Hitchiti

Hitchiti

The Hitchiti was a Muskogean tribe formerly residing chiefly in a town of the same name on the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, 4 miles below Chiaha, and possessing a narrow strip of good land bordering on the river, in west Georgia. They spoke a language, also Hitchiti, that was mutually intelligible with Mikasuki, which is still spoken in Florida.

When Benjamin Hawkins visited them in 1799 they had spread out into two branch settlements, one, the Hitchitudshi, or Little Hitchiti, on both sides of Flint River below the junction of Kinchafoonee Creek, which passes through a county once named after it; the other, Tutalosi, on a branch of Kinchafoonee Creek, 20 miles west of Hitchitudshi.

The tribe is not often mentioned in history, and appears for the first time in 1733, when two of its delegates, with the Lower Creek chiefs, met Governor James Oglethorpe at Savannah.

The language appears to have extended beyond the limits of the tribe as here defined, as it was spoken not only in the towns on the Chattahoochee, as Chiaha, Chiahudshi, Hitchiti, Oconee, Sawokli, Sawokliudshi, and Apalachicola, and in those on Flint river, but by the Miccosukee tribe of Florida and, as traceable by the local names, over considerable portions of Georgia and Florida. This language, like the Creek, has an archaic form called "woman's talk," or female language. It is supposed that the Yamasee likewise spoke the Hitchiti language, but the evidence is not conclusive with other evidence pointing towards either them speaking a different language or speaking a language 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, becoming the forefathers of the Seminole, maintained their culture and are now recognized as the distinct Miccosukee tribe.

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

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