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THE LEAST KNOWN OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES
THE SEMINOLES OF OKLAHOMA
Ethel Cutler Freeman
Since World War II, the proliferation of easy communi-
cation has resulted in the interdependence of western cul-
tures and dissimilar societies. Knowledge of the processes
of acculturation has become of increasing concern, not only
to anthropologists, but to government and business. The
peace of our new world is contingent upon an understanding
and permissive acceptance of ideological as well as other
The purpose of my recent Field Trip to the Seminoles of
Oklahoma, was to carry forward my long study of culture-
change among the Florida Seminoles, from aboriginal times
through the present. These Oklahoma Seminoles are the de-
scendants of the Seminoles who were removed from Florida
during the Seminole Wars of 125 years ago and relocated in
Today, in Florida, the Seminole Indians have a popula-
tion of less than 1300. Yet they present an example of the
process of acculturation that is of particular interest to
students. This small group, surrounded by a dominant civi-
lization, have resisted westernization. They are adjusting
to foreign pressures by an unusually diversified variety of
acculturation patterns and types of culture change, which
range from nativism and reinforcement of old concepts and
customs, to urbanization. (Freeman, 1956)
Had the Oklahoma Seminoles, in a new environment, re-
tained any of their traditional ideologies and customs or
had they been diluted, liquidated entirely and whole new
concepts been accepted? What steps in the process of accul-
turation had produced the culture of today?
Knowing that the world famous oil boom of the 1920s had
involved Seminole allotted lands,I expected to find that al-
most complete assimilation and urbanization of these people
had left little of the cultural past.
I could not have been more wrong. I visited the Bureau
of Indian Affairs in Washington, to be briefed on these In-
dians before going to Oklahoma for I could find little ma-
terial about them after Oklahoma became a State in 1907.
From that time on the Seminoles were listed as part of the
general population. Mr. M. M. Tozier, Chief of Information
of the Bureau, summed up the Oklahoma Seminoles situation in
Florida Anthropologist Vol. XVII, No. 3 139
this way. "They are the most conservative, secretive and
withdrawn of all the western Indians," he said. "Nothing
has been written about them. They have been neglected. They
are the least acculturated and the least known of the Five
Civilized Tribes, the Cherokees, the Chickasaws, the Choc-
taws and the Creeks. Anything that you can learn about them
is so much to the good."
Those were the exact words that Dr. Clark Wissler, Cu-
rator of the Department of Anthropology at the American Mu-
seum of Natural History in New York, had used when he asked
me in 1940 to go on a Field Trip to the Florida Seminoles
under the auspices of the Museum. I had been with them on
my own responsibility before that.
This coincidence seemed an excellent omen. Also I had
helpful introductions from Josie Billie, the Florida medi-
cine-man, to his conservative full-blood friends in Oklahoma.
They pay Josie to visit them, for they consider him a pro-
phet with supernatural vision and powerful magic. I took my
own pictures of the Florida Seminoles, as well.
The cooperation of Virgil Harrington, whom I had known
as Superintendent of the Florida Seminoles and who had been
appointed Director of the Muscogee Area in Oklahoma was of
tremendous importance. It was due to him that the Indians
accepted me and that the most important Seminoles were my
escorts. If I had been visiting these Indians by myself,
all doors would have been closed against me.
In this paper I will describe the Seminoles in Oklahoma,
as I saw them, for it would be presumptuous of me to draw
conclusions after so short a visit. However, I hope to in-
crease my knowledge of Seminole culture this summer, for my
two Seminole escorts have invited me to return and go to the
Corn Dance with them in July and I have accepted. These are
influential men, John Brown, Chairman of the Tribal General
Council, and Allan Crain, Chairman of the Inter-Tribal Edu-
cational Committee, the men, who at first, would not admit
to me that there was a Corn Dance.
Mrs. Marie Wadley, Tribal Operations Officer,met me at
the plane in Muscogee. My first and last day were spent with
knowledgeable people in Muscogee and Tuscon, people who re-
flected the white man's attitude and interest in the Indians.
I learned from them of the Seminole's past, but not of his
culture or life. The rest of my stay was spent with the
Seminoles and was most satisfactory.
WEWOKA, THE CAPITOL OF THE SEMINOLE NATION
Early my second morning, the Area Office motored me the
117 miles from Musoogee to Wewoka and there turned me over
to the Seminoles, John Brown and Allan Crain.
Mr. Crain, a slight wiry Indian, in a well pressed brown
suit, peered at me as I signed the register of the little
hotel. Still quite a lady's man, he said gallantly, "Mr.
Brown is at the Tribal office, but I just couldn't wait to
meet you." During my entire stay, Allan Crain's sense of
humor, his immobile face and twinkling eyes were a delight,
and his knowledge of Seminole history, laws, kinship and in-
dividuals were invaluable.
We found Mr. Brown at his desk in the new two room capi-
tol building. He had black hair and eyes, was broad shoul-
dered and athletic (he had been a crack Indian rodeo rider.)
In his dark blue suit,he might have been any slightly tanned
executive. He greeted me pleasantly but with reserve. Then
we three sat stiffly on straight chairs and made conversa-
tion. Mr. Crain talked volubly of recorded history. Mr.
Brown was silent. Was he shy or antagonistic? I wondered.
At last we climbed into the car and I was given a general
picture of Seminole County. Neither of them seemed to have
heard of clans, Stomp Grounds or Corn Dances. That night, I
wrote in my Field Notes. "My trip is a flop. The Oklahoma
Seminoles have been completely assimilated into the white
population. At least, they retain nothing of their old cul-
Later when they had seen my introductions from Josie
Billie and many of my pictures of the Florida Seminoles and
we had established mutual confidence, they were both exceed-
ingly cooperative and frank about their customs and beliefs.
Mr. Brown called for me early every morning and we
spent all day and sometimes the evening, visiting and eating
with the Indians. Sometimes, Mr. Crain or Mrs. Brown joined
us. They introduced me as an historian who would like to
This close and informal association with Seminole men
of prestige gave me an exceptional opportunity to see the
home life of the full-blood Indians and Freedmen and begin
to evaluate cultural persistence in four areas -
2-Matrilineal inheritance and the influence of the matriarch
3-Religion and the fusing of old and new concepts
4-Differentiation between Mikasuki and Muscogee cultures in
I was particularly interested in tracing Mikasuki and
Muscogee traits, their merger or disappearance.
POPULATION: COUNTRY AND CLIMATE
There are approximately 3000 Seminoles in Oklahoma.
Most of them live in Seminole County. One third of the Sem-
inoles are Freedmen, descendants of the slaves who went west
with them. Seminole County was tribal land from 1866 to
1907 when Oklahoma became a State. Now, the oil industry
has attracted many white residents. This oblong, somewhat
rolling tract of land is 35 miles long by 16 to 19 miles
wide. It rises to foot-hills towards the west and is broken
by clumps of scrub-oak and dwarf trees. Some cattle grazed
the brown November grass, but there was little cultivation.
Winters are bitterly cold and summers unbearably hot both
night and day, so I was told.
TOWNS AND HOUSES
The few small towns are typically American. Even Wewoka
seems non-Indian, with its "drummer's"hotel, cafes and lit-
tle shops on the main street.
Seminole houses are of five types and represent cultural
rather than social stratification. About the turn of the
century Seminole land was allotted in 120 or 160 acre plots.
Kin groups chose adjacent parcels. Even these were isolated
from each other. There were no Seminole settlements. A law
forbade selling all the land to non-Seminoles so a small
portion is still held.
The unpainted cabins without facilities and the small
frame houses still stand on allotted land. Some Seminoles
live next to Whites in small suburban houses with planted
yards. Attractive square brick houses were built by poorly
educated Seminoles with oil money, but having little know-
ledge of business, the whites soon took these houses over.
One mansion, distinct from all others, is still lived
in by the daughter of the Seminoles who built it, the Tribal
Treasurer, Jackson Brown. Another, even more pretentious
home was built by his brother, John F. Brown, the great
grandfather of the present Chairman. Only extensive ruins
The Freedmen live entirely apart from the Indians, in
cabins or frame houses.
PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND DRESS
Physically and psychologically, the Oklahoma Seminoles
resemble those in Florida so closely, I could imagine that I
An old time Seminole home.
The one large house.
It is built of logs, now covered with
was talking to Frank Billy or Sadie Tommie. Their skin is
the same light tan, their hair black, but not coarse, and
they vary in height and build as do those in Florida. They
are a quiet self contained people with soft voices and una-
ggressive manners. They are mentally alert and competent.
The Seminole men wear dungarees and open shirts, the
women simple claicos. In town, on jobs, even those who live
in simple cabins without facilities, dress more formally.
The Freedmen have very dark skin. The men are usually
small and slight, the women more buxom. Both sexes are ac-
tive and ambitious. They are much more westernized than the
Seminoles and more dressy. At an all night church service,
the women were much corseted in silks and satins, their hair
shellaced and topped by modern extreme hats. The men wore
sport ties and carried canes.
In the early days, the killing off of game, forced the
Oklahoma Seminoles to turn to kin group farming and cattle
raising. In 1923, oil derricks, as thick as forest trees in
some places, replaced many herds and cultivated fields. Ro-
yalties from oil provided easy money. Food was bought at
the trading-post. This discouraged work, so the Indians say.
Labor for profit or for the accumulation goods was contrary
to indigenous concepts. There was no incentive to learn of
a world larger than their own.
Today many oil wells are inactive. There is no close
labor market. People must motor 200 miles a day to work or
live in a strange city. To correct this, the far seeing
Chairman and the Area Director are introducing tribal indus-
tries. A plastics plant is already operating successfully.
Among the full-bloods, food follows the traditional pat-
tern. The sofki pot stands in the center of the table, but
instead of one ladle being passed around, we each dipped our
own cup into it. Boiled beef, corn bread and beans were
served in the utensils in which they were cooked. Almost no
one took coffee and there was no dessert. We had plates and
forks and spoons but no knives. Perhaps each person carries
a large knife as they do in Florida. I ate with the men but
the women served and ate later.
A very different luncheon was given for me by Mrs. Har-
bert, the aunt of John Brown. She is the daughter of the
famous Seminole Governor, John F. Brown. Her home is an at-
tractive suburban house with a walled garden. She served
A Freedman church. The man on the right is the Councilman
for one of the Freedman bands.
First Tribal Industry. Situated at Wewoka, the Capitol of
the Seminole Nation, Oklahoma. Left to right John Brown,
Chairman of the Tribal Council, Allan Crain, Chairman of the
Intertribal Committee on Education, Ethel Cutler Freeman and
the Manager and secretary of the industry.
three courses, used embroidered doilies and contemporary
china from California. Yet she is proud of being a full-
blood Seminole, proud of her ancestry.
Most of the Seminoles at the time of statehood were il-
literate. They had schools, but a letter written at the
time says that the teachers themselves were uneducated. Many
of the Seminoles today do not speak English. Josie Billie's
friends needed an interpreter. The Tribal Chairman can nei-
ther read nor write English, nor can many of the brightest
and ablest men. I feel that this is not due to ignorance
but to a deliberate resistance to westernization and a pride
in remaining distinctly Seminole. This was instilled in
them by their mothers.
Now, many are slowly turning to higher education. One
of John Brown's sons is an electronics engineer, and the
other has just graduated from high school and is going on to
college. The Chairman urges the youth to accept the govern-
ment's offers of education.
I saw no popular meeting place, even in Wewoka. I was
puzzled. How could such a scattered population remain a po-
litical and cultural entity? I asked John Brown about their
Originally, there were 25 self governing "towns" in Ok-
lahoma. There are now 14 Seminole towns, two of which are
Freedmen. The term "town" is confusing for these Councilmen
do not represent towns or townships, as we know them. A Sem-
inole town is an aggregation of kin in a certain geographi-
cal area, who gather to decide policy and perform ceremonies.
The tribal laws are now being translated into English and
the term town is being changed to band.
The head and two others from each of the 14 bands, make
up the Tribal General Council. They are elected for four
years and in turn elect their chairman for the same length
of time. Regular meetings are held quarterly or may be
called by the Chairman if necessary.
The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Nations
is held once a year. The Chairman of the Tribal General
Council attends with delegates whom he appoints. There, they
discuss problems and send delegates to Washington. The negro
Freedmen share equally with the Seminole Indians, financial-
ly and in government representation.
Willie Palmer, who does not speak English and John Brown who
does not read or write English although he is Chairman of
the Tribal Council.
A Seminole woman by one or tne cabins tnat surround tne
Nineteen churches, each built on its allotted acre,
are the center of religious, political legal and social or-
ganization and replace the aboriginal religion and Corn
Dance. A church is connected with its own band. Each church
is surrounded by simple cabins. Members camp together for
week-ends or longer. Churches join in get-togethers every
fourth Sunday and some four times a year. Food is communal
and interchangeable. This camping complex is a direct adap-
tation of the old Seminole camping "fires" I am told.
This answered my question as to where the Seminole meet.
The churches in Oklahoma serve the same function that the
Corn Dance does in Florida. It merges religious, political,
legal and social control.
I went to one well kept church which had a non-Seminole
pastor and two Sunday schools, one taught in Seminole (Mus-
cogean) and one in English. Some women were dressed in suits
and spiked heels, others in calicos and stockingless. They
did not mix. This seemed to be what the Seminoles called a
"sort of community church", not connected with a band. I
must verify this.
It was several days before my Seminole escorts acknow-
ledged that there are two Stomp Grounds and finally took me
to see them and let me take pictures of them. They are ex-
tant projections of their traditional fires, they said. One
of them is connected with a church. Yet, to go to a Stomp
Dance or a Corn Dance is a sin which must be confessed at a
church service. At the same time they say, most of the peo-
ple who go to them are church members. I admit to confusion!
Perhaps after I go to one I will understand this anomoly bet-
MIKASUKIS AND MUSCOGEES IN OKLAHOMA
Two distinct bands of Seminoles left Florida and lived
entirely apart in the west. They were known as the Southern
and the Northern bands. Each had its own chief. Each
signed its own treaties. The Southern documents were signed
by Cully, Fixico, West and Factor, Mikasuki names. The
Northern signees were Billy Bowlegs, Chupco, and others,
known to be Muscogees. During the Civil War, the Southern
band which were Baptists, joined the Confederates and the
Northern Presbyterians, fought with the Yankees against them.
Was the Southern Baptist band Mikasuki and the Northern
Presbyterian, Muscogee? All evidence points that way.
Old Lady Toga, an Oklahoma Seminole and church cabins.
Seminole graves. Are these adaptations from Florida where
graves were built of logs in this shape above ground because
of water table?
In Florida the Mikasukis were deported by force and
killed their own people and slaves who agreed to migrate.
Therefore they were exceedingly bitter against the Muscogees
who were willing to go west. It would not be surprising if
the cleavage between the Mikasukis and the Muscogees contin-
ued in Oklahoma. The Area Office reports that some groups
of Seminoles are much more resistant to change than others.
In Oklahoma, as in Florida, dynamic individuals have
been the direct stimulus for change. The development of the
Oklahoma Seminoles has been greatly influenced by one man,
Dr. John F. Brown. He was born about 150 years ago and the
present Tribal Chairman is the 5th in direct line, all of
whom have held important posts.
Dr. John Brown was a Scottish-American government sur-
geon. He went west with the Seminoles and was much loved by
them. He died of overwork during a cholera epidemic. He
married a full-blood Seminole, Lucy Redbird of the Tiger
clan. They had three children, John F. Brown Jr, A Jackson
Brown, and Alice, who married a white man, George Davis.
