Citation
Interview with Geneva Shore, March 19, 1973

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Geneva Shore, March 19, 1973
Creator:
Shore, Geneva ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Seminoles' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 94 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE:
INTERVIEWER:
Geneva Shore
Tom King
DATE: March 1973
DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION


SUMMARY
Geneva Shore was the first Seminole to attend the
Moore Haven public schools, graduating from high school in
1959. In this interview she considers some of the differences
between her life on Brighton Reservation and the life of the
Baxter family with whom she stayed while attending school.
She also discusses the reactions of her parents, (Frank
Shore, medicine man at Brighton, was her father) and her un-
cle, Sam Jones when she converted to Christianity. She makes
some observations concerning the criteria of a respected man
of status in the tribe.


INDEX
education (attendance at Moore Haven), 1-3, 6-7
Jones, Sam, 8, 10
medicine men, 9-11
religion (traditional conflict with Baptist), 7-8
status (individual in tribe), 12-13
transcultural contacts, 3-6


K: Geneva, I'd like to start the interview by asking you to
tell me a little bit about your life. Can you give me the
names of your mother and father?
S: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Shore.
K: Do you know what your mother's maiden name was?
S: Her last name?
K: Right, before she was married.
S: Bowers.
K: And what was her first name?
S: Lottie.
K: Lottie Bowers. You are a Creek-speaker, isn't that true, not
Miccosukee? And how long did you live on the Brighton Reserva-
tion?
S: All my life.
K: You were born there?
S: No there. I was born somewhere around Okeechobee, Okeechobee
County.
K: I've been told that you were one of the first Seminoles to
attend Moore Haven High School. Could you tell me a little
bit about that? When did you begin attending?
S: I started over there in the fourth grade. I don't remember
the year. I went there until I was in the eighth grade. That's
when they started running busses out there from Okeechobee,
and so I started going to Okeechobee when I was in the eighth
grade.
K: Did you finish your education at Okeechobee, your high school
education?
S: Yes. I graduated there in 1959 and then I went on to Haskell
for two years.


2
K: Prior to the time that the school busses began running to
Okeechobee, how did you get to school when you went to
Moore Haven? Were there any school busses?
S: No. At first I started staying with this missionary lady.
She lived in Lakeport or near there anyway, by the lake.
I stayed with her during the week and then I went home on
the weekends. After that, I stayed with another friend
over there. For most of the time, they bring me to...you
know where that grocery is?
K: Joe's Fish Camp? Yes.
S: Yes. My mother and them used to leave me off there and pick
me up.
K: Who was it that arranged to have you start attending public
school? Did your parents initiate that?
S: No. You mean like getting me registered and all that?
K: Right. Who suggested, to begin with, that you attend public
school?
S: I don't remember. It's just that I wanted to go there. I
guess.
K: Were all the Seminole children going to school at that time?
S: Yes, we were going to that day school. That's where I started.
K: The one on the reservation?
S: Yes, and most of us were going there, but I don't remember
what grades that went up to.
K: That went beyond the fourth grade, didn't it?
S: Yes.
K: Well, can you remember why you decided to stop going to the
day school and start going to public school?


3
S: No, I don't.
K: I talked to a family in Moore Haven by the name of Baxter
with whom, I understand, you stayed for a while. You lived
with them while you attended school in Moore Haven. Can
you tell me how that came about?
S: How I started staying with them?
K: Yes.
S: I went to school with their daughter. I don't know if you
met her. Her name is Jacqueline. I was in her class and so
she asked me to stay with her and that's how I started
staying with them. I stayed with them for quite a while, I
guess. I don't remember how long it was, maybe a year or
more, until I started going to Okeechobee.
K: How did your parents feel about it, about your being away
from home all the time?
S: They didn't mind, 'cause I went home every chance I got, you
know, or they come to town whenever they could and most of
the time I didn't stay there all week. Sometimes I'd just go
home.
K: I'm wondering if there were any differences in the habits
and behavior patterns of the two families that you happen-
ed to notice. In coming from your own family on the Brighton
Reservation and having to live with a white family in Moore
Haven, I would assume there would have been some differences
in behavior between the two families. If there were, and you
noticed them, could you tell me about it?
S: You mean, like the way they lived?
K: Yes, how were they different? The way you treated each other?
S: I don't know.
K: You know, I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about,
a very simple one. I imagine the Baxters had certain times
that they ate meals. They would eat breakfast at a certain
hour, lunch at another hour, and the evening meal would be
about six o'clock in the evening. Is that any different from
the times at which Seminoles are accustomed to eating?


