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Creek:

The Creek Indians lived in the southeast. Those places later became different states. Some of the states they lived in are Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama.

An explorer named Hernando de Soto was the first European to meet the Creeks. More people from England came to America and settled in the area where the Indians lived. The Native Americans started trading with these new settlers.

The Creek Indians were divided into groups. These groups were called clans. The clans were named after different animals.

The Creeks are very spiritual. They used to believe that plants, fire, water, and animals were special. They had ceremonies to celebrate things. One of these was the Green Corn Ceremony. During this ceremony, they told stories, forgave others, and made friends. They danced and sang around a fire. Some of them still have these ceremonies today.

The Creeks built their towns near creeks or rivers. The towns were called italwas. They built towns near water so that they could fish and bathe and have water to drink. It was also easier to grow gardens when there was water nearby.

Each town had its own chief. He was called a mekko. Creek towns were either red towns or white towns. Red towns were war towns. White towns were peace towns.  Whenever the Creeks won a war, they invited the loser to become part of their confederacy. This helped them grow larger.

Some of the Creeks fought with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. They were fighting against the colonies, but the colonies won the war. Later, the U.S. government took the Creek Indians land from them.

During 1813 and 1814, two Creek groups fought against each other. This was called the Creek Wars. When this war was over, the U.S. government took even more land from the Indians.

In 1836, the white settlers and the U.S. government forced the Creek Indians to move farther west. Many of the Creeks died during this move. A few of them refused to move. They hid in the forests. Their descendents are still alive today. They are called the Seminole Indians. They live in Florida today.

To see a map of where the Creek and Cherokee Indians lived, visit this site:  http://www.native-languages.org/georgia.htm.

Cherokee:

The Cherokee Indians lived in the southeast. Those places later became different states. Some of the states they lived in are Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

An explorer named Hernando de Soto was the first European to meet the Cherokee. More people from England came to America and settled in the area where the Indians lived. The Native Americans started trading with these new settlers.

The Cherokee Indians were divided into seven different groups. These groups were called clans. The clans were Bird, Wolf, Deer, Long Hair, Paint, Blue, and Wild Potato. There were two leaders or chiefs for each village. One chief was for peace. He was called the White Chief. One chief was for war. He was called the Red Chief.

Priests were also important to the Cherokee. They believed in several gods. They thought that rattlesnakes, fire, corn, smoke, eagles, the sun, the moon, and quartz crystals were all special things. Priests were taught how to make medicine out of herbs (plants that grow). Yowa was the name of their Great Spirit or their main god.

They had many festivals to celebrate seasons. They enjoyed special music and dances during these festivals. They played drums and shook rattles. They also played cane flutes and danced.

After 1783, there were a lot of settlers in the same place as the Cherokee and Creek Indians. The United States wanted the Indians to live the same way everyone else lived. They had started learning to spin wool and make different clothes. They were shopping in the settlers' stores.

Even more settlers started coming to the United States. They needed places to live, so the United States government told the Cherokee to move west to what they called "Indian Territory".

The Cherokee Indians did not want to move, but they were forced to leave their homes in the southeast. They were made to move to reservations in Oklahoma. During that trip to Oklahoma, thousands of them died. They died because the camps they had to live in were filthy. They died because they caught diseases from the settlers like measles and whooping cough. Over four thousand Cherokee Indians died during that time. Because of this, the trail they followed is called the Trail of Tears.

You can learn more about the Trail of Tears by visiting this site.

 

 

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