Background and Overview of the Language, People and Town
Pvlvcekolv (Apalachicola) is a Muskogean language confined to North Florida, eastern Alabama and Western Georgia. This tongue was once the language of several Tribal Towns and satellite communities located along the Apalachicola, Wakulla, Chattahoochee, Flint, Coosa, Savannah, Suwannee and St. Mary's rivers at various times. Its former wide range through several centuries resulted from seasonal migration and forced relocations of the Pvlvcekolv and their daughter and sister Towns. Originally, Pvlvcekolv was an independent Town whose main communications were in a dialect of the Hitchiti tongue. However, due to its peculiar affection for not only marrying outside both clan and moiety, but outside the tribe as well, it can be safely inferred that the dominant Muskogee Creek was also widely used. Muskogee Creek was the language of all inter-town affairs. Because of the many mixed-blood unions between its citizens, Brits, Scots and the Irish, English was in common use early on. Neither Spanish nor French were ever important linguistic factors at Pvlvcekolv despite decades of exposure and the adoption of French military terms and Spanish food and animal names. Mobilian was also widely known. Pvlvcekolv used Mobilian in trade with groups West of Florida. Its last two fluent speakers, Alice and Barbara, died in 1983 and 1995.
Most sources agree about Pvlvcekolv's early prominence. It was one of the founding Towns of the Creek Confederacy and the place where that union solidified. Primary sources also cite the loss of that prominence. An element of linguistic confusion to professionals, is the custom of communities ceremonially associated with modern Creeks to use Muskogee proper as the language of business and "Medicine." Even today in South Florida, many songs and formulae used at Miccosukee Busk Grounds are rendered in Creek. Angie Debo, Frances Densmore, John Swanton, Louis Capron, William Sturtevant, and other ethnographers document this use of Creek.
Some Early History
Pvlvcekolv's oral history has been borne out to a surprising degree. It gives interesting insights into early desperations and the diaspora that followed the "Big Town Massacre" (circa 1760's), when several traders and their Indian families took refuge at Pvlvcekolv during some hostilities; they were burned to death in the council house by local hot-heads. Pvlvcekolv was a Peace or White Town at the time. This widely broadcast event brought the wrath of the whole Creek confederacy against Old Apalachicola Tribal Town. Pvlvcekolv then splintered into several small groups. Many individuals aligned with Old Chiaha in southwest Georgia (not to be confused with the Chiaha further North)--others journeyed to Hothlewahthle in Alabama.
Arrival of Pvlvcekolv refugees among the Hothlewahthle, with whom they had a strong ceremonial bond of opposites, caused uproar. Most Hothlewahthle elders were enraged that a Peace Town would usurp Hothlewahthle's own war-managing function and allow blood to be spilled at a Peace Fire. A few elders defended the refugees as not being responsible for the actions of a few hotheads. This debate led to an ensuing public drinking debauchery that led to a local schism. A portion of Hothlewahthle, (a town aligned with Tukabatchee) and the newly arrived Pvlvcekolv refugees, separated and went down river near modern day Wetumpka, Alabama to live "at the place of canes and rushes" from which they took a new name. It was these, who upon removal, became Thlopthlocco Tribal Town in Oklahoma.
Before removal, some refugee Pvlvcekolv returned to an old town site near where Florida, Georgia and Alabama join. Not being allowed to resettle, they inhabited a series of small satellite communities mostly throughout North Florida along with Fus-hatchee refugees. They congregated in groups based on the language spoken: Hitchiti, Pvlvcekolv or Muskogee Creek. A core settled in upper N.E Florida and S.E. Georgia in modern Nassau (Fl.) county and across the St. Mary's river into Camden county, (Ga.) and throughout the Okefenokee region. A second large group settled the area from the Wakulla river westward to Blountstown in Calhoun county, Florida. Most of the remainder moved into extreme West Florida and southwest Alabama where many became part of the group now called the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Poarch Creeks retain little Muskogee heritage although they maintained a private land base, a degree of genetic continuity and recently received federal recognition.
