Interview with Betty Mae Jumper, June 28, 1999

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Interview with Betty Mae Jumper, June 28, 1999
Series Title:
Betty Mae Jumper
Jumper, Betty Mae ( Interviewee )


Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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Sem 243
Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
Page 1

Sem 243
Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
Interviewer: R. Howard
Date: June 28, 1999

H: I'm speaking, today, with Mrs. Betty Mae Jumper, who is the Editor in Chief of the

Seminole Tribune. And today is June 28, 1999. We are meeting in her office at the

Seminole Tribal headquarters. Betty Mae, who has been interviewed, extensively, and

has interviewed other people extensively, there are just a few things that would help our

project along, that you could add to it. Betty Mae, what clan do you belong to?

J: Snake.

H: And when and where were you born?

J: I was born Indian town, Florida.

H: When?

J: April 27, 1923.

H: Do you have an Indian name?

J: Yeah.

H: Would you be willing to tell us what that is?

J: Potackee

H: Potackee. And what does that mean?

J: I don't know. Some kind of medicine stuff.

H: Who gave you that name?

J: My grandma.

H: Is that your grandma in that picture, over there, with you?

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J: Umhum.

H: Beautiful picture of you. And your grandma. What was your grandma's name?

J: Mary.

H: Mary?

J: Tiger.

H: And your Mother's name?

J: Ada Tiger

H: Ada Tiger. Are there any contexts in which you use your Indian name? Are there

specific times when you use that versus your ...

J: Not really.

H: So, you were born in Indiantown. Did you ever live on a reservation?

J: No. Not before that. They didn't have Indian reservations, then. This was the first one.

H: So, Indiantown was a reservation?

J: No, it is a town. It is a little town where a lot of Indians lived before they scattered.

H: OK. Did you ever live on Big Cypress or Brighton?

J: Not really. Visiting a few weeks or something like that. But, I never really lived on it. I

just lived here in Hollywood.

H: OK. Can you tell me a bit about...I know that you are very well versed in Seminole

history. Can you tell me a little bit about what you learned as a child about Seminole


J: I know they had it covered in just a few minutes. You just have to ask me questions and

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I'll answer it.

H: Did you learn anything about the Seminole wars?

J: Yes. My grandfather used my great Uncle used to tell us. I had it in the paper about

you know.

H: What was your great Uncle's name?

J: Jimmy Gopher.

H: And what kinds of things did he tell you about the Seminole wars?

J: He just said that they were killed by many children. They had to run and hide to keep

from being killed. Then, the braves, led by Osceola fought against them and they keep

chasing them down until we got to down here, at the end of the Florida state. And we

went out in the glades and that is why the soldiers can't get because they are

scared of the snakes and the alligators and stuff. And that is why the Seminole survived.

Maybe only two hundred and fifty or somewhere survived in the Florida. That what he

told me.

H: Your parents your Mother and Father what kind of occupations did they have? What

did they do for a living?

J: My Mother is dead. I mean, my Mother is dead and my Father is so.

H: But, before. What did they used to do for a living, when you were growing up?

J: My Father was white. He wasn't allowed to live in Indian village. So, it was up to my

Mother and my great Uncle and my Grandma raised my brother and I. And so,

H: I have read some of your articles where you talk about having been a half-breed; where

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your Father was white and your Mother was Indian and how that put you in some danger.

J: They didn't allow the half-breeds to mix with the full-blood Seminoles in Florida, and so

a lot of them have been killed half-breeds.

H: How did your family manage to save you?

J: We moved to this reservation and protected by the government. We were living in

Indiantown and we were the other Medicine Man came to our village and told

my great Uncle do away with us. Because he was once Indian medicine carrier; pouch

carrier, and was leader of the Green Corn Dance.

H: Your great Uncle was?

J: Yeah. But, when he became a Christian, he dropped all that and picked up the Bible.

And the Bible said 'Thou shalt not kill.' And so he followed that. And he said he wasn't

going kill us; he was going to keep us. Even if we were half-breeds. And so, then, he

was put in jail for doing that for shooting at them when they came around the village.

And he was put in Miami jail for two weeks. And the got him out. And that

is when he told them to go get us and bring us back here. That we would be protected.

And that is the way we came from Indiantown.

H: So, have you always been a Christian?

