Guale Indians and Yamasee Dialect

At first contact, the Guale Indians (pronounced Wallie by the Spanish) live along the coastline of what is now Georgia – from the Savannah River to St. Andrews Sound. At that time, they have 22 chiefs and 40 villages. Swanton believes this group is a confederacy of several groups – many of which are clearly Muskogee.

Interestingly, the Yamasee also live in this area and appear to be a confederacy. Some evidence indicates the two were different groups, but it is unclear as to how. The Guale form close ties with the Spanish and rebel against them in 1597 and 1645. Later they merge into Yamasee towns further north and south (including present-day St. Augustine, FL area).

Early settlers in Carolina identify 10 Yamasee towns – five upper and five lower. In 1715, the Yamasee War breaks out over slavery of their people, land encroachment, and misconduct by some English traders. By the end of the war in 1717, the Yamasee and other tribes who joined with them, are driven across the Savannah River and back into Spanish Territory. In 1727 the British attack and slaughter the Yamasee. Survivors move south into Florida and west to join the Creek Confederacy.