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PUBLISHED BY THE
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Mmm f10TffRESIfflS ml mFflBllIm
a I v ---
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Kunti, A Food Staple of Florida Indians - -Frederick W. Sleight 46
Excavations at Manatee Springs, Florida - -Ripley P. Bullen 53
REVIEWS - - - -- -Robert Anderson 69
Red Man's America: A History of Indians ih the United States,
- - - - -Ruth Murray Underhill
The New Dictionary of American History,
- - - -Michael Martin and Leonard Gelber
Editorial Office at the Florida State University, Tallahassee
Published at the University of Florida, Gainesville, for the
Florida Anthropological Society.
KUNTI, A FOOD STAPLE OF FLORIDA INDIANS
Frederick W. Sleight
Within the present confines of Florida are found two genera of plants that
once constituted an important element of diet among the Seminole as well as
earlier tribes. It is the purpose of this paper, therefore, to familiarize the
reader with the appearance of these plants as well as to make general com-
ments concerning the manufacture and use of the products which were known
to the Seminoles as kunti. This same name will appear in ethnological,
historical, and botanical literature thus: koonti, koontie, coontie, coomtie,
cunti, comptie, compete, arrowroot, arrowroot starch, comfort root, flour root,
and Indian bread root.
At the outset, it should be understood that the term kunti does not refer
in the Seminole language to a specific plant but on the other hand to a
"bread" or flour produced by grinding or pounding the mealy root structure
of either of two plants identified in botanical circles as genus Zamia and
genus Smilax. Incidentally, one of the dilemmas encountered in the literature
is the attempt to identify which plant source might have been utilized for the
manufacture of the referenced kunti. Buckingham Smith noted (Escalente
Fontaneda, 1861, p. 50), that the Seminole of that day distinguished between
the two plants and particularly the flour or "bread" produced. It seems that
the flour from Zamia was called Koonte hatke, meaning "white bread" or
"white root", while that extracted from the Smilax was known as Koonte
tsahte, undoubtedly referring to the reddish hue of that root or "bread".
The first (and possibly more important) of these two plants is that which
belongs to the genus Zamia. This genus is represented by an ancient form
of plant life resembling in some respects the ferns, but differing in the
development of brightly colored seeds. Some will note immediately the
resemblance to the palms, but again they differ from these forms in not
having true flowers. In fact, the bearing of a cone calls to one's attention
the possible distant relationship with the pines. A typical and common
representative of the Cycad family (the family to which Zamia belongs) is
the sago palm, but it was not from this species that the aborigines produced
their "bread". The sago is mentioned because Zamia appears to some as
a dwarfed version of this more commonly recognized palm. There are up-
ward of thirty species of Zamia recorded in the Americas and all of these
appear to be restricted to tropical and sub-tropical zones. Through Mexico
and Ecuador are species possessing prickly leaf stalks, while in Florida,
Mexico, Panama, and the West Indies are found the non-prickly varieties.
In making comparative studies of botanical literature it becomes evident
that some confusion has existed concerning the generic names of the two
or three species native to Florida. Bailey (1925, p. 3533), utilizing the
findings of Webber, feels that there are two species in Florida: Zamia
Fig. 1. Two Zamia plants, illustrating typical appearance in growth. (All photos
by F. W. Sleight.)
Fig. 2. Zamia plant showing root structure (note cone).
Fig. 3. Leaf and vine structure of Smilax.
Fig. 4. Root structure of Smilax,
floridana and Zamia pumila. Small (cited in Smith, 1951, p. 240), on the
other hand, gives a classification listing four species, of which Zamia
integrifolia appears to be the dominant one from the viewpoint of this study.
In fact, closer study will possibly reveal that Z. floridana and Z. integri-
folia are the same plant.
Illustrated in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 are specimens of Z. integrifolia (Z.
floridana?), photographed south of Miami, showing both the appearance of
the plant in situ as well as fully exposed. It will be noted that the fronds
resemble both the ferns and the palms. There is relatively little trunk,
which results in the plant forming a spray of leaves which measure from
one to two feet in length. These leaves are sturdy and dark green, with
leaflets upwards of four inches long. From the viewpoint of the Indians,
it was the tuber-like stem or expanded root which was valued, for therein
was found the all important starch from which kunti was manufactured by
those native inhabitants of South Florida. This particular species seems
to be restricted to that portion of the peninsula of Florida south of latitude
260 30', and it is limited to dry, pine woods areas and to regions where the
rough limestone formations create a jagged palmetto-infested terrain. Other
closely related species of Zamia have been noted in more northerly regions
of Florida, and they, too, were quite possibly considered as important pro-
ducers of kunti. Undoubtedly, however, the species illustrated was that
which received paramount attention from the Seminole subsequent to their
migration into the southern part of the state.
The second starch producing plant illustrated herein (Fig. 3 and Fig.
4) is commonly known as China brier, bamboo brier, cat brier, green brier,
etc. (Baker, 1926, pp. 44-45). This plant of long, grasping intertwining
prickly vines and stems is a member of the genus Smilax, and like Zamia,
the thick, knotty root stocks offer to ingenious aboriginal minds another
source of breadstuff of considerable value. Because of a broader range
through the southeastern states this Koonte tsahte ("red root" of the
Seminole) was more widely known than Zamia.
