In the beginning, the Muscogee people were born out
of the earth itself. They crawled up out of the ground through a hole
like ants. In those days, they lived in a far western land beside tan
mountains that reached the sky. They called the mountains the backbone
of the earth. Then a thick fog descended upon the earth, sent by the
Master of Breath, Esakitaummesee.
The Muscogee people could not see. They wandered
around blindly, calling out to one another in fear. They drifted apart
and became lost. The whole people were separated into small groups,
and these groups stayed close to one another in fear of being entirely
alone. Finally, the Master had mercy on them. From the eastern edge of
the world, where the sun rises, he began to blow away the fog. He blew
and blew until the fog was completely gone.
The people were joyful and sang a hymn of
thanksgiving to the Master of Breath. And in each of the groups, the
people turned to one another and swore eternal brotherhood. They said
that from then on these groups would be like large families. The
members of each group would be as close to each other as brother and
sister, father and son. The group that was farthest east and first to
see the sun, praised the wind that had blown the fog away.
They called themselves the Wind Family, or Wind
Clan. As the fog moved away from the other groups, they, too, gave
themselves names. Each group chose the name of the first animal it
saw. So they became the Bear, Deer, Alligator, Raccoon, and Bird
Clans. However, the Wind Clan was always considered the first clan and
the aristocracy of all the clans. The Master-of-Breath spoke to them:
"You are the beginning of each one of your families and clans. Live up
to your name. Never eat of your own clan, for it is your brother.
You must never marry into your own clan. This will
destroy your clan if you do. When an Indian brave marries, he must
always move with his wife to her clan. There he must live and raise
his family. The children will become members of their mother's clan.
Follow these ways and the Muskhogeans will always be a powerful force.
When you forget, your clans will die as people."