4
S: Yes, there is a difference, I guess, 'cause we didn't have
times. I mean, we didn't eat at the same times.
K: Your family did not eat together at the same time?
S: Not too much.
K: How does that work? Would different members of your family
come in and eat at different times?
S: Yes, that's about it. Most of the time, you know, I don't
know whether you know this or not, but some camps back then
had food on the table most of the time. Usually when you got
hungry you ate, you know, when you wanted to. But at times,
you know, they cook at one time and eat then. I mean that's
when you would eat together, but not all the time.
K: Was it difficult for you to adjust to having to eat at a
certain time?
S: No.
K: What about other things such as the time that you went to
sleep. Did you sleep at different times?
S: No, I guess they did have certain times that they told the
children when they had to go to sleep, but, at home I don't
ever remember when the time was that you had to be in bed,
but I guess that was different.
K: Can you think of anything else along this line...any other
differences between the two families between the way of
life that you could comment on?
S: Yes, I guess there were a few things that were different,
like we didn't live in a house like they did. That was one
big difference. I don't know; I never really thought of it
being different, I guess. I can't really say.
K: Did the Baxter's encourage you in your school work?
S: I think they did. I don't remember.


5
K: Do you remember if they ever gave you any help with your
homework? Were there any jobs, any chores, which you were
expected to perform when you were living with the Baxters?
S: No. But I know I used to do what I could to help around
there, but I don't think they really expected me to do
anything.
K: What about when you were at home with your mother and
father? Were you expected to do anything then?
S: Yes.
K: Can you tell me what?
S: Help around there or wash the dishes, you know, just like
anybody else, I guess.
K: If you ever disobeyed your parents--I don't know whether
you did or not, maybe you never did, but let's assume that
if you ever did disobey your parents--would they discipline
you? Was there any punishment that was given to children?
S: Yes, some, I guess, but I don't remember.
K: What about with the Baxters? Did they ever discipline you?
S: No. I don't remember.
K: Do you know if Mr. and Mrs. Baxter ever talked with your
parents about how they were supposed to handle you when
you were lving with them. Was there any discussion over
their responsibilities were as long as you were living
with them?
S: I don't think so.
K: When you first moved in with them, did your mother and
father come in to make the arrangements?
S: No, I don't think they even met them until after I started
staying with them. Then when they started coming out to
bring me something, then that's when they got to know them.
K: I'd like to know how this experience of yours was accepted by
the Seminoles who lived on Brighton. Was there any opposition
toward your living with a white family, any hostility?


6
S: No, I don't think so.
K: How about by the whites who lived in Moore Haven? How
did they feel?
S: Most of them treat me all right, I guess, but it was
just something new and at times they kind of made you
feel like you were different or something. But I guess
they were, the first time that an Indian went to school
there, it was something new. Most people around there
know my father and so those people I knew them or they
knew my father so I didn't have any trouble with most of
the people.
K: How did school go?
S: When I first started?
K: Yes. Did you have any difficulty?
S: Not really, but just like I say, they just made you feel
like you were different, you know, 'cause I was the first
one who started school there.
K: Can you tell me what kind of grades you made? I'm curious.
I don't mean that you have to remember the exact grades or
anything. I'm just wondering how well you did.
S: I don't really remember. I used to have those old cards
around but I don't know what happened to them either. I
remember I saw a report card from that year on 'cause
that's the only time I had report cards. I never did get
them while I was at day school and then I kept all the
report cards that I have at home. I don't even know where
they are, but I did all right, considering.
K: I've been told you did very well. I was just wondering if
you'd tell me about it.
S: I mean when I first started.
K: Could you speak English well when you first went?


