Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town

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Who is the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town?

Prior to the removal of the Muscogee Confederacy from their Southeastern homelands in the 1820’s and 30’s, the Alabama and Quassarte people each had a distinct identity as a Tribal Town(or Tribe) of the Confederacy.  The Confederacy consisted of more than 44  of these “Towns” scattered throughout the Southeastern woodlands. 

Due to the logistics (or locations) of their towns which were in near proximity to one another in what is now known as the State of Alabama, they shared many similar cultural characteristics such as certain aspects of their language, religious practices and social/familial structures.

With the advancement of European settlers into the region, many members of these two groups, in an attempt to avoid contact with the “invaders”, migrated Southwest into Louisiana and Texas in the 1790’s and early 1800’s where they remain today (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana & Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas).  Those members who did not leave formed an alliance and became the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town.

Official Tribal Name: Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town

Address:  101 E. Broadway, Wetumka, Ok.  74883
Phone: 405-452-3987
Fax:405 452-3968

Official Website: http://www.alabama-quassarte.org/

Recognition Status: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is a federally recognized Native American tribe in Oklahoma. They are a Muskogean-speaking people who are descended from the historic Alabama and Coushatta tribes. The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is headquartered in Wetumka, Oklahoma.

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

  • Oola Albaama-Kosaati (Alabama)
  • Oola Albaamo-Kowassaati (Coushatta)

The Quassarte and Alabama were originally two distinct tribes, who both lived on the banks of the Alabama River from Mobile, Alabama to the upper reaches of the river. Both the river and the state are named after the Alabama.

Common Name:

 Alabama – Quassarte

Meaning of Common Name:

 Alabama – Cleared thicket

Alternate names/ Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

The Quassarte are also known as the Coushatta or Koasati, in their own language.

Name in other languages:

  • Koasati: Albaamaha
  • Muscogee: Albaamaha
  • Choctaw: Albaamaha
  • Chickasaw: Albaamaha
  • Seminole: Albaamaha

Region:  Southeastern United States

State(s) Today: Oklahoma

Traditional Territory:

Before removal of the Muscogee Creek people from Alabama in the 1830s, the Muscogee Nation Confederacy included over 44 different tribal towns. The Alabama and Quassarte peoples made up six to eight of those towns.  Facing increasing encroachment by European-American settlers, some of the Quassarte and Alabama peoples moved into Louisiana and Texas in the late 18th century and early 19th century. These emigrants formed what are today the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.  Those who stayed in Alabama joined forces and became a single town.

Confederacy:

Creek Confederacy (also called the Muscogee Nation Confederacy)

Treaties:

  • Treaty of Fort Jackson (1814)
  • Treaty of Fort St. Stephens (1820)
  • Treaty of Indian Springs (1821)
  • Treaty of Washington City (1828)
  • Treaty of New Echota (1835)
  • Treaty of 1866

Reservations:

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town tribal jurisdictional area, as opposed to a reservation, spans Creek, Hughes, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Rogers, Seminole, Tulsa, and Wagoner counties in Oklahoma. 
Land Area:  
Tribal Headquarters:  The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is headquartered in Wetumka, Oklahoma.
Time Zone:  
B.I.A. Office:  

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

 The tribe includes 380 enrolled members, of which 324 live within the state of Oklahoma, as of 2011.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

 Tribal enrollment is based on lineal descent from 1890 and 1895 tribal rolls and does not require a minimum blood quantum.  Due to its historic relationship with the Muscogee Creek Nation, tribal members can maintain dual citizenship in both tribes.

Genealogy Resources: 

Black Creeks adopted through the Dawes Commission between 1898 and 1916

Government:

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is governed by a chief, second chief, secretary, floor speaker, solicitor, chairman of the governing committee, and the governing committee itself,

Charter: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town has a charter that was adopted in 1975.

Name of Governing Body: Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council
Number of Council members:   Twelve
Dates of Constitutional amendments: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Constitution has been amended four times, in 1977, 1981, 1987, and 2002.

Number of Executive Officers:  The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is governed by a chief, second chief, secretary, floor speaker, solicitor, chairman of the governing committee, and the governing committee itself, with twelve elected members.

Elections:

Elections for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council and executive officers are typically held at regular intervals, as determined by the tribal constitution and applicable laws. The specific frequency and procedures for elections may vary and are determined by the tribe’s governing body. Usually, the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town holds elections every four years for the chief, second chief, and twelve members of the Tribal Council.

Language Classification:

 Muskogean

Language Dialects: Alabama

Number of fluent Speakers: There are an estimated 20 fluent speakers of the Alabama language.

Dictionary:

Origins: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is descended from the historic Alabama and Coushatta tribes. According to oral history,the Great Spirit created the first Alabama-Quassarte people from clay and breathed life into them. The first Alabama-Quassarte people lived in a land of plenty, with plenty of food and water. They were a peaceful people who lived in harmony with nature.

One day, a great flood came and destroyed the land of the Alabama-Quassarte people. The people were forced to flee their homes and search for a new place to live. They traveled for many days and nights, and finally came to a place called Alabama. Alabama was a land of beauty and abundance, and the Alabama-Quassarte people were happy to have found a new home.

The Alabama-Quassarte people lived in Alabama for many years. They were a prosperous people who built great cities and temples. They were also a peaceful people who lived in harmony with nature.

One day, a group of white men came to Alabama. The white men were looking for land, and they were not interested in living in peace with the Alabama-Quassarte people. The white men forced the Alabama-Quassarte people off their land and sent them on a long journey to Oklahoma.

The Alabama-Quassarte people arrived in Oklahoma in 1837. 

Bands, Gens, and Clans

Social Organization: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is a matrilineal society.

