Title: R. T. King
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SEM 171 A

Slide Presentation: R. T. King to Alachua Cty.
Historical Society

February 13, 1978

G: ...Thomas is that he really enjoys what he is doing at this

project. He believes in it; thinks he's doing something meaning-

ful, a 9~-g g 1g tje.alikeip making the piastee

4'1 apply to the future as well as the here and the now, and I

think he's doing that very well with continuity. fegI'm

probably going to break a lot of rules of etiquette in this

introduction,10 it won't be an introduction like you've

heard before. I'm just going to talk about some impressions

of him, things he's done, b*.-he has worked with both the

Seminole and the Miccosu!, and a- he has been a consultant

at the southeastern Indian Oral History Project tnSr,-at the ahn~ cL ,o2fi

museum for several years while working on his Ph.D. dissertation,

5ow1we've had several open houses there at the museumand in

wandering across the hall from my area to his area, I've watched

him give some slides and talks about what he was doingOi-

jgc^ I realized this was a natural for this program tonight.

_^^^^inbith 'A/4 b all do 9l60 is talk too much a

I think I'd rather just be sort of quiet and sit down and let

Mr. Thomas King tell you what he's been doingrao lw I think you'll

enjoy it very much. Tom King.

K: Now I'd like to start off by saying you're not getting what was


bAh advertised. I noticed in the Gainesville Sun yesterday

I was listed as a cultural anthropologist. 1Ljtraest e----a -b

SI am not a cultural anthropologist.

G: A*Of I was going to say one other thing. Last Friday we had a

social session after work in the museumand another of our friends

in the museum who is not here tonight suggested since Tom was put

forth as a rctit-anthropologist that the culture in his life

is his fine wife Barbara who's from Boston.

K: There's something to be said for that. At any rate, I'm not a

cultural anthropologist and AK no pretentions 4 being one.

I am studying for a degree in history and tonight presentation

will be primarily historical in nature.

gsa iH to-1 j~g -d'sei eg-th iep. I know most

of us are here to see the slides. I would be myself if I were in the

audience, but I would like to talk briefly about the history of the

Seminole tribe since the third Seminole War. I think the Seminole

Indians of Florida are very much misunderstood by the white population

of this state and it's very unfortunate because they are citizens

of the state just as we are. Perhaps later on when I start to show

the slides, Guy Osceola could comment on some of the things we'll

be seeing. Certainly knows far better than I do much of what

you'll see on the slides. In fact he's agreed to answer questions

if he can do it. I'm sure het4 be able to.

To begin with I'd like to say that the Seminole Indians are not

Florida's Indians, although most of us seem to think that they are.

There were no Seminole Indians in Florida at the time of ria--

Spanish contact. The state was inhabited at that time by approxi-

mately 75,000 Indians, give or take a few thousand. It's difficult

to pin that down exactly. These Indians were// e2 l/;.-77r- c(ga

atJ a number of other small tribes but there were no Seminoles

in the state. Due to warfare, plague, Spanish slavery, and to

a number of other factors, by 1720 there were practically no

Indians left alive in the state of Florida. Very very few indeed.

There was an enormous population vacuum that existed in the

northern part of this state and it is a vacuum hat demanded to be

filled because this portion of the state, as I'm sure you're well

aware is very rich in wildlife and fc(iage necessary to support life.

S'beginning in approximately 1720)and lasting throughout the

18th century, indians from the lower crae confederacy began moving

down into the peninsula of Florida, initially only on hunting and

foraging trips but later to settle this portion of the state.

S Later on during the British period which began in 1763 and

ended in 1783, Indians were encouraged to move into Florida and act

as a buffer zone, B tgISiJag Ll~ s.andallies2 Indian a liespT.s T he

: rfn .etf ri ? later during the second Spanish period the Spaniards

encouraged Indians to move into Florida, again to act as a buffer,

this time between Spanish Florida and the 4.t=S_- g 'SB...

e n- -ae..t Unted P States.
By 1771 these Indians who had started off as Cre( e Indians or

at least loosely affiliated members of small tribes which were

associated with the 6Cete ConfederacyA y 1771 these Indians had a

separate identity and were known as Seminoles which is a word
Crock I
derived from the zete Indian word, Se~minl/Seminolee. Perhaps

Guy can pronounce it better than me. It's a word loosely transla-
ted means runaways or free people wild people. I don't know

exactly how to translate it and I don't think any white man does.

