I saw the following video on youtube. Now my reenactor friends, I sometimes love or loathe what they do. They are family, and sometimes we love them, and sometimes they give us grief. This is a typical example of both.
I love the interaction of some of the reenactors with the crowd.
The drum team appears to be on a search for themselves. I encourage everyone who does this. I have nothing against their drum and think it is a beautiful work. That aside, they are the worst drum singers that I have ever heard.
And sometimes when we are doing living history or reenacting, we walk a fine line. The first part of the video shows an example of when this line is not only crossed, this person has gone far beyond it. Starting out that way, it ruined the whole video for me.
The person identifies himself as a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. This is a fraud and total misrepresentation.
There is only one Muscogee Creek Nation, and they are headquartered in Oklahoma. To be a member, you have to be a descendant of of the Creeks who were removed to Indian Territory in the 1830s.
There are many Muskogee descendants living in the southeast United States. Maybe every family that has been in the southeast for the past 150 probably has a Muskogee ancestor. Many of these people have formed their own groups and are known as unrecognized bands or tribes. If they want to form their own groups, then that is fine with me.
And there is nothing wrong with someone seeking their cultural identity.
But all these groups are not a recognized tribe or nation. With exception of the Poarch Band of Creeks in southeast Alabama.
The person in the video who identifies himself as Big Turtle is not Muscogee. He joined one of these unrecognized state groups. He himself is not a Creek descendant. He does claim Native American ancestry, but it is not Creek. Hanging out with the Creek folks, doing the reenactments, and helping organize this event are perfectly fine. But saying that he is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation is crossing the line.
I will admit that I do some crazy things myself. But if I went around saying that I was a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, that would be fraud and a total misrepresentation.