J: I was a little girl when there was a missionary named Willie King. He is an old

missionary that came from Oklahoma. And he was speaking Creek. And he was a

preacher. And he lived right across from us. He used to teach us about God and that is

where I learned that you live under his ruling, that you won't be scared of anything,

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because he will protect you. That what we went to heart by that. Missionary Willie

King and I was just about eight, maybe nine, ten. I learned that under him. My Mother

and my grandma and my great Uncle and my aunts were all Christian, anyway. So, it


H: Were your family Creek speakers?

J: Yeah. They both. My grandmother was full blooded Miccosukee. And my grandfather,

my Mother's mother was full-blooded Creek, so both languages were used. So, that is

why I learned to speak both languages; we all did.

H: Can you tell me about your education? Like what kind of schools you attended?

J: Well, I want to go to school when they were going to farm out here. There was nothing

but farm and woods, here. And my family worked on a farm picking potatoes and

tomatoes and all that, and beans and I saw kids; a bus come around it got so, it came

here, somewhere and picked up kids and go to school. And I wanted to go to school but

they wouldn't allow me because I wasn't white and I wasn't colored. So, both groups

won't take me. The colored lady who worked on a farm with my Mother told her that I

could go with her daughter and she would watch me and I could go to school that way.

So, my Mother said 'Alright.' But the principal was a colored man and he said, 'she is

not colored. She can't go here. She is not black.' So, I didn't go to school. I went to

Oklahoma and saw them going to school the Creek Seminole were going to school.

And I learned that you can learn how to read and write. And that is what I wanted to do.

When I came back, I told my great Uncle that I want to go to school. And my Mother

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and they told me they would try to get me in Dania. But they wouldn't allow it, so the

superintendent said that maybe, we can go to boarding school. And so he went and

called boarding, government school. One was in Oklahoma and one was in North

Carolina. And so, they said they would take us anytime and for us to come up. So, the

government said that they will pay our way if we wanted to go. And so, my great Uncle

and my Mother know that we wanted to go to school and they told them to go ahead and

make arrangements for us to go. But my Grand mother, she was against school and she

said that books are for the white people; not for the Indians. But I went, anyway, and my

cousin, Mary and I, and my brother, went. And we chose to go to Cherokee, North

Carolina. And that is where I stayed and graduated from high school, there. Then after I

graduated from highschool, I went to Cawo Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, to

take up training health training.

H: Yes, you were a nurse, for a while?

J: Yeah. Then, I came back then, I went out and did the field work learned how to work

in the field. I took that training. Then, I came back and started working among my

people. And my people, then, were coming out of their holes from the Everglades into

the new world and they didn't understand what it is like. And they didn't the Medicine

Men didn't even like white medicine doctors, they called it. So, I had a hard time

introducing them medicine to the Seminoles. It was hard because the Medicine Men

don't believe in white medicine and all that. So, I used to go around from here to Big

Trail and go around into Big Cypress out into Brighton and then come back. I did that

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for about two years by myself. And then, they sent a nurse, field worker, from Arizona,

somewhere. And he came to help me. We really went out and inoculated the kids that

have measles and chicken pox and all that. So, they won't get real sick They didn't have

any kind of medicine and they got so sick. So, that is why is was so interesting. Because

I came down from the family from medicine people. My Mother was a Medicine doctor

or Indian doctor or whatever you want to call it.

H: Your Mother was?

J: My Mother was and my Uncles was and my great Uncle Jimmy was; and my grandfather

was, too. They can go so far. When I first went with my Mother she was like a

midwife. And when she goes around, delivering the babies, sometimes she can't bring it

out. And when I became about thirteen years old, we went to the hospital and I see a lot

of kids, laying in there. And I figured that there is a way that they must make it come,

too that my Mother don't know how. Because they get choked on saliva or something

like that and she didn't know how to do a lot of things on a baby when it was born. She

did well but not that good. So, that is where I decided I could learn. I came back.

H: Was your Mother still doing was she still a midwife, then?

J: Unhuh. She was still doing it.

H: So, did you help her?

J: Yeah. But we started taking them to the hospitals and... She was a believer in Indian

medicine or white doctors she believed in anything that would help the sick people, so

she was for it when I wanted to take them to the hospital.

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H: At the time that she was the Medicine Woman, was she also Christian at that same time?

J: Unhuh.

