Abihka

One of the oldest of the Upper Creek towns. – While there is some uncertainty, it is believed that the site of the town was in Talladega County, near the Coosa River, and just South of Tallassehatchee Creek on the S. 1/2 of the S. 1/2 of sec. 17, T. 20, R. 5 E. of the Huntsville meridian. At this point a village site, not otherwise identified, but corresponding with the indications of map locations of Abihka, extends along the creek same distance down the river. Lewis thus describes this site: “The remains—village debris—are of about the same general character and quantity as those found on the site of Old Coosa,” The first record of the town is found on Delisle’s map of 1704, where they are “les Abeikas,” and are noted on the east side of the Coosa River, apparently just above the influx of the Pakantalahassi.— Winsor. Belen’s map of 1733, also places the “Abeccas” on the east side of the Coosa River, but at some distance from it.—Shea. Coxe says that “the Becaes or Abecars have thirteen towns, and the Ewemalos, between the Becaes and the Chattas, can raise five hundred fighting men.” The people of the town were closely related to the Kusas and Other towns of the Upper Creeks, and indeed, Bartram identifies them as the Coussas. The people of the town are called Apixkanagi. Gatschet says: “The Creek term abi’hka signifies ‘pile at the base, heap at the root* (abi, stem, pole), and was imparted to this tribe, ‘because in the contest for supremacy its warriors heaped up a pile of scalps, covering the base of the war-pole only. Before this achievement the tribe was called sak’hutga door, shutter, or Simat’hutga italua, shutter, door of towns or tribes.’ ” Situated on the northern limits of the Creek country this town was a buffer or defense against hostile inroads, which fact gave the appellation just noted. As indicating its antiquity, it is recorded that the oldest chiefs were in the habit of naming the Creek Nation after the town. A French census of 1760 divided the Upper Creeks into Alybamous, Talapouches and Abikas. To this town some of the most ancient Creek customs are traced, as, the laws punishing adultery, and for the regulation of marriages.

References:

  1. Gatschet, Migration Legend (1884), vol. 1, p. 125, and also “Towns and Villages of the Creek Confederacy,” in Alabama History Commission, Report (Miscellaneous Collections of the Alabama Historical Society, 1901), vol. 1, p. 390.
  2. Lewis, in American Antiquarian , vol. 17, p. 173.
  3. Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America , vol. 2, pp. 294, 295.
  4. Shea, Charlevoix New France, vol. 6, p. 11.
  5. Coxe, Carolana (1741), p. 25.
  6. Bartram, Travels (French ed. 1799); Hamilton, Colonial Mobile (2d ed., 1910).
  7. Handbook of American Indians (1907), vol. 1, p. 1, where will be found a full review of references to the various aboriginal narratives and chronicles.

Source

Owen, Thomas McAdory and Marie Bankhead Owen; History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, volume 1-4; Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1921.

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