7
S: I don't think so. When I first started the day school,
I didn't even know how to hold a pencil or anything and
I didn't even know how to speak English at all, I don't
think.
K: When you went to public school, was there any attempt
made to help you speak English readily? Any special
approach that a teacher might have taken?
S: No.
K: Were you just put in to...
S: Yes. I was just put in just like the others.
K: Did that present any difficulties for you?
S: I don't remember.
K: I assume that you're a Baptist, are you not?
S: Yes.
K: How long have you been a Baptist?
S: You mean when did I join the church?
K: Yes, when did you first begin going to the Baptist Church?
S: Oh, since '53, I think.
K: And how old were you at that time? Let's see. This is '73...
twenty years ago, you were eleven years old, right?
S: Yes.
K: I'm curious about something perhaps you could help me with.
I know that your father is the medicine man, which appears
to me to represent the traditional Seminole religion or what
would pass for it. Was there any conflict within your family
over the question of whether or not to become a Christian,
considering the fact that your father was the medicine man?
S: You mean, what he thought?


8
K: Yes. What does your father feel about it; how does
the rest of your family feel about it? Does he feel
that it is possible, let's say, for your father to be
both a medicine man and a Christian? Does he feel
that he ought to be one or the other? Does he feel
that the rest of the family ought to be Baptist or
maintain the traditional ways?
S: Well, back then I don't think they had too many people
that were Christians, and when they didn't go in a
church or become a pure Seminole, then they thought
they shouldn't have anything to do with going to the
Green Corn Dance, and that's the way it has been. So
my father never talked to me about that. At the time
his brother, Sam Jones, I think he was in charge then.
He didn't like it and didn't talk to me, but he talked
to my mother about it. Then my mother didn't like it
either, but after I gone there then I could have, I
guess, but then I never did go to the Green Corn Dance
any more. I never did even go, and then, just recently,
I go sometimes, but, you know, I don't stay over there.
Now my father feels like that the Christianity way is
good, too, but then you should have something to say, I
mean to do with what he does, and they're both good. I
mean, he thinks it, and I know that's what he said at one
time. Now he worships it, but he's not a Christian like
you would say, but he goes to church and he thinks that's
good. I mean that to do both ways.
K: At the time that you started going to church, he opposed
you going? Is that correct? He did not want you to go?
S: No. He didn't say that.
K: What did he say?
S: He never did say anything to me.
K: He got his brother to talk to you?
S: No, my father never said anything, but it was his brother
that was in charge, and he didn't say that he didn't want
me to go since I had become a Christian or anything like
that. It's just that he never liked me going to church,


9
and that's just what he said to my mother. My father
never said anything.
K: Did your mother join the church too?
S: No, they never did.
K: While you were growing up, did your father ever talk
to you about medicine training?
S: No. I hear him talking about it sometimes. Sometimes
I guess he's sitting around and start talking about,
how it was or something involved with the medicine
and what was there and something like that sometimes.
That's about the only time, but when I was young, I
never heard him talk about it.
K: Has there ever been any women who were involved in
medicine--medicine women, I guess you would call them?
S: You mean just doctor doctoring or having something to
do with the Green Corn Dance?
K: Has there ever been a woman who was the equivalent of
your father?
S: No, I never heard that.
K: Do you know why?
S: No, I don't.
K: Is there any custom that says that women cannot become
medicine men or medicine women?
S: There probably is, but you never think of a woman doing
what he would. But, you know, there are quite a few wo-
men that know the medicine and like to doctor for differ-
ent things. I know they know that, but about training to
be a medicine man and having to do the Green Corn Dance,
I don't think that they would.
K: Who trains these women in the medicine that they do learn?


