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Seminole Patchwork

Photo courtesy of the Seminole Tribe of Florida
Above, two Seminole ladies wearing traditional
Seminole clothing
by Victoria Westermark-Many Bad Horses


the early 19th century Seminoles wore clothing made from hides or skins similar to that of other Southeast tribes. Furs and hides provided warmth against the cool climate of the area around Georgia where many Seminoles still lived. President Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policies of the 1830's and the ensuing Seminole Wars, sent the remaining Seminoles fleeing ever southward into Florida. In the 1840's approximately 300-500 of the surviving Florida Seminoles sought refuge by disappearing into the Everglades. For several decades the Seminoles lived quietly, free from the influences of other tribes or much interference from the outside world.

With the Wars stopped, families finally emerged from the Everglades, and turned to trade as their main economy. There were no roads, no motorized vehicles. The swamp provided alligator hides, egret plumes, and a rich supply of trade items from its mysterious world. The Seminoles loaded up their families into dugout canoes and poled into the Miami River, eventually reaching town (Miami) some sixty miles away. Here, at outposts, families
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