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Este-Maskoke em Opunvkv – Creek

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The original territory of the Creek people is in Alabama and Georgia. In the 1800’s they were forcibly removed from their traditional land and taken to Oklahoma, where the majority of Creek people live today. The very closely related Seminole language is not discussed on this page.

The language has been written for centuries; the current spelling follows this tradition, with the addition of some diacritic marks to show distinctions that were previously unmarked. Tone is only optionally marked, as are the short vowels ă and ŏ. Information is from the Creek Language Archive.

There are also two other orthographies in use, one which was developed by the Moravians which is recognizable by the characters æ and œ. The other is a phonemic writing system (I’m calling it the cîrcumflex-orthography) which is notable for its use of circumflex accents (v̂) and tying ligatures (a͝a) for diphthongs. The orthography listed below is the more usual one for the language, and on this website, I will refer to it as the ē-orthography because of it’s singular use of the vowel symbol ē.

Note: There are several Roman Orthography conventions on this site that may require further explanation. On the charts below, there is lots of phonetic terminology that may not be familiar to everyone.  

The United States Census counts 4706 Creek speakers.


Community Names:

are not available yet

Maskoke Consonants (ē-orthography)

  bilabial labio-dental alveolar alveolar-lateral palato-alveolar palatal velar glottal
stop p   t       k  
affricate         c      
voiceless fricative   f s r       h
nasal m   n          
approximate w     l   y    

Maskoke Vowels (ē-orthography)

  front oral central back oral
high tense ē    
high lax e   u
mid tense     o
mid lax   v (ŏ)
low tense   a  
low lax   (ă)  


  • There are three phonetic diphthongs, 〈i〉 [ei], 〈vo〉 [ǝu], and 〈ue〉 [ʊi]
  • Nasal vowels are written with the ǫgonek accent.
  • Stress and tone are optional. Stress is shown with an acúte accent, and falling tone with a cîrcumflex.
  • Note that the letter 〈r〉 here indicates a voiceless lateral fricative [ɬ].
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