Dr. Brown gave his children a good western education,
social sophistication and political and business acumen. Be-
cause Seminole inheritance is matrilineal, Dr. Brown's child-
ren were accepted as full-blood Mikasukis of the important
Tiger clan. Their mother and her kin passed on to them, not
only an authoritative tribal and clan position, but an under-
standing of Seminole culture that fitted them to fill unique
roles in that transitional period. John F. Brown Jr., the
educated son, did most of the official business for the illi-
terate but shrewd tribal leaders. When John Jumper became
Chief, John F. Brown Jr., married his daughter and succeeded
his father-in-law as the last of the Principal Chiefs before
statehood. Afterwards, he held the same post and was known
as Governor Brown.
The two brothers and their sister showed Scotch canni-
ness in business affairs. Gin mills, other ventures and
their Wewoka Trading Post, situated near a railroad, pros-
pered mightily. During this period, treaty money was being
spent on expensive developments. Dunn and Bradstreet rated
the Wewoka Trading Post in the million dollar bracket. They
put out their own script which had the same value as legal
This second generation Governor Brown, as cosmopolitan
as Seminole, built himself a large mansion with walks and
gardens overlooking the countryside. Here he lived-an almost
feudal life, entertaining commissioners, politicians and bus-
Yet, in this matrilineal society, Gov. Brown was consi-
dered a full-blood of the Tiger clan and had tremendous in-
fluence with the illiterate Seminoles because of this. At
the same time, his wife was indoctrinating their children
with her customs and traditional beliefs. His brother's and
sister's children were also being brought up in two conflic-
ting worlds. The Indian matrilineal cooperative society
despised aggression and the acquisition of possessions. High-
ly competitive western culture had material advantage as its
goal. How this conflict has been and is being resolved need
It is important to keep in mind that in a matrilineal
society, the woman is responsible for cultural continuity
and the man for economic survival. Dr. Brown's foreign birth
was ignored and his children considered full-bloods. Never-
theless, Dr. Brown's children passed on his knowledge of
business methods and western civilization.
But Seminole culture traits are strong also. We still
1- Functioning clans
2- Matrilineal inheritance and the influential old women
3- Christian churches that fill aboriginal roles. Stomp and
Corn Dances persist.
4- There are still two groups of Seminoles among the full-
bloods. Some, like the Nativistic band in Florida,resist
change and reinforce their old culture. Others realize,
as do some of the Florida Indians, that they must accept
western education and business methods in order to retain
their tribal identity.
Whether Mikasuki and Muscogee affiliation plays any sig-
nificant role in differentiating the two groups, will be an
integral part of a future study.
In this report I want to suggest that further research
may show that the traditional ideologies and culture traits
of both the resistant and permissive bands of Seminoles,
have been adapted to the present conditions and continue to
function in new forms.
Freeman, Ethel Cutler
1956 "Culture Stability and Change Among the Sem-
inoles of Florida." in Selected Papers of
the Fifth International Congress of Anthro-
pological and Ethnological Sciences. Ed. by
Anthony F. G. Wallace, Philadelphia, Sept.
DIXIE LIME CAVES NUMBERS 1 AND 2, A PRELIMINARY REPORT
Ripley P. Bullen and Carl A. Benson
Preliminary tests in two dry caves near
Ocala, Florida, produced large quantities of
animal bones and Indian artifacts pertaining to
the Preceramic Archaic period. Indians may ac-
tually have lived in Cave 1, but Cave 2 is a
circular solution hole, 7 feet in diameter, and
specimens found there must have fallen or been
In both caves, stemmed points were found
down to a depth of 3-4 feet at which depth a
notched point was found in each cave. In Cave 2
the lower part of the deposit, below a Bolen
Point, was dominated by Clear Fork gouges. These
gouges, not previously found in situ in Florida,
belong to an early phase of the Archaic, circa
5000 B.C. The Florida State Museum is continu-
ing this investigation.
In the summer of 1962, Paul M. Barton of Winter Park
and Carl A. Benson of Orlando investigated two small dry
caves near Ocala which contained animal bones and Indian
artifacts. Subsequently, Benson contacted Ripley P. Bullen
and the caves were visited by them later in the fall. As
the deposits seemed to merit stratigraphic tests, arrange-
ments were made for a cooperative dig by the Central Florida
Chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society and the Flor-
ida State Museum.
It was agreed that the specimens would be divided
fifty-fifty between the Chapter and the Museum, that Bullen
and Benson would write a report of the work. that labor
would be supplied by members of the Chapter, and that the
Museum would supply various tools and handle the processing
(cleaning and identification) of the specimens. Benson sup-
plied the most important tool, a hoisting arrangement for
Cave 2. Permission to do the field work was secured in the
name of the Chapter by Barton from the Dixie Lime and Stone
Company of Ocala, owner of the land. This permission is
Work in Cave 1 was done May 18-19 by Mr. and Mrs. John
C. Van Beck, Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Barton, Carl A. Benson and
son Robert, all of the Central Florida Chapter, and Mr. and
Florida Anthropologist Vol. XVII, No. 3 153
Mrs. Ripley P. Bullen of the Florida State Museum. Work in
Cave 2 was done July 27 by the same people plus Mrs. Benson
and Richard McDougall of New Smyrna Beach, who at that time
was helping at the Museum. As a little more work seemed
desirable, Bullen returned to Cave 2 on Aug. 1 with Howard
A. Chamberlen, Museum Technician at the Museum, and Judson
Woods, a student then working in the Museum. On Aug. 4,
1963 the Bartons also returned to Cave 2 to check further
the lower part of the deposit. They gave Bullen a copy of
their field notes. This report covers all of these investi-
Results of these tests, as will be evident shortly,
indicated a considerable archaeological and biological im-
portance for the deposits in these caves. As the work re-
quired to learn their true significance would be consider-
able and as the members of the Chapter felt the distance
from Orlando to the site too great for them to properly work
the deposits, it was agreed that excavation in the future
should be carried on by the Museum. Hence, the Florida
State Museum has contacted the Dixie Lime and Stone Company
and has received permission for the Museum to complete the
investigation of these caves. This will be a fairly major
undertaking and a report cannot be expected for a long time.
It is a pleasure to present this account so that the data,
albeit preliminary, will be available to students of Florida
Cave No. 1
Cave 1 has a sloping entrance, extending about 50 feet
in a general east-west direction, which descends fairly
steeply to a depth of 24 feet where it meets the top of the
floor of the main cave. The last 15 feet of the entrance is
under the roof of the cave. Here the roof is about 9 feet
above the floor, forming a room about 20 feet square. The
floor of this room, which is reasonably level but slopes
downward to the south, is the top of the fairly thick de-
posit of dirt which we tested.
'he top of this deposit extends an unknown distance
the northeast where the roof is very low, only about 18
inches above the present floor. Towards the south, beyond a
very large fallen rock, the floor, lacking any cultural man-
tie, slopes downward fairly steeply to another room, perhaps
10 feet lower. At the far end of this second room and at
still greater depth, water is to be found.
After laying out a base line on the surface between
the two caves, we staked out and measured a surface profile
10 B3S 10 B 2S 10 BIS
c c cc
L R R R R
L-LINE OF LIMESTONE POWDER
DIXIE LIME CAVE I
DIXIE LIME CAVE 2
down the sloping entrance of Cave 1, tied it to a grid of 5-
foot squares in the cave, and started a 5 by 10 foot strati-
graphic test near the rear wall and 5 to 15 feet south of
the entrance slope. Material was removed by 6 inch arbitrary
levels to a sorting board and specimens bagged and studied
by those levels. Selected artifacts are illustrated by one-
foot levels in Figures 2 and 3 for simplicity of presenta-
Profile notes were taken during digging and a final
measured profile of the west wall of our trench drawn after
the test was finished. The deposit, as shown in Figure 1,
consisted of three major zones. The highest was soft,
blackish, and contained humic material as well as pieces of
glass. Near its base was a line of small limestone frag-
ments which are indicated in Figure 1 by a dashed line. We
felt this to be a very recent deposit and the line of lime-
stone fragments to refer to a recent scaling of the roof.
The middle zone was composed of clayey sand mixed with
limestone fragments. The top of this deposit was black but
the rest was gray in color. A row of medium-sized limestone
boulders divided this zone into an upper and a lower por-
tion. These rocks, charcoal lumps just above them, and a
line of powdered limestone at the same elevation to the
south (Fig. 1) may indicate an old surface. The deposit was
more compact below than above these rocks.