H: OK So, she didn't see any problem with practicing, both?

J: She mixed up the Indian herbs not the Indian herbs the herbs. She knew how to mix

herbs and give them to the sick people. There is nothing wrong with it; there are herbs,

today. Everywhere. And so, that is what she did. Mix the herbs and give them when

they are sick.

H: So, you say you practiced your nursing for about two years? Is that about how long you

were a nurse? About two years?

J: No. I still...I worked among my people almost forty years. I never quit. Then, last year

I mean, a few years back then, I quit being nursing and the nursing world; and came

in to the writing paper for the tribe.

H: Yeah. How did you get started doing this?

J: When we first became organized, another lady and I decided we would start a little

newspaper. And we did. But then, I got sick and she dropped it. And then, when our

people became organized, I wrote a little bit but not too much. Then, the Chairman asked

me if I could go ahead and run the newspaper. And so, that is the way I started it.

H: And you, were also, once Chairman Chairwoman of the tribe?

J: Oh yeah. That was the council. Chairman of the tribe.

H: Can you tell me about that and how that happened?

J: Well, the ladies a bunch of them talked to me about See, there was not much

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interpreter here. And they wanted me to interpret a lot of things. And they didn't talk -

they stopped going to school in forty four or forty seven... some where around there.

Started to go to public school opened. The DAR and Friends of the Seminole fight to

have the door opened for the Indian kids to go to Hollywood. I mean, Dania.

H: Public schools?

J: So, that is the way it started and that is ...

H: Would you have been the only woman who has been Chairman of the tribe?

J: So far...

H: How long were you...?

J: Four years.

H: Four years.

J: Yeah, but I have been in the, either a councilman or something like that, for sixteen


H: What years were you the Chairman of the tribe?

J: 1967 to 1971, I think.

H: So, that was a real unique position for a woman?

J: Yeah. Because nobody had ever done it, before. Now, in the United States, there is a lot

of women become Chairman, now. I met a couple of them, there, today. They were

down here.

H: Different tribes?

J: Yeah.

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H: Do you remember what tribes they were from?

J: There is a Cherokee in North Carolina she is a Chairman. She is Chief, or whatever

you want to call her. And then, and Oklahoma Cherokee, she is a Chairman, too. She

was. I don't know if she she is probably retired from it. It is hard work.

H: The overall status of Seminole women, has that changed a lot in the last thirty years?

J: Yeah.

H: In what ways? Could you say?

J: It is a new, modern world, now. They live in the white people's way. Not like, old

fashioned way, like they used to. Very few, maybe, four or five of them or something

like that, still do.

H: So, are women...?

J: They live in a home and they cook on the new stoves and eat in the dining room, which

they either had a chickee outside and they cook outside and all that. They don't do that

any more.

H: Did you ever live in a chickee?

J: Oh, yeah. That where I was born.

H: OK. Was anybody in your family ever involved in the cattle business?

J: Oh, yeah. My Mother had a lot of cattle. My two Uncles and her started; she had over

500 when we decided to move. And we had pigs and we had chickens and we had

everything. And I told the people that my Mother had over 500 when I was a little girl

and ...

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H: That was in Indian town?

J: Yeah. And people didn't believe it. But Patsy West, she has investigated a lot of things,

and she found out I was telling the truth. That she did have over 500. Because her two

brothers died and she was the only one left with the cattle and it was all hers, then. But,

she sold some but she didn't sell it all. We left it, I guess. People ate it and she told

them...whoever needs meat, to go ahead and kill them. So, I guess that is what they did.

H: Are you still involved, at all, in the cattle business?

J: I did for a while but I let it go. I can't take care of it, anymore, so my oldest son and my

oldest grandson; I sold it to them. So, they..

H: Is that Moses?

J: Unhuh. Moses

H: Yes, we had a nice long talk, too. We had an interview. And we were in church,

together, yesterday.

J: Oh, yeah.

H: And had lunch, after that. There have been a lot of changes in education among the tribe.

You have mentioned that, at first, your family didn't want you to go to the white schools.

J: My grandma didn't.

H: Your grandma didn't.

J: But when I finished and came to highschool that is the year I graduated. And that is

the picture of- I came back and they took it the year I graduated. And she said that she

still didn't believe in white school but she said that I am glad that you went and finished

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because whatever you start, don't ever let it be unfinished. That was her teaching to me.

