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Volume 49 Number 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editor's Page. Robert J. Austin 110
In Defense of the Frontier: Considerations of Apalache Warfare
During the Period 1539-1540. Karl T. Steinen and Russel Ritson 111
"Everybody has a part; even the little bitty ones": Notes on the Social Organization
of Yuchi Ceremonialism. Jason Baird Jackson 121
Proposed Location of the- 1565 French Huguenot Fort le Caroline. Paul H. Gissendaner 131
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY SYMPOSIUM
Burials, Native American Artifacts, and the Law 149
Mitchell E. Hope 161
Apalache Descendants 163
Weisman: Crystal River: A Ceremonial Mound Center on the Florida Gulf Coast. David S. Brose 165
Griffin (Editor): Fifty Years of Southeastern Archaeology: Selected Works of John W. Griffin. Gregory A. Waselkov 165
About the Authors 170
Cover: Calusa Secrets by Dean Quigley
Copyright 1996 by the
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
The articles in this issue of The Florida Anthropologist
represent an interesting mix of history, ethnography, and
archaeology. All of them adopt perspectives that force us to
reconsider or rethink familiar topics in new ways. The first
article by Karl Steinen and Russel Ritson examines the practice
of warfare conducted by the Apalache against Spanish invaders
in the sixteenth century. Although historical and archaeological
evidence exists for the presence of palisaded towns in other
parts of the Southeast, there is as yet no firm evidence for the
use of this type of static defence system by the Apalache.
Steinen and Ritson argue that the Apalache utilized a form of
active defence that incorporated traditional tactics of ambush,
misdirection, and the use of natural barriers such as rivers and
swamps. Beginning with a review of the ethnographic and
ethnohistoric literature on warfare in pre-state societies which
document the common use of raids, ambushes, and other forms
of guerilla warfare, the authors proceed to reinterpret the
Spanish accounts of their encounters with the Apalache from
this perspective. They support their argument with historical and
archaeological data, and provide some expectations that can be
tested archaeologically to confirm or disconfirm their ideas.
In the second article, Jason Jackson presents an ethnographic
description and structural interpretation of Yuchi social organi-
zation. The Yuchi are a Native American society who live today
in eastern Oklahoma, but were relocated there from Florida,
Georgia, and Alabama during the 1830s. In his essay, Jackson
illustrates how Yuchi society is organized by focusing on the
stomp-ground ceremony, an important ritual element of Yuchi
community life. In addition to describing the ceremony and how
it reflects the social organization of the Yuchi, Jackson offers
an interpretation from the theoretical perspective of structural-
ism. This is an approach to the study of culture that many
readers of FA may not be familiar with since much of the
research conducted by Florida archaeologists is based (either
explicitly or implicitly) on materialist and ecological theories
which assume that culture is influenced to a large degree by
external factors. Structuralism assumes that 1) cultural phenom-
ena are the result of an innate mental capacity of humans to
order their world according to binary distinctions which often
exist in opposition to one another, and 2) that human social
behavior has deep symbolic meaning that may be manifested in
elements as diverse as village settlement patterns, systems of
kinship and marriage, religious beliefs, clan names, and artistic
design motifs. Jackson explores the implications of a struc-
turalist interpretation of Yuchi society and ceremonialism in his
Paul Gissendaner uses historic documents and maps in his
effort to reconstruct the location of Fort Caroline, a French
Huguenot fort that was built in 1564 near Jacksonville. Over the
years, historians have suggested several possible locations for
the fort along the St. Johns River, and a replica fort was
constructed by the National Park Service at one of these. Using
the original descriptions provided by the French documents and
maps, Gissendaner develops a set of criteria for evaluating the
suitability of the potential fort locations. These allow him to
rank the various locations objectively and suggest the most
likely spot for archaeologists to begin looking for material
evidence of the fort.
Also included in this issue are the proceedings of the Florida
Anthropological Society's symposium on Burials, Native
American Artifacts, and the Law which was presented at the
annual FAS meeting in Sarasota this past May. Reading these
proceedings should prove interesting and enlightening for
everyone since they clearly define the legislative intent of the
various federal and state laws regarding the repatriation and
disposition of Native American human remains and associated
grave goods that are discovered during development or archaeo-
logical excavation. The symposium also attempted to clear up
misunderstandings on the part of professionals and the public
regarding the implementation of these laws by explaining the
roles of the various players (i.e., representatives of government,
Native American tribes, archaeologists, and developers) as they
are defined by law. And finally, it presented the often conflict-
ing views of Native Americans, archaeologists, and the public
on the issue of scientific study of human remains. Clearly, a
successful balancing of scientific values with indigenous cultural
values requires more than just laws; mutual understanding and
communication are essential ingredients. By bringing together
representatives of all the various viewpoints and allowing them
to begin the process of communication, the FAS took a large
step towards the achievement of mutual understanding.
On another note, I would like to take this opportunity to
welcome the Treasure Coast Archaeological Society (TCAS) as
the newest chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society. Its
application was approved by the FAS Board of Directors at the
annual meeting in Sarasota and a Certificate of Affiliation was
presented to TCAS Director David Knight at the July 27th FAS
Board meeting. I'm sure we will be hearing more about our
newest chapter and its activities in the months to come.
Finally, you will see a new feature that has been added to the
journal with this issue. After several requests, I have decided to
begin publishing the E-mail addresses of authors as well as
those of FAS officers and the journal's editorial staff and
review board. I hope everyone will find this a useful and
ROBERT J. AUSTIN
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
VOL. 49. No. 3
IN DEFENSE OF THE FRONTIER: CONSIDERATIONS OF APALACHE WARFARE
DURING THE PERIOD 1539-1540
KARL T. STEINEN AND RUSSELL RITSON
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia 30118
The chronicles of Hernando de Soto's expedition have
provided ethnohistorians and archaeologists with an immense
amount of information concerning aboriginal life during the first
half of the sixteenth century. Always fascinating reading, these
documents must be used with care because writers during this
period were often given to hyperbole. One of the main accounts
of the de Soto expedition, Garcilaso de la Vega's, is noted for
being the most flamboyant and least reliable of the narratives
(Clayton et al. 1993:xxi), yet it does provide insight into the
happenings in the province of Apalache in 1539-1540 and is
widely used (see Milanich and Hudson 1993 for examples). The
other narratives lack the detail of Garcilaso's, but are probably
more accurate. In the following discussion we have used the
different narratives, sometimes alone, sometimes in consort, to
illustrate 'specific points concerning military tactics, historic
events, and cultural patterns. We have not relied on a single
narrative to construct oui arguments, but have included refer-
ences to different descriptions of the same event to demonstrate
that there are differences and discrepancies in the descriptions
of the events that took place. The narratives must be used
selectively and carefully, some points accepted and others
rejected, to unravel de Soto's relations with the Apalache.
Much of what we suggest concerning Apalache warfare,
particularly defensive tactics, is presented in the form of a
model that can be tested through archaeological investigations.
Our main thesis that the Apalache used a form of active
defense of their borders and not a static defense of population
centers is predicated on the fact that there is no mention of
palisades, moats, or any other defensive structures in the
narratives, and with the exception of the Waddells Mill Pond
site (Gardner 1966), which is not within the territory of the
Apalache, there are no published reports of these defensive
structures at archaeological sites. The model that we present in
this paper is comprehensible if we understand how pre-state
societies conducted war, the environment in which the Apalache
lived, and their socio-political structure.
Warfare is a fact of life for peoples who live in state-level
political systems. The existence of armies that are able to bring
mass destruction to competing societies is well documented. In
tribal and chiefdom societies fighting usually takes on a
significantly different form than it does in state-level societies.
Ethnographers and ethnohistorians generally characterize tribal
warfare as being of low intensity, with an emphasis on raids and
ambushes that are of short duration and inflict little physical
damage (Anderson 1990, 1994; DePratter 1983:45; Dickson
1981; Dye 1990; Garcilaso 1951:434-445, 487-489; Gibson
1974; Hudson 1976:239; Larson 1972; Steinen 1992). Perhaps
the clearest descriptions of this kind of fighting come from the
ethnographies of the Grand Valley Dani of New Guinea. These
have shown that one of the major preoccupations of the men in
the society is to guard against raiding and ambushing parties
from neighboring villages. The results of a successful raid or
ambush are generally the loss of one or two lives. When there
is an open battle it is more a ceremonial conflict than a military
one. The combat generally consists of much posturing, shouting
of insults, and a massive exchange of poorly aimed arrows and
spears. Few injuries occur during these fights and if inclement
weather occurs the combat often will be adjourned (Heider
1970:99-133). Although most Dani battles involve little loss of
life, at least one massacre has been recorded. Heider (1970:118-
119) reports that over 125 men, women, and children were
killed and dozens of house compounds were burned in a single
raid in 1966.
Warfare between pastoralists in East Africa, at least until the
introduction of modern firearms, consisted of low-level fighting
that was part of what is referred to as a blood feud, and massive
killing usually did not occur (Evans-Pritchard 1965:150-177).
Warfare between the Maori of New Zealand also fits these
descriptions of raids and ambushes where there was relatively
little death (Schaniel 1985:15-16; Vayda 1960). Hoijer, in an
early analysis of this kind of fighting, describes it as having
"...a surprising lack of organization. The usual procedure
involves only a few individuals such as raiding parties of ten to
fifty men...The usual and favorite method is the surprise attack
made at night or when the men are known to be away from the
enemy village" (Hoijer 1929:2).
Not all warfare on the pre-state level consisted of small groups
of people who were involved in what can be thought of as a
reciprocal exchange of death. Ethnohistoric reports of chiefdoms
from the southeastern United States, particularly the narratives
of the de Soto expedition, describe large, well organized forces
from one chiefdom attacking the well defended towns of another
(Biedma 1922:21-23; DePratter 1983:49-56; Elvas 1922:103-
104; Garcilaso 1951:398-400,430, 434-445, 487-489; Ranjel
1922:133-134). The archaeological descriptions of large, strong,
VoL. 49 No. 3 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST SEPTEMBER 1996
VOL. 49 NO. 3
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
THE FLORIDA AwrmioPoLoGIsT 1996 VoL. 49(3)
defensive stockades at sites such as Etowah, Moundville, and
the King site indicate that there must have been strong attacking
forces marauding through these various chiefdoms if the civic
centers and some towns needed to be protected to such a degree
(Blakely 1988; Larson 1972; Vogel and Allan 1985). Warfare
in chiefly societies appears to have used a combination of large
attacking forces and smaller raiding and ambushing parties. This
combination reflects the centralization of authority in chiefdoms
that is necessary to control large bodies of fighters effectively
while still being able to use small groups when necessary.
Tribal societies lacking this kind of control cannot muster and
coordinate effectively the large groups of fighters that chiefly
Anthropologists and historians have been struggling for years
to determine why warfare is so widespread in tribal- and
chiefdom-level societies. Explanations for this fighting have
included conflict over farming land (Larson 1972); individual
status adjustment (Gibson 1974); the maintenance of valued
resources; the disruption or preservation of trade networks; the
forcing of neighboring societies to vacate territory (Dickson
1981); the establishment of buffer zones for hunting (Peebles
and Kus 1977:444); revenge; geopolitical expansion (Hudson
1976:239-240); population decentralization during periods of
seasonal food shortages (Milanich and Weisman 1974); the
establishment of political hegemonies; and the promotion of a
feeling of societal solidarity (Anderson 1994). Steinen (1992)
recently argued that warfare between neighboring chiefdoms
may have been motivated, in part, by a desire to achieve a
position of superordinate status in relation to neighboring
competing chiefdoms. DePratter (1983:45) has argued that there
probably is no single reason that can be given for all aboriginal
warfare in the interior Southeast at the time of Spanish contact,
and that reasons varied from time to time, place to place, and
society to society.
Apalache Culture and Settlement Patterns
As the de Soto entrada made its way though the interior of the
Southeast beginning in 1539 it encountered literally hundreds of
different societies. Some offered little resistance to the Spanish
party while others fought it with vigor. Resistance to the
Spanish intrusion was often centered on the defense of fortified
towns and villages (DePratter 1983; Elvas 1922:95-98; Lafferty
1973; Larson 1972; Ranjel 1922:123-128; Steinen 1992). When
de Soto first encountered the Apalache he was faced with
organized resistance that continued until his departure for the
interior of the Coastal Plain in the Spring of 1540. The Apa-
lache demonstrated that they were masterful fighters, a skill that
could only have been developed through years of practical
experience, yet there is no mention of their having any fortifica-
tions around their towns (Biedma 1922:7-9; Elvas 1922: 46-50;
Garcilaso 1951:175-184; Ranjel 1922:78-81). Archaeological
investigations of the Governor Martin site, which is believed to
be the location of Anhaica Apalache, are inconclusive with
regard to the presence or absence of defensive stockades. Ewen
(1989:112) notes that de Soto had the town of Anhaica Apalache
fortified and that his excavation found no evidence of this. The
Apalache did not lose their skills as warriors through time and
were greatly respected fighters in the seventeenth century, but
there is no mention of formal defensive stockades until the mid
1600s with the advent of an intensive Spanish mission presence
(Hann 1988:181; Or6 1936:114-117).
Occupying the area from the Aucilla River in the east to the
Ochlockonee River in the west, and from the Gulf coast in the
south, north to what is now Georgia, the Apalache lived in a
series of villages and towns throughout an environmentally
diverse territory (Figure 1). The de Soto narratives indicate that
there were two large towns and a series of smaller villages or
farmsteads located within the province of Apalache. The two
towns, Ivitachuco and Anhaica Apalache, consisted of perhaps
200 or more houses each spread out over a fairly large area.
Biedma, Ranjel, and Elvas report that Ivitachuco, the eastern-
most settlement of any size, was burned by the Apalache before
de Soto reached it, but Anhaica Apalache was spared this
destruction. The Garcilaso narrative does not mention a town of
this spelling nor that it was in a fire. Hann (1994:350) presents
a persuasive argument that Garcilaso's narrative of this event
was completely garbled and actually confuses events that took
place within the province of Apalache and the neighboring Utina
and Yustaga provinces.
Archaeological studies in the area between the Aucilla and
Ochlockonee Rivers indicate that the Apalache practiced a
dispersed settlement pattern. Fairbanks (1971:39), Payne
(1982), and J. Scarry (1990:239) have shown that the proto-
historic Ft. Walton (Lake Jackson Phase) settlement pattern
consisted of four different site types which included: 1) small
farmsteads of one or two houses; 2) hamlets that have four to
five houses; 3) small mound centers each with a single pyra-
midal mound; and 4) a major mound-village complex. John
Scarry's analysis of Velda Phase Fort Walton sites (1990:183;
1994:162-163; Hann 1994:328-329) and the narratives indicate
that aspects of this settlement hierarchy had changed by the time
de Soto arrived. The mound centers were no longer being
occupied in 1539, but there were obvious vestiges of the
settlement hierarchy still in existence. Hann has interpreted the
settlement pattern as indicating that the Apalache were divided
into eastern and western components. He reasons that each of
the two large towns was supported by rough arcs of villages
"...reaching towards each other. A relatively unsettled and
uncultivated area separated them" (Hann 1988:96).
The Apalache of de Soto's time appear to have been in the
process of changing from an earlier Mississippian-type social
system (Hann 1988:7; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:197) to one
with significantly less socio-political complexity. The Lake
Jackson site, with its large truncated mounds, elaborate South-
ern Cult burials, and structured village area, represents the most
spectacular expression of Apalache political centralization
(Griffin 1950; Jones 1982; J. Scarry 1994, n.d.). Unlike Lake
Jackson, the towns of Anhaica Apalache and Ivitachuco did not
have any of the features associated with Mississippian civic
centers but were the residences of chiefs who controlled
extensive territories and populations (Hann 1988:5-9; J. Scarry
The Apalache did not exist in cultural isolation. They were
THEE FLOREDA ANTHIROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
STEINEN A1~D RJTSON APALACHE WARFARE
Figure 1. Map of north-central Florida showing the locations of the Apalache province and neighboring
groups. Adapted from Hann (1988) and J. Scarry (1994).
widely known in peninsular Florida and were heralded for their
wealth and economic productivity (Biedma 1922:233; Hann
1988:5). The early Spanish intruders were aware of this
reputation and targeted the province of Apalache as a source of
badly needed food during their explorations (Hudson et al.
1984:66). Possibly because of this notoriety, the Apalache
appear to have been involved in long-term warfare with their
neighbors the Yustaga, a Timucuari group, to the east and the
Chacato to the west (Hann 1988: Figure 1.1). There appear to
have been no contiguous neighbors to the north as the de Soto
narratives describe an area devoid of human occupation that
took eight days to cross when the entrada departed Apalache
territory in the Spring of 1540 (Biedma 1922:9; Elvas 1922:51;
Garcilaso 1951:263; Hudson et al. 1984: 67; Ranjel 1922:82).
Although this area of the interior Coastal Plain, immediately
north of the Ochlockonee River in south Georgia, supported a
pre-Mississippian population of undetermined size, it appears to
have become abandoned with the rise of greater dependence on
domesticated crops that was typical of Mississippian economies
(C. M. Scarry 1994; Steinen 1989). Mississippian populations
are, however, known along the Flint, Ocmulgee, and Oconee
rivers, a good 150 km to the north and northeast of Tallahassee
(Schnell and Wright 1990; Snow 1977; Worth 1993). Since the
southern boundary of Apalache territory was the Gulf of
Mexico, there were no neighbors in that direction, only the
dense coastal marsh.
STEINEN AND RITSON
THE FLORIDA ANJ7HROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
The territory of the Apalache is one of environmental diversity
(Brose 1984:169-173; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:17). The
coastal marshes are bounded on the seaward side by beaches
that are usually less than 30 m wide with the crests of the dunes
less than 1 m above sea level. This band of marshes range from
a few hundred meters to about five kilometers in width (Sellards
1912). Inland from the marshes are flatwoods which are
dominated by shortleaf pine, mocknut hickory, red oak, black
oak, post oak, and dogwood (Wharton 1977:177). The river
bottoms of this area are relatively narrow, quite swampy, and
covered by a dense forest dominated by cypress, tupelo gum,
swamp black gum, and ash in the lower areas. The higher
portions Of the floodplains, those that are flooded less than six
months of the year, support a mixed hardwood forest (Wharton
1977:47-48). In both of these environments the understory is
very dense and almost impenetrable without the aid of cutting
The central portion of the Apalache territory, known today as
the Tallahassee Red Hills, includes modern-day Tallahassee. It
is distinguished by "...a surface (that) is much dissected by
stream valleys of all sizes; there are deep ravines in the region
around Quincy (Florida) while elsewhere the surface may
consist largely of gentle slopes...there is little or no level upland
and only narrow flood-plain strips border the larger streams"
(Hubbell et al. 1956:19). Several large lakes are located north
of Tallahassee, and numerous small rivers and creeks flow
through this region toward the coast.
Attack and Defense: Stockades, Natural Barriers,
Or Both? Historical and Tactical Considerations
When faced by attack from hostile forces, a defending society
must protect itself if it is to survive. It appears that many of the
Southeastern Indian societies which were involved in warfare
chose to use a system of palisades and moats to defend against
hostile forces (Larson 1972). When attacked, the defending
population and fighters could take refuge within the walls of the
stockades and be relatively safe because of the tactics and
weapons they faced. There are indications that some of these
fortified towns may have had fairly extensive agricultural fields
within the stockade which would have provided a source of food
if there was an extensive siege (Blitz 1993:115-123). This static
defensive system was an effective way to defend territory that
did not have many natural barriers. Without the protection
provided by environmental features such as rivers and deep
gullies, artificial barriers would have to have been constructed
to protect vulnerable locations and populations.
The territory between the Aucilla and Ochlockonee rivers
provided significant natural advantages for the Apalache to
protect themselves from attack by neighboring groups. The
Apalache were bounded on the east and west sides by rivers
with densely vegetated, swampy floodplains. To the south were
the extensive coastal marshes of the Gulf of Mexico, and on the
north were the uninhabited flatwoods of the Georgia wiregrass
region (Hann 1988:Figure 1.1). These conditions provided the
Apalache with a set of natural defenses. Unlike many of the
interior chiefdoms, such as Coosa, that were linear in nature
(Hudson et al. 1985) and lacked natural barriers, the Apalache
occupied a territory fully 50 km on a side, only two of which,
the east and west, faced contiguous enemies.
Apalache Use of Ambushes and Raids
Narratives of the entrada give a mixed picture of de Soto's
intrusion into Apalache territory. Garcilaso, in what is consid-
ered an exaggerated account (Clayton et al. 1993:xxi), describes
a passage that was opposed by a strong, well-conceived ambush.
Having to use a narrow path to cross the Aucilla River swamp,
de Soto's fighters were faced by fierce resistance. They
struggled against a moving ambush until they were able to
emerge into open territory and deploy their cavalry. Even when
faced with superior force, the Apalache fighters continued to
harass the Spanish through the night and during their movement
through the swamp on the western side of the river the next
morning (Garcilaso 1951:179-182).
Elvas's, Biedma's, and Ranjel's descriptions, while not as
detailed as Garcilaso's, also mention the river and swamp as
well as the Apalache presence at the point of crossing. These
three accounts do not describe an extensive battle. Elvas
(1922:46) writes that the Apalache observed the crossing and
Biedma (1922:234) states that they unsuccessfully opposed it.
Ranjel (1922:79) reports that three Spaniards were shot with
From these descriptions we can determine that the arrival of
the Spanish was anticipated by the Apalache who opposed their
crossing either vigorously, by Garcilaso's description, or fairly
passively by the other three narratives. The river obviously
presented a significant tactical problem for the Spanish because
it was deep and bordered by a thick swamp. The only existing
passage through this swamp, which led to a ford, was narrow
and anyone traveling along it would have been easily ambushed.
At this time the river was flooded but the cleared path led to an
area that was bridged by using fallen trees. Garcilaso
(1951:177) states that there was no brush along the flooded
path, but again similar details are missing from the other
After crossing the flooded river and spending a night where
they were constantly harassed, de Soto's party passed through
the swamp on the west bank of the Aucilla. Garcilaso provides
a vivid description of a moving ambush on the western side of
the river. His descriptions are of the heroic Spanish fighting off
the Indians who were concealed in the forest and eventually
forced their way into clear areas where the calvary could be
deployed (Garcilaso 1951:179-180). This was not the only
ambush faced by de Soto's men at this crossing. Shortly after
occupying the town of Anhaica Apalache, de Soto detached a
party of 30 riders commanded by Juan de Afiasco to return to
Espiritu Santo, the initial landing point in Florida. Their mission
was to bring Captain Calder6n and his force of 30 cavalry and
70 infantry, who had been left at Espiritu Santo with two years
worth of supplies, to rejoin the main party (Biedma 1922:7-8;
Elvas 1922:48; Garcilaso 1951:196; Ranjel 1922:80-81). On
1996 VOL. 49(3)
T'HE FLORIiDA ANHROPOLOGIST
STKIN~N AI~D RnsON APAJACHE WARFARE
their return to Apalache, when passing through the Aucilla
swamp, they were once more ambushed. This time, because of
the smaller size of the Spanish force and probably because of a
much smaller group of Apalache fighters (those who were not
busy harassing the main body of Spanish), the fighting was less
intense and the Afiasco/Calder6n force was able to cross the
river and pass through the swamp with relatively little trouble
(Garcilaso 1951:182-183; Milanich and Hudson 1993:228). As
with so many other instances, this specific ambush is not
mentioned by other chroniclers. Biedma (1922:7-8), Elvas
(1922:48), and Ranjel (1922:80-81) include short discussions of
the recovery of the forces left at the original landing site. They
mention that the Afasco/Calder6n party did not make the trip
without being attacked and having some of the men killed or
wounded, but the ambush itself is not mentioned.
After crossing the Aucilla, de Soto's march toward Anhaica
Apalache was not without incident. The first large Apalache
town, Ivitachuco, was found in flames (Biedma 1922:7; Elvas
1922:46-47; Ranjel 1922:79). Garcilaso, however, does not
mention the presence of this town on the west side of the
Aucilla (Hann 1994:350). By destroying this settlement, the
Apalache denied the Spanish needed shelter and food. Harass-
ment of the Spanish forces appears to have continued as they
marched toward their winter camp and throughout the winter of
1539-1540. On at least one occasion, Apalache raiders managed
to penetrate the encampment's defenses and set fire to part of
the town (Elvas 1922:49; Ranjel 1922:80). This destructive raid
is not mentioned by Biedma (1922:6-9) in his short account or
in Garcilaso's (1951:175-260) lengthy one. If these harassing
attacks were designed to deny the Spanish food and shelter and
convince them to abandon Anhaica Apalache, they were only
moderately successful. De Soto wintered-over and left at his
own pace, with Garcilaso reporting that the party was frequently
ambushed as it marched to the northern frontier of Apalache
territory (Garcilaso 1951:263-266). As with many reported
military activities, Garcilaso is the only narrator to chronicle
these attacks, which may indicate that they did not actually
It should be noted that in 1528, the Narviez expedition
crossed the Aucilla River without reported resistance and was
able to make its way into Apalache territory without incident.
Nfifiez Cabeza de Vaca remarks that when they reached a town
of forty houses identified as Apalache, there were no men in the
town. Shortly after arriving, Narviez sent a scouting party
under Ndfiez Cabeza de Vaca's command into the town where
they were ambushed by Apalache men (Ndfiez Cabeza de Vaca
1871:33-37). The Narviez expedition was basically an unknown
force to the Apalache. As it marched up the peninsula of
Florida it does not appear that the Spanish had any sharp
conflicts with different groups, but they did treat the Indians
harshly and took several captives as guides (Nfiiez Cabeza de
Vaca 1871:29-37). News of these conflicts may have preceded
the Spanish party and alerted the Apalache of the Spanish
intentions. If so, the Apalache were in a position of not really
knowing what to expect from the Spanish or how to deal with
them militarily. By allowing the Spanish to cross the Aucilla
River unopposed the Apalache were able to observe them and
take no action until one of their settlements was actually
entered. When this happened they retaliated with some effect.
Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca's descriptions of what happened next
suggest that the Apalache used this incident to have their women
and children released but were not able to win the freedom of
their captured cacique (Nfilez Cabeza de Vaca 1871:35).
Hoffman (1994:60-62) presents a convincing argument that
this town was not Anhaica Apalache, but a smaller outlying
town in the eastern area of the province. He argues that the
number of days march, the size of the town, and the projected
distance from the Gulf of Mexico are different enough from the
descriptions of de Soto's expedition to preclude this town from
being the principal town of the Apalache polity.
Narvaez did not stay in Apalache territory very long. Nifiez
Cabeza de Vaca's descriptions of the twenty-five days that the
Spanish stayed are of a poor country, poor health of the
Spanish, and continuous attack by the Apalache fighters. When
the Spanish departed Apalache it took nine days to march to the
town of Aute. Here they found plentiful supplies of maize,
beans, and pumpkins in the fields, but the town itself had been
burned. The short stay at Aute was not peaceful, and the
Spanish pushed on to the coast where they built five boats for
the long journey to Mexico. Even when the Spanish were
obviously preparing to leave, the Apalache continued to attack
them, killing ten men within sight of the Spanish encampment
in one incident (Nifiez Cabeza de Vaca 1871:36-50).