Some Hitchiti speaking Fus-hatchee, "Birdcreek People", remained in North Florida. Along with refugee Pvlvcekolv, they are the nuclei of modern North Florida's Pvlvcekolv people. For a while, small Square Grounds were maintained near Macon and Fowltown, Georgia and in Yulee, Florida, at Bruce, near old Antioch, and in the Leon-Wakulla county area; Busks alternated among these smaller Grounds. After a succession of locations and names, the Pvlvcekolv Square Grounds (ceremonial centers) consolidated. Pvlvcekolv finally obtained a fixed site leased from the Calhoun county government. The relocated Square had just previously adopted a new name, Topvcule (Topachule), Pine Arbor Tribal Town, in honor of prominent Florida flora instead of keeping the practice of renaming the Grounds after each succeeding major headman or Maker of Medicine as had been past custom.
Other early refugee Creeks, with those from Pvlvcekolv, Chiaha and other mainly Hitchiti towns, later took portions of two of Pvlvcekolv's four ceremonial bundles and located first to the Suwannee river where they joined the camps of the Oconee refugees from central Georgia. Shortly afterwards, they fled southward into the Florida everglades and hammock regions. They became part of the main nuclei of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee Nations so well known today.
In those olden days, Pvlvcekolv held
two Busks simultaneously - one in Pvlvcekolv Creek and the other in Hitchiti.
The Creek Busk was near the head waters of the Wakulla while the Hitchiti
speakers journeyed to Lake Miccosukee or near the Suwannee, depending on
their clan. During the jackson invasion of Florida in March and April of
1818, Creek speakers were gathered at Francis Towne near the Wakulla for
the Spring Busk known as the Berry and Arbor Dance which occurred on the
days around the March new moon of that year. Hitchiti speakers had traveled
to whichever Fire they belonged through their mothers. Busks in those days
lasted from eight to sixteen days depending on the occasion.
War Divides the People, Language and Community
[We do not capitalize “andrew jackson”]
Duncan McKrimmon, jackson's conscripted guide, had spent two years at Francis Towne. As a former captive, he knew the customs and habits of Pvlvcekolv. He also knew each person took "Medicine" at his mother's Busk. Logically, McKrimmon would know that all Creek speaking leaders from the area would be at Francis Towne in late March. Pvlvcekolv Busks are always held on the days surrounding new moons when darkness becomes an ally for safe travel. Creek speakers who had come from Miccosukee, Boleck's Town and elsewhere were unfortunately present for jackson's attack on Francis Towne. They didn't return to their distant homes within a reasonable time; the old, infirmed and very young who had not traveled to Francis Towne, fled southward to Alachua, Tampa Bay and to the northern shores of Lake Okeechobee. Creek speakers at Brighton say this was pre-arranged due to then current hostilities and proximity of American troops in South Georgia. Brighton's oral traditions also tell of some who returned to old sites in North Florida the following year to search for seeds. They found burned basket remnants which were used for patterns in the absence of baskets lost during the conflict. This is how several young women learned basketry after the loss of their camp's weavers.
Unwittingly, jackson's attack on Pvlvcekolv weakened Creek dominance in the deep South and bought time for Hitchiti speakers to flee southward. To this day, the Hitchiti language of Mikasuki dominates both the Seminole and Miccosukee Nations in South Florida. Between the Pvlvcekolv and the Florida Seminoles, Apalachicola Creek speakers now number only a few hundred. At last count, four Oklahoma Hitchiti speakers were known. At modern Pine Arbor Busks, both languages are still heard. All major announcements, Long Talks and other proceedings are often rendered in both languages by the "Tongues" or "Apotka," those men or women chosen to serve as the chief's second or speaker. Although English is used by the younger generation and frequent visitors, Pvlvcekolv remains the language of formulae, songs and spiritual matters. Thanks to frequent Seminole and Miccosukee visitors, Mikasuki dance songs are finding their way into Pvlvcekolv's traditions once again.
