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Total population
Extinct as a tribe
Regions with significant populations
Georgia, United States
Traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
Muscogee, Mikasuki, Seminole

The Hitchiti were an indigenous tribe formerly residing chiefly in a town of the same name on the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, four miles below Chiaha, in western present-day Georgia, United States. The natives possessed a narrow strip of good land bordering on the river. The Hitchiti had a reputation of being honest and industrious.[1] Their autonym was possibly Atcik-hata, while the Coushatta knew them as the At-pasha-shliha, "mean people".[2]


Regions with significant populations

The Hitchiti language, one of the many languages spoken by the Muscogee tribe, was spoken in Georgia and Florida during the Colonial Period by tribes including the Hitchiti, Chiaha, Oconee, Sawokli, Apalochicola, and Miccosukee. Based on the amount of place names derived from the language, scholars believe it could have spread over a much larger area than Georgia and Florida during colonial times.[3]

It was part of the Muskogean language family; it is considered a dialect of the Mikasuki language with which it was mutually intelligible.[4] The Hitchiti and the Mikasuki tribes were both part of the loose Creek confederacy. The Mikasuki language was historically one of the major languages of the Seminole people and is still spoken by many Florida Seminoles and Miccosukees, but it is extinct among the Oklahoma Seminole.

Like the Creeks, the Hitchiti had an ancient "female" dialect. The dialect was still remembered and sometimes spoken by the older people, which used to be the language of the males as well. Their language with the "female" dialect was also known as the ancient language.[5]


The tables below are the sounds of the Hitchiti language:

 Short/Nasal  Long 
 Front   Central   Back   Front   Central   Back 
 Close  i ĩ u ũ
Mid  o
 Open a ã
Bilabial Labial Lateral Alveolar Palatal Glottal
Stop plain p t k
voiced b
Fricative f ɬ s h
Nasal m n
Approximant w l j


The Hitchiti are often associated with a location in the present-day Chattahoochee County, but at an earlier period were on the lower course of the Ocmulgee River. Early English maps show their town on the site of present-day Macon. After 1715 they moved to Henry County, Alabama, en route to their most well-known location of Chattahoochee. By 1839, they had all been relocated to Native American reservations in Oklahoma, where they gradually merged with the rest of the Native Americans of the Creek Confederacy.[6]

Some of their villages were located at Hihnje, location unknown; Hitchitoochee, on the Flint River below its junction with Kinchafoonee Creek; and Tuttallosee, on a creek of the same name, 20 miles west from Hitchitoochee.


The population of the Hitchiti is not known with precision because it was usually recorded with those of the other confederate tribes, and only the males were usually recorded. In 1738 there were 60 males in the tribe; in 1750 only 15; 50 in 1760; 40 in 1761; 90 in 1772; and in 1832 the entire population, males and females, was estimated at about 381.[7]


Hitchiti lived in the region that became Georgia for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. They were not nomadic, and inhabited most of southern Georgia. The Hitchiti were part of the Creek Confederacy, which occupied almost two-thirds of the current state of Georgia.

Many Native American relics have been found in Jones County. The western boundary of the county is the Ocmulgee River, one of the favored places of the Hitchiti tribe. Today one can find arrowheads and see numerous Indian trails there.[8]

The tribe is not often mentioned in historical records. It was first recorded in 1733, when two of its delegates were noted as accompanying the Lower Creek chiefs to meet Governor James Oglethorpe at Savannah.

When the U.S. Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins visited the Hitchiti in 1799, he recorded that they had spread out into two branch settlements. The Hitchitudshi, or Little Hitchiti, lived on both sides of Flint River below the junction of Kinchafoonee Creek, which passes through a county once named after it. The Tutalosi lived on a branch of Kinchafoonee Creek, 20 miles west of Hitchitudshi.[9]

The language appears to have been used beyond the territorial limits of the tribe: it was spoken in the towns on the Chattahoochee River, such as Chiaha, Chiahudshi, Hitchiti, Oconee, Sawokli, Sawokliudshi, and Apalachicola, and in those on the Flint River, and also by the Miccosukee tribe of Florida. Traceable by local names in Hitchiti, the language was used by peoples over considerable portions of Georgia and Florida. Like Creek, this language has an archaic form called "women's talk," or female language.

Scholars believe that the Yamasee also spoke Hitchiti, but the evidence is not conclusive. Other evidence points toward their speaking a different language, perhaps one related to Guale.

The Hitchiti were absorbed into and became an integral part of the Creek Nation, though preserving to a large extent their own language and customs. Similarly, those Mikasuki-speakers who joined the Lower Creek migrations to Florida maintained their culture.

For years they were considered to be part of the Seminole, which formed from remnant peoples in Florida. In the 20th century, they gained independent state recognition in 1957 and federal recognition in 1962 as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

Some sources list Hitchiti as an extant language in the 1990s.[10]

The Native Americans of Georgia were all officially removed from the state and forcibly resettled in Oklahoma by 1839. This was when most of their culture and language left the state of Georgia.[11]

To this day, you can still find remnants of the Hitchiti Indians all over the state of Georgia. A collection of Hitchiti artifacts was found in one location at a Hitchiti town. The collection includes a large copper disc at the center surrounded by Guntersville points, a variety of trade beads that indicate a heavy involvement in fur trade with the English, two ear plugs, five worked silver circles typical of the silver work of their descendants the Seminoles, a stone pendant, and a highly polished flaking tool.[12]


  1. ^ Gatschet, Albert (1884). A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians.
  2. ^ Swanton, John R. Indian Tribes of North America. (Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Off., 1953).
  3. ^ Daniels, Gary. "Mayan Words in Hitchiti-Creek Language Suggest Ancient Connection". Lost Worlds.
  4. ^ Hardy, Heather & Janine Scancarelli. (2005). Native Languages of the Southeastern United States, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 69-70
  5. ^ Gatschet, Albert (1884). A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians.
  6. ^ Sarrett Jr, Paul. "Georgia Tribes Index".
  7. ^ Sarrett Jr, Paul. "Georgia Tribes Index".
  8. ^ Williams, Carrie. "Jones County History". Jones County, GA.
  9. ^ Schorder, Lloyd. "Hitchiti". Peach State Archaeology Site.
  10. ^ Moseley, Christopher and R.E. Asher, ed. Atlas of the Worlds Languages, New York: Routledge, 1994, p. 6
  11. ^ Williams, Mark (1992). Hitchiti: An Early Georgia Language. Lamar Institute.
  12. ^ Schorder, Lloyd. "Hitchiti". Peach State Archaeology Site.

External links

  • Battle of Hitchity historical marker
  • Hitchiti Indian Language
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