Narviez's experiences with the Apalache were quite similar to
de Soto's. With the exception of their being allowed to approach
Anhaica Apalache without resistance, the tactics used by the
Apalache were virtually the same as those they used 11 years
later. The harassing attacks, combined with the poor health of
the Spanish, resulted in Narvaez fleeing Apalache territory.
Unfortunately for the Apalache, de Soto's column was much
stronger than Narvaez's, had no reported problems with health,
and was able to withstand Apalache efforts to dislodge them.
The Apalache's deft use of natural obstacles for military
purposes is further illustrated by the flight of Capafi, the
Apalache cacique, from de Soto. De Soto received word that
Capafi had taken. refuge in what are generally translated as
"rugged mountains" that contained forest, swamp, and thick
underbrush and were only eight leagues from Anhaica Apalache
(Garcilaso 1951:202). De Soto and a force of men traveled for
three days and finally reached Capafi's hiding place, which is
described as "...a large and very dense wood...as an entrance
to this place they had opened a narrow path of more than a half-
league in length; and at intervals of a hundred feet along the
path they had constructed strong ramparts of thick pieces of
wood, thus cutting off the passage" (Garcilaso 1951:203-204).
This heavily fortified path was the only entrance to this densely
wooded area and it was guarded by prepared ambush sites.
.Garcilaso's use of the term "fortifications" is of interest. The
description of a dense wood with a pathway over one-half
league in length indicates that this was a large, natural stand of
trees not an artificial stockade (Milanich and Hudson
1993:228). The fact that a clearly visible path had been cut
through the trees indicates that the Apalache may have deliber-
ately attracted the Spaniards' attention to this point to lure them
STEiNEN AND RrTSON
THE FLORIDA AwrIuioFoLoGIsT 1996 VOL. 49(3)
into a decisive battle on known terrain with prepared ambushes.
The dense trees, and the placement of strong barriers along the
narrow path, allowed only a few Spanish fighters to advance
slowly against the already protected Apalache a situation
analogous to the ambushes that had been set on the trail through
the Aucilla swamp. After a difficult struggle, the better
equipped Spanish force won the battle, Capafi was recaptured,
and the focus of Spanish/Apalache hostilities returned to the
town of Anhaica Apalache.
A perplexing aspect of Garcilaso's (1951:202) description is
the use of the term "rugged mountains," since there are no
mountains in Florida. However, the Torreya Ravine area, which
is approximately 30 km from Tallahassee, is an area of rugged
relief and deeply entrenched creeks. Allowing for an exaggera-
tion of description and a circuitous route taken in the search for
Capafi, this remote area could fit Garcilaso's descriptions.
Another, more probable explanation of this apparent geo-
environmental impossibility is that the translators have used the
wrong meaning for the word montes in the passage. Montes may
have been erroneously translated as "mountain" rather than the
more appropriate "woods." If this is so, then given what we
know of the environment in the area around Tallahassee, Capafi
would have taken refuge in a dense, natural woods, not
Environmental and Tactical Considerations
The military advantages that allowed de Soto to defeat the
Apalache in battle and temporarily occupy Apalache territory
were not possessed by the Apalache's traditional enemies. The
Timucuan and Chacatan fighters probably used the time-proven
tactics of raids and ambushes when fighting the Apalache. The
objective of a raid or ambush is to cause a maximum amount of
damage against an opposing force or target while suffering
minimal losses. This must be done with surprise and as much
violence as possible if it is to succeed (Anonymous 1985, 1989,
n.d.; Glen Freimuth, personal communication, 1992; Guevara
1961; Mao 1968). A successful raiding party does not expose
itself to observation and attack by traveling along known trails
or through restricted areas that may have concealed ambush
De Soto was able to use the known trail and penetrate the
well-designed Apalache ambushes because of the technological
advantages that his forces possessed and his use of tactics (the
cavalry charge) that were unknown to the Apalache. Thus, the
well-conceived ambushes that probably would have defeated a
party of Timucuan raiders, proved to be quite unsuccessful
when used against the Spanish.
The settlement pattern associated with the Apalache province
and the decentralized community plan of Anhaica Apalache both
mitigated against using a centralized, static defense. With a
community plan that had houses scattered over a large area
(Elvas 1922:47), or had a large town (Anhaica Apalache) with
several other towns within 1.5 leagues (Elvas 1993:71-72), a
stockade could not have been used effectively by itself to protect
a significant portion of the population. Nor could it be used,
without forewarning, to gather a large fighting force to protect
high-status individuals or their symbols of office. However, a
system that was based on preventing the movement of hostile
forces into the province would have accomplished what a
system of static defenses could not do. By preventing the
entrance of these hostile forces, the ambushes would have
provided the kind of protection for a scattered population that
the static defenses could not. The Aucilla and Apalachicola
rivers with their swampy floodplains were ideally suited for this
role of preventing the passage of hostile forces.
If, as is suggested in the documents, there were few paths
through the dense river swamps, and if they were close to
Apalache settlements, then the active monitoring and defense of
these paths would be a relatively easy task. The fact that the
Apalache were able to quickly form a force against de Soto
indicates that they were forewarned of the approach of the
entrada. There is little in the discussions of the winter of 1539-
1540 to indicate how the Apalache gained the information
needed to prepare their ambush. However, it appears likely that
the known paths into the different Indian provinces may
normally have been monitored and that there was a wide-spread
flow of information between allied Indian groups. This is shown
in the narratives which indicate that when the de Soto entrada
moved from one province to the next during its march through
the interior of Florida and the Coastal Plain, it was often met by
bands of Indians or there were indications that their movements
had been forewarned (Biedma 1922:4, 6, 24, 26, 34, 39; Elvas
1922: 22, 25, 29, 37, 41, 45, 46; Ranjel 1922:79, 89, 98). This
pattern of observation and information exchange was not
universal. If there was an information exchange network (which
would have been controlled by the cacique [J. Scarry 1994:34])
that was used to inform of de Soto's movements, it was not
used uniformly nor was it always successful. Elvas (1922:46)
reports that after leaving the town of Uzachil, de Soto marched
for two days before arriving at the town of Axile which was a
Timucuan village near the Aucilla River. His arrival was
obviously unexpected because the Indians fled into the nearby
woods (Biedma 1922:233; Elvas 1922:46; Milanich and Hudson
1993:166-167). Other instances of de Soto surprising the
inhabitants of towns are described in the narratives (see Biedma
1922: 4, 6, 24, 26, 34, 39; Ranjel 1922: 79, 89, 98 for
examples). The ability of the information network to warn of de
Soto's movements was probably linked to the nature of the
relations between neighboring Indian groups. Elvas hints at this
when he describes de Soto leaving the province of Ocute and
traveling to Patofa, a neighboring province, during early April
of 1540. Elvas (1922:57) states that "Patofa, who, being at
peace with the Chief of Ocute and other neighboring lords, had
heard of the Governor for a long time...."
Discussion and Interpretative Implications
We have suggested that the Apalache practiced a form of
defensive warfare that relied on a careful and planned use of
ambushes and raids. The evidence for this is found in the
narratives of the de Soto entrada as well as in archaeological
reports from the area.
It is unclear if the Apalache used palisades to defend their
THE FooRDA ANTH~opouo~tsT
1996 VOL. 49(3)
STEINEN AND RrrsON APALACHE WARFARE
towns and villages before the Spanish Mission Period. Ewen's
(1989) findings at the Governor Martin site do not provide an
unequivocal answer to this question. His work was not extensive
enough to determine whether or not any stockade line was
present. Milanich (1994:363) indicates that only one Fort
Walton site has been shown to have a palisade. This site,
Waddell's Mill Pond (Gardner 1966), is located to the west of
the Apalachicola River. It predates the Velda Phase and is
outside of what is generally recognized as Apalache territory at
the time of de Soto's incursion. This apparent lack of palisades
is an important link in our argument. If future excavations at de
Soto period sites in the area around Tallahassee show that
palisades were present, then the ambush tactics that we have
described may not have been used in isolation, but instead may
have been part of a layered defensive strategy to defend against
By knowing the locations of potentially threatening forces, and
by controlling movement across the Aucilla and Ochlockonee
rivers, the Apalache were able to defend their frontiers from
attack without having to rely on a static defensive system of
stockades built around exposed towns. The barrier presented by
the rivers and swamps was, in effect, a natural stockade that
could be defended effectively. The dense coastal marsh to the
south served the same function as the river swamps, and
because there were no immediate neighbors to the north, no
barrier was needed in this direction.' Thus, by using natural
conditions combined with intelligence gathering and ambush
tactics, the Apalache were able to mount an effective, active
defense that left no visible archaeological record.
Milanich (1995:123, 134-135) has suggested another method
of passive defense that may have been used by the Apalache,
and probably other groups in the interior Southeast. De Soto's
movements through the Southeast were determined by the
locations of population concentrations (and hence supplies of
food) and trails. He did not have maps of these locations, nor
did he know where the trails that were visible in the forests led.
For this reason he had to rely on guides, often captive, to lead
him from one point to another (see Elvas 1922:39, 50, 54, 55,
60, 70, 77, 80; Ranjel 1922:56, 60 89, 91, 94 for examples).
In one instance, when the entrada left Patofa, the guides were
either incompetent or deliberately led the de Soto expedition into
an uninhabited area where the trails disappeared and there was
no food. By leading the de Soto entrada away from populated
areas and into a barren forest that they were not prepared to
survive in and that had no trails through it, the guides estab-
lished a potentially disastrous situation. De Soto sent out
scouting parties and Juan de Afiasco found a small town,
Aymay, 12 to 13 leagues away. It was here that de Soto learned
that the province of Cutifachiqui was only a two-day trip away,
and he was able, once again, to continue on his search for
riches (Elvas 1922:60-61; Ranjel 1922:94).
This aspect of defense, a form of misdirection, would only
work if the intruding force was unfamiliar with the territory and
trails. Contiguous neighbors, the Yuestaga and Chacato in the
instance of the Apalache, would not have been vulnerable to
misdirection because they had a history of raiding the Apalache.
However, forces from a greater distance who, like Narviez, de
Soto, or perhaps raiding parties from the north that did not have
a knowledge of the trail systems or were not able to secure
reliable guides, could be led away from the province of
Apalache or its principal towns.
The interface between expanding European powers and native
societies saw a significant shift in both the nature and causes of
war. The dynamics behind these shifts are multi-faceted and are
seldom simple in nature. One interesting pattern noted by
Ferguson and Whitehead (1992:18-23) is that firearms had a
significant effect on how native populations fought. They note
that many early battles between Europeans and Indian forces
were conducted in the open, and it was only after firearms were
used by the Europeans that the Indians adopted the use of
ambushes. They attribute this to the fact that spears and arrows
can be dodged while lead balls fired from guns cannot. This
represented a new and challenging threat that could be neutral-
ized by avoiding open battles.
A similar movement away from open fighting as a primary
mode of defense may not have occurred with the Apalache.
Although the narratives describe open battles which the Apa-
lache always lost, the use of ambushes and raids appears to
have been their main form of defense at the time of contact.
The influence of the Spanish entradas, the introduction of
missions, the introduction of firearms, and the growing influ-
ence of the European powers in the Southeast altered the nature
of Apalache defensive warfare. By no later than 1704, when
Moore's force penetrated Apalache territory from the north after
a march of at least 180 km, several, perhaps seven or eight,
"forts" were encountered (Hann 1988:385-397). Hann
(1988:275) indicates that Moore used the term "fort" for the
walled compound that contained the village church and convent.
This wall would have served both as a defensive palisade and to
define the mission area of the village. This strong influence of
the Spanish occupation significantly altered the defensive tactics
towards a pattern that emphasized static defenses and fortified
towns, and away from one that emphasized the defense of
frontiers. This form of static defense is derived directly from
Europe where strongly defended cities were the outgrowth of
intensive warfare from before the Middle Ages (Montross
1960:160-161). Indeed, in Western Asia it may be'traced back
to fortified Jericho as early as 7,000 years B.C. (Kenyon 1957;
Lamberg-Karlovsky and Sabloff 1995:70). The short-term and
very limited contact with the Narviez entrada had no observable
impact on Apalache defensive tactics, but the much longer and
more devastating de Soto entrada may have caused significant
changes. The realization that firearms, horses, armor, and other
technological as well as organizational patterns gave the Spanish
an overwhelming military advantage, established the foundation
for adoption of Spanish community patterns and defensive
strategies that accompanied the intensive missionization of the
Apalache (Jones and Shapiro 1990; Saunders 1990).
The systematic investigation of warfare during the contact
period in the Southeast has been primarily a question of
ethnohistoric research. Little effort has been made to uncover
STEINEN AND RrrTSON
THE FLORIDA ANThROPOLOGIST 1996 VoL. 49(3)
direct evidence for the presence or absence of stockades around
towns in Coastal Plain or Piedmont areas. We do know that
contact period sites in the Ridge and Valley and Appalachian
Mountain areas were stockaded at this time. Our interpretation
of the de Soto chronicles suggests that at least one group, the
Apalache, used something other than palisades to defend their
territory. If our analysis is correct, we can suggest that the
active defense of frontiers may have been an important aspect
of the warfare of other peoples as well.
At this time we suggest that the active defensive system that
we have described for the Apalache was the result of the
changes in their socio-political structure towards one of less
complexity. The centralized leadership at the Lake Jackson site
during the Lake Jackson Phase changed to one that was cycling
towards a pattern of less centralization during the Velda Phase
(J. Scarry 1994). This is marked by a change from the large,
elaborate, civic center to the decentralized pattern found at the
Governor Martin site (Ewen 1989). The socio-political organiza-
tion of the Apalache at the time of de Soto's entrada still
maintained the chiefly status, but the standard archaeological
indicators of this kind of privileged rank generally are missing.
Even though the chiefly status was present and fully functional,
there may have been an actual decline in chiefly powers. Hann
(1994:329) remarks that the narratives "...say nothing explicitly
about the nature of the overlordship wielded by Anhaica's chief
and give no indication of his being treated with the pomp and
circumstance that would show clearly that he held a position
high above that of the other chiefs." Given the details concern-
ing how well chiefs were treated in the interior provinces, this
may not have been an oversight on the part of the chroniclers
but a clear recognition that the chief was present, was an
important leader, but was not as important as other chiefs who
were encountered in the interior.
If our observations and suppositions are correct, we can
predict that if palisades, moats, and other forms of static
defenses were used by the Apalache prior to Spanish contact,
they would be associated with Lake Jackson phase or earlier
occupations. With the documented changes in the socio-political
and settlement pattern that took place with the transition from
the Lake Jackson phase to the Velda phase, there also were
changes in the methods used for defending the Apalache from
intruding forces. This change took the form of an active defense
based on the use of natural barriers not artificial ones.
Our model serves to explain observed, or more appropriately,
unobserved, patterns in both the archaeological and ethno-
historic record. It is easily, if laboriously, tested through the
excavation of both Lake Jackson and Velda phase sites,
including both civic centers and supporting hamlets, to deter-
mine the presence or absence of palisades and moats.
SArchaeological evidence indicates that at the time of de Soto's intrusion the
area north of the Ochlockonee River, in what is now the interior of Grady and
Thomas Counties, Georgia, was devoid of occupation (J. Scarry 1994:158;
Steinen 1988). Indeed, the chronicles of the entrada show that it was equipped
to cross a wilderness fully 60 leagues wide and it marched a good eight days
before encountering a town with significant resources. It has been argued that
the entrada had reached the province of Capachequi, which was somewhere east
of Chickasawatchee or Kiokee Creek in Dougherty County, Georgia (Hudson
1994:81). Extensive Mississippian, possibly contact period, sites are known for
the Flint River in Dougherty County as well as for the Ocmulgee and Satilla
Rivers a good 100 kms to the northeast of Tallahassee.
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Crook, Leland Ferguson, Lewis Larson, Robert Austin, and anonymous
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Geological Survey, Fourth Annual Report, pp. 8-79, Tallahassee.
1977 An Archaeological Survey of the Ocmulgee Big Bend Region. Occa-
sional Papers From South Georgia, Number 3, South Georgia College,
Steinen, Karl T.
1988 The Ochlockonee River Weeden Island Project. Report prepared for the
Tall Timbers Research Foundation, Tallahassee.
1989 The Balfour Mound and Weeden Island Culture in South Georgia. Early
1992 Ambushes, Raids, and Palisades: Mississippian Warfare In The Interior
Southeast. Southeastern Archaeology 11:132-139.
1960 Maori Warfare. Polynesian Society Maori Monographs No. 2. The
Polynesian Society, Inc., Wellington.
Vogel, Joseph, and Jean Allan
1985 Mississippian* Fortifications at Moundville. Archaeology 38:62-63.
Wharton, Charles H.
1977 The Natural Environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural
Worth, John E.
1993 Prelude to Abandonment: The Interior Provinces of Early 17th-Century
Georgia. Early Georgia 21:24-58.
1996 VOL. 49(3)
"EVERYBODY HAS A PART; EVEN THE LITTLE BITTY ONES":
NOTES ON THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF YUCHI CEREMONIALISM
JASON BAIRD JACKSON
Gilcrease Museum, 1400 Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127-2100
E-mail: jbjackso@indiana. edu
The title of this paper comes from a speech delivered on a
recent Sunday morning at the Polecat ceremonial ground by
Newman Littlebear on behalf of the ground's chief. As speaker
for the chief, Mr. Littlebear's task included thanking all of the
ground's members for helping to carry the work of that night's
stomp dance through to completion at sunrise. In turn he
thanked the men and the boys, the women and the girls, each
for doing their part in the common effort. "Everyone has a
part" represents the Yuchi understanding of the social organiza-
tion that governs their ceremonial grounds and the communities
of which they are a part. For the Yuchi, community is built up
out of constituent groups that simultaneously relate to one
another both reciprocally and hierarchically. This pattern of
relationship (and its expression in belief) appears to be charac-
teristic of many American Indian groups. One of my purposes
here is to explore the particular manifestation of this pattern
among the contemporary Yuchi.
In conjunction with my ongoing studies of contemporary
Yuchi folklore and oral history, I have had to understand the
social system that sustains these aspects of Yuchi culture. In the
first portion of this essay I examine some of the principal
institutions in present-day Yuchi society, especially as they
relate to the on-going practice of southeastern "stomp-ground"
ceremonialism (of which the Green Corn ceremonies, familiar
to students of southeastern ethnology, are a part). In the second
portion, some questions regarding the existence of Yuchi
matrilineal clans are considered, especially in light of Greg
Urban's (1994) recent reanalysis of southeastern social organiza-
tion. In the final portion of the essay, the principal of dual
organization as it operates in Yuchi society is considered
through the work of Claude Levi-Strauss (1963).'
The Yuchi are an American Indian society who today live in
the area south and west of the city of Tulsa, in eastern Oklaho-
ma. They were "relocated" by the U.S. government to Indian
Territory, west of the Mississippi River, from the area of the
present-day states of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama during the
1830s. Since that time, they have been incorporated politically
with the much larger Muskogee (Creek) Nation, within which
the Yuchi, while maintaining a separate identity, have no formal
political standing in terms of modern federal Indian policy.
While both tribes share cultural patterns common to the
southeastern tribes, the Yuchi language is unrelated to the
Muskogean language spoken by the Creek and the Yuchi have
maintained an autonomous existence to the degree that their
condition as a socially encompassed community has permitted.
Since removal to the west, they have quietly preserved uniquely
Yuchi forms of community organization, ritual practice, and
cosmological belief, and they have developed distinct interaction
patterns with other Native communities in Oklahoma.
For students of Florida ethnohistory, the Yuchi are perhaps
more familiar as a group contributing personnel to Seminole
ethnogenesis. In his foundational essay, "Creek into Seminole,"
William Sturtevant (1988:124) points to the presence of
ethnically Yuchi "Seminoles" in Florida as late as 1852. On this
point, ethnohistory and Yuchi oral tradition concur. Yuchi
elders down to the present have asserted that a band of Yuchis
became separated from the main body during the removal
period and many elders continue to discuss the possibility of
finding these lost Yuchis.
The Yuchi in Oklahoma live today in three major settlements
situated, roughly east to west, from the area around Bixby,
south of Tulsa, to Bristow, about 64 km (40 mi) southwest of
Tulsa. While characterized by a dispersed rural settlement
pattern, in which Yuchi residences are scattered among those of
the non-Yuchi population, each of these settlements constitutes
an Indian "town." These communities, like those of the Creek
and Seminole in Oklahoma, are the present-day expression of
the town-based social organization found among the southeastern
peoples prior to removal. In addition to the three traditional
settlement areas, Yuchi people today live in Tulsa (the region's
major city), in Okmulgee (seat of government and social
services for the Creek Nation), in various other cities in
Oklahoma, and throughout the Midwest and other parts of the
Historically, the town community is the basic social unit. At
the center of town life is a ceremonial ground, called a stomp
ground in local English, that is the focus of the community's
ritual life. The term "stomp ground" derives from Stomp
Dancing, the prominent southeastern song-and-dance genre (cf.
Howard 1984; Jackson n.d.1). These ceremonial grounds
maintain the town square form they possessed when they were
the centers of more closely packed settlements in the southeast
(cf. Bartram 1955; Knight 1985; Weisman 1989). While the
modern Creek tribal government manages the tribe's political
affairs (in the contemporary, bureaucratic sense), the local town
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VoL. 49 No. 3
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
communities continue to play an important role in the lives of
tribal members, particularly in the organization of community
social and ritual life. This is especially true of the Yuchi, for
whom the town community provides the major outlet for Yuchi
expressive culture and public discourse. Leadership within the
town is provided by a town chief, who oversees the activity of
the stomp ground. The chief is assisted by a second chief and
a speaker, together with an advisory council.
The activity at the stomp grounds is ordered into a yearly
cycle of ritual events. The cycle begins in the early spring with
a succession of Indian football games, which are followed in the
ritual calendar by a series of Stomp Dances. To these dances
neighboring ceremonial groups (Yuchi, Creek, Cherokee,
Shawnee, Seminole) are invited. The reciprocal statuses of host
and visitor at these dances establishes and perpetuates social
relations among town communities. In the task of negotiating
these interactions, the town speaker plays an important role,
giving voice to the chief's and the town's sentiments, and using
formal oratory to negotiate inter-town social relations. The
ritual season climaxes with the mid-to-late summer Green Corn
celebration, which is a multiday ritual and festival event. This
is followed by the Soup Dance which completes the ceremonial
calendar.2 During the fall and winter, the towns organize less
formal and more secular events, such as bingo fund raisers,
indoor dances, and food sales.
While the ritual life of the stomp grounds forms a cultural
core for their society, the Yuchi are pluralistic in their religious
traditions. Two Yuchi Methodist churches minister to the needs
of Yuchi Christians, and the Native American Church is an
active part of the religious practice of some Yuchis. There is
considerable movement between these three domains of religious
participation, and the Yuchi are unique among southeastern
tribes in adopting the Native American Church and reconciling
it with the practice of the traditional square-ground religion.3
The basic sources documenting Yuchi culture and society are
Frank Speck's published doctoral dissertation (1909) and his
study of music (1911), supplemented by more focused studies
by W. L. Ballard (1978) and Pamela Wallace (1993). Signifi-
cant linguistic studies are those of Ballard (1975), James
Crawford (1973), Mary Linn (n.d.), Giinter Wagner (1931,
1934), and Hans Wolff (1948, 1951).
Yuchi Social Structure
My comments on Yuchi social structure are limited to
observations on the patterns governing the social and ritual life
of the three Yuchi ceremonial communities or stomp grounds.
Outside this domain, Yuchi people are involved in a wide
variety of social arrangements. These include modern political
groupings deriving from their membership in the Creek Nation,
various intra and intertribal churches and interest groups, as
well as the multiple associations and groupings that structure the
life of modern American society at large. While the (partial)
integration of Yuchi society into the world social order now has
a long history, the Yuchi people none the less have maintained
their own distinctive institutions into the present and the social
life of the Yuchi stomp grounds provides their focus.
Yuchi ritual social organization encompasses the following
Above the level of the local stomp-ground community
1. The Yuchi people as a whole, manifested in the three allied
Yuchi stomp-ground communities.
2. Non-Yuchi ceremonial-ground communities which, through
ongoing friendship relations, support the activities of the
local stomp-ground community.
Within the stomp-ground community
3. The stomp-ground community itself.
4. Two men's divisions or arbor groups, known respectively
as "chiefs" and "warriors."
5. A pervasive division between men and women, manifested
both in social behavior and ritual activities, such as
ceremonial ball games.
6. Camp groups, comprised of families with membership
extended to friends unattached to other camps.
I would like to consider each element briefly in turn, before
considering some of the questions posed by Yuchi social
organization. The different elements of Yuchi ceremonial social
organization can be usefully interpreted by reference to Figure
1, a schematic map of the current Duck Creek ceremonial
ground.4 Figure 2 presents a photograph of the central square
at Duck Creek.
The Yuchi and their Friends
'Yujiha' is their name for themselves in their own language.
Euchee is their preferred spelling when writing English. Yuchi
is the form adopted by scholars, following Albert Gatschet
(1893). Unusual, if not unique, in North America, the Yuchi
are a people with all of the cultural and linguistic signs demon-
strative of American Indian nationhood, yet they lack formal
political status in modern, federal Indian political arrangements.
Through historical development and administrative convenience,
the Yuchi are, for the most part, citizens of the Muskogee
(Creek) Nation. In the period before removal to Indian Territo-
ry, the Yuchi towns were counted among those of the still
poorly understood Creek Confederacy. From the time of
removal until the dissolution of the Creek national government
in 1898, the Yuchi were formally recognized as a "town" and
were represented with seats in the Creek legislature. Under its
present reconstituted form of government, the Creek Nation is
organized not on the basis of the traditional tribal towns and
divisions, but on the basis of geographic districts. Thus, the
Yuchi presently lack direct representation in Creek politics,
although many Yuchi are currently active in Creek affairs.
While they lack a formal central government, the Yuchi
strongly identify with their common peoplehood. The distinc-
tiveness of Yuchi language and cultural practices, combined
with considerable social interaction among Yuchi people,
provides a strong basis for the persistence of this group identity.