10
S: I think if they want to know, they usually learn it
from their elders.
K: Would they learn it from elder women or from elder
men?
S: Probably from both.
K: Do you know if your father has ever trained any women?
S: No, I don't.
K: I'm curious about what the criteria for status was among
the Seminoles on the Brighton Reservation. I know your
father is a very respected man. One of the reason's he's
respected, as I understand it, is simply because he's
the medicine man, but are there any other criteria for
respect?
S: You mean the respect for my father?
K: Just in general, but you can use your father as an example
if you'd like. Try to think of the men that are most re-
spected on the Brighton Reservation, the men that have
been most respected during your lifetime, and if you can,
tell me why they are respected.
S: Do you want to ask that question again or what?
K: No, I was asking you how a man came to be respected, just
what the foundations, the criteria for status were within
the Seminole Tribe out on the Brighton Reservation, and I
asked you about the late 1930s. As I understood it, in the
late 1930s, the man who was most influential among the
Brighton Seminoles was Sam Jones, who was a medicine man
and did not even live on the Brighton Reservation. He lived
some distance away, up around Okeechobee. Yet, I have been
told by other Seminoles that he was probably the most in-
fluential man in the area. Can you explain that?
S: Like you said, like my father, he knows respect because he's
the medicine man now and I think the same goes for him.
Then also, people in their time rather consider them as their
leader. I think maybe that's another...


11
K: Well, what clan is your father in?
S: Panther.
K: Sam Jones was in the same clan?
S: Yes.
K: In the late 1930s, he was considered the
clan?
S: Not leader really, but usually people in
looked to them. I wouldn't say they were
they just respected him.
leader of that
their clan
leaders, but
K: Did every clan have a medicine man?
S: No. I think that's not in Brighton. I don't know about
Miccosukees. Most of the time it's been the Panther Clan,
been handed down.
K: Well, in the clans that did not have medicine men, who
would be the most influential man?
S: Either a person like the people that have something to
do with medicine, you mean?
K: No, I'm thinking...
S: Just by clans?
K: Yes. For instance, in the 1930s did the Bird Clan have a
medicine man?
S: No.
K: All right, then...
S: Just the Panther had.
K: Yes, that's what you indicated, just the Panther Clan.
S: But different clans had different things that they supposed
to do, taking part in the Green Corn Dance.


12
K: So, if the Bird Clan did not have a medicine man, then
who would be the most influential person within the Bird Clan?
S: I guess it would be just the older one.
K: The oldest one within the clan? Has wealth ever played
any part in status?
S: I really don't think so.
K: Do you see any trend towards status being given to those
with wealth today?
S: Didn't you already ask that question?
K: Right. O.k. Go ahead.
S: Yes.
K: Would you explain it in a little more depth?
S: I said yes, because we're trying to be like everybody
else, but I wouldn't say that it's wealth.
K: Can you characterize wealth for me? What I'm getting at
is if a Seminole gets a lot of money, the ones that you
know of that do have money, do they convert it into some-
thing else or do they just keep it as money?
S: Right...right now?
K: Yes.
S: I think the older ones just keep it as money, and then
most of them really can't hang on to it. They just spend
it as fast as they get it, and then, I guess there would
be a few that invest or, you know, put it in savings book.
Is that what you mean?
K: Yes. That's what I was getting at. There's also one thing
that you might have any thought on whether or not there
seems to be a trend to convert money into what might be
called visible wealth, such as brand new automobiles and


14
houses and things that other people can look at and
say, "That must be a wealthy man. He's got three brand
new cars and an air conditioner, a color T.V. and so
on." Is there any kind of trend toward that type of thing?
S: Yes, I believe there is, because some people never had
anything, you know, as they've grown up. Then when they
get little money, more than they've ever had, maybe then
they start getting these things, like on credit. I guess
they like to make people think that he's got money, but
when he starts paying on these, then he has a hard time.
Because they just want people to think that they got
money.
K: Well, before I close the interview, Geneva, are there any
comments that you would like to make on any subject what-
ever, that you think might be of aid to this project? Is
there anything else you would like to say about the sub-
jects we've been discussing today, for instance?
S: No. If I do, I'll let you know.
K: O.k..
S: Maybe you can talk to my mother?
K: O.k., fine. Well, thank you very much. You've really been
helpful.


