Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe of Indians
The Euchee (often also spelled Yuchi) are an American Indian people of Oklahoma whose original homelands were in the present southeastern United States. At first contact with Europeans, they resided in autonomous communities found in what is now eastern Tennessee, but during the colonial period they established settlements throughout the southeastern United States. In the 1700s, the Euchee became geographically and militarily associated with Creek-speaking towns settled in present Georgia and Alabama, and subsequently they were forced by the United States to move west to Indian Territory along with their Creek neighbors.
After relocation in the 1830s, the Euchee established their present settlements in the northern and northwestern portions of the Creek Nation. The Euchee are currently organized around ceremonial grounds known as Polecat, Duck Creek and Sand Creek. Each Euchee settlement is led by a traditional town chief known as the P'athl and continues to hold an annual series of ceremonies at its square-ground site.
The Euchee have strongly asserted their identity as a distinct people separate from the Creek or any other people. They have long sought to have this identity acknowledged by the United States government and by fellow Oklahomans. Euchee culture is preserved in distinctive funeral ritual, foodways, storytelling, clothing, customs and in the use of the Euchee language. Presently only about five fluent elder speakers of Euchee language remain. However, through ongoing language classes, several adults are developing Euchee language skills and a number of children are learning to use the language.
The Euchee celebrate a series of rituals throughout the year that include Indian football games in the spring followed by a series of stomp dances, summer's Arbor Dance, the Green Corn ceremony, and finally the Soup Dance at the end of each ground's regular season.