Artifacts and refuse of chert, as well as occasional
fragments of charcoal were found throughout. Animal bones
were plentiful with deer bones occurring in two concentra-
tions, one at about 20 inches or shortly above the row of
limestone cobblestones and the other around a depth of 36
inches. In two places in the lower part of this zone, we
encountered small accumulations of freshwater mussel shells
mixed with dirt, charcoal, splintered bone, and chert chips
(Fig. 1). This seemed to be typical midden debris but it
did not form a recognizable layer.
Many large rocks formed the third zone. We did not
excavate this zone but satisfied ourselves with working as
deeply as we could with trowels. Specimens recorded below a
depth of 54 inches were found between the tops of these
rocks. We noted that there seemed to be voids among these
rocks and that just above them the deposit became extremely
One of the problems raised by our work is whether or
not Indians actually lived in Cave 1. Data is not yet suf-
ficient to resolve this question but the testimony from our
test, given above, would suggest that such might be the case.
Our test in Cave 1 produced 89 stone specimens of
which a selected representation, consisting of the best
specimens, is given in Figure 2 by excavation levels. Not
illustrated are various crude scrapers, some scraper-knives,
worked specimens (fragments of knives, points, scrapers,
etc.), utilized flakes, hammerstones, blanks, and cores.
While important, it does not seem that a complete listing of
these specimens at this time would add materially to the
data presented in Figure 2. This figure will be discussed
Animal bones have been identified by Elizabeth S. Wing
of the Florida State Museum who has supplied the following
listing in which the numbers indicate the minimum number of
identified bones. Our small test in Cave 1 produced 62
opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), 2 mole, 5 pocket gopher
(Geomys pinetis), 9 cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), some
unidentified rodent, 2 rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.), 6 bear
(Ursus americanus), 1 raccoon (Procyon lotor), 4 gray fox
(Urocyon cinereoargenteus), 1 mink (Mustela vison), /! bobcat
(Lynx rufus), 1 puma (Felis concolor), 196 deer (Odocoileus
virginianus), 6 unidentified bird, and 22 gopher tortoise
(Gopherus polyphemus) bones.
The number of species is surprising. If the cave had
a sloping entrance thousands of years ago, as at present,
animals could easily enter and leave at will, if man were
not present. If man Lived in the cave it may be presumed he
brought most of the animals represented to the cave as food.
The mole, unidentified rodent, and a majority of the cotton
rat bones came from between depths of 48 and 54 inches.
This suggested to Dr. Wing that the cave might have been
used by owls before it was used by man. She also commented
that some of the deer bones were of a rather large size.
Cave No. 2
The situation at Cave 2, located 75 feet north of Cave
1, is very different. Cave 2 does not have a sloping en-
trance but consists of an approximately circular, vertical
solution hole, 7 feet in diameter, with essentially straight
Entrance by humans can be made by climbing down the
side of the hole to the top of the cave fill, using roots a
handholes, but animals not supplied with suction pads or
wings would find little use for Cave 2. While Indians could
have entered this hold by means of a tree trunk used as a
ladder, it seems most likely the material found in this so-
lution hole fell in, washed in, or was thrown in.
The Bartons cleared the top of the deposit in Cave 2
prior to excavation. Establishing a vertical datum on a
convenient root at the top of the hole, we leveled off the
top of the deposit and installed a reference stake inside
the hole 10 feet below datum. The top of the leveled-off
deposit was 9 feet 4 inches below datum. In Figure 3 the
highest level, indicated as "0-1 foot," is from 9 feet 4
inches to 10' feet, the next from 10 to 11 feet, etc.,
respectively. As for Cave 1, excavation was by 6 inch lev-
els but the presentation is by 1 foot levels.
The surface of the deposit in Cave 2 sloped steeply
downward to an outlet tunnel towards the northeast. Our
test started as a 3 foot square but as we proceeded down-
ward, due to the outward slope, it approached 3 by 6 feet in
size at a depth of 13 feet. From this point down to 15
feet below datum it was substantially smaller while between
that depth and 15 feet, where we worked with trowels be-
tween rocks, it was probably only about 1 by 2 feet in ac-
The first level, 9 feet 4 inches to 10 feet, consisted
of an admixture of black dirt, leaves, limestone fragments,
chert chips, and animal bones. The last proved to be a
nearly complete skeleton of a domestic goat, proving the
lateness of the highest zone. Between depths of 10 and 11
feet, the deposit was similar except that no leaves were
present and the bones were those of wild as opposed to do-
mesticated animals. At 11 feet we encountered an admixture
of clay and sand which with further depth became less sandy.
Around a depth of 14 feet, the deposit became more moist so
that the lowest part, close to 15 feet, was extremely sticky
and almost impossible to work. Our excavation ended at 15
feet below datum, among the tops of rocks, at which point we
noted that the clay became lighter in color.
The test in Cave 2 produced stone tools and animal
bones which differed in their assemblages from those from
Cave 1. Animal bones, identified by Dr. Wing, were limited
to four species domestic goat (Capra) in the top zone and
from lower levels, 1 turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), 10 rabbit
(Sylvilagus sp.), and 257 deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
bones. The obvious differences, compared with Cave 1, are
the lack of carnivores and of small animals in Cave 2.
Stone specimens were more numerous in Cave 2 than Cave
1 even though the volume excavated in Cave 2 was substan-
tially less. From Cave 2 came 141 chert specimens which the
best examples are illustrated in Figure 3. The unillustra-
ted specimens include crude and broken tools, hammerstones,
utilized flakes, etc., as for Cave 1. Figure 3 will be dis-
Before discussing the typological stratigraphy of
these caves, it will be wise to describe the specimens some-
what as illustrations cannot give all the necessary details.
We are, also, introducing a new term to Florida archaeology,
that of "Clear Fork gouges," which needs to be explained.
Clear Fork gouges are "triangular to ovoid objects
with the larger end shaped to form a cutting edge, which is
usually concave but may be convex, while the smaller end
comes to a point or chisel edge. They were made from cores,
show percussion flaking, and range between an inch and a
half to a little over five inches in length" (Wormington
1949: 120). In our illustrations six of the last seven
specimens in Figure 3 are good Clear Fork gouges. The one
marked "98311 B", with its concave cutting edge, is a parti-
cularly good example.
These gouges were first noted in western Texas where
they form an important part of the Clear Fork complex, some-
times dated as 7000 to 4000 B.C. (Epstein 1963: 116-117).
Lerma points, found with these gouges in Texas have not as
yet been found in Florida.
In Figure 2, the specimens consist of a crude uniface
scraper and two bifacial scraper-knives for level one. For
level 2 are illustrated two stemmed points, a unifacial,
fairly thin, scraper, and a bifacial disc-shaped knife or
knife-scraper. In the next level is a scraper resembling a
Clear Fork gouge. For the 3-4 foot level a notched point,
two disc-shaped knives, and another unifacial scraper are
shown. The notched point is not very similar to a Bolen
point (Bullen 1958) but it does have a suggestion of bev-
eling. It appears to have been made of an obdurate material.
For the lowest zone, we have a long unifacial side scraper
and a crude, high, scraper shaped something like a horse's
These specimens, except for the last, the notched
point, and the Clear Fork-like scraper are all familiar
types of the preceramic Archaic of Florida having been found
at Bolen Bluff in association with stemmed points and down
into zones which produced Bolen points (Bullen 1958). Even
one of the very large scrapers, like the last in Figure 2,
was found at Bolen Bluff (Bullen 1958: PI. VI, M).
turningg now to Figure 3, we get a different picture.
in the top 2 feet we have a biracial scraper-knife, a uni-
facial scraper, and two stemmed points, all similar to the
Archaic material just mentioned. For the 2-3 foot zone, the
disc knife, the more or less ovate knife, and the crude uni-
facial scraper are also good Florida preceramic Archaic
specimens like those from Bolen Bluff.
