Collection: Early History of the Creek Indians

Family Organization of Timucuan People

The Social Organization of Timucua Indians

Not much can be gathered from our French informants regarding the social organization of those people, but there is enough to show that they had a class of chiefs to whom great respect was paid, indicating resemblances to the oligarchic system of the Creeks. Ribault says: It is their manner to talk and bargain sitting; and the chief or king to be separated from the common people; with a show of great obedience to their kings, elders, and superiors. 1French, Hist. Colls. La., 1875, p. 171. This impression is confirmed by Pareja, the Franciscan missionary, and in addition ho gives

Government of the Timucua Indians

The aristocratic nature of Timucua government is apparent from the statements of the French already referred to as well as from the information regarding their social organization recorded by Pareja. From Pareja’s Catechism it appears that chiefs were allowed to exact tribute and labor from their subjects, and that by way of punishment they sometimes had the arms of their laborers broken. 1Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., XVIII, pp. 489, 490. From the same source We learn that just before assuming the chieftainship a man had a new fire lighted and maintained for six days in a small house or arbor

Burial Customs of Timucua Indians

The following regarding burial customs is from Laudonnière: When a king dieth, they bury him very solemnly, and, upon his grave they set the cup wherein he was wont to drink; and round about the said grave, they stick many arrows, and weep and fast three days together, without ceasing. All the kings which were his friends make the like mourning; and, in token of the love which they bear him, they cut off more than the one-half of their hair, as well men as women. During the space of six moons (so they reckon their months), there are certain

Ceremonies and Feasts of Timucua Indians

The skill displayed by these Indians in debate is testified to by Spark. 1Hakluyt, Voyages, III, p. 613. Laudonnière and Le Moyne describe at considerable length their method of holding councils. Laudonnière says: They take no enterprise in hand, but first they assemble often times their council together, and they take very good advisement before they grow to a resolution. They meet together every morning in a great common house, whither their king repaireth, and setteth him down upon a seat, which is higher than the seats of the others; where all of them, one after another, come and salute

War Tactics of Florida Indians

The native institution with which the authorities which we depend upon had most to deal was, not unnaturally, war, and 10 of Le Moyne’s 42 sketches deal with it in one way or another. Some of these do not bring in native customs and need not be referred to, but the remainder give us our best information on the subject. Timucua weapons consisted of bows and arrows, darts, and clubs, the last of a type different from the Creek átåsa, if we may trust the illustrations. “A chief who declares war against his enemy,” says Le Moyne, “does not send

Timucua Religion

According to our French informants the sun and moon were the principal objects of adoration among these Indians, particularly the former. 1French, Hist. Colls. La., 1869, p. 171; Laudonnière, La Floride, p. 8. This probably means that their beliefs were substantially like those of the Creeks and Chickasaw. A side light on their cult is furnished in the following account of a ceremony by Le Moyne: The subjects of the Chief Outina were accustomed every year, a little before their spring – that is, in the end of February – to take the skin of the largest stag they could

Calusa Indians in Florida

An early Spanish writer. Gov. Mendez de Canço, writing in 1598 or 1599, says that the Indians of southern Florida did not live in settled villages because they had no corn, but wandered about in search of fish and roots. Fontaneda, whose information dates from a very early period, has the following to say about the Indians of Calos (Calusa): These Indians possess neither gold nor silver, and still less clothing, for they go almost naked, wearing only a sort of apron. The dress of the men consists of braided palm loaves, and that of the women of moss, which

Ais Public House

Ais Tribe of Florida

The ethnological information which this work contains applies almost entirely to the Indians of Hobe, Santa Lucia, and Ais – those called by Fontaneda Jeaga, Guacata, and Ais

Timicua Indians Food

The Florida Indians lived partly upon the natural products of the earth, but depended principally upon the chase, fishing, and agriculture, Laudonnière says: They make the string of their bow of the gut of the stag, or of a stag’s skin, which they know how to dress as well as any man in France, and with as different sorts of colors. They head their arrows with the teeth of fishes, which they work very finely and handsomely. 1Laudonnière, op. cit., p. 7; French, Hist. Colls. La., 1860, pp. 170-171. Ribault states that the shafts of their arrows were of reed.

Timucua Indians Homes

There are not many special descriptions of Timucua houses. Ribault says, in speaking of the dwellings of those Indians whom he met at the mouth of the river which he called the Seine and which was probably what is now known as the St. Marys: Their houses are made of wood, fitly and closely set up, and covered with reeds, the most part after the fashion of a pavilion. But there was one house among the rest very long and wide, with seats around about made of reeds nicely put together, which serve both for beds and seats, two feet