Probably the earliest reference to the use of roots for the making of
"bread" by the Indians of Florida is to be found in the Memoir of Hernando
d'Escalante Fontaneda, dating from about 1575. In the opening portion of
this account, Fontaneda discussed the Calusa Indians and their neighbors,
tribes occupying South Florida prior to the coming of the Seminole. Speak-
ing of those people living in proximity to "the Lake of Mayaimi" (Lake
Okeechobee), Fontaneda (p. 8) wrote:
"The inhabitants make bread of roots, which is their common
food the greater part of the year; and because of the lake which
rises in some seasons so high, that the roots cannot be reached
in consequence of the water, they are for sometime without
Buckingham Smith, translator of the Memoir, added a note (p. 50) relative
to this reference, thus:
"The Zamia integrifolia is native to Florida from a few miles
South of Saint Augustine along the coast to Cape Sable, but
only prospers in the thick shelter of 'hammocks' or in the pine
lands where shaded by palmettos or bushes. All attempts to
cultivate it in field or grove have proved unavailing.
"The flour prepared from the root is called by the Seminoles
Koonte hatke, white bread, which distinguishes it from that of
the china briar root, which they call Koonte tsahte."
The inventive capacities of aboriginal peoples is demonstrated in the
preparation of kunti from the poisonous roots of Zamia. Undoubtedly the
technique. utilized by the Seminole and outlined below was one borrowed
from the earlier Calusa, the non-agricultural tribe of South Florida. For-
tunately, we have a rather complete record of Seminole kunti preparation
in MacCauley's eye witness account published in 1887 in the Fifth Annual
Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (pp. 513-16):
"The Indian process, as I watched it at Horse Creek, was
this: The roots were gathered, the earth was washed from
them, and they were laid in heaps near the 'Koonti log.'
"The Koonti log, so called, was the trunk of a large pine
tree, in which a number of holes, about nine inches square at
the top, their sides sloping downward to a point, had been cut
side by side. Each of these holes was the property of some one
of the squaws or of the children of the camp. For each of the
holes which were to serve as mortars, a pestle made of some
hard wood had been furnished.
"The first step in the process was to reduce the washed
Koonti to a kind of pulp. This was done by chopping it into
small pieces and filling with it one of the mortars and pound- l-
ing it with a pestle. The contents of the mortar were then laid
upon a small platform. Each worker had a platform. When a
sufficient quantity of the root had been pounded the whole mass
was taken to the creek near by and thoroughly saturated with
water in a vessel made of bark.
"The pulp was then washed in a straining cloth, the starch of
the Koonti draining into a deer hide suspended below.
"When the starch had been thoroughly washed from the mass
the latter was thrown away, and the starchy sediment in the
water in the deer skin left to ferment. After some days the
sediment was taken from the water and spread upon palmetto
leaves to dry. When dried, it was a yellowish white flour,
ready for use. .
"The Koonti bread, as I saw it among the Indians, was of
a bright orange color, and rather insipid, though not unpleasant
to the taste. Its yellow color was owning to the fact that
the flour had but one fermentation."
The broader implications are inherent in kunti and particularly in
Zamia has been pointed out in a highly thought-provoking article by Dr.
Hale Smith, Smith believes that through his studies of Zamia he has strong
evidence: that some contact did exist in prehistoric times between
certain Florida groups and those of the Antilles. Also, in addition to, from
archaeological evidence, it is to be noted that the blowgun, fish poisoning,
the use of sails and staining of the teeth were present in the Southeastern
area. These traits seemingly have affinities to South America, probably
coming via the Antilles. Zamia and the processing techniques surrounding
it might also be included in this list of cultural elements having a southern
source." (1951, p. 243).
It may be that the lowly Zamia may prove to be a keystone to a better under-
standing of migrations and diffusion of concepts from neighboring areas to
the south of Florida. Through a greater insight into processes of kunti
production may come clearer understanding of the pre-agricultural horizons
of culture in Florida.
Bailey, L. H.
1925. The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, Vol. 3, The Mac-
millan Company. New York.
Baker, Mary F.
1926. Florida Wild Flowers. The Macmillan Company, New York.
Escalente Fontaneda, D.
1861. Memoir. Written about 1575. Translated and annotated MS
by Buckingham Smith, 1861, Florida Historical Society.
1944. Memoir. Translated and annotated by Buckingham Smith,
1887. "The Seminole Indians of Florida," Bureau of American
Ethnology, Fifth Annual Report. Washington.
Smith, Hale G.
1951. "The Ethnological and Archaeological Significance of Zamia."
American Anthropologist, vol. 53, no. 2. Menasha.
Winter Park, Florida
EXCAVATIONS AT MANATEE SPRINGS, FLORIDA
Ripley P. Bullen
When the development of Manatee Springs State Park was begun in 1952,
the Archaeological Survey of the Florida Park Service tested the area around
the spring to determine if Indian remains, such as a village site, would be
destroyed. Previous collections from the banks of the spring had included
sherds representing the Deptford, Weeden Island, and Seminole periods (Flor-
ida State Museum and Anthropological Laboratory, University of Florida,
records). William Bartram visited the site in 1774, at which time Seminoles
were living on the Suwanee River a few miles to the north, apparently at Clay
Landing (Van Doren, 1940, p. 196).
Tests indicated the land adjacent to the spring had eroded, exposing
sherds and occasional stone artifacts, including part of a polished stone
celt, but that significant deposits of Indian material did not exist in that
area. Further to the southeast, where it was planned to install picnic tables,
abundant Indian remains were found in the ground. Here, towards a neighbor-
ing sink, limited excavations were conducted i.l two places (Fig. 1, A and B).