By 1771 they were known as Seminoles and e n thinking of them-

selves as Seminoles by 1818 during the first Seminole war which

was initiated: 'Andrew Jackson' brought a cc/n) of

American troops into northern Florida to conduct a punitive raid

against these Indians who had themselves had. been raiding white

settlements along the southern Georgia border. They had also been

harboring escaped slaves who had escaped from asg'ao plantations

throughout the south and come down to Florida and had found refuge

with the Seminole Indians. Well, of course we couldn't stand for that

so Andrew Jackson was sent down. He brought with him approximately
2000 r-ete Indians who had only a generation before been the rela-
-e ks
tives of these people who were now called Seminoles. The CreQes

followed the side of the whites and probably ruptured whatever

association there was between those Indians calling themselves

Seminoles and those calling themselves Qretes. Since then, since

1818 the history of the two tribes have been separate and distinct,

and very much divergent.

In 1823 about five years after the conclusion of the first

Seminole war, there was a treaty signed between the Seminole Indians o florti c

and the United States government treaty that is called the

treaty of Moultrie Cree In signing this treaty the Indians

agreed or at least a small number of them agreed) to give up

all of the PengLsula of Florida -in return '& a permanent reser-

vation of four million acres which is located in the central

part of the state. At that time I believe there were something

like thirty-seven who were recognized to be the leaders of

individual Seminole triUbe.throughout Florida. Of those thirty-

seven men, only seventeen put their signatures to this document.

Twenty of them refused to do so. The seventeen who did put their

signatures to the document were bribed. In return.for signing this

gA* of them received small lfj. PA pers. reservations,

most of which were located 4n the Appalachocola River valley and

were not required to move into the four million acre reservation,

set aside for the rest of the tribe in the center part of the state.

SThese Indians the ones who had been bribed returned to their small

reservations and continued to live much as they had before. However

their people/whom they actually had no right to represent were

forced to move into the four million acre tract in the center part

of the state. It is this treaty, the Treaty of Moultrie Cres /

which was signed in 1823, that is the basis for the recently con-

cluded Seminole suit against the United States government. I'm

sure you're familiar with that. The Seminoles finally agreed to

accept si n b

for the entire state of Florida. I think we got a bargain on that one.

qrThe primary leader to sign the treaty of Moultrie Cret was a man

by the name of a C /r- He represented himself as the chief c7

Seminole Indian5of Florida. In fact he was elected the speaker for

the group who gathered to discuss the treaty. He was elected the

speaker the night before the treaty was signed. He was never elected

chief l n" fact such elections were actually Writmniius to Seminole

Indians at that time and to a degree are today. The electoral

process is not one W I e familiar with. //Cf'A /" was

never chief of the Semin6les and it's safe to say that there was no

chief in 1823.

In 1832 another treaty was signed; it was called the Treaty

of Pae's Landing The United States government decided it wouldn't

be enough to confine the Seminoles to four million acres to the central

part of the state. They wanted them out of the pen4?sula entirely.

Well, beginning in 1830the Indian removal act, the government

tried to get all the Indians who lived east of the Mississippi River

to move to Oklahoma or what was then called Indian territory. The

Seminoles tAT refused to go, o this treaty that they had
Creek, C, -h
signed at Moultrie-ooe.-gave them the right fer permanent residence.

The United States told them that they were deceived, that there was

no date on the treaty in othe~ords the treaty didn't say imperpetuity.

It gave no term for the residence that they were allowed to have there.

They therefore said it's time for you to go to Oklahoma. Well, many of

the Indians refused to go. However a few did sign the treaty of

44AIP Landingand were removed immediately to Oklahoma. This treaty

of AM r Landing is the treaty that actually touched off the

Second Seminole War, which was one of the longest and bloodiest

Indian wars

the United States ever had to fight.

The war began in 1835 or at least that'saig its official

beginning,4t although it was going on sometime prior to that. It

began in 1835 when Osceola, one of those who refused to go to

Oklahoma, shot and killed a Indian by the name of Charlie C~". t_ L ,

Charlie ima/h4 had been bribed. Charlie ___ had taken some

cattle that had been given him by the federal government and had

sold the cattle and was returning to his home when he was met by

Osceola and a band of other dissident Seminoles. They chastised

him for having accepted the white man's money and for having sold

his people out, and they then shot and killed him. Osceola and

the dissidents then began to wreck the frontier -of course,

Florida at that time was a frontier)) /nd the Second Seminole War

began. It las td until 1842 or rather it lasted until the United

States said it was over. We claimed that it was over in 1842. We

ended that much the same way we did 4b Viet Nam. We just declared

it over. The war was still going on however2 continued to go

on until about 1858. By 1842 three thousand Seminole Indians and

their slaves they kept black slaves- t-Agge~oaii- '....a..--

yclS~ had been removed to Oklahoma, most of them against

their will.

There were left in this state at that time a mere handful4probably

less than a thousand Indians in 1842. They were left in peace until

about 1855. In 1855 a United States surveying partyas a -prank2

I guess you might call it although that hardly does justice to what

they did) -I gtlp-i-pttf -iTntuM ijl rode into Billy Bowlegs'5
camp and destroyed his camp just for funA ran out all of his livestock,

burned his CAicke5S to the ground, destroyed his gardens. He told

them he would have none of it and the following day raised a war

party)and began the Third Seminole War.