Pvlvcekolv's civil and political leaders from the original town, and their relatives were removed to Oklahoma; some in November of 1818 and the rest to Texas with Lvfvkv (Lafarka, Chief John Blount) in 1832. A handful returned in 1840 and 1849 and settled with the several families who had escaped forced removal. The rest established not too far from Henryetta, Oklahoma, where they maintained a Square until some few years ago. It was heard that they still flew a white (Peace) flag at their Busk while Pine Arbor is required to erect a red war-post at every Busk.
Since the diaspora that commenced after the "Big Town Massacre," the Pvlvcekolv forefathers were often called "refugee Creeks" by the other Towns. Indeed, their numbers wandered throughout the whole of the Creek Nation for years. Because their ancestors had allowed the Peace Rule to be violated, Pvlvcekolv were often the butt of Muskogee jokes, threats and taunts. If someone were to be scolded or punished, people often said they would let them "take refuge in Pvlvcekolv"; then, they burst out laughing knowing refuge at old Pvlvcekolv was a sure guarantee of retribution instead of forgiveness and peace.
The Great Humiliation
Following the massacre of 1763, the National Assembly met at Tukabatchee and stripped Pvlvcekolv of the right to erect the woven cane mat coverings which once shaded portions of their Square. They were commanded to erect a red war post at the southeast corner of the Square for every public assembly and its citizens forbidden to hold national office for 10 generations--nor could they host a national assembly during that time. In addition, they were required annually to rehearse publicly that awful deed at their Square. Faithfully each year, a Pvlvcekolv elder stands before the Sacred Fire and calls to mind the massacre and its associated shame. In their dances and tobacco offerings they contritely remember the victims, the participants and the whole community of yore. This has provided a steadfast guide from which Pvlvcekolv parents and grandparents have redirected the community to a better course. Although forbidden to speak at national assemblies, Pvlvcekolv was allowed one vote. The author attended one such session with his father during the 1959-60 winter. Until after World War II, Pvlvcekolv regularly sent a representative to the House of Warriors and the House of Kings. They occasionally occupied the Apalachicola Chair without speaking or participating. Mostly, they sat in the back of the assemblies. There is no historic record of them ever being consulted on any issue even if it affected them. The record only mentions that representatives were present for national deliberations.
Since 1763, Pvlvcekolv has flown its own flag over the community. Suspiciously British in motif, the flag was ordered altered to reflect the red of spilled blood. In the late 1700's, William Augustus Bowles altered the oblique lines and added a blue field and Sun Face taken from an English design. This banner, with the new changes, waved from the halyards of Bowles' "Muskogee Navy" until his capture; he claimed credit for its origin falsely. In 1976, in commemoration of the bicentennial the Sun was replaced with the Muskogean "Circle of Life" design now in use. When members of Paken Tallahassee Grounds from Oklahoma visited Pine Arbor in September of 1983, a flag was presented to their Grounds. Hilolo, the Creek speaking Seminole Grounds near Brighton Reservation at Okeechobee, Florida, and Thlopthlocco near Wetumpka, Oklahoma, are historically entitled to the use of this banner as well. As daughter and sister Towns to Hilolo, the other Seminole Busk camps are also entitled to its use. It is the oldest national flag in use in North America.
The Present and the Political
Today, Pvlvcekolv people and language still display Hitchiti roots while being clearly a Creek Dialect. Pine Arbor mended its earlier errant ways and has engaged in no political or war-like activities for the better part of the last 150 years. Its Busks are generally characterized as solemn, peaceful, uplifting and very faithful to the old Kalandar and rules. There are occasionally some who disregard those rules of order. They find little welcome and soon separate themselves from Pvlvcekolv's proceedings. The people of Old Apalachicola Tribal Town take in refugees again and still mostly marry outside the main group, a must in order to preserve ancient clan and moiety standards. These days, refugees, as visitors to the Square Ground and its ceremonies are called, can find peace among the Pvlvcekolv--a peace of hearts.