Related Tribes:

Other federally recognized Coushatta tribes are the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas. Two other Muscogee tribal towns are federally recognized, and 40 tribal towns, or talwa, remain enrolled in the Muscogee Creek Nation. The tribe maintains a close relationship with the Muscogee Creek Nation and falls under the jurisdiction of their tribal courts. Some members are dually enrolled in the Muscogee Nation.

Traditional Allies:

 In the early 17th century, after a conflict with French settlers, the Alabama tribe and the Quassarte tribe formed an alliance.

Traditional Enemies: The traditional enemies of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town were the Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes.

Ceremonies / Dances: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town celebrates a number of traditional ceremonies and dances, including the Green Corn Ceremony, the Busk Ceremony, and the War Dance.

Modern Day Events & Tourism: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town hosts a number of events and activities throughout the year, including the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Fair, the Alabama-Quassarte Powwow, and the Alabama-Quassarte Arts & Crafts Festival.

Museums: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Museum is located in Wetumka, Oklahoma. It houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the tribe’s history and culture.

Legends / Oral Stories:

Alabama Legends:

  • The Creation of the World
  • The Origin of the Sun and Moon
  • The Story of the Flood
  • The Legend of the Talking Snake
  • The Story of the Lost Princess
  • The Tale of the Two Brothers
  • The Legend of the Corn Mother
  • The Story of the Medicine Man
  • The Tale of the Warrior
  • The Legend of the Chief

Art & Crafts: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is known for its traditional arts and crafts, including basketry, pottery, beadwork, and wood carving.

Animals: They originally hunted and fished for their food. After moving to Oklahoma, they also raised domesticated animals, such as chickens, pigs, and cows.

Clothing: The traditional clothing of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was made from deerskin and other animal hides. Men wore breechcloths and leggings, while women wore skirts and dresses.

Adornment: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town people adorned themselves with jewelry, such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They also painted their faces and bodies with designs that had symbolic meaning.

Housing: The traditional housing of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was the longhouse. Longhouses were made from wood and bark, and they could house multiple families.

Subsistance: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town people subsisted on a diet of hunting, fishing, and farming. They also gathered wild plants and fruits.

Economy Today:

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town economy is based on a variety of businesses, including gaming, tourism, and agriculture. The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town operates a tribal housing program, a smoke shop, and a casino, the Red Hawk Gaming Center in Wetumka.

Religion Today: : Today, their beliefs are a mixture of Protestant Christianity and Traditional Tribal religion.

Traditional Religion & Spiritual Beliefs: The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town people traditionally practiced a form of animism, in which they believed that all things in nature have a spirit. They also believed in a supreme being, who they called the Great Spirit. 

Burial Customs:

Burial customs practiced by Creek Freedmen

Wedding Customs

Radio: 

 
Newspapers:  

Catastrophic Events:

The Trail of Tears: In the 1830s, the United States government forced the Muscogee Creek people to leave their homelands in Alabama and Georgia and move to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was one of the tribes that was forced to relocate. The Trail of Tears was a long and difficult journey, and many members of the tribe died along the way.

The American Civil War: During the American Civil War, the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was divided. Some members of the tribe supported the Confederacy, while others supported the Union. The war caused a great deal of hardship for the tribe, and many members of the tribe died.

The Allotment Act: In the late 19th century, the United States government passed the Allotment Act, which divided tribal lands into individual parcels. This act had a devastating impact on the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, as it led to the loss of much of the tribe’s land.

The Great Depression: The Great Depression of the 1930s was a difficult time for the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town. The tribe lost much of its income, and many members of the tribe were forced to live in poverty.

Famous Alabama People:

  • Will Rogers
  • Nat King Cole
  • Lionel Richie
  • Condoleezza Rice

Tribal History:

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town has an origin story that tells of the tribe’s creation. The story tells of a time when the world was covered in water. A group of people were saved from the flood by a giant turtle. The turtle created an island for the people to live on, and this island became the homeland of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town.

The traditional homelands of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town are in what is now the southeastern United States. The tribe’s ancestral homelands are located in the area of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, which includes parts of present-day Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

The Alabama-Quasarte were first contacted by Europeans in was in 1540. The arrival of Europeans had a profound impact on the tribe, and their way of life changed dramatically.

The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto encountered the tribe while he was exploring the southeastern United States. De Soto and his men were looking for gold, and they attacked the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town in an attempt to get their gold. The attack was unsuccessful, and the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was able to drive off the Spanish.

However, the tribe was decimated by diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza. 

Europeans brought their own religions to the Americas, such as Christianity. Many members of the tribe converted to Christianity, and this led to changes in the way they worshipped and celebrated their religious holidays. Farming and Christianity, also had a significant impact on the tribe.

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town had a number of other encounters with Europeans in the centuries that followed. The tribe was often at odds with the Europeans, and there were a number of wars between the two groups.

The most famous of these wars was the Creek War of 1813-1814. The Creek War was a conflict between the United States and the Creek Confederacy, which included the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town. The war was fought over land, and the United States was victorious.

The Creek Confederacy was defeated, and the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was forced to cede much of its land to the United States.

The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was forced to relocate several times in the 19th century.

The Indian Removal Act was a law passed by the United States government in 1830. The law authorized the president to remove Native American tribes from their homelands to reservations west of the Mississippi River. The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town was one of the tribes that was forced to relocate under the Indian Removal Act.

In 1830, the tribe was forced to leave their homelands in Alabama and Georgia and move to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The relocation of the Alabama-Quasarrte to Oklahoma was a difficult and traumatic experience for the tribe, and many tribal members died along the way.

In the News: 

Further Reading:

Indian Nations of North America