As for the order of things from the first days, the clans are a very
interesting matter--and not without a controversy of opinion on these things,
There are those that say the Wind clan are primary and prominent and was
the first and the most important clan and you can be sure that the Wind
clan believes this entirely but there are others that know things differently.
It may be that the Wind clan are first among peoples now but in the beginning of time it was the animals that were organized into the first clans. Turtle and all of her kin were the very first clan. Turtle was the first to bring the Earth up from beneath the dark waters. And, of course, we know that Alligator, Crocodile and Crawfish, all of those animals that can live in land and water, also each helped individually to bring the land upfor their own kind. Turtle, to many of us, is still the
Birds were the first to work together to help Turtle, so Birds are the first clan of air and the second clan of all beings. With Turtle and Birds, Bear is the first clan given a responsibility for all Beings--that of tending the Fire. It is important to note that Turtle was given responsibility to do something for One Above but Turtle was not given responsibility for all Beings. Birds exercised responsibility for all other Beings but they were not given those responsibilities.
Bear was the first one to be directly given responsibilities for all other Being--and, the first one to louse up that opportunity, too. Bear became the keeper of the Fire. So, Turtle was the first clan, Bird the second clan, and Bear became the third clan.
Then, the tigers or the large cats, became the fourth clan. The fifth clan, we know, were the Deer. They were very swift. In
the beginning they were the messengers and carried word from one clan to another. After Deer clan, One Above called upon Snakes, the silent snakes, to serve as the ears of One Above. Thus, Snakes are the sixth clan; they were the second clan to be given a specific responsibility for all other Beings by Creator.
And so, this is how all the clans came to be, the manner in which they organized. Some were given responsibilities for all other Beings and some took responsibilities upon themselves because they had discovered some service they could perform. And so it went through all of the clans. Now it was said that at one time that there were more than sixty clans and this number was counted by the elders who made marks on the ground and who could then name the clans in order. We, as a people, don't remember all those details now.
Later, after creation and the first times, and after the Turtle's shell was broken and the smooth shell days were gone, people were awakened from whereever it was they were kept when creator made all things. Then the world was once again was in great confusion. It is true that fog then covered all things. As people wandered about, they were very, very lost. It is true that when the Winds began to blow and the Sun could shine and everything could find its own place again, the people who first came into the clearing and realized that the Wind had made the clearing for them to be, spoke to the Wind and said "it is you who have made this clearing and who have helped us to find ourself, from this day we shall count ourself as your sisters and brothers and that is how some people came to be Wind clan and the Wind reached out and said let it be so. The Wind reached around and folded them all together and they became as one. However, as Wind moved the fogs and placed the clouds back in the sky, there were other people who came upon the Bears who were tending the Fire. These people said to the Bears, you were the first Beings that we see, therefore we shall take you for our sisters and our brothers and the Bears said let it be so and the Bears reached out and enfolded them and drew them close to their powerful warmth and this is how the Bear clan came to be. And so it was that as the Earth was cleared each group of people became the sisters and brothers of those things that they first encountered and that is how we were told the clans actually came to be.
*John R. Swanton notes in his clan listings in the BAE 42nd Annual Report, pp. 117-121, that Turtle and Wind were originally regarded as one clan. Turtle Clan in nearly extinct nowadays. Swanton further notes in his several writings, that many clans are, or were, paired as subset equals in addition to being part of moieties and other southeastern dualities Needless to say, much has changed in the world since the introduction of First Woman and her Children after the early days of original Creation..