The excavation plan and a typical profile for Area A are presented in
Figures 2 and 3. Examination of these will indicate the excavated portions
of the site contained a large number of pits and post holes. The latter did
not form recognizable patterns.
As these areas may have been occupied intermittently for hundreds of
years, it would have been desirable to identify, during excavation, the eleva-
tions from which pits had been dug in order to allocate stratigraphically
material found in them. This we were unable to do in the blackish occupation
debris. Pits were not recognized until the base of the cultural bearing de-
posit or the top of the underlying subsoil was reached. Occasionally, in
scraping profiles, faint lines or changes in color suggested pits had been
dug from various elevations, but such evidence was slight at best and often-
times could not be found (Figs. 3 and 4).
The situation at Area B was the same as that at Area A as regards sur-
face, pits, post holes, and profiles. Hence, only Area A, where more work
was done, will be mentioned in any detail.
Ground surface at Area A was nearly level, with a slight and very gradual
decrease in elevation towards the spring and towards the sink (Fig. 1). From
the surface downward for about eight inches was a gray-brown sandy zone
(Fig. 3). This zone was essentially sterile, although near its base sherds,
food bones, and mussel shells were found occasionally. Sherds shown in the
pottery tables for this zone undoubtedly represent the top of the next lower
Fig. 1. Location and sketch map of the Manatee Spring Site, Manatee Springs
State Park, Levy County, Florida.
Fig. 2. Excavation plan of Area A.
The intermediate or occupation zone consisted of black-brown sand con-
taining pottery, artifacts, food bonvs, shells, and other debris. A high car-
bon content gave this deposit its distinctive blackish color. This zone varied
in thickness, but usually was nearly sixteen inches in vertical dimension so
that it was excavated in two arbitrary, approximately eight-inch levels.
Leading down from this occupation zone were many pits and post holes.
Frequently, lenses of mussel shells or lenses of fire-reddened sand were
tound near the tops of pits (Fig. 4). In other instances, shells or black dirt
might be found in'the bottom of pits. When such dirt was so found it was apt
to contain sherds. Apparently, some of the pits had a secondary use as de-
positories for refuse.
As suggested both in the excavation plan and profile (Figs. 2 and 3),
some pits were more or less surrounded by trough-like depressions filled with
browf-mottled sand. Very likely these represented aboriginal disturbance
during the useful life of a pit. A cross-section of the largest pit is shown in
Underneath all was yellow-brown sterile sand. Presumedly, this is the
parent material for the sands of the two superior zones. It is interesting to
note, in passing, that the surface of the ground, in this part of the site, has
gained nearly eight inches in 'elevation since use of the occupation zone by
o 13 G14 C,15 C'16 C.17? C18 C'9IB
BLACK ROWN ---R- PIG
B L A CKL A ] I
YELLOW-BROWN S A
S-I BROWN MOTTLED
0 I 2 3 4 5
Fig. 3. Typical profile, Area A.
0 I 2 3 4 3
Fig. 4. Pit profiles showing lenses of mussel shells and fire-reddened sand.
Vertical distributions of pottery types are shown in following tabulations
for both excavated areas. These distributions indicate definite trends, but
are not as clean cut as we might wish. This is undoubtedly, at least in part,
the result of aboriginal disturbance incidental to intensive occupation and
the digging of many pits. Another factor, that of the elevation from which
pits were dug, has been mentioned earlier.
Recent disturbance, prior to excavation, did not affect the site to any
appreciable extent, although we found bones of a domestic fowl in one place
and the interment of a pig in another (Figs. 2 and 3).
Sherds from the excavations are listed in the pottery distribution tables
and illustrated in Figures 5 and 6, except for one sherd of Dunns Creek Red,
which was found in spoil. Descriptions of pottery types will be found in
Willey (1949) and Goggin (1948), except for Lochloosa Punctated.
This is a new type, named by Goggin but not, as yet, described. It refers
to gritty pottery decorated by irregularly spaced punctations or "jabs" made
by a pointed tool (Fig. 6, a-c). While the temporal range of Lochloosa Punc-
tated is not well defined at present, Goggin would place the time of its max-
imum popularity as late Weeden Island (Weeden Island II) or possibly later.
Other comments, referring to items in Tables 1 and 2 identified by letters
placed between parentheses, follow:
(a) It was noted during excavation that sherds of Deptford Simple Stamped
(Fig. 5, a) were usually found only at the base of the occupation zone.
(b) These sherds (Fig. 5, c) were from vessels having a flat lip.
(c) Vessels represented by these sherds had notched rims, such as are
frequently found in pottery of the Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period. Shallow
grooves are present on the lip of the illustrated sherd (Fig. 5, e), but do not
show in the photograph.
(d) This sherd was tempered with limestone.
(e) Swift Creek Complicated Stamped A sherds were fairly thick, tempered
with fine sand, had lands about 1 mm. wide, and very smooth, nearly polished,
interior surfaces (Fig. 5, g). Designs are similar to those called early by
(f) Swift Creek Complicated Stamped B sherds, on the contrary, were thin-
ner, made of a micaceous paste, had lands about 3 mm. wide, and interior
surfaces like very fine sandpaper (Fig. 5, h and i). Decoration is close to
that which Sears, in Georgia, calls Kolomoki Stamped (Sears, 1951).
(g) Plus a restorable vessel in a pit leading down from this level.
