Cardinal Directions, Creek Country A to Z

Creek Country A to Z
Creek Country now consists of Georgia and Alabama, but 160 years ago, it was ruled by the mighty Creek Confederacy. Join me as I explore ancient Creek Country from Adela to Zachariah, the Battle of Burnt Corn to the Yamassee War. And everything in between.

C, for Cardinal Directions

The Southeastern Natives placed much importance on the four cardinal directions, correlating them with colors and social values. 

They were actually two sets of opposites. 
This is how the Creek viewed them:
East=white, sun, Sacred Fire, blood, life and success; 
West=black, moon, death
North=red, cold, trouble and defeat; 
South=blue, warmth, peace, and happiness

I’d be interested to learn why the Creek viewed cold as “red” and warm as “blue.” Their neighbors to the northeast, the Cherokee, classified them as we do—red/warm and blue/cold.

Personal photo of a town square. Note the logs of the fire
also point in the cardinal directions.
Diorama found at Ocmulgee National Monument. 
The seating around the square ground was arranged with the cardinal directions in mind. They built “sheds” which were really three sided buildings with the side facing the central sacred fire left open. Each shed housed two to three rows of benches. The miko (chief) and his assistants sat in the shed on the western side. The warriors sat on the northern (red/war) side. The men who oversaw communal affairs sat on the southern (white/peace) side. The eastern shed was reserved for youth, visitors, and elders. During their ceremonies, they blew tobacco smoke (or sprinkled dried leaves) in the four directions.

The Seminoles (refugee Creek and other tribes) believed that when a person fell asleep his soul left his body and went north where it experienced dreams. It usually returned when the person woke up, but when it didn’t, he/she would fall ill, particularly when a soul left north and went east. A priest would try to coax the soul back into the person, but if it kept going all the way east and ended up in the west (black/death), the person died.

It’s all quite fascinating and a way of thinking that is so far removed from our scientific times and Judeo/Christian beliefs, it’s hard to comprehend. I believe that being an illiterate society they did the best they could with the basics. Not only that, but they didn’t possess the drive to explore, conquer, and obtain that propelled those of European descent.

The Native Americans lived a hard life, but they were happy with it just as the Master of Breath had given it to them. There’s a lesson in there for us all.

Before publication, a scene that was deleted from Wounded Spirits. It depicted an important council meeting. For a clearer, more colorful view of a town square, you can read that scene here:

To learn more about the Creek and their ancient country and to experience one of the most exciting adventures in historical fiction, I invite you to read my novels.

Purchase your copy today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also available for Kindle and Nook

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