She always said to finish what you start don't ever leave it hanging. I guess I took her

word because I never do let anything go.

H: Well, attitudes toward letting children go to white schools changed a lot over the years.

J: They send them, now.

H: Yeah.

J: You have to send them.

H: What do you think about the school do you know much about the school in Big Cypress


J: Just what I hear. I never...

H: Any of your grandchildren...?

J: You talk to Winifred Tiger. She will tell you all about it. Are you going to talk to her?

She is the one that help build that school out there and she is the one to work with the

schools. I worked with her a little while but then I turned into something else and I


H: I was just wondering what you thought of the school; if you knew much about it, at all.

J: I don't know much about what is going on or anything like that; but I am glad it is out

there the kids that can't go way to the town or to Immokalee or

H: Clewiston?

J: Clewiston it is too far like six and seven year olds. And it is a good thing that they

have that so they can go to school there.

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H: Your newspaper, the Seminole Tribune, what is your focus, as editor in chief. What is

your focus for the newspaper, as far as reaching your audience?

J: Well, there is a lot of gripes and groans back in the olden days that they don't get news -

what is going on, on this reservation, because this is where the Chairman runs the

business. And they say that they didn't hear it; and they don't know it and ...and that is

what I want people to know. I started it just for the Seminole. But it went out of hand

and went all over the world. A lot of them go over seas.

H: Really?

J: Yeah.

H: countries where you get tourists that come or ...can you tell me what countries it goes


J: I know it is overseas, that's all. They run it and they send it in. Ed McDonald ask him.

He can probably tell you where it goes because he is the business manager.

H: So, it has blossomed into something that you had not even envisioned?

J: Just for the Seminoles, that is what I started it as. But, then it went out and people kept

wanting it. And then they started subscribing.

H: Well, you always have very interesting articles in there about the culture and traditions

and things like that.

J: I just try to let the young generations a lot of them don't hear it and they don't have;

they don't have Indian...they have white Mothers that don't have any Indian taught. And

so, that is why a lot of kids should know and that is why I think that I do that because I

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hope they are reading it. When I was a little girl, about eight or nine years old, my they

cook outside, you know -

H: the chickee?

J: and they had logs out there. And we would sit out there and either my great Uncles, my

Aunts, my old Aunts or ..they use to tell us stories; they would tell us about things. And

we listened to them, before we ate; before they ate or after they ate and before they go to

bed. They tell us all these stories. That is where I learned all those things and I have

never forgotten them and kept them.

H: These stories...were they like life lessons?

J: Did you see my book?

H: Yes, I did. It is a children's book?

J: Yeah. That is the kind that they told us about animals. The Indians always have about

animals, it seemed like and that is what we were told. Now, I will write in my life

history, that is coming out that Patsy West is writing for me. I mean, I wrote it and she

is correcting it.

H: When is that going to be coming out?

J: Sometime this fall, we hope.

H: Great.

J: I have been writing about the last fifteen years. So, it is suppose to come out.

H: How many children did you have?

J: I had three of them but two of them died. My two girls died. And I adopted two and so I

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raised three.

H: I met your son, Moses.

J: That is my son, yeah.

H: And you have two daughters...what are their names? ...the two that you adopted?

J: One is Betner Roger. And the other is Scarlet. Scarlet Young, now.

H: Are they Seminoles?

J: Yeah.

H: OK.

J: [to someone else in the room] Scarlet is your cousin, isn't she?

H: Daisy's cousin? OK.

J: She was just three days old when they gave her to me and I raised her.

H: Something happened to her Mother?

J: No, something happened to their father. He said he can't take care of any more. He was

getting sick. And he said; he died just a few years afterward maybe, two or three years.

The Mother is still living. She is way up in age. About how old is she, Daisy?

D: She should be about ninety something.

J: But she goes good and she talks good. I talked to her, not so very long ago. She still

makes a lot of sense and talks about everything that is going on.

H: Is she on the reservation?

J: Yeah. In Big Cypress.

H: What is her name?

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D: Tommie Jumper.

H: Tommie Jumper. OK The tribe's annual Green Corn Dance has undergone a lot of

changes from what I understand. And now they have one where, I believe, I was just

reading in the paper I'm not sure if it was your article or not that talked about how

they -oh, no, it wasn't yours that they have eliminated alcohol.

