with information from the written record, fail to give a
definitive picture of St. Augustine's physical appearance. In
the absence of that picture, I looked to the architectural
manifestations in the Americas... Used with logic and care,
this study has suggested suitable replacements for missing
structural elements and details [Manucy 1997:123].

What Manucy has created is a townscape of possibilities
using information from research on sixteenth-century St.
Augustine supplemented with ethnographic and folk
architectural studies from Spain and other areas of the
Hispanic world. It is a town inhabited by individuals,
families, and households known to have been historically
present in St. Augustine. Their lots, houses, and other
building plans are based on archaeologically identified
patterns, analogy with similar areas of Spain and the
Spanish world, and social status.
"Humble dwellings" of the numerically dominant lower
class were built using locally abundant materials. They
were also the houses most likely to contain Native Ameri-
can elements. Often low-ranking soldiers, such as the
examples of Francisco Gonzalez and Francisco Camacho,
married Native American women. In this section Manucy
discusses two construction techniques, thatching and wattle-
and-daub. Thatch structures were small, impermanent, and
inexpensive. Archaeological evidence for such structures is
ephemeral. Wattle-and-daub buildings also were constructed
from locally available and relatively inexpensive building
materials. Rough posts, poles, and wythe material could be
found in the extensive forests near St. Augustine, and clay
used for daub came from the adjacent marshes. Burned
daub is a frequently encountered artifact type on sixteenth-
century sites.
Wattle-and-daub and wood were the primary building
materials for middle-class homes of the sixteenth century,
with thatch used for roofing. The houses were larger than
those of the lower class and they may have had two stories.
Lot and building use reflect the multiple residential and
commercial interests of the owners. The 1595 Mestas map
shows St. Augustine as a town of wooden buildings using

vertical-board construction. Therefore, Manucy introduces
an extensive discussion on Spanish folk timberframe
techniques in this section. Individuals and households
designated as middle class include soldier and chief carpen-
ter Martin de Yztueta, soldier and chief blacksmith Juan
Ruiz, and the tailor/merchant family of Alonso de Olmos.
The ruling elite of sixteenth-century St. Augustine were
usually associated in some manner with its founder, Pedro
Men6ndez de Avilds. Manucy places them in large wooden
houses or buildings constructed of tabby. Tabby is a
mixture of lime, sand, shell aggregate, and water. Manucy
(1997:113) states, "... we can be certain that tabby was
present in St. Augustine by the 1580s, particularly useful
for walls." Since it was a masonry material, tabby buildings
had a much longer life than those made of wood, wattle-
and-daub, or thatch. In many cases the second story of
these tabby structures may have been constructed of wood.
Manucy proposes tabby and wood two-story buildings for
the families of Martin de Argiielles (soldier, mayor, and
taverner) and Juan de Junco (captain and factor). Governor
Pedro Men6ndez Marquez, nephew of Pedro Menendez de
Avil6s, could have constructed a house entirely of tabby.
In Sixteenth Century St. Augustine, Manucy has put faces
on the first Spanish settlers of St. Augustine and given
them a town in which to live. It is an exceptional and very
human interpretation of St. Augustine's beginnings. To
accomplish this feat Manucy has brought together informa-
tion from early maps, documents, archaeology, and folk
architectural research. His descriptions of Spanish folk
architectural styles as they apply to St. Augustine and
details of building materials will be especially important to
future scholars. While researchers of the sixteenth century
will find this work essential, it is highly readable and
accessible to all audiences. Manucy's interpretations of the
sixteenth century are fresh and new and will undoubtedly
withstand the test of time. This volume is strongly recom-
mended for anyone interested in early European coloniza-
tion in the Americas or those researching early folk
architectural forms.

Bioarchaeology of Native American Adaptation in the
Spanish Borderlands. Brenda J. Baker and Lisa Kealhofer
(Editors). University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 1996.
xii + 232 pp., figures, tables, references, $49.95 (cloth).