(h) Cord marks on these sherds have been "smoothed over" or "rubbed-
(i) Much of the plain pottery has extremely fine temper and very smooth
surfaces. Vessels of this type were eight to twelve inches in diameter and
about seven and one-half inches deep, with straight sides and rounded
Examination of the pottery distribution tables will indicate that sherds
TABLE 1. VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS AREA A.
Suface in Inches
0-8 8-16 16-24 Pits
Deptford Simple Stamped
Deptford Linear Check Stamped
Large, square (Deptford Bold)
Diamond (Deptford Check)(b)
Rectangular (Gulf Check)
I Square, uneven lands (c)
SSt. Johns Check Stamped
Combination, simple stamped and
diamond check stamped
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped A(e)
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped B(f)
Weeden Island Plain
Weeden Island Incised
Weeden Island Red
Punctated over cord-marked
Alachua Cob Marked
St. Johns Plain
Plain, sand-tempered (i)
NOTE: Letters between parentheses refer to notes in text.
TOTALS 356 2890 1121 70
TABLE 2. VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS AREA B.
Surface In Inches
0-8 8-16 16-24 Pits
Rectangular (Gulf Check) 3 5
Square, uneven lands 1 2 2
6 St. Johns Check Stamped 4
M Wakulla Check Stamped 1 5
Combination, simple stamped and
diamond check stamped 2
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped A(e) 1
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped B(f) 4
Carrabelle Punctated 6 4
Keith Incised 2
New River Complicated Stamped 5
Sun City Complicated Stamped 1
Weeden Island Plain 5 2
Weeden Island Red 2
Unique, cord-marked at rim 1 1
Textile impressed, mesh-like 2
Miscellaneous cord-marked (h) 1 12 9
Miscellaneous surface roughened 2 2 3
Lochloosa Punctated 13 23 4
Prairie Cord-Marked 10 24 3
Interior red painted, Pasco paste 2
Pasco Plain 3 54 80 25
St. Johns Plain 3 12 3
Plain, sand-tempered (i) 70 308 230
TOTALS 106 480 346 25
NOTE: Letters between parentheses refer to notes in text.
Scctrz-< 4 -4-C M- N
Fig. 5. Decorated and plain pottery. A, Deptford Simple Stamped. B, Deptford
Bold Check Stamped. C, Deptford or Gulf Check Stamped. D, Gulf Check
Stamped. E, Gulf Checked Stamped, with grooved lip. F, Wakulla Check
Stamped. G, Swift Creek Complicated Stamped A. H-l, Swift Creek Com-
plicated Stamped B. J, Sun City Complicated Stamped. K, New River
Complicated Stamped. L, Combination, simple stamped and diamond check
stamped. M, Weeden Island Plain.
* ._^-_: -;c-;l L--l C, 4.
Fig. 6. Decorated pottery. A-C, Lochloosa Punctated. D, Punctated over cord-
marked. E, Textile-impressed, mesh-like. F, Unique, cord-marked at rim.
G-J, Carabelle Punctated.
5 t I I i I CM
Fig. 7. Projectile points, whole and fragmentary, arranged arbitrarily by zones
according to depth.
5r I I I -CM.
Fig. 8. Stone, bone, and shell artifacts and materials. A, Ovate scraper. B, Utilized
flake or flake knife. C-F, Bone awls. G, Deer hip bone with tip of arrow
point imbedded in one end. H, Shell chisel made from Fasciolaria columella.
I, Shell tool made from Fasciolaria columella. J, Shell tool made from
Busycon perversum columella. K-L, Sherds used as hones.
of the Deptford complex concentrate in the lower part of the occupation zone.
Sherds of the Weeden Island period are heavily concentrated in the upper part
of this zone. Sherds which may be presumed to be late Weeden Island, such
as Lochloosa Punctated and Prairie Cord Marked (and Alachua Cob Marked)
appear in significant quantities in the 0-8 inch zone and were, presumedly,
taken from the top of the occupation zone.
These trends in popularity of pottery types with depth agree with previous
sequential data from the Gulf Coast of Florida. They indicate use of the ex-
cavated areas of the site by Indians from a Deptford, through a poorly repre-
sented Santa Rosa-Swift Creek, to a late Weeden Island (Weeden Island II)
period. The comparatively large amount of Carrabelle Punctated and lack of
appreciable amounts of Weeden Island Incised or Punctated would seem to
argue for an early Weeden Island or Weeden Island I date for the major occu-
Occupationof this area of the site for such a long period of time, well
over a thousand years, must have been intermittent. The relatively large
amounts of Lochloosa Punctated and of Prairie Cord-Marked pottery probably
indicate westward moving influences from people of the Alachua tradition
Whole and fragmentary projectile points and knives are illustrated in
Figure 7, where they are arranged by arbitrary zones as found in the ground.
They are made of various cherts, presumedly Floridian in origin, with the
exception of one (Fig. 7, 1), which is formed of material resembling a
In general, these tools seem to be crudely made. Their makers had a
preference for side-notched points as opposed to those with stemmed bases.
We have no previous knowledge of types of projectile points commonly in use
during the Deptford period. Presumedly, some of those in the lowest line
(Fig. 7) should belong to that period. Judging from what little we do know,
most of the illustrated projectile points would seem to be at home in a
Santa Rosa-Swift Creek to early Weeden Island period (Bullen, 1950; 1952).
If the bulk of the pottery may be considered Weeden Island I, then the points
would seem to agree chronologically.
One point (Fig. 7, c), with a shape which would seem to be Weeden
Island in date, merits special mention. It has a very pronounced bevel to
the edges of the blade.
