Front Cover
 Back Cover

Title: Seminole music
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/FS00000025/00001
 Material Information
Title: Seminole music
Series Title: Seminole music
Physical Description: Book
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Bibliographic ID: FS00000025
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA0247
ltuf - AAU2204

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Main 2
        Main 3
        Main 4
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        Main 275
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    Back Cover
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Full Text

..... ........
av iNC

10"E-A o"











Panthr (n j BiL h

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For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. Price 1 (paper cover)






Washington, D. C., March 30, 1955.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a manuscript entitled
"Seminole Music," by Frances Densmore, and to recommend that it
be published as a bulletin of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Very respectfully yours,
M. W. STIRLING, Director.
Secretary, Smithsonian Institution.

7---------------- -


'The Seminole of Florida are a Muskhogean tribe originally made
up of immigrants who moved down into Florida from the Lower
Creek towns on the Chattahoochee River. Their tribal name is de-
ived from a Creek word meaning "separatist" or "runaway," sug-
ting that they lack the permanent background of the tribes whose
mIusic had previously been studied.1
The writer's first trip to the Seminole in Florida was in January
1931, and the Indians observed were from the Big Cypress Swamp
-group. The second visit, begun in November 1931, continued until
March of the following year, the study including both the Cypress
Swamp and Cow Creek groups of the tribe. Two exhibition villages
near Miami afforded an opportunity to see the native manner of life.
These were Musa Isle and Coppinger's Tropical Gardens. The
managers of both villages extended their cooperation, and the princi-
pal interpreter was Cory Osceola, a grandson of the celebrated chief
Robert Osceola. Many songs were recorded, and the work was ex-
tended to the Seminole in the vicinity of Dania and to the camps of
Seminole along Tamiami Trail, especially the camp of Chestnut Billie
Sand that known as Fifteen Mile Camp. In February 1932, a trip
was made to the interior of the Big Cypress Swamp under the escort
of W. Stanley Hanson, of Fort Myers; five camps were visited and
photographed. Continuing her journey, the writer went to the
"Indian Prairie" northwest of Lake Okeechobee and thence south into
the cabbage palm country, which is the home of the Cow Creek group.
Several camps were visited, and the songs were recorded at Brighton
through the courtesy of Mrs. Eliza Fielden, the storekeeper. The
return to Miami was by way of Fort Lauderdale, where an ancient
Seminole burial ground was photographed.
A third trip to the Seminole was made in February 1933, in con-
nection with a survey of Indian music in the Gulf States made pos-
sible by a grant-in-aid from the National Research Council. Another
visit was made to the Cow Creek group, and songs were again recorded
at Brighton.
The only tribal gatherings of the Seminole are the Corn Dance in
June and the Hunting Dance in September. The customs of these
gatherings differ in the two groups. The songs of the Cypress Swamp
'See Authorities Cited (Densmore 1910, 1913, 1918, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1929 b, 1929 c.
1932 a, 1932 b, 1936. 1938, 1939. 1942, 1943 a. 1943 b).


group were recorded by Charlie Billie, who is the leader, and by
Panther, who is prominent in the ceremony, while the songs of the
Cow Greek group were recorded by Billie Stewart, who is the leader
in that group. The total number of Seminole songs presented is 243,
including the songs of 28 social dances, songs for success in hunting
and in the ball game, songs used in the treatment of the sick, and
songs connected with legends. Numerous specimens were collected,
including a woman's costume and three canoe models-.showing the
types of canoes used by the Seminole.
On the second and third trips the writer had the helpful companion-
ship of her sister, Margaret Densmore.
To the National Research Council and to all who assisted in col-
lecting this material the writer extends her appreciation and thanks.
This report closes in 1933, as stated, and does not refer to later
authorities on the Seminole, nor to the recording of additional
Seminole songs by the writer in 1954, under the auspices of the
University of Florida.


Foreword--------.. --------------------------------------------- v
List of songs-__-- ----------------------------------------------
Arranged in order of serial numbers----------------------------- x
Arranged in order of catalog numbers -------------------------- xvi
Special signs used in transcriptions of songs ---------------------xxv
Phonetics-__-------..----------------------------------------------- xx
Names of singers and number of songs transcribed--_---------------- xxiv
Informants and interpreters. ------------------ -- xxiv
Informants who were not interpreters- ..---------- -- ------------- xxv
Characterization of singers and informants ------------------------ xxv
Cypress Swamp Group- ------------------------------------- xxv
Cow Creek Group -------------------------------------------- xxvI
Informants who did not record songs-------------------------------- xxvin
Interpreters ---------------------------------------------------xxv
The Seminole in history ---------------------------------------- 1
The Seminole of modern times and their abode ---------------------- 5
Seminole camps and villages--------------------------------------- 7
Villages in the cabbage palm region-------------------------- 11
Fifteen Mile Camp------------------------------------------- 12
Chestnut Billie's Village_ --_----------------------------------- 13
Temporary camp -------------------------------------------- 14
Exhibition villages -- ..-------------------- -------------- 15
Dwellings ------------------------------------------------------- 15
Clothing and ornaments ------------------------------------------- 16
Hair dressing.--..---------------------------------------------- 20
Cultivation of the soil -------------------------------------------- 20
Planting of corn_ ---------------------------------------- --- 21
Fishing and hunting ..---------------------------------------------- 21
Food and its preparation -------------------------------------- 21
Preparation of hides .-------------------------------------------- 26
Names--------------------------------------- -------------------- 26
Names connected with clans ------------------------------------ 26
Names connected with localities _____------ ------------------ 26
'Marriage ------------------------------------------------- --- -- 27
lIHmelife ---------------------------------------------------- 27
Washing of clothing----------------------------------------------- 27
alendar---------------------------- ------------------------ 28
Knowledge received in dreams ---------------------------------- 28
Use of "protective medicine ----------------------------------------- 29
Authority of old men----_--------------------------------------- --- 29
verification ----------------------------------------------------- 29
Punishment----...-_-------------------------------------------- --30
Industries ------------------------------------- ------------ 30
Canoes and their making ------------ _-------------------------- 30
SSilverwork --------------- 32



Industries-Continued PAGE
Carving of wooden dolls.------------------------------------- 33
Making of patchwork banding --------------------.------------ 33
Woven beadwork ----------------------------------------- 33
Death and burial ----------------------------------------------- 4
Miscellaneous notes -------------------------------------------- 37
Musical instruments ---- -------------------------------- 38
Rattles-------------------------------------------------- 38
Drums.---.-------------------------------------------- 39
Flutes ------------------------------------------------------ 39
Corn Dance..-------------------------------------------------- 40
Cypress Swamp group------------------------------------------ 40
Buffalo Dance-------------------------------------------- 42
Corn Dance---------------------------------------------- 45
Cow Creek group ---------------------------------------------- 53
Buffalo Dance ------------------------------------------- 53
Medicine men's Dance ------------------------------------- 54
Corn Dance ---------------------------------------- ---- 56
Calusa Corn Dance- _-----------------------_---------------. 59
Analyses of Corn Dance songs and of related dances. --------------- 60
Hunting Dance_ -.----_---_-------------------------------------- 66
Cypress Swamp group--------------------..-------------------- 66
Cow Creek group --_---- -------------------------------- 70
Calusa Hunting Dance ------------------------------------- 81
Analyses of Hunting Dance songs------------------------------------ 85
Cypress Swamp Group--------------------------------------- 85
Cow Creek group ._--- -------------- -------------- 86
Calusa Hunting Dance----------------------------------------- 90
Social dances--..-------------------------------------------------- 91
Alligator Dance ---------------------------------------------- 91
Cypress Swamp group------------------------------------- 91
Cow Creek group------------------------------------------ 93
Baby Alligator Dance------------------------------------------ 96
Lizard Dance ------------------------------------------------ 97
Bird Dances-Cypress Swamp group..------------------------- 98
Chicken Dance ----------------------------------------------- 104
Black Grass Dance---------------------------------------------106
Stomp Dance ----------------------------------------------- 107
Hinata Dance ---------------------------------------------- 110
Quail Dance------------------------------------------------- 116
Blackbird Dance ..---.--------------------------------------. 118
Buzzard Dance .------------------------------------------------ 119
Catfish Dance----------------------------------------------- 119
Turkey Dance .. -------------- .---------------------- ---- 122
Whooping Crane Dance---------------------------------------- 122
Sandhill Crane Dance.------------------------------------------124
Screech Owl Dance ---- -------------------------------- 126
Rabbit Dance..---------------------------------------------- 128
Fox Dance--------------------------------------------------- 129
Switchgrass Dance ----------..------------------------------- 130
Hair Dance ---- ------ ---------------------------------- 134
Two-direction Dance ---------------------------------------- -- 137
Steal-partner Dance ------------------------------------------- 138
Old Dance-------------------------------------------------- 141

_ ---



Social dances-Continued PAGE
Old Man's Dance .------------------------------------------- 144
Snake Dance.------------------------------------------------ 145
Crawfish Dance ..---------------. -------------------------- -- 147
Drunken Dance---------------------------------------------- 148
Skunk Dance _-------------------------------.-------------- 151
Children's dances ------------------------------------------------ 152
Analyses of social and children's dance songs ------------------------- 154
Alligator Dance songs-Cypress Swamp group---.----------------- 154
Alligator Dance songs-Cow Creek group------------------------- 154
Baby Alligator Dance songs_--------------------------------- 154
Lizard Dance songs _--------------------------.-------------- 155
Bird Dance songs-Cypress Swamp group ----------------------- 155
Chicken Dance songs ----------.--------------------------- --- 157
Black Grass Dance songs ------------------------------------- 157
Stamp Dance songs ------------------------------------------- 158
Hinata Dance songs------------------------------------------- 158
Quail Dance songs------------------------------------------ -- 158
Black Bird Dance song ---------------------------------------- 159
Buzzard Dance songs ------------------------------------------ 159
Catfish Dance songs ..--------------. ----------------------- 160
Turkey Dance song_ _----------------------------------------- 160
Whooping Crane Dance songs ---.------------------------------ 161
Sandhill Crane Dance songs.------------------------------------ 161
Screech Owl Dance song- --..---------------- --------------- 162
Rabbit Dance song-------------------------------------------- 163
Fox Dance songs.--------------------------------------------- 163
Switchgrass Dance songs--------------------------------------- 163
Hair Dance songs------------------------------------------- 164
Two-direction Dance songs-------------------------------------- 165
Steal-partner Dance songs ------------------------------------- 165
Songs of an Old Dance ----_---------------_------ ------------- 165
Old Man's Dance songs --------------------------------------- 166
Snake Dance songs_ ..---------- ------------------------------ 167
Crawfish Dance songs ------------------------------------------167
Drunken Dance songs------------------------------------------ 167
Skunk Dancesongs ..---------------------------------------- 167
Children's Dance songs.-------------------.-------------------- 168
Songs connected with treatment of the sick -------------------------- 168
Analyses of songs connected with treatment of the sick- --------------- 175
Songs for success in hunting -----.------------------------------ 176
Analyses of songs for success in hunting------------------------------ 184
Songs for success in ball game-------------------------------------- 186
Analyses of songs for success in ball game --------------------------- 192
Stories and legends-...--------------- ----------------------- ----- 193
The opossum and her lost baby .._------------- ---------------- 193
Why the rabbit is wild---------------------------------------- 195
The rabbit who stole the fire---------------------------------- 196
Legend concerning the dog __--_------------ .__- --.- 196
The origin of white corn.-------------------------------------- 197
Legend of the flood------------------------------------------ 197
Legend concerning the two brothers------------------------------ 198
Cypress Swamp version ----- --------- ------------ 198
Cow Creek version.--------------------------------------- 200



Miscellaneous songs _..--_---------------- ---- 201
Analyses of songs with stories and miscellaneous songs ----------------- 208
Summary of analyses of Seminole songs, with comparisons between
Seminole songs and songs of other tribes ---------------------------- 210
Authorities cited----------------------------------------------- 217
Index.---------------------------------------------.-------- ----- 219

E;-- ------hll_-~--ll______. ~~ -_P----~_-~-;~~_ _



(All plates except frontispiece follow page 218.)

1. Frontispiece: Panther (Josie Billie).
2. a, Billie Motlo. b, CoryOsceola.
3. a, Tiger Tail. b, Sam Willie and son.
4. a, Charlie Billie. b, Mrs. John Tiger.
5. a, Woman drawing water. b, Charlie Snow. c, Billie Stewart.
6. a, Mrs. Tiger Tail. b, Young woman. c, Tony Tommie's mother.
7. Seminole scraping a deerhide.
8. a, Family group. b, Charlie Billie and family. e, Man hewing dugout canoe.
9. a, Old man in canoe; Chestnut Billie, owner of village on Tamiami Trail, on
bridge. b, Seminole poling canoes in Everglades. c, Cooking in the camp.
10. a, Wilson Cypress making ox yoke. b, Scene in temporary camp. c, Charlie
Cypress' hunting camp.
11. a, Typical Seminole house. b, Seminole women cooking under thatched roof.
r, Portion of Musa Isle village in which songs were recorded.
12. a, Group of Seminole in Musa Isle village. b, View of typical Seminole village
from a dirigible. (Photograph by Claude C. Matlack.)
13. a, Seminole village, b, Typical landscape on southwestern border of Ever-
glades. c, Men poling canoes.
14. a, Camp in the Everglades. b, Canoe loaded with household goods, c, Boy
sailing a canoe.
15. a, Hides drying on trees; hammock in distance. b, Woman taking washing
out of water, c, Billie Buster's garden.
16. a, Girls pounding corn. b, Man and'woman planting corn.
17. a, Dance. b, Cooking with typical arrangement of logs.
18. a, Woman scraping and washing coontie (comtie) roots, b, Woman grating
coontie roots. c, Woman stirring coontie flour in barrel.

1. Diagram of New Florida Camp in Everglades---------------------

*The portraits were by Claude C. Matlack, of Miami Beach, Fla.; all except the portrait.
of Charles Billie (pl. 4, a) were taken for the present work. Other illustrations, with a
few exceptions, were taken by the author.





Serial Catalog
No. No.
1. Buffalo Dance song (a)- ------------------------------- 2080
2. Buffalo Dance song (b)---------------------------------- 2081
3. Buffalo Dance song (c)-------------------- -----------..- 2082
4. Buffalo Dance song (d)---------------------------------- 2083
5. Corn Dance song (a) ------------------------------------ 2084
6. Corn Dance song (b)-_-------------------------------- 2085
7. Corn Dance song (c)---------------------------------- 2086
8. Corn Dance song (d) -------------------------------- 2087
9. Corn Dance song (e) ------------------------------------ 2088
10. Corn Dance song (f) ---------------------------------2089
11. Corn Dance song (g)------------------------------------ 2090
12. Corn Dance song (h) _-- ------------------------- ._ 2091

13. Buffalo Dance song (e).-----------.-------------------- 2384
14. Buffalo Dance song (f)---------------------------------- 2317

15. Song of medicine men's dance (a) ---------------_---------2172
16. Song of medicine men's dance (b)-------------------------- 2173
17. Song of medicine men's dance (c) --------------------------2174
18. Song of medicine men's dance (d)------------------------- 2175
19. Corn Dance song (i)-----------------------------------2180
20. Corn Dance song (j)------------------------------------2181
21. Corn Dance song (k)-------------------------.--------- 2182
22. Corn Dance song (1) --- ------------------------ 2183
23. Corn Dance song (m)_ -------------------------------- 2184
24. Corn Dance song (n)_ -----------------------------------2185
25. Calusa Corn Dance song ------------------------------- 2064


26. Hunting Dance song (a) ---------------------------------- 2072
27. Hunting Dance song (b) ---------------------------------2073
28. Hunting Dance song (c)---------------------------------- 2074
29. Hunting Dance song (d) --------------------------------- 2075
30. Hunting Dance song (e) ---------------------------------- 2076
31. Hunting Dance Song (f)------------------------------2077
32.' Hunting Dance Song (g) --------------------------------- 2078
33. Hunting Dance Song (h) ---------------------------------2079




Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song
Hunting Dance song

(c) ----------------------
(d) -- -------------- ------

(g)------- -------
(g) _----.------------------------

(h) -----------------------------------
(i) -------------------------
(j) _.---.---- .. .-
(n) -- ------- --------
(o) ----

(w) ------ ---------------------



Calusa Hunting Dance song (a)
Calusa Hunting Dance song (b)---
Calusa Hunting Dance song (c)--------------
Calusa Hunting Dance song (d)------------------ --
Calusa Hunting Dance song (e)------------
Calusa Hunting Dance song (f)------
Calusa Hunting Dance song (g)


Alligator Dance song (a)....------
Alligator Dance song (b) .....---------
Closing song of Alligator Dance-----

- .---.--- ---- 2122
- .----.--- 2123
------ 2124

67. Alligator Dance song (c) ------ ---- 2298 94
68. Alligator Dance song (d)----- -- 2299 94
69. Alligator Dance song (e)--------------------------------- 2300 94
70. Alligator Dance song (f) ------------------ 2301 95
71. Alligator Dance song (g) ----------------------------- 2302 95
72. Alligator Dance song (h)--------------------- 2303 95
73. Alligator Dance song (i) -------------------------------- 2304 95
74. Baby Alligator Dance (a) .------------- -- 2442 96
75. Baby Alligator Dance (b) ------------------- 2443 96
76. Lizard Dance (a) ---- -_ 2440 97
77. Lizard Dance (b)------------------------------ ------ 2441 97




II _____________________________________________________



song (a)---------
song (b) -------------------------------------
song (c) ------------------------------------
song (d)-------------------------------------
song (e)------------------- ----------
song (f) ---------------
song (g) -----------------------------------
song (h) -------------------------
song (i) -----------------------------
song (j) ------- ----------- --------
song (k)-----------------------------------
song (1) ---------------------------------
song (m) _-------------------- --


Chicken Dance song (a)-------------------------------
Chicken Dance song (b)--------------------------------
Chicken Dance song (c)--- -----
Chicken Dance song (d)-------------------------------
Black Grass Dance song (a)------------------------------
Black Grass Dance song (b)-----------------------------
Black Grass Dance song (c)----------- -
Stomp Dance song (a)- ------------------------
Stomp Dance song (b)---------------------------------
Stomp Dance song (c) --------------------------------
Stomp Dance song (d)----------------

103. Stomp Dance song (e)-----------------------------------

104. Stomp Dance
105. Hinata Dance
106. Hinata Dance
107. Hinata Dance
108. Hinata Dance
109. Hinata Dance
110. Hinata Dance
111. Hinata Dance
112. Hinata Dance
113. Hinata Dance
114. Hinata Dance
115. Hinata Dance
116. Hinata Dance
117. Hinata Dance
118. Hinata Dance
119. Hinata Dance
120. Hinata Dance
121. Hinata Dance

song (f) ----------------------------------
song (a) ----------------------------------
song (b)--------------- ------- --
song (c)---------------------------------
song (d)--------------------------------
song (e)--------------------------------
song (f) --------------------
song (g) ----------------------------------
song (h) ---------------------------------
song (i) --------------------------------
song (j) ------------
song (k)--------------------------------
song (1) ----------------------------
song (m) -------- -----------------
song (n)-----------------------
song (o)----------------------------------
song (p) --------------------------------
song (q)---------------------------------

122. Quail Dance song (a)---------------------- - ---
123. Quail Dance song (b)-----------------------------------
Duplication of No. 123----------------------------
124. Blackbird Dance song----------------------------------
125. Buzzard Dance song (a)---------------------------------
126. Buzzard Dance song (b)--------------------------------
127. Catfish Dance song (a) _--------------------------------
128. Catfish Dance song (b)-------------------------------