Yuchi churches, the Yuchi chapter of the Native American
Church, cultural and historic preservation efforts, and groups
working toward common Yuchi political goals, all cross-cut the
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
JACKSON Yucm CEREMONIAL SOCIAl. ORGANIZATION
Figure 1. A schematic map of the Yuchi ceremonial ground of Duck Creek. Items labeled are: a) Chiefs arbor; b) North
Warrior's arbor; c) South Warrior's arbor; d) fireplace; e) wood pile; J) trees adjacent to the square; g) stickball pole; h) north
(men's) football goal; i) south (women's) football goal; j) access road; k) soda-pop concession stand; 1) family camps; m) rest
room building (not completed).
three distinct Yuchi communities and provide a framework for
Throughout the life of settlement- or town-based stomp-ground
ceremonial groups, common Yuchi identity is made manifest
through reciprocal relations of support and cooperation. In
planning their activities, the leaders of the three Yuchi grounds
coordinate the scheduling of events to insure that each ground
can rely on the help of the others in undertaking the all-night
dances that lead up to and are included within the annual Green
Corn ceremony. In addition to group attendance at the evening
dances held by the grounds, many individual members of the
grounds participate fully in more than one ground, setting up
camp and participating in day activities such as the taking of
medicine and dancing in the daytime dances accompanying the
Green Corn rituals.
Just as the Yuchi grounds reciprocally visit and support one
another as allies, other ceremonial communities in Eastern
Oklahoma sustain reciprocal visits and expressions of support
with the Yuchi grounds. These relationships are less consistent
and permanent, however, since the visiting groups must
maintain their own ritual calendars and participate in relations
outside the Yuchi sphere. Among the groups who regularly visit
and support the Yuchi grounds are the Absentee Shawnee
ground of Little Axe (new ground), the Cherokee ground known
YUCM CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
as Stokes Smith, and a variety of Creek
grounds including Greenleaf, Muddy Waters,
and Tallahassee. In her dissertation on Creek
ceremonialism, Amelia Bell (1984) described
such patterns of visitation and the establish-
ment of relations of friendship between cere-
monial grounds. In general outline, her obser-
vations hold for the Yuchi as well (see also
Haas 1940; Opler 1952, 1972; Spoehr 1941).
The stomp-ground community, or "town,"
remains, as Frank Speck noted in 1909, "the
ruling institution in the life of the Yuchi," at
least for those Yuchis engaged in the practice
of traditional social and religious life (Speck
1909:78). From east to west, the Yuchi settle-
ments are as follows:
1. In the vicinity of the incorporated towns
of Mounds and Bixby is the settlement known
today as Duck Creek. This easternmost com-
munity is referred to in some earlier docu- Figure 2.
ments as Snake Creek. Both names refer to Green Con
local landmarks, where, for certain periods in foreground,
the community's history, their ceremonial performance
ground (or stomp ground) was located, members. 1
2. The settlement with the largest population under the a
has consistently been that of Polecat. Like preparation
other Yuchi communities, it takes its name
from a prominent local watercourse. The
Polecat community is located in the vicinity of the towns of
Sapulpa and Kellyville, near Polecat Creek. In modern Oklaho-
ma usage, the community is associated with its ceremonial
ground, which is often called Kellyville by whites, Creeks, and
other Indian visitors.
3. Farther west is the community known as Sand Creek, again
named for a local stream of that name. The Sand Creek
community is associated with the district south of the town of
Bristow. The Sand Creek ceremonial ground also is known as
Ironpost. Like Kellyville, this name refers to a local non-native
4. A fourth documented Yuchi settlement is known as Big
Pond and is the farthest Yuchi community to the west. It is
associated with the region southeast of the town of Depew.
Sometime in the early twentieth century, the Big Pond settle-
ment consolidated its ritual and political activities with the Sand
Creek settlement, and there is no Big Pond ceremonial ground
in operation today. Nonetheless, some Yuchi people continue to
identify themselves with this settlement and assert that Big Pond
is their "home" community. This phenomenon also is found
among the Creeks and Seminoles where individuals and families
continue to identify with the town to which they belong, even
if that town no longer maintains its ceremonial ground and no
longer serves a function in modern political life.
These grounds continue to be the focus for communities that
once were more easily recognized as residential towns. Like a
A view of the Duck Creek square ground during the annual
n ceremonial, June 1993. The north warrior's arbor is in the
. Visitors are gathering (visible in the background) to witness the
e of the Buffalo Dance and other evening dances by the
4ost male ground members have not yet returned to their seats
rbors, although members of the chief's society are visible making
is under the west arbor.
Christian church, a stomp ground is a place where Yuchi people
gather to worship. A ground's membership in some ways can
be seen as comparable to a congregation, but this is only part
of the ground's role. The chief and officers of the stomp
grounds continue to assume leadership roles in all aspects of the
life of their communities. Within each ground, leading elders,
families, and other social divisions play an important role in
organizing community life. While not all Yuchi people are
active in the yearly life of the ceremonial ground, due to
disinterest, absence from the community, or membership in a
Christian church, all Yuchi people, as my consultants have said,
"know where they belong." If they do choose to participate in
the life of the ceremonial grounds, they recognize which one
they belong to on the basis of their family's genealogical
history. Thus, while the ceremonial ground acts primarily as an
expression of traditional religious and social life, it continues to
serve as a historically valid means of organizing the Yuchi
Chiefs and Warriors
Within each stomp-ground organization there are a number of
social configurations. Central among these is the division of
men into two groupings, designated by Speck (1909:74-78) as
societies. The societies now lack the distinctive face paint
designs noted by Speck, and the endogamous marriage prefer-
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
JACKSON Yucm CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
ence he recorded is less marked today, but in most other
respects they have retained the social functions he described.
They continue to organize seating beneath the arbors on the
dance ground and most importantly, they also still serve the role
of classifying men for eligibility to undertake specific ritual and
political positions. The societies are referred to currently by
reference to the brush arbors under which the ground's men are
seated during ceremonial ground activities. As during the period
documented by Speck, the chief society occupies the west arbor,
while the warrior society is split between the north and south
arbor. A function of this arrangement not noted by Speck is that
it allows the ritual officials under the chief's arbor to face east
while speaking, singing, and leading various other ritual
activities. This is in accord with Yuchi ritual custom generally,
in which, for instance, prayers are normally spoken while
While the warrior division occupies both the north and south
arbors, seating under each arbor is fixed, as is membership in
the chief society, by patrilineal descent. Thus, the warrior
society is structured, in turn, into two parts, associated with the
north and south arbor respectively. These two parts are struc-
tured hierarchically, with the north arbor senior in rank to the
During the summer of 1993 I spoke with Jim Brown, the
Chief of the Polecat Stomp Ground, about the men's societies.
After observing a Yuchi stomp dance for the first time I asked
him about the seating patterns. Referring to the west arbor, he
noted: "Well, it's where the chiefs sit. If your father was a
chief that's where you belong too. They call the other arbors the
warriors." Of particular interest is the way in which arbor
membership can be negotiated to meet the needs of political and
ritual activity. Mr. Brown reported: "And the Chief, if he needs
help, he can call on them guys to help him out." The career as
Duck Creek speaker of one of my principal consultants, the late
Jimmie Skeeter, provides an illustration of how the warriors can
"help" a chief. The men of the Skeeter family sit under the
north arbor, among the warriors, yet Mr. Skeeter was "bor-
rowed" by the Duck Creek chief to serve as the ground's
speaker. During the activities of the Duck Creek ground, Mr.
Skeeter sat with the chief under the west arbor. Thus, he was
in position to take on the responsibly of speaking for the chief
and members of the ground. In order to serve in this capacity,
Mr. Skeeter had to be metaphorically "borrowed" by the chief
from his warrior colleagues. This case reveals both the flexibili-
ty of modern Yuchi social organization and the enduring
solidarity and significance of the two divisions.
Men and Women
As among other southeastern and woodland groups, an
important ritual division is between men and women. While a
detailed interpretation of symbolic and linguistic differences is
beyond my current understanding (but see Bell 1990 and
Fogelson 1990 for such treatments of Creek and Cherokee
society), the significance of gender groupings in Yuchi social
organization should be noted. All ceremonial-ground activities
are organized on the basis of gender. In the dances, for
example, men sing and lead, while women provide instrumental
accompaniment by "shaking shells" with leg rattles worn while
dancing. During the day of the Green Corn ceremonial, rituals
are performed by men in the central square while women's
activities, such as cooking, are taking place in the family camps
at the ground's periphery. In the domestic life of the family
camps at the grounds, women prepare food and oversee
children, while men construct camps, prepare equipment, and
provide firewood. These roles pattern into a series of dichoto-
mies that are simultaneously spatial, symbolic, and role
governing male/female, center/periphery, sacred/domestic,
community/family. These opposition are overcome when men
and women join in common activity such as dances, where their
mutual skills and efforts combine in the making of music and
dance; ritual ballgames, where men and women engage in
playful competition with each other; during stomp-ground
meals, when men and women of a family cooperate in hosting
visitors; and in everyday life, when men and women rely on
each other as parents, families, and friends.
The family camps located at the edge of each community's
ceremonial ground play an important function in organizing the
community, particularly during Green Corn. Camps provide a
domestic setting for extended family groups during stomp-
ground events. While providing family space within the larger
community and its events, camps also serve as a means by
which outsiders, particularly visitors, are incorporated into the
life of the stomp ground.
In the context of the ceremonial grounds, a camp is a material
expression of social relations. The number and strength of the
active camps is a measure of the overall social health of the
ground. At the social center of a camp is a family, led usually
by an older couple or individual. Around this person or couple
gather children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. To this
core are added various collateral relatives, spouses, partners,
and family friends who are unattached to any other camp.
It is this social group that maintains the camp, and resides
there during the Green Corn ceremonies and associated events.
At the three Yuchi grounds the number of currently established
camps ranges from seven to seventeen. Most of these camps
have histories that go back to the establishment of the stomp
grounds on their current sites, which took place at various times
during the first half of this century. This continuity correlates
with the family elders who founded the camps; they are now,
or were in the recent past, the centers of the family groups. The
architecture and social history of the Yuchi stomp-ground camps
is a subject I am considering in my dissertation research. A
preliminary account of Yuchi camps is presented in Jackson
Notes and Interpretations
The first observation relevant to recent efforts at interpreting
southeastern and Woodland social organization (cf. Calander
1994:119; Urban 1994:174) is that the Yuchi division into
YUCHI CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
THE FLORIDA ANrHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
men's societies that is, into the groupings of chiefs and
warriors as well as the Yuchi towns and various other modes
of social organization, represents vital and ongoing institutions,
ones that are open to further investigation in consultation with
Yuchi people. Yet from the perspective of outsiders, Yuchi
social organization and its history present a number of problems
that have interested previous students. Both Fred Eggan (1937,
1966) and Frank Speck (1939) have explored changes in the
Yuchi kinship system, but both were hampered by their lack of
solid information from different periods in time. Similarly, the
nature of Yuchi household structure, demographic history (but
see Wallace 1993), town organization, political history (both
internal and in relation to the Creek), and land tenure (before
and after allotment) remain areas open for ethnographic and
ethnohistorical investigation. Inspired by Greg Urban's (1994)
recent reconsideration of southeastern social organization, my
goal in this section is to make some observations on the
puzzling fate of the matrilineal clans observed by Speck at the
turn of the century.
The nature of Yuchi clans is increasingly unclear in the
ethnographic record, as well as in the Yuchi community. Speck
described the Yuchi clans as identical to those named, exoga-
mous, and matrilineal clans found among their Creek neighbors.
While he observed them, Speck minimized their role:
When the whole matter is considered as it stands among the Yuchi
today, it seems, if anything, that the society organization has a
more prominent place in the social life of the town than the clan
organization. Whereas the position of town chief is kept in the
hands of a certain clan and many of the ceremonial dances are
supposed to have been formerly more in the nature of clan dances,
we find, nevertheless, that military, religious and most political
officers are chosen according to their society. As for military and
host political matters of the town they are quite evidently more the
concerns of the societies than of the clans [Speck 1909:77].
Concerning the Yuchi clans, he further noted that they lacked
the additional organization into moieties such as found among
the Creek. Speck's published report states: "No clan groups or
phratries are recognized at the present time, nor are clans
subdivided" (Speck 1909:73). Curiously, John Swanton later
described the Yuchi as having clan moieties. "In more recent
times, the Yuchi adopted the dual division of clans of the
Creeks, but they had an older division, into what Speck calls the
'Chiefs Society' and the 'Warriors Society'" (Swanton
1946:664). Swanton cites as evidence Speck's discussion of
clans including the statement quoted above. In his recent
reanalysis, Urban accepted Swanton's confusing assertions.
Discussing southeastern matrilineal moieties as found among the
Muskogean tribes, he states, "They are reported nowhere else
in the southeast except among Yuchis, where they are known to
be a recent borrowing from the Creeks" (Urban 1994:175).
Urban cites as support both Speck (1909:70-74) and Swanton
(1946:664), both sources quoted above, although he seems to be
relying on Swanton.
Matrilineal clans are not a part of contemporary Yuchi social
organization, and their nature is slightly mysterious to Yuchi
elders (as well as to contemporary social anthropology).
Today's Yuchi elders, some of whom are the grandchildren of
Speck's consultants, know about the functioning of such clans
among their neighbors, for whom clans continue to provide a
significant means of ritual social organization. Among the
Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee, matrilineal clan membership
continues to serve many -of the functions described in earlier
ethnographic works, particularly the organization of men on the
grounds the same function that continues to be served by the
Yuchi patrilineal societies. Yuchi elders also remember hearing
the subject of clans discussed in their youth, but none with
whom I have worked can describe the nature or function of such
clans among their people. Awareness of Speck's monograph and
his observations further serves to confuse the issue in ways
familiar to ethnographers working elsewhere in the world. A
preliminary interpretation of the fate of Yuchi clans is that they
disappeared soon after Speck's visits under the effects of
acculturation with its pressure toward patrilineality and nuclear
families (cf. Eggan 1966; Spoehr 1947). An alternative view,
one supported by Speck's reports concerning the minor role
played by clans, is that they never were a central institution
among the Yuchi and that their presence served as a means of
integrating their Creek neighbors into Yuchi society. This is one
of the possibilities suggested by Urban, and the case for it is
supported by the remarkable persistence of other Yuchi social
institutions and Yuchi ceremonial traditions. Since they are
members of the overarching Creek political system, the adoption
of clans by the Yuchi would provide an integrating mechanism
that cut across both Yuchi and Creek towns, but one that would
not require significant modification of specific Yuchi cultural
practices. Such a stance of simultaneous participation in, and
separation from, the social and political life of the Creek Nation
has characterized the last two hundred years of Yuchi history,
and it is a pattern that continues to shape Yuchi-Creek relations
At this point, all I can add are further qualifications and
questions on the issue. Concerning Speck's information on
Yuchi clans, the following reservation can be recorded. Speck's
fieldwork was conducted primarily in one of the two western
Yuchi settlements, focusing on the Sand Creek stomp ground.
During his Yuchi work, Speck appears to have established the
personal patterns for intensity and breadth in his fieldwork for
which he is remembered today. While it was his Yuchi work,
sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and the
Bureau of American Ethnology, that was intended to become his
Ph.D. dissertation, Speck undertook "incidental" work among
various other groups as well. This work resulted in an M.A.
thesis on southeastern mythology (1905), a monograph on the
Creek town of Taskigi (1907a), a paper on Chickasaw ethnolo-
gy and folklore (1907b), a paper on Osage ethnology (1907c),
and a paper on comparative Muskogean linguistics (1907d).5
All of these were published prior to the submission and
publication of his dissertation on the Yuchi. Speck's work with
the Taskigi Creek and the Yuchi are comparable in scope and
were undertaken in tandem. Taskigi town had abandoned its
square ground and its ceremonies in the years prior to Speck's
visit and there is evidence that the Taskigi and the Sand Creek
Yuchi were in intimate contact, with some portion of Taskigi
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1996 VOL. 49(3)
JACKSON YUCHI CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
town participating in the Sand Creek ceremonials. Evidence for
both the integration of the two communities and for the nature
of Speck's field situation is apparent at various points in his
Yuchi ethnography. Speck was forced to rely on Creek consul-
tants for information on the Yuchi. For instance, discussing the
mythic origin of the clans, he reports the process used by the
creator to name the clan animals. He states that the creator
observed the behavior of the proto-animals and named them
accordingly. Thus, for example, beings which jumped onto trees
became birds. Speck (1909:72) reports, "This account, taken
from the Creek, is asserted by the Indians to be identical for the
Concerning the treatment of disease, Speck ran into similar
difficulties among the Yuchi. "Among the Creeks the powers of
shaman are open to any successful candidate, a remark which
may apply to the Yuchi as well, though as far as could be
learned only one such shaman lives in the Sand Creek settle-
ment now and he is the town chief" (Speck 1909:132). He goes
on to state that since information from "the only Yuchi doctor
in Sand Creek could not be had," he resorted to collecting
material and songs from Laslie Cloud, the leading ritualist
among the Taskigi Creek who was "living near the Yuchi
settlements" (Speck 1909:132; cf. 1907a, 1911). Similar points
of interference and cross-over between the Sand Creek Yuchi
and the Taskigi Creek appear throughout the respective mono-
graphs. Instead of insisting that Speck should have somehow
purified his data from Sand Creek, it is possible to reconsider
his material from another perspective, noting that, although he
appears from his correspondence to have spent some time in the
settlement of the Big Pond Yuchis to the west, he reports no
information derived from the other settlements, and he did not
even record the existence of the eastern-most settlement known
variously as Duck Creek and Snake Creek. Thus, it is probable
that his presentation of Yuchi society is weighted toward the
experience of the Sand Creek community, which appears to
have been in the process of integrating itself with the Creeks of
Taskigi town (an observation supported by contemporary
genealogies from Sand Creek Yuchi families). With respect to
clans, such a scenario would likely result in the Sand Creek
Yuchi incorporating elements of Creek social organization, a
process that may have occurred at various times in Yuchi
history. Such a conscious integration of American Indian groups
has been described elsewhere.6
These observations on Speck's field situation provide addition-
al information relative to the problem of Yuchi clans and
suggest a variety of possibilities. Differences may have existed
between the Yuchi towns, particularly with respect to the role
of clans in the social system. Differential rates of change may
have existed between towns, with Sand Creek existing at one
end of the continuum. As Eggan (1966) suggested, the Yuchi
may have undergone a movement from a fully matrilineal
"Creek-like" social system to an (almost) fully patrilineal system
under the influence of both American society and interaction
with their patrilineal neighbors the Shawnee and Sauk.
Commenting on my essay, Pamela Wallace (personal commu-
nication, 1995) has suggested a third possible interpretation of
Yuchi clan history. She points out that the period from removal
into the twentieth century was one of dramatic demographic
changes among the Yuchi and their neighbors. Demographic
shifts may have played a significant role in the fate of clans,
particularly with regard to sustaining rules of clan exogamy. A
final option, one suggested by Urban (1994), is that Yuchi
social organization adopted matrilineal clans in response to the
Creek, while preserving a distinct system of kinship and dual
division that supported Yuchi social and ceremonial life. From
an ethnographic point of view these distinct patterns are
observable today, while the story of Yuchi clans has faded from
view, to be recovered hopefully in yet undiscovered documents
or oral testimony.
Reciprocity and Hierarchy
In a significant series of essays, Levi-Strauss considered a
type of social institution labeled by social anthropologists as
"dual organization" (1944a, 1944b, 1963). Beginning with
observations based on his own fieldwork in lowland South
America, Levi-Strauss went on to provide a series of general
models to account for the various modes of dividing society into
reciprocal halves. A number of his observations help explicate
features of the Yuchi social organization.7
In considering the dual organization of the Winnebago and
other groups, Levi-Strauss observed that despite the apparent
symmetry claimed for such dual organizations, they are "never
as static, or as fully reciprocal, as one might tend to imagine"
(Lvi-Strauss 1963:135). In addition to the patterns of reciproci-
ty generally associated with dual organizations, the Yuchi share
with the cases observed by Levi-Strauss a "definite relation of
subordination between the moieties [societies]" (Lvi-Strauss
1944b:267). Each Yuchi ground chief is drawn from the chief's
society and many of the ritual duties are assigned to the men of
its west arbor. In contrast, the warriors have different, less
marked, responsibilities and a general obligation to help the
chief. The physical manifestation of the societies, in men seated
beneath the brush arbors on the square ground, further express-
es this asymmetry. The chiefs fill one arbor, while the warriors
Further on in his synthetic essay on dual organization, Levi-
Strauss observes the manifestation of some classic opposition
in the dual organization of Omarakana village, Trobriand
Islands. Interestingly, the village plan described by Bronislaw
Malinowski (Levi-Strauss' source), is structurally identical to
the Yuchi stomp grounds. At the center is a ceremonial plaza,
on which the chief's house is located. Dances and public
activities take place on the plaza, which is surrounded by a road
that marks the transition between the central space and the
periphery, on which are located the family dwellings. In
Omarakana these two areas express opposition between the
sacred and profane ("domestic" is perhaps more valid in the
Yuchi case), central and peripheral, and raw versus cooked
(sacred yams are stored near the plaza and cooked in the
peripheral households). Lvi-Strauss also observes that "only
bachelors may live in the inner ring, while married couples
must live on the periphery" (1963:137, emphasis added).
Furthermore, the Trobriand village divides on the basis of
YUCIII CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
gender, with men's space located at the plaza and women's
activities situated in the street and family residences. All of
these opposition are present in the organization of the Yuchi
stomp grounds. The central plaza is the site of male-organized
ritual of a sacred character, while family camps at the edge of
the ground are the focus of women's domestic activities.
Stretching the comparison slightly, the distinction between
bachelors and married men is manifest in the recently discontin-
ued Yuchi practice of requiring the "poleboys" to sleep on the
plaza the night before the Green Corn rituals. Each year four
young unmarried men are selected to be poleboys, and they are
responsible for a variety of ritual-related work tasks, including
collecting medicines, maintaining the sacred fire, and protecting
the plaza from impure agents that might accidently defile it
(dogs, members who have not yet "washed" with the spicewood
medicine used in purification, rude guests, visitors with video
cameras, etc.). The defining characteristic of a poleboy is his
bachelorhood and the large tree limb (the pole) that is his badge
of office and "weapon." The distinction between sacred and
secular foods is also expressed on the grounds. In the Soup
Dance, a second major ceremonial event, one that occurs in the
weeks following Green Corn, a ritual corn soup is prepared by
the poleboys on the fire at the cent-r of the plaza. Similarly,
some of the grounds prepare four ears of corn in the plaza's fire
as part of the Green Corn ritual. This corn is not eaten; instead
it is one of the sacred objects touched by the men "taking
medicine. These ritual uses of food can be contrasted with the
secular foodways central to the family camps and Yuchi folklife
L6vi-Strauss's comparative structural analysis is complex.
Moving from it back to a particular body of observations of the
Yuchi, examining each element of the argument, is beyond my
present purposes. My main objective is to inquire into the
relevance of L6vi-Strauss's problem, that is, the manner in
which dual organizations manifest relations of both hierarchy
and reciprocity, and to test his solution in a particular case.
The Yuchi men's societies present one view of the organiza-
tion of the stomp grounds, one Levi-Strauss characterizes as a
"diametric structure." As a reciprocal institution, the two
societies (the chiefs and warriors) each provide personnel to fill
specific ritual jobs. When special needs arise, such as Mr.
Skeeter being "borrowed" by the chief to serve as speaker, this
is handled as a reciprocal transaction between the two societies.
Despite this reciprocal relationship, the two groups exist in a
state of hierarchy, with the chiefs maintaining the dominant
position in the system. Just as reciprocity exists in tension with
hierarchy, symmetry (two groups) is contrasted with asymmetry
In addition to these diametric structures, the physical form of
the ground presents a structure of the type Lvi-Strauss charac-
terized as concentric. Here, too, a variety of both hierarchical
and reciprocal relations are present. The social system as a
whole requires the contribution of male and female, central and
peripheral, sacred and domestic functions. At the same time, by
definition, each of these components carries the mark of
hierarchy and difference. In analyzing the culture of gender
among the Creek, Bell discovered similar principles at work.
Throughout the domains of Creek language and society, she
found that Creek men possess the ability to define "social
form," constituting both men and women as social beings. Yet,
rather than being powerless or static in light of male agency,
women posses the power to define their existence in a domestic
domain that is separate from the world of Creek men. The basic
Creek understanding of gender relations is that men and women
are "separated" peoples, but it is through commitment to their
mutual social worlds that society is reproduced (Bell 1990). In
working in separated) domains ritual and family Yuchi
men and women perpetuate Yuchi society as well.
In considering Yuchi ceremonial social organization from an
analytical point of view, my basic observation is that Levi-
Strauss' general understandings of dual organization provide a
coherent and interpretively valuable model, one that reveals
patterns of relationship existing between different elements. In
a fashion typical of the French master, one simultaneously
encouraging and melancholy, Levi-Strauss ends his essay
lamenting the imminent passing of "the rare so-called dual
organizations still functioning" (1963:162). That a complex
Native American social system so closely paralleling those of
interest to Levi-Strauss not only survives, but continues to
organize an energetic community is a tribute to the vitality of
Yuchi society and a lesson for scholars in the power of cultural
difference to persist in the modern world.
' My essay is a preliminary ethnographic account of Yuchi ceremonial social
organization arranged in terms of institutions minimally interpreted along lines
developed in structural-functional and structural-social anthropology. A much
more satisfactory interpretation of Yuchi social organization would be one that
also accounted for the systems of meaningful symbols embedded in Yuchi social
arrangements, and most importantly considered how the circulation of public
discourse and the performance of ceremonial-ground rituals constitute and
embody social organization. Such a post-structuralist approach to social
organization, complimentary to both older approaches in social anthropology
and contemporary perspectives in cultural theory, has been outlined recently by
Greg Urban (1996) and others working within a discourse-centered approach to
culture. These are concerns I am attempting to address in my current work
among the Yuchi.
2 The Polecat ceremonial ground holds its Soup Dance one week after Green
Corn. The other grounds hold their Soup Dances at variable dates later in the
3 This integration of Church with pre-removal religious practice, while unique
among Southeastern tribes, points to Yuchi affinities with the Northeastern
groups which are now their neighbors in Oklahoma. A similar integration has
taken place among the Shawnee, Sauk and Fox, Delaware, Seneca-Cayuga,
Kickapoo, and other Woodland tribes. The Yuchi practice the Little Moon form
of the Peyote religion.
4 The Duck Creek stomp ground may be compared with published diagrams
of other Southeastern and Woodland dance grounds (e.g., Ballard 1978; Capron
1953, 1956; Howard 1961, 1970; Howard and Lena 1984; Speck 1909;
Swanton 1928, 1931).
5 Speck's correspondence also reveals that he had field experience with the
Kaw or Kansa. His letters in the collections of the American Museum of Natural
History show that he was encouraged by his advisors not to get distracted by the
opportunity to work with these other groups. A number of other publications
resulted from Speck's "Yuchi" fieldwork; not all are itemized here.
6 A classic case from South America is the merger of two distinct groups of
Nambikuara observed by Levi-Strauss (1944a:38-39). Closer to our Southeastern
1996 VOL. 49(3)
JACKSON VUCHI CEREMONIAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
interests are the incorporation of groups such as the Tutelo into the Iroquois
League (Speck 1942) and the incorporation of the Natchez into the Western
Cherokee (Howard 1970).