J: They didn't have alcohol, in the beginning, anyway. The Green Corn Dance and all that

was meant a lot to the Indians back in the olden days. It meant that the thanking the

Great Spirit, the good year they had; or they want a new crop that would come in good

for the following year. That is what it was. Today, it is nothing but a playground and

drinking. That is what I believe that is how I see it.

H: Did you ever attend any of the Green Corn Dances?

J: Just one time in my life, when I was twelve. And they started drinking, then and fighting.

And I don't like to see fighting, dancing drunk.

H: This newspaper is an important way to get like you mentioned get news out to all of

the Seminole people.

J: Yeah. They all read it.

H: And it has grown has it grown, as a result of the economic activities of the tribe? As

they have increased?

J: Yeah.

H: The economic changes that have occurred with the growth of the gaming industry and all

of that has enabled the newspaper to grow, also? Is that true?

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J: You mean this newspaper?

H: Umhum.

J: Yeah. It was just little; just scattered here and there on the reservation but got bigger and

bigger and now it...

H: What kind of staff do you have here?

J: Well, reporters and writers and we have a business manager and Virginia, she schedules

them and all that. And when they want somebody to come to write or take pictures; they


H: Are many of your staff, Seminole tribal members?

J: No. We have got four, I think, that are Seminole. The rest of them are white.

H: How many are the rest of them? I am just curious how big this staff is.

J: Well, they report about five or six. They get a story. Then, some of them, up at Big

Cypress, there is a guy out there he just send in a report: what he sees, he writes. And

then we pay him so much.

H: Who is that?

J: I can't remember his name. You know him? [to Daisy]

D: Is it James Hall?

J: He is a white guy.

D: Oh, he is white.

J: His wife used to write, too. And she kind of cut it down and now, he is the only one who

writes. You ask her and she will tell you more.

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H: Virginia?

J: Yeah. Virginia. She will tell you all who works. She knows them all.

H: Tell me about how the standard of living is different, today, than it was thirty years ago.

In areas like education and literacy, access to health care.

J: What do you mean?

H: How they they way people lived how that has changed over the past thirty years -

as far as their access to doctors and their ability to read and write and their income levels.

J: Well, we didn't have too much income when I was little. Back in olden days, they use to

plant and hunt and all that and then, when we be coming into the new world; you don't

know how to work. That is what I am telling you. That is why I went to school. They

didn't know how to work or anything else. But, I remember the guys working a parking

lot parking the cars. That is what I saw in the beginning. And they can't go to the

office, or anything, and work, like they do, today, now.

H: When you became tribal chairwoman in 1969 or was in 1967...

J: 1967.

H: ...tell me about how if you look at a picture in your mind of how things were, then -

between that time, 1967 and 1971 and how they are, now as far as people's ability to

read and write and their income. How has that changed since that time since you were


J: This was nothing, here.

H: This building, here?

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J: Only, woods everywhere. The whole reservation. And we had camps out there by the

road. A lot of them had only chickees and and they live out there and they

go like I say, the men, work at parking lots in Miami. And that is the way they went.

And some of them worked out in the potato patches and beans and whatever they can

work. They find ajob. That is why the women worked. And they didn't have any

homes; they had chickees and they are still living out in chickees, today. And they didn't

have cars, either. Just maybe, one or two, or three people have a car. And they used to

borrow it ask them to take them to Dania the only place where they got groceries, you

know, five miles away.

H: Where they got what?

J: Groceries; food.

H: OK.

J: And that is about five miles away. And so that and the road, 441, was a dirt road,

when I first remember. It was nothing. And that Davey road Sterling road that goes

across the bridge now, was a rocky road. The mayor of Davey named

Mr.St came once a day to go get the mail and go back. And this was only that

car that you would see. Maybe once in a while you would see people who have groves or

something they would go out there, but...

H: and this was in the sixties?

J: No, it was before that -- forties.

H: Well, by the sixties, has they built the roads?

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J: Yeah. Built the roads, then. And then, they started building little huts and maybe, two

room houses for the Indians and that is what they lived in.

H: So, this Hollywood Reservation, used to be just all...

J: ...woods.

H: ...woods. Then as the cities grew,

J: ...yeah, we are becoming the middle of town, now.

H: Yeah, you would never know that Hollywood Reservation is a reservation.