A chert scraper and a knife or scraper (Fig. 8, a-b) came from the lower
and middle part of the debris, respectively. Two core-like remnants were
found in the middle zone. Of fourteen worked fragments of chert, one came
from the upper, nine from the middle, and four from the lower zone. Three
chips of non-Floridian material (one like that of the point mentioned pre-
viously, Fig. 7, 1) were in the middle zone. A quartz-pebble chipping
hammer, one and one-half inches in length, came from the middle zone,
while a chert hammerstone, three and three-quarters inches in length, was in
the lower zone.
Chert chips were distributed, sixteen in the upper, fifty-seven in the
middle, and thirty-four in the lower zone. Several pieces of limonite and of
bog iron were found. None showed evidence of use.
A clay object, apparently part of the bowl of a pipe or a piece of a very
large bead, was found between depths of sixteen and twenty-four inches.
Of five pottery hones (Fig. 8, k-l), three were in the middle and two in the
Six pieces of worked bone were evenly divided between the middle and
lower zones. Seven whole and fragmentary awl-like bone tools (Fig. 8, c-f)
came from the lower zone. Of these only one (Fig. 8, c) was of the expand-
ing split-bone type.
A hollowed-out toe bone of a deer with a small hole in it distal end is
suggestive of a jinglerr". It may have been an ornament, possibly part of
a game. It came from between depths of eight and sixteen inches in square
E-15 and should be Weeden Island in date.
Six worked columellae (Fig. 8, h-j) were found, four in the lowest and
one each in the other zones.
Among food remains, possibly the most interesting is the hip bone of a
deer (Fig. 8, g) in which the broken tip of a projectile point is imbedded.
Another interesting find is the distal end of the left femur of a black
bear. On the front of the bone, just above the articular surface, is a de-
pression, about an inch across, an inch and a quarter long, and a quarter
of an inch deep. As the bone was crushed but not broken, this damage
must have occurred when the bone was green, quite possibly when the
animal was alive and being captured. A stone club could have produced
such a depression.
Mammal remains include a great many deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
bones, including antler from both young and mature bucks, parts of two
black hears (Euarctos floridanus), found in the lower zone in three places
(Fig 2, locations indicated by B), and some bones of the opossum (Didel-
phis virginiana), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and a rabbit (Sylvilagus).
Birds are represented by one bone of the coot (Eulica americana) and a num-
ber of bones of the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). Mammal bones were
kindly identified by Dr. II. B. Sherman and bird bones by Dr. Perce Brodkorb,
both of the University of Florida.
Box, gopher, and sea turtle bones were included in the collections, as
well as bones of a fairly large alligator. These were identified with the
assistance of Dr. Wilfred T. Neill of Ross Allen's Reptile Insitute. Fish
bones, including drum fish jaws, were fairly numerous.
Remains of shell fish were reasonably abundant. Of these, the fresh
water mussel was the most common. Salt water species included Busycon
perversum, Melongena corona, Ostrea virginica (some with barnacles attach-
ed), and Venus campechiensis. Fresh water varieties include several
Vivipara contectoides, and a few Lamsilis claibornensis suuana (?), Walker,
and Quincuncina kleinianus (?), Lea.
Vegetable food was represented by five fragments of charred pig nuts.
Our excavations at Manatee Springs State Park uncovered part of an in-
tensively occupied Indian village. The excavations do not include material
from all periods when the site was used by Indians, as sherds of Chattahoochee
Brushed, an early Seminole pottery type found in surface collections from this
site, were not uncovered in the excavations.
This work gives us a glimpse of a small Indian village chiefly of the
early Weeden Island period. That the inhabitants built houses or other form
of shelter is suggested by numerous post holes. They also dug storage pits
which were later used for refuse. The charred pig nuts, possible deer toe
bone jingler, and fragment of clay pipe give hints that when village sites in
Florida are intensively excavated we will have a much clearer idea of the
every day life of the inhabitants. At present we tend to think of them chiefly
as manufacturers of pottery vessels.
The tip of an arrow point in the hip bone of a deer enables us to visualize,
albeit cloudily, a deer hunter and his prey. The large dent in the femur of a
bear suggests another hunting scene. The presence of sea turtle bones and
of salt water shells tells us of trips to the Gulf of Mexico, about twenty-five
miles away, probably by canoe. The relatively large amounts of chips and
stone specimens suggest that hunting and collecting were the chief sources
of food, with agriculture, if practiced, unimportant. Arrow points, textile and
cord-marked pottery, bone awls, pottery hones, etc., all bespeak industrial
pursuits. Non-Floridian stone suggests connections with the outside world
on a somewhat wider basis.
With their abundant food supply and pleasant surroundings, Indians at
Manatee Springs probably lived a fairly comfortable life. The village was
home to them, a place to which to return for rest and relaxation after the
exertions of the eternal quest for food.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1950. "An Archeological Survey of the Chattahoochee River Valley
in Florida." Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences,
Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 101-125. Washington.
1952. "The Famous Crystal River Site." Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. VI, No. 1, pp. 9-37. Gainesville.
Goggin, John M.
1948. "Some Pottery Types from Central Florida." The Gainesville
Anthropological Association, Bulletin No. 1. Mimeographed.
1949. "Cultural Traditions in Florida Prehistory." In The Florida
Indian and His Neighbors, J. W. Griffin, Editor. Winter Park.
Sears, William H.
1951. "Excavations at Kolomoki, Season II 1950." University of
Georgia Series in Anthropology, No. 3. Athens.
