Timpoochee Barnard, Yuchi
Timpoochee Barnard

Yuchi Literature
(Euchee or Uchee)

Excerpts from
Who Were the Mysterious
Yuchi Indians
of Tennessee and the Southeast

"The Federal Government has never recognized the Yuchi tribe despite the fact that they are not related by language or culture to any other American Indian people. This is probably the result of never signing a treaty or fighting a war with the Yuchi. It seems they "obtained" title to Yuchi lands by treaty/purchase from the neighboring tribes. "

"That they were a distinct people is known from their insistence on descent from the Sun, a hold over from the mound building Sun worship. While they lived among several other tribes, they remained distinct and held themselves separate. More important the Uchean language has never been certainly classified, and bears little resemblance to any of the known tongues of the Americas. Only a half dozen speakers of the Uchean language remain alive. The Yuchi long built their homes half subterranean with palisaded walls around the village. They buried their dead laid out flat, often within wooden or stone lined pits. It is cultural traits like these that distinguishes their archaeological sites from their neighbors."

"The Indian removal was the beginning of the end for the Yuchi tribe. Some Yuchi fled to Florida and joined the Seminole, where Uchee Billy was Chief a century ago. Others of mixed heritage successfully "passed as white," and remained on their land. However, this required hiding all evidence of their Indian heritage." . . . . "Today, the tribal Yuchi number a few hundred and are partly assimilated into the Creek and Seminole Nations."

"In summary, the Yuchi language is nearly extinct with less than a dozen speakers. The tribe was expelled from East Tennessee before the settlers begin to record the area's history. Reduced to only a small tribe, they were largely ignored by scholars. It is little wonder that their tie to this State (Tennessee) and its name has been nearly lost to us. Just a forgotten tribe and a nearly meaningless name hidden in a few musty records. If we ignore the Yuchi long enough they will be extinct, and therefore one less Indian problem to concern an arrogant majority bent on reducing them to naught but forgotten myths."

David Hackett

Yuchi Town was a thriving Native American community in the 1700's on land now occupied by Fort Benning. This painting by Martin Pate draws on archeological research to portray how the town might have appeared.

In the Beginning

The Rosetta Project: Yuchi/Uchean
Scientific American: Preserving the Yuchi Language
South Carolina Indians - The Yuchi
Tsoyaha- "Children of the Sun"; Yuchi- "Faraway People"
Yuchi Ceremonial Life (Book)
Yuchi history
Yuchi Tribal Information
Yuchi or Uchee Indians
Extract from The Indian Tribes of North America by John R. Swanton
Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145ó1953

Following Report is posted on TNGenWeb.org

Bureau of Indian Affairs


II Historical Background

The petitioning group, Yuchi Tribal Organization, Inc., is made up of individuals derived from the historical Yuchi tribe. This tribe joined the Muscogee (Creek) Confederacy, probably in two stages, in the late 18th or early 19th century (Wright 1951, Court of Claims 1956).(1)
Yuchis have maintained a political and legal relationship with the Muscogee (Creek) tribe since joining the Creek Confederacy. The Creek Confederacy united dozens of historic tribes yet preserved their ethnic distinctiveness by making them corporate groups responsible for most of their own affairs, particularly that of training and maintaining their own standing armies and maintaining their own ceremonial grounds. The incorporated tribes, which might consist of multiple settlements, were known as “talwas,” and later as “tribal towns.”
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, Yuchis were signatories to some Creek treaties with the United States. They were removed with the Creeks in the 1830’s from the banks of the Chattahoochee River in present-day Alabama to what is now Oklahoma.
The Yuchi and other Creek tribal towns reestablished themselves, along ethnic lines, in the tribe’s new homelands following the removal (Opler 1937, 22). There were four Yuchi settlements in Oklahoma, reduced after 1900 to three (Wright 1951, 267, Speck 1909, 9).
The tribal towns became the basis for representation in both the House of Kings and the House of Warriors of the bicameral legislature of a Creek Nation government which was developed in 1867 (Opler 1937, 12). The Yuchi were represented in this government as a single town, one of 44 in the confederacy (Wright 1951, 267). Yuchi leaders participated actively in its affairs (Wright 1951, 267). A Yuchi leader built the first Creek Council House, a double log structure in what is now downtown Okmulgee (Tulsa Daily World, 1939).
The Act of April 26, 1906 (34 Stat. 137) allotted Creek lands in severalty and provided for the dissolution of the Creek tribal government. Yuchis were enrolled as Creek Indians on the roll of the Creek Nation created by the Dawes Commission. This roll, under the 1906 act, became the “final roll” of the Creek Nation. In 1976, the Federal court in Harjo v. Kleppe (U.S. District Court 1976) determined that the dissolution of the Creek Tribal government had not been statutorily accomplished and that in fact the Creek government had been explicitly perpetuated.
There continued after 1906 to be some Creek government activities and also some continued functioning of the tribal towns, including two Yuchi settlements (Opler 1937, 36). A principal chief was appointed by the President under the 1906 Act, sometimes based on elections or recommendations by representative bodies of Creeks. Three of the tribal towns organized in the 1930’s under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. Debo (1940) indicates that organization of the Yuchi under the act was considered, but was never done.

Interesting note:
Gujjars (of India) are also identified with the Kushans of Yuchi, a tribe of Tartars.

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