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, Valdosta
State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31698-0060

Brenda Baker and Lisa Kealhofer have compiled an
excellent set of essays based on a symposium held at the
1990 annual meeting of the American Association of
Physical Anthropologists. These papers address the question
of Native American biological adaptation to European
contact. The major contribution of this volume lies in the
combination of evidence from both the southeastern and


1997 VOL. 50(4)


contact. The major contribution of this volume lies in the
combination of evidence from both the southeastern and
southwestern United States. This broad perspective yields
results not previously attainable. The authors conclude that
biological response to the European invasion was not
uniform, but must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
They directly confront the ideas, promoted by Henry
Dobyns, that we can use a constant depopulation ratio to
describe the impact of European disease and that pandemic
waves swept the continent of North America.
In the first essay, Cassandra Hill uses data from the
Mississippian and protohistoric "burial urn" cultures of
Alabama. She finds evidence of increasing nutritional stress
through time in the form of porotic hyperostosis. However,
she cautions that this stress was the result of multiple
factors including, but not limited to, those resulting from
European contact.
Jay Johnson and Geoffrey Lehmann present a settlement-
pattern study in which they conclude that the protohistoric
population of northeastern Mississippi moved into the
uplands to hunt deer in cedar glades. While earlier versions
of their analysis has been criticized, their point that we
must evaluate the effects of European contact individually
among different groups is important.
Lisa Kealhofer examines the case for demographic
collapse in California and concludes that there is no
evidence for a protohistoric collapse in this region. Even
during the fully historic Mission Period, she sees little
evidence of catastrophic decline due to epidemics of
introduced European disease. Death rates were high, but
evidence of epidemics is sparse. Furthermore, each mission
population had a different response to the new environment.
There were different factors leading to depopulation -
disease alone cannot be blamed. The disruption of indige-
nous social organization and reproduction may be more
significant than disease in the depopulation of some groups
at some times.
In their contribution, Clark Larsen, Christopher Ruff, and
Mark Griffin study skeletal populations from the Georgia
Coast. Using a "beam" analysis, they demonstrate that
females lost upper arm strength during the Early Contact
Period. Male arm strength increased during both the Early
Contact and Late Contact periods, while female upper arm
strength also increased in the Late Contact Period. The
authors suggest that these increases came about as a result
of Spanish demands for labor. Increasing evidence of
arthritis also supports these claims. Beam analysis shows
great potential for looking at differing activities through
Elizabeth Miller considers the effect of European contact
on the health of Texas Indians. She concludes that overall
health declined in this region following European contact.
These changes might be blamed as much on the shift from
a nomadic existence to a sedentary one as on the introduc-
tion of disease. Miller also points out that there were
significant differences between mission populations in the
changes that occurred, echoing the theme of the book that

we must look at individual cases and not generalize about
the results of contact.
Ann Stodder's paper looks at paleoepidemiology of
Pueblo groups in New Mexico. Again, health status among
different groups in the region does not appear to have been
uniform. Cranial trauma also substantiates the role of
warfare in the later prehistoric and protohistoric Southwest.
Tuberculosis and treponematosis were present in the
prehistoric Southwest, but may have increased in preva-
lence following the stresses of European contact. Population
clearly declined following contact, but again, multiple
causes must be considered.
Ann Palkovich's article reinforces the message that there
are many complex causes for observed skeletal features.
She sees a steady population decline over the course of
several centuries in the Southwest beginning in prehistory,
and points out that there was no "collapse" due to European
contact. She reminds us that we must have good data from
prehistoric populations to measure change during the
historic period.
George Milner presents a cogent summary of the contri-
butions of the authors in his role as discussant. He makes
several important points: (1) We do not know the extent or
timing of postcontact demographic decline in most areas,
(2) the evidence for violent contact between Native Ameri-
cans and Europeans has been overstated, (3) health may
have deteriorated, but we must look for multiple causes,
and finally (4) we must look for evidence of biological
adjustments made by native populations to the new post-
contact situation.
In the final essay, Kealhofer and Baker summarize the
findings of the contributors. They stress that there was no
uniform response to European contact. Nor were there
sweeping epidemics of European disease which laid waste
to indigenous populations of the Spanish borderlands. "The
paradigm for interpreting the protohistoric period has
shifted several times, and we have attempted to demonstrate
the need for it to shift yet again, toward a more defined,
problem- and data-oriented study of specific regions" (pg.
215). This book is an excellent step in that direction.