Full Text

PAGE 1

INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: Geneva Shore INTERVIEWER: Tom King DATE: March 1973 DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION

PAGE 2

SUMMARY Geneva Shore was the first Seminole to attend the Moore Haven public schools, graduating from high school in 1959. In this interview she considers some of the differences between her life on Brighton Reservation and the life of the Baxter family with whom she stayed while attending school. She also discusses the reactions of her parents, (Frank Shore, medicine man at Brighton, was her father) and her un cle, Sam Jones when she converted to Christianity. She makes some observations concerning the criteria of a respected man of status in the tribe.

PAGE 3

INDEX education (attendance at Moore Haven), 1-3, 6-7 Jones, Sam, 8, 10 medicine men, 9-11 religion (traditional conflict with Baptist), 7-8 status (individual in tribe), 12-13 transcultural contacts, 3-6

PAGE 4

K: Geneva, I'd like to start the interview by asking you to tell me a little bit about your life. Can you give me the names of your mother and father? S: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Shore. K: Do you know what your mother's maiden name was? S: Her last name? K: Right, before she was married. S: Bowers. K: And what was her first name? S: Lottie. K: Lottie Bowers. You are a Creek-speaker, isn't that true, not Miccosukee? And how long did you live on the Brighton Reserva tion? S : All my life. K: You were born there? S: No there. I was born somewhere around Okeechobee, Okeechobee County. K: I've been told that you were one of the first Seminoles to attend Moore Haven High School. Could you tell me a little bit about that? When did you begin attending? S: I started over there in the fourth grade. I don't remember the year. I went there until I was in the eighth grade. That's when they started running busses out there from Okeechobee, and so I started going to Okeechobee when I was in the eighth grade. K: Did you finish your education at Okeechobee, your high school education? S: Yes. I graduated there in 1959 and then I went on to Haskell for two years.

PAGE 5

2 K: Prior to the time that the school busses began running to Okeechobee, how did you get to school when you went to Moore Haven? Were there any school busses? S: No. At first I started staying with this missionary lady. She lived in Lakeport or near there anyway, by the lake. I stayed with her during the week and then I went home on the weekends. After that, I stayed with another friend over there. For most of the time, they bring me to you know where that grocery is? K: Joe's Fish Camp? Yes. S: Yes. My mother and them used to leave me off there and pick me up. K: Who was it that arranged to have you start attending public school? Did your parents initiate that? S: No. Yo_u mean like_ getting me registered and all that? K: Right. Who suggested, to begin with, that you attend public school? S: I don't remember. It's just that I wanted to go there. I guess. K: Were all the Seminole children going to school at that time? s: Yes, we were going to that day school. That's where I started. K: The one on the reservation? S: Yes, and most of us were going there, but I don't remember what grades that went up to. K: That went beyond the fourth grade, didn't it? S: Yes. K: Well, can you remember why you decided to stop going to the day school and start going to public school?

