The Seminoles are a very well established Native American tribe. They’re located in Florida and Oklahoma. Some people believe that the name Seminole might come from the word Simanoli which is what the Creeks used to call themselves. They have great connections with the land, interesting food, architecture, religion, government and leaders.
The Seminole tribe are descendants of the Creek tribe. The Creeks spoke two languages, Muskogee and Miccosukee. Miccosukee is a related tongue of Muskogee. Two groups in the tribe speak those languages. That must get confusing.
The Seminoles are close with the land. They used to, and sometimes still do, fish and hunt in the Everglades and in marshy areas. To grow food, they farm small gardens on hammocks, which are little islands in the swamp. Since the 1920’s they’ve been wrestling alligators for visiting tourists. They’ve seemed to make do with the swampy conditions extremely well.
Everyone’s got to eat, and for the Seminoles the women did the cooking for everyone. In the center of camp was a cooking and dining house with a fire pit. On the hammocks they grew pumpkins, melons, and beans. Corn was a staple food. It was most important for soups and breads. Sofiki is a popular soup eaten with one spoon, and everyone eats from one large bowl. They also eat a lot of meat, such as alligator, deer, turkey, duck, rabbit, opossum, squirrel, and sometimes bear. They used blowguns to shoot small animals. Plants, nuts, and berries were also important. To make a certain flour, they used the stems of the arrowroot plant. They were well fed.
The Seminoles had to come up with a way to build a house in a swamp. One practical house was called a chichee, a ho...
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...John Jumper. He was born in Florida in 1820. In 1843 he was brought to Indian Territory as a prisoner. After being on the Seminole Tribal Council, he became chief. At one point the tribe divided and half sided with him. He was a Lt. Colonel during the Civil War. He had quite an impact on them.
The Seminole tribe is still very prominent today. Many of them still live in the Everglades in Florida. Alligators are still being wrestled for crowds. The swamps helped them create a livelihood. They figured out ways to work around the sometimes high waters to protect themselves and their belongings. Their beliefs give them answers to things they can’t explain. The Seminole Tribe is a great example of self-sufficiency.
Bial, Raymond. Lifeways the Seminole. Benchmark Books, 2000.
“Seminole Nation Leaders.” Seminole Nation, I.T. 2001-2007. .
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