338460 0-56---2

song (n) ------



Serial Catalog
No. No. Page
129. Catfish Dance song (c)----------------------------------- 2129 121
130. Catfish Dance song (d) --------------------------------- 2130 121
131. Catfish Dance song (e)--------------------------------- 2462 121
132. Turkey Dance song ----------------------------------- 2106 122
133. Whooping Crane Dance song (a)-------------------------- 2425 123
134. Whooping Crane Dance song (b)-------------------------- 2426 123
135. Whooping Crane Dance song (c) ------------------------- 2427 123
136. Whooping Crane Dance song (d)------------------------- 2428 124
137. Sandhill Crane Dance song (a)---------------------------- 2145 124
138. Sandhill Crane Dance song (b)---------------------------- 2146 124
139. Sandhill Crane Dance song (c)--------------------------- 2147 125
140. Sandhill Crane Dance song (d)---------------------------- 2148 125
141. Screech Owl Dance song (a)------------------------------- 2107 126
142. Screech Owl Dance song (b)------------------------------- 2108 126
143. Screech Owl Dance song (c) ------------------------------ 2109 127
144. Screech Owl Dance song (d)------------------------------- 2448 127
145. Rabbit Dance song ------------------------------------ 2447 128
146. Fox Dance song (a) ------_ -------------------------- 2385 129
147. Fox Dance song (b) ---------------------------------- 2386 129
148. Fox Dance song (c)------------------------------------ 2387 129
149. Fox Dance song (d)------------------------------------- 2388 130
150. Fox Dance song (e) --------- ------------------------ 2389 130
151. Switchgrass Dance song (a)------------------------------- 2132 130
152. Switchgrass Dance song (b) ------------------- - ------- 2133 131
153. Switchgrass Dance song (c) ---------------.------------- 2134 131
154. Switchgrass Dance song (d) ----- --.--------------------- 2135 131
155. Switchgrass Dance song (e) ----------------------------- 2136 131
156. Switchgrass Dance song (f) ------------------------------- 2137 132
157. Switchgrass Dance song (g) _----------- ----------------- 2311 132
158. Switchgrass Dance song (h)------------------------------ 2312 132
159. Switchgrass Dance song (i) ---------------- -------------- 2313 133
160. Switchgrass Dance song (j) .-------------------------- 2314 133
161. Switchgrass Dance song (k)------------------------------ 2315 133
162. Switchgrass Dance song (1) ------------------------------ 2316 133
163. Hair Dance song (a) ----.--------------- -------- ----- 2390 134
164. Hair Dance song (b) ---------------------------------- 2391 135
165. Hair Dance song (c) ------------------------------------ 2392 135
166. Hair Dance song (d) ----------------------------------- 2432 136
167. Hair Dance song (e) --------------------- ----------- 2433 136
168. Hair Dance song (f) -------------------------------- 2434 137
169. Two-direction Dance song (a)----------------------------- 2435 137
170. Two-direction Dance song (b)----------------------------- 2436 137
171. Two-direction Dance song (c) ----------------------------- 2437 138
172. Steal-partner Dance song (a) ----------------------------- 2305 138
173. Steal-partner Dance song (b) --------------------------- 2306 139
174. Steal-partner Dance song (c)------------------------------ 2307 139
175. Steal-partner Dance song (d)---------------------------- 2308 140
176. Steal-partner Dance song (e)----------------------------- 2300 140
177. Steal-partner Dance song (f) ---------------------------- 2310 141
178. Song of an Old Dance (a) -------------------------------- 2176 141
179. Song of an Old Dance (b)----------------------------- 2177 142


- --T-- -II-- I


Serial Catalog
No. No. Page
180. Song of an Old Dance (c) ---------------------2178 143
181. Song of an Old Dance (d) ---------------_.__----_ 2179 143
182. Old Man's Dance song (a) ----- --- 2416 144
183. Old Man's Dance song (b) ------------------2417 144
184. Old Man's Dance song (c)_-- 2418 144
185. Old Man's Dance song (d) ----------------------- 2419 145
186. Old Man's Dance song (e) -----_ 2420 145
187. Old Man's Dance song (f) ---------- ---------2421 145

188. Snake Dance song (a) -------------.------- -- 2125 146
189. Snake Dance song (b) --------------- ------------- 2126 146

190. Crawfish Dance song (a) ---------___ 2429 147
191. Crawfish Dance song (b) ----------.------- --------- 2430 147
192. Crawfish Dance song (c) ----------- -_ __-- 2431 148
193. Drunken Dance song (a) 2444 149
194. Drunken Dance song (b) ------------------2445 149
195. Drunken Dance song (c)------------------------------- 2456 150
196. Drunken Dance song (d) ------------ ----- 2457 150

197. Skunk Dance song (a) ---------- ------------------ 2438 151
198. Skunk Dance song (b)---- 2439 151

199. Lightningbug Dance ---------_- 2459 152
200. Little bud Dance--------- 2460 152
201. Little fish Dance _---...-------------_ 2461 153
202. Little boy's Dance ---------- 2463 153

203. Song used in treatment of lumbago ------------------------2273 170
204. Song for a sick baby ---------------------------- 2277 171
205. Song for bringing a child into the world ___ 2276 172
206. "The white sun-lady" ------------------------------ 2274 173
207. Song for the dying_ _- 2275 174




Song for success in hunting (a) ----- ---------
"It moves about as it feeds"__----- -- -----_-_
Song for success in hunting (b)--
"They are feeding"-----------------
"The old bear makes a noise"_. __
The unsuccessful hunter _______-________
"We are going to hunt"
"A man drives in the game"---
"The scaffold is empty" ----------------
"We are tying up the dead animal" ----------
"We search for fat game" ______
"Feeding the fire" --------------_-




Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song
Ball game song

(a) -_ ---------- 2280
(b) --- -- ---------- 2281
(c) --------- - 2282
(d) -------------------------------- 2283
(e) -------------- -- ----------- 2284
(f) ----------------------------- 2285
(g) -------------------- -----2293
()--------- ------------- ------ 2294
(i)--------------------------------- 2295
(j) ----------- ----2296
(k) ---------- ------------ --- 2297


The opossum calls her lost baby _-_ .. .
The opossum dies -- ---------
The rabbit brings back a snake--_---__


Song concerning the removal of the Seminole to Oklahoma (a) -
Song concerning the removal of th_ Seminole to Oklaho 'a (b) -
My old slaves-------------------------------------
Song to a motherless boy..- -------------
Song to a child -------- ---- -------------
Drinking song (a)-------------------------------------
Drinking song (b)-------------------------- --------
Drinking song (c) ------- --------------
Song of friendship (a)------------------------------
Song of friendship (b)---------------------------------
Song of friendship (c)-----------------------
Song of friendship (d)--- ----

2139 194
2140 194
2138 195


Title of song


Name of singer No.

Calusa Corn Dance song -----------Billie Stewart--_--
Calusa Hunting Dance song (a)----- -.. do
Calusa Hunting Dance song (b)---------do-------------
Calusa Hunting Dance song (c)--------do-------------
Calusa Hunting Dance song (d) --------do----
Calusa Hunting Dance song (e) ----------do-
Calusa Hunting Dance song (f) ----------do-
Calusa Hunting Dance song (g) ---. -----do
Hunting Dance song (a) --------- Charlie Billie ---
Hunting Dance song (b)---------------- do
Hunting Dance song (c) --------------do
Hunting Dance song (d) --------------do
Hunting Dance song (e)--------------- do--




Title of song

Hunting Dance song (f) --
Hunting Dance song (g)
Hunting Dance song (h)---_
Buffalo Dance song (a) --
Buffalo Dance song (b)
Buffalo Dance song (c)
Buffalo Dance song (d)--
Corn Dance song (a)

Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song
Dance song



(j) _

Bird Dance sang (n)--
Turkey Dance song ____
Screech Owl Dance song (a)___
Screech Owl Dance song (b)___
Screech Owl Dance song (c)-_-
Song Jor success in hunting (a)
"It moves about as it feeds" -
Song for success in hunting (b)
"They are feeding" -_.
"The old bear makes a noise"-
The unsuccessful hunter.-----
"We are going to hunt" __
A man drives in the game (a)
"The scaffold is empty" (b)-__
"We are tying up the dead ani
"We search for fat game"-----
"Feeding the fire" -__----_
Alligator Dance song (a)
Alligator Dance song (b) -.
Closing song of Alligator dance
Snake Dance song (a) --

Name of singer

-- Charlie Billie -----_-
----- --- do --------------
. -----do --------------
Panther -----
----- ----- do ---------------
S------ do ------------
-.. ... .. d o . .
. ... d o .. .
---- --do---------
-.--- -_ do------------
.--- ---- do---------------

S--_--do ---______
---- __do-----------
----- -- do----------
___- --.do---__---------
____- -----do---___-_- -___-
___ _-___do.---_----
--- __ do- ----
-_-- -_..do-----__---
___ .-- do-__ ____--
.-- _-_- do---------.-_
---- .-. do--------
---- -----do_ ----
-- ----- do_______.

-.- ----do------------
.---- __ do_- -----
----- ----- do ---------------
----- __ do -
-- ---. do__ .- _------
-- do--------------
-. --- -----do --.------------
---.- --. do-------------
----- ----do----. -- ----

-. -----do -.-------------
- .----.. do--------------
---_ ----do ------.---.---

--- ------do---------------
----- do ------.--------
-.- -----do---------------
-.-- -----do--------------

..--- --- do--------------
----- ----do--------------
-- ----- do ..----------
- __ ----. do -.-------------.
----- ----- do ---------------
----- ___- do ---. ------- ---

----- ---- do--------------.
do --------------
.-----do ---------------
------do --------




31 69
32 69
33 70
1 43
2 43
3 44




Title of song

Snake Dance song (b) --
Catfish Dance song (a) -____
Catfish Dance song (b)
Catfish Dance song (c)
Catfish Dance song (d)-
Quail Dance song (a) ----
Switehgrass Dance song (a)
Switchgrass Dance song (b)-----
Switchgrass Dance song (c).
Switchgrass Dance song (d) ---
Switchgrass Dance song (e)-----
Switchgrass Dance song (f).....--
The rabbit brings back a snake - -
The opossum calls her lost baby ----
The opossum dies -----
Song of friendship (a)
Song of friendship (b)
Song of friendship (c)
Song of friendship (d)
Sandhill Crane Dance song (a) --


Dance song (b) --
Dance song (c) -
Dance song (d) --
song (a)
song (b)_
song (c)
song (d)
song (e)_
song (f)
song (g)-____
song (h) -----
song (i)
song (j)---- --
song (k)
song (1)-
song (m)
song (n)
song (o)
song (p)
song (q)
song (r)
song (s)-
song (t)
song (u) -
song (v)--

Hunting Dance song (t) ------
Song of Medicine Men's Dance (a)--
Song of Medicine Men's Dance (b)__
Song of Medicine Men's Dance (c)__

Name of singer

Panther ...-- ...-_
----- do -------. --..--
S- -do ......--- -
-- do-------

-- do-----____..
__- do----------

-.- do-- ____
-- do---- ---
--_- do-------
---- do---
----do------ -------
----- do ---------------
----- do ------^--- -----
----- do ---------------
----- do ---------------
Billie Stewart- --


-----do-----__ _--
.----do----- --
---do -------

do_------- -- ---
do-__- __------
----- do ------,---------
----- do ---------------
----- do ---------------
----- do ----,-----------
----- do ---------------


.--- do ..-------.----

- -__do--------------

----- do ---------------

Serial Pe
NO Page

189 146
127 120



Title of song

Song of Medicine Men's Dance (d)-_
Song of an old Dance (a)_
Song of an old Dance (b)-------
Song of an old Dance (c) _
Song of an old Dance (d).------
Corn Dance song (i)------
Corn Dance song (j)--------
Corn Dance song (k).- __
Corn Dance song (1)---------
Corn Dance song (m)
Corn Dance song (n)--------
Buzzard Dance song (a)----
Buzzard Dance song (b) --
Chicken Dance song (a)-----_
Chicken Dance song (b) ---
Chicken Dance song (c) ____
Chicken Dance song (d) -.----_-.-
Song used in treatment of lumbago _
"The white sun-lady" ___
Song for the dying ----------
Song for bringing a child into the
Song for a sick baby -- --
Song concerning the removal of
Seminole to Oklahoma (a).
Song concerning the removal of
Seminole to Oklahoma (b).

Ball game song (a)
Ball game song (b)
Ball game song (c)
Ball game song (d)
Ball game song (e)
Ball game song (f)
Ball game song (g)
Ball game song (h)
Ball game song (i)
Ball game song (j).
Ball game song (k)
Alligator Dance soi
Alligator Dance so]
Alligator Dance sot
Alligator Dance so
Alligator Dance sor
Alligator Dance so

ng (c)-
ng (d)
ng (e)--
ng (f)
ng (g)_---
ng (h)------

Alligator Dance song (i)
Steal-partner Dance song (a) ----
Steal-partner Dance song (b) ------
Steal-partner Dance song (c) ---
Steal-partner Dance song (d) --

Name of singer

Billie Stewart..._ --
--- do---------------
-- do---
.---- do------------.-
-----do -------

----- do ---------------
----- do ---------,------
--- do-

----- do--


-do _

---- do-
----- do---------------
Billie Stewartdo---------------

..-----do ---------------
---.. do--------------
-- do-
-- do-
-- do-


--.-- do -------------


INo. page




Title of song Name of singer sNr Page

Steal-partner Dance song (e) -------Billie Stewart --------176 140
Steal-partner Dance song (f) ------ --- do ------------ 177 141

Switchgrass Dance song (g) -------
Switchgrass Dance song (h) ------
Switchgrass Dance song (i) ------
Switchgrass Dance song (j) ----
Switchgrass Dance song (k) ----
Switchgrass Dance song (1)
Buffalo Dance song (f) ----
Buffalo Dance song (e) -------
Fox Dance song (a)._ ------ -
Fox Dance song (b) ------
Fox Dance song (c) ------------
Fox Dance song (d) --------
Fox Dance song (e)--------------
Hair Dance song (a)-------
Hair Dance song (b) ------------
Hair Dance song (c) ----------
Stomp Dance song (a)- --------

(a) -------
(b)- -----
(d)-- -----
(e) -- ----
(f) ---------
(h) -----------
(i)---- --------
(j) --------
(m) ---------
(o) --

Hinata Dance song (q)-----
Old Man's Dance song (a)-----
Old Man's Dance song (b)
Old Man's Dance song (c)---
Old Man's Dance song (d)
Old Man's Dance song (e) ----
Old Man's Dance song (f)-------
Black Grass Dance song (a) ----
Black Grass Dance song (b)

--- do-----
-- do.-
--- do---------------
- do---
----- do --------- --

-----do .---
-- do-_
----------------do_ __
- do--
---- do-
---- do ---
__ do
--- do--
---- do----
--- do--


----- do -------------
----- do--------------
-- do-------------
----- do---------------

--- do-------




--- do--------------
---- do---------------
-----do.. ------.--------


Dance i
Dance :



- ---------



Title of song




Name of singer

Black Grass Dance song (c) ----- --
Whooping Crane Dance song (a) __-
Whooping Crane Dance song (b) _
Whooping Crane Dance song (c)--_
Whooping Crane Dance song (d)- -
Crawfish Dance song (a)--
Crawfish Dance song (b)---
Crawfish Dance song (c)--
Hair Dance song (d)
Hair Dance song (e)
Hair Dance song (f)
Two-direction Dance song (a) ---
Two-direction Dance song (b)----
Two-direction Dance song (c)---
Skunk Dance song (a) _
Skunk Dance song (b) --_-
Lizard Dance song (a)---
Lizard Dance song (b)
Baby Alligator Dance song (a) ---
Baby Alligator Dance song (b) ----
Drunken Dance song (a)-----
Drunken Dance song (b)
Blackbird Dance song
Rabbit Dance song
Screech Owl Dance song
Quail Dance song (b)
"My old slaves"
Song to a motherless boy
Song to a child
Drinking song (a)
Drinking song (b)
Drinking song (c)--
Drunken Dance song (c)
Drunken Dance song (d)
Quail Dance song (duplication of
No. 123).
Lightning Bug Dance .--__

Little Bug Dance ---------------------do----
Little Fish Dance do
Catfish Dance (e) ___ do___----
Little Boys' Dance---------------- do

Serial Page

Billie Stewart ..
.. do
--_dl --
_-- do-------
-.--- do -----
.--- do-
____ _do---------- -
---- do ----- -- -- ----
.. do
----.. do---
----- do---

----- do
_ do__

.--- do -------------
----- do------ -----
Susie Tiger
---- -do---- ------------
-- -- do -------------
Billie Bowlegs...-------
_ do - --






A straight line slanting downward, placed after a note, indicates
that the tone trailed downward with a glissando and diminuendo, the
ending of the tone being indistinct.
-I -placed above a series of notes indicates that they constitute a
rhythmic unit.
Capital letters indicate periods in the melody.
X indicates a sharp inhalation (cf. p. 215).


Indian names and words are presented as they are commonly
The vowels have continental values. The consonants represent the
nearest English equivalent except that c stands for ch, and h for the
sound of German ch in prepalatal position.
tc is pronounced as in watch.
e is pronounced as sh in shall.
s is pronounced as in set.
ai is pronounced as in aisle.
ng is pronounced as in finger.


Billie Stewart ---- ---------------------------------153
Panther--------------------------------------------- 63
Susie Tiger.. ---------------------------------------- -- 12
Charlie Billie---- -------------------------------------- 8
Billie Bowlegs------------------------------------------- 7

Total -- _--------------------------------------- 243


Cory Osceola (Cypress Swamp group)
Panther (Cypress Swamp group)
William King, a Creek from Oklahoma (Cow Creek group)





Billie Motlo Jim Gopher
John Tiger Charlie Snow
Mrs. John Tiger
Among other informants were Annie Tommy and Maggie Tiger, of
Dania, and Chestnut Billie and Charlie Tiger at the former's camp on
the Tamiami Trail.

Panther (pl. 1, frontispiece), commonly known as Josie Billie, was
the principal singer and informant in this group. He belongs to the
Panther clan and his Seminole name is Katcha Nokofti, meaning
Panther. For that reason he asked to be designated as Panther in
the present work. He is a leader in the Corn, Hunting, and other
dances of the Cypress Swamp Seminole. For 8 years he worked with
the medicine men and he understands their practices, but he is not a
"full medicine man." He has frequently been asked to take up that
way of life but has declined, saying that he "could not spare the
time to be a medicine man as he must earn his living." He has also
realized the change that is rapidly taking place in the life of his
Panther's home is south of Immokalec, but he was staying at Musa
Isle Trading Post, near Miami, when this material was collected.
Grateful acknowledgment is made of his assistance in 1931 and 1932.
He speaks English fluently, and he often acted as interpreter for other
Seminole besides recording songs and giving information concerning
Seminole customs. Sixty-three of his songs are presented herein,
but the recording ended abruptly. He was absent from the room a
few moments, and when he returned he stated that opposition to his
assisting had arisen among a few Indians and he did not consider it
advisable to record any more songs. This we regretted, as he was
willing to sing more and to give further information.
Charlie Billie (pl. 4, a), the other singer from the Cypress Swamp
group, is older than Panther and adheres more rigidly to the old
,ways. He is a leader in the Corn and Hunting dances and recorded
their songs, with Cory Osceola (pl. 2, b) interpreting. His right hand
is useless, owing to an injury for which he refused proper care. He
broke his arm above the wrist, and although he consented to have it set
at a hospital, he left during the night, discarding the splints and dress-
ings on his arm. Nothing would induce him to gp back to the white
doctor. It was said that his hand hung by the tendons and that seri-
ous results might follow. This was the condition when lie recorded
his songs in January 1931. He is shown with his family in plate 8, b.