Nowadays, families with roots in the original Town, come from all over the United States to travel the Muskogee Road at Pine Arbor. They come from Brighton and Hollywood reservations and Oklahoma. As for the internal fighting and disregard for the laws of sanctuary?--that still goes on, too. Now it is called Indian or Tribal politics. These politics are largely fed by ignorance of that which is truly Muskogee and by an enormous greed inspired by recently released federal monies paid out on dockets 21, 272 and 275. Pine Arbor's constitution forbids acceptance of per-capita funds by its members. This makes Pine Arbor very unattractive to those "rediscovering their Indian Heritage" for financial gain. Those active Pine Arbor citizens who have received docket checks donated them to the Square's building fund, food fund or other activities that benefited the whole community.
Abiding by the old rules, no civil or political activities are allowed or tolerated at the Square or during the Busks. However, tribal leaders may make important announcements, deliver speeches or make presentations. There are separate Indian political organizations in Florida today. Masquerading as "tribes", most are recent in origin except one. It has a measured historical basis through the continuity of its matriarchal leadership, The Florida Tribe of Creek Indians--a state recognized tribe. Florida Tribe is a both a civil and political governing institution which performs the political functions removed from Pvlvcekolv by the National Council some 250 years ago and does for North Florida's Indian people what the Tribal Town was forbidden to do. It follows the legal standards for any state or federally incorporated body. As a sovereign body, it reserves rights to tax its members and determines its own citizenship requirements. all Florida tribe enrolled members are individually lineal descendants of the people of Old Apalachicola, the Pvlvcekolv or other individuals appearing on various Federal Indian rolls. It may not interfere in any way with the traditional ceremonial life of the Pvlvcekolv people but it does govern them. The ceremonial activities of the Tribal Town may not impinge on Florida Tribe's political structure or activities in any manner. The two are immutably separate--true separation of church and state. Most members of Florida Tribe, like some in Oklahoma, have never been to a Square Ground nor have any interest therein; this does not make them less Indian. The leadership of Florida Tribe is working very hard to firmly re-establish the Creek people's rightful place in North Florida and to make available to them their political birthrights as Native Americans. Pine Arbor preserves their traditional birthrights: culture, beliefs, language and native philosophy.
Pine Arbor Leadership and Organization
Pine Arbor Leadership and Organization
Unlike other surviving Towns, Pine Arbor is very much a ceremonial matriarchy. Women are firmly in control and have charge over who serves as a Busk Officer. They give their direct and indirect approval or disapproval to all business conducted at this Tribal Town. Of course, being Muskogee, they allow the men to think they're in charge; really, the men are not. Women are also fierce foes, a force to be reckoned with, in the single pole ball games so popular here. Outsiders have rightly observed, and so noted, that Pvlvcekolv women are the levelers and equalizers, as well as the principal judges of men's actions. To get on their bad side is to risk all!
Pvlvcekolv's Pine Arbor Tribal Town is, by no means, a perfect ceremonial community. It has its share of problems, pettiness and apathy. On the whole, its good points tend to out weigh other factors. It has a stable core of hard working Creek people and welcomes visitors. Only the current name is new. The Tribal Town is an old entity with historical continuity that includes countless generations in the South who have constantly adapted to the now dominant white culture for survival. Charles Hudson writes adequately about such in several books and articles. The annual building of the Sacred New Fire has never been neglected. Once kindled, that Fire burns all year in selected, secluded places within the community. The living memory of this community cannot recall a time without a Sacred Fire. Even in the midst of great turmoil, a New Fire Busk has occurred. During the mid 1960's attendance was often just a few families. One year, only five families attended; a full Busk was generated and all things proper and required were observed.