PAGE 6

3 S : No , I don' t K: I talked to a family in Moore Haven by the name of Baxter with whom, I understand, you stayed for a while. You lived with them while you attended school in Moore Haven. Can you tell me how that came about? S: How I started staying with them? K: Yes. S: I went to school with their daughter. I don't know if you met her. Her name is Jacqueline. I was in her class and so she asked me to stay with her and that's how I started staying with them. I stayed with them for quite a while, I guess. I don't remember how long it was, maybe a year or more, until I started going to Okeechobee. K: How did your parents feel about it, about your being away from home all the time? S: They didn't mind, 'cause I went home every chance I got, you know, or they come to town whenever they could and most of the time I didn't stay there all week. Sometimes I'd just go home. K: I'm wondering if there were any differences in the habits and behavior patterns of the two families that you happen ed to notice. In coming from your own family on the Brighton Reservation and having to live with a white family in Moore Haven, I would assume there would have been some differences in behavior between the two families. If there were, and you noticed them, could you tell me about it? S: You mean, like the way they lived? K: Yes, how were they different? The way you treated each other? S: I don't know. K: You know, I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about, a very simple one. I imagine the Baxters had certain times that they ate meals. They would eat breakfast at a certain hour, lunch at another hour, and the evening meal would be about six o'clock in the evening. Is that any different from the times at which Seminoles are accustomed to eating? L__ ___________________________________________ ---

PAGE 7

4 S: Yes, there is a difference, I guess, 'cause we didn't have times. I mean, we didn't eat at the same times. K: Your family did not eat together at the same time? S: Not too much. K: How does that work? Would different members of your family come in and eat at different times? S: Yes, that's about it. Most of the time, you know, I don't know whether you know this or not, but some camps back then had food on the table most of the time. Usually when you got hungry you ate, you know, when you wanted to. But at times, you know, they cook at one time and eat then. I mean that's when you would eat together, but not all the time. K: Was it difficult for you to adjust to having to eat at a certain time? S: No. K: What about other things such as the time that you went to sleep. Did you sleep at different times? S: No, I guess they did have certain times that they told the children when they had to go to sleep, but, at home I don't ever remember when the time was that you had to be in bed, but I guess that was different. K: Can you think of anything else along this line any other differences between the two families between the way of life that you could cominent on? S: Yes, I guess there were a few things that were different, like we didn't live in a house like they did. That was one big difference. I don't know; I never really thought of it being different, I guess. I can't really say. K: Did the Baxter's encourage you in your school work? S: I think they did. I don't remember.

PAGE 8

5 K: Do you remember if they ever gave you any help with your homework? Were there any jobs, any chores, which you were expected to perform when you were living with the Baxters? S: No. But I know I used to do what I could to help around there, but I don't think they really expected me to do anything. K: What about when you were at home with your mother and father? Were you expected to do anything then? S: Yes. K: Can you tell me what? S: Help around there or wash the dishes, you know, just like anybody else, I guess. K: If you ever disobeyed your parents--! don't know whether you did or not, maybe you never did, but let's assume that if you ever did disobey your parents--would they discipline you? Was there any punishment that was given to children? S: Yes, some, I guess, but I don't remember. K: What about with the Baxters? Did they ever discipline you? S: No. I don't remember. K: Do you know if Mr. and Mrs. Baxter ever talked with your parents about how they were supposed to handle you when you were lving with them. Was there any discussion over their responsibilities were as long as you were living with them? S: I don't think so. K: When you first moved in with them, did your mother and father come in to make the arrangements? S: No, I don't think they even met them until after I started staying with them. Then when they started coming out to bring me something, then that's when they got to know them. K: I'd like to know how this experience of yours was accepted by the Seminoles who lived on Brighton. Was there any ppposition toward your living with a white family, any hostility?

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6 S: No, I don't think so. K: How about by the whites who lived in Moore Haven? How did they feel? S: Most of them treat me all right, I guess, but it was just something new and at times they kind of made you feel like you were different or something. But I guess they were, the first time that an Indian went to school there, it was something new. Most people around there know my father and so those people I knew them or they knew my father so I didn't have any trouble with most of the people. K: How did school go? S: When I first started? K: Yes. Did you have any difficulty? S: Not really, but just like I say, they just made you feel like you were different, you know, 'cause I was the first one who started school there. K: Can you tell me what kind of grades you made? I'm curious. I don't mean that you have to remember the exact grades or anything. I'm just wondering how well you did. S: I don't really remember. I used to have those old cards around but I don't know what happened to them either. I remember I saw a report card from that year on 'cause that's the only time I had report cards. I never did get them while I was at day school and then I kept all the report cards that I have at home. I don't even know where they are, but I did all right, considering. K: I've been told you did very well. I was just wondering if you'd tell me about it. S: I mean when I first started. K: Could you speak English well when you first went?