Billie Stewart (pl. 5, c)2 is a leader in the Corn, Hunting, and other
dances of the Cow Creek group, and he recorded more than 200 songs.
This is the largest number of songs that the writer has obtained from
one Indian. All the records were studied, but only 153 were tran-
scribed. As in other series, many songs have the same characteris-
tics and it is not considered necessary to present all, in a general
study of the music of a tribe. Billie Stewart recorded about half the
songs in 1932 and the remainder a year later, the recording on both
trips being done at Brighton. The retentive memory of an Indian
singer was shown in a remark made by Stewart when the last'of
his songs were being recorded. lie hummed a melody and said, "I
sang that for you a year ago, so I won't sing it again." His Seminole
name is Ga'tcayeho'la, the first two syllables meaning "Tiger" and the
rest of the word having no meaning.
In appearance and manner of life Billie Stewart does not resemble
the Seminole of the Cypress Swamp group. He has never been con-
nected with an "exhibition village," but follows the native manner
of life. A visit was made to his home in the cabbage palm region.
He is respected by white people in the vicinity, and his use of English
is sufficient for ordinary conversation. In his first recording of songs
he was assisted by his friend Charlie Snow, who has a better English
vocabulary, and his second recording was done with William King as
interpreter. In his response to plans for work and in his grasp of the
purpose of the present work, Billie Stewart resembled the best type
of men in other tribes. He does not know the meaning of the native
name Stapah'ki that was given him when a child.
Susie Tiger is the wife of Billie Stewart, and her Seminole name
is O'mala'gi, meaning "Let us all go." Her grandparents gave her
this name, which was original and not inherited. She was born at
the time the Seminole were going to Oklahoma and her grandfather
felt that everyone had gone, so she received this name. Susie Tiger
treats the sick in the native manner (1933) and she recorded songs
that she uses in connection with that treatment. She also recorded
songs that are "taught to the children as soon as they are old enough
to appreciate them." She speaks even less English than her husband,
and it was fortunate that William King could interpret her interesting
Billie Bowlegs is a prominent member of the Cow Creek group
and a descendant of the famous chief of that name. He lives near
Okeechobee City and recorded his songs at Brighton, in 1933.

2Died 1938. The name "Stewart" Is thought to have come down from John Stuart, the
last representative of England among the Seminole.





Billie Motlo (pl. 2, a)3 is one of the oldest members of the Cypress
Swamp group and lived at Musa Isle when giving his information in
1931 and 1932. He understood the making of canoes and constructed
models of various types (cf. p. 31). His native name is A'tske'ci,
which was not translated.
John Tiger contributed further information on canoes and other
subjects. His death occurred while the work was in progress. (See
"Death and Burial," p. 34.) The wife of John Tiger (pl. 4, b) was
the principal informant concerning the clothing and adornments of
the Seminole women.
Charlie Snow (p1. 5, b)4 is a member of the Cow Creek group and
a brother of Sampson Snow whose camp in the cabbage palm region
was visited. He speaks English brokenly but is particularly well in-
formed and added interesting information to the subjects under dis-
cussion with Billie Stewart in 1932 and 1933.
Annie Tommy and Maggie Tiger live in the little village at the
United States Government School, near Dania. The latter is com-
monly known as Missie Tiger. In contrast to the native dwellings of
the Seminole, they live in houses erected by the Government. They
were much interested in the present work and contributed interesting
information on food and manner of life.
Chestnut Billie operates an "exhibition village" on Tamiami Trail
(pl. 9, a). Much information concerning native life was obtained in
this village on many visits. Charlie Tiger, a relative of Chestnut
Billie's, was visiting at the camp on one occasion and added details of
interest concerning fishing.
Many other Seminole gave information during the writer's numer-
ous visits to their camps and villages, among them being Tiger Tail
and Sam Willie, the latter shown with his son in native costume (pl.
3, a, b).

The first interpreter employed among the Seminole was Cory
Osceola (pl. 2, b), a grandson of the celebrated chief Robert Osceola.
dle interpreted during the recording of songs by Charlie Billie in 1931,
and his influence was of great assistance in securing the favor of the
Seminole. He also gave information when desired.
Panther, as already stated, spoke English easily and acted as in-
terpreter on numerous occasions when information was desired from
members of the Cypress Swamp group.

Died 1936.
'Died 1936.



William King, a Creek Indian from Wetumka, Hughes County,
Okla., has visited the Florida Seminole each year since 1925 in the
capacity of a missionary. He and his wife were staying at Billie
Stewart's camp when the present work was in progress in 1933, and
he consented to act as interpreter. He said that he and the Cow
Creek Seminole understood one another but that he could not interpret
for members of the Cypress Swamp group. His cooperation made
possible the securing of many details concerning old customs and





Florida was a Spanish colony long before Jamestown was settled
or the Mayflower reached the shore of New England. A map made
in 1502 shows Florida, and as early as 1510 the Spanish Council of
the Indies claimed that ships of Spain had gone thither. Ponce de
LIon received a grant to discover and settle "Bimini" in 1513, this
legendary island said to contain the Fountain of Youth. During the
Easter season of 1515 he came in sight of Florida and gave it the name
"Pascua Florida," from the Spanish name for the season. He believed
that he had discovered a large island. Later he returned to settle the
land but was wounded in an attack by Indians and died in Cuba.
Fernandez de C6rdoba, according to some writers, landed on the west
coast of Florida in 1517, but was attacked by a large band of Indians
and died of his wounds.
About 1528 De Narviez landed on the west coast and took up his
residence near the present site of Tallahassee where.the natives har-
assed his little settlement in various ways until a remnant of the
expedition went away, finally reaching the Spanish settlements in
Ten years later, in 1538, Hernando de Soto set out from Spain with
7 ships and a carefully selected company of 600 men. He was a man
of experience, having served as a soldier in the West Indies and ac-
companied Pizarro in his conquest of the Inca in Peru. He landed
near the same spot as Narvaez and sent two of his leaders with strong
forces into the interior to seek and capture some Indians who could
be used as guides. The Indians resisted him stubbornly, but a few
captives were taken. De Soto returned hostility and cruelty in like
lanner, making even greater enemies of the natives. After his death
Florida remained for many years in the hands of the Indians.
The military efforts of Spain having failed, the next attempt was
made from a religious standpoint. A few priests determined to go to
Florida, and they landed in Tampa Bay. The first two priests who
landed were promptly put to death. A third landed alone and met the
#ame fate, after which the party went to Cuba.
'Condensed from "A Short History of Florida" (Leake, 1929).

I _


Undaunted by failures, Spain tried another method. King Philip
II entrusted the conquest and settlement of Florida to Don Luis de
Velasco, Governor of Mexico, who had been successful in dealing with
the Indians of that country. In 1559 a carefully planned expedition
was sent by him from Veracruz, consisting of 1,500 soldiers and set-
tlers and several priests, carrying enough provisions to last a year.
This expedition landed near the present site of Pensacola and made a
brave attempt. After its failure King Philip gave up the effort to
conquer Florida, though later he tried to colonize it.
Meantime the entire east coast of the continent was claimed for
France, and Jean Ribault led an expedition into what is now South
Carolina. This failed, and a second attempt was made by the French
in 1564. This was received in a friendly manner by the Indians who
brought gifts of fruits and vegetables and showed the settlers how
to plant corn and catch fish. Unfortunately, the French wasted valu-
able time in searching for gold and hidden treasure, alienating the
friendship of the Indians by harsh treatment. Provisions were low
and they decided to return to France but were met by King Philip's
colonizing expedition under Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles. This
leader had orders to kill all Protestants in the region, and as most of
Ribault's men were of that faith they escaped by going out to sea.
Menendez killed all the French Protestants except a few musicians
and mechanics, built a log fort at St. Augustine, mounted 80 cannon
and established the first stronghold of Spain in America. It is said
that many Indians accepted the Catholic faith.
The French Government did not avenge this action, but a French
soldier, Dominique de Gourges, organized and financed an expedition
of 3 ships and 200 men, sailing to Cuba, the Bahamas, St. Augustine,
and two similar forts on the St. John's River. The Spanish had made
enemies of the Indians, but De Gourgas cultivated their friendship,
distributing presents. In the crew of one of his ships was a trumpeter
who had been in Florida. The Indians recognized him and greeted
his coming with every manifestation of joy. Aided by the Indians
under Chief Satourina, this expedition captured all the Spanish forts
except St. Augustine. The expedition then returned to France.
Twice before the end of the 17th century St. Augustine suffered from
attacks by the English. Sir Francis Drake burned the fort in 1586,
and it was plundered in 1665 by Captain Davis, an English freebooter.
By a treaty in 1763 Florida was given to England in exchange for
Havana, and England then owned all the territory between the At-
lantic Ocean and the Mississippi River. Four years later Dr. An-
drew Trunbull, a Scotsman and a member of the Governor's council,
brought 1,500 colonists from Minorca, Italy, Greece, Smyrna, and
other Mediterranean islands and established the settlement known as
New Smyrna on Mosquita Inlet.




During the Revolution Florida remained loyal to Great Britain,
but in 1779, when Spain declared war against England, the Gover-
nor of Louisiana invaded west Florida, and Pensacola was surrendered
to Spain. From long experience the Spaniards feared serious trouble
with the Indians and began to cultivate their good will. A leader
had arisen among the Indians in the person of Alexander McGillivray
who was chief of the Creeks and the son of a Scottish trader and a
Creek woman. Representing both the Creeks and the Seminole, and
acting with great duplicity, he negotiated a treaty between these
tribes and Spain by which no white man could cross the territory oc-
cupied by the Indians without consent from Spain. There was much
trouble over boundaries, and the Indians were badly deceived by Wil-
liam Augustus Bowles, an adventurer from Maryland, who married a
daughter of a Creek chief and lived among the Indians for some time.
The Government of the United States tried to persuade Spain to
cede Florida before the war of 1812. Seven years later Spain sold
Florida to the United States for five million dollars, on condition that
the United States assume certain Spanish claims, and Florida was
taken over by the United States in July 1821.
General Jackson was the first governor of Florida under the United
States. The Indians were far from satisfied with the policy of the
United States toward them, as stated by Jackson, and saw that it
would be quite different from life under the easy-going Spanish
governors at Pensacola and St. Augustine. -
Governor Jackson left Florida in 1821 and in the following year
William P. Duval was appointed Governor by President Monroe.
The Seminole were not pleased with the governmental policy of
Monroe and when Governor Duval called a council at Fort Moultrie
to make definite plans, a few of the powerful chiefs refused to enter
into any negotiations with the white men and said they would be
bound by no treaty made by other chiefs. However, the conference
continued several days and a treaty was finally signed by which the
Indians gave up all claim to lands in Florida except those granted
them by the Government. These lands constituted a large reservation
20 miles south of Micanopy and the Indians were promised many
benefits as well as a considerable sum of money. Having made this
agreement, Governor Duval went among the Indians, trying to make
them satisfied with the arrangement and promising them a year in
which to prepare for removal, during which time no white settlers
were *o be allowed on the land. At the end of the year they were not
ready and the time was extended.
Enemathla, leader of the Tallahassee and foremost chief among the
Indians, was deposed by Governor Duval at a time when he was
inciting the Indians to war against the white men. Enemathla made
his way into Georgia and joined the Creeks.

338460 0-56--3




The Indians did not like reservation life, white settlers encroached
upon them, and gradually the Government began to consider moving
all the Indians to west of the Mississippi River.
A treaty was made with some of the Florida chiefs in 1832 by which
the Government would send these chiefs, with their agent and inter-
preter, to examine the land to which it was proposed that the Indians
be removed. Although the chiefs said they were satisfied with the
land when they saw it, they opposed removal when they returned to
Florida. The Seminole had separated themselves from the Creeks
and refused to go to any reservation on which they would be obliged
to live with the Creeks. The Indians objected to the colder climate
and the scarcity of firewood, and it appeared as though they might
oppose the plan with force. In 1834, just as the question of removal
was becoming acute, Governor Duval died.
General Jackson, Florida's first governor, had then become Presi-
dent, and he appointed John Eaton as Duval's successor. Three gov-
ernors ruled in Florida during the next 7 years. The Government
was still determined to move the Indians west, and the Seminole war
was their protest. This was fought from 1836 to 1842 with bitter
fighting and intense bad feeling on both sides.
The actual start of the Seminole war was due to Osceola, son of a
Creek woman and an Englishman named William Powell who lived
among the Creeks. While Osceola was still a child his mother came
from Georgia and joined the Seminole, bringing him with her. Osce-
ola grew up among the Seminole, opposed their removal, and used
his influence against the Government in every way. He broke up a
council between General Thompson, then United States agent, and
the Indians by sticking his knife in the table and crying, "This is the
only treaty I will ever make with the whites." Later he ambushed
and murdered Charlie Emthla, a chief who favored peaceful removal.
Immediately afterward the Indians began to buy large quantities of
gunpowder. General Thompson noticed this, reported it, and was
forbidden to sell more powder to the Indians. Angered by this re-
striction, Osceola and a band of his followers ambushed and killed
General Thompson and Lieutenant Smith, burned the store and Gov-
ernment buildings, killed the employees at the settlers' store, and set
out to join their tribe in the Big Wahoo Swamp. The Seminole war
had begun.
On the same day on which General Thompson was killed (Decem-
ber 28, 1835) Major Dade and 139 American soldiers were ambushed
and killed near the Withlacoochee River. The succession of officers
commanding the American troops is apart from our present interest.
In the spring of 1837 certain chiefs promised their influence for re-
moval. This was a sham in order to gain time for planting crops, and


[BULL. 161


soon afterward Osceola persuaded the Indians to escape into the
Everglades. A few months later he and three other chiefs were cap-
tured and imprisoned. Osceola died at Fort Moultrie, but the other
chiefs escaped and returned to their people, inciting them to further
opposition to the whites.
The last great battle of the Seminole war was fought in December
1837, and the following spring 1,500 Florida Indians were sent to
Arkansas. The few Indians remaining in Florida continued the war
and constantly raided the settlements. More Indians were removed,
and in 1842 General Worth recommended that the few who remained
be allowed to do so, peace being made on that basis.
The Seminole war lasted 7 years and cost the lives of 1,400 American
soldiers. Our forces in the field at one time numbered 9,000 while
the armed strength of the Indians, ambushed and moving -through
familiar country, was estimated at only 2,000.
The relation of the Creeks to the Seminole has been described as
follows: About the year 1750 "a few hundred Creeks of Georgia, be-
coming dissatisfied with that tribe, left Georgia and wandered south
into the swamps and forests of the Florida peninsula. Secoffee was
their leader at that time and he led them into the Spanish colony of
Florida. From that time they absolutely refused to be represented
in the councils of the Creeks. They elected their own rulers and be-
came in all respects a separate tribe. They settled first in the rich
country around Alachua" (Winter, 1918, p. 130). These Indians
"received the name of Seminoles, or 'Runaways.' The Mickasukies,
legitimate owners of the country, at first opposed these migrations, but
they were too feeble to make any effective resistance. In a short time
all the Indians amalgamated, and joined in efforts to resist the white
men-the common enemy of all (Gifford, 1925, p. 20). The Creek
form of the tribal name is "Sim-a-n6-le, or Isti simandle, 'separatist,'
'runaway' (Mooney, 1912, pt. 2, p. 500).


A Seminole chief named Wild Cat was living in 1896. Mr. Henry,
who was connected with the Musa Isle Trading Post, said that his
father came to Florida by wagon at about that time, which preceded
the construction of the East Coast Railway. Wild Cat told Mr. Henry's
father that the Seminole were descended from giants, 6 or 8 feet tall,
who "had always lived here." He said, further, that these giants had
ceremonial mounds with square tops. These mounds were places for
prayer and were also used as lookouts, 2 to 4 men being stationed there
at all times. The grass was burned for a considerable distance around
these mounds, and if anyone attempted to cross the burned area he
was captured and burned on top of the mound. It was said that



mounds had been found near Sarasota on the west coast of Florida but
that investigation showed they had been made by white men. Such are
the traditions held by the Seminole of today. The Seminole of south-
ern Florida, known as the Cypress Swamp group, resent the idea of re-
lationship with the Creek tribe, saying this is limited to the northern,
or the Cow Creek group. Their language does not resemble that of
the Creek, which they are unable to understand, while the Seminole
of the Cow Creek group understand the Creek language, and a Creek
interpreter was employed when some of their songs were recorded.
Their abode is chiefly in the cabbage palm region, southwest of Lake
The present attitude of the Seminole toward the white race is that
of aloofness (1931-33). Unlike other tribes, the Seminole retain their
native manner of life and hold themselves aloof from interference, al-
though an agency of the Government has recently been established at
Dania, with a school that is attended by a few pupils. The Seminole,
as a tribe, have kept their old beliefs and protected the authority of
the old men. Independent of aid, they have developed a commercial
ability which makes them self-supporting, and they have succeeded in
doing this with a minimum use of the English language.
The peculiar status of this tribe has been made possible by their
retention of the part of Florida known as the Everglades. Until recent
years this section has held only a slight attraction for the white men.
Hunters and trappers have sought game in its wild places, but the
Seminole have been undisputedly in possession. They have hunted
the alligator, otter, raccoon, deer, and other animals, selling the hides
for enough to satisfy their simple wants. With the proceeds of the
hunt they have bought cotton cloth for their clothing, simple utensils
for cooking, and such articles of food as they could not obtain from
nature. By maintaining the balance between desire and possession
they have lived contentedly in the old manner, whether on the ham-
mocks of the Everglades, in the cabbage palm region, or in their
villages. They are still under the authority of the old men who
live in the depths of the Everglades, rarely, if ever, coming near the
abode of the white man.
The part of the Everglades visited in 1931 consisted of wet meadows
of "saw grass," dotted with hammocks of various sizes. Spaces of
open water were visible in the tall grass. Across these open spaces
the Indian poles his dugout or forces it through the grass. The depth
of the water varies from a few inches to 3 or 4 feet, and the size of
the hammock varies from a few feet to several acres. The hammocks
consist of firm ground, slightly above the level of the water, and are
densely wooded. In the larger hammocks a camp is entirely hidden
from view, and some are large enough to include open ground where


[BULL. 161



deer may graze. There are trails made by animals when traveling
from one hammock to another, the trails being visible to an observer
in an airplane. The network of these trails forms part of the knowl-
edge of an Indian hunter. A temporary camp may be located in a
small hammock and entirely concealed by the vegetation. A Seminole
family may live in a typical village (pl. 12, a) part of the year, or
camp near a little garden where they cultivate corn and other vege-
tables, but in the hunting season they usually camp where the game
is most abundant or make their camp wherever the occupation of the
time may lead them. The ground plan of a Seminole village as seen
from a dirigible is shown in plate 12, b.
Inland water breaks through the barrier surrounding the Florida
peninsula finding its way to the sea. These watercourses are bordered
by dense tropical vegetation, one of the most picturesque being known
as Arch Creek. Such streams are the avenues to the depths of the
Everglades, and on these streams the Seminole travel in their canoes.
Rare beauty of vegetation is seen on these watercourses and mangrove
trees abound in the swamps. The southwestern border of the Ever-
glades, along the ocean, presents a different landscape (pl. 13, b). One
of the largest areas is known as Big Cypress Swamp, lying slightly
west of the southern part of the peninsula, and from this area came
the singers and informants of the Cypress Swamp group.
The Seminole refer to themselves as A'jia'tki, which means "white
corn," and say that in the beginning they were white people. A
legend of the origin of the white corn was related by Susie Tiger
(cf. p. 197).