Van Doren, M.
1940. The Travels of William Bartram. New York.
Willey, Gordon R.
1949. Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian Miscel-
laneous Collections, Vol. 113. Washington.
Florida State Museum
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
Frederick W. Sleight is consultant in archaeology at Rollins College,
Winter Park, and president of the Florida Anthropological Society.
Ripley P. Bullen, who reports on the excavation of an aboriginal
village site at Manatee Spring, is curator of social sciences of the Florida
State Museum, Gainesville, and treasurer of the society.
Robert Anderson is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropol-
ogy and Archaeology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, and editor of
Red Man's America: A History of Indians in the United States, by Ruth
Murray Underhill. 400 pp., 53 plates, 12 tables, 9 maps, bibliography, and
index, $5.50. The University of Chicago Press, 1953.
As any informed newspaper reader knows, the keynote of the latest
phase of Government policy with respect to the Indian is accelerated social
(that is to say, economic and political) assimilation. It began about 1945,
with plans for turning the functions of the Office of Indian Affairs over to
the states and liquidating treaty claims, and is evidenced in the Butler-
D'Ewart program of the present Congress. But having been schooled in the
legend of the vanishing red man, and disinclined to accept the reality of an
"Indian Problem" since General Custer, the man in the street may be sur-
prised to learn that when the last phase began, the affairs of nearly 400,000
of these citizens were under the jurisdiction of the Indian Office, and that
this number was nearly half that of the estimated native population within
our boundaries at the time of Columbus.
It is to the intelligent general reader who wishes to understand the
present situation of this American minority that Red Man's America is
directed, and for whom it details the historical facts upon which rest its
conclusion: "Looking at the Indian problem today, one can see no end but
the amalgamation of white men and red, both racially and socially." As
Ruth Underhill writes in her foreword, "It is time that the average
citizen should have a picture of the red man, not as a figure of myth or
children's games, but as a fellow-citizen, with problems important to us
all." As she well knows, of course, this is not the first and only book
which presents the Indian in perspective. But we need this book and many
more, if only for the reason that histories, like the archaeologist's estimated
dates for Adena and Hopewell, become themselves outdated and superseded.
Dr. Underhill until a year ago was professor of anthropology at the
University of Denver, and for thirteen years was assistant supervisor of
Indian Education of the United States Indian Service. She is the field
chronicler of Papago culture, and has written several popular expositions
of Indian crafts and society. The book she has written to picture the red
man can be said to fall into two parts a concluding chapter, entitled
"Protective Uncle," which traces Government Indian policy in six phases
from 1607 to the present, and thirteen chapters which give a broad coverage
of culture areas (the familiar ones of the anthropologist, slightly modified).
These latter are given time depth by a fragmentary archaeology (which in-
cludes some carbon 14 dates) and a coincidental treatment of post-Columbian
history and Indian-White relations. This reviewer, contrarily, would recom-
mend for the general reader that the last chapter be undertaken first, simply
because the presence of the immigrant European and his culture, particularly
his government, have been the largest single shaping factor in Indian
history since the 17th century. Once having gotten this pattern of inter-
ference organized for him, such unfamiliar facts of aboriginal culture as
are presented become more meaningful to the total problem of the present.
However, one wishes that the facts in the areal expositions had been
chosen more successfully to elucidate problems raised in the final chapter.
We may illustrate by citing a major difference and source of difficulty be-
tween Indians and whites land tenure. The groups, of course, are poles
apart. In primitive society, natural resources are withheld from none,
although use of different categories of resources (hunting grounds, fishing
places, berry patches, arable land, for instance) is controlled by various
specific community and kin groups. These vary by society, area and time
and developmental levels.
Something of this general situation is imparted by the statement (p.
321) that "The Indians, whose activities were collective, who had plenty
of land for roaming and no need for private ownership, considered that
they were selling only the right to use the land, and not its permanent pos-
session, with all trespass forbidden They could not understand the
land hunger of the whites, who had lived in something like a caste system,
under landlords who could eject them at any time." This statement is
partially, but not quite, adequate, and in the great detail of the preceding
chapters on the different culture areas, it should have been possible to
show specifically and with rememberable clarity how social groupings
and land tenure were integrated.
Failing to recall such specific details, the intelligent reader might
then legitimately fall back upon the index to lead him to usages in the
different areas. But here Miss Underhill fails him. We find one entry
under "land ownership": In the Colorado valley, "Patrilineal families
laid claim to their narrow plots, running straight back from the river; they
marked the boundaries and fought with any who trespassed by as much
as a foot" (p. 272). Under "land rights," we find concerning family fish-
ing grounds that "the Algonkian had a well-developed sense of land
rights" (p. 66). While possibly true, these statements rather belie the
general characterization of land holding quoted above from page 321, and
are hardly adequate or typical.
We find another fault with this book (if we may be permitted to take up
faults before its definite virtues). What we should like in a history of the
Indian presented by a professional anthropologist is adherence to a vocabu-
lary which would correctly interpret for the layman the context of native
social life a context in which not only do all have access to the resources
of nature, and in which kinship ties rather than property considerations pre-
vail in social relations, and social inequality is the exception, but one in
which the terminology of "state," "noble," "slave," and "wages" is
out of place.