It was a hopeless war. The Seminoles could G*and~to gain nothing

from it whatever.but they did manage to drag it out for another three

years. Unfortunately most of them were finally caught and removed to

Oklahoma. By 1858 there were no more than 150 Seminole Indians left
in the state of Florida. JS that 150, a great majority OWefON6Awere

Miccosuee Indians and were led by a man called who was a

medicine keeper, keeper of the sacred medicine bvebk He was also

known by whites as Sam Jones. It may be a name that's familiar to some

of you. There's a place called Sam Jonesodld town down near Lake


There was another small group of Seminoles who speak a different

language MF the Miccosucs. They speak Mes This small group

lived near ,s,'MMO. and was led by ks.k", a very prominent lawyer

who fought in the Second Seminole War and had been present at what

we call the day massacre. I'm sure the Seminoles think of it as the

day nf e-t victory or they probably have some other name for it. They

ambushed a e+oTriy of white soldiers led by a Colonel Dade and shot

everyone of them. One survivor remained,,aomanaged to crawl away

mortally wounded and he died sometime later.

"G1-- was present there and had seen enough of warfare

during the Second Seminole War to satisfy him for a lifetime. He

refused to bring the atUscve or Lo0W &&f~branch of the tribe into the

Third Seminole War. And I personally think that that is largely

responsible for the way the Mt o4E portion of the tribe has developed.

It has developed in a manner that I is distinctly different from that

of the Miccosueee tribe. The twge speaking portion of the tribe,

those who also call themselves 'e have tended to get along

with the white populace much better and tend to be much more

acculturated than are the m1.uu.es. They have more readily

adopted the white man's way over the years and this has caused some

conflict between them and the Miccosue element of the tribe Guy

Osceola is a Miccosuse "- a'small distance

south Perhaps later on Guy might be able to talk about that.., I

h-re is any kind of conflict between the Miccosucces and the' /.

Right now I'd like to keep on goingbecause I know I'm talking toolong.
,v Cl' t c' 7t /
evS the Seminole tribe was largely shattered by the Second

s and Third Seminole Wars, However some of the warriors

remained in control of things for a couple/generations or at least

one generation after the Third Seminole War. The primary leaders

were those men who had been very prominent a rs themselves.

By 1881 however the two most prominent leader SBes~ -and a man named

Tiger Tail who was a Miccosudhe had both diedaS the Mae seaeess.Ppa~

for a year were led by one of the Co) Gc* mame but shortly

after that the leadership of the tribe evolved to therkeepersof the

sacred medicine ~ .atre The leadership of the MiccasuQce tribe

remained in the hands of those who were the keepers of the sacred

medicineA*OstX until 1960 when the Miccosucee tribe formally

organized primarily apw-Ap% 10f the Unites States government.

They wanted to have someone to talk to. They couldn't just go out

in the everglades, the medicine keeper and sit down and

have discussions with him. So the Miccosusees organized in 1960.

The-[J LiA) section of the tribe was led by until

1881. Upon his death the leadership transferred to his nephew

manby the name of _A _w_ o was known r the
whites as Tallahassee. He was also a prominent aw r and he was
4he, C4*0
Snephew of m Later on I'll say something about this eeYt4/LC4/ -L-

. > ,. relationship. It's fairly important. Leadership

and other titles within the tribe tend to be transferred from uncle

to nephew/ other than from father to son. After T __d h death

ST __ died in 1909 after his death the leadership of the

CoLJ t tribe alsodevolved to medicine keepers. So whatwe have

essentially is medicine keepers leading the Seminole tribes h the

end of the nineteenth century until about 1957 or 1962 depending on

which tribe you're following. In 1957 there was organized what is

called the Seminole tribe of Florida. It is comprised primarily of
Kel .tee
Miccosueee speakers? two-thirds of the tribe speak the Miccosu-ee

language. One-third of the tribe speaks the Cat) 6(0^f tongue.

They live on three reservations. One is at Brighton which is on the

western coast of Lake Ok chobeef another is in Big Cypress Swampy

which is about forty miles south of Lake Okochobee, and a third is

an entirely urban reservation which is in Hollywood, Florida.