A trip into the Big Cypress Swamp was made on February 8, 1932,
under the escort of W. Stanley Hanson of Fort Myers, Fla., who is
said to be more familiar with the region and the Indians than any
other white man. The trip was made in Mr. Hanson's car, the party
consisting of the writer and her sister Margaret, Mr. and Mrs.
Hanson, and a young Seminole named John Cypress. The localities
visited comprised four camps in the swamp and a camp near the town
of Immokalee.
From Fort Myers to Immokalee there was no recognizable road
through the sand. Mr. Hanson explained that the word "Immokalee"
means "my village." The town consists of only two or three houses,
and the Indian village is across the railroad track. This village, or
camp, consists of five houses in the style of all Seminole dwellings.
The camp is not always occupied by the same families, anyone pass-
ing that way being allowed to stay as long as may be convenient. In




this camp, on our arrival, we found Wilson Cypress, to whose broth-
ers the houses in the camp belong. He was making an ox yoke (pl.
10, a) and was said to be an expert worker in wood. The family was
traveling in a covered wagon, drawn by oxen, and had all their para-
phernalia with them. Under the platform of one house the chickens
and a pig were roaming, and on the platform of another house a little
boy was practicing the writing or printing of English letters, his pen-
cil and paper being near and evidently treasured. An interesting fan
was seen and purchased. This fan was made of the wing of the black
ibis and was used for general purposes, such as fanning the fire to
make it burn. About 500 feet away were three more houses of the
same sort, which were unoccupied. This part of the camp was not
Leaving Immokalee, the party traveled to the camp of Charlie
Cypress known as New Florida Camp. The term "Big Cypress
Swamp" refers to the area of the swamp, not the size of the trees.
The entire region is almost impassable in a car in ordinary seasons,
but the dry weather had converted it into an expanse of dry grass. It
was found that Ocaloacoochee Slough was practically dry. In the
region traversed after crossing the Slough there were broad stretches
of dry, tall grass, many acres of low palmettos, and a considerable
growth of pine. The car was guided skillfully through woods in
which there appeared to be no path and no openings between the trees
straight enough for a car to proceed.
Arriving at Charlie Cypress' camp, we saw that, as welad been in-
formed, the family had been absent for some time. The usual occu-
pants are Charlie Cypress, his son John, who is unmarried, and his
son-in-law Albert Billie, with the latter's family. The camp stands
on a hammock which is usually surrounded by water, especially on the
side where the houses are located; yet it is not called a "boat village"
as the owners use a Model T Ford car which can run through shallow
water. The hammock is now surrounded by a grassy meadow and the
buildings are invisible from outside, as they are in a thick growth
of trees. The diagram of the camp (fig. 1) shows a path 200 or 300
feet long (k) leading to the houses. This path is chiefly through tall
pines and thick underbrush. No hesitation was felt in entering the
camp as John was a member of the party. The diagram shows the
relative location of the structures but not their relative size. The
camp contains two living houses (B and E), the former being intended
for several persons and the latter, belonging to John Cypress, being
for his personal use. The larger house has a floor (platform) made
of logs of the cabbage palm tree, split and hand-hewn. The thatch is
of the usual material, but the roof has no gable, the house being more
nearly square than the Seminole dwellings previously seen. Various

E ____

bb -

[BULL. 161


articles were stored in the rafters, including several modern hoes, a
glass jar of seed corn, and a piece of the heart of a cabbage palm, used
for food.
The cooking fire, with logs arranged like spokes of a wheel, is under
a sloping thatch (fig. 1, C). Another sloping thatch, also without
sides, extends almost to the ground and is used as a storage shack
(G). Two uncovered platforms are in the camp, one on which a
kettle was overturned, showing its use for cooking utensils (D) and the
other being used for drying squashes and pumpkins, several remaining
upon it (H). At one corner an old garment was hung on a pole to



PFIURE 1.-Diagram of New Florida Camp in the Everglades: A, Edge of ham-
mock; B, principal dwelling; C, fire with slanting roof above it; D, platform
with inverted kettle; E, smaller dwelling belonging to John Cypress; F,
waterhole; G, storage shack; H, platform on which squash were drying: I,
pole with garment as "scarecrow"; J, garden; K, path for entering and
leaving camp. (Relative position is shown but not relative size.)

serve as a scarecrow (I). A waterhole is located at F, this being a
hole into which the water seeps and from which it is drawn by means
of a pail. The edge of the hammock (A) is at the top of a steep bank,
perhaps 3 or 4 feet high, and is marked by trees covered with thick
vines. The garden plot (J) was not cleared, but tamps and mallets
for driving stakes were seen. Within the garden were mulberry trees
which had been planted and taro which had been set out. There was
stubble of corn, and wild papaws and pumpkins were seen growing.
Two banana trees were in the garden, these being the coarse variety
sometimes called "horse bananas." Beyond the garden were live oaks,





festooned with trailing moss. As the Seminole are not constantly at
home to tend their gardens, they seem to think it safe to have the
ground covered by various growths.
The third camp visited was Old Florida Camp, which was aban-
doned after the death of Frank Charlie's wife about 1927. Both this
and New Florida camps were photographed. It is the Seminole cus-
tom to leave a camp in which a death has occurred and not occupy it
again. After this one was abandoned the camp known as New Florida
was built. The old camp contained two thatched houses, a third
having fallen down. The floorboards of the houses were burned in
spots, showing that the camp had been used by white hunters. The
hammock is not so high as that on which New Florida camp is built.
Papaws were growing around it and the bright yellow globes of wild
oranges were seen in the bushes. A pail had been left at the waterhole,
but the atmosphere of the place told of its long solitude.
The fourth camp was Charlie Cypress's hunting camp in which
he was living at the time. The structures consisted of a tent without
sides, made by stretching a tarpaulin for a roof, a rough structure for
living quarters, and a neat thatched structure for cooking. The ket-
tles and pans were stuck on the trees (pl. 10, c). Attention is directed
to the vegetation in the background in contrast to that shown with
New Florida camp. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Osceola live in this camp,
and Mrs. Osceola was mixing biscuits for supper at the cooking table
(pl. 10, b). Lena Osceola is about 30 years of age, a daughter of
Charlie Cypress, who, in accordance with custom, has brought her
husband to live with her parents. A high platform at one side was
used for cutting meat, this being especially needed in a hunting camp.
"Horse-bananas" grew wild in the fields and two "hands" of them
were in the camp, ready for eating. Two sewing machines were in
use, and a baby was swinging in a hammock. Tanned deerskins were
spread on the ground, giving a pleasing effect of color.
The fifth camp visited was Charlie Dixie's hunting camp, more
than halfway from the last-named camps to Immokalee. This could
be used by anyone, and it happened that John Cypress's family was
there temporarily. This camp contained no platforms and the people
slept on the ground, palmettos being spread for the purpose; they
also ate on the ground. A "side of meat" was seen hanging up. The
small children in this camp wore no clothing. An interesting old
woman was seen, sitting on the ground. Her hair was arranged in
a knob about 3 inches high, and her beads were loose around her
neck. Beside her, at the top of the pole, were two or three dark, cir-
cular objects resembling doughnuts, pierced by the pole. On being
questioned, she said they were made of deer meat and melted fat and



that she chewed them for food (of. p. 26). This camp is located on
flat ground, not far from a road. An interesting village scene is
shown in plate 13, a, and a view in the Everglades in plate 13, b.

A few days prior to the trip to the Big Cypress Swamp, a visit was
made to several camps in the cabbage palm region, southwest of Lake
Okeechobee. The purpose of this trip was to arrange for work with
Billie Stewart, the leader of the dances in the Cow Creek group of
On arrival at Brighton, north of the cabbage palm region, a call
was made at the general store where Mrs. Eliza Fielden, wife of the
postmaster and storekeeper, said that Billie Stewart had gone on a
hunting trip. A message was sent to him by a young Indian who
came into the store with hides for shipment. As the singer could
not be contacted that afternoon, it was decided to go into the country,
with a possibility of finding Indians in the neighboring camps. Mrs.
Fielden kindly consented to show the way and the trip was made in
the writer's car. Grateful acknowledgment is made of her assistance
at this time and during all the subsequent work with the Cow Creek
After traveling a few miles toward the south we turned east, the
road extending along the bank of a dry canal and consisting only of
a trail in the deep white sand that had been thrown up when the ex-
cavation was made for the canal.
Finding that the camps were too far away to visit that evening
the party returned to Brighton. The next morning a more suc-
cessful trip was made with Dan Norton, who used his own car.
Mrs. Fielden was again a member of the party. Traversing the
same road as on the previous day we turned abruptly to the left,
and after crossing a gully we entered a flat plain covered with tall
grass. A few indistinct trails cross this plain, resembling the paths
on the desert in southern Arizona. It would have been impossible
for anyone who was not familiar with the country to find his way
but Mr. Norton knew the region, as he had herded cattle through it.
Our first call was at Billie Buster's camp. Billie Buster is an old
man who lives alone. When he goes to town he walks beside his
horse, allowing the horse to carry his bundles. He was recently
offered $8.00 a month by the Government but refused it, saying that
he was able to take care of himself. His camp was empty when we
called, as he had gone hunting, but he had left the camp in excellent
order. His fire is the typical "spoke arrangement" of logs, and his
utensils are under a shelter, not on an open platform as in some camps.




His garden is strongly fenced and shows considerable planting, but,
according to Seminole custom, the ground was not entirely cleared,
nor had it been cultivated (pl. 15, c).
The second camp visited was the hunting camp of Billie Buster
and Sampson Snow. Both men were absent on the hunt, the only
persons at home being the wife of Sampson Snow and his mother,
known as Sallie Micco. The camp was well concealed in the trees
and its equipment did not differ from that of other camps which have
been described. There is a painstaking care in the details of Seminole
housekeeping that is almost pathetic in view of its simplicity. In
this camp a hen was sitting on some eggs. The women had put the
hen in a box elevated more than 2 feet above the ground, under a tree,
and over the box they had arranged a shelter of boughs, making a
safe, shady place for the setting hen.
After leaving this camp we went along the edge of the hammock
in which it was located and chanced to see a number of hides placed
on a tree to dry (pl. 15, a). The sharp projections on the trunk of
the cabbage palm are used as hooks, and on these the hunter had hung
the hides, stretched on drying frames. This was a favorable place
as they were in the sun and air, and were not likely to be disturbed.
A small but typical hammock of cabbage palms is seen in the distance
of the oblong picture.
After this reconnaissance it was necessary to return to Fort Myers
before taking the trip into the Big Cypress Swamp, but it was ar-
ranged that Billie Stewart would be at the Brighton store on the
morning of February 12, prepared to record songs and give informa-
tion concerning them. Mrs. Fielden consented to explain the work
to him, and there seemed no doubt of his willingness to do what was
asked. It was said that he always keeps his word.
On the appointed day, the writer returned to Brighton, Billie
Stewart was ready to record, and the work among the Cow Creek
Seminole was begun. His first song was a Corn Dance song of the
Calusa (No. 25).

About 15 miles west of Miami, on Tamiami Trail, is a camp known
as Fifteen Mile Camp. It is said to be owned by William Osceola,
but it is occupied by different families from the Everglades as a
temporary abode while transacting business in Miami. A visit to
this camp was made at the suggestion of Cory Osceola, who gave
permission for the use of his name when entering it.
An inquiry at the little store on the Trail brought the information
that the camp could be reached by crossing the canal on a little bridge
and turning left through the tall grasses, but the storekeeper stated


[BULL. 161



that the ground was wet and the path through the grasses might be
impassable. A man from the camp, known as Small-pox Billie, was
seen walking along the other bank of the canal carrying a canoe pole
on his shoulder. He was going up a side canal and later was seen
pushing his canoe into the water. After crossing the little bridge we
entered a narrow, winding path through the grasses.
When we entered the camp we realized that we were regarded as
intruders. Even the name of Cory Osceola brought no response from
the Seminole women who were busy with sewing and other tasks.
In the middle of the camp was a cooking fire with the logs in the
familiar "spoke" arrangement (pl. 17, b). A piece of fish was drying
on the limb of a tree, and kettles were hung on the branches (pl. 10, c).
Though these people were moving from place to place they had their
supply of coontie ("comptie") flour in bags, on a low platform, cov-
ered with palmetto leaves (cf. pl. 18, a). The taking of several photo-
graphs was made possible by the usual gifts of money and fresh fruit,
but the women and children were entirely unresponsive. They under-
stood English, but made no reply to questions. At last I prepared to
leave, saying that I had more oranges in the car, also that I had bought
a used car and wished they might see it. Buying a "used car" is a
common transaction among the Seminole and this appealed to them at
once. The women and children indicated their intention to go back
to the car with us, and led the way through the tall grass. On the
bank of the canal, before crossing the bridge we met a man.and two
boys, returning with two hides and a fish.
When we arrived at the other side of the canal, our car received
a thorough inspection. The women looked it all over, and discussed
it in Seminole. It would have been interesting to know their con-
clusions as to its value. There were plenty of oranges in the car, which
were accepted by the Seminoles with evident pleasure. The camp was
then photographed from that side of the canal. The typical vege-
tation of the Everglades is shown at the right in plate 15, a. The
camp, the little bridge, and the canoe appear in plate 15, b; beyond
the camp, a number of garments were hung to dry. Such garments
usually appear as a bright spot in the background of a Seminole
camp. A view of the region is shown in plate 15, c.
An interesting village on Tamiami Trail, about 10 miles from the
town of Everglades, is known as Chestnut Billie's village. It is an
individual project of this young Seminole and retains the native at-
mosphere, although it is open to the public. A narrow bridge spans
the canal which borders the Trail (pl. 9, a). Chestnut Billie is stand-
ing on the bridge. Charles Tiger, an old man, standing in the canoe



has brought him poles and four live fish. Crossing this bridge, one
enters a tiny curio shop and passes thence, by an abrupt turn, into
Chestnut Billie's village, occupied by his relatives. The village is
hidden from the Trail by a high fence and surrounded by the heavy
vegetation of the Everglades. The clearing had been made recently
and a machete, seen in the village, may have been used in cutting the
tall growth. In the middle of the village is a typical "spoke fire," and
on one of my visits a woman was cooking fish over the coals (pl. 9, e).
Three or four thatched dwellings are here, and the women sit all day
at their hand sewing machines, making garments for use or sale and
usually listening to one of the small phonographs that are in many
Seminole houses. A tame otter was flopping around the enclosure
and on one occasion the construction of the thatched roof on a dwelling
was seen.
On a trip from Miami to Everglades, we overtook a party of Semi-
nole traveling in canoes on the canal that borders the Trail. They
were about 10 miles east of Everglades and were Indians whom I had
been desirous of seeing. The man, his wife, and two children were in
the first canoe, and the second canoe, which was being towed, was
loaded with utensils and camp equipment, neatly packed and covered
with canvas. At the stern of this canoe were several small hides on
stretchers, the hides not being fully dried before the party broke camp
(pl. 14, b). The man kindly drew his canoe near shore while a picture
was taken, and during this pause a large turtle that was being carried
in the canoe almost made its escape.
The writer and her sister were traveling toward Everglades, and
the Indians, as stated, were going in the same direction. On our return
in the early afternoon the Indians were found camping on the opposite
side of the canal. They had cooked and eaten the turtle, and the shell
of the turtle, with the eggs, was seen in the fire according to the Semi-
nole custom. Greetings were again exchanged, and in a short time
they were probably on their way into the depths of the Everglades.
A camp in the Everglades is shown in plate 14, a. Thatched roofs
were seen in a temporary camp (pl. 10, b).
A contrast to the native villages is seen in the little group of dwell-
ings at the Government station, 3 miles from Dania and 25 miles
north of Miami. The Seminole were brought here from their village
near Fort Lauderdale, which had become unsuitable for their use be-
cause of the encroachment of roads and commercial buildings. James
L. Glenn,' officer in charge of the station in 1931-32, lived in a com-
fortable building erected to contain his living quarters, office, and the

6 Mr. Glenn extended many courtesies to the writer which were helpful in her work.



schoolroom. Six or eight small, one-room houses were erected for
the Seminole, whose children attend the school. These houses are near
together, in a row, and at the further end of the row is a thatched
structure like the native dwellings which is used for the storage of
various articles. There is no shade near these houses, but the dense
growth of the region is back of them.
A typical Seminole village as seen from a dirigible is shown in plate
12, b, photographed by Claude C. Matlack.

The exhibition villages at Musa Isle and Coppinger's Tropical
Gardens are managed by white men, the Seminole living in native
dwellings. The former village is the larger (cf. pl. 12, a), and a con-
siderable portion of the material on the Seminole was gathered there,
in 1931 and 1932, through the courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Lasher,
its owners and managers. Contacts with the Indians were freely
given, together with the services of Cory Osceola, the interpreter.
Suitable places for recording songs were also provided (pl. 11, c). A
Seminole wedding was witnessed at Coppinger's Tropical Gardens,
and a limited amount of information was obtained on other visits.


When the Seminole are in a temporary camp their shelter consists
of a slanting, thatched roof, one end resting on the ground and the
other supported by stout poles. Their permanent habitation, in a
village or permanent camp, is a structure with a gabled roof and pro-
jections at each end, thatched with leaves of the Washingtonia palm
(pl. 11, a). As the land in the Everglades is frequently flooded, the
Seminole raises the floor of his house about 22 feet above the ground.
On this floor, or platform, the family sit or recline. In the exhibition
villages the floors of the houses are of boards, but in a village in the
Cypress Swamp the floors of the houses are of logs, with surfaces
partly smoothed. The houses at Musa Isle (pl. 12, a) were about 12
by 15 feet in size and a portion of the floor was cut away on the shorter
side, making it possible for the occupants to sit on the edge of the floor
and still be under the thatch. The lower edge of the thatch was about
4% feet above the ground. The Seminole uses no mattresses or pillows,
and prefers comfortablee" to blankets. These are rolled and placed
across the rafters during the day. Sheeting or canvas curtains are
dropped around the sides of the house during rainy weather or at
night, if desired, and these also are stored on the rafters. One of the
difficulties in changing from native customs will be the use of chairs,
as the women sit all day on the floor, working at their hand sewing




machines. Infants are often seen asleep in hammocks suspended from
the rafters of a house, a strip of cloth attached to the hammock
enabling the mother to swing it as she sits at her work.
An opportunity to watch the construction of a house was afforded
on two different visits to Chestnut Billie's camp. Photographs were
taken on both occasions. The frame of a house ready for the thatch
was seen. In another section of the village a house was being thatched,
and a man was arranging part of the palmetto leaves that form the
thatch. The leaves extended below the edge of the roof, making an
attractive shade at the side of the structure. They were nailed to the
framework. A pair of logs, one on each side of the roof, is used to
hold down the thatch. A man was seen adjusting one of these logs.
The houses of the Seminole are used only as living quarters, the
cooking being done outside, or in a separate structure, and the food
stored elsewhere. This, and the absence of any sort of furniture, make
it possible for the people to live and work in a small space. The Semi-
nole have not adopted the white man's satchel, suitcase, or trunk. Per-
sonal belongings are wrapped in cloth, and the only containers are
cardboard cartons. The women are orderly, and able to pack their
possessions to the best possible advantage. At Motlo's camp a woman
was seen repacking clothing. Eighteen or twenty articles were folded
square, one upon another, a man's trousers being folded smoothly and
placed with the other articles. The stack of clothing was tied in a
cloth. The wife of Cory Osceola wished to show a valued article and
took a small box from the cloth bag containing her possessions. This
she unlocked with a little key, carried on her person. The box and its
contents were clean and neat.