7 In his recently translated The Story of Lynx (1995), Levi-Strauss defends the
approach to dual organization he outlined in these studies and builds upon it an
analysis of American Indian mythology that illustrates the principle at work
outside ritual and social organization. Readers should see especially his Chapter
19. The most recent criticisms of L6vi-Strauss' approach appear in a volume
edited by David Mayburry-Lewis and Uri Almagor (1989). The essential
ethnographic account of dual organization is Alfonso Ortiz's The Tewa World
With the assistance and encouragement of the Yuchi community, I am
continuing the study of Yuchi culture and history. I wish to thank the chiefs of
the three Yuchi stomp grounds, as well as a great many other Yuchi individuals
for their continued support. During the summer of 1993, when I first visited the
Yuchi community, the families of the late Jimmie Skeeter, then speaker at the
Duck Creek Ceremonial Ground, and of Jim Brown, the chief of the Polecat
Ceremonial Ground, were particularly generous with their time and knowledge
of Yuchi traditions. I was privileged to be a guest in their camps during the
Yuchi ceremonials that summer. Valuable comments on my preliminary work
have been provided by Linda Littlebear Harjo, Elenora Powell, and Candice
Thompson, as well as by my teachers at Indiana University. Financial support
for my studies among the Yuchi has come from the Philips Fund of the
American Philosophical Society, the Jacobs Fund of the Whatcom Museum
Society, the Central States Anthropological Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation
for Anthropological Research, and at Indiana University, the David C. Skomp
Fund of the Department of Anthropology, the University Graduate School, the
College of Arts and Sciences, and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeolo-
gy. Appreciation is extended to all of these institutions. Neither they, nor any
of my Yuchi teachers, are responsible for the interpretations I have offered here.
Ballard, W. L.
1975 Aspects of Yuchi Morphonology. In Studies in Southeastern Indian
Languages, edited by James Crawford, pp. 163-187. University of
Georgia Press, Athens.
1978 The Yuchi Green Corn Ceremonial: Form and Meaning. University of
California, American Indian Studies Center, Los Angeles.
1955 Travels of William Bartram. Edited by Mark Van Doren. Dover
Publications, New York.
Bell, Amelia Walker
1984 Creek Ritual: The Path to Peace. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of
Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago.
1990 Separate People: Speaking of Creek Men and Women. American
1994 Central Algonkian Moieties. In North American Indian Anthropology:
Essays on Society and Culture, edited by Raymond J. DeMallie and
Alfonso Ortiz, pp. 108-124. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
1953 The Medicine Bundles of the Florida Seminole and the Green Corn
Dance. Bureau of American Ethnology Anthropological Paper 35.
1956 Notes on the Hunting Dance of the Cow Creek Seminole. The Florida
Crawford, James M.
1973 Yuchi Phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics
1937 Historical Changes in the Choctaw Kinship System. American Anthro-
1966 The American Indian: Perspectives for the Study of Social Change.
Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, 1964. Aldine, Chicago.
Fogelson, Raymond D.
1990 On the "Petticoat Government" of the Eighteenth-Century Cherokee. In
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of Melford E. Spiro, edited by David K. Jordan and Marc J. Swarts,
pp. 161-181. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
Gatschet, Albert S.
1893 Some Mythic Stories of the Yuchi Indians. American Anthropologist
1940 Creek Inter-Town Relations. American Anthropologist 42:479-132.
Howard, James H.
1961 Cultural Persistence and Cultural Change as Reflected in Oklahoma
Seneca-Cayuga Ceremonialism. Plains Anthropologist 6:21-30.
1970 Bringing Back the Fire: The Revival of a Natchez-Cherokee Ceremonial
Ground. Oklahoma Anthropological Society Newsletter 18:11-17.
Howard, James H. (in collaboration with Willie Lena)
1984 Oklahoma Seminoles: Medicines, Magic, and Religion. University of
Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Jackson, Jason Baird
1995 Architecture and Hospitality. Typescript on file with the author.
n.d. 1 Southeastern Square Ground Architecture. In Encyclopedia of Vernacu-
lar Architecture of the World, edited by Paul Oliver. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge, UK. In press.
n.d.2 Yuchi. In Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, edited
by Paul Oliver. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. In press.
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1985 Tuckabatchee: ArchaeologicalInvestigations atan Historic Creek Town,
Elmore County, Alabama, 1984. Report of Investigations 45. University
of Alabama, Office of Archaeological Research, Tuscaloosa.
1944a On Dual Organization in South America. America Indigena 4:37-47.
1944b Reciprocity and Hierarchy. American Anthropologist 46:266-268.
1963 Do Dual Organizations Exist? In StructuralAnthropology, translated by
Claire Jacobson and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf, pp. 132-163. Basic
Books, New York.
1995 The Story of Lynx. Translated by Catherine Tihanyi. University of
Chicago Press, Chicago.
n.d. Positionals in Yuchi. Mid-America Linguistics Conference Papers,
edited by Frances Ingemann, Department of Linguistics, University of
Kansas, Lawrence. In press.
Maybury-Lewis, David, and Uri Almagor, eds.
1989 The Attraction ofOpposites: Thought and Society in the Dualistic Mode.
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
1952 The Creek 'Town' and the Problem of Creek Indian Political Reorgani-
zation. In Human Problems in Technological Change: A Casebook,
edited by Edward H. Spicer, pp. 165-180. Russell Sage Foundation,
1972 The Creek Indian Towns of Oklahoma in 1937. Papers in Anthropology
1969 The Tewa World: Space, Time, Being, and Becoming in a Pueblo
Society. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Speck, Frank G.
1905 A Comparative Study of the Native Mythology of the South-Eastern
United States. M.A. thesis, Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia Universi-
ty, New York.
1907a The Creek Indians of Taskigi Town. Memoirs of the American
Anthropological Association 2(2). American Anthropological Associa-
tion, Washington, D.C.
1907b Notes on Chickasaw Ethnology and Folk-Lore. Journal of American
1907c Notes on the Ethnology of the Osage Indians. University of Pennsyl-
vania Free Museum of Science and Art, Transactions 2:159-171.
1907d Some Comparative Traits of the Muskogian Languages. American
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1909 Ethnology of the Yuchi Indians. Anthropological Publications of the
University Museum, University of Pennsylvania 1(1). University
1911 Ceremonial Songs of the Creek and Yuchi Indians. Anthropological
Publications of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
1(2). University Museum, Philadelphia.
1939 Eggan's Yuchi Kinship Interpretations. American Anthropologist
1942 The Tutelo Spirit Adoption Ceremony: Reclothing the Living in the
Name of the Dead. Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Harrisburg.
1941 Creek Inter-town Relations. American Anthropologist 43:132-133.
1947 Changing Kinship Systems: A Study in the Acculturation of the Creeks,
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tive, edited by Eleanor Burke Leacock and Nancy Oestreich Lurie, pp.
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Swanton, John R.
1928 Social Organization and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek
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1931 Modem Square Grounds of the Creek Indians. Smithsonian Miscella-
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1946 Indians of the Southeastern United States. Bureau of American
Ethnology Bulletin 137, Washington, D.C.
1994 Social Organizations of the Southeast. In North American Indian
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DeMallie and Alfonso Ortiz, pp. 172-193. University of Oklahoma
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1931 Yuchi Tales. Publications of the American Ethnological Society 13. G.
E. Stechert and Co, New York.
1934 Yuchi. Extract from the Handbook of American Indian Languages 3.
Columbia University Press, New York.
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Weisman, Brent Richards
1989 Like Beads on a String: A Culture History of the Seminole Indians in
North Peninsular Florida. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
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11m noREDA ANTHROPOLOGwSI
1996 VOL. 49(3)
PROPOSED LOCATION OF THE 1565 FRENCH HUGUENOT FORT LE CAROLINE
PAUL H. GISSENDANER
205 Lake Forest Drive, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502-5623
In 1990, I was fortunate to be a participant in a survey of the
south side of the St. Johns River sponsored by the Department
of Anthropology from the Florida Community College in
Jacksonville. This survey was supervised by Robert E. Johnson,
a professional archaeologist. The bounds of the survey were
from Charter Point to Mayport between Fort Caroline Road,
Mount Pleasant Road, Girvin Road, Wonderwood Road, and the
river. The area was gridded every 50 m (165 ft), and test units
measuring 50 x 50 cm square by 1 m deep were dug by the
students. A survey map of the site was constructed and all the
artifacts found in the test units were sorted, bagged, and sent to
the Florida Division of Historical Resources in Tallahassee for
Part of this large survey covered the area between St. Johns
Bluff and Mount Pleasant Point (Spanish Point), an area
presumed by many previous researchers to be the location of the
French Huguenot Fort le Caroline. This experience confirmed
my conviction that the fort was not located in the St. Johns
Bluff area that had been eroded by the St. Johns River, as
assumed by previous writers. In an attempt to determine the
actual location of the fort, I undertook a study of all possible
sites in the St. Johns Bluff area that would fit the descriptions
given in the literature and old maps.
The actual location of Fort Caroline has never been estab-
lished, and no archaeological evidence for the exact location of
the French fort has been found. Different sites in the St. Johns
Bluff area have been advocated by numerous historians over the
years. Major George R. Fairbanks, who founded the Florida
Historical Society, concluded that "the fort was located north-
west of the bluff on the plain which almost completely washed
into the river during the first quarter of the 19th century"
(Fairbanks 1858:51, map facing page 51). Francis Parkman
suggested that the location of the fort was "built on the knoll
above St. Johns Bluff where the river curves in a semicir-
cle...The formation of the ground, joined to the indications
furnished by Laudonniere and le Moyne, leave little doubt that
the fort was built on the knoll" (Parkman 1865:55). Parkman
gave no other explanation for why he thought the fort was
located on top of the bluff other than the Spanish had main-
tained a fort at that location in previous years. Woodbury
Lowery (1905:55, Appendix G) quotes liberally from contempo-
rary Spanish and French sources that located the fort with
relation to St. Johns Bluff, "a height which is a unique land-
mark in this otherwise flat section of Florida" (Lowery
1905:55). T. Frederick Davis (1911:12) suggested in his book,
History of Jacksonville, that the site of Fort Caroline was
located northwest of St. Johns Bluff in an area that is now in
the St. Johns River (Figure 1). His explanation for concluding
that the fort was located in the river is based on Buckingham
Smith's (1859:48) assertion that the fort was at the base of the
bluff, near the water's edge rather than at the top of the bluff.
The conclusions of Parkman and Lowery are collated in a
monograph by Herndon Cochrane (1940), which also presents
a documented map showing the probable locations of historic
sites in the area. In effect, the work is a vindication of Fair-
banks's conclusions in 1858. In 1954, Willie Brown, an old-
time resident of the area, pointed out to National Park Service
rangers traces of what he thought was the fort in an area south
of the present replica fort, near the intersection of Fort Caroline
Road and Mount Pleasant Road. Albert Manucy (1960:6-8),
writing for the National Park Service, also concluded that the
location of the fort was below the bluff and that it had been
washed away by the river.
All of these historians, with the exception of Lowery, visited
the area after carefully studying the historical sources. Park-
man's acquaintance with the St. Johns Bluff area was from a
steamship cruising in the river. He never went ashore to
investigate the bluff, but he observed that "the river current ran
deep and strong and has half cut away the flat knoll and
encroached greatly upon the bluff itself" (Parkman 1865:55).
Davis, on the other hand, was very familiar with the St. Johns
Bluff area having been a longtime resident of Jacksonville.
In 1880, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enlarged the river
mouth, installed jetties, and removed the river bar, thus
widening and straightening the river in the St. Johns Bluff area.
This caused the river to flow faster and have a widened sweep
at the bluff, reducing the marsh area just below the bluff. It was
in this low area that Davis thought the original site of the fort
was located. The full extent of the land loss may never be
known. The earliest reliable map showing the bluff area at a
decipherable scale is the Spanish map of Mariano de la Rocque
of 1791 (Figure 2) which indicates a sizable plain below the
bluff and numerous houses. The Spanish fort (San Mateo) is
located on top of the bluff.
As intriguing as all this evidence is, my extensive analysis of
historic documents, comparison of old and new maps, and "on
the ground" investigation indicate that the fort was located in an
area southeast of St. Johns Bluff, an area called Spanish Point.
VOL. 49 No. 3 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST SEPTEMBER 1996
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
VOL. 49 NO. 3
L A OV
Figure 1. Map showing the location of Fort Caroline west of St. Johns Bluff in an area that is
now under water. From Davis (1911:25). Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
History of Fort Caroline
Fort Caroline was built in 1564 as a defensive fortification for
the two hundred French, German, and Dutch Huguenot
colonists and African slaves who had sailed to Nouvelle France
(Florida) with Captain Rene de Laudonniere. Laudonniere built
a fort "six leagues"' up the river on the south bank of the River
May (Cumming 1963:34). The area selected for the fort was a
beautifully wooded area about 16 km (10 mi) southeast of the
City of Jacksonville, near present-day St. Johns Bluff (latitude
30 23' N, longitude 810 29' W). The colony was located in an
area claimed by both France and Spain. The founding of the
colony was part of a political master plan by Admiral Gaspar
Coligny to strengthen France by uniting her Catholic and
Huguenot people against their traditional enemy, the Spanish.
The lower St. Johns River area is commanded by a sandy,
steep bluff (St. Johns Bluff) that is 21 m (70 ft) above mean
high-water level. This bluff is somewhat in the shape of an "L,"
with its leg parallel with the river course and its trunk and
highest ridge lying southeast at a right angle to the river. South
of the bluff the land slopes gradually to lowland and marshes.
The bluff area comprises about 48 hectares (118 acres), most of
it heavily wooded with live oak, scrub oak, cedar, pine,
magnolia, bay, palm, and other indigenous growth. Not only
was the general area thought to be defensible, but its closeness
to the Atlantic Ocean afforded easy access for additional
colonists and for receiving supplies from France. The broad
river also was thought to be a waterway to the interior of le
Floride where gold and silver might be found. Jean Ribault
(1964:21), described the site as "...the fairest, frutefullest and
pleasantest of all the worlde...the sight of the faire medows is
a pleasure not able to be expressed with tungue."
The small colony depended upon the Timucuan Indians for
food and for knowledge of the ways of living in this region.
The colonists, aided by the Native Americans, built their
triangular fortification on a portion of high, flat land beside the
River May (St. Johns River), west of a small hill (Bennett
1964:19). To the flat plain they gave the name, Vale of
Laudonniere. As their supplies dwindled so did their friendship
with the Indians, and the colony fell on hard times. The Indians
did not grow enough food to support an extra two hundred
people for one year.
The fort was not very large by prevailing standards of the
sixteenth century. It was designed as a three-sided structure
built of timber and faggots (small sticks tied together to form
bundles about the size of a man). A dry moat bordered the two
sides facing away from the creek, and the .6 m (2 ft) of sod
taken from the moat was put on the top of the parapet walls
(Figure 3). A palisade wall of upright, sawed pine timbers was
erected on the side facing the water. The French also construct-
ed an impressive gate on the west side that was decorated with
the arms of France and their patron, Admiral Coligny (Figure
Inside the fort, five large buildings housed the munitions and
stores. Most of them were constructed of fired brick made from
mud gathered along the river bank. The roof rafters were made
by splitting pine trees found at the site, which in turn were
covered with palm branch thatching, a trick the French learned
from the Indians. The soldiers' huts were constructed along
both sides of the parade ground. Their exterior walls were
To Ocean --
LAU :: -P "
FU JL -o T27 _~o-
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TRA GE~o -y- 0,ch-oPId of
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HISTORY 0r _JACXA.,O11VU~E SerTSjfflBSR 20, 15656.4
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1996 VOL. 49(3)
TIIE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
"*' *** &* .
,I .. i 1 '
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/ \ ^ v'F '"'*> -* **' *
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Figure 2. Piano of the Rio de San Juan by Mariano de la Rocque, dated December 24, 1769. Note that the map has been rotated so that North
is to the top making it comparable with other maps. Photocopy of map courtesy of the Fort Caroline National Memorial Library, National Park
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Figure 3. Galli locum condendaearci aptum deligunt (Build-
ing the Fort) by Jacques le Moyne, dated 1590. From Hulton
(1977:Plate 107). Reproduced with permission of the
constructed of palm tree trunks with split-pine roof rafters and
palm thatching. Some colonist housing was built inside the fort,
but most of the housing was outside the protective fortification.
The settlement was named le Caroline in honor of the French
King Carlos (Charles) IX, but the colonists soon began referring
to it as Fort Caroline (Bennett 1964:19).
Descriptions of the Location
of Fort Caroline
The information used to identify possible locations of Fort
Caroline was taken from the writings of the first explorers and
settlers: Jean Ribault and Rene de Laudonniere, the leaders of
the 1564 expedition; the artist and map maker Jacques le
Moyne; the master carpenter Nicholas le Challeux; the Spanish
captive Robert Meleneche; and the French mutineer Stefano de
Rojomonte. The writings of the English sea captain John
Hawkins, the Spanish adelantado Pedro Menendez de Aviles,
and the French captain that revenged the massacre of Fort
^--- ___________ --
Figure 4. Arcis Caroline delineatio (View of Fort Caroline) by
Jacques le Moyne, dated 1590. From Hulton (1977:Plate
108). Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
Caroline, Dominique de Gourgues, as well as various maps
drawn around the time of the settlement, also were consulted.
The narrative descriptions given by the leader of the French
settlement, Rene de Laudonniere (1586), and the carpenter,
Nicolas le Challeux (1566), give the best written information
concerning the location of the fort. A map, Le Caroline on le
Riviere de May (Figure 5), drawn by a young French soldier
stationed at the fort in 1564, provides the best pictorial repre-
sentation of the location. I have lived within 8 km (5 mi) of the
St. Johns Bluff sites, and have walked and boated over the area
for the past twenty-five years. This first-hand knowledge of the
terrain helped me interpret the topographic descriptions of the
potential fort locations.
The form of writing used in the sixteenth century does not
appear logical to us today, but it is consistent in all the written
works of that era. In order to understand the writing and
thinking of persons living in the sixteenth century, it is neces-
sary to first read an entire passage, then arrange the main
thoughts in logical order. Therefore, to avoid misrepresenting
the writings of the various authors, I have first presented the
passages as they appear in their original forms. Then I have
rearranged the ideas contained in each passage in a more
Rene de Laudonniere
Rene de Laudonniere gave two descriptions of the general
area. The first describes the area around St. Johns Bluff.
...wee determined to return in to the place which wee had
discovered before, when wee had sayled up the Ryver. This place
is injoning to a mountain, and it seemed into us more fits and
commodious to build a fortresse, then that where wee were last.
Therefore wee took our way towards the forests being guided
therein by the young Paracoussy which had ledde us before to his
fathers lodging. Afterward wee found a large plaine covered with
high Pinetrees distant a little from the other: under which wee
perceived in infinite number of stages which brayed amidst the
plains, athwart the which wee passed: Then wee discovered a little
hill adjonyning into a great vale very greene and in forme flat:
wherein were the fairest medowes of the world, and grasse to feede
cattle. Moreover it is invironed with a great number of brooks of
fresh water, and high woodes, which make the vale more delectable
to the eye...After I had taken the view wee therefore at mine ease,
I named it at the request of our soldiers, the vale of Laudonniere
The second describes the general area around the fort.
Now was I determined to search out the qualities of the hill.
Therefore I went right to the toppe thereof, where wee found
nothing else but Cedar, Palm, and Baytrees of so sovereign odour,
that Baulm smelleth nothing like in compairson. The trees were
entryoned round about with vines bearing grapes in such quantities,
that the number would suffice to make the place habitable. Besides
this fertilitie of the soyle for vines, a man may see Esquine
weathered about the shrubs in great quantity. Touching the pleasure
of the place, from the top of the mountain the Sea may bee seene
plaine and open from it, and more than sixe great leagues off, neer
Tm F)oRinA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
GISSENDANER LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE
the ryver Belle, a man may beholde the medowes diuded asunder
into Iles and Islets enterlacing one another: Briefly the place is so
pleasant, that those which are melancholicke would be inforced to
change their humour [Laudonniere 1589:394-395].
Laudonniere's narrative is an exact description of a walking
journey from the top of St. Johns Bluff southeast along the
southern bank of the St. Johns River as far as the north bank of
Mount Pleasant Creek. Hakluyt's (1589) translation of Laudon-
niere tells of Laudonniere's desire to return to the mountain
(St. Johns Bluff) which Laudonniere and Ribault had discovered
on their first voyage in 1562 (see Figure 6 for the location of
the "mountain"). Le Moyne's map, Floride Americae Provinciae
(Figure 7), shows the village of Homoloua one league north of
Fort Caroline, the village of Atore one league southeast, and the
village of the Chief Saturiba (Patica) three leagues east of the
fort and one league west of the ocean. Therefore, St. Johns
Bluff is approximately six French leagues southwest of the
mouth of the St. Johns River where it empties into the Atlantic
Ocean at Mayport.
Leaving the village of Patica, Laudonniere sailed up the River
May six leagues to a mountain of medium height surrounded by
fields of maize.
...wee determined to return in to the place which wee had
discovered before, when wee had sayled up the Ryver. This place
is injoning to a mountain, and it seemed into us more fits and
commodious to build a fortresse, then that where wee were last
According to this passage, the site of Fort Caroline was a
location near a mountain (St. Johns Bluff) that seemed more
suitable and appropriate for building a fort than where they
were last.2 Climbing to the top of the mountain, Laudonniere
surveyed the surrounding features of the adjoining land. He
could see the ocean, and three leagues off, the River Belle
(Mount Pleasant Creek).3 Even today, a man standing on top of
the bluff can see boats steaming along the ocean and entering
the river. It also is possible to see the outline of the hill at
Spanish Point from the top of the bluff, and to see the water
course of Mount Pleasant Creek (Figure 8). The use of the
word "river" in relation to the River Belle is a misnomer. A
better translation of the original French, Bras de Mer (Arm of
the Sea), would be "creek." Bras de Mer was a typical term
used to describe a large creek by both the French and English.
It can be found in the writings of Ribault, Rojomonte, Melene-
che, Hawkins, and many others of this period.
Touching the pleasure of the place, from the top of the mountain
the Sea may be seen plaine and open from it, and more than sixe
great leagues off,4 near the ryver Belle, a man may beholde the
medowes diuded asunder into Iles and Islets enterlacing one
another: Briefly the place is so pleasant, that those which are
melancholicke would be inforced to change their humour [Laudon-
Laudonniere left the mountain (St. Johns Bluff) and went into
the woods with a young Timucuan Indian chief (Paracoussy)
Figure 5. Le Caroline on de la Riviere de May. This plan
was drawn by a young French soldier on the 1564 expedition
to Florida. It was enclosed with a letter to Vincent Norman
and Ieanne Bruneau and sent to France from Fort Caroline
aboard the ship Isabella of Honfleur on July 25, 1564. It is
believed to be the only drawing of the fort that was drawn
in America. Photocopy of map courtesy of John Carter
Brown Library, Brown University.
towards his father's lodging. The way southeast from St. Johns
Bluff would have taken them past the Indian village of Homo-
loua (see Figure 7). Clearly, Laudonniere had visited the Indian
Therefore wee took our way towards the forests being guided
therein by the young Paracoussy which had ledde us before to his
fathers lodging [Laudonniere 1589:390].
After they left the Indian village they walked a short distance
(one league) southeast to a large plain covered with pines and
inhabited by deer.
Afterward wee found a large plaine covered with high Pinetrees
distant a little from the other: under which wee perceived in infifite
number of stages which brayed amidst the plains, athwart the
which wee passed [Laudonniere 1589:390].
Laudonniere discovered a small hill adjacent to a large flat
plateau, divided by small brooks and streams, and covered with
high pine trees.
LocA'nON OF FORT LE CAROLINE
., ., CAN A.D A
"VIP. L. I
I--,.,. F .s fn
*' ^,* ^
1A FL 0 A1W E -2 3e..
'.. T-01S F, a_6
quji.,i. --.-,I rN.
Figure 6. La Floride Francoise Dressee sur La Relastsion des Voiages que Ribault, Laudonniere, et Gourques y ontfaits en 1562.
1564. Et 1567. Drawn by Pierre du Val, dated 1665. From Bennett (1964). Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
,~6 ,./L. -^ W .^ ^ : ^ ^ ^ ^.^
1564. Et 1567. Drawn by Pierre du Val, dated 1665. From Bennett (1964). Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
Then wee discovered a little hill adjonyning into a great vale very
greene and in forme flat: wherein were the fairest medowes of the
world, and grasse to feede cattle. Moreover it is invironed with a
great number of brooks of fresh water, and high woodes, which
make the vale more delectable to the eye...I named it at the request
of our soldiers, the vale of Laudonniere [Laudonniere 1589:390].
So, it appears Laudonniere walked southeast past the Indian
village of Homoloua, to the north bank of Mount Pleasant
Creek, and to a small hill with a large plateau.
Nicolas le Challeux
After his return to France in 1566, le Challeux described the
site of the colony:
...we entered into three Barges, and rowed up the sayde Ryver,
straight to the holde where oure men kepe, the which they before
time had made, for their place of assurance and rest, a space very
comoddious, as well for the Ryver that it hath on the one side, &
a wood on other ye side, which is distant not passing a quarter of
a myle from the place, and a fayre field betwene the wood and the
Holde, and another side very pleasant covered with grasse and
hearbes, very long, and of divirs kinds: and there is no way into the
wood, saving a little way made by oure men, about a mans pace,
the which they had made in going to the fountain that was in the
sayde wood [Challeux 1566:40].
In le Challeux's (1566) description of his landing at the site of
the colony (holde), he states that he got in a small boat (from a
ship anchored in the River May) and rowed up the. River May
(the sayde ryver) to Mount Pleasant Creek (ryver Belle) directly
to the site of the fort. The River May was not more than .4 km
(.25 mi) from the site of the fort, and on the other side of the
fort were the woods.
Jacques le Moyne
The artist and map maker of the expedition, Jacques le
Moyne, described the location of the fort as follows:
After exploring the coast to the north of the ryver maye, a site up
stream of this ryver six miles from the mouth on the south bank on
a hill overlooking it, was chosen for the fort [Hulton 1977:23].
Le Moyne's 1590 drawing entitled, Building the Fort (Figure
3), represents the fort under construction on a small triangular
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE~I FLOREDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
GISSENDANER LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE 137
.AB INDIGENIS DICt IAQAzO .a
.. -- '.X) ,, .. .. .I. .r
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"", u~ ~ o
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S. I l-araco. HWJ .o ...
-a 8o Ignlc s o c %V'
tunr pa Co, a tera
ortt 'o tart r : a "a
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EPac' r- 1" -.