There is another tribe called the Miccosueee tribe of Florida. It's
dr/ Yn1,/tI &XJ or nilF ..f I1
located at a my ..- Frog City on" the Tamiail Tfail which

is west of Miami. They have a very small reservation and ,comprised

of'no more than fifty sixty acres I'm nt sure of the exact
A o acres A' st
size. There are approximately tkbr-r eI people enrolled in that

tribe, and approximately t9 th sand enrolled in the Seminole tribe


The Seminole Tribe of Florida, the one with the three reserva-

tions to the north, has a very active cattle programthat has enabled

some of these people at least to lead an existence that is materially

pretty well off. The cattle program was begun in the late 1930sC

1936 to be exact) when a number of cattle were sent in from the dust

bowl fre4 the American southwest by the United States Government.

These cattle were sent into Florida fiet;;sPacys chiefly Aflt-

if they remained in the dustbowl any onger they would starve to

death. 4Wi'the government saw no reason to allow to happen so they

brought them from ranchers in the dustbowl and sent them to Florida

and sold them to the Seminole Indians. The Indians were initially

given the cattle free of charge. "g they were expected to repay

them in twe as soon as the first calves were born.These cattle

were taken to the Brighton reservation and over the years they have

been upgraded ogg g S until they are probably now among the

finest cattle living in that area. They are primarily Hereford eL--

white-facedA initially they were just scrungy old range cattle

which had to be crossed with brahmas in order to survive, but now

it's a fine, fine cattle herd. About fifty'pi "1 within the tribe

own these cattle and are quite well offAor at least I think they're

quite well off. They're certainly well off by Seminole standards.

The rest of the tride doesn't have any direct affiliation with

the cattle programpand as far as I can tell hasn't benefitted very

much from it.

The Miccosueee tribe has nothing of the kind. The independent

Miccosu ees, of which Guy is a member, belong to no tribal organization.

Many of them are scattered along the Tamiami Trail. Guy's family

lives immediately south of Naples. They do not depend on cattle for

their livelihood. Many of them depend on the tourist trade instead.

/001 we'll see some slides of that later on. Perhaps we can go

into that in some depth.

Perhaps the greatest cultural impact that the white man has

had on the idsEer~a Seminole Indians of Floridaoccurred

in 1944 when the Baptists successfully converted some Seminoles to

Christianity. Missionaries~ap been trying to convert Seminoles to

V&hristianity since the nineteenth century but failed. To my knowledge

not a single one was converted until 1944 at which point a very

prominent medicine ma by the name of Joskg*r'i. who lived on the

Big Cypress esrvation converted to Christianity and directed

twenty-two of t um his own clan

to do the same thing. As soon as they had converted, the gates were

opened and a number of Indians .Aee converted to Christianity. This

conversion was not simply a religious one. Once they had been con-

verted to Christianity, they were exposed to a number of concepts)

a number of values and ideals that they hadn't previously held.

Among these being representative democracy.

The Baptists worked on them for ten or twelve yearsalong with

the federal government and eventually got them to agree in the late

1950s 4and in the early 1960s in the case of the

Miccosues a )~Ypi'5=e-~e tto to a representative)

democratic form of government. Something which had been a cultural

anathema to the Seminole Indians.

Even today the form of government that they have can not be

truly said to be representative democracy. There are other forces

at work. Other forces which I think are much more powerful in

determining the course of the tribeand later on if any of you

would like to talk about i during the coffee session I'll be happy

to go into it in some detail.

Now the Big Cypress rvation today has a number of explor-

atory oil wells on it and some natural gas reservoirs. Seminoles
have also branched into such things as leasing the land, growing of

tomato crops. They have orange groves in Big Cypress and there

are various tourist attractions that they have financed and they

have an entire village called (C2Tr. Village in Hollywood,

Florida. All these various enterprises bring in money to what is

called the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc which is the corporate

branch of the tribe and handles all the business affairs. Before

showing the slides I would like to say a few more things about

je fc9kt certain misconceptions that are held on the part of most

whites in this state, particularly on the part of iftr-cA4b e who

live near the Seminole Indians in the southern part of Florida.

It's commonly agreed by the people with whom I was familiar

that all Seminole Indians are on welfare. Well)that's nonsense.

In fact the percentage of Seminole Indians who are on welfare

is less than the percentage of white people who are on welfare

in this state. Seminoles get very little that is free of charge

from the government. They do get certain advantages but they had

to give up a great deal in order to gain these advantages. One of

the things they are given is interest-free loans. Many agencies

give them these interest-free loans. However they do have to pay

off the capital and they are required to pay it off in a fairly

short period of time. They have been veryvery good about this,and

are quite proud of their record ~jhey have received other advantages

from ^Spg,~1Sthe governmentAsuch things as free medical care,

at5ugtjr they do not have free dentists, but whatever advantages

they have gotten foitcra-a euoe.t or whatever benefits they have

gotten from the government have been at a tremendous price.

They had to give up all of this state to get free medical care and

many of them don't think it was worth it.

