Seminole men wore Native breechclouts. Seminole women wore wraparound skirts, usually woven from palmetto. Shirts were not necessary in Seminole culture, but men and women both wore poncho -style mantles in cool weather. Like most Native Americans, the Seminoles wore moccasins on their feet.
Once a month, every man, woman and child in the tribe gets a check for $1,000 – up from $300 a year ago. The money is generated from the tribe’s gaming tables, with revenue divided equally among members after expenses.
These American Indian people are well known for their beautiful woodcarvings, beadwork, and baskets. The Seminoles obtained food by farming, hunting, and fishing. Their crops included corn, squash, and beans. They hunted deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, and other game.
Today, they live in Oklahoma and Florida, and comprise three federally recognized tribes: the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, as well as independent groups. Historically the Seminole spoke Mikasuki and Creek, both Muskogean languages.
The Seminoles of Florida call themselves the “Unconquered People,” descendants of just 300 Indians who managed to elude capture by the U.S. army in the 19th century. Today, more than 2,000 live on six reservations in the state – located in Hollywood, Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee, Ft. Pierce, and Tampa.
The food that the Seminole tribe ate included included wild turkeys, rabbits, deer (venison), fish, turtles, and alligators. Their staple foods were corn, squash and beans supplemented with wild rice, mushrooms, pumpkins and plants.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
Allen, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income in the country. Extreme poverty rates on the ten largest reservations.
|Reservation||Location||Extreme Poverty Rate|
|Standing Rock Indian Reservation||South Dakota and North Dakota||16.6|
A Cherokee born today would stand to receive at least $168,000 when he or she turns 18. The tribe pays for financial training classes for both high school students and adults. It is not a requirement that tribal members drawing checks live on the reservation, though approximately 10,000 do.
Most tribes require a specific percentage of Native “blood,” called blood quantum, in addition to being able to document which tribal member you descend from. Some tribes require as much as 25% Native heritage, and most require at least 1/16th Native heritage, which is one great-great grandparent.
Almost all of the tribe’s $525 million in annual dividends flows from the Seminoles ‘ seven Florida casinos, which are worth an estimated $10.4 billion.
Unlike their dealings with other Indian tribes, however, the U.S. government could not force a surrender from the Florida Seminoles. The U.S. declared the war ended – though no peace treaty was ever signed – and gave up.
|Trail of Tears|
|Attack type||Forced displacement|
|Deaths||Cherokee (4,000) Creek Seminole (3,000 in Second Seminole War – 1835–1842) Chickasaw (3,500) Choctaw (2,500–6,000) Ponca (200)|
|Victims||Five Civilized Tribes of Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations|
The ‘Indian Problem’ In the southeastern United States, many Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee people embraced these customs and became known as the “Five Civilized Tribes.”
Why did the Seminoles welcome runaway slaves? An example of guerrilla warfare because the Seminoles made a quick surprise attack. At the end, the U.S. allowed the remaining Seminoles in Florida to stay in their land.