L. 7. by Jqat 0,e rP
Repro N, pLCrissi Z
C L 0
v t- a,-
IhJ j1SN3C1 0
Figure 7. Floride Americae Provinciae by Jacques le Moyne, dated 1590. Map shows the location of
Fort Caroline between the Indian villages of Homoloua and Saturiva. From Hulton (1977).
Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
.... 7'- -- --:--<-;:-"; : -" -""m-"
Rep....e .... ..msino tepbihr
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Figure 8. Boca y Barra del Rio San Juan (Mouth and Bars of the St. Johns River) with potential fort locations
indicated. The notation Barrancas de San Mateo (Ravine of San Mateo) appears on the west side of St. Johns Bluff,
and a symbol representing the fort appears on the top of the bluff (Site I). The fort was moved to the top of St. Johns
Bluff in 1568 after Fort San Mateo was burned by the Indians and the Frenchman de Gourgues. Photocopy of map
courtesy of Jacksonville Historical Society.
island. The subcaption explains:
When many of the ryvers of that region had been explored the
conclusion was finally reached that a base should be chosen on the
ryver of Maye rather than on any other ryver; because they had
already noticed that it, more than the rest, was rich in millet and
corn besides gold and silver which were found there on the first
voyage. So they steered their course towards that ryver, and when
they had sailed up to a certain place near a hill, that was judged
more suitable for building a fort than any other which they had seen
hitherto. At first light next day, when they had offered prayers to
God and given thanks for their safe arrival in that province,
everybody became active. A level area was then measured out in
the form of a triangle, and everyone began to put his back into the
work, some digging the ground, some bundleing together twigs that
they had cut, some constructing a wall; for nobody had come
without a spade, a saw, an axe, or some other tool both for cutting
down trees and for building a fort. They worked so hard that soon
the task was progressing well [Hulton 1977:Plate 107].
The 1590 drawing by le Moyne entitled, View of Fort Caroline
(Figure 4), represents the fort in its completed state. The
descriptive text states:
Thus was erected a triangular work, afterwards named le Caroline.
The base of the triangle, looking westward, was defended only by
a small ditch, and was of sods nine feet high. The side next to the
ryver was built up with planks and fascines. On the southern side
was a building after the fashion of a citadel which was for a granary
to hold our provisions. The whole was of fascines and earth,
excepts the upper part of the wall for two or three feet, which was
of sods. In the middle of the fort was a roomy open space eighteen
yards long, and as many wide. Midway on the southern side of this
space were the soldiers' quarters; and on the north side was a
building which was higher than it should have been and was in
consequence blown over by the wind a little afterward. Experience
has taught us that in this country, where the winds are so furious,
houses must be built low. There was also another open space, pretty
large, one side of which was closed in by the granary above
mentioned, while on another side stood the residence of Laudon-
niere, looking out upon the river, and with a plaza around it. The
principal door of this opened upon the larger open space; and the
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
"- ar 'enlnlran drnwrnr
Sallra non 0 "-.
... ... .............. .
r zY i',it I @affl I (LI L I 4-
4qia ulu c 11101mh. c n (I '1-
.. it .... ........... ..... .a l -.m-..h ".
'Ido e @ .c*ubnyl
"E. ........... .-.,;,... .- -
C i.. ..
fohummd I Flarid pxatrom hi r appof;/mr. -Coc.-
C a_ d, I,_. MUT
Figure 9. Map of Virginiae Item from Florida America Provinciarum Nova Descriptio by Maercator-Hondius, dated 1606.
From an engraving in the collection of Historic Urban Plans (1995-96:23). Reproduced with permission.
rear door upon the ryver. A safe distance from the works, an oven
was erected; for, as the houses were roofed with palm branches,
they would very easily have caught fire [Hulton 1977:Plate 108].
The le Caroline on de la Riviere de May Map
The map entitled le Caroline on de la Riviere de May (Figure
5) was drawn by a young soldier on Laudonniere's 1564-65
expedition to Florida, and sent to Rouen aboard the ship Isabella
of Honfleur that sailed on July 25, 1564 while the fort was still
under construction. It is the only surviving drawing of the fort
made during the French occupation.
The young soldier who drew the map described the location
of the fort as:
Lequelfort est sur ladicte riviere de Mai, enuiron six lieues das la
riviere long de la mer. This fort is on the river of May about six
leagues up river from the sea [Cumming et al. 1971:185].
At the top of the drawing, normally indicating north, and
written in French, is Sovrse de la Riviere de May (Source of the
River May). The French believed this to be true at the time the
sketch was made because they had not yet explored the river
and so assumed its source to be to the north. However, the St.
Johns River is one of only a few major rivers that flows from
south to north. The le Moyne map, Floride Americae Provinciae
(Figure 7), shows the River May going in a north-northwest
direction and then turning south, as the French later learned
after the fort was finished and they had time to explore the
Robert Meleneche, who was captured by the Spanish at Fort
Caroline and interrogated in Havana, described the fort as being
located near the mouth of a river, past a series of sandbanks,
LocA'nON OF FORT LE CAROLINE
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VoL. 49(3)
four or five leagues up the river.
Entering from the sandbank [mouth of river] to the inside [of the
river] there are many banks, although among them there are five,
six, and seven fathom channels, and it is a good thing that there are
no angry seas. These banks are four or five leagues up the river, at
which point the people of this armada established a village...They
built a fort of timber and faggots, four or five leagues in the mouth
of the river past the banks [sandbanks] mentioned before, inside of
which they put their entire contingent, 150 militants, some of them
officers, and there were another 50 Africans and other folk, among
whom were officers of every rank, and four French housewives
Stefano de Rojomonte
Stefano de Rojomonte, one of the French mutineers captured
by the Spanish at the Port of Acos, described the river and the
location of Fort Caroline as:
...it is a big river and very soundable within, and that at the mouth
there two fathoms of water and that some times the channel expands
with the flood season and is soundable...it [the fort] may be two
leagues from the mouth of the said river, at a high hill, which is
above one arm of the said river on the southeast bank [Bennett
The fort, he said, was two leagues from the mouth of the
river, at a high hill, on the southeast bank, above one arm (Bras
de Mer) of the river (compare Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10).
Dominique de Gourgues
Dominique de Gourgues described the location as having a
wooded hill overlooking the fort, with the mote between the hill
and the fort.
They caused Captain Gourgues to hurry to the wooded hill at the
edge of the forest next to the fort, and there he had enough cover
to approach the fort without danger. He decided to stay here until
morning when he was resolved to attack the Spaniards by scaling
the wall on the side toward the hill where the ditch [mote] seemed
inadequately flanked for the defense of its curtain walls [Lawson
Orientation of the Fort
Fort Caroline was constructed as an elongated arrow (Figure
5). In determining the orientation of Fort Caroline, I used the
palisade wall facing the water as a base line, and drew an
imaginary arrow from the center of this wall to the apex of the
other two sides. The point of the arrow would determine the
cardinal direction of the fort. At the bottom of the drawing, Le
Caroline on de la River de May (Figure 5), is written Le Port
de Lentree (Port of Entry), and on the left side of the sketch is
written Bras de Mer (Arm of the Sea) with a symbol indicating
flowing water. This symbol continues along the bottom of the
t-\ -- .i~a~r
.4 1. -r
,1 ,. _ie'/
4, *i' .fJ
-. i, *.
S I ite
N Site I)2ri P K -
Figure 10. U.S. Coast Survey, dated 1856 with potential fort locations indicated. The following note is on the back: "This
chart was made before the jetties were constructed and before any channel dredging was done. It probably represents
reasonably well the hydrographic conditions that existed in 1791 or earlier. The topographic or shoreline conditions could have
changed more than the hydrographic condition, hydrographic meaning flow, volume, tide changes, etc. as separate from
soundings before 1856 probably. The entire print is three feet long and shows substantial changes at the ocean inlet. Signed,
N. Enge, 17. Jan. 1989." Copy of map courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District.
THE FLORMA ANTHRoPo~oGisT
1996 VOL. 49(3)
GISSENDANER LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE 141
Figure 11. U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map, Eastport, Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, Mayport, Florida
Quadrangle (1964). All potential fort locations are shown.
drawing to the right border. At this point the symbol changes
direction as if to represent a separate river. Mount Pleasant
Creek flows from south-southwest to north-northeast. If the fort
were located on the north bank of Mount Pleasant Creek, the
palisade (Port of Entry) would face this creek. Referring to the
Piano of the Rio San Juan (Figure 2) and the Coast Survey map
of 1856 (Figure 10), the entrance to Mount Pleasant Creek from
the St. Johns River appears to be a Bras de Mer, indicating that
the "arm of the sea" is Mount Pleasant Creek.
If the fort were oriented with the wooden palisade paralleling
Mount Pleasant Creek, and the center-line pointing north-
northwest as in the sketch, le Caroline on de la Riviere de May
(Figure 5), the information on the sketch would fit the geogra-
phy of the general area as drawn on le Moyne's map, Floride
Americae Provinciae (Figure 7), and the other old maps: La
Florida Francoise (Figure 6), Boca y Barra del Rio San Juan
(Figure 8), and Map of Virginia Item Florida America Provinci-
arum Nova Descriptio (Figure 9). On the other hand, if the
orientation of the fort is as "stated" on the le Moyne sketch,
View of Fort Caroline (Figure 4), no geography in the St. Johns
Bluff area will accommodate the fort. On this sketch the right
side of the fort is shown as Meridies (south) and the palisade
side is Occidens (west). The gate is facing to the south. It
appears that the cardinal directions given on the plate have been
turned ninety degrees to the left, and the plate engraved in
reverse. If the drawing is held up to the light and viewed from
the back, the gate is on the west side as stated in the written
Le Moyne's sketches (Figures 3 and 4) of the fort were
supposedly drawn at the fort in 1564-65, but no records or
drawings survived the Spanish attack on September 20, 1565
(Lawson 1992:153)'. Le Moyne had to redraw them from
memory after his arrival back in France in 1566 and they were
not published until 1591. Therefore, either he or the publisher,
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
de Bry, must have mislabeled the cardinal points shown on
Figure 4, or added them at a later date without knowledge of
the correct orientation. If this were the case, then the three
sketches of Fort Caroline (Figures 3, 4, and 5) would all be
oriented in the same direction. Because there is more definitive
information on the sketch, le Caroline on de la Riviere de May
(Figure 5), and it is the only original, surviving drawing of the
fort, I have given it greater credence. Therefore, I have
concluded that the center-line of the fort (Figure 5) must have
pointed to the north.
Methods Used to Determine Possible Fort Locations
Comparison of Early and Modem Maps
A copy of the de la Rocque map, Piano of the Rio de San
Juan (Figure 2), was taken to a printer and expanded in size to
the approximate scale (1:24,000) as the 1964 U.S. Coast and
Geodetic Survey map of the area (Figure 11). A tracing was
made of this map on thin paper and overlaid on the U.S. Coast
and Geodetic Survey map. An error appeared in the de la
Rocque map. The area between Mount Pleasant Creek and St.
Johns Bluff has a duplicated section in it making the distance
twice as long as the actual river. When this error was corrected,
the overlay fit the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map
extremely well. Next, the Boca y Barra del Rio San Juan map
(Figure 8) and the Coast Survey map of 1856 (Figure 10) were
compared to the overlay and similarities noted. A new represen-
tative drawing of the composite information was then superim-
posed back on the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map to
correct the orientations and exaggerations of the old maps. A
new drawing (Figure 12) was made and used to locate the
various proposed fort locations.
Figure 12. Overlay map of the St. Johns River area showing all potential fort locations.
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
GIssENDAx~imi LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE
In order to compare the various possible Fort Caroline site
locations objectively, I constructed a matrix (Table 1), following
the method used by Albert Manucy (1960:Figure 3) in his
report on the Feasibility of Reconstructing Fort Caroline. This
matrix lists specific statements concerning the location and
orientation of Fort Caroline taken from the writings of Laudon-
niere as found in Hakluyt (1904:391-392, 402, 405, 422, 424-
425), le Moyne (1875:3-4, 17-18, Plate 9-10), le Challeux
(1566:27), and Hawkins (Sparke 1810:46-50). The possible site
locations then were compared to these statements to determine
how closely they corresponded. The number of positive
correspondences were counted, divided by the number of
statements (20), and multiplied by 10. This allowed me to rank
the possible fort locations on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10
being the highest ranking.
All the new information compares well with Manucy except
for the statement by Laudonniere (1589:422) that "the ryver is
on the west side of the fort." This statement is only true if the
river (Bras de Mer) is also the River (creek) la Belle as I have
stated, and the creek extended on the west side of the fort. That
would put the River May on the northeast side of the general
area and la Belle Creek running on the south side of the fort,
with a branch to the northeast (Figure 12). This is what is
shown on La Carolina on la Riviere de May (Figure 5).
Description and Ranking of Possible Fort Locations
The following sites refer to possible locations of Fort Caroline
in the St. Johns Bluff area based on old maps, and the surviving
written descriptions given by the people who were there. For
the locations of the sites refer to Figures 11 and 12.
Site I: T. Frederick Davis Area
Davis (1911:12) suggested that the site of Fort Caroline was
located in an area that is now in the St. Johns River (Figure 1),
and that the site has been eroded away over the years. Thus, the
actual Fort Caroline site no longer exists. The major problem
with this line of reasoning has to do with the topography of St.
Johns Bluff. The top is 13 m (70 ft) above mean high water and
it drops off into the river in an almost vertical cliff. When the
Spanish attacked and captured Fort Caroline at dawn on Septem-
ber 20, 1565, it was during a hurricane that had wiped out the
French fleet off the coast of central Florida three days before.
To any person who has tried to climb down this cliff it becomes
clear that the Spanish would not have been able to do this in a
hurricane, much less do it without alarming the French garri-
son. When all the evidence is considered, this site has very few
of the qualifications needed to be considered a suitable fort
location. A score of 4.5.
Site II: Indian Village
This location corresponds to an area on the southwest side of
Colorinda Creek where the creek intersects with the northeast
side of St. Johns Bluff. This is the most obvious site from
looking at the Boca y Barra del Rio San Juan map (Figure 8).
The visual configuration of the creek fits the le Moyne map
(Figure 7) exactly (a creek that forks). The site is very large,
measuring some 350 m (1152 ft) east-west by 60 m (200 ft)
north-south. It is 12 m (40 ft) above mean sea level and covered
with oyster shells. According to the archaeological site survey
of the St. Johns Bluff area by the University of Florida (State
of Florida 1988), an aboriginal site is located along the bluff
overlooking Colorinda Creek and the tidal marsh. A continuous
shell midden covers the entire area; however, a large amount of
shell has been removed for construction. According to local
informants, the shell was probably used for road fill.
The problems with Site II again have to do more with the
topography than the written descriptions. The waterway into the
site is very narrow and shallow, and does not run straight into
the river (Figures 8 and 11). There is no pond of water in the
near vicinity and it has an obscured view to the ocean across a
large island (Great Marsh Island). In addition, Laudonniere
states that the Indian village (Patica) of Saturiba was three
leagues to the east of the fort (at the intersection of present day
Wonderwood Road and A1A). Le Moyne's map (Figure 7),
shows the village of Homoloua northwest of Fort Caroline about
one league away on a creek that forks. The preliminary
archaeological inspection of this site revealed it to have been an
Indian village predating the arrival of the French (State of
Florida 1988). It would be very hard to consider this site
anything but the Indian village of Homoloua, and by a coinci-
dence of nature, also having a creek that forks. This site does
not satisfy enough of the requirements to be anything other than
an Indian village at the time of the settlement of Fort Caroline.
A score of 6.0.
Site III: Shipyard Creek Area
This is the area near where the present replica fort is located,
east of Shipyard Creek and south of the river. Shipyard Creek
runs south to north into the river. The area around the creek
bank is low and very marshy. The creek is very shallow and,
according to the old maps, has been so since the 1500s. At that
time, the St. Johns River was much higher, slow-flowing, and
had many sand bars and islands due to the bar at the mouth of
the river. There are two possible fort locations near Shipyard
Site IIA. This site is located on the east bank of Shipyard
Creek at the foot of St. Johns Bluff. The only configuration that
fits the le Moyne sketches (Figures 3 and 4) would place the
palisade wall paralleling Shipyard Creek with the center-line
pointing to the east. However, this does not fit the descriptions
given by Laudonniere or Challeux. According to records at Fort
Caroline National Park, Zephaniah Kingsley acquired the
property in the early part of the 1800s and used it as a ship-
building yard in connection with his slave-trading business. I
believe the traces that Willie Brown thought were the remains
of the old fort, and which he pointed out to park rangers in
1954, are actually the outlines of the ship-building site of the
1800s. A score of 5.5.
LOCAnON OF FORT iE CAROLINE
THE FLORIDA ANrimOPowGiSr 1996 VoL 0(3)
Table 1. Comparison of possible locations of Fort Caroline based on documentary evidence.
Description of fort Site I Site H
T.F. Davis Site Indian Village
Land wall is toward the west
Other side toward the river
Base of triangle is facing west
River on the west side
Palisade toward the water
Corps degrade centered on th6 south side of the court
High house on the north side
Laudonniere's house on the river side
Magazine on the south side
Breach on the west side
Breach on the south side where munitions lay
Another breach on other side
Spanish climbed hill and viewed fort
Spanish stayed by pond
Spanish sunk ship in the river
Rowed 1.2 km (.75 mi) to fort
Indian village (Homoloua) north of the fort
Indian village (Patica) 3 leagues east of the fort
Fort south of a creek that forks
Fort matches cardinal points as shone on le Moyne map
Fort cannon have direct line of fire to ships in the river
Land above mean high water
Source of fresh water located near the fort
River on one side of the fort
Woods on other side of fort
Number of positive occurrences
Yes, through fort
Yes, in center of court
a Number of positive occurrences ("Yes" answers) divided by number of questions and multiplied by 10. For example, for Site I: (9 20) 10 =
199 Vol. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE
Site IIIA Site IIIB Site IVA Site IVB
Shipyard Creek Shipyard Creek Spanish Point Spanish Point
Yes, through fort
Yes, hill by Mt. Pleasant Road
Yes, through fort
4.5. Sites IVA and IVB were scored using an additional five questions. See text for additional explanation of scoring method.
TifE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Site IIIB. In 1940, the National Park Service had a site study
done by Albert Manucy, Interpretive Planner, Region One, to
determine the feasibility of constructing a replica fort (Manucy
1940). In August 1960 (Manucy 1960) a location was chosen on
the south bank of the St. Johns River, west of St. Johns Bluff
along Shipyard Creek, and a small replica fort was constructed
there in 1964. The Park Service maintains the Timucuan
Ecological & Historic Preserve surrounding the replica fort.
This area today is called Calypso Island, but it is partly
manmade; the spoil from dredging the river was placed on top
of the existing marsh land in the 1800s. The area south of the
spoil area that corresponds to the original river edge is very
uneven and has a steady rise to the top of the bluff. If the
French fort were built on this ground the only flat area would
have been in the marsh. The de la Rocque map (Figure 2)
shows the area as being marsh land except for the part that
adjoins the bluff. Looking at the elevations on the U.S. Coast
and Geodetic Survey map (Figure 11), the land near the river's
edge, along the creek, is only 3 m (10 ft) above mean high
water. This does not allow enough elevation to take into
consideration the increases in the height of the river before it
was dredged. With the palisade wall paralleling the river, the
center-line of the fort would point south or southwest which
does not fit the descriptions given by Laudonniere. In 1973,
Charles H. Fairbanks inspected this site for the National Park
Service "who had suspected it to be the possible site of the
French Fort Caroline, but no evidence was found to support this
(Fairbanks 1973). A Score of 5.5.
Site IV: Spanish Point Area
This Bite corresponds to an area on the north side of Mount
Pleasant Creek where it intersects the mainland. This point of
land is shown on old maps as Spanish Point. There is a clear
passage of water (Mount Pleasant Creek) into the river and an
unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean from the 18 m (60 ft)
high hill. The site is approximately 16 km (10 miles, 3.85
leagues) from the old mouth (bar) of the river.
On the Spanish map of Mariano de la Rocque, Piano of the
Rio de San Juan (Figure 2), and on the Coast Survey map of
1856 (Figure 10), made before the river was dredged and the
bar at the river mouth removed, Mount Pleasant Creek is shown
as a large, wide, deep passage from the adjoining land into the
St. Johns River. Before Mount Pleasant Road was built, Tiger
Pond and all the land to the west drained into this creek. When
the Corps of Engineers dredged San Pablo Creek in 1889 to
make the intercoastal waterway, part of the water flow was
diverted from Mount Pleasant Creek causing the present creek
to be reduced in volume and form mud flats on either side. On
the northwest bank of Mount Pleasant Creek is a hill that
appears to be somewhat man-made. The hill is 18 m (60 ft)
above mean high water, just 3 m (10 ft) lower than St. Johns
Bluff. At the present time the top 6 m (18 ft) of the hill is
covered with oyster shells. At one time in the archaeological
past, the hill was an Indian ceremonial mound or midden. The
ancient Indians of this area may have used this site as a place of
worship and also to live. Often associated with ceremonial
mounds are large, flat areas, or plateaus, that were used as
plazas or ball fields. From the top of this hill, one has a very
clear and unobstructed view of the ocean.
Immediately west of the hill, running southwest along Mount
Pleasant Creek, is a large, level plateau, 7 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft)
above mean high water. A small stream of water flows from
west to east into Mount Pleasant Creek dividing this plain
(Figure 10). Approximately 200 m (660 ft) to the west of this
hill is a round pond about .8 km (.5 mi) in diameter. There is
a spring of flowing water on the west side of the hill that runs
into this pond. There is an abundance of oysters, wild grapes,
and timber around the site.
The le Moyne map (Figure 7) clearly shows Fort Caroline
located on an arm of the river (Bras de Mer) that runs in a
west-east direction, south of a creek that forks, between two
Indian villages, Homoloua to the northwest and Patica to the
southeast. Looking closely at the U. S. Coast and Geodetic
Survey map (Figure 11), one can see that Mount Pleasant Creek
runs southwest to northeast and is southeast of the forked
Colorinda Creek, just as the le Moyne map shows. When this
information is overlaid onto the U.S. Coast and Geodetic
Survey map (Figure 11), Site IV appears to be the only location
in the general area of St. Johns Bluff that accounts for all the
given information about the location of Fort Caroline. The
problem is, there are two specific locations that could be the
fort site. Which specific site (IV-A or IV-B on Figures 11 and
12) is the better location?
Additional questions were added to the standard matrix
questions to resolve this problem. From which site would the
Spanish be better able to sink a ship in the River May? Was the
land above mean high water at the time the fort was construct-
ed? Was the fort located between the river and the woods?
Site IVA. This site is located west of the hill, on the north
bank of Mount Pleasant Creek on the plateau. This site would
allow the center-line point of the fort to face to the north-
northwest, with marsh land to the north between the fort and the
river, with the 18 m (60 ft) high hill and woods on the east
side, and with an open plateau at the foot of the hill running
west. It also has a small pond to the northwest beside the hill,
a flowing stream of fresh water running from the west side of
the hill into the pond, and a small stream of water that runs into
the creek between the plain and the hill. It has a straight
channel (Bras de Mer) of water (Mount Pleasant Creek) that is
sufficiently wide and deep enough to navigate small craft into
the river, and an unrestricted view from the top of the hill of
ships anchored in the ocean off the river mouth. The elevation
of the flat open plain on the north bank of Mount Pleasant
Creek averages 7 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft) above mean high-water
level. This area would not give as clear a shot at ships in the
river because the cannon would be firing around the south side
of the hill at ships in Chicopit Bay, but the land would have
been high and dry. A score of 9.2.
Site IVB. This site is located northeast of the hill in an area
shown on the Piano of de Rio San Juan map (Figure 2) as dry
land. This would allow the center-line of the fort to face either
the north or west, with marsh land to the north and east, and a
large, open waterway into the river to the northeast. There is a
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
GIS5ENDAI~ER LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE
small creek to the north of this site that runs north to south.
This creek conceivably could have been extended southward
into Mount Pleasant Creek by the French (Figure 11). If this
were done, then the waterway on the west side of the fort would
look exactly like the le Moyne sketch, Building the Fort (Figure
3). Looking closely at this sketch one can see the outline of the
start of a moat on the upper right side of the fort. This area
would give a clear shot at ships in the river, and there are
woods on the west at the base of the hill; however, the land
does not appear today to be very high or dry. A score of 8.0.
Based on the above analysis, it is my conclusion that Fort
Caroline was located at Site IVA; in other words, on the north
bank of Mount Pleasant Creek, on the high, flat plateau, on the
west side of the hill, between the northwest fork of the creek
and the round pond to the northwest, near the small stream that
flows southeast into Mount Pleasant Creek. Therefore, this site
would be the ideal location to start looking for archaeological
evidence of Fort Caroline.
Assumed to be the normal French league (4.18 km or 2.6 statute miles), not
the French marine league of 5.55 km (3.45 statute miles) because the marine
league only was used between seaports.
2 There are two interpretations of the statement "where we were last." The first
is that Laudonniere was speaking of Charlesfort on Paris Island, N.C. The
second is of an islandron the north shore of the River May (now Fort George
Island), which Laudonniere and his men had been inspecting the day before.
This island was very low and swampy except for its center. There was no fresh-
water source on the island, and only a medium-size creek leading into the
3 According to Lawson (1992:56), either Laudonniere was mistaken by the
river he saw, since the Bell River (Wassaw Sound at 31"56' N) was about 161
km (100 mi) to the north of the St. Johns River, where he was, or he was
simply describing the St. Johns River as the "belle riviere."
4 I think the translator or the original publisher, de Bry, added a comma
instead of a period at this point. If a period is inserted the meaning becomes
Touching the pleasure of the place, the Sea may bee seen plaine and open
from it, and more than sixe great leagues off. Near the ryver Belle, a man
may beholde the medowes diuded asunder into iles and Islets enterlacing one
another: Briefly the place is so pleasant, that those which are melancholicke
would be inforced to change their humour [Laudonniere 1589:395].
5 I agree with Lawson (1992:153) that le Moyne's maps and drawings did not
survive the Spanish attack on Fort Caroline, and I doubt that he had time to
retrieve any papers during the attack much less manage to keep them dry while
struggling in the swamps along the river during his escape.
I shall be forever grateful to the Honorable Charles E. Bennett, whose patient
encouragement and suggestions helped me to proceed with this paper; to Dr.
Eugene Lyon for his suggestions and encouragement to study the location of the
Huguenot fort, and for loaning me photocopies of plans of fifteenth century
Spanish ships; to the staff of Fort Caroline National Monument for permitting
me to use their facilities during my research, and especially to Park Ranger Paul
Ghioto for his unique criticisms and insistence that I write my finding, and for
his help in finding archival materials at Fort Caroline National Memorial
Library; to Robert Johnson for showing me, in the field, the importance of
archaeology and discovery; to the staff of the Jacksonville Historical Society for
their encouragement and use of their library facilities at Jacksonville University;
to Craig Hyder and members of the Jacksonville Anthropological Society, and
especially to Robert Reed for putting all my old maps on computer disk; to Dr.