0 I-b-elieve at'--in.'fat all the people

on the Tamiami Trail who are independentSOp are not eligible

for most of these government programs. They are among a group

of Indians who feel that the recent settlement for "aEea-ha--

_4____W___N______ was an unjust sum in that it was a sum of money rather

than land. Afkd Guy and his family would like very much to get some

land back rather than being paid off in money. As a result they

have brought another suit against the government and I don't
)' /
know how it's going now, but the last I heard i o 1Ji s

progressing too smoothly. .,/ ".-

The settlement r-M46--ar was

agreed to a s sesi se- 1976 and the Indians themselves

have yet to see a penny of it. I seriously doubt S T r /

will see any of that money for a long, long timetC~~wh they do

get it the odds are very strong that they will not be given the

money directly. I talked to the attorney for the tribe and he

tells me that he thinks the money will probably be put into a

trust fund from which the Indians will be allowed to borrow, but --La

he doubts seriously that any of the money will be distributed

directly to the Indians.
Meanwhile the lawyer has been given percentt of the

settlement right off the top. He has now made himselfAl.6-million-

&iJAD%* for having represented the Seminole Tribe of Florida in this


I'm sure there must be some questions) ) Ri'OT^-f^ve-O 4 ---

^ Siif but please try to hold them until after the slide

show. I've gone on o great length already. I'll show the slides

as rapidly as possible and then we'll move in there as I understand

it 4 have refreshments, perhaps we can talk about things in more

detail then.

A: You know Tom 1.6 million dollars sounds like a lot)but lawyers don't

work for less than t4%kFy to f6ztyV percent contingency fee on a

case like that.r .
K: Yes, I know. 4hl a( e C
K: Yes, I know. o at there's a federal law that they only
have to give them Mt percentand 'iag all these attorneys

thought that the odds were pretty good that the settlement would be


A: So that's why... -

V Oh v thej- jiwho decidedd ,

an -it "backii--c?-6 yes -I'm afraid some of these '
/ .-^- ..- ,I - -
^-'peopae can t.-see.

I< While I'm showing these slides, please feel free to ask

questions. I'm sure you're going to see some things that you're

not going to be familiar with and as long as you @g Guy over 6hehe

to answer some of them, you might as well take advantage of the

opportunity.. e- -- -_ .--C-.. -,. .

S WeA afi his going to joerlap, quite a lot. ;rth-ps

k- e~es us ----iir~t~aer~ a- very -1iLiLae bit ;..

ova0g .-te. on this siedL.Ppractically-foie on- the.mtherm,'

\ b '^.-.^Okay l-l--`rd'",iit' here- th.n.. -

iG. This is meant to represent DeSoto and the sort of Indians v&o

/ ~-6elived in Florida at the time of the first Spanish contact.

It's d-icult to say whether this is an accurate representation

or notbut it'sApretty efS e- 0

_-^m_ I_ and what he thought to be the sort of Indians

that lived in Florida at the time of the Spanish contact during

the sixteenth century. It has recently been dis covered that
MO* 4- le A[
^ f these I /,90VN ,tj / ^,/ / "0 F
beth of these L/oyA. eN ( re ets of these or representations

of Indians who lived in central America. Another artist has

sketched them but L /i)k',.6 copied his sketches and claimed them

to be Florida Indians and had the thing published, a.etis4f etA--

,)@ St If they were indeed central American Indians, they

probably look very much like what Florida Indians did look like

in the sixteenth century because m^l#ba;5t-the Florida Indians

shared a great number of cultural traits with Cenial American

Indians and there seems to have been some contact between the two.

This is every Indian's hero, tjt jCg Ic.isO. /A Cto

jjafa 3 g the eastern part of the United States. his man's

name was whc means alligator warrior. He was a very

prominent leader during the Second Seminole War.

This is meant to represent Fort King during the Seminole attack

on it. As you will.see;tN t these Seminole Indians in this painting

are not dressed the way most Americans think a Indians should look.

In othwords they don't look like lains Indians, look like

something else entirely.

A: Like Scot smen.

K: Yes, very much like Scottsmen.

They wore a long shirt that was belted at the waistand later

on I'll show you some better examples of that. Now the fellow in the

middle was named Alexander L,/ ; He was a Presbyterian missionary

between 1910 and around about 1935 or so in the southern portion of

this state. He took a great number of the slides you're going to

see. He took them on glass plates glass plate lanterslidesand

hand tinted them. I got to know the man shortly before he died,

and he turned his collection of glass plates over to me or rather

to the project through me. WA6*we've had to-have them transferred

to 35mm slides. He told me that he had been' out to convert the

Indians but on his first trip into the Brighton area, he satisfied

himself that they were doing quite well without Christianity and

he saw no reason to try to change their beliefs. As a result he

made a number of Indian friends. They had not met a missionary

quite ike him before. b#he remained a friend of the Seminole

Indians until his death.The man p9t pgy1 to the right of the

picture was named Tom Tiger. He was a Cot (U, or se peaking

Seminole who was a very very powerful man. As you can see he's

quite big. He is reputed to have fired an arrow a quarter of a mile

through the air and hit a pine tree. He did this for a fellow by the

name of ho was an investigator for the Bureau of

American = s4 who went into Florida in 1884. The man on the

left was named Billy Fe-48 He was also called Key West Billy

because he once paddled and sailed a dug out canoe all the way

from Fort Pierce, across Lake .-Bah~ee, down the Caloosahatchee.