J: You don't even know where the reservation is, anymore.

H: So, some of the changes in the business practices of the tribe can you tell me a little bit

about that? When you were Chairwoman, was there any gaming activity going on, there?

J: No. Nothing.

H: When did that start? Do you remember?

J: I can't remember.

H: But it was after your term as Chairwoman.

J: Oh, yeah. It was after the next one the next ...

H: ...person in office...

J: next person in office. Howard Tommy, I think. That is when Bingo came in.

H: What do you think is important to the tribal members, now as far as maintaining the

culture, the traditional culture?

J: Well, they are talking about preserving it and write it and doing it; and I think it is real

good because this way, they are going to lose it. Because they have already lost a lot of

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things. A lot of young people don't know anything, hardly. Their parents don't know

because within the marriage; they married a white person and a black and all that and

they don't know how to talk Indian or they don't know how things and they just talk

English to their kids and they lose it.

H: ...and you think that isn't good?

J: No, I'm not saying that it isn't good but I wish they would learn I want to teach their

kids if you know how to speak Indian, I think you should teach their kids, Indian. But,

like my kids, my Mother spoke Indian; and we talked in Indian and they know it and they

talked when they were little but they lost it. They quite and they forget it. And so, that is

the way they go. But, I wish they would keep it up. Learn it and ...

H: There is a lot more intermarriage among Seminoles, these days, right.

J: A lot of outside marriages. We have a lot of whites and a lot of blacks on the reservation,


H: So, it is not like it used to be; where they couldn't even live on the reservation. Now,

they can?

J: Yeah. They live on the reservation with their wives or their husbands, now. It used to be

that you can't but now, they are living there.

H: Is the clan rule the clan system still the same, if the Mother is Indian then the children,

will be members of the clan?

J: Yeah.

H: But if the Father...

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Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
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J: No.

H: If it is a non-Indian Mother, then

J: They are unclaimed. There are more non-clan than they do the clan people,


H: Really?

J: There are a lot of mixed-breeds.

H: So, what happens, as far as their membership in the tribe?

J: You have to be one-fourth, to come into the tribe.

H: So, it doesn't matter if you are a member of a clan.

J: It doesn't matter. As long as you are the one-fourth. But, then in the Miccosukee, you

have to be half.

H: There are a lot less Miccosukee people than there are Seminole, right? Although, you are

really it is all the same.

J: It is all the same. Speak the same language and all of that.

H: Why is it separate?

J: Well, they are mostly, Miccosukee-speaking people, over there. They didn't have any

Creek language down in there. And that what most of them are; Miccosukee. Today,

they are mixing, now. But, not very few. They hold it down there.

H: When the tribe became incorporated, they didn't want to be a part of that, right?

J: They didn't want it. Miccosukee didn't they walked away.

H: Do you know why that was?

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J: They just didn't want to be in a tribe that was run under the government until now, they

are doing the same thing we did.

H: They are becoming incorporated?

J: They have new casinos and all of that.

H: Do you think that these changes these casinos and things like that has that affected

the Seminole values?

J: Yes.

H: In what way?

J: Last year, we lost six young ladies out on the Big Cypress Reservation.

H: What do you mean, you lost them?

J: A lot of this money is mining them. We didn't money, we didn't have any drinking and

problems going on as bad as we have, now. If they had think the other way and don't

give them money all at the same time, and just maybe, divide it in two or three ways -

maybe that would have been better. But they get the whole amount of money and then

they get drunk a lot of them do. Some of them don't. I'm not saying they all do. Some

of them don't. But, young people we lost a lot of them guys, too.

H: With accidents and things like that?

J: Drinking and driving and turn over in the canal. They get new cars and they drive it

when they are drunk. It is hard.

H: So, while these new economic changes have been very good in many ways, they have


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Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
Page 24

J: It is good that they get money to support themselves and build new homes and all of that.

Some of them do. Some of them, don't. Some of them just they stand out in the front,

from day to day until the dividend time; they come and borrow the money borrow it all

of the time and go drinking time. And then, by the dividend time, some of them don't

have it. So, they borrow it for next month. And that is the way they go. And that is what

I don't like. Because it is really hurting them. It hurts the young people. They could be

I don't know in some ways, good and some ways, it is not. I'm not saying they are

all doing it because a lot of them have pretty homes and pretty cars and living the way

they should. But some of them drink; banging on your door at two or three o'clock in the

morning, wanting to borrow twenty dollars. Things like that. It is hard.

