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The Seminole Indians

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Selah Werner

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of The Seminole Indians

Seminole Indians One of the most enduring customs is the wearing of bead necklaces by Seminole Indian women. The Seminole Indians are located in Florida One more recent custom is patchwork and dolls. This was developed in the early 1900s. The patchwork pieces are mostly decorative, but some have symbols, animals, or other figures that are important to the Seminoles on it. One other custom is stomp dancing. An example of this is the Green Corn Dance. One of the most enduring customs is storytelling and legends. The Bear Clan Men Visit the Sky Near the beginning of time, five Seminole Indian men wanted to visit the sky to see the Great Spirit.

They travelled to the East, walking for about a month. Finally, they arrived at land's end. They tossed their baggage over the end and they, too, disappeared beyond earth's edge.

Down, down, down the Indians dropped for a while, before starting upward again toward the sky. For a long time they traveled westward. At last, they came to a lodge where lived an old, old woman.

"Tell me, for whom are you looking?" she asked feebly.

"We are on our way to see the Great Spirit Above," they replied.

"It is not possible to see him now," she said. "You must stay here for a while first." That night the five Seminole Indian men strolled a little distance from the old woman's lodge, where they encountered a group of angels robed in white and wearing wings. They were playing a ball game the men recognized as one played by the Seminoles.

Two of the men decided they would like to remain and become angels. The other three preferred to return to earth. Then to their surprise, the Great Spirit appeared and said, "So be it!"


A large cooking pot was placed on the fire. When the water was boiling, the two Seminoles who wished to stay were cooked! When only their bones were left, the Great Spirit removed them from the pot, and put their bones back together again. He then draped them with a white cloth and touched them with his magic wand. The Great Spirit brought the two Seminole men back to life! They wore beautiful white wings and were called men-angels. "What do you three men wish to do?" asked the Great Spirit.

"If we may, we prefer to return to our Seminole camp on earth," replied the three Seminoles.

"Gather your baggage together and go to sleep at once," directed the Great Spirit.

Later, when the three Seminole men opened their eyes, they found themselves safe at home again in their own Indian camp.

"We are happy to return and stay earthbound. We hope never to venture skyward again in search of other mysteries," they reported to the Chief of the Seminoles. Many, many moons ago there was only one Indian tribe that knew the secret of fire.
The other Indian tribes tried ceaselessly to learn the secret. Each year when the
Green Corn Dance was held, the Indians danced around a circle of fire. Indians from
other tribes were always there, but could never get close enough to the fire to
secure the secret, it was guarded so well. Stolen Fire One time the biggest, finest, handsomest rabbit the Indians had ever seen came
to the Green Corn Dance, and begged to the allowed to dance around the fire with
them. He could sing sweeter, dance better, and whoop louder than any person or
animal they had ever seen. But the older Indians were suspicious of the rabbit; they
thought he might be a disguised Indian from a rival tribe, trying a steal the secret of
fire. The younger Indians were more susceptible to his charm and the rabbit was
allowed to take part in the dance. He danced closer and closer to the blaze, extending
first one paw and then the other toward the fire. Suddenly he reached forward, grabbed
a burning stick and, before the startled Indians could prevent him, disappeared swiftly
into the forest. After holding a council, the wise men of the tribe decided to bring rain
in order to extinguish the fire stolen by the rabbit. The medicine men went to the spring,
and, for four mornings, made magic by charming the snake who kept guard there.
Torrents of rain came down, soaking the rabbit who was fleeing through the forest. The
fire went out.
However, the rabbit did not despair, but attended the Green Corn Dance the following
year. This time it was harder to persuade the reluctant Indians to let him dance with
them, but finally they consented. Again he seized a burning brand and escaped to
the forest. The medicine men made magic the second time, causing heavy rains and
the fire was again extinguished. For three consecutive years the rabbit succeeded in
getting the fire, but each time the medicine men caused the fire to be put out by rain. The fourth year the rabbit was wiser. After much persuasion, the Indians again allowed
him to attend the Green Corn Dance. He obtained the fire and escaped. Again the
Indians made the rains but, this time, the rabbit hid under a coral reef and protected
the fire under the shelter of the rock. When the rain ceased, he hurried to his tribe with
the fire, and now all the Indians know the secret of fire. Seminole Indians have houses called chickees. These are made out of wood and plaster, and the roofs were thatched with palmetto fiber. The Seminole Indians were good hunters. They fished with spears. They hunted otter, raccoon, bobcats, alligator, turtle, and birds. To hunt deer, they burnt a patch of grass. Then, when new grass grew, and a deer came, that's when they caught it. Hunting Food Crops The land provided wild mangos, pineapple, oranges, guava, and mulberry trees. The Seminoles planted pumpkins, papaws, and corn. Corn was the main crop. To sweeten things, the Seminole Indians used sugar cane. This is a design of the bear clan. Bear: Nokusvlke Seminole Indian Clothing Seminole indian men wore breechcloths and Seminole women wore wraparound skirts, usually woven from palmetto. Shirts were not necessary, but both men and women wore poncho-style mantles in cool weather. Seminole warriors fought with bow and arrows or with tomahawks. Seminole hunters used bow and arrows. Fishers used spears. Seminole Indian Weapons and Tools The Seminole Indians played stickball, like numerous other tribes. The Seminoles believed that everyone has their dreams. They also believe that it is good to get advice from the old ones when you have a dream, no matter if you take and use it or not.

Another thing the Seminoles believe is that everyone has an animal helper to help them through things and to pray to. It may take many dreams and many years to find it.

Religious groups of the Seminole Indians generally follow Christianity. Beliefs of the Seminole Indians The Snake Clan The Otter Clan This is what means deer in the Seminole language: Ecovlke The Deer Clan The Bird Clan The Bird clan is represented by an eagle The Snake clan is represented by a rattlesnake In the Creek language, "panther" is said
"Chukotalgi" or "Katsalgi" The Panther Clan The Wind Clan This is a design of the Wind clan. Wind Clan: Hotvlkvlke The Toad Clan This clan is also referred to "the Bigtown clan" In the Creek language, "otter" is said "Osanalgi" The Seminole Indians speak two languages. One group speaks the Creek (Muscogee) language and the Miccosukee language. They are not related but both do have sounds that don't appear in English and are written with sentence structures. The Seminole Language And that's the Seminole Indians
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