Yuchi (American Indians Ready Reference)
In the 1540's, Hernando de Soto encountered the Yuchis (also known as the Westos) in present-day eastern Tennessee; by the eighteenth century, the tribe had migrated southward, with the majority of Yuchis settling on the lower Chattahoochee River. Here, the tribe lived as part of the Creek Confederacy.
Though they were similar to other Creek peoples in many aspects of their culture, the Yuchis retained a strong sense of separate identity. They regarded themselves as descendants of the sun and as the original human inhabitants of what is now the southeastern United States. Their language reinforced their sense of distinctiveness—unrelated to any of the languages spoken by other southeastern tribes, Yuchi was difficult for other Indians to master.
From the late eighteenth century, the Yuchis functioned within the context of Creek and Seminole history. Among the most conservative and traditionalist of Creeks, the Yuchis resented the attempt of Muskogee-speakers to dominate Creek affairs. Some Yuchis joined the migration to Florida that eventually gave birth to a distinctive Seminole identity. During the Creek War (1813-1814), the majority of Yuchis supported the traditionalist Red Sticks faction against American forces and their Indian allies. After the Red Sticks defeat, more Yuchis joined their Seminole kinsmen in Florida. Almost all Yuchis were eventually removed to Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma) either with the Creeks in the 1830's or...
(The entire section is 338 words.)
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