Thus, in our own area, the Southeast, a brief recital of the religious
and ceremonial position of the Natchez Sun and citation of "classes"
(p. 29) without strict qualifiers obscures the essential nature of the native
socio-economic system. A statement that "The Creeks did not make great
use of slaves, as some other Indians did" (p. 38) suggests an erroneous
picture of native labor, taking of captives, and adoption elsewhere. Noting
that "Southeasterners were elaborate in their mourning, the Creek even
paying people to wail" (p. 35) misrepresents gift-giving and reciprocal
favors as commercial practices. Observing that "Each town was a little
city-state" (p. 36) is misuse of European political terminology. Asserting
that "The Indians had always fought each other, rather for glory and ex-
citement than for any actual need" (p. 47) is an unnecessarily shallow
analysis of the reasons for collision of socio-cultural entities. What we
assert is that such asides are popular and misleading, and not anthropologi-
cal and enlightening.
However, we should emphasize that this work is successful in its
presentation of colorful general contrasts between the ways of life of the
historical Indians of the Southeast, the Woodlands, the Plains, and so on,
and the coverage is good. For instance, in her discussion of the Creek,
which comprises twelve pages of the sixteen in Chapter 3, we find a descrip-
tion of the geographical background, agricultural practices, plan of a town,
principal materials used in daily life, dress and decoration, social organiza-
tion (with emphasis on the more striking features of matrilineality, clans,
rites of passage, mother-in-law taboo, and death and mourning customs),
views of the afterlife, political organization, games, visiting and trade,
and medicine and religion.
If Dr. Underhill places rather more emphasis on the Meso-America as a
source of Southeastern traits than most areal workers would admit at present,
tends to overstress migration to account for the shift from dolichocephaly to
brachycephaly in archaeological skeletal material, and puts rather more
credence in migration legends and diffusion of social systems than many
social anthropologists would countenance, these are not serious faults for
the general reader. And it is not of great moment that most points such as
Asiatic origin of cord-marked pottery and mound burial should be presented
much more strongly and affirmatively than their alternatives, albeit labelled
interesting theorizing. All in all, the book is recommended for the general
reader, and it does fulfill most of the promises of its foreword.
On the other hand, because this book is certain to be widely adopted
for use by beginning students in North American ethnology and for collateral
reading in American history, certain reservations must be made. There
appear to be regrettable inaccuracies and insufficiencies in the supplemen-
tary aids, such as trait lists, thumbnail historical sketches intended to
orient the tribes within their linguistic and cultural congeners, and lists
of present reservations and numbers of Indians on them. The inclusion of
these supplements is a good and welcome idea, but one wishes more care
had been expended on them.
To take examples only from the chapter on the Plains, we receive the
doubtful information that the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Plains Creek and Comanche
had matrilineal exogamous clans, and that the first three had, in addition,
phratries; that the Teton and Blackfoot had patrilineal clans and phratries,
and that Omaha, Ponca, Arikara, and Assiniboine soldier societies were
graded. These examples, taken in connection with arbitrary statements oh
on the number of clans, villages, bands, and chiefs, matters which in many
instances authorities differ and specialists regard as moot, suggest that
the information on the tables be taken with caution by the student, and by
the general reader without access to sources for checking they had best
be disregarded. In the table of "Present Reservations and Numbers of the
Plains Tribes," reserves in the State of South Dakota, harboring more than
30,000 Siouans, are omitted, as are 1,400 additional Sioux at Fort Peck
Agency in Montana. Numbers on Canadian reservations are omitted as
unavailable. In the first endpaper map there is an unwelcome free revision
of Sapir's language types, which are labelled "languages", and there are
omissions on the second endpaper map of some reservations, probably be-
cause of space considerations.
However, the many illustrations, which consist of line-drawings by
Marian Stoller based upon archaeological and ethnological specimens and
period engravings, are uniformly excellent. By way of suggestion and not
criticism, the reviewer would like to add that he would prefer more sketches
of general village scenes, on the order of museum dioramas, rather than
The simple matters of fact that we have questioned above will no doubt
be taken care of in future editions of this book. While they place a burden
of watchfulness on the instructor who will choose the volume experimentally
for courses in the American Indian (and the reviewer is one), they do not
vitiate its value as a popular summary of Indian history and its relation to
the expanding American economy and shifts and turns of Government policy.
Certainly it is an aid to understanding the "Indian Problem," and can be
read with profit now that there is pressure for an end to the role of "Pro-
Florida State University,
The New Dictionary of American History, by Michael Martin and Leonard
Gelber. 695 pp., $10. Philosophical Library, New York, 1952.
Like the reader who is purported to have said about a many-volumed
encyclopedia he had just perused that it was complete and without error-
except for the article on his specialty, we find ourselves being able to
report that we have had some interesting excursions in this big reference
work and find many good points except for its treatment of Indians and
It would be academic chauvinism to assert that anthropologists or
anthropologically-trained historians are the only proper custodians and
interpreters of Indian history, even when it relates to American colonization
and expansion. But, at the very least, a student of the American Indian
should have been called upon for a cursory reading of these entries before
press time. lHe would have "rescued the authors from many pitfalls" -
as did the authorities in other fields who are acknowledged in the preface
as having been consulted.
By our count, there are included here brief notes of some 33 Indian
tribes, confederacies, and language groups; a score of individual Indians
(for instance, Crazy Horse, Joseph Brant, McGillivray, Samoset, Weatherford)
and about the same number of Indian fighters, traders and frontiersmen (such
as William Bent, Ned Buntline, Calamity Jane and David Crockett). Allied
entries include notes on explorers (Brackenridge, Carver, Lewis and Clark,
Fremont, DeSoto, Marquette, and others); institutions and agencies (Smith-
sonian, American Museum, Bureau of Indian Affairs, as instances); places
(Great American Desert, Indian Territory, Oregon Trail), and events (Custer's
Stand, Fetterman Massacre, and various treaties, for examples). Anthropology
is represented by Boas, Catlin, George Dorsey, Holmes, and Morgan.