Clifton Potter, Head of the Department of History, Lynchburg College and his
wife Beatrice for reviewing and criticizing my work during the blizzard of the
century; to my wife Patricia, who painstakingly scrutinized my work, corrected
my spelling and grammar, and encouraged me to proceed; to the many scholars
who recorded, transcribed, published, annotated, and preserved the writings and
maps that enabled me to show proof of my ideas; and to Robert J. Austin, who
had the patience and consideration to edit and make valuable suggestions that
refined and polished this work.
1565 Le Caroline on de la Riviere de May. In Coppie d'vne Leter Venant de
la Floride, envoyee a Rouen, & depuis au Seigneur d'Eueron; ensemble
le plan & portraict du fort que les Francois y ont faict. Norman et
Bruneau, Paris. John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island.
n.d. Boca y Barra del Rio San Juan. Map on file, Jacksonville Historical
Society Library, Jacksonville.
Bennett, Charles E.
1964 Laudonniere and Fort Caroline: History and Documents. University of
Florida Press, Gainesville.
Challeux, Nicolas le
1566 Disccours de I'histoire de la Floride.... Dieppe, 1566. Translated by
Thomas Hacket as A True and Perfect Description, of the Last Voyage
or Navigation, Attempted by Capitaine Yohn Rybaut into Terra
Florida, This Yeare Past 1565. Drummond, London.
1940 The Site of Fort Caroline. Federal Writers' Project, Jacksonville, Flori-
da. Typescript on file, Fort Caroline National Memorial Library,
Cumming, William P.
1963 Parreus Map of French Florida 1562. Davidson College, North
Carolina. [As found in Imago Mundi, Vol. XVI. Amsterdam: N. Israel.]
Cumming, William P., R. A. Skelton, and D. B. Quenn
1971 The Discovery of North America. American Heritage Press, New York.
Davis, T. Fredrick
1911 History of Jacksonville Florida. H. & W.B. Drew Co., Jacksonville.
Fairbanks, Charles H.
1973 Archeological Exploration at Ft. Caroline National Historical Park
Project, Florida. Report on file, National Park Service, Jacksonville.
Fairbanks, George R.
1858 The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine, Florida. Charles
B. Horton, New York.
1589 The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the
English Nation by Sea. [Published as Grands Voyages]. London.
1904 The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the
English Nation by Sea, Vols VII, IX, X. James MacLehose and Son,
Glasgow. Originally published, 1589.
1977 The Works of Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, 2 vols. British Museum
Publication Limited, London.
Laudonniere, Rene de
1586 L'Histoire notable de la Floride.... M. Basanier, Paris. Translated by
Richard Hakluyt as A notable historic containing four voyages made by
certayne French captaynes unto Florida. London.
1589 The Second Voyage into Florida. In Richard Hakluyt's Collection of
PrincipalNavigations, Voiages, Traffiques andDiscoveries ofthe English
Nation by Sea, Vol. III. [Published as Grands Voyages]. London.
LOCATION OF FORT LE CAROLINE
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VoL. 49(3)
1992 A Foothold in Florida, The Eye-Witness Account of Four Voyages made
by the French to that Region and their Attempt at Colonization 1562-
1568. Antique Atlas Publications, East Grinstead, England.
1905 The Spanish Settlements Within the Present Limits of the United States:
Florida, 1562-1574, Vol. II. Putnam's, New York.
1940 Historic Site Survey, Fort Caroline, Florida. Typescript, National Park
Service. On file, Fort Caroline National Memorial Library, Jacksonville.
1960 How Did Fort Caroline Look. Typescript, National Park Service. On
file, Fort Caroline National Memorial Library, Jacksonville.
1995-96 Map of Virginiae Item Florida America Provinciarum Nova Des-
criptio. In Historic Urban Plans, Souvenir Series Catalog. Historic
Urban Plans, Inc., Ithaca, New York. Originally published, 1606.
Moyne de Morgus le, Jacques Jacobo
1875 Narrative of Le Moyne. James R. Osgood, Boston. First printed in
English by Theodore de Bry as Narratio Eorum Quoe in Florida
Americae Provincia Frankfort, 1591 in Grands Voyages. Norment et
1865 Pioneers of France in the New World, Vol. I. Little, Brown and Co.,
1964 The Whole and True Discouerye of Terra Florida. Facsimile edition,
University of Florida Press, Gainesville. Originally published, 1563.
Rocque, Mariano de la
1769 Piano of the Rio de San Juan. Dated December 24, 1769. On file, Fort
Caroline National Memorial Library, National Park Service, Jackson-
Sparke, John, Jr.
1810 The Voyage Made by M. John Hawkins, Esq. In Grands Voyages, Vol.
III by Richard Haklyut. London.
1859 Coleccion de vaarios documents para la historic de la Florida y tierras
adyacentes. Trubner and Co., London.
State of Florida
1988 Florida Master Site File 8DU58, Florida Department of State, Division
of Archives, History, and Records Management, Tallahassee.
United States Army Corps of Engineers
1856 U.S. Coast Survey, St. Johns River, Florida. U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Jacksonville District Office, Jacksonville.
United States Geological Survey
1964 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Map. United States Geological Survey,
Washington D.C., Series V847, 1964, Eastport, Fla., Jacksonville
Beach, Fla., Mayport, Fla., Quadrangle N3022.5 W8130/7.5.
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLOREDDA ANTHROPOLOGlsT
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY SYMPOSIUM
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW
EDITOR'S NOTE: This symposium was held at the 48th annual meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society held in Sarasota on May
11, 1996. It was organized by Art Lee and Jack Thompson of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society in partial response to
the controversial events surrounding the discovery of human remains at Ryder Pond, also referred to as the Bonita Bay project, in
Lee County. Originally, it was planned to have State Archaeologist Jim Miller speak to the convention about the project and discuss
his involvement in working with all the affected parties to develop a plan to rebury the remains. It was decided, however, that a panel
format with a number of individuals representing different points of view would provide those attending the conference a broader
range of perspectives on the larger legal issue of Native American burials and associated artifacts. Consequently, federal agency
representatives, Native Americans, and a practicing archaeologist were added to the panel.
The symposium consisted of two parts. During the first part the panelists presented prepared remarks. Each panelist was asked to
limit his remarks to seven minutes. Following the prepared remarks, the floor was opened for questions and comments from the
audience. The entire proceedings were tape recorded and subsequently transcribed. They are reproduced here with minimal editing
in as complete a form as possible. Grammatical mistakes have been corrected when necessary to achieve clarity and inaudible portions
have been deleted. For the most part, however, the words of the speakers are presented as they spoke them.
Arthur R. Lee, Past President
Florida Anthropological Society
I'm the Past President of this organization, and I've been
asked to start the proceedings. Before we do get started, I think
it would be well to rear back and put a few things in the
forefront of our minds. One of them is that none of us would be
here, or doing the things we do on a day-to-day basis, if we did
not have a sincere interest and profound respect for the people
who have been living in Florida for 10,000 years or more. The
second thing is that all of us are very, very conscious of the fact
that Florida is undergoing an invasion of unprecedented propor-
tions. In my County alone there are between 20 and 30 people
every day moving in and taking up permanent residence. This
means an awful lot of new houses, highways, bridges, churches,
and above all, golf courses. And with the machinery that man
has at his disposal today, this means an awful lot of cubic miles
of earth that is being churned up on a day-to-day basis. There
are laws to protect the material in the soil, but there is no way
that any archaeologist or any person can foresee the presence of
all the artifacts and all the sacred places that there are in the
soil. And it's because of these shortcomings and inabilities to
provide complete, absolute protection for these sacred places
that we are here this afternoon.
With that, I'll introduce Harry Piper, President of the Florida
Archaeological Council, who is going to preside over the
Harry M. Piper, President
Florida Archaeological Council
Thank you Art. First, I'd like to introduce the panel. Alpha-
betically, Gary Ellis of the Gulf Archaeological Research
Institute; Mr. David Jumper, representing the Seminole Tribe;
Dr. C. Timothy McKeown, Program Leader for NAGPRA for
the National Park Service; State Archaeologist, Dr. Jim Miller;
and Joe Quetone, the Executive Director of the Florida Gover-
nor's Council on Indian Affairs. I also would like to mention
that I have a statement from the Miccosukee Tribe which I'll
read later at an appropriate time. Because the focus of this panel
is on the treatment of Native American remains and associated
objects in accordance with federal and state laws, we felt it
would be logical to ask the representatives of the federal and
state agencies to make their comments first.
C. Timothy McKeown, Program Leader for NAGPRA
National Park Service
I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. It's sort of like
old home week for me. I grew up in Venice. My B.A. is from
the University of South Florida. It's very odd to come to a
business meeting in Sarasota and stay in a hotel. My position is
Team Leader for National Implementation of the Native
American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a law that
went into effect on November 16, 1990.
NAGPRA did not spring up out of the clear blue. It's the
result of quite a number of years of negotiation between the
archaeological community, the museum community, and Native
American representatives to resolve a very tough problem.
There are a number of different bills that were introduced over
the five years or so preceding the passage of NAGPRA, one of
which was introduced by Florida Representative Bennett, I
believe in 1987, and other ones by Senator Melcher, Senator
McCain, Senator Inouye, and Representative Udahl.
VOL. 49 No. 3 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST SEPTEMBER 1996
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
VOL. 49 No. 3
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST1996 VOL. 49(3)
Figure 1. Panelists who participated in the FAS symposium. From left to right: David Jumper, Joe
Quetone, Timothy McKeown, Harry Piper (Moderator), Jim Miller, and Gary Ellis.
NAGPRA, when it was passed in 1990, was sort of an odd
duck. It's three different kinds of law, really. First and fore-
most, I guess, it's a civil rights law. What Congress recognized
when they passed the law is that an inequity existed in the way
human remains were being dealt with in the United States. What
they saw when they reviewed federal collections and museum
collections is that if you counted the number of Native Ameri-
can remains in those collections, and if you counted the non-
Native American remains in those collections, basically what
was happening was that if Native American remains were dug
up they got put in museums, and if anybody else got dug up,
they got buried again. And that's the kind of classic inequity
that civil rights legislation is designed to rectify.
NAGPRA is also Indian Law, which makes it a very different
kind of civil rights legislation. It doesn't deal with the abridge-
ment of civil rights to individual members of some class; it
deals directly with sovereign nations, nations that have been
recognized by the United States for two hundred and some odd
years now as having sovereign status. So the relationship is not
between the United States (or the museum because it receives
federal funds acting on behalf of the United States) and individ-
ual Native Americans, it's between the United States and those
entities [acting on behalf of the United States] and the sovereign
[Indian] nations. Currently there are approximately 760 Indian
tribes, Alaska Native villages, and Native Hawaiian organiza-
tions that have standing under this law.
The third thing is that NAGPRA is property law. And what it
says is that when Europeans first came to the United States,
there already existed property systems here, and each tribe had
its own way of reckoning property rights regarding who should
inherit what. And in many cases, when an individual sold an
object or gave an object away, they may not have had the right
to do so under their own property system. For example, if I
were to go down the street here and buy a watch, and walk
down the street a little bit more and be apprehended by the
police, they could take the watch back if they could show it was
stolen. And I would not be entitled to any compensation from
them. That's the way our own property system works here.
What NAGPRA does is it says that if the objects were taken
from a tribe, and that transfer was not legal under their property
system, then the title was not transferred. So it's really not a
new thing, the law simply says that you have to pay attention to
the whole chain of title, not just when the first European bought
NAGPRA has three basic pieces to it. The first section deals
with planned excavations and inadvertent discoveries after
November 16, 1990; so it goes into effect the day the law was
signed and applies only to federal lands and tribal lands. It does
not apply to state lands and it does not apply to private lands.
What the law says is that before you do an excavation on
federal or tribal lands, you must consult with the particular tribe
beforehand. You have to have an Archaeological Resources
Protection Act permit, you have to have proof of the consulta-
tion, and the disposition of any objects [must] be done in accor-
dance with the Act.
On tribal land, before you do that excavation, you must have
the consent of the tribe that owns the land. You can't apply for
a permit without that consent. In case of an inadvertent discov-
ery on federal or tribal land (in other words, if in the course of
some other type of excavation or construction activity human
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW 151
remains or other cultural items as defined under the Act are
encountered), the activity in the vicinity of that discovery must
stop immediately and be shut down for a minimum of thirty
days, during which time consultation with the appropriate tribes
goes on to determine who is culturally affiliated or who has a
right to those remains.
The second part of the statute deals with collections that are
held by either federal agencies or by museums that receive
federal funds. What it says is that museums and federal agencies
have a responsibility to provide summaries of their collections
and then inventories of their human remains and associated
funerary objects to the tribe, and if the objects fit the [appropri-
ate] category and the tribe is culturally affiliated, the agency or
museum must repatriate them to the tribe on demand.
The third section deals with trafficking. It's not administered
by our office, but by the Department of Justice. It says that
anyone who knowingly sells, transports for sale, buys, or uses
for profit, Native American human remains, is guilty of a
federal crime and could be sentenced to prison for a year and
fined up to a thousand dollars. Any individual who sells other
cultural items that are covered by the Act, and that are obtained
in violation of the Act, can also be fined and sent to prison.
Our office does three things. It promulgates regulations (those
were recently put out in December of last year) and we're about
ready to put out civil penalties which would be assessed by the
Secretary against museums that fail to comply [with the Act].
There's a review committee of seven individuals that helps
resolve disputes that we provide staff support to. And there is
also a grants program [so] that we can award monies to tribes
and museums to assist them in complying with the Act.
James J. Miller, State Archaeologist
Florida Department of State
In 1983, when I was hired as State Archaeologist, one of the
unsolved issues on the table (and there were very many) was the
lack in Florida law of any direction regarding Native American
human remains. There was already in the Florida statutes a
Cemetery Act, which governed remains which were in cemeter-
ies as we normally recognize them, and that definition of
cemetery [was] usually also recognized in the same way by the
courts. It was possible always to obtain a successful prosecution
against someone who [disturbed] a cemetery downtown. It was
never possible to obtain a successful prosecution against
someone who [disturbed] an Indian mound. In 1985, a bill was
introduced, or rather recommended, to the Florida Senate that
would address this (and probably not in the best way that it
could have been addressed). It was based [on] what people were
then calling the California model. It was offered without the
knowledge of many people who had a direct interest. And in
response to a request from a committee in the Senate, we asked
if they might table the issue and give us a year to cooperate
with all of the interested parties and draft a law that might
accomplish this same goal, but do it in a better way.
In 1985 we formed a committee. There were twenty-three
different representatives on that committee. They included state
agencies, museums, archaeologists, the two federally recognized
Indian tribes, the Governor's Council for Indian Affairs,
amateur archaeologists, everybody we could identify who might
have an interest, including medical examiners and law enforce-
ment agents. That committee worked for more than a year to
agree unanimously on a version of a bill that was modeled after
Idaho's Unmarked Graves Act. And the bill that would have
[been added as] an amendment to Chapter 872 [Florida Statutes]
was introduced in the 1986 Legislature. [Joe] Quetone and I
walked the halls of the Legislature that year hours and hours,
and we weren't walking fast enough. We didn't make the
deadline. But the bill [eventually] did become law effective
The bill created Section 872.05 [of the Florida Statutes] which
sets in place a system in Florida for, first of all, recognizing
that it is State policy that all human remains are accorded equal
treatment and respect under the law. Second, the bill defines a
process to be followed whenever human remains are encoun-
tered. Whenever human remains are encountered, any activity
which could disturb those human remains must cease and cannot
resume until authorized by the medical examiner or the State
Archaeologist, whoever has jurisdiction. The system also allows
for a certain period of...let's call it problem solving... to either
protect the remains in place if that's possible, or to move them
when it is absolutely necessary.
And finally, the law provides a system [for] determining the
final disposition of human remains. There is a hierarchy of
relationships [with respect to the human remains]. At the top of
that hierarchy are next-of-kin. Next are tribal or community
representatives. And finally, if none of those can be identified,
and this is always the case for prehistoric archaeological
remains, a committee of four people is appointed by the State
Archaeologist. Two of these people, if the remains are Native
American, are representatives of current state tribes. These four
people advise the State Archaeologist, the State Archaeologist
makes the final determination of disposition, and that choice of
disposition is carried out. Since 1987 we have reburied in
Florida under that process the remains of more than four
hundred Native American individuals. In 1989, several years
after the bill actually became law, we requested [that] the
Governor's Council [on Indian Affairs], according to the
statutes, recommend to us two members of current state tribes
who would advise the State Archaeologist on matters concerning
final disposition. Those two people were David Jumper for the
Seminole Tribe and Steve Terry for the Miccosukee Tribe. To
this day, although it is not a permanent committee, those have
remained the two people that the two tribes choose to have
represent them on matters concerning final disposition of human
In 1990, of course, NAGPRA was passed. It required reports
by 1993 and 1995 and many of us have been involved in those.
And there is a bit of conflict, or let us say a difference in
procedure, between federal law and state law. After a brief
delay we have continued to use Chapter 872 to cooperate with
the federally recognized tribes in Florida to rebury remains.
One of the reasons that this panel was formed, and one of the
reasons we're all here now, is because of a lot of misunder-
standing and some dissatisfaction about the way that certain
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VoL. 49(3)
decisions have been made and certain actions have been carried
out regarding the final disposition of human remains. I was
asked to speak at this conference alone, I think, to defend some
of the decisions I made, particularly in response to a case at
Bonita Bay last year. Later, through Art's help, and some
suggestions by others, my sole speech generated into a commit-
tee. And I thought it would be most appropriate if the commit-
tee involved those people from the federally recognized tribes
and from the Governor's Council who were actually vested with
the responsibility and authority to make these kinds of decisions.
The purpose here today is to get everybody in the same room,
to let them hear all the sides, to let all the people who have an
opinion express it, and see if we can improve our understanding
of how human remains will be handled in Florida in the future,
under federal law and under state law. Thank you very much.
Joe A. Quetone, Executive Director
Florida Governor's Council on Indian Affairs, Inc.
First of all, I'm a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
I'm not a Seminole; I'm not a Miccosukee. I do work, as part
of my responsibilities, on their behalf when they ask me to, and
tell me what to do and say. So I certainly can't speak for them
in terms of their exact positions on disturbance of remains. But
I can tell you my own perspective, how I feel about the
disturbance of remains.
I have real concerns that it's okay to dig up Indian remains
and associated artifacts, burial materials, for study. As Jim
mentioned, a number of us were involved in pulling together
what's now we refer to it as the "Bones Bill" I'm not sure
how everybody else refers to it. I suspect that not everybody
was perfectly happy with the result, but it was a compromise we
could all live with. Certainly, being realistic, here in the State
of Florida just about any time you turn a spade or something,
or a shovel full of dirt, you take the chance of running into
some remains. In that sense, I think it's very necessary that we
have a process in place to deal with those inadvertent discover-
ies. From my perspective we have enough inadvertent discov-
eries to deal with without people going out and intentionally
digging up my people, or my relatives. I won't go into your
cemeteries and dig your relatives up, you don't go into my
cemeteries and dig my relatives up, and we'll both be very,
very happy. I won't pretend to make any pronouncements about
the cultural lifestyle of your ancestors, and we'll share that in
I think one of the main questions that I keep hearing in
different meetings around Indian country though, is that one of
the old excuses is that "Well, we're digging these people up
because we want to be able to tell you about yourselves, tell
you how you lived. We're going to be able to discover all these
things about disease" and whatever. And certainly, I think it can
be said that there has been some studies that have resulted in
acknowledgement that there were certain diseases within the
Indian population, within the Native population. Very often
again around the country you tell somebody that and they say
"We know that; we knew that. Why did you do that? Why did
you find it necessary to dig us up, to study us?" I don't have a
good answer for them; that's for you guys.
We've got a short period of time. I'd really prefer to get back
to the real legal part of NAGPRA, as well as the state law. And
it's not just [human] remains; it includes associated funerary
objects and items of cultural patrimony. I think it's very
important for all of you to understand what items of cultural
patrimony are. I don't think it's really as clear as a lot of people
think it is. One of the examples that Tim mentioned during
lunch is just really incredible it placed [them] in the sense of
a burial item, or associated funerary object. But it's real easy
to sit other places and complain about the law. Real easy to get
on Jim's case; fun sometimes. But also what I tell people
around the country is that here in Florida, we've been very,
very lucky in terms of the support that we've gotten from the
community in general, and particularly through the state offices;
that there's been a great deal of support and understanding. And
certainly this doesn't go to everybody; we don't expect it to go
through everybody. There's always going to be differences
about things. But I think that there are ways that we can work
out our differences and do some positive things. Just don't dig
those people up. Thank you very much. I'll let David speak for
I want to thank you for inviting me here. I have very few
words to say in this matter. Most of it, I think we need to
understand, is that we need to leave all of the remains alone. It
is so much easier to say that, but knowing that some of the
statements that were said from the beginning as we were
introducing the start of the meeting here...There are so many
people moving in, so how are we going to overcome all of these
remains that are, it seems, in our back yards? Even on the
reservation that I come from, we are living in some parts of the
area [where there] are known to be remains there. So I can
understand, as a lot of people move into the State of Florida,
how difficult it is to try to say that you should leave it alone,
you should not touch it, or you should not dig it up and take it
I've talked with various elders and Indians and they have told
me to tell you, and many other people who I come in contact
with, that we don't know our ancestors that well...due to the
lack of records. Anything that has been documented we don't
have. Everything that we hear and learn from day to day is by
word of mouth from our elders. In this, it makes it hard for any
other society to come and say "where is your documents."
I know that in this other world that we live in, that we come
in contact with every day, this is something new for us: new
that we have never written it down; new that...anything that we
did write down [was] going to be used to challenge against our
society. So our elders did not write anything down. We are
sorry that we have no documents, no ownership of the various
properties. So it seems like it's a free-for-all for developers to
go out and develop, due to the amount of people that has come
into the Florida area every day.
In this, every time that a remain is disturbed, we don't know
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW
what we're bringing up into the world. The various diseases,
maybe the individual had certain diseases that caused him to
pass on. And then also maybe some of our medicine people who
had passed on had certain kinds of diseases that caused them to
pass on. And then when you unearth that you are bringing that
up into the atmosphere. Not only does it follow the individual
home, but it haunts him. This is what we're talking about. This
is what we want our people or any other people to understand
that we are in dangerous ground. I don't know what we could
do as native people and descendants of the indigenous people to
say that you must leave it alone.
There are some limits that we can leave it alone. We have
tried to work with the state, and we are. Sometimes thirty days
is not enough. In the anthropology field, I have gone to some
meetings in [the] Smithsonian in New York, and visited some
of the people who are working there, and they tell me that all
of the things that they do every day, they are being haunted
after they leave work. Some of them are having a hard time
trying to sleep. So what does that mean for us? What are we
going to do? What are we going to make concrete that is going
to help us to leave the remains where they are?
I think the bottom line of this is that we need to try to do
everything that we can, in our power and through the various
rules and regulations, regardless if it's State or Federal. And it
may not be on Trust land or even on Federal land. First of all,
we need to try and stop what is going on, and then contact the
people that need to exercise their rights, and also the indigenous
people who need to exercise their rights. You need to contact a
medicine man. He is the one who is mostly in authority to
continue or help...replace or rebury the remains that have been
unearthed. Once we go through those kind of steps, that's not
going to solve the problems, but to a certain extent it will help
us, and also those remains to feel at ease where they are. Thank
Harry Piper Reading a Letter
from the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida
As I mentioned earlier, the Miccosukee Tribe was invited to
send a representative to be a panelist here if they wished. I have
a letter I'd like to read. It's addressed to FAS President Jackie
Piper from a representative of the Miccosukee Tribe.
The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida received your request
concerning Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
("NAGPRA"). Fred Dayhoff and I, Steve Terry, are the Tribal
Representatives and Tribal Spokesman, respectively, for NAGPRA
and all matters relating thereto.
Concerning repatriation, the Miccosukee Tribe beliefs are as
It is against their religion and culture to even speak or talk about
death. That is why we, white Anglo Americans, are their represen-
tatives and spokesperson. Any funerary objects or remains should
be placed back where they were found in the same location and
orientation. They are not interested in receiving any artifact that
was found as a funerary object.
Thank you for contacting the Tribe. Please feel free to contact me
at the below number if you have further questions.
Land Resources Manager
Gary D. Ellis, Director
Gulf Archaeological Research Institute
My name is Gary Ellis and I'm the Director of the Gulf
Archaeological Research Institute in Lecanto. We're a small,
not-for-profit agency, but for me, a lot of this is kind of deja
vu. I've been here before, done that, and all of this seems so
familiar to me, as I was the State Archaeologist in Indiana for
a number of years where we had to deal with the issue of
conflicting cultural values in the face of development and
regulation laws, and to address traditional native values. And
it's a hard thing. It's the hardest thing, I think, that people have
to do. David was right this is dangerous ground. It's
dangerous ground because in the non-Indian culture, for the
most part, our system of organization revolves about laws,
statutes, and regulations which help us control our lives, and we
need sideboards and specific manageable ways. At the same
time, the nature of the construction of our very nation cries out
that it has a multi-cultural nature to it. But at the same time,
over the years, you still see patterns of disenfranchisement with
regard to minorities. So as an archaeologist, as an anthropolo-
gist, who's had to face this issue over the years, it's troubling,
deeply troubling, to me in that solutions are available, and those
solutions generally require a concerted effort between natives
and non-natives to work out the details. The details generally
have to do with us, and less to do with Native Americans, in
my view. This burial issue is our issue, for the most part. I
don't see it as a Native American issue.
