By Howard Thomas Foster II, Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund, Lisa D. O'Steen
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Extra info for Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836
Recent research, which uses ecological modeling and ethnohistoric data, has indicated that the primary variable contributing to garden placement and duration was soil productivity (Foster 2003b). The produce from a town’s communal agricultural ¤elds was distributed among the families of the town. Since Creek Indians were matrilineal, adult females owned and worked the farmland (Foster 2003a:21). Individual plots were identi¤ed in the large communal ¤elds by borders between the plots, but everyone worked together on all plots during the planting.
We know that during the seventeenth century the Spanish traded with Indians living in the Apalachicoli province (Hann 1996:68). That province has the name that the Spanish attributed to the Indian towns distributed along what is now called the Chattahoochee River. The earliest town list for the Chattahoochee River region was made in 1675 by Bishop Gabriel Díaz Vara Calderón. It lists, in order from south to north, Chicahuti, Sabacola, Oconi, Apalachicoli, Ilapi, Tacusa, Usachi, Ocmulgui, Ahachito, Cazithto, Colomme, Cabita, and Cuchiguali (Hann 1988:362).
The Chattahoochee River was called the “Rio del Spiritu Santo” and the “Apalachicola River” by the Spanish, who viewed it from the south and were more familiar with the Apalachicola people who were settled to the south (Cumming and De Vorsey 1998:plate 24; Hann and McEwan 1998:33). In the early eighteenth century, it was also referred to as the “River Cusitie” on an English map. In this case the river is named after the Maskókî town of Cussetuh (Utley and Hemperly 1975:336). John Goff ’s article on the town of Chattahoochee contains other names (Utley and Hemperly 1975:338).