Editors of
The Florida

John W. Griffin

John M. Goggin

Robert Anderson

Adelaide K. Bullen

Robert Anderson

Adelaide K. Bullen

Julian Granberry

Charles H. Fairbanks

Mrs. William Massey

Charles H. Fairbanks

David S. Phelps

Ripley P. Bullen

Jerald T. Milanich

Robert S. Carr

Louis D. Tesar

Brent R. Weisman

Robert J. Austin

May 1948 November 1948

May 1949 November 1951

June 1952 September 1953

December 1953

January 1954 May 1954

September 1954 June 1956

December 1956

July 1957 March 1960

September 1960

December 1960 December 1966

January 1967 December 1969

January 1970 September 1976

December 1976 December 1979

January 1980 December 1983

March 1984 March 1992

June 1992 September 1995

December 1995 Present

J Working on the


Published in the Spring of 1983

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About the Authors:

Jason Baird Jackson is a Research Associate at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is
currently completing a doctoral dissertation exploring Yuchi expressive culture. He has conducted field
research in collaboration with the Yuchi people since 1993.

Victoria Lindsay Levine is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Colorado College. As a specialist
in the music of North American Indians, she has researched Choctaw and other native Southeastern musical
cultures since 1982.

Mary S. Linn is a graduate student at the University of Kansas. She has been working with speakers of the
Yuchi language since the summer of 1994. She is preparing a grammar of the Yuchi language for her
dissertation and a teaching grammar for the Yuchi community.

Pamela J. Innes is an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma. She is a linguistic anthropologist
and has done extensive work with the Muskogee (Creek) and Apache of Oklahoma.

Albert C. Goodyear is the Associate Director for Research at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology
and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. He is the founder and director of the Allendale
Paleoindian Expedition, an excavation program for members of the public. He grew up in St. Petersburg
and began his interests in archaeology there at a young age.

Arthur R. Lee is an avocational archaeologist who has served as past President of the Florida Anthropologi-
cal Society. He currently is Director of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society's Craighead

L Randolph Daniel, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at East Carolina University in Greenville,
North Carolina. He is a member of the Florida Anthropological Society who worked extensively in Florida
prior to his defection to North Carolina in 1985. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. Among his research interests are chipped-stone technologies and the
cultural adaptations of late Pleistocene-early Holocene hunter-gatherers in the Southeast. Along with Mike
Wisenbaker, he coauthored Harney Flats: A Florida Paleoindian Site.

Stanley C. Bond received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1995. After
working for 14 years at the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, he is currently Archeologist with
the U.S. Army Environmental Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.

Marvin T. Smith is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Valdosta State University. His research
focuses on the effects of European contact on Native Americans of the Southeast.



In addition to the members of our Editorial Review Board, several persons have
generously reviewed manuscripts submitted to The Florida Anthropologist during the past
year. It is with pleasure that we acknowledge the important service that these individuals
have provided to the Society.

Richard Bauman
Carl R. L. Brown
Ann Cordell
James Cusick
Richard W. Estabrook
Kathleen Hoffman
George Luer

William H. Marquardt
Jack Martin
Pat Moore
James Rementer
Rebecca Saunders
Louis D. Tesar

SF2 P341w
BB/17149 34-768 a


1997 VOL. 5014)

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