When a child is born a string of beads is placed around its neck.
When a boy is "a certain number of moons old" the beads are re-
placed by a small, three-cornered kerchief of soft fabric, tied in front.
A little girl receives additional strings of beads from time to time,
but, in childhood, does not wear enough beads to be a burden. A string
of beads said to be suitable for a girl about 5 years old was obtained
and found to be about three yards in length. Both boys and girls
wear a one-piece dress with full skirt until they are about 3 years old,
when a girl changes to a two-piece dress similar to that worn by the
women (pl. 8, b). These little dresses are about ankle length and are
of bright patchwork, like the garments of the adults (specimens were
obtained). The one-piece dress is open in front and has a yoke and
long sleeves, the waist and skirt being gathered into a belt. A little
girl's dress is tied at the neck and often fastened with a safety pin at
the waist, the placket in the skirt being about 2 inches long. The belt



[BULL. 161


is narrow, often ending in strips of cloth which are tied, fastening
the garment at the waist.
The one-piece style of dress is still worn by young boys and was for-
merly worn by the men. It is still worn by a few old men. The former
custom was that a man wore the ankle-length dress until he was about
50 years old, when he shortened the dress to knee length. Several
men wearing dresses below the knee were seen (pl. 9, a). Men with
shorter skirts are shown in plates 9, b, and 13, c. This costume was
adapted to the work of the men in former days. They tucked up their
skirts when wading in the water or working around their canoes. A
short, white cotton tunic, or shirt, is worn by some of the older men
(pl. 2, a). This is not a native costume and is said to have been adopted
from the white man's shirt, after trousers were worn. The old men
still wear cloth turbans which were formerly very large (pl. 2, a).
These differ in style but usually have one feather erect on the top. The
turbans are in a permanent form, being taken off and replaced without
disturbing the shape. When a man wears a felt hat he usually has a
colored band around it. The young men wear wide-brimmed, light
felt hats, of the type commonly called "cowboy hats." Several
costumes are seen in the family group in plate 8, a.
At the present time the young men wear black trousers and a full
blouse of patchwork like the dresses of the women. This blouse repre-
sents a transition in clothing, as it is like the old-fashioned dress
tucked into trousers. The sleeves are very full and gathered into a
band at the wrist. With the blouse is worn a soft neckerchief (pls. 1,
2, a, b; 3, a). A long scarf is also worn (pls. 3, b; 4, a). The blouse,
like the child's dress, has a square yoke bordered with strips of con-
trasting colors. In former times these color combinations were a
means of identifying members of a family, the custom resembling the
use of clan plaids in Scotland. The family colors were painted on
Most of the adults and all the children are barefoot at the present
day, but seem to feel no discomfort in walking on the stones. Their
feet are not "spread," nor unsightly in appearance. The Seminole
women have very small feet; a trader stated that he thought no woman
in his village would wear a shoe larger than No. 3, while the average
size of a white woman's shoe is No. 5-7. An exception to those who
used no foot covering was an old man who wore buckskin moccasins,
with wrappings of the same material extending up to his knees.
A peculiar pair of moccasins, said to represent an old custom, was
obtained. The moccasin, made of buckskin, resembles an old-fash-
ioned shoe in height and consists of two pieces, one for each side of
the foot, fastened together by a seam up the back and a gathered seam
up the front from toe to ankle. The moccasin is turned up at the



toe, has a small, loose piece of leather at the toe and heel, and is held
in place by a thong around the ankle.
When a little girl lays aside the one-piece dress, she assumes the cos-
tume of a woman, which consists of a full skirt, an underwaist, and a
cape of thin material gathered into a yoke of thicker cloth. In warm
weather the underwaist is short, scarcely below the armpits and with-
out sleeves, but in chilly weather the woman wears a waist with sleeves,
extending below the waistband of her skirt. This garment preceded
the cape, which has come into use during the past half century. Com-
modore Munroe remembers when the Seminole women did not wear
the cape. The material preferred for a cape is thin voile of a plain
color, but figured voile is used if the former cannot be obtained. Plain
percale is used for two or three narrow bands on the edge of the cape
and for the yoke, on which the decoration consists of a few narrow
strips of colored cloth at the edge. Usually this decoration does not
meet in the front, an undecorated space of a few inches being left (pls.
4, b; 6, a). The opening at the neck is large enough so that the cape
is put on over the head. It is a sensible garment, affording protection
and coolness while permitting free use of the arms. A woman con-
ceals her hands under her cape when meeting strangers. (Cf. pl. 8,
a, b.)
Many women wear handmade silver ornaments on their capes.
These may be in the form of round disks, or buttons, sewed in place,
or they may be pendants, which are often attached to the-beads in
the back. Earrings, finger rings, and bracelets of silver are worn in
considerable quantity. The ears are pierced at an early age. At
Dania an infant less than a month old was seen with pierced ears.
The wearing of earrings is general, and one woman was seen "keeping
the hole open" in another woman's ear by inserting a straw or small
The decoration on Seminole garments formerly consisted of ap-
plique. This was of two sorts, one consisting of points of one color
s~wed on cloth of another color, and the other being a form of stencil.
In this form of applique a diamond-shaped piece of cloth with a dia-
mond-shaped opening in the center was placed over cloth of a differ-
ent color and all the edges neatly sewed in place. Since the Seminole
obtained hand sewing machines the applique has been replaced by the
familiar patchwork banding. The making of this constitutes the chief
industry of the women, and, as stated on page 33, the banding is in
long strips, which are kept on hand, ready for use. These are com-
monly called "bands."
A woman wears two or three skirts, which are alike. Each is so
long that it rests on the ground about 11/ inches, all around, and meas-
ures about 5 yards at the hem. The skirt is made of wide and narrow


[BULL. 181


strips of percale in contrasting colors, plain cloth being preferred to
figured material. Very narrow strips of different colors are frequently
stitched on these plain strips. Two rows of "banding" are usually
inserted in a skirt, and sometimes three are used, the widest being
nearest the hem. At a point less than a foot below the waist, the width
of the skirt is slightly reduced, being gathered into a somewhat nar-
rower piece of cloth. This change in width is covered by a narrow
ruffle of a strongly contrasting color. While the long seam up the
back of a skirt may show some irregularities in the narrow bandings,
most of the wide bandings are found to match with exactness. The
upper edge of the skirt may be gathered into a band a few inches in
width, or it may be finished with a narrow band, the ends of which
are tied together in the back, holding the garment in place.
The strings of beads worn by the women extend from the ears to
the shoulders, the upper strings being drawn tightly and firmly around
the neck (pl. 4, b). A less careful arrangement of beads is seen in
plate 6. Only one sort of bead is worn, this being smoothly round,
opaque, and not very highly glazed. The favorite colors are dark
blue and dull, pale green, but other colors are used and the combina-
tions vary from day to day. Only some "foundation strings" are worn
at night, and the arrangement of the strings of beads takes consider-
able time each morning. The writer has watched women select and
put on the beads, trying different colors and taking them off until the
effect is entirely satisfactory. The principal colors are at the upper
edge and the lower border of the mass of beads. Sinc6 these are put
on after the cape is adjusted and since the color combinations vary in
the cape and dress, it is probable that the woman designs her beads to
correspond with the dress she is wearing. A woman was seen putting
on her beads, and kindly showed the writer how this was done. She
was seated on the floor of her house and had a small mirror in front of
her, propped against a pile of belongings. The beads worn by the
women are bought in strings of uniform length, this being about 60
inches. The adjustment in length, when the beads are worn, is made
by tying each double string together. Thus the strings of beads to be
worn around the throat were measured the proper length, tied and
adjusted, the stubby end of the original string being tucked inside the
mass of beads. As the decoration reached her shoulders, longer strings
were required, with less shortening of the original length. In the
outer rows of the mass of beads that rested on her chest and shoulders,
the original strings were used without being shortened. The skill in
putting on the beads involves making each double string the proper
length so the mass will be swooth, and also arranging the colors.
One woman kept her beads in a tin box at least a foot high and
about a foot in diameter, the box being almost full of beads from
338460 0-56--4




which she was selecting those she wished to wear. The number of
strings of beads worn by some women is so great that their necks
are shriveled and their shoulders bent by the weight. Ornaments of
pierced silver are sometimes attached to the beads in the back. As
stated on page 16, one or two strings of beads are placed around a
child's neck soon after it is born, and a girl wears the beads in in-
creasing number as long as she lives.
Women do not remove their beads when they go in bathing. Neither
do they remove their clothing, but deftly change their dresses when
they leave the water.

The style of hairdressing among the women is neat and decorative.
Their hair is long and is first combed straight up to the top of the
head, so that the hair at the back of the head is flat and close. The
mass of hair is then made into a smooth mat on top of the head by
folding it back and forth, the line across the lower, back edge of this
mat being horizontal (pl. 4, b). This mat of hair extends over the top
of the forehead and is covered with a net made of black thread and
decorated with small beads. There is a great variety in these nets,
the beads being strung on the thread of which the net is woven and
forming small, detached designs. As the hair of the women is black,
the thread of the net does not show, and the beads, in their bright
colors, are decorative and becoming. Some of the young girls wear a
row of ordinary bone hairpins close together across the forehead, so
that the loops of the hairpins form a decoration; others wear many of
these pins around the mat of hair, the loop ends forming a decoration.
Among the women there is also a custom of wearing "bangs" across
the forehead, but this is not universal (pl. 6, b). In one camp a woman
was seen dressing her hair in a "pompadour" by combing it over a pad
made of a rag. At Chestnut Billie's Camp an old woman was seen
doing her hair. She combed it to the top of her head, tied it, and
made the ends into a loop which she pinned down with many bone

The Seminole are "natural horticulturists," according to Mrs. Frank
L. Stranahan, of Fort Lauderdale. Around their old village, with
which she was familiar, they planted pineapples and mango and
guava and orange trees. Many of these trees, in good condition, re-
main on the site of the village.
An old mill for crushing sugarcane was seen by the writer. It
consisted of two vertical wheels, propelled by two long bars that were
pushed by men.



In the Big Cypress group, each family has a little "farm" or garden
in the Everglades where they cultivate corn and other vegetables,
making it their home during part of the year (pl. 15, c). At other
times they camp where the game is most abundant or where the occu-
pation of the time may lead them.
It is said the Creeks raised the first tobacco in this region and that
the Indians could secure tobacco seed at any grocery store. This
was a poor quality of the white man's tobacco. The northern Seminole
raided the Creek farms in the same way they raided the farms of white

The Seminole plant their corn in February, the month designated in
their calendar as the Big Moon month (p. 28). The women select par-
ticularly fine ears of corn during the harvest and store them for seed.
Each family has a permanent camp near its little garden, and the
corn is raised on a small patch of ground. When planting corn a
man digs a hole with a sharp stick and a woman or little girl drops
in the kernels. Sometimes boys help with this part of the work.
Annie Tommie and her brother Willie Jumper are shown planting
corn in this manner (pl. 16, b).


Fish are speared from the canoe. A man who had just thrown a
spear for a fish was seen. Another man was seen with a three-tined
spear for fish.
The game consists of otter, raccoon, bobcat, alligator, deer, and
other animals. Ordinary steel traps are used in catching the bobcat
and similar animals. As a lure for the deer it is customary to burn
the grass on a little tract of firm land in the Everglades. Vegetation
returns quickly, and the deer, attracted by the fresh, green sprouts,
are killed while feeding. One method of catching an alligator is by
slipping a noose around its jaws. By means of the rope it can be
drawn toward the shore and lifted partially from the water. The
animal is generally shot, but it may be killed with a knife or hatchet.


Fresh corn is boiled or roasted in the ashes. Many boil it without
removing the husks. Dried corn is pounded in a mortar, which is
made by burning and scraping out the center of a hickory log. The
wood is so hard that no lining of the log or stump is necessary. The
earliest implement for scraping out the center of the log was a large
shell. The pestle is of hickory and the pounding of the corn is done





by a woman, putting only a handful of the corn in the mortar at a
time (pl. 16, a). The corn is pounded to various degrees of fineness
and sifted through round basket sieves with meshes of several sizes.
Palmetto leaves are u-.l ;n !l, ki i.-" I -. -i i .. r.t. th- 1 I .-ii' ir, Iv
split for making the baskets with smaller meshes. The sides of such
a basket are closely woven, also the bottom, except for a square open-
ing which is filled by the lattice. Four of these baskets were ob-
tained, the larger being 11 to 18 inches in diameter and the smaller
being about 9 inches in diameter. The basket 11 inches across was
41/ inches in depth, with the usual square latticed opening in the
bottom. (Like other specimens collected by the writer these are in
the United States National Museum.) Larger baskets of the same
shape are used as household containers.
The preparation of the "cabbage palm" for use as food was seen at
Dania. This is the sabal palmetto, or cabbage tree. Missie Tiger cut
a slit lengthwise of a stalk, and removed one layer after another. The
center of the stalk was boiled. Water was obtained by digging a hole
in the ground (pl. 5, a).
In a camp on the Tamiami Trail a woman'was seen frying a "pan-
cake" about an inch and a half thick in a skillet. She turned it by
inverting the skillet on her hand and "flopping over" the pancake. It
was not fried, as in northern tribes, but toasted on each side.
In Chestnut Billie's camp the women were baking biscuits in a
Dutch oven of the usual type, with the fire on top of the cover. The
biscuits looked wholesome when they were taken out. In a perma-
nent camp there is a high table for the preparing of food.
Coontie, also called comptie, is a root that forms the most important
factor in the food of the Seminole. A specimen of the root was ob-
tained, and identified by Dr. J. Petersen of the Miami Botanical
Gardens as Zamia floridana. Flour of two different qualities is made
from this root, the process being photographed at Dania (pl. 18).
Missie Tiger had gathered about a barrelful of the roots and was pre-
paring them for her own use. They were gathered at the proper
season, washed and scraped (pl. 18, a), and stored on a low platform
under a thatch of palmetto, dry leaves being underneath and fresh
leaves on the top. The platform was about 3 feet square and 2 feet
in height. This storage is only until there is a convenient time for
continuing the process. The roots are grated with a curved piece of
tin with sharply edged holes, the tin being set on a board in such a
manner that the grated roots fall between the tin and the board,
sliding down to a piece of cloth spread on the ground to receive them.
A ,... ,ai r!.;- r[in t i, -.... ;,i- . p..- i a y camp on the Tamiami Trail
is shown in plate 18, b. The resultant substance is placed in a barrel,
water is added, and the whole is stirred with a long stick (pl. 18, c).


A small portion at a time is strained through a cloth, which is sus-
pended from stakes at the corners. Water is occasionally added.
The powder is then dried. A few days later Missie Tiger was found
seated on the floor of ier house beside a large cloth on which the flour
was slowly drying, and she was engaged in rubbing out the lumps so
that the flour would be smooth. This flour is generally of two quali-
ties, the flour made from the outside of the root being a pale pinkish
brown and that from the center of the root being wlite. One inform-
ant said that a third quality was sometimes made and that it was quite
dark brown. Specimens of the first two qualities were obtained. The
taste was sweetish and not unpleasant.7
Two or three grades of flour were seen drying at Jim Gopher's
camp, the flour being spread on a cloth, laid on the floor. A thatched
cache of the roots was seen at this camp, and a cache of finished flour
in bags.
It is said that the war with the white man was greatly prolonged
because the Seminole understood the value of this native food.
A coarse variety of bananas known as "horse-bananas".grows wild
in the fields, and the Seminole also gather the ordinary bananas as
The turtle is a favorite food of the Seminole. This is chiefly the
variety known as the "gopher turtle," which is abundant in the re-
gion. Both large and small turtles are eaten. Many turtle shells
were scattered near the camp at Dania. Missie Tiger said she had a
turtle in a box in her house, which she intended to cook soon. She
consented to be photographed holding this turtle. The turtle is usu-
ally boiled and the flesh eaten, or it is made into soup. In one camp a
woman was seen picking bits of crisped turtle meat out of the shell
as she sat beside a fire.
Cory Osceola stated that a large turtle is enough to serve 10 people,
and is boiled with potatoes, onions, and canned tomatoes. He also said
that a portion of a turtle is put in the fire. This was seen in a tempo-
rary camp on the Tamniami Trail. (See p.14.)
The method of cooking depends on the circumstances under which
the people are living. The use of logs, arranged like the spokes of a
wheel, as described below, is limited to the permanent village or camp.
If the family are in a temporary camp, as when they are hunting,
the kettles are often hung from sticks thrust slantwise in the ground.

'A different method of preparation of the flour is suggested by the following: John C.
Gifford, in his book entitled "Billle Bowlegs," pictures a Seminole woman pounding "eomp-
tie" in a log, which Is lying on the ground. Three apertures, or "mortars," are In the log
and a woman stands beside one of them, with a pestle which is her own height. This is
held y both hands and moved up and down. Two other pestles of the same length are
leaned against the log. This illustration appears to be a copy of an old photograph
(Gifford, 1925, illus, facing p. 74).


A family on a journey who had stopped to prepare a meal were seen
cooking by a stream.
A "spoke fire" consists of 8 or 10 logs at least 6 feet in length ar-
ranged like the spokes of a wheel but not coming together in the
center. There is a mound of ashes in the center, and a fire is kindled
with small wood for cooking each meal. The logs are pushed forward
when more heat is desired, or when the ends of the logs have burned
off. Two or three families may cook with the fire. A woman sits
on one of the logs when tending the kettles or preparing the food
(pls. 9, c; 17, b). The logs for such a fire 'ere seen in several villages
in three sections of the Seminole country, including an unoccupied
camp in the Everglades. Cooking under a thatched roof in a large
village is shown in plate 11, 6.
The cooking utensils of the Seminole are iron kettles obtained at
the stores. Spoons both large and small are made of wood. The
material chiefly used is the wood of the custard-apple tree, though
a spoon made of cypress wood was obtained at Dania. A large spoon
is used by the women in stirring kettles of food when cooking, and
is the chief utensil used by the Seminole when eating., Seven of
these spoons were obtained, some being very old and two being bought
while in use, the Indian women taking them out of the corn porridge
to sell them. The shape of the spoon used by the Seminole who live
in the Big Cypress Swamp was slightly different from that of the
spoon used by the Seminole at Dania who come from the Cow Creek
band and from the old group near Fort Lauderdale. Both spoons
had handles bent sharply near the end, but the spoons from near Dania
were narrower and deeper. A "small spoon" was obtained and was
about the size of our tablespoon. The large spoons were used by
adults when eating and small children were seen eating with a spoon
that would hold about half a teacupful.
When the food is cooked the kettles are taken from the fire, and the
manner of eating depends on the circumstances. A family traveling
on the canal, beside Tamiami Trail, were seen eating by their fire.
In a camp visited in the cabbage palm region the people slept and ate
on the ground. It is said that in the villages the men eat before the
women. At Musa Isle there are three eating huts; two have "divided
floors" and a third is an ordinary living hut. In the latter the men
sat crosslegged around the kettles, on the platform. The older men
were seen eating by themselves, and the young men often ate by them-
selves. Children of 6 to 10 years of age were seen eating together,
under the supervision of two women. Very small children ate with a
mixed group, including an old man, some women, and the fathers of
the children. Babies were given bones to chew. The kettles were
taken from the fire to the places where the food was to be eaten, and

[BULL. 161

the people gathered around. There was nothing that resembled
"'-rr,,i II,' rll,.l '' The food was taken from the kettles with a large
wooden spoon and usually placed in granite cups. Plates were of
granite, but were very rarely seen in the camps. Knives, forks, and
metal spoons were not seen, and it was said that meat was eaten with
the fingers.
The women seemed interested in their cooking, two or three women
usually being busy in the cooking hut at Musa Isle in the middle of
the day. It was observed that the noonday meal was on time. This
was the only meal of the day, but food could be obtained at any other
time if it was desired.
The food was varied. Indians were seen drinking corn porridge
from a cup and removing the corn from the bottom of the cup with
their fingers. Meat was cut into pieces and boiled in a considerable
quantity of water, and meat and vegetables were seen in one kettle.
Women were seen frying dough in a skillet, and eggs were also fried.
Oranges were roasted in the coals. They were blackened on one side
and resembled potatoes cooked in the same manner. They were eaten
after peeling off the skin at one end. A child was seen drinking the
milk from a coconut. A peculiar food was seen in a primitive village
in the cabbage palm region. A woman was seated on the ground and
beside her, at the top of a pole, were two or three objects resembling
doughnuts, pierced by the pole. On being questioned, she said they
were made of deer meat and melted fat and that she chewed them for
food. One was obtained for the United States National Museum.
No bread or other food purchased at a bakery was seen in the Seminole
camps that were visited, but it is said that some camps in other
localities are using such food when it can be obtained.
At the conclusion of a meal the kettles with the remaining food in
them are left where the food was eaten, and are sometimes covered
with a cloth. Anyone who wishes a lunch may help himself from the
kettles, and this was often done. The utensils are usually taken to the
cooking hut and put in a large pan of water until needed.
The cooking of fresh fish was seen, by chance, at Chestnut Billie's
camp on the Tamiami Trail. An old man named Charlie Tiger came
down the canal in a canoe with a large number of poles that Chestnut
wanted to use in his camp (pl. 9, a). With the poles he brought four
live fish. The women of the camp began at once to prepare them, the
first step being to crisp them over the fire. It is always easy to secure
fire for such a purpose as there are embers between the ends of the
"spoke fire," and light wood is applied. Each fish was about 2 feet
long. At first each fish was laid on a narrow board, and after it
stiffened it was turned until both sides were crisped. The crisping
was done with care, and when it was finished the fish were taken to a

_ ~~_




place where such work was generally done. A woman sharpened her
knife on a piece of wire netting, cut the head and tail from each fish,
and skinned it with the knife. Then it was cleaned and cut into pieces
about 3 inches long, and each section was split along the backbone.
The woman then cleaned a kettle which contained similar pieces of
fish, washed the fresh fish and put it in cold water, and then placed the
kettle of fish on the fire (pl. 9, c). No vegetables were cooked with the
fish. She then gathered up all the debris and threw it into the canal.
Fish was seen drying on the limb of a tree, in a temporary camp on
the Tamiami Trail. Cory Osceola stated that meat as well as fish is
dried in the sun, but neither is smoked over the fire.
Venison is pounded, mixed with melted fat, and stored in containers.


