Tacatacuru Indians

Tacatacuru Tribe. The meaning is unknown, though it seems to have something to do with “fire” (taca).

Tacatacuru Connections. (See Utina)

Tacatacuru Location. On Cumberland Island to which the name Tacatacuru was applied.

Tacatacuru Villages. It is probable that the same name was used for its chief town, which was missionized by the Spaniards under the name of San Pedro Mocama. Under this mission were those of Santo Domingo and Santa Maria de Sena.

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Tacatacuru History. The chief of Tacatacuru (now Cumberland Island), or of the neighboring mainland, met Jean Ribault in 1562 and seems to have remained on good terms with the French during their occupancy of Fort Caroline in 1564-65. He, or a successor, is mentioned among those who joined De Gourgues in his attack upon the Spaniards in 1567, but soon afterward they made peace with Spain and one chief, Don Juan, was of great assistance to the white men in many ways, particularly in driving back the Guale Indians after their rising in 1597. This chief died in 1600, and was succeeded by his niece. The church built by these Indians was said to be as big as that in St. Augustine. The good relations which subsisted between the Tacatacuru Indians and the Spaniards do not appear to have been broken by the Timucua rebellion of 1656. By 1675 the tribe had abandoned Cumberland Island and it was occupied by Yamasee. The mission of San Pedro Mocama consequently does not appear in tho mission list of 1680, although it is in that of 1655. The tribe was subsequently amalgamated with the other Timucua peoples and shared their fortunes. (See Utina)

Tacatacuru Population. There is no estimate of the number of Tacatacuru distinct from that of the other Timucua. The missionary stationed among them in 1602 notes that there were then 8 settlements and 792 Christianized Indians in his province, but this province may not have been confined to the tribe. In that year Santo Domingo served 180 Christians and Santa Maria de Sena 112.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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