H: Do you think that the church can help?

J: Yeah, it helps a lot, if they come in and we have a lot of young people coming in to my

church now, that we built a new church. They do come. They are going to have a rally

some time in the middle of July to try to interest more young people to come in. They

are going to have singers; real singers come in and sing for them so they would listen to


H: What kind of roles do the women play in the church the Christian church?

J: Well, they help out.

H: Are they ever the ministers or the preachers?

J: No. We don't believe in that. We don't believe in a woman preacher.

H: OK. What about in the old days in the traditional religion were women leaders in

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Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
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J: No.

H: OK. So, it is really it is your tradition that has been carried on into the Christian

religion, also.

J: Yeah. The men always let today, a lot of women are working, now.

H: There is still some tribal members who are not Christians.

J: Yeah, there are a lot of them.

H: Do you see that as a source of friction between tribal members those who are Christians

and those who are not? Does that create a problem?

J: Sometimes.

H: What kind of problems does it create?

J: Well, I heard a lady and a daughter fussing because the Mother is a Christian and she

goes to church and her daughter go to the Green Corn Dance. She was telling her

daughter her daughter has two girls and she was telling her that she was going to ruin

those two girls, if you don't keep them in school and keep them in the church because

they are going to go you know like a lot of teenagers do. Drinking and going on.

They are going to follow that if you don't take them back to church instead of going to

Green Corn Dance. I heard her tell them that the other day. I just over heard it. So,

there is ....

H: What denomination is that church?

J: Baptist. Independent Baptist.

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Interviewee: Betty Mae Jumper
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H: I would just like to ask you a couple of questions about the preservation of the Seminoles

culture. The two museums that are here, the Okalee and the Ahtahthiki Museums, .

J: The what?

H: The Ahtahthiki Museum and the Okalee Museum do you ever visit those?

J: You mean Big Cypress Museum? I went there. Yeah. I visited them.

H: What do you think of that museum?

J: Well, they are going to preserve what the Seminole had, so far, I think it has a beautiful

museum. But it is up to the one who is going to put it in. I never bothered it, so

H: Do you think it is a good way of helping to keep the culture?

J: Yep. I believe that. Yeah.

H: Did you ever make dolls?

J: Oh, yeah. My Mother taught me how to make dolls, baskets, bead work and everything.

Sewing and all that.

H: Did you ever do it and sell it?

J: Oh, yeah. That was before the tribe became organized. That is what I did: sell crafts.

Made things and sell it. That is the way we made a living. Her Mother and I used to go a

lot; she goes to the sight-seeing boats and we sell things. When she was little; they lived

here, you know, and we used to meet the sight-seeing boats and sell our crafts. We

would sell dolls and her Mother did. And we both I drove a car and so she didn't drive

and so she would ride with me and we go down there and meet the sight-seeing boat and

yep, that is the only way we went; living to eat.

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H: Well, the crafts are certainly beautiful. And take a lot of time, I can see. Do you still do

any of that? I mean, just for your own pleasure.

J: I haven't done it in over five years.

H: But, you think it is an important thing for the younger generation to learn?

J: Oh, yeah. I believe in them learning because it is something culture, you know, that the

Indians had. My Mom and my grandmother, both made dolls and stuff like that. ...and

baskets, made out of sweet grass.

H: And that is what they they still use sweet grass, today?

J: Oh, yeah. Here is one; a small one.

H: Beautiful. And the bottom part is made...

J: Palmetto fibre.

H: Palmetto fibre. They are really beautiful. What is the color trim?

J: That is regular thread.

H: OK Well, I think that is all I wanted to ask you about. We have a lot of your articles

from the newspaper because we subscribe to the Tribune, also. Is there anything else you

would like to add that you would want on this record that I haven't asked you about?

J: I would just like to see the young people, the young generation, keep their culture.

...among the Indians. Because when you lost it; it is lost.

H: And that is becoming harder and harder.

J: ...harder and harder. And if you have an older person around that knows listen to it.

And see what they say. We don't have too many older people, nowadays. They are all

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gone. The ones that use to tell things.

H: Well, thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it.

J: Where are you all going, now?