In the fourth zone, between depths of 3 to 4 feet, a
change seems to have taken place. Here is the lowest ex-
ample of a stemmed point (the middle specimen) associated
with a classic example of a Bolen point. The specimen be-
tween these two points is a standard disc or ovate Inife but
the lasc two are thickish, unifacial, end-and-side scrapers
somewhat new to Florida archaeology. The one to the right,
as well as another unillustrated one, are good examples of
Clear Fork gouges. In the next lower zone, 4-5 feet, are
four more Clear Fork gouges. In the lowest part that we
were able to dig, 5- feet below the leveled top of the de-
posit in Cave 2, was a crude, high, scraper, exactly like
the last specimen illustrated in Figure 2, and the long,
relatively narrow, knife or point shown at the bot on of
Figure 3. This specimen matches in outline some unfluced
Clovis points (Sellards 1952: Fig. 18, a; Hormington 1957
Fig. 12, first; Fig. 15 fourth). It is made of chert, has
a suggestion of basal grinding, and exhibits basal thinking
but is too thick and crudely made for a Clovis point. It is
probably an Archaic type knife.
ie-examining Figures 2 and 3, we find a surprising
similarity in the typological stratigraphy of the two caves.
In Cave 1 we find Archaic scrapers, knives, and steamed
points with, in the 3-4 foot level, a side-notched point'.
In Cave 2 we also find Archaic scrapers, knives, and stemmed
points with, in the 3-4 foot level, a side-notched point.
The notched point from Cave 2 is a classic Bolen point while
the one from Cave 1, although not a Bolen point, does have
some of the characteristics of such points. This makes the
fourth and fifth instances in Florida where Bolen and Bolen-
lic points have been found at the bases of zones which sup-
plied stemmed points in good quantities (Bullen 1958; Dolan
and Allen 1961: 27).
In Cave 2 Clear Fork gouges dominated the deposits of
the fourth and fifth levels. At the base of the deposit was
a long, narrow knife (Fig. 3, last). The Clear Fork gouges
occurred in quantities with and below the Bolen point. This
suggests that the Early Preceramic Archaic of Florida (7000-
5000 B.C.) may be characterized by Clear Fork gouges as well
as Bolen points.
Dates for the Early Preceramic Archaic of Florida have
been estimated as 7000-5000 B.C. (Bullen 1958- 35). Ep-
stein (1963: 116-117) shows Clear Fork gouges as part of his
Period 1 for Centipede Cave in Texas with an estimated date
of 7000 to 4000 B.C. for the period. These estimates are in
close agreement but data from Mexico indicates they may be
a little too early. Clear Fork gouges are illustrated by
McNeish (1961: 28) for his Coxcatlan complex of Tehuacan,
Mexico. His diagram shows them, as in Florida, associated
with the earliest notched points (not Bolen typologically).
However, the Mexican dates are a little later, 5200 to 3400
B.C. dates which McNeish (1962:33) says are supported by
five radiocarbon determinations.
The potentiality of the Dixie Lime caves for informa-
tion regarding the Early Preceramic Archaic and Paleo-Indian
periods of Florida is great. As indicated earlier, there is
a suggestion in the test and profiles of Cave I thtt Indians
may have actually lived in this cave. If this can be sub-
stantiated by further work, it will be possible to excavate
an actual living site of an extremely early Florida family.
Animal remains from these caves appear to be the ear-
liest faunal remains found so far in Florida in good associ-
ation with man's tools. They are important as they belong
early in the gap between the present and the Pleistocene
fauna. Their study will be of considerable interest to bi-
It will be remembered that our work ended at the top
of what appeared to be a basal boulder zone. What if evi-
dence of a still earlier (Paleo-Indian) period should be
preserved under those boulders?
Bullen, Ripley P.
1958 "The Bolen Bluff site on Paynes Prairie, Florida"
Contributions of the Florida State Museum, Social Sci-
ences, No. 4. Gainesville.
Dolan, Edward M., and Glenn T. Allen, Jr.
1961 "An investigation of the Darby and Hornsby
Springs sites, Alachua County, Florida." Special Pub-
lication No. 7, Florida Geological Survey.
Epstein, Jeremiah F.
1963 'Centipede and Damp Caves: Excavations in Val
Verde County, Texas, 1958." Bulletin of the Texas Ar-
chaeological Society, Vol. 33, pp. 1-129. Austin
MacMeish, Richard S.
1961 "First Annual Report." Reports of the Tehuacan
Archaeological-Botanical Project, No. 1. Andover.
1962 "Second Annual Report." Rieports of the Tehuacan
Archaeological-Botanical Project, No. 2. Andover
Wormington, H. M.
1949 "Ancient Man in North America, Third Edition "
Popular Series, No 4. Denver Museum of Natural His-
1957 "Ancient Man in North America, Fourth Edition."
Popular Series, No. 4. Denver Museum of Natural His-
THE BRAKE SITE: A POSSIBLE EARLY 19TH CENTURY
LOG CABIN IN STEWART COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Dan F. and Phyllis A. Morse
A possible early 19th century log cabin was
excavated under the auspices of the National Park
Service at the Brake Site on the lower Cumberland
River. The burned dirt floor had Late Mississippi
pottery and flint artifacts scattered on it, while
the "stone chimney" contained a few European arti-
cles and domesticated animal bones as well as in-
digenous Amerindian artifacts. The "stone chimney"
and dirt floor are not definitely contemporaneous.
The Late Mississippi pottery appears too early for
the 1800's. The lack of wild fauna bones is puz-
zling. These constitute the major difficulties
for an Indian-European household identification.
During the Summer of 1962, the Brake Site (40Sw43) was
test excavated by the University of Tennessee as part of a
salvage program in the Lake Barkley Reservoir, Stewart Coun-
ty, Tennessee, area.* The program was sponsored by National
Park Service Contract Numbers 14-10-0131-947 and 14-10-0131-
917. Brake is located in a narrow, one-half square mile,
bottomland corridor on the left bank of the Cumberland River,
about 20 miles upriver from the Kentucky-Tennessee line. Ap-
proximately 10 acres of very fertile soil, for Stewart Coun-
ty, occurs as a narrow strip immediately adjacent to the ri-
The Brake Site actually consists of three archaeologi-
cal features: a house site and two discrete sparse Late Ar-
chaic camps. (Fig. 1) The house is situated on a ridge at
the pinched-out northwesternmost end of the fertile soil
strip referred to above. In this paper we are only concerned
with the house and associated artifacts.
The House Site
A 0.2 foot thick hard-baked house floor measured about
14 by 12+ feet in extent (Fig. 2). One edge had been re-
*Dr. Alfred K. Guthe, Head, Department of Anthropology, Uni-
versity of Tennessee (UT) was Project Supervisor for the
excavation. J. B. Graham, Chattanooga, Tennessee, was Field
Supervisor and Jefferson Chapman, Student, Yale University,
was Field Assistant. Nick M. Mathis and Calvert W. McIlhany
Students, UT, drew the accompanying illustrations.
Florida Anthropologist Vol. XVII, No. 3 165
THE BRAKE SITE 40 SW43
I TEST PIT 2.
I TEST PIT I
TRENCH I & Z
4-0 SW 4-3
moved by erosion. On the floor were found areas of charcoal
and ash, including charred poles, split cane, hickory nuts,
corncobs, and friable daub fragments. Apparently the house
burned down. No hearth or hearth area was found on the
house floor. With four small possible exceptions intrusive
through one edge of the floor, no post molds were discovered.
Along one edge, near the center, and extending slightly
out onto the floor was a pile of irregularly-shaped lime-
stone rocks. The pile measured about 5.4' x 4.2' x 1.5'
thick. Its base was on the floor surface which here was not
as heavily burned as elsewhere. The most probably interpre-
tation appears to be that this is part of a collapsed chim-
Strangely, if this is a log cabin with a dirt floor and
stone chimney, no foundation rocks were found. The expected
two post molds three to four feet apart to support a swing-
ing door may have eroded away along with one edge of the
house. At any rate, the evidence for a log cabin is not
conclusive, but merely suggestive.