The hides of small animals are stretched on frames or nailed on
boards to dry. Several hides on frames were seen inthe cabbage palm
country (pl. 15, a). In Chestnut Billie's camp several hides were
drying, a small hide being stretched on a board, leaning against a
thatched platform, while a wildcat hide was nailed to a board, lean-
ing against a tree. A family moving in two canoes carried two or
three small hides nailed on boards, the hides not being fully dry.
The Seminole manner of scraping a hide is shown in plate 7.
The hide of the deer is expertly tanned and is pale-cream color,
with a soft texture. It does not appear that the tanning is done by
women, as in northern tribes, but this was not a subject of special
The subject of "clan names" was not a matter of special inquiry, but
Panther said his name is that of the clan to which his family belongs.
He did not inherit this name, but received it. He cannot give this
name to his son because it can be borne only by two living men, but
after his death it will be the duty of his brother to give the name to
some boy in the clan who is about 12 years of age.

The names of the Seminole are identified with the part of Florida
in which they live. Mrs. Frank L. Stranahan stated that the "east
coast Seminole" were members of the Osceola, Jumper, Willie, and
Tounmie families. The Cow Creek group were the Tigers, Tigertail,
and Parker families, the last being named for a cattleman. The Big
Cypress people were the Billie and Cypress families. The Motlo
family also belonged to this group.

[BULL. 161



Marriage with relatives is strictly forbidden. A marriage may be
performed by any male relative of the bride or by one of the "old
men of the tribe." Men frequently marry women older than them-
selves. The marriage of Cowboy Billie and Annie John took place
recently. They were married by the father of the bride. On Feb-
ruary 17 a Seminole wedding was seen at Coppinger's Tropical Vil-
lage, and the following day a similar event was seen at Musa Isle and
photographs were taken. On the former occasion the Catfish Dance
was witnessed (cf. p. 120). Several old men came from the Ever-
glades to attend the second wedding.


The homelife of the Seminole, as seen in the camps, seemed particu-
larly pleasant. It is said that the Seminole are severe in the discipline
of their children, and that it is usually necessary to use this discipline
only two or three times, after which the child is tractable. I was told
that the scarification of the arms was used as a punishment for chil-
dren, and at Musa Isle one child was seen with scars from such
scratches (see p. 29).
In a certain camp a little boy about 5 years of age was devoted in
his care of a younger sister. If she fell down he helped her up and
adjusted her little cape. A certain blind woman was always led by
a little boy and girl who guided her with care. The boys and girls
usually played by themselves in the various camps, and were quiet in
their play.
The women are very affectionate in their manner toward small chil-
dren. In one camp a little child was seen seated on an overturned pail
while the mother cut its hair. Then it was given something to eat, and
handed a toy.
Neatness in the care of personal belongings was noted in the
camps and evidently taught to children. A little boy wanted a toy
pistol to play with and was seen taking a cigar box from a rafter in
his house. It contained his small belongings; he looked them over,
took out the toy pistol, and repacked the others neatly, and then
closed the box and replaced it on the rafter. Then he went away,
playing with the little pistol.


In old times clothes were washed by spreading them on a sloping rock
beside a stream and pounding them with a piece of wood. At present
the articles are spread on a sloping platform and thoroughly rubbed
with soap, then rinsed in the stream and lifted out with a stick.


Washing in this manner was seen in Chestnut Billie's camp (pl. 15, b)
on the Tamiami Trail and a washing platform was seen in the canoe-
maker's camp. The clothing is spread on a fence or on the bushes to
dry, forming a bright background to the camp scene.


According to the custom of tI.. rll.o,..... II. rl I n 0 .I.I I ..- .- 'Witl
the Corn 1D 1,,. -, l...ri .v ,i.,.. .. -; l, Ir- tli- ii..,' I ..f the white man's
The months of the calendar begin with the winter solstice. The
Seminole "watch a certain palm tree for the position of the sun and
moon and make the months from the time when they turn in the other
The names of the months in the white man's calendar are as follows:
Fubli (wind) haci (little moon) January.
Fubli (wind) -______ hastcobe (big moon) -__ February.
Biha cotci _______ Not translated ------ ..-- March.
Biha cobi ____-__..._-do_- ___ April.
Buksa ci -------..- - do ___-- ___. __-_- __. ____ May.
IIayo tci __..-__ All small fruits ripe -------- June.
Haitco bi -___ All large fruits ripe ... July.
Ota ci.-----__ Hot, no wind -------- A August.
Ota cobi ------______ Trees have berries on them.----..__ September.
Yo hobiha ci No wind- October.
Klafta cobi __. Big cold -------- ____ November.
Hailing ci --.------_ Birds and fish frozen -..--_______-.. December.


A period of fasting is not required of a young boy, and he does not
depend upon a dream in deciding to be a medicine man. However,
he receives knowledge in dreams. Cory Osceola was very positive in
this matter, saying "if a boy can't do it himself he is no good." He
said that a boy does not tell his intention to be a medicine man unless
he is asked, but "if he wants to find out something lie goes to the old
men and asks them about it." In this way lie adds to knowledge that
he has received in dreams. It was said, --i. i ..-. has useful dreams
but some people have better dreams than others."
A Seminole may have help from the otter, panther, raccoon, bob-
cat, or other animal, and he may ask this "spirit helper" about things
that trouble him, but no part of the animal is worn as a fetish. "The
man just asks his helper if he wants to know something." A man
does not bear a name indicating the identity of his "spirit helper."
(Cf. I -I,.,,l,,- ',o, '
Billie Stewart stated tlat the Seminole receive songs and a knowl-
edge of medicines in dreams.



In common with many other tribes, the Seminole believe in the
power of an herb which is carried on the person or smoked in a pipe
but not taken internally. Its power is not limited to medicine men.
Panther, who is familiar with the "medicine practices" of the tribe,
though not a "full medicine man," said that, in the old days, "A
chief might send his boys in a canoe and they would be safe if they
had this plant. They would smoke a little and carry it in a cloth.
In war a man would not be hit if he had this herb." He said the herb
is called "stingy man's tobacco." John Tiger gave the same infor-
mation and a piece of the dried herb. "Stingy man's tobacco" was
also smoked and carried by hunters to attract game. The protective
use of bay leaves is described on pages 34-35.


The authority of the old men is severe and unquestioned (1932). For
example, a certain young girl offended tribal standards by donning
a bathing suit and going into the water at Musa Isle, in company with
young girls of the white race. The older people heard of it and she
"disappeared into the Everglades," remaining more than 6 months.
The nature of her discipline was not told, but she emerged a demure
Seminole maiden, in the voluminous dress of her tribe.
It is said that every 5 years the old men hold an "instruction for
boys" and that this took place, in the Everglades, in 1931.


The scarifying of the flesh on arms and legs is an old custom of the
Seminole. This was said to be a punishment for children, but the cus-
ton included adults. It was one of the forms of punishment at the
Corn Dance. J. B. Glenn, United States Indian Agent at Dania, said
that he recently visited the northern part of the reservation, taking
with him one of the most intelligent of the Seminole. When they were
leaving, an old woman insisted that this man "scratch" the arms and
legs of those present. He used a needle and exerted such pressure
that the needle broke and had to be replaced. Even small children were
subjected to this treatment. The flesh was thoroughly washed be-
fore being scarified and the blood flowed freely, but no medicine was
applied. The only explanation was that the treatment would "make
them brave."
Rows of round scars were seen on the arms of young women about
20 to 30 years of age. These scars were on both arms, and were dis-
tinct and of various sizes. Missie Tiger had about eight on each arm,
arranged in a line and evenly spaced. The largest was near her wrist


and about one-fourth of an inch in diameter. The others decreased
regularly in size, the smallest being about half that diameter. She
was not questioned concerning their significance.


Punishment for crime is inflicted by a relative of the offender. One
informant stated that for 5 days after a murder, the offender can be
killed at sight by his relatives. After that time his punishment is
deferred until the next Corn Dance. Another stated that as soon as
possible after a crime the family of the offender assemble and decide
the punishment to be inflicted. This punishment is usually in the form
of whipping, administered by a relative-probably a distant relative.
The man is tied to a post and h.l.l .l.. tie f.o..;l\ .... l .1-; i,.iin'g ti,
amount. This is said to be "reasonable" and the punishment is in-
flicted far in the Everglades, but the news spreads and the man is
regarded in the same light as a white man who has been in prison.
This informant said the only o.rt.d.-r- i.e I..-. .I .at the Corn Dance are
those that have occurred a short time before that event.


The canoes used by the Seminole are dugouts made of cypress logs.
According to B. L. Lasher, it is the custom to burn around a cypress
tree, letting the fire eat into the wood to the core. This makes a point
at the foot of the tree, after which it can be felled easily. This point
is used as the tip of the canoe. After the tree is on the ground, it is
burned in two, forming the length of the canoe, the other end not being
in a point. The inside of the log is hollowed out by fire, and the
charred wood is scraped out. It is said that a large shell was once
used for this purpose, but in recent times the Indians use a tool which
may be described as a combination of an adz and a hammer. The
blade is longer and wider than the claw of a hammer, is square across
the end which curves toward the handle of the implement, while op-
posite is the ordinary head of a hammer. This is adapted for use on
both the inside and outside of the canoe. (P1. 8, e.)
No finishing is necessary on the outside of a canoe as cypress can
stay in the water for an indefinite time without becoming waterlogged.
If a canoe is made of cypress that has been attacked by worms (called
"pecked cypress"), or if the log has a "split" in it, the wood is mended
with pitch. A canoe that has stayed in the water a long time and
becomes slimy on the surface makes less sound in the water than a
clean canoe and is preferred for use in hunting.
A canoe is decorated with the "family colors," which are used also
on dresses and on the yokes of men's blouses. These colors are ap-


plied to the inside of the canoe in broken stripes or angular patterns of

A pole is used in propelling a canoe in the glades (pls. 9, 6; 13, c)
and sometimes a sail is used (pl. 14, c). Household goods are moved
in canoes (pl. 14, b). Colors identifying families were formerly
painted on canoes (cf. p. 17).
The canoes of the Seminole are of three general types: the canoe
used long ago in deep water, the canoe used in the shallow water of the
Everglades, and a wide canoe used in the glades for the transportation
of families with their household goods. Models of these and of Imodi-
fled forms of these canoes were made by the Seminole. The oldest
type of canoe was that used when the Seminole traveled in salt water,
along the shore and between the shore and the nearby islands. This
model was made by Billie Motlo and supplied with a sail and oars by
Panther. This model was shown to Ralph Middleton Munroe,8 an
authority on marine architecture of this class, who stated that "the
canoe embodies the best points of a boat for navigating rough water.
It contains lines which can be interpreted only in formal terms of
marine architecture. The flatbottom is adapted to landing on the
beach, the oarlock is a very ancient device known as a becket, and
the sail is the American type which came from old English patterns."
The canoe, mast, and oars of the model are made of the wood of the
custard-apple tree (Annona glabra). The twine holding the rigging
in place is made from the green, inner bark of the same tree. The
ropes used on such a canoe in the old days were made from the rubber
tree (Ficuo auarea), a specimen of such cord being made by Billie
Motlo and included in the writer's Seminole collection.
John Tiger, an old man of the tribe, said that he remembered the
use of these canoes and that travel on the Gulf was attended with some
danger. He said "when the boys took a canoe out alone I gave them
some of my medicine to carry, so they would be safe." He opened his
medicine bag, showed a quantity of an herb resembling tobacco, and
gave a few leaves to the writer. The same herb was used as a charm
for success in hunting.
Four other canoe models were made for the writer, one being painted
in diamonds, according to the Seminole custom. It is thought the

s Ralph Middleton Munroe went to Key West in 1877 and has, made his home in Coconut
Grove since 1885. In the early days he contributed to the development of water commu-
nication along the Florida coast by designing and building boats of moderate displacement
and limited draft. He was founder of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and commodore of
the club for 23 years, still being known by that title. In collaboration with Vincent
Gilpln, he is the author of "The Commodore's Story" (Munroe and Gilpin, 1930). Commo-
dore Munrue died on August 26, 1933.
SThe leaves obtained from John Tiger were identified by Dr. Gilbert, of the University
of Miami, Miami, Fla., as Nicotiana rustica L. Information concerning the plant is as
follows: "n. rletica (wild tobacco), still cultivated by the Indians of the eastern States,
Is of uncertain origin" (Encyc. Brit., 19:17 b, vol. 16, p. 430). Nicotlana rdstlca L. "Said to
be the first species of tobacco introduced into Europe. Its use was made known by John
Nieot for whom the genus was named" (Bailey, 1935, vol. 2, p. 2148).


painted canoe was made by John Tiger, while he was still able to use
tools (his death occurred during the present work, p. xxvii). Two of
the others were made by Billie Motlo and one by a brother of Cory
Osceola. The tool used in making these models, and in similar wood
working is a curved knife, made from the blade of a steel table knife,
shortened and turned horizontally, the handle being wrapped in rags.
This is somewhat similar to the curved knife used by the Chippewa,
but the blade is turned much farther, being turned to form almost a
circle. Like the Chippewa knife, it is drawn toward the worker.
These four canoes are different in their lines. The painted canoe
is much wider and higher at the prow than the others and such a canoe
would be suitable for moving household goods; one of the smaller
models is of this type but the lines are less exaggerated. The other
two represent the long, slender canoe used in the Everglades, one model
being larger than the other. With the smaller model is a pole, or
"canoe pusher" of appropriate length.
The camp of John Osceola, a canoemaker, was visited. This camp
is in 1.- .. i a.-- woods, some distance back from the Tamiami Trail,
and a narrow waterway has been constructed from his camp to the
canal, for the passage of his canoes. In the camp a partly finished
canoe was seen, resting on logs. The chips were beneath it, and be-
tween the canoe and the water was a sloping platform, used for launch-
ing the canoes and also for the washing of clothes by the women.
John Osceola is also known as Captain Tony.
In Chestnut Billie's camp, on the Tamiami Trail, a canoe was seen
and measured. This canoe was 25 feet and 5 inches in length. At a
point 3 feet and 1 inch from the stern it was 1 foot and 10 inches in
width. At a point 1 foot and 5 inches from the bow it was 1 foot and
5 inches in width. Near the end of the bow it was 1 foot 61/2 inches
in height.
A canoe with a sail was seen on the canal beside Tamiami Trail
(pl. 14, c). The mast was across the middle of the sail, and a rope
extended from each corner of the sail. A pole held the sides of the sail
taut, and a boy held the ropes, managing them so as to catch the wind
and steer the canoe. As he paddled the canoe out from shore, he put
the ropes under a short slit in the side of the canoe. When he reached
the middle of the canal he took the ropes and resumed the steering of
the canoe.
The canoe is handled in a variety of ways, according to convenience.
Thus a man was seen poling a canoe stern forward. A girl was seen
sitting in the stern of a loaded canoe, paddling it.


The women wear earrings, finger rings, and bracelets of silver, as
well as buttons and disks fastened to their capes or beads. The native

[BULL. 161


work is pierced or pounded, and designs are never etched on the sur-
face. The ornaments are always flat, the silver never being bent or
twisted. The Maltese cross is a design frequently seen in ornaments.
A pair of pendant silver earrings, worn by a Seminole woman, showed
a design of a boat with a sail inside a circular border.

The Seminole are experts in wood carving, and two types of wooden
dolls with carved heads were obtained. Dolls carved of wood, about
2 inches long, were formerly made as toys. Another is a greatly elon-
gated figure made by a woman who seldom comes out of the Ever-
glades. Both dolls are dressed in the costume of Seminole women.

The cotton cloth used in making patchwork banding is fine, firm
in texture, and preferably plain in color. Black is used more than
white in the patchwork, white being never used as a foundation color
while black is often employed in that manner. Pale green and mauve
are preferred to blue or pink, but the favorite colors are red and
yellow, with black as a contrast. The cloth is torn in strips and cut
into blocks of the desired size and shape. For this purpose the women
use very fine, sharp scissors with long, slender blades. The blocks
are placed in little piles, each size by itself, ready for use. Thus a
woman was seen with several piles of small squares and triangles near
her left hand, on the edge of her sewing machine, where she could
put them under the needle in the desired order, without basting. The
women work at this task for many hours at a time, often with a phono-
graph playing as they work. The banding is made in long strips
which are folded away, ready to be inserted in skirts and blouses, or
in dresses for little children or old men. The width varies as well
as the pattern. Ordinary designs consist of little squares of light
and dark material, like a checkerboard, or small triangles of contrast-
ing colors. Upright stripes alternating with horizontal stripes
produce a pleasing pattern. Long, narrow triangles are used effec-
tively, and the patterns in wide banding are surprisingly elaborate
and original. The material and the finished banding are kept scrupu-
lously clean, and the women are always neatly dressed when at work,
with everything orderly around them.

The technic of weaving beads on a warp of thread is similar to that
of the northern tribes, but the loom is like a shallow bottomless box
instead of a thin frame. Two of these looms were seen in the Seminole
camps. The boards comprising the boxlike loom are about 21/2 inches


wide, and the looms are about 8 by 20 inches in size. The weaving
was a band about 11/2 inches wide, and a favorite pattern embodied a
United States flag. No native pattern of applied design was seen in
the handicraft of the Seminole. These woven bead bands, in the form
of belts or small articles, are sold to tourists. None were seen in use
by the Seminole.