River, down to the tip of Florida, and out to Key West across oW __

<6 ti water. That's a prodigi ous feat. On his head he's

wearing otf with a b6t silver band around it and that is

the type of headgear that was favored by Seminole males r. up

through the 1920s.

This photograph will give you a good idea of the type of

hsig in which many Seminole Indians lived after the Seminole

War. On the left is a very rudimentary c/i, 6Cc Seminoles did

not live in structures of this type until the Second Seminole War.

The war forced them to move into this type of house. Prior to

that they had lived in very substantial houses that were built

very much like log cabins. They even had chimneys and (rC _17 i

between the logs and so forth. In fact many of them had two stories'

one for grain storage and the other one for living.

This(although this photograph was taken in 19106is a very

accurate representation of the sort of existence that many of the

Seminoles were condemned to following the Third Seminole War.

This particular family was probably very poor even by Seminole

standards because by 1910 most of the Seminoles were better off

than those in this photograph.

This was called the 0 ,.P ^- Camp. It is as far as I
U /
know the oldest camp in existence. I believe it's still in ex-
istgnce today. Guy might be able to comment on that, I don't know.

It is mentioned in a report that was filed in 1881.that -as filed

in1 -881iat.this photograph was taken between 1910 and 1920, and it

was still in existence then. As you can see growing around the

C-_'_'l_' are a number of cultivated fruit trees. In the foreground

are the i24/ and behind them are some banan s.and there are

orange trees off to the left. ~lpgtsS-'-Sg. ra..-

et seo*-.I' gue sS the Slides are notdropping: There,,-. --
/.r S QON Cad/60
Now this net- one-s i- example of a Cr___ As you can

see it's a completely open structure, has no wallsbut the roof

is very heavily thatched. There is a sleeping platform, a general

living platform that is elevated two or three feet above the

ground. I think that is readily visible here. I am told that

the roofs last three or four years without having to be thatched

again. The supports that you see off to the sides apparently were

put up whenever heavy vaj was due to keep the whole thing from

blowing over. These {Ai'&er were generally arranged in an almost

box-like arrangement with four sleeping C('Ck er f r'r r'l"

;By'-i around the perimeter 4ft in the center there

would be a cooking rl!..' C which would not have a floor and in

the cooking iCfdi all the cooking for the entire extended

family living in that one camp would be done.

This will give you an idea of the framework of a ____ti .

This particular Cl'ca is on the Brighton reservation. J ;it, you

can tell this because of the pilings which support the roof. They're

made of palm logs. Brighton is covered with Sable palms. On the

big Cypress reservationand along the Tamiami Trail most of the

.4,eI( 5 are built with Cypress.

A: I see they drank Coca Cola then.

K: Excuse me.

A: I saw sa w what looked like a Coca Cola bottle.

K: Yes, that last slide was a fairly modern slide. That last slide

was taken sometime during the 1960s as is this one.

A: What do they do about the mosquitoes.

K: They don't; they suffer from them just as much the white men do.

There are all sorts of devices they use to try to keep the mosquitoes

off them but it's to no avail. In fact I can tell you a little

anecdote. -

I once went and saw Billy Bowlegs f-e-tridt- house at the

Brighton ervationh, he did have a house. He had a1 well you

couldn't hardly call it a house; it was more like a closet. The

thing was probably no more than eight feet long and three feet

wide and had no windows/but it was completely walled in. Air

could not penetrate.~W apparently during the summer the mosquitoes

were particular bad and he would rather subject himself to the

heat than to mosquitoes* he'd go inside this little thing and

close the door and lie dow, and the mosquitoes couldn't get in there

with him,$ he was safe Tt them but he would broil himself in

the process. As far as I know there's no secret Seminole remedy for
mosquitoes. XCS3J;5-Oot-LFf-rdrnt t -o. t-l4Mw.--

Now here's a typical extended family. This photograph/again

was taken between 1910 and 1920. As you can seethe man is wearing

iia t'looks very much like a woman's dress or a long shirt that's

belted at the waist.