In terms of traditional values, to have those values that are
made manifest on a daily basis, you can ask, you can receive
correspondence, there are tribal elders that can fill you in on the
details, but that requires communication. And I think one of the
difficulties in all of this...with respect to how we regulate
ourselves in the main in archaeology and anthropology, is the
need to communicate with Native Americans. We're lucky in
Florida that communication takes place, in view of the fact that
we have a State Archaeologist who is active in this thing; we
have Joe Quetone, who serves as a Native representative; and
then the accompanying panel that deals essentially with emer-
gencies which need to be dealt with. And sometimes you're not
going to be satisfied with the result, because it may have to do
with the reflection of the current need to deal with traditional
values. But that follows an area of tough tootsies. And it's
tough tootsies because not enough people get involved in an
issue to provide the kind of guidance I'd see as necessary to any
of the parties up here to adjudicate this or provide helpful
Now this is a first good step here, a conference like this, so
I really applaud that. Our institute doesn't engage in the
collection of human remains, just because our research interests
THE aOR1DA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
don't go in that direction. But importantly, we don't engage in
it because we're simply troubled by it at the present time. I
think we're troubled as professionals because we don't know
enough, I think, about the full extent of the traditional values
for us to take a strong position as to whether or not we're doing
the right thing in doing burial removal. So we're undergoing a
process of education in traditional values here. Again, that isn't
easy. We have to go through the same process you do. Who do
you talk to? Who do you call? What do you say? How do you
study? What do you study? And I think for a while we're going
to have some conflicts between, I think, traditional values and
the values that we, in our non-Indian society, consider core or
traditional. So we're dealing with two different ways of
My role here today is to tell you that, as a practicing archaeol-
ogist, I'm not necessarily interested, or involved in the recovery
of human remains. I will tell you as a professional archaeologist
though, there are problems and issues in the study of antiquity
that don't necessarily focus, perhaps, on specific groups, but
bear on the broader evolution in changes in populations towards
the modem day, and sometimes those require the recovery of
human remains. Those are special cases, though. Those are
cases in which sufficient research is done beforehand to gauge
the need for that, to look at the range of material already
collected; has it been analyzed? The construction of research
designs, the development of time frames, the development of
budgets that can handle this in a timely fashion; [it's] expensive
and time consuming, but it has to be done. If it isn't done, then
the research focused on the recovery of human remains almost
appears frivolous to the public, and certainly does to traditional
On another note, in dealing with the accidental discovery of
human remains, we are indeed in dangerous times. Develop-
ment is happening, our state is filling up. With highways,
development, housing projects, remains are accidentally
uncovered. We have a mechanism in this state, thankfully, to
address that. We do. It's an effective law. I can tell you that it
could use some fine tuning, but then you'll have to reflect [on]
who is it that does that fine tuning, and what is your role in that
as citizens, and what is your responsibility to educate yourself
[on] other perspectives on this issue.
So, again, let me go back and say that as a practicing profes-
sional archaeologist I just have to say that we're probably not
as well educated as we think we are as professionals. And I
know darn tootin' that as avocationalists and lay public, you're
not educated as [far as] the reality of the traditional views, and
why do traditional people hold these views, and is it incumbent
on us, or do we have any inherent rights to engage in the
removal of buried human remains without a fuller, more
complete understanding of [these views].
Question and Answer Session
ANNETTE SNAPP (Lee County Planning Division): I just want to
thank Art Lee and Jack Thompson of the Southwest Florida
Archaeological Society for creating this panel, and I want to
thank all the panelists for coming today and sharing with us
their views on this topic. I'm really excited about having an
opportunity to have this discourse and begin a relationship. I
hope that we can talk about other topics as well with you and
learn more about what your thoughts are on these things.
ROBIN DENSON (Gulf Archaeological Research Institute): I have
a question for Mr. Miller and Mr. McKeown. Jim, you
mentioned the conflict between the state and federal regulations.
Could you expand on or clarify that?
MILLER: I'll start first. Although Tim and I talked about this,
I know the Florida law better than Tim knows it. Florida's
system seeks a decision about final disposition. The federal
system seeks an appropriate repatriation. The final disposition
under Florida law can mean anything, but in actual fact the
ranges are fairly narrow. In every case involving Native
American remains that has been presented to the committee, the
ultimate decision for final disposition has been reburial. The
federal law sets aside for a time being, in a practical sense,
unaffiliated remains, those remains that are not demonstrably
related to federally recognized tribes living today. Almost all of
the remains that we deal with in Florida are unaffiliated
remains. In that sense we are going a little bit beyond the
developing procedures by regulation of the federal system, but
we do so in close cooperation with the federally recognized
tribes. My view is that we would end up in the same place
anyway, and I think that we are not entirely inconsistent with
federal law to arrange for reburial of those remains when that's
the tribe's recommendation.
McKEOWN: In general, NAGPRA is very clear that repatriation
has occurred when the control of those remains has been
transferred from whatever federal agency or museum that
receives federal funds...to a tribe. And at that point, NAGPRA
stops. Disposition is not dealt with in the law because at that
point the remains have become the property of the tribe, and the
tribes can do with their property as they see fit. So, I think
there are some issues that we can talk about in terms of making
the federal law and the state law work better together, but I
don't think there's really an inconsistency. I think there are
some procedural issues that would be good to work through,
such as publishing the Federal Register before things go out,
and stuff like that, but I think there are things that could be
KATE HOFFMAN (Janus Research): I have two questions. I took
Tim McKeown's NAGPRA workshop in Louisiana and it was
very informative. I was just wondering if you could expand a
little bit on the concept of control, because I remember during
that workshop you stressed that NAGPRA was an expression of
control, and who had control, and it's been an argument that's
stayed in my mind quite a bit. The other question is for Mr.
Quetone and Mr. Jumper. I'm just curious how the American
Indian Movement fits into any of this. I had a member [of AIM]
speak to one of the college classes that I was teaching, and he
said it was the first time they ever talked to an Anthropology
class, which was interesting, but he gave us a very interesting
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW 155
perspective, and I would like your perspective on how you see
AIM's involvement in all of this.
QUETONE: Certainly, as individuals they have every right to
make their concerns and opinions known, and to support those
opinions and concerns in any way that they choose. Under
NAGPRA, they have no standing as an organization. Under the
state law, as an organization, I don't see them having any
standing. [But} as an individual to express an opinion, certainly
[they have that right]. But in terms of any official standing, the
American Indian Movement is a very, very loose organization.
I'm not sure who knows who's a member and who's not, or
who makes that determination or whatever. But certainly they
have been responsible for some very positive things in the
United States as that loose group, perhaps because of that. And
they're pretty good for rounding people up, putting them on the
streets with signs where somebody's digging.
JUMPER: Who wants to know who's AIM? I am a member of
AIM, and I have been for a number of years. When I lived in
Denver, I carried one of them posters around myself, like Joe
was talking about. And we woke up a lot of people to let them
be aware of what's going on, what was happening to us, as an
individual, and also as a tribe, and also as our ancestors tried to
live in peace. And so the various movements that went on at
that time, like Joe said, it woke a lot of people up, and that was
the purpose of that. Of course, as time went on, they did
various things and they're still together today, not as a big
organization, but very loosely, and there are members all over
the United States. So that's how they are.
MILLER: I just wanted to relate an anecdote. Joe and I talk on
the telephone all the time, and sometimes issues get way beyond
business, and I was complaining about lack of cooperation with
some group, and he said, "well why don't you just throw blood
MCKEOWN: If anybody reads Scientific American, there was an
essay sometime ago where I was quoted out of context, and
basically characterized as the anti-Christ of science, so I
welcome the AIM people at most things, because they certainly
have a point of view, they're generally not bashful, and they
make me look really moderate.
On the issue of control, there's a couple of ways control cuts
through this. One is in terms of who has control of a collec-
tion; that is, who's responsible for complying with NAGPRA.
And that's basically between museums that receive federal funds
and federal agencies. I actually have an answer to that question.
If [the collection] is off of federal land, it's federal responsibili-
ty, period, the end, that's it. So if you have collections in your
museums that are off federal lands, a federal land manager is
responsible for complying with NAGPRA. The other issue in
terms of control is the transfer of control under the statute from
a museum or federal agency to a tribe. And basically what
NAGPRA provides you with is an algebra, if you will. If x and
y and whatever, then you repatriate upon request. And what it
says is that if the tribe has standing to make a claim, that is, if
the tribe is federally recognized, or if it is a Native Hawaiian
organization; and if the object fits one of the categories in the
law if it is human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects,
or objects of cultural patrimony; and third, if there is a cultural
affiliation between the tribe that makes the claim and the object,
then you repatriate. And what I'm constantly trying to remind
people, they say "well, they're not interested in claiming these."
It doesn't matter. The anthropologists need to do anthropology.
They need to look at the data, follow the data. And just make
a decision. That's your job. If the tribe chooses to claim them,
that's their job. That's for them to decide. In the Southwest, a
number of the Pueblos have gone on record saying they have no
interest in reburying or returning those human remains from the
museum shelves. That's their decision, and they're entitled to
do that, because they have control of that situation. Also, if the
remains or objects are off of tribal land, that also falls under
tribal responsibility or a federal responsibility, depending on
how they work out those arrangements.
DANA STE. CLAIRE (Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona
Beach): First of all, I think we all need to remind ourselves that
we are anthropologists. While the beliefs held by...Native
Americans may seem arcane to us, we really should make an
effort to understand them, and incorporate them into our
research methods and not subject them to too much scientific
scrutiny. As a museum professional and as a professional
archaeologist, I will say that the process mandated by NAGPRA
and Chapter 872 works well. And they work well because there
are key people in place to make sure that happens, from Native
American representatives to state and federal officials. I think
the process works well, and I'm glad it's in place. However,
there are other elements that are complicating matters. And one
of the elements that I am able to identify...is that there is a
loosely organized group of quasi-Native Americans, and I'm not
talking about the American Indian Movement...I'm talking
about groups that claim Native American ancestry who have
charged themselves with responsibility, stewardship responsibili-
ties, for Native American lands and sites, and also they've taken
it upon themselves to interpret the cultures of various Native
American groups. And they often do this in overzealous ways.
My question to Mr. Quetone and Mr. Jumper is: What are your
feelings on what these people are doing? I realize that to some
degree, the fact that they're drawing recognition to a very
perplexing issue is good...[but] I also think they're...creating a
problem by taking it upon themselves to not only inter-
pret...what the Native American groups wish to see happen, but
also to interpret what the actual cultural background of these
Native American organizations are.
QUETONE: That's an incredible problem for Indian tribal groups
throughout the country. Generally, tribes have enough problems
to deal with on a day-to-day basis without getting involved in
discussions about or with descendant groups. I think everybody
should be very, very proud of whatever they are, whatever their
heritage may be. There is a legal difference between Indian
tribes, and people who are Indian descendants. It's a very, very
clear legal difference. As a member of the Kiowa Tribe of
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Oklahoma, I'm a citizen of that tribe. I have no special rights
here in the State of Florida. I am a member of a federally
recognized tribe. That does not give me any rights here in the
State of Florida, other than those rights any other citizen of the
state enjoys. However, I do have certain rights as a citizen of
the Kiowa Tribe when I'm back home in Oklahoma, in tribally
controlled land. It's really a matter of citizenship. And it is
embarrassing for people to go around in these fakey feathers
and all this other stuff, claiming to be Indian and making all
these pronouncements about our heritage. And it's a rip off. But
then so is the New Age religious movement, you know. For
two thousand bucks, if you go to Denver you can sweat with
John Denver. I know some people for a six pack of beer you
can sweat with them. But our pipe ceremonies aren't part of
every tribe's culture; the sweat lodge isn't a part of every
tribe's culture; not everybody lived in a tepee...and we've got
all of these different cultures and languages and religious
beliefs. And that's what the whole thing with cultural patrimony
[is about]. The [differences] make it very difficult for you, who
want one answer for everything. There's not one size that fits
all with Native American cultures and people, or their remains.
Every tribe has a different way of dealing with this. There may
be differences within a particular tribe over how they do want
to deal with it and handle it. There are many of us that don't
want to have anything at all to do with remains and associated
funerary objects because it's not good for us, for whatever
reason. There are other people that feel there is a real need to
provide some way to let those people rest. Some tribes do have
stronger feelings, different ways of doing that. There's just not
a one size fits all with Indians, they're all real different.
That help? That explain it a little bit? Anybody can say they're
Indian. There's nothing..in the law that says you can't say
you're Indian. Believe me. We've got people calling all the
time, "somebody says they're this, and that, and they're trying
to do this and that; isn't there some law against it." No, there's
not. You can claim to be whatever you want to. On St.
Patrick's Day everybody's Irish, you know. You can't run 'em
in. But it is a real problem for people who are trying to do
something...and particularly museums, anthropologists, and
archaeologists. I mean you've got your work cut out for you.
Because everybody does have an opinion, and they have a right
to express that opinion. But you're required by law to do certain
things, and so remember that, too. There are certain require-
ments to the law as to who you deal with. And, you know, just
because I might decide that I want to start a tribe here, and I
want Jim to start listening to me, and I'll tell him what to do,
that doesn't mean he has to do it, you know. The law is
established to provide guidelines to protect everybody, and that
is the whole point of it.
MCKEOWN: Just one point of clarification, too. Under the
federal law, the only individual that has the right to make a
claim is a lineal descendant. And a lineal descendant is someone
who can trace his or her ancestry directly, and without interrup-
tion, to a named or known individual whose objects or remains
are being claimed. It is a very high standard. The reason it is
a very high standard is that lineal descendants, a claim by a
lineal descendant, beats a claim by a tribe. They have first and
foremost right to claim. So those are the only individuals that
can make a claim. After that, it's only tribes you deal with,
under the federal law.
MILLER: It wasn't an accident that Chapter 872 set in place a
process that solicits the consultation from two representatives of
current state tribes. That puts me in a doubly protective
position. Number one, I have to ask Joe who those people are.
That's an Indian decision about who represents the tribes.
Number two, I can't listen to anybody else, so when someone
else comes forward and says, "I'm the real Indian," it may be
so, but I still have to follow the law and hear from these two
representatives of the current state tribes. Now, two things can
happen. The tribes can select anyone they choose who has any
position, it's irrelevant to me. And second, the tribal represen-
tatives can advise me in any way they choose, and can point me
in any direction to coordinate with any other person they
choose. That's up to them.
ELLIS: With respect to the situations that occur, maybe Dana
you're reflecting on when work is in progress you'll be visited
by persons representing themselves as wanna-be's, it becomes
difficult at times to determine who's who [or] what's what.
With respect to genealogy, as you mentioned, its hard to ask
somebody on a site to whip out a family tree...The thing to
remember in Florida though, with a process in place such as we
have...I have a policy that is fairly rigid with respect to protocol
and the integration of our field work and consultation with the
State Archaeologist. I mean that's something we've developed
as a format that tells us, in case of an emergency...there is a
course of action you can take. And we've developed one that
temporarily bothers Jim while we place anxious phone calls, but
it is a protocol that is effective [and] that starts into action a
chain of events that helps you guide yourself through that local
event. But it's always going to have an audience. On almost all
of my projects I have an audience, and I rank myself as fairly
conservative in these matters, and I still have an audience. And
it's been appropriate to our working policy to allow that
audience to stay there, participate, and to interact with them.
But all of this business of who's who, and who has legal
rights, and who should have the rights the rights are defined
by law. But every individual in this country has the right to
protest, and we just have to educate ourselves as to whether
those individuals are appropriately armed in a traditional way,
and they appropriately represent the rights and interests of
Native Americans. And that's a hard thing, but it requires self
QUETONE: Just kind of adding to that, getting on a major
bandwagon here. The main thing to remember is that in the
United States Constitution, the federal government reserves the
right to treat and control the commerce between the states and
the various Indian tribes. Indian tribal governments have a
government-to-government relationship with the United States
government. They're not a club; they're not a society; it's a
government, a legitimate government much as Puerto Rico, the
1996 VOL. 49(3)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW
Marshall Islands, or any other Trust Territory. I've heard the
various Indian Nations described as the fifty-first state, kind of
simplifying the description of what tribal governments are. I
recall about five or ten years ago, I spent about three hours with
a gentleman from the U.S. Forest Service. And his whole
concern was, "well now, how do we know who we go to [to]
get advice on this. You know every time I go to somebody, I'm
told I've gone to the wrong person." About five or six of us sat
around and said, "look, go to the tribal governments." It's up
to the tribal government to put you in touch with religious
leaders, with the right person. If you're an employee of the
federal government, you have no business dealing outside that
government-to-government relationship. You're to deal with the
tribal government. It's up to the tribe to tell you who they want
to represent them. They may not give you the person that
actually should be doing it. But that is not up to you. It's up to
the tribe; it's their business. They determine who's a member.
They have the right to self government. It's up to the tribe. It's
not up to you. Just remember that when you decide that it's
time to let everybody talk. Let 'em hold signs, you know. But
you still are responsible for dealing with a government. It might
make you feel better that you've talked to all these other people,
and that's fine. It's good to get other opinions. But when it
comes down to it, in terms of the law, you're dealing with a
government. Just remember that, please.
ELLIS: Could I speak to that? We're on a roll here. Govern-
ments have a responsibility...I find this frustrating as a working
professional, because it's my job, indeed my responsibility, to
be [as]...effective in the quality of my work as possible. And so
I see it as incumbent on me [to have] certain responsibilities in
[terms of] reporting and performance, and so forth. But I also
expect a responsibility out of the Native Americans with respect
to commenting on and taking action in situations that are clearly
under the state statute or fall under the federal statute with
respect to clarifying issues. Who does have responsibility for
artifacts, or the treatment of a site, and so forth. And we need
that in a swift way, oftentimes.
QUETONE: We don't work at your pace, and we have different
cultural ways of approaching it. And that is a real big problem.
QUETONE: But, you know, we're frustrated with your wanting
to do things right now, and yesterday. So you're going to have
to be frustrated with us taking time to think about things.
ELLIS: It's my desire to call a big time out, and say...alright
take a breather...What is it that we need to do to effect a
reasonable contact, and what is your schedule for a comeback,
so that those things can be considered and put in the planning
process. Because I don't think there's a real problem with the
differences in time. I think the conflict is we're not real clear
on what that time frame is. Do you follow me on that?
MCKEOWN: I'll talk a little bit on that. Under the federal law,
under the American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act,
there are certain temporal requirements within the area of
jurisdiction; that is, federal agencies and museums are required
to do things at a certain schedule. They're required to do
summaries, they're required to do inventories, they're required
to stop activities for a certain period of time. Those are
requirements and to not do those is a failure to comply with the
Act. There are no requirements on tribes in this Act, not a one.
No requirements. They can just blow it all off, if that's their
choice. This provides them with an opportunity. That's the
nature of civil rights legislation. That's what this is all about.
There is also no statute of limitations on tribal response. Tribes,
you know, Southwest tribes in particular, it's going to take
decades for them to resolve the issue of what to do with the
human remains. I predict it. But that's their decision. They have
to deal with it within their culture. So, basically, my advice to
federal agencies and museums is to do what you have to do, and
leave the tribes to let them do what they want to do. Once your
part is done, that's it.
RHONDA KIMBROUGH (U.S. Forest Service): I guess the
comment that I want to make is on the how-to, procedural
things. A lot of us have gained working knowledge of what the
law says, who has what responsibility, but there's a lot of how
to's and education that's not written in the law that you've got
to do in the real world to make this happen. I deal with a lot of
federal land managers who have absolutely no understanding
whatsoever of NAGPRA, and the laws that they're familiar with
are NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act, which has
a lot of public scope [and] anybody's opinion on any project is
just as valuable as anyone else's. It's more valuable if you know
a congressman, but then that's another story. Like Joe said, it's
government to government. And say you've got a bunch of land
managers who are used to dealing with any individual who
walks in, and the louder they speak, then the more they
respond, because they're scared of what we call "congressio-
nal," they're scared of that letter coming in from the congress-
man, which, you know, everything drops; my NAGPRA
responsibilities, everything, goes by the wayside when we get
a congressional. But with NAGPRA, it is the government-to-
government relationship, and that's what all of us archaeologists
that are in federal agencies, or that deal with federal agencies,
need to work with our folks who may not be familiar with the
law and educate them to the fact that our primary responsibility
is to tribal governments. That's who we go to for advice. And
it's a very specific policy in our agency, that even though I'm
a federal employee, I do not have the authority to represent my
agency to a tribe. That power is only delegated to our Forest
Supervisor. That's how highly we consider the government-to-
government relationship. Now, if I'm delegated the responsibili-
ty of contacting someone for information, or trying to get
feedback, or something like that, it's different. So, we get to
the how-to's. How do you deal with people coming in off the
street that say "I'm so and so, and I demand this, and I demand
that?" And there's the [situation] that Gary's talking about,
where we haven't heard from the tribes, and they're not under
any time obligation to contact us with any consultation or
THE FLORIDA ANrImoPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
But talking about time, the law came out in '90, the imple-
mentation guidelines came out in December of '95, and by the
time the furlough was over, we were square into '96 by the
time we even had the to-do pamphlet that told us in the federal
agencies that this is what you're supposed to do, and how
you're supposed to do it. And even though the implementation
guidelines are pretty good, there are still some things held in
reserve that we've got big questions about how we are supposed
to do this particular aspect. And then there's the day-to-day
things so that we can tell our district people that are out there
on the ground, you know, when they're bulldozing a road
through or whatever, and they have those inadvertent discover-
ies. What are you supposed to do? Who are you supposed to
call? I'll sit there and wonder what to do for a week. All that
is internal education stuff that is our responsibility to make sure
that our people know what they're doing.
So my comment is that the law is good. It has brought us to
something that we really needed back in the '30s when there
was the wholesale mining of Native American burials, and
actually, even though it was wholesale mining, what to me was
a bigger tragedy is that a lot of it was literally mined and placed
in roads in road fill, and we never knew what was in it. It was
just development run rampant, without anybody raising a red
flag and saying, "hey, what's going on?" So even though
archaeology's been beaten up, we're decades from all the
horrible atrocities that've been done culturally. [Archaeologists]
have done some good things. They have brought some light
onto rampant development, and we are still out there in front of
the bulldozers. So, I'm rambling now, but basically what I'm
saying is that the how-to's are very difficult for us lowly
bureaucrats in federal agencies, and anybody who applies for an
ARPA permit, I beg your sympathy and patience because a lot
of times we notify the tribes when we get a project work plan,
and it may take some time to get some feedback on that. In the
past, before NAGPRA, we have known people to come in
wanting an ARPA permit to do research, or they're doing some
contract work for some development that's going to occur, like
the DOT or something like that. And they come in and they
want the permit tomorrow. Well, that was impossible before
NAGPRA. Now we have a minimum of thirty days prior notice.
And that means not just "hey, I want to go do work," but we
have to have a program of work that specifically states what
they're going to do, why they're going to do it, where they are
going to do it, so we can communicate with the tribe in a mean-
MCKEOWN: Can I just enter a real quick response on the how-
to question? In terms of the regulations, yes it said that the
regulations needed to be out in a year...It's not possible, it's
just not possible to get regs out in that amount of time. The
statute, as it stands, except for civil penalties, and disposition of
unclaimed human remains from federal lands, all the rest of the
statute itself is self-implementing. So if regulations never came
out, the law is the law. The law is adequate to deal with those
situations. In terms of kind of logicing through practical issues
I will volunteer our assistance. We provide technical assistance
to anyone that asks. So please feel free to call. That's what
we're there for.
CHARLES STRADER (Southwest Florida Archaeological Society):
I'm from Southwest Florida where certainly land development
is having a large impact on the local government, etc. So
personally, being very, very pro preservation in regards to
cultural resources, I and several others who aren't here worked
very hard over the last few years to create or help create local
county ordinances to help protect archaeological resources. I'll
try to be very brief here since this concerns a specific site that
is called Ryder Pond which is...a peat bog site. A typical story:
50% was destroyed for land development before they realized
what was going on. It contained paleontological materials, also
human remains. In regards to what happened to the materials
that came out of Ryder Pond, I guess this is somewhat directed
at Mr. Miller more so than the others, but anyone is welcome
to comment. [Can you provide] any clarification...[on the policy
regarding] artifacts not associated with a burial...This does not
really concern the human burials, or the associated artifacts. I
have the same beliefs as everybody here today in that regard.
It's more a question as to the paleontological resources that
were pulled out of there, ethnobotanical items, seeds, a lot of
things that we could have learned about the Southwest Florida
environment. [These] materials were reinterred...in a very short
time. In particular, since it did not occur on federal or tribal
lands, [it] therefore fell under jurisdiction of county and state at
best. Florida Statute 872 seemed to apply and therefore call into
effect the four people who you spoke of briefly today who you
are required to consult. Most of you probably know it, but one
[of these four persons should] be a human skeletal analyst,
which seems to be pretty clear and evident, at least in the Ryder
Pond case. The other two would be the two Native American
members of current state tribes recommended by the Governor's
Council on Indian Affairs. In those regards...it seems to me,
[as] I read it, [that the] two representatives give their opinion on
the subject to the State Archaeologist. And then fourth is an
individual who has special knowledge or experience regarding
the particular type of unmarked human burial. Well, that sounds
to me more or less an archaeologist, [but] it could be anyone
with particular knowledge. In the Ryder Pond case, if indeed
that was the land developer himself, how does that fit into
qualifying him as someone of special knowledge and experi-
ence. He's part of the driving force behind the destruction of
the site itself, or at least people moving into Florida are the
MILLER: Nice to meet you face-to-face, Charlie. He and I have
corresponded several times on this issue, and in fact, it was his
letters which led me to come to South Florida to speak to
members of the organization here to talk about Ryder Pond,
which I referred to earlier as Bonita Bay. First of all, it seems
to me that we are engaged in relationships among people
whenever we implement laws. There are many events which
occur in the future or after the time that a law was written that
were not anticipated by those people who drafted the law. The
law was written by a group of people who were interested
THE FLORDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
BURIALS, NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, AND THE LAW
parties [and] who made their best efforts, dedicated efforts, to
devise a compromise that all could agree on and put in place a
system that was expected to work successfully in the broad
majority of cases. Any law represents an agreement, as this one
did, and still does. Sometimes those agreements work very well;
sometimes circumstances get in the way, if you will, and those
agreements don't work very well. The point, it seems to me,
always at Ryder Pond was to preserve the integrity of the
system that we had built, to maintain the integrity of the
agreement that we had made. And, to be blunt about Ryder
Pond, what happened is that someone, Bobby Billy, made
himself part of the process. He was not previously part of the
system we had built. He was disenfranchised, in fact, from that
system, because as I mentioned, our relationship is government
to tribe, through the recommendation of the Governor's
Council. Anyone who has, in their view, a role to play who is
not part of the tribe can only get to our office by way of the
representatives of the tribe. When I asked the tribal representa-
tives what their advice was at Ryder Pond, they said to me,
"you should do what Bobby Billy tells you to do, he is our
religious representative in this case." I did that, and Bobby Billy
and I had many discussions which I think were enlightening and
frustrating at the same time. We come from extremely different
points of view, from different cultural traditions. My scientific
explanations to him as to the validity of stratigraphy and the
difference in chronology, and the lack of association between
geologically aged vertebrate material and archaeologically aged
human material really had no effect on him. His explanations to
me of the spiritual association of all the things that were
removed along with the remains did not convince me that my
archaeological point of view was wrong. Nonetheless, I
followed the advice of the two members of the current state
tribes, who said to do what Bobby Billy recommends that you
do. The statute was written to allow a great amount of flexibili-
ty. Every burial discovery is a crisis, potentially. Bonita Bay
was a crisis in fact. It is not the position of the State to make a
judgment as to the rightness of development, as to the rate of
growth, as to the impact of that development on archaeological
resources, except within the confines of the law and the rules.
When human remains are encountered, my first call is to the
developer to find out what's happening, to the archaeologist to
find out the facts from the ground, to Joe Quetone to notify him
of the occurrence of the discovery and to begin to discuss how
we handle this difficult matter. Everything else drops away from
my work when human remains are encountered. Sometimes
these things get handled in a day or two; sometimes they go on
for six months. But they don't stop until they're resolved.
Sometimes they get resolved easily, sometimes they don't.