In the rock pile was found a large china featheredged
plate rim sherd (Fig. 3). No other china was discovered in
the excavations. I. Noel Hume, Chief Archaeologist, Coloni-
al Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, examined the plate
fragment and offered the following comments in a letter dat-
ed January 23, 1963:
"Early examples of pearlware invariably appear blue
in the angles of base and marly where the glaze
piles up most thickly. This characteristic is ab-
sent from your fragment. The shell-edge molding is
weak and the blue border unusually pale. However,
the blue has been painted outwards towards the rim
and so retains the spirit of the shell-edge. On
the worst examples the blue is merely painted
around the edge, creating a stripe of even width.
All in all, therefore, I would say that the piece
is of reasonably good quality, but made towards the
end of the period in which blue shell-edged plates
were popular, i.e., circa 1810-1815. You will ap-
preciate that this is my opinion of the date of
manufacture, and not of deposition."
The remaining ceramics constitute a series of Late Mis-
sissippi sherds which together suggest a household assemb-
lage of about a dozen vessels. In addition, a pottery trowel
was found (Fig. 4). The only Mississippi sherds discovered
Figure 3. European artifacts from the Brake Site.
Pottery trowel and effigy bottle sherd from the
at the site were associated with the house floor and reck
pile (Fig. 5). Fragments collected represent a salt pan (43
sherds), six jars (27, 6, 2, 10, 32, and 1 sherds respective-
ly), one bowl (1 sherd), two bottles (1 sherd apiece), and
17 other sherds which may or may not belong to other vessels.
The sherds were matched on the basis of color, size, shape,
decoration, and paste.
A fairly detailed ceramic description can be found in
Morse (n.d.). All we will do here is summarize. There ap-
pear to be three sorts of paste groups represented: (1) a
light to medium concentration of clay particles and a high
(up to 50% or more of total "temper") concentration of medi-
um-sized shell particles; (2) the same as (1) with the addi-
tional characteristic of a sandy paste; and (3) a high con-
centration of clay particles and a light shell concentration.
The relatively meager evidence gathered in the Barkley Reser-
voir indicates that this clay particle concentration tends
to -increase during Middle and into Late Mississippi assemb-
lages both in reference to the percentage of sherds contain-
ing clay particles as well as possibly to relative sherd
concentration. At Brake, all sherds contained clay parti-
cles, but the reader must appreciate that this is probably a
household assemblage which is being compared to site assem-
The salt pan sherds are badly eroded on the exterior
surface, but there appear to be one and possibly two sorts
of weaves present: (1) simple twined and (2) twilled twined
(?)*. Interestingly Spaulding (nd) reported from a ceram-
ic analysis on two sites from Roane and Jefferson Counties,
in East Tennessee, that salt pan sherds from 1Je were exclu-
sively twilled twined while those from Rel were plain twined.
Most of the sherds from these two sites are Late Mississippi
(Dallas) and some may be Cherokee. Both essential techni-
ques were of almost equal predominance at Hiwassee Island
(Lewis and Kneberg, 1946: 107).
One jar has a strap handle with a convex obverse sur-
face. Another jar has a bifurcated strap handle. A third
jar has a handle which is almost of the "loop'? category.
The bowl has a lug or lip handle which probably was of the
bifurcate variety. This data indicates that handle shape
per se is not a very diagnostic trait if these sherds consti-
tute a single assemblage.
*Erroneously identified as plaited in Morse, n.d. The possi-
ble twilled impression is only represented by two very bad-
ly eroded sherds. 171
SCALE IN CENTIMETERS
Figure 5. Sketch of Sherds from the Brake Site.
Jars are consistent in exhibiting a sort of terrace
caused by the neck having been smoothed and hence slightly
recessed. This "terrace" dips toward the base beneath hand-
les. The only definite intentional design is on a small
sherd from the upper shoulder or rim of a jar. The design
preserved consists of only three straight parallel V-shaped
incisions. This is somewhat reminiscent of Barton Incised.
The two bottles are represented by a complete and a
fragmentary blanked-faced human effigy head (Fig. 3). The
complete head essentially is a triangle with two ears (?)
and a pointed headdress (?) (the "dunce cap" type). The a-
perture is a 2 to 2.5 cm. protruding spout. It is not known
if these effigy bottles would be expected on a late historic
level or not.
Iron artifacts were limited to the rock pile and includ-
ed ten square nails and spikes, one portion of a buckle (?),
one skillet handle (?), and one harness (?) ring (Fig. 2).
The ring is similar to ones used as a door latch in log ca-
bins. Why no iron objects were discovered outside the rock
pile is a puzzle if the rocks and the burned floor are con-
The end of a charred wooden spatula-like artifact was
collected from the house floor (Fig. 6). The original ob-
ject probably was oval in shape, with pointed or rounded
ends and flat surfaces. All cutting marks had been obliter-
ated by smoothing. It measures 54 x 34 x 10 mm. in maximum
thickness. The upturned end is only 5 mm. thick.
All of the excavation units produced flint artifacts
though most of the total collection was collected from the
surface on the ridge "behind" the house. This surface col-
lection included weathered Archaic specimens plus some possi-
ble unweathered Mississippi hoes and triangular points. As-
sociated with the house and rock pile were 12 unweathered
flakes, probably detached from a biconvexx core" and an un-
weathered crude chopper.
John E. Guilday, Carnegie Museum, has the following
comments concerning animal bones which were restricted to
the rock pile:
Domestic Cow 2 animals
Hog 2 animals
Sheep 1 animal
Chicken 1 animal
Sketch of Wooden Artifacts from the Brake Site.
No obvious saw or knife marks were noted and butchering
appears to have been done with an axe. The chicken was an
old rooster with long spurs. One hog and one cow were young,
but adult in size. The rest of the animals were mature a-
dults with closed epiphyses. Strangely, no wild fauna bones
were found in the assemblage.
If the rock pile and house floor are not contemporary,
then we have an extremely odd coincidence on our hands. If
they be chronometrically identical, however, the situation
hardly seems improved, but would perhaps indicate the follow-
ing: A log cabin measuring about 14 feet square with a dirt
floor and stone chimney located approximately 110 feet from
the river and near 10 acres of prime agricultural soil. It
would date presumably after around 1810-1815 on the basis of
the china fragment and possibly before about 1835, when John
Bell acquired large iron interests by marriage in Stewart
County including, apparently, a furnace located near the
Brake Site (Eaton, 1961:235). Whether the cabin is to be
peopled with a trader or overseer with an Indian wife is dif-
ficult to say.
Can we assume a racially mixed marriage plus aboriginal
conservation? Fairbanks (1962) found that Creek pottery
changed very little from around 1700 into 1800 although this
was a period of tremendous culture change. Apparently few
European ceramics were available, or perhaps guns, bullets,
and ornaments took precedence over containers. This data,
is drawn from a settlement of the nativistic Red Stick Pro-
phets. However Mason (1963) also points out the surprising
lack of European ceramics among the Lower Creeks of Ocmulgee
Town during a period of intensive trade contact.
This Stewart County area was part of the general "no-
man's land" bordering several historic Indian confederacies
and was utilized for hunting and trapping (and harassment)
purposes by several groups, including Cherokee, Choctaw,
Chickasaw, Shawnee, Delaware, and Creeks. (Ramsey, 1853).
According to Ramsey (1853:75-76), the six nations ceded this
territory to the King of England in 1768. For the next
half century, this general area apparently was utilized by
French traders and American explorer-trapper-settler types
(Ramsey, 1853:69, 193-5). In 1780, Donaldson (or Donelson)
saw a pair of hand-mill stones just upriver from the present
Kentucky state line while traveling via the long route from
Holston to Nashville (down the Tennessee to the Ohio and up
the Cumberland) (Ramsey, 1853:197-202). Stewart County was
formed in 1803 (Austin, et al, 1953:3). The Jackson Purchase
of 1818 made available the rich cotton region of the Chicka-
saw for North Carolina and Virginia farmers and speculators
(Eaton, 1961:32). Apparently as early as the late 18th cen-
tury, it was common for settlers to carry cattle and hogs
with them (Ramsey, 1853:204). Hence, a primitive log cabin
situation in the early 19th century is not entirely implau-
sible. But it is not conclusively established that the Brake
Site is such an example.