This photograph shows something of particular interest, that's N

1hl ox-cart in the background. Many of the Seminoles traveled all

over the southern part of the -~Pnisula by ox^cart from the end'of

the third Seminole War right up to- the 1930s a very common form of

transportation. They were fond of traveling but they also had to

travel for a number of reasons, gne was to follow the various types

of game. You know when alligator seasori endec it was time to start

something else somewhere else. It was also necessary to go great

distances in order to trade. There were trading posts and they

were all located around the coast. A few of them were in the

interior but the great majority of them were a great distance

- from the Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp.

The fire in the center is a typical Seminole fire in that

it is made from large logs arranged in a star pattern, as they

burn down they're pushed in towards the middle,'n' doesn't

provide much in the way of flames but is certainly hot enough 4P"

to cook on and you don't have to constantly be going out and

gathering firewood.

A:' What kind of log is this one?

K: The ones before were pine. I don't know, these look like ..-

A: These are Palmetto.

K: These are oak logs here.

A: Oh, oak.

K: This is on Big Cypress Reservation. This was taken -sometime

during the 1960s. The preceding one was taken in the 1920s or


Now Guy has told you that he will explain how (C~offceW is

processed. First I'll tell you that this is Ai,",L-- -d -

It's called by the Seminoles, by the Miccosu gees 01 4- coN I<

and there are other names for it as well. Once it's processed it

can be made into a very nutricious flour and can be turned into

bread and so on. Now Guy, can you please tell us how it's done.

These are COWtl___ roots on the right.

0: 1A At Jy take the skin off by rubbing them up and

down on a metal a...

K: Grater.

0: ... metal grater, yeah. Metal. She oes up and down, she grates, takes

the skin off. After that, beytd that, they get a big tub of water

and put it in there and they leave it for a couple weeks,I;, they let

a' I don't know what to talk about.... After thatthenthey strain

it, and after they get the down there they let it dry.

And they use it for 50r'T OK bread2or they like to use it for

soup a lot7 dl r.'' ..r, Jo V,

K: In its natural state __v___i_ root is suppose to be poisonous.

Only after it's processed is it edible.

This lady's name is Ruby Tiger and she is using here a tra-

ditional mortar and2gpl ? device that's used for wa corn.
The primary use of the corn was making a drink or a food called
// A &/ -H1 10 rj w/J k
fC__c__. The corn would be roasted, ~irpq&PM gM ground up

with OOA The ground corn would be cooked very much the way

we cook grits except a great deal more water is used- and the

corn itself is a much coarser consistency than grits. After this

has been done, it can be made into soup or it can be eaten and

drunk as it is. 4.. often, the water is not poured off- it's

drunk instead.

This is a commercial corn grinder which was probably go from

a trading post. I'm told that the lady doing the gri ding here

was the first wife of a fellow by the name of NPegto Billy who

was a very very prominent medicine keeper. OW in fact he still is

but he's not as prominent now as he once was. He is the man who

was the leader of the Miccosucce tribe when they formally organized

in 1962. He is nowA what is he Guy in his late nineties, is he

a hundred years old or close to it?

O: y .5,

K: He's very close to a hundred years old and he lives now on the

Big Cypress Reservation and has converted to Christianity although

he continues to lead theit 9L ...

Now this lady is sif ing&1Og H corn meal.ai g an't

^f-yp Sifting it with a commercial sifter, one's that been

made out of, I believealuminum. It lookalike it from here anyway;

however, off to the right you will see some baskets the Seminoles

make and use for sifting. _There's open work in the bottom of these


Do you know who this is Guy?

0: Charlie Cypress /Aw i

K: I think so. I think this is Charlie Cypress. Charlie Cypress

is a Miccosu4eL who lives on the Big Cypress Reservation, and

is one of the few men who continues to make duout canoes.

Most of these dugout canoes don't go to Indians, they are sold

to white men or btei-museumror so forth. ?

0: Josie there, the one in front.

K: Yeah, Josie Billy is the one in the front on the rightpand he kge-'

--r also was a prominent medicine keeper until the middle 1940s.

He is a herb doctor who lives on the Big Cypress reservation,

very well respected.

A: He still living?

K: Yes, he's still living. te's very very old.

A: Why is he boring a hole in the bottom of the boat for?

K: Excuse me?

A: Why is he boring a hole in the bottom of the canoe for?

K: That's to test the thickness there.

A: Is that to let the water out?

K: That's the only way they have to test how thick it Lright there.

A: Is that right.

K: And then a plug can be put in later. Maybe for other reasons too.

Are there other reasons for boring the hole, Guy?

I'll challenge that statement. Anybody can check the thickness
o/1 IAe, r- tugl

K: Well Charlie Cypress told me he checked the thickness that way.

-T OPT O ie BaJO < ad d enough

dugout canoes to know what he was doing. He told me that he

checked the thickness that way.

A: The ones I've seen had a hole all the way through.

