What Happened to Them? In approximately 1528, Pánfilo de Narváez, a Spanish explorer, arrived in the Tampa Bay area. He and his men found the Tocobaga and brought disease and violence to the tribe’s peaceful existence. As a result, the Tocobaga Indians became extinct within the next 100 years.
Tocobaga (occasionally Tocopaca) was the name of a chiefdom, its chief, and its principal town during the 16th century. The name ” Tocobaga ” is often applied to all of the native peoples of the immediate Tampa Bay area during the first Spanish colonial period (1513-1763).
The ” Tocobaga ” tribe was comprised of several small chiefdoms such as Ucita, Pohoy, and Mococo, that ranged from today’s Pinellas County to Sarasota County. They maintained a fishing and hunting culture for approximately 600-800 years before being encountered by the Spanish explorers in the early 1500s.
Like most Native Americans, the Timucua had no written language. They farmed the rich lands of North Florida. The Tocobaga Indians were a group of prehistoric and historic Native Americans living near Tampa Bay, Florida up until roughly 1760.
The Europeans brought diseases with them that the Timucua easily caught and died from, since their bodies did not have natural resistance to the diseases. The Spanish taught the Indians how to live like Spanish did.
Enemy Indian tribes from Georgia and South Carolina began raiding the Calusa territory. Many Calusa were captured and sold as slaves. In addition, diseases such as smallpox and measles were brought into the area from the Spanish and French explorers and these diseases wiped out entire villages.
There is some dispute as to the origin and meaning of the name ” Tampa “. It is believed to mean “sticks of fire” in the language of the Calusa, an Indian tribe that once lived south of the area. He calls it “Tanpa” and describes it as an important Calusa town.
The Tocobaga Native Americans usually wore very simple clothing made of deerskin. Clothing did not play a big role in their culture. Instead, they preferred to decorate their bodies with tattoos and elaborate hand-crafted jewelry.
Sadly, by 1711, only about 2000 Calusa were left in Florida. Diseases introduced to the natives by those from across the sea, and warfare with English backed tribes had caused the numbers to dwindle. The Spanish evacuated 270 Indians to Cuba, where almost 200 soon perished.
Calusa, North American Indian tribe that inhabited the southwest coast of Florida from Tampa Bay to Cape Sable and Cape Florida, together with all the outlying keys. According to some authorities their territory also extended inland as far as Lake Okeechobee. Their linguistic affiliation is not certain.
Apalachee, Tequesta, and Timucua homes were usually round with curved roofs. A hole at the top of their homes let smoke from a fire escape. The Timucua also had homes that were rectangular. These homes were called long houses because of their shape.
The Calusas didn’t wear much clothing. Just like today, the weather in southwestern Florida was always warm. Calusa men wore only a breechcloth, and Calusa women wore short skirts made of palm leaves. Shirts were not necessary in Calusa culture, and people usually went barefoot.
The Calusa tribe in Florida planted rows of trees near its villages to protect against hurricanes. Explanation: The Calusas were also distinct among other Native Americans because they were headed by a hereditary king.
Native Americans suffered 80-90% population losses in most of America with influenza, typhoid, measles and smallpox taking the greatest toll in devastating epidemics that were compounded by the significant loss of leadership.
The Tocobaga played checkers. They even made checkers.