There is, unfortunately, some highly original information. The Ojibwa
"had originally come from the west coast to join the Ottawa and Potawatomi
tribes" (p. 452). The Chickasaw "lived in the area around the northern part
of the Mississippi River" (p. 110). In the article on the Creek, Tecumseh
is called "their outstanding leader" (p. 152), although he is elsewhere cor-
rectly identified as a Shawnee (p. 604). Kiowa were "Great Plains Indians
who had started in Minnesota and worked their way south" and they "were
troublesome during the Revolution" (p. 334). Apache "did not work the
fields but survived by making raids on their more peaceful neighbors" (p.
25). The Omaha, who, of course, were agricultural Dhegiha, are labelled
"a wandering tribe of Dakota or Sioux Indians who settled mostly in Dakota,
Omaha, and Nebraska Territory" (p. 454). The Cheyenne, well-localized
in two divisions in Montana and Oklahoma, are characterized as "now divided
and spread throughout the West There is still communication and friendly
relationship between the various Cheyenne tribes distributed throughout the
West" (p. 110). Of the French-hating Fox, who, if we may believe James
Mooney and Cyrus Thomas in the Handbook of American Indians (Vol. 1,
pp. 472-473) were "the only Algonquian tribe against whom the French
waged war," and who were seriously considered as candidates for extermin-
ation by the French, we learn: "The Fox were friendly with the French and
settled near Detroit" (p. 545). Sauks and Sacs are mentioned separately in
one entry (Black Hawk war, p. 64), when they are in reality one.
There are, in addition, statements made highly questionable by their
brevity. For instance, to say that the Creek "after their defeat by Jackson's
groups ... relinquished their lands in the South and were moved to Indian
Territory" is false when the only campaign by Jackson which is mentioned
is that of 1813. And to say that the Kiowa "joined the Comanche, Apache,
and Cheyenne tribes in Indian Territory" in 1854 leads the reader to under-
stand they were then placed on a reservation. But as a matter of fact,
Apache and Comanche were not assigned a joint reservation until after the
Treaty of Medicine Lodge in 1867, and in 1854 the Cheyenne were ranging
lands confirmed to them by the Laramie treaty of 1851. Incidentally, ex-
clusion of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, a great inter-tribal negotiation, but
inclusion of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit, which involved only the Choctaw,
can be cited as only an instance of questionable selection of political
events involving the Indian. And for the general reader seeking information
as to the present whereabouts of the groups described, one could say he
might as often be misled as enlightened.
Some of the tribal sketches appear to have had their source in the Hand-
book cited (or in works which paraphrased that source). But there is incon-
sistency in what is extracted, some of the statements used give a distorted
picture in juxtaposition, and in some instances facts are misquoted to give
outright errors. For instance, let us cite the handbook's statement on the
Pequot: "They were originally but one people with the Mohegan The
division into two distinct tribes seems to have been accomplished by the
secession of Uncas, who withdrew into the interior with a small body
of followers. This body retained the name of Mohegan ." (Vol. 2, p. 229).
The present work has it: Originated as a former Algonquin tribe in Con-
necticut, but later merged with the Mohegans" (p. 476). And where the
authors received the information that "there are about 3,000 Pequots today"
is a mystery. The Handbook (Vol. 2, p. 874) notes the "seven Ute tribes of
Utah were at one time organized into a confederacy under Tabby (Taiwi),"
but it becomes in this work, "At one time the 15 Ute tribes organized them-
selves into a confederacy" (p. 637).
Perhaps it might be said that errors inevitably must creep into isolated
entries, and that a work should be judged by its overall effect. Ordinarily
this would be so, but not properly in "a ready reference source of the sub-
ject-matter of American history" (p. v.). As a matter of fact, the errors
touched upon are of the sort most easily avoided. There is, indeed another
category of error that is much more difficult for the compiler unschooled
in Indian history and culture from the anthropological point of view to over-
come, and for which the authors may be partially excused. That is the
error of faulty terminology. Thus, the term primitive is used in description
of the Narragansett, but elsewhere is omitted. The Creek and Iroquois are
labelled tribes, when confederacy is a better term. Siouan is a linguistic
term, not a tribal name, and the blanket term Siouan applied in a political
sense is meaningless. Neither are the Apache a tribe, but a collection of
divisions and bands. A statement that the Navaho became "one of the
most important tribes in the United States because they were able to adapt
themselves to American occupation with more ease than most" is a rather
startling statement, considering the scope of the Navaho acculturation
problem. And the Osage, to the anthropologist, would hardly be assigned
"a typical plains culture."
But these are facts of another order from those previously sampled.
They call for a frame of reference which, although rather neglected, surely
is relevant to historians.
Florida State University,
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY
First Vice President:
Second Vice President:
Frederick W. Sleight, Mount Dora
H. James Gut, Sanford
Raymond F. Bellamy, Tallahassee
James A. Gavan, Orange Park
Ripley P. Bullen, Gainesville
Robert Anderson, Tallahassee
D. D. Laxson, Hialeah
Leigh M. Pearsall, Melrose
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the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Florida State University,
Address items for the Newsletter to the President, Box 94, Mount Dora.
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