K: They put a plug inside it, right? Yeah. And then instead of

having to turn it upside down they can leave it right side up,too.

0146 It serves both purposes, I guess.

A: so they can drain the water out of it.

A: I think you're right there.

K: As you can see, the thickness is consistent and it's very very

sophisticated work that's done. These are beautiful canoes. It's

difficult to imagine somebody could do that'with the hand tools that

they use. Originallypthe canoe was begun by burning it out with hot

coals. I don't think that method is employed anymore. In fact

now they use chain saws to get the work started. But the old

woodworking tools are still employed Here's an example of a

finished dugout canoe. This is a very old photograph. The

reason for the high prowo is so'that they can push

through the dense h such as what you see behind her.

The Indians traditionally pole these things rather than paddle

thembecause if they paddled them you can't see over all that

stuff. In the nineteenth century fR whites first began

coming into Florida by canoe, and a great number of them did.

They use to go on adventures in the everglades. They were

constantly getting lost because they couldn't stand up to see

where they were. They had to stay seated to paddle the canoe.

Indians don't have that problem.

Here's another very large dugout, this one on Lake

This is Billy .q4 This gives you a better look at

the turban-type headgear and the silver band. This is V33b

the one who was called Key Wdst Billy. Now this man has just

finished spearing a garfish. If you look closely, you can see

it on the end of the gig there on the right. Garfish

were)and to a degree still are a staple of the Seminole diet.

I had the opportunity to eat some gar while I was down there,

and found it quite tasty. I had lived practically all my life

in Florida and had always been told that civilized people didn't

eat garfish. I had been told that they were no good. Well I

had been mis led Jf any of you ever get the opportunity to eat

one, I suggest you try it.

,A: 114 ^- z-i cI-" ^ ?

K: Don't try to clean it.

A: How were they prepared?

K: The ones at Brighton were prepared by steam' hat they would

do was they would gut the thing, they would cut the head off

and then rather than try to skin it which was practically impos-

sible) they would bake it in the fire.


K: Yeah, right. Once the thing was finished, you could slide the

skin right off it. Po'Me- Guy is there any other way to do it?

How is it generally done among your people.

0: Yes a/Tew different ways you can do it, Tom. You can /' ) it

with a hot .

K: Yeah, I once did that and it took thirty minutes to do one fish.

I decided do that again.

0: You can do that and fry it, you know, fry it or just cut it up into

pieces with 4 in it and make it like e /A A0 0"i
you know, season and a...
K: Anyway, however you do it, it's really a very tasty fish.

A: Do they eat swamp t ?

K: Oh, yes they eat swamp-n by the ton, particularly the Brightonfo p -.

because te Brighton are a great number of sable palmsaS~Pf

course it's very tasty. I'm sure most of the people in this room

have sampled swamp cabbage at one time or another.

Now this is the trading post of a fellow by the name of Ted

SwdA~ iy located on 4ok /oi6 bCL island which is down near

Everglades City. The (Al//o/ -p till lives there and still

owns that land although the trading post is long since closed.

The man with his back to us, I'm told.is a fellow by the

name of AbrahamClay who is a Miccosu e speaking Indian

living along the Tamiami Trail. He too yip a prominent herb

doctor -/4oad,

Now here is how most self-respecting Seminoles travel, #eR 4L?
by dugout canoe but by air' oat. I don't know/very many

Seminole families who still travel around in du outs. This is

an old ai boat, one that was built before they had the regulation

about the guard over the propeller.

Here is another example of the o arts used to travel across

southern Florida. They would take a tarp and Cypress *ASyp with

them so that they could pitch a camp whenever it was necessary-

temporary camp.

Now these men are all old men today. When I showed them this

photograph they just broke up laughing, at least two of them are

still alive* at, east one of them is dead, although I'm not sure.

As soon as they gained access to them Seminoles began using cars.

Sf 9 $ 1by the end of the 1930s, I think that the use of the

oxpart had fallen by the wayside. They either used automobiles or

they used nothing. Of course theymost ordinary, common form of

transportation was by foot.

,-0id this fellow is about to head off into the wilderness to do

some hunting. When I sho this particular photograph down

in Hollywood, everybody broke up laughing. They told me no

real Seminole male would ever go hunting dressed like that.

This is obviously posed for the photographer. As you can

seehowever, he's barefoot. Maybe you can't see; you'll

have to take my word for it, he's not wearing shoes. The

terrain is very very rough out there. I suspect one of the

reasons that so manyfS0p ssa~ Seminoles went: bare-

foot was because the moccasins would wear out very very

quickly or they would rot due to very wet conditions that

prevailed in most places.

A: Did most of them traditionally go barefoot?

K: Yes. As a result of this, most of them suffered ,, ,tV. 'i'"*.
*.J" r

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