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7 S: I don't think so. When I first started the day school, I didn't even know how to hold a pencil or anything and I didn't even know how to speak English at all, I don't think. K: When you went to public school, was there any attempt made to help you speak English readily? Any special approach that a teacher might have taken? S: No. K: Were you just put in to S: Yes. I was just put in just like the others. K: Did that present any difficulties for you? S: I don't remember. K: I assume that you're a Baptist, are you not? S: Yes. K: How long have you been a Baptist? S: You mean when did I join the church? K: Yes, when did you first begin going to the Baptist Church? S: Oh, since '53, I think. K: And how old were you at that time? Let's see. This is '73 twenty years ago, you were eleven years old, right? S: Yes. K: I'm curious about something perhaps you could help me with. I know that your father is the medicine man, which appears to me to represent the traditional Seminole religion or what would pass for it. Was there any conflict within your family over the question of whether or not to become a Christian, considering the fact that your father was the medicine man? S: You mean, what he thought?

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8 K: Yes. What does your father feel about it; how does the rest of your family feel about it? Does he feel that it is possible, let's say, for your father to be both a medicine man and a Christian? Does he feel that he ought to be one or the other? Does he feel that the rest of the family ought to be Baptist or maintain the traditional ways? S: Well, back then I don't think they had too many people that were Christians, and when they didn't go in a church or become a pure Seminole, then they thought they shouldn't have anything to do with going to the Green Corn Dance, and that's the way it has been. So my father never talked to me about that. At the time his brother, Sam Jones, I think he was in charge then. He didn't like it and didn't talk to me, but he talked to my mother about it. Then my mother didn't like it either, but after I gone there then I could have, I guess, but then I never did go to the Green Corn Dance any more. I never did even go, and then, just recently, I go sometimes, but, you know, I don't stay over there. Now my father feels like that the Christianity way is good, too, but then you should have something to say, I mean to do with what he does, and they're both good. I mean, he thinks it, and I know that's what he said at one time. Now he worships it, but he's not a Christian like you would say, but he goes to church and he thinks that's good. I mean that to do both ways. K: At the time that you started going to church, he opposed you going? Is that correct? He did not want you to go? S: No. He didn't say that. K: What did he say? S: He never did say anything to me. K: He got his brother to talk to you? S: No, my father never said anything, but it was his brother that was in charge, and he didn't say that he didn't want me to go since I had become a Christian or anything like that. It's just that he never liked me going to church,

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9 and that's just what he said to my mother. My father never said anything. K: Did your mother join the church too? S: No, they never did. K: While you were growing up, did your father ever talk to you about medicine training? S: No. I hear him talking about it sometimes. Sometimes I guess he's sitting around and start talking about, how it was or something involved with the medicine and what was there and something like that sometimes. That's about the only time, but when I was young, I never heard him talk about it. K: Has there ever been any women who were involved in medicine--medicine women, I guess you would call them? S: You mean just doctor doctoring or having something to do with the Green Corn Dance? K: Has there ever been a woman who was the equivalent of your father? S: No, I never heard that. K: Do you know why? S: No, I don't. K:. Is there any custom that says that women cannot become medicine men or medicine women? S: There probably is, but you never think of a woman doing what he would. But, you know, there are quite a few wo men that know the medicine and like to doctor for differ ent things. I know they know that, but about training to be a medicine man and having to do the Green Corn Dance, I don't think that they would. K: Who trains these women in the medicine that they do learn?