Bonita Bay was not easily resolved.
The selection of the fourth member as specified under the law
as the person with relevant experience was my selection; the
law gives me that authority. I chose the property owner because
I believe the property owner is a necessary stakeholder. We
don't resolve burial situations by demanding that property
owners do certain things. We resolve them by cooperating with
property owners, recognizing their interests, recognizing the
commitment they have to contractual obligations, to financial
obligations, to customers, to clients, to the public. They are an
entity in this just like the Governor's Council and the tribes and
the archaeologists and the volunteers are entities. Everybody
gets an equal shot here. Not everybody gets satisfied at the
I think that we could probably debate the extremely fine points
of interpretation of the application of Chapter 872 at Ryder
Pond for a long, long time and probably wouldn't change each
other's ideas about things very much. Things, it seems to me,
happened at Ryder Pond which threatened the system and the
agreement and the understanding which we had built. I believe
that the forum which we're having today demonstrates, and
even improves upon, that understanding. That understanding
continues to exist. When the Native American advisors tell me
to listen to Bobby Billy, I will do that because that's my role
under the law. When they tell me to listen to someone else, I
will do that too. That is their decision to make, as to who
advises me on spiritual matters. The role of the two state tribal
members is not necessarily to make decisions on their own, but
rather to, in analogy to the federal system, get me in touch with
the person who makes spiritual decisions for the tribe. In that
case, they recommended Bobby Billy, and I carried out his
BILL BURGER (Archaeological Consultant): I've dealt with
Bobby Billy in matters here in Sarasota County and my question
is, in the future, if these two representatives of the respective
tribes tell you to listen to him will that be what you will do...is
that legally what you have to do.
MILLER: It's how I choose to interpret the law.
BURGER: Bobby Billy has told me that he is neither a member
of the Seminole nor the Miccosukee Tribe.
MILLER: Certainly I have the discretion, I suppose, under the
law to say "Thank you for your advice, I'll do what I damn
well please," but that's not how I run the State's business.
JUMPER: I think we're looking at these remains as indigenous
people remains, not really as Miccosukee or Seminole. So this
is one of the reasons why we consider Bobby Billy as a
medicine person. And knowing about the various medicines, we
chose him to do these various things. It may be time that we
choose someone else, but whoever we choose, at that time we
discuss matters one-on-one, not as a group decision...I also
move about in my own community, in my own tribe trying to
negotiate with our Chairman and various other people with
authority, and then I come back and contact him [Miller]. And
that's how I think a person should work and I think it has
worked thus far pretty good. I don't have a problem with that.
I don't know if you have a problem with Bobby Billy because
he's not an organized tribal member. Like I said, the human
remains are beyond the tribal organizations.
REED TOOMEY (Southwest Florida Archaeological Society):
With regard to the Ryder Pond site, there was a mastodon that
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Charlie alluded to. There were jaws, there were tusks, there
were bones, there were vertebrae...There seemed to be no
relationship whatsoever between the burials and the mastodon.
The mastodon extended the range of this animal into Southwest
Florida by who knows how many miles, the farthest south it has
ever been found. One of the things that would have been very
helpful would have been to have the bones, to be able to date
them.. .Unfortunately, it was all reburied...That could have been
a very important scientific discovery. And you talk about the
hierarchy that you [have to adhere to in making] your decisions,
I think you are going outside your scientific field, number one,
and I think you are overreaching. So when you talk about the
rest of us being sensitive about the burials, many of us are
sensitive about that, but its a two-way street and I think some
science should be brought to bear on things like this. Now
maybe some requirements should also be made about govern-
ment in the sunshine and public hearings, particularly in the
locale where things are found so that people can examine the
credentials of how well things are progressing. So I think there
has to be a little bit more balancing act on the part of the people
who are "the hierarchy"...because, you may not realize it, but
you are now in the position of being part of the bureaucracy.
MILLER: I'm fully aware of being a bureaucrat, and part of the
way of being a bureaucrat is to compromise. And being a
bureaucrat involves making personal judgments about things that
are expressed, to the best extent possible, as black and white.
I think if I could select any decision that I made in relation to
Ryder Pond...that I wish I could have made differently, it
would be about the distribution of the mastodon remains and all
of the vertebrate material. When I made that decision, I
consulted with Dr. [David] Webb at the Florida Museum of
Natural History. It would be cheap and wrong to say that it was
his decision, or that I did it the way that he wanted. I did
consult with him. I did satisfy myself as to his opinion of the
scientific significance of the remains, and ultimately I must say
that I did not find a way to make a different decision. All I can
say is that I tried extremely hard. Bonita Bay was probably the
most difficult situation I've been involved in during the past 13
years. I think in the long run, Florida has a lot to be proud of
in the way that it treats human remains, and its relationship with
native people, and its relationship with organizations of ama-
teurs, and the interaction among scientists. That doesn't mean
that everything is going to work out to everybody's satisfaction
all the time, including mine. If I made a wrong decision, I
certainly thought a lot about it beforehand. I thought more about
it afterwards, I can assure you of that. We all learn lessons as
we go though life.
QUETONE: One of things I picked up on was the mention of
government in the sunshine. Let me remind you that in order to
properly notice a meeting you have to give two weeks notice of
the meeting for sunshine purposes. So somebody is going to be
held up for two weeks at whatever they are doing, not being
able to do anything, [in order] to notice the meeting, and that
doesn't mean getting David here and Steve Terry and whomever
at the same place at the same time. It's been much more
efficient, at least from my perspective, for Jim or whomever to
be able to call David, call Steve Terry, and say "look we have
this going on and can you give us some input." Steve does the
same thing David does. It takes them awhile to get around and
talk to the people they need to talk to about what the decision
of the tribe is. It's not a decision that any of us make on our
own. It includes an awful lot of people as to what their response
is to an individual situation. And it is individualized; each situa-
tion is different...Yes, you can push for government in the
sunshine if you want to, but somebody is going to be tied up for
weeks and months. Think it'll work better that way?
From my personal perspective, yes it's an open discussion.
But in order to have an open meeting in the sunshine in your
location, you don't want those people out there...I will guaran-
tee you if you think you have heard a lot from people because
they happen to see remains, or particularly a human skull, on
television, [if] you have an open public hearing on this you will
never lay shovel to ground. Because there are enough people
out there that feel strong enough about it that they will stop it.
Whether you are doing good science or for whatever reason,
there are enough people who disagree with the concept that this
is science that they will put a stop to it. You have to make
compromises. Gary's problem with the time thing, people are
trying to come to decisions and deal with that, but they are also
doing a lot of other things. The tribal Chairmen aren't just
sitting there waiting for Rhonda or me or somebody to send
them a letter saying "hey, we've got this going on and we want
you to tell us about it right now. What do you want us to do."
There's a lot of other stuff going on to deal with. It takes David
a long time to catch up...because they are busy people. You
don't call [Governor] Lawton Chiles and say, "Lawton, I've got
this problem here. I want you to deal with it right now. Tell me
what your opinion is." We don't do things that way. Indian
governments don't do things that way either...and it works
differently from the way your government works. But that's
okay too. We're all different.
JACKIE PIPER (President, Florida Anthropological Society): I
think that as a group we should applaud these panelists for
coming here. I appreciate very much, and I know that Art and
Jack who worked very hard to put this panel together in
consultation with Jim appreciate very much, all of the people
who have taken the time to travel some great distance to come
here, bringing new viewpoints that we very much need and very
much appreciate receiving. We want to build on this experience,
form a closer relationship, and move forward with many other
questions where we can be open to new viewpoints so that we
can accomplish a great deal more about a subject that we all
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
199 VoL. 49(3)
MITCHELL E. HOPE
Florida archaeology lost a friend and spirited colleague when
Mitchell Edward Hope died on January 6, 1996 following a
heart operation. Perhaps best known to students of Florida
prehistory for his work at the Republic Groves archaeological
site, Mitchell also was an accomplished paleontologist who
amassed a large and well-documented collection of Pleistocene
06 & j -i
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 1996 VOL. 49(3)
Born January 12, 1919 in Dunedin, Florida, Mitchell Hope
was a fifth generation Floridian. He attended the University of
Florida, majoring in Agricultural Economics, and received a
bachelor's degree from that institution in 1946. He graduated
with honors and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor
Mitchell participated in the ROTC program at UF, and when
World War II began, he entered the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He served as a Rifle Company Commander in the 78th Infantry
Division, 310th Infantry, 3rd Battalion, Company B and saw
action in France, Belgium, and Germany. He served his country
with distinction, receiving the Bronze and Silver Stars for
gallantry in action as well as the Purple Heart for multiple
wounds received in the line of duty.
Prior to entering the service Mitchell married the former
Edythe Sawyer with whom he had three children: Michele, who
now resides in Kenesaw, Georgia; Keith, who lives in Key
Biscayne, Florida; and Mary, who is deceased.
Following the war, Mitchell was employed in a variety of jobs
in the citrus industry before going to work for the Minute Maid
Company as a fruit buyer in 1960. He spent the next 25 years
at Minute Maid, living in Wauchula and becoming active in the
Masons, the Jaycees, and the First Methodist Church. It was as
leader of the local, church-sponsored Explorer Scout Post 410
that Mitchell first became interested in paleontology. On a
canoe trip along the Peace River with his scouts, he found a
mastodon tusk eroding out of the river bank. This kindled an
interest in fossils that lasted the rest of his life, an interest that
came to include archaeology as well.
Mitchell made several important paleontological discoveries
including a complete mastodon skeleton that was excavated by
the Smithsonian Institution. But he is perhaps best known for
his dedicated work at Republic Groves, an Archaic Period
wetland cemetery near Zolfo Springs in Hardee County. The
cemetery was discovered in 1968 when workers attempting to
expand a section of citrus grove unearthed skeletal material
while digging a drainage ditch through a bayhead swamp.
Knowing of his interest in fossils, the workers' called on
Mitchell to investigate the finds. Although some of the bones
were Pleistocene fossils, others were clearly human. Realizing
immediately the importance of the finds, and concerned that
they might be destroyed by continued ditching, Mitchell
obtained permission from the grove owner to conduct a salvage
excavation. Using his own funds, and commanding a large
contingent of volunteers consisting of Explorer Scouts and other
members of the community, Mitchell spent the next two years
excavating and documenting this important site.
Mitchell kept meticulous notes, drew detailed maps, and kept
a photographic record of the excavation. He also contacted
archaeologists and physical anthropologists from around the
state to obtain their help in recovering and preserving the fragile
wood and bone artifacts and human skeletal material he was
uncovering. His thorough and careful documentation of the
excavation enabled archaeologists from Florida Atlantic
University and the University of South Florida to analyze and
interpret this site (see Purdy 1991:167-178; Saunders 1972;
Wharton et al. 1981).
After his retirement from Minute Maid in 1985, Mitchell
moved to the west coast living first in Englewood and then
Nokomis. In retirement he was able to devote himself complete-
ly to paleontology and archaeology. He became a member of
the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society and participated
in many archaeological excavations including those at Pineland,
Casey Key, and Key Marco where his trademark broad-
brimmed hat with the jaunty feather was a common site. He
served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Anthropological
Society from 1983 to 1985 and was an active member and past
President of the Southwest Florida Fossil Club. Always an
enthusiastic supporter of archaeology and paleontology, he
devoted much of his time to teaching others the skills he had
learned, organizing public exhibits, giving lectures and slide
presentations, and conveying his passion for anthropology,
archaeology, and paleontology.
Mitchell generously donated his extensive collection of Pleisto-
cene vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, as well as his archaeo-
logical collection from Republic Groves, to the Florida Museum
of Natural History in Gainesville. His fossil collection was well
cataloged and included many rare species, providing an ex-
tremely valuable addition to the Museum.
Mitchell Hope is survived by his wife, Barbara Darnell Hope,
whom he married in December, 1995; his children, Michelle
and Keith; two brothers, Duane and Kenneth; a sister, Nola
Griffin; and many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.
Information on Mitchell Hope's life was obtained from Keith Hope, the
newsletter of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society, and referenced
articles. The photograph of Mitchell at Pineland is by Dina Nelson.
Purdy, Barbara A.
1991 The Art and Archaeology of Florida's Wetlands. CRC Press, Boca
Saunders, Lorraine P.
1972 Osteology of the Republic Groves Site. M.A. thesis, Deparment of
Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.
Wharton, Barry R., George R. Ballo, and Mitchell E. Hope
1981 The Republic Groves Site, Hardee County, Florida. The Florida
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
Their final years? Wrong! A photograph of the great, great grandchildren of John Baptiste Vallery who was identified as an
Apalache Indian in Catholic baptismal records in Natchitoches, Louisiana. From left to right: Julian Vallery, born 1902; Hertzog
Vallery, born 1904; Melissa Vallery, born 1905; Virginia Vallery, born 1894; and Francis Vallery, born 1908. Francis Vallery is
the mother of the present Chairman of the Apalache Indians of Louisiana, Mr. Gilmer Bennett, Libuse, Louisiana. Photograph taken
ca. 1914, Bayou Cypre, Louisiana. Submitted by Gilmer Bennett and Donald G. Hunter.
You CAN Afford the
Old Masters --
and the other greats of
They're in back issues of
Th7e Florida An tropolo-
S gist- at the original
Srice from the
Graves Museum of
418 South Federal High-
way, Dania, FL 33004
Phone (305) 925-7770
FAX (305) 925-7064
Crystal River: A Ceremonial Mound Center on the Florida Gulf
Coast. Brent R. Weisman. Florida Archaeology 8. Florida
Bureau of Archaeological Research, Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee, 1995. 114 pp., tables, figures, photo-
graphs, references, $15.00 softboundd).
DAVID S. BROSE
Schiele Museum of Natural History
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-5199
Brent Weisman has produced a nearly indispensable review
and synthesis of fieldwork, method, and theory relating to the
Crystal River site in northwest peninsular Florida. Originally
written for the state in 1987, and revised in 1994, this illustrat-
ed monograph/guidebook begins with a brief review of the
problems of the site's cultural affiliation and external influences.
Relying on weakly defined and presumably mutually exclusive
cultural categories, tightly boxed by chronology and geography,
Weisman concludes that the site was primarily occupied (if not
largely constructed) by Deptford culture-bearers with some
reoccupation or reuse (if not some accretion) by Weeden Island
and possibly Mississippian or Mississippian-influenced peoples.
However, I continue to doubt the plausibility of assigning
cultural origins to such ceremonial sites as Crystal River (or
Pierce, A, Kolomoki, or McKeithen) by counting varieties of
domestic ceramic sherds presumed to distinguish Deptford from
Weeden Island occupants, and this report does little to dissuade
me from that view. Also, it is no longer au courant to invoke
early Mississippian influence to account for every flat-topped
pyramidal mound in the lower Southeast. These approaches,
which Weisman uses on page 17, are at considerable odds with
his own brief recapitulation, on page 71, of Sears's pregnant
observations on the sacred and the secular in the material
culture of Southeastern Woodland societies. It would seem to
have been this parochial approach which permitted Weisman to
note, but to brush off as insignificant, any comparative cultural
influences save those from within Florida.
For me, beyond this theoretical disagreement, the least
successful portion of Weisman's report is his effort to provide
a provenianced listing of the various artifacts recovered and/or
reported from the Crystal River site. Almost none of the
"fancy" material which stimulated so many imaginations is
illustrated and the minimalist descriptions they are given are not
particularly graphic. The bulk of materials here described from
Crystal River and surrounding sites consists of ceramics. Even
these are merely tabulated sherd-counts by unnamed analysts
who used the traditional non-exclusive type names from the
past. Here is where clear illustrations or detailed methodological
descriptions would have been of substantive benefit.
But if Weisman has not proffered any new insights into the
deeper meaning or cultural context of the Crystal River phe-
nomena, he has done great service to the entire archaeological
profession, including many of those who have probed these
relationships. Weisman has clearly described, and put into a
firm spatial, morphological, and chronological perspective, the
mounds, ramps, stelae, and excavations of the Crystal River
site. The monograph carries the reader from the initial observa-
tions of F.L. Dacey through the repeated assaults of C.B.
Moore and the testing of Gordon Willey to a review of pub-
lished and unpublished works by Ripley P. Bullen and finally,
to Weisman's own carefully controlled excavations.
The monograph also presents brief overviews of the theories
that the Crystal River earthworks and artifacts have generated.
These, I believe, often are too brief. For example, Weisman
fails to give enough historical context to allow the reader to
understand why McMichael might have seriously proposed a
Vera Cruz connection for Hopewell via Crystal River. Never-
theless, this is the first comprehensive reevaluation of the site
that focuses on the relationships of the archaeological excava-
tions to depictions of feature and site morphology and to the
various names given to the topographic irregularities which the
ancient inhabitants left. As Weisman ruefully notes about
several essays into Citrus County prehistory (mine included),
not all writers have had full control of these ground-truths when
they launched their interpretative flights.
In its present form, this is a good and important publication.
Despite what else others might have hoped it could be, Brent
Weisman's Crystal River report belongs on the bookshelf of
every southeastern archaeologist. It will fascinate anyone
interested in Florida's prehistory and what has long been
considered its most unusual site. The Florida Division of
Historical Resources deserves considerable credit for making
this monograph available to all of us.
Fifty Years of Southeastern Archaeology: Selected Works of John
W. Griffin. Patricia C. Griffin, editor. University Press of
Florida, Gainesville, 1996. xx + 257 pp., tables, figures,
photographs, references, notes, appendices, index, $39.95
GREGORY A. WASELKOV
Center for Archaeological Studies
University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
We are fortunate that John Griffin was persuaded, before his
passing in 1993, to begin compiling a selection of his writings,
a task that has been completed by his wife of 48 years, Dr.
THE FLORIDA A~rm1oPowGIsT 1996 VoL. 49(3)
Patricia C. Griffin. The resultant retrospective can be appreci-
ated at many levels as a historical survey of the development
of archaeology in Florida and the Southeast, or as an introduc-
tion to Florida archaeology, or even as an evocative portrayal
of life during the prehistoric and early historic periods. Informa-
tive as Griffin's articles remain, I am most impressed by the
elegance of his writing. His strong belief that public interpreta-
tion of our past is a critical element of archaeology led him to
value style of presentation, while never neglecting content.
Perhaps it is not too naive to hope that the literary standards set
by John Griffin will inspire others to emulate his graceful prose,
the tenacious logic of his arguments, and his clarity of expres-
John Griffin in 1946 became the first professional archaeolo-
gist employed by the State of Florida. But his attachment to the
state began much earlier when his family moved to Daytona
Beach in 1925. A delightful photograph shows the six-year-old
Griffin nervously teetering on the brink of the Castillo's moat
during a visit to St. Augustine in that year. After a stint during
the war years at the University of Chicago, Griffin returned to
Florida a confirmed anthropologist with strong interests in
ecology and history. In succeeding positions with the St.
Augustine Historical Society and the National Park Service, he
found many opportunities to expand the limits of knowledge
about Florida archaeology (which, at the time, were very
constricted indeed). Just as importantly, he pushed the bounds
of legitimate archaeology into the historic era. So successful
were Griffin and some of his colleagues in this latter goal that
it is now hard to believe what a strong prejudice once existed
against historical archaeology in the United States. Many
prehistorians thought little more could be learned from digging
historic sites that was not already well documented in written
records. Some went so far as to disparage early historic Native
American cultures as contaminated by contact with Europeans
and, consequently, of little interest in comparison to pristine,
pre-contact cultures. Many of the chapters in this volume
indicate the leading role Griffin played in countering such
arguments, not by diatribe, but by applying careful scholarship
to Indian and Euro-American sites, thereby revealing much
important new information not available in documents.
Among the best known of Griffin's writings included in this
volume is the concluding section of Here We Once Stood, on
the Apalache mission and town of San Luis de Talimali. His
chapter still serves as a good introduction to the site, which has
seen so much recent, first-rate excavation and on-site interpreta-
tion. Less well known is his study of Addison Blockhouse,
which necessitated the debunking of a popular myth. Most
historical archaeologists have, at one time or another, found
themselves in the uncomfortable situation of having to dispute
some long-cherished tradition about a site's antiquity or colorful
history. Griffin's systematic demolition of the "Spanish fort"
identification that had become attached to the Addison Block-
house is a model of logical argument grounded in historical and
A previously unpublished article on Griffin's 1959 excavation
of Booker T. Washington's boyhood cabin site in Virginia is an
important addition to the history of plantation archaeology,
predating as it does by nearly a decade the better-known
pioneering excavations by Charles Fairbanks at Kingsley
Plantation. Several other contributions explore the historical
development of archaeology, particularly a draft of a book
chapter on nineteenth-century excavators in Florida shell
middens. Griffin dryly notes that most of those who did
archaeology in Florida, for many decades, were winter visitors
with professional appointments elsewhere.
Those with an interest in the historic Indians of Florida will
find here a previously unpublished conference paper on the His-
panization of the Apalaches, and a reprint of a National Park
Service report on the Indians of south Florida that received very
limited distribution. Griffin's account of his excavation of
Osceola's grave and a popular ethnography of the Timucuans at
the time of the founding of St. Augustine are some of his better-
known works included in this volume.
We should be grateful to John Griffin for the fifty years of
thought, dedication, and creativity that he contributed to south-
eastern archaeology, and which are so well represented by this
selection of his writings. I am sure everyone will enjoy reading
this fine book, whether they are discovering archaeology for the
first time, or just spending a few hours reminiscing with an old
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
1996 VOL. 49(3)
IF L 0 R I D A S L 0 S T TR I B E S1
an original oil painting by THEODORE MORRIS 01996.
This Calusa Tribesman pauses to hear the song of a Goldfinch
as he is about to drink from afinely carved wooden bowl.
ADD TO YOUR
Original Oil Paintings
For more information
on the sale of this
and other original
Directions In A' Marketing
6157 Midnight Pass Rd., F-12
Siesta Key, Florida 34242
Tel/Fax: 941-349-5345 or 941-351-1490
DEALER INQUIRIES INVITED
Fine Art Limited Edition Prints and Greeting Cards available.
"We specialize in corporate art publishing profiling Art & Archeology"
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Support production of
The Florida Anthropologist,
the scholarly journal published quarterly by
The Florida Anthropological Society since 1948.
Donations are now being accepted from
individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Inquiries and gifts may be directed to:
The Florida Anthropologist
P.O. Box 919
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
The Florida Anthropological Society is a non-profit organization
under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Contributions are tax-deductible as provided by
section 170 of the code.
CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Donate a minimum of $100 to The
Florida Anthropologist Endowment and
receive a signed, limited edition print
by renowned artist, Dean Quigley,
from one of
CALUSA depicts the large village site at Pineland, Florida ca.
A.D. 900-1100. Featured on the cover of Florida's First
TATAMAHO depicts an Indian gigging a garfish while his son
playfully loads the catch in a basket. Nearby, a panther waits
for a free meal and a raccoon eagerly awaits leftovers.
THE RETURN depicts two tattooed Indians returning from a
day of fishing. Their canoe is loaded with fish and shellfish.
In the distance, smoke rises from a campsite hidden amidst
the mangroves and shaded by cedar trees.
BOSKITA depicts the Green Corn Ceremony, one of the most
important rituals of many southeastern Indian cultures.
SOLITUDE is based on the drawings of early European
explorers and depicts a solitary hunter returning to his canoe
loaded with fish.
oa An thi
HOLOPAW depicts a middle Archaic campsite in north
Florida. Hunters are returning from a successful bear hunt; a
woman grinds tubers to make bread; a small child is in awe
of a giant alligator; and a man converses with traders from a
distant place. In the foreground, a flintknapper works on
finishing his finely made projectile point.
THE HUNTERS illustrates a Paleoindian hunting party in
combat with a juvenile mastodon.
THE KILL depicts two Archaic period hunters preparing to
spear a large alligator in the depths of a southern cypress
CLOSING IN depicts a group of Paleoindian hunters closing
in on a mastodon and her calf.
Also available: Florida Indian Artifacts, a 16 x 20 inch poster
showing the wide range of artifacts made and used by the
native peoples of Florida.
Mail your donation to: The Florida Anthropologist, P.O. Box 919, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Only a limited number of prints are available. Please
specify first and second choices.
About the Authors:
Karl T. Steinen received his M.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University in 1971 and a Ph.D.
in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 1976. He is currently Professor of Anthropology at State
University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. His main interests are the Woodland Period on the Gulf
Coastal Plain, prehistoric socio-political organization, and Contact Period studies.
Russell Ritson is an undergraduate anthropology major at State University of West Georgia, Carrollton,
Jason Baird Jackson is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology and Folklore at Indiana University. He is
currently conducting ethnographic fieldwork among the Yuchi and is a Research Associate in the
Department of Anthropology, Gilcrease Museum.
Paul H. Gissendaner's lifelong interest in history and anthropology is related to his hobby, which is building
period model ships for museums. His interest in Fort Caroline developed while he was doing research on
Jean Ribault's ship, The Trinity, which led him to the library at Fort Caroline National Monument. Paul
attended the University of Florida, majoring in Building Construction, then went into the construction
business in Gainesville. After working as a construction engineer in various foreign countries for many years,
he moved to Jacksonville in 1971 and attended the University of North Florida majoring in Real Estate and
Finance. For the next twenty years, he was a practicing General Contractor, Real Estate Broker, and
Mortgage Broker in the Jacksonville area. In 1995 he moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where he now resides.
David S. Brose, a respected authority on the prehistoric Woodland and Mississippian cultures of the eastern
United States, has written extensively on the archaeology of northwest Florida. He recently joined the staff
of the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, North Carolina.
Gregory A. Waselkov, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Alabama, is director
of excavations at the original site of French Mobile, and has recently co-edited William Bartram on the
Southeastern Indians, published by the University of Nebraska Press.
About the Cover:
This issue's cover illustration by Dean Quigley portrays a wooden tablet from Key Marco against a backdrop
composed of design elements that reoccur on many of the tablets found in Florida. Quigley sees these
designs as forming a common thread that unifies these unique and mysterious objects. While archaeological
research has revealed many fascinating facts about Florida's prehistoric native cultures, the true meaning of
these designs may never be known. Consequently, Quigley was compelled to title his composition, Calusa
About the Artist:
Dean Quigley is an artist who paints what he knows and loves best the prehistoric people of Florida.
A resident of St. Petersburg, Dean grew up on Florida's west coast. An illustrator by training, he received
a B.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1986. During the past 10 years, he has devoted
much time to the study of archaeology and ethnology. The result is a series of paintings, entitled Lost
Florida, that integrates this knowledge with his art, bringing the viewer closer to the worlds of the now
vanished Calusa, Tocobaga, Timucua, and Tequesta Indians. His paintings have been featured on the covers
of Florida's First People, published by Pineapple Press; Indian Mounds You Can Visit, published by Great
Outdoors Publishing Company; and most recently, The Paleoindian and Early Archaic Southeast, published
by the University of Alabama Press.
THE FLORIDA ANHRMOPOLOGISTr
199 VOL. 49(3)