There is no subject on which it is more difficult to obtain information
than the customs pertaining to the disposal of a body after death.
It is commonly known that the body is taken into the Everglades
and left there, but the details are hidden. Certain white men, how-
ever, have been present on such occasions, and their statements are
given, together with statements by two white women who have long
been in contact with the Seminole. From these narratives it is possible
to form a reasonably clear idea of the procedure. There seems to be
a wide variance in the custom, so that a complete account can scarcely
be obtained.
Among the writer's oldest informants was John Tiger, one of the
most prominent old men of the tribe. He remembered when the
Seminole traveled in canoes on Biscayne Bay, and he opened his
medicine bag, giving the writer a piece of the herb that in old times
was carried for safety on the water (see p. 31). His medicine bag
was a square of dingy cloth containing about a double handful of
leaves. Panther said these were leaves of "stingy man's tobacco.'
(Cf. p. 29.) Knowing the Indian custom, the writer gave him a
moderate sum of money and promised a gift. Panther, who inter-
preted the conversation, said that a white handkerchief would be an
acceptable gift, and it was brought the following day.
John Tiger was in frail health at that time and, his condition be-
coming worse, he was taken to a hospital in Miami. Before lie left
Musa Isle his hair was cut close to his head. The writer called upon
him in the hospital. His death occurred January 1, 1932.
The following information was supplied by B. L. Lasher who
accompanied the body to the Everglades. With him was Captain
Pope, these being the only white persons in the party. Early on the
morning after the death of John Tiger, his body, in a casket, was taken
some distance on the Tamiami Trail, put in a canoe, and taken into
the Everglades. The casket was carried by means of a long pole,
fastened lengthwise above it. Panther had charge of the procedure
and chewed bay leaves and spat on the three men who carried the
casket "to give them strength and to ward off evil spirits." Bay
leaves were carried by all who went into the Everglades. When the
party reached its destination, Panther again chewed bay leaves



and spat. on the casket. John Tiger's belongings were laid on
top of the casket, which was then covered with leaves and branches
held in place by logs. It was said the body would remain there not
longer than 30 days and would then be carried to its final resting
place, farther in the Everglades.
On the next day the writer visited the Musa Isle village. An old,
dark-blue cloth was hung in John Tiger's house, enclosing in a square
the place where he used to sit. Possibly his widow was thus screened
from view. Three women and two men were weeping profusely, the
women covering their faces with their capes and the men showing
intense grief. The women's hair was hanging loose. The next day
it was said that Mrs. Tiger had gone into the Everglades and would
not return for 6 weeks. The immediate family also went away, and
their house passed to other occupants.
During the weeks that followed, all the women related to John
Tiger wore their hair loose, and some were seen with only a few
strings of heads. The loosened hair was seen also at Dania and another
Seminole village, the mourning being general among his relatives.
The following narrative was supplied by L. M. Rawlinson, of
Okeechobee, Fla. Mr. Rawlinson's father was one of the earliest
settlers of Okeechobee, and he has been acquainted with the Seminole
all his life. Willie Joln, a Seminole, died in a temporary camp at
Parker's Branch, near Blueville, Fla., in December 1931, and Mr.
Rawlinson was asked to convey the body in his truck to its final
resting place. Another white man went with him. On going to the
place they found the body a short distance from the camp. It was
encased in thick wrappings which might have been blankets, and out-
side these was heavy canvas. Around this long packet were strips
of heavy denim about 14 inches apart, each strip being tied. It was im-
possible to tell at which end of the packet was the head of the body.
On top of this packet was a pole that projected at least a foot at each
end. The pole was tied to the packet and had been used by the
Semiuole in carrying it from the camp to the place where it was seen.
The coffin was a box made of heavy cypress boards. This was taken
from the truck and placed beside the body. The pole was lifted and
laid at one side, but care was taken to keep it parallel with the body.
After the body had been placed in the coffin, a branch of bay tree was
brought. Leaves were taken from this branch and strewn on the
entire length of the body. A quantity of kettles and utensils and a
bundle apparently containing clothing were put in the box, an equal
portion being put at each end. The top of the coffin was then nailed
in place, the coffin was placed on the truck, and the pole was laid on
top of it in exactly the former position.
In starting for the place of disposal it was said that a place in a
swamp would be selected, so that the body would not be molested by
S338460 0-5C--5


the fires that burn the palmetto on the dry land. After traveling
north for some distance they came to a cabbage palm hammock with
a creek beside it. The party turned and went about 20 feet eastward,
indicating the desired place.
A cabbage palm was felled, and two pieces about 3 feet long were
cut and placed on the ground as supports for the ends of the coffin.
The branch of bay leaves from which leaves had been removed was
never laid on the ground, a man handing it to another when he took
the ax to chop the tree. Thus it was handed back and forth, as the
men took turns in the task of chopping. When the coffin was laid on
the logs, the pole remained on top of it and the whole was covered
with palmetto leaves.
Two women arrived, one being the sister of the dead man. A small
tree of "light wood" was then cut, and small pieces, like splinters,
were cut and given to these women, who made a fire of them, not far
from the body.
When the box had been partly covered with palmetto leaves Mr.
Rawlinson and the other white man withdrew, leaving the Indians
alone with their dead.
Other informants said that personal belongings are left with the
body, which is covered with interspaced poles like the roof of a house,
and that a small fire of twigs is built near the head. It was also said
that the widow remains at the place 4 days and nights, wailing, with
disheveled hair, and that, if she has children, they stay with her.
Further information was to the effect that the Seminole never return
to the place where a body has been left, and also that when a widow
resumes her beads and arranges her hair it is understood that she is
ready to remarry.
Mrs. Frank L. Stranahan, of Fort Lauderdale, whose husband was
a trader among the Seminole, recalled an incident which came under
her personal observation. A Seminole girl fell dead in the door of
her husband's store one evening. She said it was the Seminole cus-
tom not to move a body until it is taken for final disposition, so the
body of the girl remained where it fell until the next morning, when a
company of men started away with it. She said that the immediate
family never accompanied the body but followed 3 days later. (It
will be recalled that the relatives did not accompany the body of the
dead in the previous narratives.) Wild myrtle was always burned in
front of a burial company, bay was often used, and the burial place
was always approached from the west, no matter in what direction
the party had come from the camp.
On the day after this death, the women, girls, and boys sat on
a log facing the East and did not move during the entire day. All
were stripped to the waist, and the women had their hair loosened.
A medicine man sat near the house. He had a pail of water and


[BULL. 161


blew into the water through a reed, then he sang and sprinkled the
water on the mourners, repeating this during the entire day (cf. p. 171
in which medicine is thus treated for the dying).
The custom of placing food with a body or on a grave was men-
tioned by two informants in the northern region. The Rev. E. M. C.
Dunklin of Okeechobee said that he saw an instance in which bacon
as well as kettles was put with the body of the dead. Mrs. Eliza
Fielden, of Brighton (see p. 11), about 17 miles west of Okeechobee,
said she knew of an instance in which food was taken to a grave daily
for 3 days. The distance was several miles and the food was taken
each day by a different person, in the cool of the morning. She
also recalled an instance in which a coffin was left open for 3 days,
and the. disposal of the body made on the third day. In another case
a man died away from home and his friends brought all his belong-
ings in a sheet, saying "Put that in the box." They brought a gun
and two shells, it being the invariable custom to put two shells in a
coffin with a gun.
Mrs. Fielden has lived in close touch with the Seminole for 8 years
and said the disposal of a body is always east of the place where death
The following incident may be mentioned at this time, as it came
under Mrs. Fielden's personal knowledge. A man was recently very
ill, and his condition became so serious that the Indian Agent de-
cided to have him taken to a hospital. The man was in a
dying condition but the Indians had drenched him with water and
were walking around him as he lay in this state. He was dried,
wrapped, and taken to a hospital, where he died in a short time.
An old Seminole burial ground, near Fort Lauderdale, was visited
and photographed. Mrs. Frank L. Stranahan escorted the writer to
this spot, saying that she and her husband visited it frequently, many
years ago, and that he knew the locations of several graves. This
burial ground was used by Indians in the village near Fort Lauder-
dale, before these Indians were removed to the Indian Agency near
Dania, a few years previously. The site of this village was near a
road which had become a traveled highway, and large buildings had
been erected across the road from the old burial ground. Some of
their fruit trees remain on the village site. In recent times the burial
ground has been visited by many persons seeking relics of various

The Seminole are not large in stature, but are of good physical
appearance. The women have small hands and feet, carry themselves
well, and have an indefinable air of daintiness in spite of the vo-
luminous dresses. The motions of their hands are graceful. Their


complexion is a clear brown. The type of face varies greatly, and it
is said that some have slanting eyes. This peculiarity is seen in the
portrait of a young woman (pl. 6, b). Sam Willie and son (pl. 3, b),
Mrs. Tiger tail (pl. 6, a), and a family group (pl. 8, a) are typical
members of the tribe. The manner of the Seminole is gentle, and they
appear to be pleasant in their relations with one another. Their
voices are generally low, and their 1. g..-ig, .'...' !il ........ with
smooth vowels. They frequently laugh aloud among themselves,
which is not a custom in other tribes. Some women were heard talk-
ing in thin, piping, high-pitched voices, but the occasion was not
Smoking was seen among the women, but not among the men.
Young women were seen smoking cigarettes a few times.
White cloth was not seen in household use.
It is considered bad luck to kill any except poisonous snakes.
The use of a knife in making a small canoe was seen in one of the
camps. A man held the knife like a pencil, with the thumb and first
finger over the knife, braced by the second finger. Holding the knife
in this position, he drew it toward him.
The Seminole have portable phonographs in many of their houses,
and these are often of good quality. The records heard are usually
monologs interspersed with songs, these being in southern (not
Negro) dialect. Records of "cowboy songs" are popular. It is said
the Seminole learn to speak English by listening to these records.
The hurricane of September 18, 1926, was predicted by the Seminole.
Dr. Gifford said that the Indians of Okeechobee warned him 4 days
before the event and Ihe transferred all the people in his charge to a
safe place. thus being entirely prepared for the catastrophe. In the
neighborhood of Miami, it was told that Big Sam Willie said three
times "Pretty soon water go over this trail" (referring to the Tamiami
Trail). The Indians began moving to higher ground, and not an
I ndian was there when, about 30 days later, the water rose and cov-
ered the trail. Large numbers came to Musa Isle as a refuge. Such
high water was exceedingly rare at that season. A Seminole called
Bill said to Sam Willie, "How klow?" The reply was "Moon tell
The Seminole living in the interior of the Everglades use vegetable
dyes, according to Cory Osceola.

It appears that the rattle is the oldest musical instrument of the
Seminole, as Billie Stewart said he had heard of a time when the


Seminole had no drum-only the coconut-shell rattle. Panther stated
this rattle was used in the old wars. In the social dances the accom-
panying instrument is the coconut-shell rattle, similar to the gourd
rattle used in many tribes. It consists of a coconut shell, pierced by
a stick and containing the seeds of the Canna flaccida Roscoe. A pod
of this plant was obtained and identified by Dr. John C. Gifford,
whose assistance is acknowledged with appreciation. The women
who take part in the Corn Dance and Stomp Dance wear rattles tied
around e 1 i-. 1.- .... I. \ .... (cf. pp. 45-46). Formerly a string of
small turtle shells was used for these rattles, eacl shell containing small
pellets of mud, made by hand and hardened by exposure to the sun.
At the present time tin cans are similarly used, pierced with holes that
are smaller than the mud pellets. Such rattles were worn by the
women in a Catfish Dance witnessed by the writer.

A small hand drum is the accompanying instrument with the songs
of the Corn Dance. This was said to be an ordinary drum of this
type, with one head.
A ". .'ir--. knee drum" is the accompanying instrument with the
songs of the Stomp Dance. (Cf. p. 107.) A "water-drum" is used
with songs of the ball game. (Cf. p. 187.)
The use of a flute among the Seminole is traditional, but difficulty
was experienced in finding anyone who remembered it definitely.
Jim Gopher, a Cow Creek Seminole living near Dania, remembered
hearing a flute but could not make one. Billie Stewart, however,
was able to make a flute. A piece of suitable cane was obtained at
the Botanical Gardens near Miami, through the courtesy of Dr. J.
Petersen, owner and manager of the Gardens. The flute, now at the
United States National Museum, contains peculiarities not previously
noted in an Indian flute. The removal of the septums of the cane is
like that in other flutes, but the detached piece that forms the "whistle
*head" is flush with the tube instead of being in the form of a block
or hai.d .hove the opening. It is tied in place with a buckskin thong,
I- i. IH..: lutes having a wooden block.
Iih Il- lte has four fingerholes spaced in about the usual manner
uit a. ..',,standing peculiarity lies in the boring of two holes trans-

11hi-.it t!-m them, the transverse holes occurring between the loca-
.Lit- 1l Iie fingerholes. It is further noted that the edges of the
li..- ll.1.-,- are beveled. This is unusual and permits a tight sealing
of II,.- Inger, stopping the hole completely. The fingerholes were
btri.-I .:-th an iron and the beveling done with a knife. The bore


is neat and is made the length of the cane except for the obstruction
at the whistle head.
Concerning-the use of a flute by the Seminole, Bartram says the
instrument is "made of a joint of reed or the tibia of the deer's leg;
on this instrument they perform badly, and at best it is rather a
hideous melancholy discord, than harmony. It is only young fellows
who amuse themselves on this howling instrument" (Bartram, 1793,
pp. 502-503). This observation by a man who heard the instrument
played at an early day is exceedingly valuable. It would probably
be impossible to find any Seminole at present who could play the
cane flute.
A further historical reference to this type of instrument is of in-
terest. Strachey states, concerning the East Coast Indians, "They
have a kynd of cane on which they pipe as on a recorder, and are
like the Greeke pipes which they call bombyces, being hardly to be
sounded without great strayning of the breath" (Strachey, 1849,
p. 79). The term "recorder" refers to the recorder flute that was held
in a vertical position, like the clarinet of the white man.


The only tribal gatherings of the Seminole are the Corn Dance in
June and the Hunting Dance held in September. Certain dances are
given by the Cypress Swamp and Cow Creek groups on these occasions
as well as a large number of social dances. The occasions for danc-
ing, apart from the forniiil .- ,ir r,..-, were not described, but it was
said that some dances could be given at any time while others were
designated as "summer dances" and "winter dances."
The Corn Dance in the Cypress Swamp group was described and
its songs recorded by Charlie Billie, who is the leader in that group,
and Panther, who is prominent in the ceremony. Billie Stewart,
leader in the Cow Creek group, described its customs, record-
ing the songs. As the details of the ceremony were not a subject of
investigation, no attempt was made to combine or compare these de-
scriptions. In both groups the leaders were said to fast for a day
before the ceremony, which opened with the Buffalo Dance. Many
other phases are common to both groups. In 1931 the Corn Dance
was held at three places, no two dances being held at the same time.

Charlie Billie described the Corn Dance in January 1931, and re-
corded the songs that he sings as leader of the ceremony. Cory Osce-
ola acted as his interpreter and added to the information. Work
on the subject was resumed in November of the same year and Panther
recorded songs and described the ceremony.

The Corn Dance is held in June, as stated, "after the corn is ripe
and when everyone can get together." In a recent year it was held
June 22. Communication is slow in the Everglades and some families
may be detained longer than others on their farms, or they may live
at a greater distance, but no one eats any of the new corn until after
the ceremony. Cory Osceola said "We always have the Corn Dance
for our Thanksgiving." According to this informant, the dance is
held in a place that is accessible only to the Seminole. In order to
reach the place it is necessary to go up a shallow stream and walk in
the water part of the way. It is said that W. Stanley Hanson, of
Fort Myers. is the only white man who has witnessed the Corn Dance
and sat in the councils of the Indians held at that time. The dura-
tion of the dance is usually 4 to 8 days. Several years ago a perform-
ance called a Corn Dance was given publicly in Miami, but was ad-
mitted to be a false presentation of the ceremony.
The leader of the singing and dancing is chosen, the position not
being hereditary. Charlie Billie is the leader in this group at pres-
ent (1931), as already stated. In his position as leader he wears
no ceremonial garments or articles but is well dressed, probably hav-
ing some new clothing made for the occasion. He recorded the four
principal songs of the ceremony and a fifth that is used in the general
dancing. Concerning the four songs he said, "When singing these at
a Corn Dance I do not eat that day nor the night after," indicating
that they belong to the period of fasting which precedes the ceremony.
The songs are sung only on that day. When leading the songs of this
dance, he and his "helper' pound on small hand drums which have
one head. Charlie Billie sings the song once, then his helper sings it
with him, and then everyone joins, dancing in a circle. These songs
were not transcribed owing to an accident that befell the cylinder
In the Cypress Swamp group the Corn Dance is the time for the
trial and punishment of offenses that have not been tried and pun-
ished by the families of the offenders (cf. p. 30). The punishments
were said to consist of whipping and cutting gashes in arms and legs.
W. Stanley Hanson, who has been present at the Corn Dance, said
that he was asked "not to look" when these punishments were inflicted.
The subject of punishment was not mentioned by the Cow Creek in-
formants, but it is probable that the custom extends throughout the
For 3 or 4 days, while the people are gathering for the Corn Dance,
those who wish to dance may do so for 2 or 3 hours in the evening.
During the Corn Dance there is dancing most of the day and part of
the evening, and on the night before the people disband they dance
until morning. The dance lasts from 4 to 8 days, according to the
time that the people can remain together.






On the morning before the Corn Dance, the medicine men begin
a fast which continues until the next morning. Men and boys may
share in this fast, but the boys usually eat some food that night. The
number of medicine men must be 4 or multiples of 4, the usual num-
ber being either 4 or 8. In the early evening of this day a "sacred
bundle" is opened and the contents exposed to view for about 10 min-
utes. Billie Motlo (pl. 2, a) owns one of these bundles and opens it
at the Corn Dance. The medicine men are seated in a row, with the
bundle in front of its owner. A fire, with a kettle of medicine, is in
front of them, and beyond is another fire around which the people
move in the Buffalo Dance, after the opening of the sacred bundle.
Panther is not a "full medicine man," as stated on page xxv, but he has
"worked 4 years" with the bundle, his place being second from the
left, as the men sit facing the bundle. He has also worked the same
length of time "around the kettle of medicine." His exact duties in
either position were not a subject of inquiry. At the ceremony he
wears a long shirt of cloth and a cloth coat, with buckskin mocca-
sins and leggings. Twenty-five years ago the men wore large turbans,
in which eagle feathers were stuck.
Panther said that the medicine man who owns the bundle "sings and
talks about long life" when the bundle is opened, but does this so softly
that no one hears him plainly. E i.,r, -a.,l- 1 -1 1. 1 11 1 -I, I .... n- I.n
bundle, talks, and sings. All the medicine men are close around him,
and other men may see the contents of the bundle, but no women are
allowed to come near. The sacred articles are spread on the white
deerskin in which they are wrapped. These articles include four or
five sorts of herbs and an ear of corn on the end of a stick. Neither
the ear of corn nor the stick is decorated, and the same ear of corn is
used year after year. While the bundle is open, the stick with the ear
of corn is placed in the ground, pointing toward the east.

After the bundle has been closed, the men and women dance the
Buffalo Dance which continues about 10 minutes and has only four
songs. Panther said this was the first dance that the Indians had and
that it originated in the following manner: A great many young men
had been sent out to hunt and get food for the people. They re-
turned with buffalo, deer, bear, and tiger, and then the people "figured
out" this dance. The head men of the Wing and Panther clans
"worked together" and led the dance. For this reason the singer, as
a member of the panther clan, leads the dance wearing a belt of
panther hide with the tail hanging down behind. He has a drum,
which is usually slung over one shoulder, and this is the only accom-
paniment of the songs. He sings the songs, and everyone joins in the

[BULL. 161


vocalizations that precede and follow the songs. Carrying the drum,
he leads a double line of singers, two men being followed by two
women, and couples ,it l-,. 1;. this manner. They move around
the fire, in a contraclockwise direction. The songs are four in number,
as stated, and are very old, the meaning of the words being unknown.
The Buffalo Dance was witnessed at a Seminole wedding, at Cop-
pinger's Gardens, near Miami, on February 17, 1932, and three of its
songs were heard on a similar occasion at Musa Isle, on the following
day. In the songs at Musa Isle, Panther sang the first phrase of the
song, then the people repeated it, and then Panther sang with them.
He also sang one of the songs alone.

No. 1. Buffalo Dance Song (a)

Recorded by PANTHER

(Catalog No. 2080)

Introduction Song


No. 2. Buffalo Dance Song (b)
(Catalog No. 2081)
Recorded by PANTHER


\y ^ *- |.-. -.. r N--

S Fine '



No. 3. Buffalo Dance Song (c)
(Catalog No. 2082)
Recorded by PANTHER


11 -a
No. 4. Buffalo Dance Song (d)
(Catalog No. 2083)
Recorded by PANTHER



Fi X

During the night the medicine men and others who wish to join them
drink the medicine that has been brewed in the kettle. This is both an
emetic and a purgative.