Refining Tribal Town Government
In 1867, Pvlvcekolv authored a simple Tribal Town constitution that was revised in 1895. During a 1933, visit by the Rev. Mr. Harjo and his daughter, Alice Harjo Ball, from Oklahoma, a new constitution was written. J.R. DANIEL revised it in 1946. That constitution formalized the tradition of women not wearing dance shakers during times of war. During Korea, Viet Nam and the Iranian hostage crisis, all ceremonial dances were without shakers. The Writs of Obligation were adopted in 1952. These were a formal list of rights and responsibilities to be acknowledged and honored by all citizens of the Town. Age, ceremonial rank or office, clan, family and gender divided this list. An Instrument of Concord was drawn up in 1973, to spell out relationships with other Native American groups or those who portrayed themselves as Native Americans in North Florida. Articles of Incorporation were granted in 1973 but have been largely ignored since they represent a non-Indian male dominated approach to government instead of reflecting the Tribal Town's philosophical and spiritual traditions. Those articles were taken over by a group composed of Christian and secular Creeks who wished to abolish all ancient beliefs and customs. They wished to maintain nothing except for genetic claims which would bring financial gains such as docket payments or grants.
Finally, in 1980, a formal document reflecting traditional Tribal Town structure entitled "Constitution of Palachicola Tribal Town" was created with the help of local law faculty who helped codify those traditional provisions which did not run contrary to the constitution of the United States. New provisions were drafted to cover those traditional provisions which conflicted. Of note are two interesting articles which reserves Pine Arbor as a nuclear free zone and one which releases certain families from long standing bondage and servitude--a formal abolishment of Creek slavery! After several years of debate and careful comparisons with historic traditions, this constitution was adopted on a trial basis during the Berry and Arbor Busk of 1982. The matriarch felt that it should be put to a test in order to fairly judge its worth as a radical governing instrument of modified Tribal Town traditions that operated within the confines of the codes and statutes of the United States. It was formally ratified by the attending membership during the 1985 Green Corn Ceremony held in Blountstown, Florida. Chief Claude Cox's staff in Oklahoma provided guidance during the trial period. Although they did not approve all provisions, they approved the overall document with high praise for the manner in which it was undertaken, the way in which it was carefully examined through trial usage and ratified after long, arduous "Muskogee" debate. Pvlvcekolv plods along at it own pace, keeping faith with traditions old and new while being very much at home in the modern computer age where traditions come about more quickly than in ancient times.
Pvlvcekolv has kept a low profile and is regarded by a some as extinct. However, it is not an inactive community. It just chooses not to fall victim to currently popular pan-Indian pow-wow movements. With help from Edward Ball, Joe Wilkie, J. C. Belin and the Alfred I. Dupont Estate, Pine Arbor opened a fine Native American Museum with an excellent collection of Southeastern and Southwestern Native Indian materials. Its library has several thousand books and articles about Native America, several historical documents and many ceremonial items. Beginning in 1964, the Pvlvcekolv operated community schools in areas with concentrations of Creeks. One was in West Jacksonville at Grand Park. Others were held in Perry, Tallahassee and Eastpoint, Florida. Classes were also conducted at the previous Squares such as Oak Hill in Wakulla county. In Spring of 1981, the Panhandle Area Educational Cooperative contracted with the museum and Pine Arbor Tribal Town to establish a cultural revivification program for all West Florida Creeks. The program produced several text books, a dictionary, held special events and amassed a nice collection of video footage suitable for research purposes. Classes were added P.A.E.C.'s leadership at Bruce, Pensacola, Blountstown and Panama City, Florida. Individuals such as Steve Williams of White Springs, Florida conduct classes and present countless educational programs in public schools, before clubs, associations and interested visitors to his Wilderness Canoe Livery. Through P.A.E.C., the program served not only children but the educational needs of whole families by organizing classes around family centered learning experiences based on traditional Muskogee models.