Austin, M.E., et al
1953 Soil Survey of Stewart County, Tennessee. US
Government Printing Office, Washington.
The Growth of Southern Civilization:
1860. Harper & Brothers, New York.
Fairbanks, Charles H.
1962 Late Creek Sites in Central Alabama. In Pa-
pers Presented at the 1st and 2nd Conferen-
ces on Historic Site Archaeology (Stanley A.
South, Ed.). Newsletter of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp
Lewis, Thomas M. N., and Madeline Kneberg
1946 Hiwassee Island: An Archaeological Account
of Four Tennessee Indian Peoples. University
of Tennessee Press. Knoxville.
Mason, Carol I.
1963 Eighteenth Century Culture Change Among the
Lower Creeks. The Florida Anthropologist,
Vol XVI, No. 3, p. 65-80. Gainesville.
Morse, Dan F.
n.d. Report of 1962 Excavations in the Stewart
County, Tennessee, Portion of the Lake Bark-
ley Reservoir. Submitted to National Park
Service in accordance with Contracts 14-10-
0131-917 and 14-10-0131-947, 1963. (274 pp.)
Ramsey, J. G. M.
1853 The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the
Eighteenth Century. Walker and James,Charles-
n.d. An Analysis of the Pottery from two Sites in
Eastern Tennessee. MA Thesis, University of
EXCAVATIONS IN SOUTHEAST FLORIDA, 1962-1963
To further advance the program of salvage archeology
and the search for early pottery types, three small tests
were made in Dade and Collier counties in late 1962 and
Description and Location of Sites
Collier County No. 1 is located in the NWk of Sec. 14,
Township 53 South, Range 32 East. This is on property of
the Loop Road from its intersection with the Tamiami Trail
at Monroe Station. The site is a hammock of oak, ficus, gum-
bo limbo, bustic hackberry and several stoppers. The sur-
rounding area is predominantly cypress. The soil is less
than 12 inches deep in many places and consists of black
dirt and sand with a limestone base. The land is only a few
feet about MSL.
The Medley midden occupies the approximate center of
Sec. 8, Township 53 South, Range 40 East, Dade County. It
is in a large rectangular hammock several feet above the sur-
rounding sawgrass. It can be seen to the west from the Pal-
metto ByPass approximately half way between the Doral Coun-
try Club and the Ideal rockpit operations at Medley. In
some parts of the hammock, soil was as deep as 30 inches be-
fore reaching limestone. Black dirt graded into white sand
then damp, brown sand to the limestone base which was occa-
The NW 109th Ave. site is in the NW of Lot 6 in the
Hiatus between Townships 53 and 54 South, Range 40 East,
Dade County. It is about 1.2 miles south on NW 108th Ave.
from its intersection with NW 25th St. The partly cleared
hammock was fenced and under cultivation with the exception
of a small knoll in its center where the tests were made.
After the tests this area was also plowed. A railroad spur
runs east and west a few hundred feet north of the site.
Soil was typical of the area, black dirt and sand filling
limestone pot-holes and to a depth varying from 14 to 18 in.
Only plain pottery was found in the 0-6" layer of the
small test at Collier County No. 1. In the second layer sev-
eral Key Largo sherds were found, attesting to occupation as
early as the Glades II period. Bone samples were taken and
were predominantly deer. Mixed with the skeletal material
were numerous Macrocallista shell fragments that appeared to
Florida Anthropologist Vol. XVII, No. 3 177
be broken scrapers. A Strombus adze, perforated shark's
tooth and a single bone point (Fig. 1,H) were also found in
the 0-6" level.
The first level, 0-6", of this site produced historical
artifacts such as flint, musket balls (Fig. 1, E-F), jugware
and beads. This shows Seminole occupation to fairly recent
times. What was thought to be a grooved, columnella plummet
(Fig. 1,G) proved to be a leg fragment of a porcelain doll.
The Glades pottery samples were in the expected stratigraphi-
cal sequence. However, two sherds of Deptford Linear Check
Stamped (Fig. 1,B) were found in the 12-18" level and earli-
er semi-fiber tempered sherds of the Transitional period
(Bullen, 1959) found at 202nd Street (Laxson, 1962).
A large bone awl (Fig. 1,A) was found in the 6-12" lev-
el. Other bone material was for the most part turtle, fish
and rodent. Shell fragments were abundant and were typical
of those found in all Glades middens i.e. Dosinia, Lucina,
Cassis, Planorbis, Busycon, Pomacea, Englandia, Strombus and
NW 108th St.
Most bone points found on this site were the socketed
type (Fig. 1,I) and the shell artifacts were represented by
several Strombus adzes (Fig. 1,J). A single, worn columnella
tool was found in the 0-6" level. Pottery sherds ran in se-
quence through Ft. Drum attesting to occupation to at least
early Glades II times.
In the Collier County site, the environment being more
suitable, deer appears to have replaced turtle as the staple
food of the Indian. The presence of perforated sharks teeth
used as a cutting tool, and Macrocallista shells, native to
the Ten Thousand Islands, and the Florida west coast, used
as scrapers, shows the possibility of Calusa hunters butcher-
ing on this site. Pottery types show occupation of the site
to at least the period 400-950 A.D.
Long occupation of the Medley No. 2 site is shown by
the depth of midden material, the large amounts of bone and
shell and the finding of Deptford Linear Check Stamped pot-
tery. Recent occupation by the Seminole is assumed from his-
torical artifacts found in the first 0-6" layer.
The small site on 108th Ave. was occupied to early
Glades II times. Considering the midden's size, bone points
Fig. 1. A, Bone awl; B, Deptford Linear Check Stamped; C-D, Ft. Drum
variants; E-F, Musket balls; G, Porcelain doll leg; H-I,
Bone projectile points; J, Strombus adze. Scale approximately
and shell scrapers were numerous showing the possibility of
this being a well-used hunting and camping site.
For permission to excavate, appreciation is expressed
to Mr. Jaun E. Serralles, owner of the Medley property; Mrs.
Edward Anderson, owner of the NW 108th Ave. site, and Mr. N.
J. Winkelman a resident on the property of the Everglades
Conservation Club in Collier County. Thanks are due the fol-
lowing for the location and excavation of the middens; Paul
and Barbara Kersterrer; Herbert and Henry Hill; Gloria Kal-
lesser, Jim Lee, N.J. Windelman, Donald Burger and Noel Herr-
mann. Gratitude is also due Ripley P. Bullen, Curator of So-
cial Sciences at the Florida State Museum, for help with i-
dentification of artifacts.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1959 "The Transitional Period in Florida." South-
eastern Archeological Conference Newsletter.
Vol. VI, November, 1959.
Goggin, John M., and Frank H. Sommer III
1949 "Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida'.
Yale University Publications in Anthropology,
No. 41. New Haven, Conn.
Laxson, Dan D.
1962 "Excavations in Dade and Broward Counties
1959-1961." Florida Anthropologist Vol. XV,
No. 1, March, 1962.
Willey, Gordon R.
1949 "Excavations in Southeast Florida." Yale U-
niversity Publications in Anthropology, No.
41. New Haven, Conn.
POTTERY DISTRIBUTION CHART
Pottery types Medley No. 2 NW 108 Ave.
O OI r ^ N O O^ r 0
(D 1 o > I I I 92
:Cr O .0 0> 0
Plain body sherds 804 437 93 40 3 527 200 129 78 58
Glades Plain rims 75 27 7 3 92 33 6 2 2
Glades Tooled 24 2 |15
St. Johns Check 2 1
Surfside Incised 2 2
Key Largo Incised 5 7 5 3
Miami Incised 3 7 5
Dade Incised 2 3
Ft. Drum Incised 1 4 5 3
Ft. Drum variant 1 2
Check Stamped 2
Unclass. Incised 1 1
Belle Glade Plain 7
Shark's teeth 2
perforated 3 1
Bone awl 1
Fluted bone pts. 10 2 1 11 2 1
Socketed bone pts. 1 2 2 5 2
Busycon scraper 1 2 1
Strombus adze 2 3 1 1
Columnella, worn 1 1
Flint nodules 2
Musket balls 2
Seminole beads 2
Doll fragment 1
Macrocallista 5 7
THE LITTLE COMMUNITY IN APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY
A CASE IN MEDICAL RESEARCH
Simon D. Messing, Ph. D.