Two sets of Corn Dance songs were recorded by Panther. These
were sung only in the evening and are the most important songs of
the gathering. It seems probable they were sung after the Buffalo
Dance songs on the night preceding the event, but the information is
not clear on this point. Each set consists of four songs, and the
dancers rest after singing the set. The words are obsolete and their
meaning is unknown, as the songs are very old. The leader sings one
phrase, then all join in the singing, as noted in the performance of the
Buffalo Dance songs heard at Musa Isle (p. 48). There is no drum,
but the sound of rattles worn by the women is heard, marking the time.
These rattles are tied around each leg, below the knee. Formerly a
string of small turtle shells was used for these rattles, each shell con-
taining small pellets of mud, made by hand and hardened by ex-
posure to the sun. At the present time tin cans are similarly used,
pierced with holes that are smaller than the mud pellets. The cans
No. 5. Corn Dance Song (a)

Recorded by PANTHER

(Catalog No. 2084)

*0- 'P 4
-k .lt182 -






thus used are about 5 inches in height, and two cans, wrapped in a
cloth are tied around each leg of the dancer. A pair of these rattles
was obtained from a woman who had worn the rattles many times in
Ihe Corn Dance. She demonstrated her ability to wear them without
any sound, as she would do when walking to join the dance circle,
and she also showed their sound when she was dancing. This sound
was more musical than a majority of rattles, and a considerable num-
ber of women, all wearing such rattles, would provide a pleasing ac-
companiment for the songs. This woman lived in the Seminole vil-
lage near Dania.
The procedure of the Corn Dance is entirely different from that of
the Buffalo Dance. The leader of the singing is also leader of the
line of dancers in which men and women alternate. The dancers
usually hold hands, thus forming a long line, and the motion is contra-
clockwise, around the fire.
No. 6. Corn Dance Song (b)
(Catalog No. 2085)
Recorded by PANTHER

IF r IoF _0 _r_0
' I^ 'CL - A"

~l~tFFF~~j-FF~I~W-F r~

~t~t-F-4 -4~

~ LL~~~~H-f~F-" Y --do HP ~


No. 7. Corn Dance Song (c)
(Catalog No. 2086)
Recorded by PANTHER

I I ,. |

i 4




No. 7. Corn Dance Song (c)-Continued

No. 8. Corn Dance Song (d)
(Catalog No. 2087)
Recorded by PANTHER

Si I p-



No. 8. Corn Dance Song (d)-Continued

,iI L - I r I'f r'-f-M

No. 9. Corn Dance Song (e)
(Catalog No. 2088)
Recorded by PANTHER
A. (1) (1)

1--- 112.

-iin 11 5.

I I . .
( B.J,=9a C. (2)
| is- 3 r

( ^ [ p.'. if- p ii -

;\-',k a ; = ._ _.
"*. r. .


No. 9. Corn Dance Song (e)-Continued.

[Brro.. 161


No. 10. Corn Dance Song (f)
(Catalog No. 2089)
Recorded by PANTHER


r F*

.. w -- ,. 'LJ LJ 'I '*.L. I '

126 LFine

No. 11. Corn Dance Song (g)
(Catalog No. 2090)
Recorded by PANTHER

S- 1-T, ',hf


No. 11. Corn Dance Song (g)-Continued




83384,60 0- 5--6


No. 12. Corn Dance Song (h)
(Catalog No. 2091)
Recorded by PANTHER

A;', L . ..-.-'

16 a I

I 1



r I *4

0 1 0 0 *' r



No. 12. Corn Dance Song (h)-Continued

Billie Stewart, leader of the Corn Dance in the Cow Creek group, was
the informant on the subject.
The fast that precedes the Corn Dance in this group is from one
morning until the next morning. This is a discipline of the medicine
men but others, including boys, may join. It was said, however, that
i "the boys usually get hungry and eat at night." All are allowed to
drink a little water during their fast. Early the next morning all who
wish may enter the sweat lodge where "medicine" is sprinkled on four
heated stones with a wisp of brush. It is probable that medicine is
taken internally, according to the custom in other tribes, as it was
said that "some people feel well all summer after taking the sweat
bath and medicine at the Corn Dance." After leaving the sweat lodge
they swim in cold water and eat breakfast.

The Buffalo Dance begins as soon as the medicine men are ready-
sometimes about 4 o'clock in the morning-and continues until noon.
Long ago the men wore the horns and hide of the buffalo in this dance,
in which men and women join. The songs are accompanied by the
shaking of a coconut shell rattle, the rhythm being that of a triplet
of eighth notes with strokes on the first and second and a rest on the
third divisions of the triplet. This was heard in the rendition but not
recorded, therefore the tempo and rhythm are not indicated in the
transcription. Four songs of the Buffalo Dance were recorded, but
only two were transcribed.

No. 13. Buffalo Dance Song (e)
(Catalog No. 2384)


11. ,I


No. 14. Bul
Recorded b

~ti:: ii7 i '


talo Dance Song (t)
(Catalog No. 2317)

1. Fl iV2---

On the first day of the Corn Dance a certain dance is performed
four times. This is known as the Medicine Men's Dance and may
be repeated at any time during the summer, but it is always preceded
by a fast of 1 day and an entrance into the sweat lodge. The same
fasting and dance precede the Hunting Dance in the fall, but at that
time there is no entrance into the sweat lodge. The four songs of
this dance were recorded.

No. 15. Song of Medicine Men's Dance (a)
(Catalog No. 2172)
J 84

.4 .t^ZI sis

r/u-i F -.

J:108 J84


After the first performance of the Medicine Men's Dance, and at
any time during the entire day, the men and women may perform
any of the social dances except the Snake Dance (also called the
Horned Owl Dance), which is given only in the fall, at the Hunting
Dance. There is no prescribed order for these dances.

IC~ -


No. 16. Song of Medicine Men's Dance (b)
(Catalog No. 2173)


r rp:m I i'

No. 17. Song of Medicine Men's Dance (c)
(Catalog No. 2174)
Recorded by BILLIE STEWART (Catalog No 2174)


S* .I

-.. I


No. 18. Song of Medicine Men's Dance (d)
(Catalog No. 2175)

... U" *# ,. .ir .r ,,-.

I I -


A set of six Corn Dance songs was recorded by Billie Stewart, who
composed them when he was a young man. These are sung at the
beginning of the dance, the leader singing alone. This is different
from the procedure in the Cypress Swamp group in which the leader
sings one phrase of the song and then the dancers join in the singing.
Billie Stewart leads this, as well as other dances in the Cow Creek
group, and recorded all the songs of this series.

No. 19. Corn Dance Song (i)

(Catalog No. 2180)

~.eo ~ s
J:60 J=69=F''RF~



[BULL. 101


No. 20. Corn Dance Song (j)
(Catalog No. 2181)



Ii i


No. 21. Corn Dance Song (k)
(Catalog No. 2182)


| ii ~ i r-i 4.t- ,, ,

'" 'I 'I '1 ,

"I I
' ': 'i 'i '1 . ..


No. 22. Corn Dance Song (1)
(Catalog No. 2183)


:-F- PM - ,4--- 4 r tm


No. 23. Corn Dance Song (m)
(Catalog No. 2184)




No. 24. Corn Dance Song (n)
(Catalog No. 2185)

,I t ,ll ,I


The Calusa Corn Dance song is very old, and the singer said it "came
from the mountain men." On being questioned further, he said that
the white people call those Indians the Calusa and that they spoke
Spanish. Continuing, he said that long ago the Calusa and Seminole
camped near one another and the people of each camp visited freely
in the other, learning songs and joining in the dances. Later they
fought, and the Seminole defeated the Calusa. In the Handbook
of American Indians North of Mexico the Calusa are described as:
An important tribe of Florida, formerly holding the s.w. coast from about
Tampa bay to C. Sable and C. Florida, together with all the outlying keys,
and extending inland to L. Okeechobee ... The name, which cannot be in-
terpreted, appears as Calos, or Carlos (province) in the early Spanish and French
records, Caloosa and Coloosa in later English authors, and survives in Caloosa
village, Caloosahatchee r., and Charlotte (for Carlos) harbor within their old
territory. . Their history begins in 1513 when, with a fleet of 80 canoes
they boldly attacked Ponce de Len, who was about to land on their coast, and
after an all-day fight compelled him to withdraw. Even at this early date they
were already noted among the tribes for the golden wealth which they had ac-
cumulated from the numerous Spanish weeks cast away upon the keys in pas-
sage from the s., and two centuries later they were regarded as veritable pirates,
plundering and killing without mercy the crews of all vessels, excepting Span
Ish, so unfortunate as to be stranded in their neighborhood. In 1567 the Span-
lards established a mission and fortified post among them, Ibut both seem to
have been discontinued soon after . Romans states that in 1763, on tihe
transfer of Florida from Spain to England the last renlnant of the tribe, num-
bering then 80 families, or perhaps :50 souls, was removed to Havana. This,
however, is only partially correct, as a considerable band under the name of
Muspa Indians, or simply Spanish Indians, maintained their distinct existence
and language in their ancient territory up to the close of the second Seminole



war. . No vocabulary or other specimen of the language is known to exist
beyond the town names and one or two other words given by Fontaneda, none
of wiich afford basis for serious interpretation. [Mooney, 1907, pt. 1, pp. 195-
A "..1.f. 1-ic.. : or overlordship called the Calusa or Calos" is de-
scribed by Swanton, who states that the group included "all of the
Indians of southern Florida on the western side of the peninsula, from
the Timucua territories as far as and including the Florida keys." This
authority refers to two lists of Calusa towns, one in Fontaneda's Mem-
oir and one in the Lowery manuscript and presents a combination
oftli,,- I,.i- I ..!...!',. I'I-"_', 1.1 i'-332). TheCalusaare mentioned
in connection with the legendary origin of the ball game (cf. p. 186).
From this data it is possible to estimate the probable age of the
Calusa songs, remembered by the Seniinole. Other instances have been
noted in which the age of an Indian song may be estimated by the time
of tribal contacts or other events. Billie Stewart recorded seven
Calusa songs of the Hunting Dance (Nos. 57-63).


No. 1 (Cat. No. 2080).-A peculiarity of many Seminole songs is
the use of an introduction (cf. p. 212). It was said that each sort of
dance song had its own ending, and a similarity will be noted in the
ending of the Buffalo Dance and Corn Dance songs. In some instances
it is uncertain whether the closing tones of the transcription are part
of the melody or a separate phrase. The singers were not encouraged
to record the vocalizations that precede and follow many songs, as
they are somewhat indefinite in length and a shortened form is suf-
ficient for present purposes. Panther designated downward glis-
sando progressions as "hollering" (cf. p. 214). The introduction to the
present song is characterized by a descending fourth, and the song is
based .,i r a...1--. ,.il,1, ti..r .i.l- I- i"
No. 2 (Cat. No. 2081).-The first phrase of this melody is based on a
descending tetrachord. A minor third is prominent in the second
portion, and the formal ending follows the song without a break in
the time.

1a These analyses should be understood as an aid to the study of the melodies. Attention
Is directed only to the chief peculiarities of the songs. More detailed analyses have been
submitted to the Bureau of American Ethnology, and a summary of the characteristics of
the songs is presented on pp. 210-216. The terminology used in former analyses is con-
tinued with the Seminole songs, thus making possible a comparison of the songs on a
similar basis. These songs were recorded by a Columbia gramophone with special record-
ers and a special constructed horn. The speed of the apparatus when recording the
songs and when playing them for transcription was 160 revolutions a minute.
11 Throughout these analyses the term "tetrachord" is applied to the interval of a perfect
fourth with one or two intervening tones.

[BTI.I.. 161


No. 25. Calusa Corn Dance Song
(Catalog No. 2064)

.... ,_. M



p:'- : ,rFcrcriri.....-... i._....

i "", x r r irrrrrrirj|"i irrrrri ajr, --




iL h. r r c ir i ." I i 7" l' if OR
- R .

41-- -


No. 3 (Cat. No. 2082).-In this. as in the two preceding songs, the
first tone is the highest tone of the compass, which is somewhat un-
usual in Indian songs. In its opening measure and general trend this
resembles the two preceding songs, but the lowest tone of the tetra-
chord descends to E in the third measure, n!.1.iL1 I;,L, i i,.i r triad.
A triplet of eighth notes occurs on a different count in each of the
three opening measures. The accents were clearly given and the
measure lengths are spaced accordingly. The interval of a fourth is
less prominent than in ri,. I.!-. ...i;i. -. .._ Irl of the 22 intervals being
whole tones.
No. 4 (Cat. No. 2083).-The only tones in this song are those of
the minor triad and fourth. A long phrase is indicated as the rhyth-
nic unit. By "'l.' ;i.- i,;. phrase with the first ending we note a
contraction of two double measures into one measure in triple time.
As in the other Buffalo Dance songs, the formal ending begins on B
No. 5 (Cat. No. 2084).-The first portion of this melody is minor in
tonality and consists of two parts with a connective phrase. A de-
scending tetrachord forms the framework of the first portion which
has a compass of 11 tones and is major in tonality. The entire com-
pass is reached by two intervals in the ninth measure. The second
portion is minor in tonality, with the same keynote, and is different
in both rhythm and melodic structure. By an ascending interval at
the close, the song ends on the tone above the keynote. The intonation
is good throughout the renditions and the time, including the 3-8
measures, is well sustained.
No. 6 (Cat. No. 2085).-This melody is characterized by descending
fourths and whole tones; alternating ascending and descending semi-
tones also occur frequently. Although the phrases are short and the
count divisions simple, there is no rhythmic unit in :1. ..-r,
No. 7 (Cat. No. 2086).-The framework of this melody consists of
a minor triad and minor seventh (A-C-E-G) with the tones in de-
scending order, as generally occurs in songs with this structure. The
tone C is prominent and the major triad occurs in the fourth and
other measures. The song is classified as major in tonality with C
as the keynote. The form of the melody is unusually complicated,
the rhythmic unit ilt-.. i, I.,,t l. 1,.-. I-..-. -: of various lengths. At-
tention is directed to the eleventh and twelfth measures from the close
of the transcription, in which the rhythmic unit is elaborated. The
short rests and prolonged tones were given clearly throughout the
No. 8 (Cat. No. 2087).-The structure of this song consists of three
periods, designated as A, B, and C (cf. p. xxiv). The singer said the
first period of the song could be extended but that the second period

[BULL. 161

was never changed. This is in accordance with the custom of other
tribes, in songs with this structure. It is a lively melody but contains
no rhythmic unit. The second above the keynote was uniformly
raised a semitone. Ti., 1-.-_ .* ii. *I. i, t r.. i i. 1r i I .. -.r l on a major
triad with the keynote in the middle of the compass.
No. 9 (Cat. No. 2088).-Like the preceding song, this consists of
three periods, designated as A, B, and C. As in other songs with this
structure, the first period is the longest. The song is major in tonality
and contains all the tones of the octave with the seventh lowered a
semitone in every occurrence. The melody lies partly above and partly
below the keynote. Two rhythmic units occur, the eighth notes that
are unaccented in the first unit being accented in the second unit.
No. 10 (Cat. No. 2089).-This and the two songs following next
are in period formation. As in No. 8, the second period is on the same
pitch level as the first. In songs with this formation in tribes pre-
viously studied the second period has been higher in pitch level than
the first. A major triad forms the framework of the melody with the
fourth and sixth as passing tones. Although the rhythm is varied, the

No. 11 (Cat. No. 2090).-The rhythmic unit of this song is short
and the melody contains many variants of this simple phrase, sug-
gesting a freedom in repetition (cf. p. 215). A peculiarity of the
melody is the frequent descent from the keynote to the seventh fol-
lowed by a rest. This trailing of the voice is unusual in recorded
Indian songs. The principal interval is a major third. After sing-
ing the song as transcribed the singer repeated the first period.
No. 12 (Cat. No. 2091).- This song is major in tonality and con-
tains all the tones of the octave. Part of the melody lies above and
part below the keynote, as in many Seminole songs. The principal
intervals are major thirds and whole tones, which is unusual in the
present series. The song is in period formation and contains an in-
teresting rhythmic unit. After singing the song as transcribed, the
singer repeated the first period.
No. 13 (Cat. No. 2.84).-The following songs of the Buffalo Dance
in the Cow Creek group are shorter than those of the Cypress Swamp
group. The rhythmic unit of this song is short and the divisions of
its unaccented count occur on the accented count of the fourth and
eight measures. It is essentially a dancing song, with a smooth, even
motion. A dotted note does not occur in the melody. The next Buf-
falo Dance song recorded by the same singer (not transcribed) con-
tained the peculiar action of --. ,II... ,,is the tone" mentioned on
page 215. The rhythm of the accompanying coconut shell rattle was
demonstrated and was in triple rhythm, two strokes of the rattle
being followed by a rest.





No. 14 (Cat. No. 2317).-This resembles the song next preceding
in the use of eighth and sixteenth notes but their order is reversed,
the sixteenth notes preceding the eighths. This song has a smaller
compass than the preceding. The first portion is based on the interval
of a fourth and the second portion on the interval of a major third.
No. 15 (Cat. No. 2172).-The rhythm of this song is an interesting
example of thematic treatment. The first, second, and fifth measures
of the song begin with the same count division as the rhythmic unit,
followed by a variety of rhythms. The same count division occurs
on the unaccented count of the second and fourth measures from the
close of the song. The harmonic structure of the melody is clear and
the tonic triad 12 is emphasized but the use of the minor third below
the keynote forms a minor triad and minor seventh, as in No. 9,
these tones occurring in descending progression in the eighth and
ninth measures.
No. 16 (Cat. No. /:'.;).-This melody comprises the tones of a
major triad with the fourth as a passing tone in the second measure.
A triplet of eighth notes is unaccented in the rhythmic unit and ac-
cented in two other measures of the song.
No. 17 (Cat. No. 2174).-This song contains only the tones of a
major triad except the initial tone which is unaccented. About one-
half of the intervals are major thirds, the semitones being next in
No. 18 (Cat. No. 2175).-The first portion of this song resembles
rapid speech rather than singing. In this portion the words are
heard while the remainder of,the singing consists of vocables and
syllables that may be one or two short words. After the change of
tempo the rhythm is a typical dance rhythm with a short rhythmic
unit and frequent changes of measure lengths. Except for D in the
opening measure the tone material consists of a minor triad and
No. 19 (Cat. No. 2180).-Aside from the change of tempo, the prin-
cipal interest in this song is in the fourth and sixth measures. The
former reverses the count divisions of the rhythmic unit and the
latter changes the rhythm of the first count of the unit. The tone
material is that of the fourth 5-toned scale (cf. p. 210). Several
renditions were recorded, the closing tone of the final rendition being
followed by a close similar to that transcribed with Nos. 2, 3, and 4.
No. 20 (Cat. No. 2181).-The keynote implied by the sequence of
tones in this song is F and the tone material is that of the first 5-toned
scale in which the third and seventh tones do not occur (cf. p. 210).
The small count divisions give distinction to this melody and were
accurately repeated in all the renditions.

This refers to the keynote of the song with its third and fifth.

[BULL. 161

No. 21 (Cat. No. 2182).-The tone material of this song is the first
5-toned scale, as in the song next preceding. The most prominent
interval is a fourth enclosed within a fifth. These fifths, which occur
in descending progression, are D-G, C-F, and G-C. The song has
a compass of nine tones and a steadily descending trend. Three
renditions were recorded, the transcription being from the first
No. 22 (Cat. No. 2183).-This pleasing melody was sung a semi-
tone higher than the transcription. It contains a simple rhythmic
unit and is based on the fourth 5-toned scale. Attention is directed
to the vigorous phrase beginning in the fifth measure and introducing
a change of rhythm. The framework consists of a descending major
triad followed by the descending triad of the relative minor. The
song closes with repetitions of a minor third.
No. 23 (Cat. No. 2184).-This song is framed on three descending
intervals of a fourth, these being D-A and C-G followed by D-A in
the lower octave. A rhythmic unit occurs three times and the song
did not vary in its repetitions. The rendition was a semitone higher
than the transcription.
No. 24 (Cat. No. 2185).-This song opens with an incomplete
rhythmic unit. The initial tones of this unit may have been omitted
accidentally. The sequence of tones suggests F as the keynote though
it occurs only as a short, unaccented tone. The rendition was a semi-
tone higher than the transcription.
No. 25 (Cat. No. 2064).-This is the only song recorded by Billie
Stewart which has the period formation, and is a song of the Calusa.
The period formation occurred in a majority of the Corn Dance songs
recorded by Panther, of the Cypress Swamp group, and we note that
the Calusa formerly lived south of the Cow Creek Seminole. In this
song the first period occurs six times and the second period occurs
only once. No two occurrences of the first period are alike, though
the principal tones and general pattern of the melody are the same.
The transcription is from the first rendition of the song. A second
rendition contains other variations of the first period, while the second
period is repeated with accuracy. A slight extension of the first period
has been noted with songs of this formation in other tribes but this
is so extensive as to suggest an improvisation. It was noted as a
custom among the Choctaw (Densmore, 1943 b). The second period
of this song is in a more rapid tempo than the first, which is a char-
acteristic of the form. The most frequent interval is a major third,
with the fourth next in number of occurrences. The labial m was
sung clearly in all renditions (cf. p. 213). It occurs also in Nos. 103
and 237.



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