Beginning in 1976, the Pvlvcekolv have worked with the State of Florida to review and provide input regarding Native American issues such as human remains, historical properties and the protection of archeological sites. Pvlvcekolv provided important data which helped identify and protect a Tampa site, now part of Seminole property in Florida. Pvlvcekolv oral history was precise enough to predict the accurate number of burials at that site. This feat rated notice in the Tampa papers. Pine Arbor citizens have also given state officials accurate information concerning the locations of several other important sites including early points of European contact in North Florida. In the early 1980's, a member of Pine Arbor provided information about important sites in the Tallahassee area. Test excavations had been conducted at that site in the mid-1960's by a member of the community studying archeology at Florida State University. Several years later when the site proved out as the earliest known Spanish point of contact in the Tallahassee area, Pvlvcekolv's contribution was overlooked. In all the PR and glory that surrounded this event it was understood that the State of Florida needed to use the site to generate public interest and support for its financial strapped Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties. The Pvlvcekolv have never been interested in detracting from anything which would benefit the whole people of Florida; "We are Floridians, too," they would say.
In other areas, Pine Arbor has continued to work well with the agency privately. Pine Arbor provided a private but traditional reburial ceremony for remains from the Crystal River site based on traditions from the mound building era which are still practiced by the community. The reburial, closed to the public, was a quiet, graceful and dignified undertaking. The Tribal Town continues to provide information and some artifacts for the State Museum of Florida History when asked. Dr. Andrew Ramsey, working with the division of Historical Sites and Properties, erected a Creek language historic marker. It is located at Blountstown, Florida--the first bilingual marker in Florida.
The Current Situation
In passing, let it be mentioned that the majority of modern Pvlvcekolv who belong to this Fire by birth are not members of the ceremonial Square Ground. They are largely members of Methodist, Baptist and Episcopal churches and are generally active in their respective churches. Many do support tribal social activities, come to stickball games and enjoy community suppers. In keeping with past influences of the Moravians, the Square maintains cordial relations with the large local Mennonite population who often assist in tribal building endeavors and offer spiritual support to its way of life. Black Creeks who have been associated with the community have largely chosen to abandon their ties with the Grounds. Sadly, a few Pvlvcekolv have developed prejudices against Black Creeks where their forefathers had little. The practicing membership of the Grounds, about fifty-three families, miss these old friends, especially the Proctors, Hills, Rollins, Canteys Johnsons and Loves. Emma Burney, a great story teller and Creek orator was dearly missed after her death.
There always seems to be a political upheaval within North Florida's Indian communities. However, by continuing to function under the older woman dominated system, Pine Arbor has been able to minimize disruption. Thankfully, throughout the past two centuries, a few Pvlvcekolv families clung tightly to that which was theirs: language, culture, "Medicine", ceremonies, music, life and love of the land. Pine Arbor is small and insignificant compared with the whole of Indian America...but, they are Pvlvcekolv and they are still here today. Ignoring them will not make them disappear--at least, it hasn't so far.
This situation for Oklahoma's Creeks is different today, too. Since the 1970's, The Oklahoma Creek Nation has developed a new modern political structure. They are now divided into geographically defined districts which elect officials to represent them. There is a centrally elected principal chief, currently Perry Beaver. They have made great progress in every area. There are still a few functioning Tribal Towns holding Busks but the vast majority are now Christian. The long standing rift between modern Christianity and the traditional way of life is healing. More and more, Creeks are taking pride in their past, hanging on to customs, relearning forgotten lore and generally feeling good about themselves and their future. Not everyone is happy with the current affairs in Oklahoma's Creek Nation. Pine Arbor doesn't know enough to comment about it. There does seem to be an active group trying to maintain the older House of Warriors and House of Kings government, at least for traditional Tribal Towns. It is hoped they find a balance where the Tribal Towns and their citizens continue firmly within the folds of Creek Nation, vote in elections, run for offices and avail themselves of all services available. It is also hoped the new National Council, in its wisdom, would encourage traditional leaders to meet as the two older Houses to oversee affairs affecting Tribal Towns which are not necessarily of concern to other Creek citizens. Again, those in the East, do not know enough to grant comment with any degree of certainty.