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10 S: I think if they want to know, they usually learn it from their elders. K: Would they learn it from elder women or from elder men? S: Probably from both. K: Do you know if your father has ever trairied any women? S: No, I don't. K: I'm curious about what the criteria for status was among the Seminoles on the Brighton Reservation. I know your father is a very respected man. One of the reason's he's respected, as I understand it, is simply because he's the medicine man, but are there any other criteria for respect? S: You mean the respect for my father? K: Just in general, but you can use your father as an example if you'd like. Try to think of the men that are most re spected on the Brighton Reservation, the men that have been most respected during your lifetime, and if you can, tell me why they are respected. S: Do you want to ask that question again or what? K: No, I was asking you how a man came to be respected, just what the foundations, the criteria for status were within the Seminole Tribe out on the Brighton Reservation, and I asked you about the late 1930s. As I understood it, in the late 1930s, the man who was roost influential among the Brighton Seminoles was Sam Jones, who was a medicine man and did not even live on the Brighton Reservation. He lived some distance away, up around Okeechobee. Yet, I have been told by other Seminoles that he was probably the most in fluential man in the area. Can you explain that? S: Like you said, like my father, he knows respect because he's the medicine man now and I think the same goes for him. Then also, people in their time rather consider them as their leader. I think maybe that's another

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11 K: Well, what clan is your father in? S: Panther. K: Sam Jones was in the same clan? S: Yes. K: In the late 1930s, he was considered the leader of that clan? S: Not leader really, but usually people in their clan looked to them. I wouldn't say they were leaders, but they just respected him. K: Did every clan have a medicine man? S: No. I think that's not in Brighton. I don't know about Miccosukees. Most of the time it's been the Panther Clan, been handed down. K: Well, in the clans that did not have medicine men, who would be the most influential man? S: Either a person like the people that have something to do with medicine, you mean? K: No, I'm thinking S: Just by clans? K: Yes. For instance, in the 1930s did the Bird Clan have a medicine man? S: No. K: All right, then S: Just the Panther had. K: Yes, that's what you indicated, just the Panther Clan. S: But different clans had different things that they supposed to do, taking part in the Green Corn Dance.

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12 K: So, if the Bird Clan did not have a medicine man, then who would be the most influential person within the Bird Clan? S: I guess it would be just the older one. K: The oldest one within the clan? Has wealth ever played any part in status? S: I really don't think so. K: Do you see any trend towards status being given to those with wealth today? S: Didn't you already ask that question? K: Right. O.k. Go ahead. S: Yes. K: Would you explain it in a little more depth? S: I said yes, because we're trying to be like everybody else, but I wouldn't say that it's wealth. K: Can you characterize wealth for me? What I'm getting at is if a Seminole gets a lot of money, the ones that you know of that do have money, do they convert it into some thing else or do they just keep it as money? S: Right right now? K: Yes. S: I think the older ones just keep it as money, and then most of them really can't hang on to it. They just spend it as fast as they get it, and then, I guess there would be a few that invest or, you know, put it in savings book. Is that what you mean? K: Yes. That's what I was getting at. There's also one thing that you might have any thought on whether or not there seems to be a trend to convert money into what might be called visible wealth, such as brand new automobiles and

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14 houses and things that other people can look at and say, "That must be a wealthy man. He's got three brand new cars and an air conditioner, a color T.V. and so on." Is there any kind of trend toward that type of thing? S: Yes, I believe there is, because some people never had anything, you know, as they've grown up. Then when they get little money, more than they've ever had, maybe then they start getting these things, like on credit. I guess they like to make people think that he's got money, but when he starts paying on these, then he has a hard time. Because they just want people to think that they got money. K: Well, before I close the interview, Geneva, are there any comments that you would like to make on any subject what ever, that you think might be of aid to this project? Is there anything else you would like to say about the sub jects we've been discussing today, for instance? S: No. If I do, I'll let you know. K: O.k S: Maybe you can talk to my mother? K: O.k., fine. Well, thank you very much. You've really been helpful.