Creek Religion and Medicine

Overview


Weaving together a wide array of historical sources with oral accounts gathered from fieldwork, this classic study provides a valuable overview of traditional Creek (Muskogee) religion and medicine. John R. Swanton visited the Creek Nation in the early twentieth century and learned about many important aspects of Creek religious life and medicine. Subjects covered in this book include Creek conceptions of the cosmos; religious stories; death and the afterlife; spiritual forces and beings; various rituals, ...
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Overview


Weaving together a wide array of historical sources with oral accounts gathered from fieldwork, this classic study provides a valuable overview of traditional Creek (Muskogee) religion and medicine. John R. Swanton visited the Creek Nation in the early twentieth century and learned about many important aspects of Creek religious life and medicine. Subjects covered in this book include Creek conceptions of the cosmos; religious stories; death and the afterlife; spiritual forces and beings; various rituals, including the Busk ceremony; prohibitions; the power and skills of different religious practitioners; the cultural force of witchcraft; and herbal and spiritual remedies. Many of these beliefs and practices have been present throughout Creek history and persist today. Creek Religion and Medicine showcases the vibrant culture of an enduring southeastern Native people.
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Editorial Reviews

The Alabama Review

"John R. Swanton's Creek Religion and Medicine endures as one of the best sources for ethnohistorical information about the Muscogee Nation. Drawing from a broad spectrum of archival sources and oral histories collected from Native American informants, Swanton provides a rare glimpse of traditional Muscogean (Creek) religion and medicine. . . . This classic study is a must read for anyone interested in the Native Southeast."—Stacye Hathorn, The Alabama Review

— Stacye Hathorn

The Alabama Review - Stacye Hathorn

"John R. Swanton's Creek Religion and Medicine endures as one of the best sources for ethnohistorical information about the Muscogee Nation. Drawing from a broad spectrum of archival sources and oral histories collected from Native American informants, Swanton provides a rare glimpse of traditional Muscogean (Creek) religion and medicine. . . . This classic study is a must read for anyone interested in the Native Southeast."—Stacye Hathorn, The Alabama Review
Booknews
Swanton (1873-1958) weaves together historical sources with oral accounts gathered from fieldwork during the early 20th century to overview traditional Creek, or Muskogee, religion and medicine. Conceptions of the cosmos, religious stories, death and the afterlife, spiritual forces and beings, various rituals, prohibitions, the power and skills of different religious practitioners, and herbal and spiritual remedies are among the topics. A facsimile of , published in a Smithsonian Institute series in 1928; the photographs have suffered from the reproduction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803292741
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST BISON
  • Pages: 213
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


John R. Swanton (1873-1958) was a seminal figure in the study of southeastern Native peoples, with more than thirty books to his credit. James Taylor Carson is an assistant professor of history at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and the author of Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removal (Nebraska 1999).
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Table of Contents

General remarks 477
The cosmos 477
The supernatural beings 481
Charms 498
The fate of souls 510
Miscellaneous beliefs 515
Sacrifices 516
Taboos 517
Music and dancing 521
Ceremonies 534
Miscellaneous ceremonies 534
Ceremony of the asi 538
Minor ceremonies connected with the square grounds 544
The great annual ceremony or busk 546
Shamanism and medicine 614
General remarks 614
The "knowers" 615
The "fasters" or doctors 617
Methods of practicing 622
Weather controllers 629
Witcheraft 631
Diseases and remedies 636
General remarks 636
Creek medicines 639
Alabama medicines 663
Natchez medicines 667
Supplementary note 670
Bibliography 672
Index 859
Plates
8. The Creek Busk: The Women's dance
9. The Creek Busk: Women's dance at the Okchai Busk in 1912
10. The Okchai Busk. a. Box for tobacco, medicine, and drum in the Chiefs' Bed. b. Rite of the emetic
11. Taking the emetic at Okchai
12. The Creek Busk. a and b. The Tcitahaia or "Feather dance." c. The Square Ground just after the fasters have left to bathe in a neighboring creek
13. The Creek and Natchez Indians. a. Drum. b. Ceremonial ground near Braggs, Okla., used by the Natchez, Creek, and Cherokee Indians. c. Home of the Kila or Prophet Yahola
Text Figure
10S. Arrangement of ears of corn on the fire sticks at the Chiaha busk
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