Who were the Seminole Indians?

The Seminole was a Native American tribe which was a mixture of people from many other tribes. The Seminole lived in northern Florida before the American Revolution.

Following the American Revolution, the Seminole first moved to southern Florida and then had to give up their land to the government.

Houses of the Seminole

The Seminole lived in two main types of houses. When they lived in northern Florida, they constructed proper log cabins from wood. These were permanent and well-built houses suited for living during the cold weather.

When the Seminole moved to southern Florida, they started building different kind of houses. These houses had a frame of wooden posts on top of which was a thatched roof.

On the sides, this house was open which allowed the air to pass through the house. The Seminole called this type of house a chickee. The great thing about chickees was that it was perfectly suited for the hotter climate of southern Florida.

Clothes of the Seminole

The men of the Seminole tribe wore long shirts which were kept in place with belts. They also wore a turban on their heads. In winters, men wore warmer clothes as well as moccasins on their feet.

The women of the Seminole tribe wore short blouses and long skirts. On their heads, they wore a unique set of glass beads. The number of glass beads on a woman’s head often indicated her age and seniority among the tribe’s women.

War with the USA

In the 19th century, the newly-born United States of America was rapidly expanding towards the west. Florida, the homeland of the Seminole, was initially under the control of the Spanish.

In 1817, the U.S. government sent an army to Florida. The army was able to take East Florida under control, forcing the Seminole to move towards southern Florida.

But then in 1835, American government wanted the Seminole land in southern Florida as well. So an American army was sent to southern Florida. This time, the Seminole fought back and the war between the two sides continued until 1842 and ended with the victory of U.S. government.

In 1855, the Third Seminole War began. This time, a group of Seminole remained undefeated and the government allowed them to continue living in Florida. They are called the Florida Seminole and they are the only tribe in America which has never signed a peace treaty with the U.S. government.

Famous Seminole People

One of the most famous Seminole people was Osceola who was the leader of the Seminole warriors during the Second Seminole War. Although the American army had a lot more soldiers, Osceola continued fighting the army.

In 1837, the army tricked Osceola to negotiations where he was captured and jailed. Billy Bowlegs was another famous Seminole leader who led his people during the Third Seminole War.

Although he was captured and exiled from Florida, other Seminole who were left behind continued to fight and eventually forced the U.S. government to leave them in peace.