Since the period of World War II, much of the field
work in cultural anthropology has shifted from the search
for isolated tribes to studies of peasant communities in un-
developed countries. One reason for this shift is that the
period envisioned by the British anthropologist Haddon has
come to pass: the isolation of most tribal groups has come
to an end, and they therefore no longer constitute neat sci-
entific units of human behavior. Fortunately a sufficient
number of them was observed in time to enable Professor Mur-
dock to begin his cross-cultural index at the Yale Human Re-
lations Area Files with 259 societies.
The second reason is the main concern of this paper and
relates to a development in anthropological theory and meth-
ods. This concern is with the much larger and more wide-
spread section of mankind that lives in villages and sus-
tains itself with subsistence agriculture. Carleton Coon
has pointed out that this majority of mankind still lives in
a form of social organization characterized by the "Neolith-
ic Village." These village people are more conscious and
concerned with their immediate locality and its mores than
with the fashions of their time, as Redfield points out in
his "Little Community." Just as in Carleton Coon's "Neolith-
ic Village" their web-of-life is woven around the plot which
the family group owns or sharecrops, or the pasture on which
their life-giving cattle grazes. They are often suspicious
of people who live on the other side of the hill, or who
earn their living by inherited handicrafts. To be a respec-
ted person among peasants, a villager usually has to own a
farming plot be it ever so small or poor. Among pastural-
ists he must own some cattle, regardless of whether it is
This attachment to land or flocks continues even after
the villager has moved into the nearest small town. This
peasant ethos extends also to the central importance of the
family which places a restraint on individual self-seeking.
It involves reverence for ancestors. The peasant is there-
Florida Anthropologist Vol. XVII, No. 3 182
fore a recognizable and enduring human type despite ethnic
particularism or regional specialization.
Applied anthropologists are largely concerned with un-
derstanding the Little Community and peasant ethos within
the context of traditional culture and the context of modern
change. The impact of this change usually comes from the
nearest town or city. New aspirations involve need for a
marketable cash crop, formal education for the children, and
the introduction of some form of modern medicine. Meanwhile,
the majority of peasants who are sharecroppers, are subject
both to the traditional hunger for a freehold homestead and
the new aspirations which lead some of them to flee the land
as soon as they think new economic opportunities are avail-
able in the town or city. In consequence, the attitude of
respect for the landed gentry, of whom the sharecropper in
the past asked only that he be generous and not abuse his
power, is giving way to peasant abrogation of feudalistic
traditions and demand for a homestead during the present gen-
Working within this context of large number of people,
undergoing the stresses of culture change, the applied an-
thropologist is concerned with the processes of culture
change in the theoretical aspect of his study, and with the
problem of accurate and precise sampling of attitudes and
practices in his methodology.
The second part of this paper will cite an example,
based on two years of study as member of a public health
This project was planned as a study of base-line condi-
tions existing prior to the establishment of health centers
in rural communities of Ethiopia, which range in population
from 1,000 to 4,500 inhabitants. These health centers were
designed to provide preventive rather than clinical medicine.
They were to be headed by Health Officers who had completed
secondary school, 3 years of training at the new Health Col-
lege in a provincial town, and one year of supervised work.
The staff was to include one or two "community nurses,"
girls who had completed elementary school, two years at the
college, one year of supervision. Each center was also to
have one or two sanitarians of similar educational back-
ground as the girls, but only one year's training plus super-
The medical members of the research team were interested
in the study of endemic disease patterns and water pollution.
The anthropologist was concerned with attitudes and practi-
ces relating to sickness and health, in various ecological
and ethnic parts of the country. The data had to be gathered
on a random sample of households in each community. The task
therefore required extensive local cooperation, rapport,
mapping, marking of doors, locating influential but unoffi-
cial as well as official opinion leaders. Questionnaires
had to be designed to obtain the less sensitive type of data
first, and to formulate the questions in such a way as to be
meaningful within the regional and local culture. A local,
ethnographic "community report" therefore preceded each sam-
Studies of the process of culture change are faced with
expected as well as unexpected problems. It was not unex-
pected that the young, single girls attached to health cen-
ters would be difficult to fit into a culture in which only
one type of young female ever lives alone. However, a par-
tial solution, that of marrying the "community nurse" to the
sanitarian prior to assignment, turned out to be workable in
a number of cases. Also unexpected was the observation that
the hypodermic needle has won general acceptance, even prior
to the arrival of qualified medical practitioners, while
pills were rejected even if they were distributed by respec-
ted medical missionaries, until the indigenous, traditional
healer had confirmed the proper color, size, and quantity of
the appropriate pills handed each patient. Differences be-
tween tribal-linguistic-regional and ecological groups were
worked into the research design to give some representation
to the different sections of the country of over 20 million
The requirements of modern random sampling created dif-
ficulties for the requirement of maintaining rapport. If a
landlord happened to fall outside the sample while his share-
cropper was tested and questioned, this seemed illogical, es-
pecially if the landlord had some education and considered
himself better qualified to give information. The same prob-
lem puzzled local people if an "ignorant" old woman or young
man was questioned, while the attitudes of more knowledge-
able neighbors were omitted because of the random sampling.
A third difficulty arose when apparently healthy persons
were questioned while sick ones fell outside the sample. The
procedures had to be explained over and over, likened to a
lottery in which everyone has an equal chance, and free medi-
cal treatment had to be given to all locals who asked, al-
though originally intended only for respondents.
A number of differential ethnic and ecological attitudes
and practices were found. Handwashing was thought of by
many respondents in connection with ritual observance,before
prayer or before eating. Despite shortage of water in the
arid lowlands, there was more washing there than in geogra-
phically more favored regions. Pride in their hardiness of
some ethnic groups caused many to deny sickness, despite
their awareness that physical exertion often brought death
(due to endemic tuberculosis). The slight fermentation of
barley beer was widely believed to purify polluted water,
and the only group found exempt from this belief was one
that relied on camel's milk. Divorced women who earned their
livelihood brewing light beer in their huts and serving male
customers there, washed their hands after dirtying them at
work, lest their clients take their patronage elsewhere.
Sunshine for infants was feared, thus depriving them of much-
needed vitamin D. Only some of the merchants, a few school-
teachers and young, salaried officials were boiling unsafe
water before drinking, and even they did not reject drinks
made with polluted water if offered at a home in which they
1. The applied anthropologist today requires special pre-
paration for his work. In his orientation and theory he
requires more political science than was required of the
former generation of anthropologists working with isola-
ted tribes or clans.
For his methodology he must increasingly turn to sociol-
ogy, particularly demography, to learn design, operation
and coding of precise and accurate sampling on a random
2. Peasant ethos revolves around the context of the home-
stead, and all institutions involved in culture change,
notably education and public health enterprises, must ac-
cept this fact. Anthropological research can facilitate
culture change with traditional attention to ecological
and ethnic particulars, but must be aware of the univer-
sals that exist in the Little Community unit of culture.
1948 Reader in General Anthropology. Holt
Messing, Simon D.
1957 The Highland-plateau Amhara of Ethiopia.
Ph.D. dissertation, UniversLty of Pennsylvan-
1958 The Role of Applied Political Science in An-
thropological Field Work. Human Organiza-
tion, Vol. 17, No. 2.
1962 The Community of Chwahit. Technical Report
No. 4, Public Health College, Gondar, Ethio-
Murdock, G. P.
1949 Social Structure. MacMillan
Prince, Julius S.
1958 Public Philosophy in Public Health. Journal
of the American Public Health Association,
1960 The Little Community. University of Chicago