Introduction - (SLL-SarahS)


The Seminoles live in Florida and Oklahoma. In the 1700’s, Indians from Carolina ,Georgia and Alabama were fleeing westward as the Europeans moved into their territory. A band of Creek Indians decided to separate from other Indians to avoid conflicts. They moved from the Lower Chattahoochee River in Georgia south along the river into northern Florida to find an area of their own. The Seminole name may have came from the Creek word ishi simoli, used to describe a runaway or wildness; or the Spanish word cimmaron, that describes a tame animal that went wild. Due to the 1st , 2nd, and 3rd Seminole Wars the U.S. Government killed many Indians. In 1837, at the end of the 3rd War, the government forced about 3000 Seminoles to relocate to Oklahoma. Only 200 to 300 Seminoles remained in Florida by hiding in the swamps. That generation of Seminole children began to meet at a giant oak tree on the Hollywood Reservation. That oak still stands and is called the “Council Oak”. In 1957,the Seminoles signed their own constitution forming a government with a Tribal Council and Board for Directors.





Habitat/Homes - (SLL-HunterR)


This is what the Seminoles used as a home. Seminoles lived in Florida. They started in northern Florida, but later when the Americans
attacked, the Seminoles retreated further south, into the Everglades. Some of the Seminoles were forced to move away to Oklahoma in the 1800's also along with other eastern tribes. Some of the Seminoles still live in southern Florida. In Seminole langauge ''chickee'' meant house. Some of the first Seminoles lived in northern Florida and are known to have built log cabin-type homes, and some almost two stories tall. People in other parts of North and South America had developed simaliar homes. They also agreed that the Seminole Indian technique was way more better. A chickee is also a style of architecture. The chickee was first made during the early 1800's when Seminole indians, sorrounded by U.S. troops, needed a fast set up and take down chickee when time to run.
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Dress - (SLL-SarahS)


What Children Wore

When babies are born they wore patch work dresses, when boys are about 3 they wore a knee length one piece garments. When girls are about 3 they a move to a blouse with puffy sleeves and a wide skirt, as a girl got older she had too were three long skirts at a time.

How They Made Their Cloth

The Seminole made patchwork clothes carefully hand sewn. Some clothing had appliqué and embroidery. Some had silver jewelry sewn on them. Clothes were bright and cheery.

Beads

The Seminole loved beads. When a baby was born a band of beads was placed around their neck. When boys turn 3 they switch to a scarf but, when girls turn 3 they continue to get new necklaces. By the time a girl turned 5 she would have around 36 inches of beads. Adult women would have 42 inches of beads. Their necklaces would not hang down. they would wrap around a girls neck until you could not see their necks at all. All you could see were beads.



Food - (OSL-Duncan)


All of the Seminole women cooked food for the men and children Women were the Seminole farmer’s and harvesters . Women harvested crops such as corn, beans, and squash .Men did all of the hunting and also fishing . They caught a wide variety of game like dear, turkey, rabbit, and turtle .Some dishes included soups, cornbread and stews . In the past the Seminole people made flour was made from the wild Zamia plant. They did not eat three meals a day; they ate when they were hungry. They would keep a pot of soup (sofkee ) on the fire so if they got hungry they could eat.

Zamia plant
Zamia plant



Customs - (OSL-Duncan)


Green Corn Dance
The green corn dance is when Seminole people participate purifications and manhood ceremonies. Tribal disputes are also cleared at this time.

Legend Telling
When it is late and dark at night they gather around the campfire. With Seminole children safely tucked mosquito nets to listen to the story.

Marriage
A marriage can be preformed by whatever male relative of the wife or the old men from the tribe. Usually the bride’s dad did the ceremony. A wedding between relatives is not allowed. You could not marry in your own clan you had to marry someone in another clan.

Religion
Dreams: Every person in the Seminole thought every one else had dreams. If anyone had a dream they would ask the old ones. They didn’t always have to use the advice.

Animal Helper Spirits: There is another place where they could go for help was praying to their animal spirit helper spirits. They thought every one had an animal helper spirits who would always watch over and guide Seminole people. It could take a long time and a lot of dreams to find out what your animal helper spirit is.

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Tool and Weapons - (SLL-HunterR)




The Seminole hunters used bows and arrows for their weapons. The fisherman of the tribe usually used fishing spears. Traditionally the Seminole warriors fired their bows or fought with tomahawks. But by the time Seminoles had joined together in the 1700's, they also fought with guns. The Seminoles also used dugout canoes for a tool. Dugout canoes were made from hollowed-out cypress logs. They didn't steer the boats with paddles, but with poles. Sometimes they even used sails made from palmetto fibers. The Seminoles also used dogs as pack animals. Now, the Seminole people use cars. The Seminole tribe also used bows,arrows,spears and canoes. The Seminoles continued the uses of the bow and arrow, but not for war. But for adults to hunt to. Every man 12 and older in the tribe at the age of 12 was given a gun. When the bow was made it was made with mulberry or other stretchy wood. It was also made to 4 to 6 feet of the wood. The bowstring was made with deer rawhide. The Second Seminole War in 1835 to 1843 followed the refuse of most Seminole's to abandon the reservation that had been specifically established for the north of Lake Okeecho and to move west of the Mississippi River. The whites coveted this land and the Seminoles under the Indian Removal Act. The Seminole's cheif Osceola led them. The Seminole warriors hid their families in the Everglades and fought viciously to defend their homeland. 2,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in the fight. The government had to pay $40,000,000 to $60,000,000. After Osceola's capture, with peace most of the Seminoles agreed to move.



Miscellaneous Facts - (all group members)

  • A person named Colt managed to sell a few of his revolver guns to the U.S. military units fighting the Seminole Indians in the Florida area. Only because he brought a batch of weapons into the swamps and sold them to individual officers. Despite Colt's enthusiastic courting of government officials and other prospetive customers, sales continued to decrease. In 1842, Colt's Paterson arm company was forced to close.The Big Cypress Shootout on the grounds of the Billie Swamp Safari. Feb.23-25 was an extremeley enjoyable experience of live history. The amazing event dramatized the minute of three bloody and costly wars fought against the U.S. military against the Seminoles in an effort to take them away from Florida and take their lands. Although many Seminole ancestors died or were relocated to Present Day, Oklahoma,approximatley 200 surviving men and women were never defeated. To this day their are 3, 300 descendants that carry the pride of "The Unconquered" Seminole Tribe of Florida.