Though it does not count, at each election for principal chief in Oklahoma Nation, Pine Arbor solemnly discusses candidates, takes a vote and sends a letter West with its ballots. The Pvlvcekolv still feel part of the whole nation. This ritual keeps Pine Arbor from feeling alone. Other Creeks in the South tend to avoid Pine Arbor because of its strong pronouncements against avid pan-Indianism represented as "authentic Creek." The Muskogee Nation News (MNNews), carries occasional articles about Pine Arbor's Grounds and sometimes publishes its ceremonial schedule and have written nice articles about Oklahoma Creeks visiting here. Many of Pvlvcekolv folks subscribe to the MN News. Many Pine Arbor people have ties with several Tribal Towns in Oklahoma and visit when they are able.
Now that the allotted time of censure has passed, Pine Arbor is concerned with affairs in Oklahoma. In the late 70's Chief Cox called upon Pine Arbor to represent him with the State of Florida as interested parties when he sought to protect ancient sacred sites and mounds. The Hon. Mr. Cox helped Pine Arbor with its dealings with the Government when the Town tried unsuccessfully to obtain a permanent site for the Square. The U.S. Department of Forestry was unreceptive and at times, rude and hostile. In turn, Pine Arbor helped Florida and Oklahoma Seminole Nations save an important site at Tampa. With the MNNews, Pvlvcekolv produced a video tape of traditional stomps performed at the Tallahassee Junior Museum. Its crafts people have supplied traditional old style Creek garments and items for several Tribal Towns and some state museums. Richard Smith weaves beautiful sashes. Doris Adams teaches children Creek language and customs. Some make beautiful baskets or ball clubs. Mary and Archie Johns contribute their vast store of knowledge and skills. Dan Townsend creates very beautiful traditional shell cups for use in Oklahoma and here. Museums snap up his bone and shell work. Margie McKenzie produces copper pieces worked in the old styles. Sakim still makes flutes, baskets and buckskin. Claude Cox, Robert Trepp, Bill Fife and others in Oklahoma, have written letters of support for Pine Arbor as it tries to regain a long overdue recognition for Milly Francis, Daughter of the Prophet. Like the Pvlvcekolv, Creek Nation is hoping to see a stamp issued in her honor one day.
Slowly, Pine Arbor is being welcomed back as a Tribal Town. It isn't known on whose shoulders falls the responsibility but one day "The Pvlvcekolv People of Pine Arbor Tribal Town" hope to receive a letter or resolution from the National Council or the Tribal Town Kings saying the deeds of its forefathers are forgiven - "You have done a good job and may now raise the White Standard of Peace over your Grounds". The Pvlvcekolv would be pleased if they were told ..."you have done well, you have kept that which was your own and you have done so honorably."
Yes, the Pvlvcekolv are still here. They are a metis (mixed-blood) community. Yes, remnants of other Creek Towns are found in their ranks; Natchez, Yuchi, Cherokee and Choctaw can be found there too. Although the Pvlvcekolv aren't missionaries in any sense, some of their non-Indian neighbors have come to prefer "Medicine" at the Grounds over other formal philosophies or belief systems. They are welcomed but cannot hold traditional offices or partake in any benefits reserved to Native Americans because of their genetic ancestry. As already mentioned, Pine Arbor's constitution forbids that and accepting per capita payments.
Pine Arbor Tribal Town still Busks, plays stickball and takes "Medicine." As a whole, they hold a near complete inventory of ancient Southeastern ceremonial ways. They help one another, attend reunions at the Bruce Indian Methodist Church, make traditional prayers and offerings and keep the past in their hearts as they travel Nenē Mvskokē, The Muskogee Road, to the future. They, and the many participants at Seminole Busk Grounds, including some non-affiliated Seminoles, was once part of the same ancient Tribal Town system. Each developed separately but similarly for the last 200 years. They have all done well with what fate dealt them. They are all Indian citizens of Florida. --END: part II.