Tocobaga Indians

Tocobaga Tribe. Meaning unknown, though toco means in Timucua “to come out,” “to proceed from.”

Tocobaga Connections. (See Utina)

Tocobaga Location. About Old Tampa Bay.

Tocobaga Villages. The main town was at or near Safety Harbor at the head of Old Tampa Bay.

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Tocobaga History. Narvaez probably landed in the territory of this tribe in 1528, but his chroniclers speak of meeting very few Indians. Eleven years later De Soto’s expedition disembarked just south in Tampa Bay but came into little contact with this tribe. Two years after driving the French from St. Johns River in 1565, Menendez visited Tocobaga, and left a captain and 30 soldiers among them, all of whom were wiped out the year following. In 1612 a Spanish expedition was sent to punish the chiefs of Pohoy and Tocobaga because they had attacked Christian Indians, but spent little time in the latter province. There is no assured reference to a mission nearer than Acuera, nor do the Tocobaga appear among the tribes which participated in the great Timucua revolt of 1656. Ultimately it is probable that they joined the other Timucua and disappeared with them, though they may have united with the Calusa. It is also possible that they are the “Tompacuas” who appear later in the Apalachee country, and if so they may have been the Indians placed in 1726 in a mission near St. Augustine called San Buenaventura under the name “Macapiras” or “Amacapiras.” (See Utina)

Tocobaga Population. Unknown. (See Utina)

Connection in which they have become noted. The principal claim to notoriety on the part of the Tocobaga is the fact that Narvaez landed in their country in 1528.


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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