Topic: Timucua

Plans for the Colonization and Defense of Apalache, 1675

Florida June 15, 1675 Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now To His Majesty D. Pablo de Yta Salazar 1The governor of Florida. hereby renders account of the investigation made in regard to the most suitable places in these Provinces for settlement by Spanish families. All are agreed that the town of Apalache 2Tallahassee is the center of what was the Spanish province of Apalache. The early Georgians called the region Apalache Old Fields from the deserted fields which were overgrown with pines. and the surrounding territory is best because of the great fertility of the soil. If the settlers be farmers the crops will be abundant on account of the richness of the land, as may be seen by the wheat which the friars 3In 1655 there were nine Franciscan missions in Apalache; in 1680 the number was fourteen. sow for their sustenance. Pablo de Yta Salazar gives in detail the immense advantages of sending these families not only to Apalache but to the other provinces....

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Timucuan Burial Customs

Long before the Seminole reached central Florida the peninsula had been the home of other native tribes who have. left many mounds and other works to indicate the positions of their villages. The northern half of the peninsula, from the Ocilla River on the north to the vicinity of Tampa Bay on the south, and thence across to about Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic coast, was, when first visited by the Spaniards, the home of tribes belonging to the Timucuan family, of whom very little is known. They were encountered near the site of the present city of St. Augustine by Ponce de Leon in 1513, on the west coast by Narvaez in 1525, and in the same region by De Soto 11 years later. The southern half of the peninsula, especially along the Gulf coast, was also occupied by many villages, but even less is known of the inhabitants, nor is it definitely known to what linguistic family they belonged, although they may have been Muskhogean. Much of interest regarding the burial customs of the ancient people who occupied this region at the time of the coming of Europeans has been learned as a result of the careful examination of many mounds, both on the east and west coast. Moore has examined many mounds on the west coast between Tampa Bay and the mouth of the Ocilla, and...

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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...

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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 which was closed up with laurels and “other things.” 2Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., XVIII, p. 490. The chiefs wore at times long painted skins, the ends of which were held up from the ground by attendants. Le Moyne figures this 3Le Moyne, Narrative, pl. 39. and the custom is directly confirmed by Laudonnière, whose testimony there is no reason to doubt; otherwise we might regard it as something drawn from the customs of European courts and falsely attributed to the Floridians. These skins were often presented to the French as marks of esteem. 4Laudonnière, La Floride, pp. 72-73; French, Hist. Colls. La., 1869, p. 228. In giving out drinking water the bearer observed “a certain order and reverence” to each. 5Laudonnière, La Floride, p. 74; French, Hist. Colls. La.,...

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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 women appointed which bewail the death of this king, crying, with a loud voice, thrice a day – to wit, in the morning, at noon, and at evening. All the goods of this king are put into his house, and, afterwards, they set it on fire, so that nothing is ever more after to be seen. The like is done with the goods of the priests; and, besides, they bury the bodies of their priests in their houses, and then set them on fire. 1Laudonnière, La Floride, pp. 10-11; French, Hist. Colls. La., 1869, pp. 173-174. The mourning rites for persons of the lower orders are not given, but from Pareja it appears that the custom of cutting off the hair was universal. 2Pareja, Confessionario en Lengua Castellana y...

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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 him; and the most ancient begin their salutations, lifting up both their hands twice as high as their face, saying, Ha, he, ha! and the rest answer. Ah, ah! As soon as they have done their salutation, every man sitteth him down upon the seats which are round about in the house. If there be anything to entreat of, the king calleth the lawas, that is to say, their priests and the most ancient men, and asketh them their advice. Afterward, he commandeth cassine to be brewed, which is a drink made of the leaves of a certain tree. They drink this cassine 2Le Challeux spells the word cassinet. – Gaffarel, Hist. Floride française, p. 462. very hot; he drinketh first, then he causeth to be given thereof to...

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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 a herald to do it, but orders some arrows, having locks of hairs fastened at the notches, to be stuck up along the public ways.” 1Le Moyne, Narrative, p. 13 (ill.). He gives the following account of the manner in which Saturiwa set out to war against his enemy, Utina: He assembled his men, decorated, after the Indian manner, with feathers and other things, in a level place, the soldiers of Laudonnière being present, and the force sat down in a circle, the chief being in the middle. A fire was then lighted on his left and two great vessels full of water were set on his right. Then, the chief, after rolling his eyes as if excited by anger, uttering some sounds deep down in his throat, and...

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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 get, keeping the horns on it; to stuff it full of all the choicest sorts of roots that grow among them, and to hang long wreaths or garlands of the best fruits on the horns, neck, and other parta of the body. Thus decorated, they carried it, with music and songs, to a very large and splendid level space, where they set it up on a very high tree, with the head and breast toward the sunrise. They then offered prayers to the sun, that he would cause to grow on their lands good things such as those offered him. The chief, with his sorcerer, stands nearest the tree and offers the prayer; the common people, placed at a distance, make responses. Then the chief and all the rest,...

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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. 2French, Hist. Colls. La., 1875, p. 174. Spark is considerably more detailed: In their warres they vse bowes and arrowes, whereof their bowes are made of a kind of Yew, but blacker than ours, and for the most part passing the strength of the Negros or Indians, for it is not greatly inferior to ours: their arrowes are also of a great length, but yet of reeds like other Indians, but varying in two points, both in length and also for nocks and feathers, which the other lacke, whereby they shoot very stedy: the heads of the same are vipers teeth, bones of fishes, flint stones, piked points of knives, which they hauing gotten of the French men, broke the same, & put the points of them in their...

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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 high from the ground, set upon round pillars painted red, yellow, and blue, and neatly polished. 1French, Hist. Colls. La., 1869, p. 180. Le Challeux describes them thus: Their dwellings are of a round shape and in style almost like the pigeon houses of this country, the foundation and main structure being of great trees, covered over with palmetto leaves, and not fearing either wind or tempest. 2Gaffarel, Hist. Floride française, p. 461. Says Le Moyne: The chief’s dwelling stands in the middle of the town, and is partly underground in consequence of the sun’s heat. Around this are the houses of the principal men, all lightly roofed with palm branches, as they are occupied only nine months in the year; the other three, as has been related, being...

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Timucua Indians Clothing

Ribault describes the Timucua as “of good stature, well shaped of body as any people in the world; very gentle, courteous, and good-natured, of tawny color, hawked nose, and of pleasant countenance.” 1French, Hist. Colls. La., 1875, p. 170. They were good swimmers and could climb trees with agility. The only invariable article of apparel worn by males was the breechclout, which we are informed consisted of a painted deerskin. Le Moyne represents this as if it were in one piece, passed about the privates, and carried round and tied at the back. If his representation might be relied upon the Florida Indians would be set off in this particular from all Indian tribes known to us, but there is every reason to believe he is wrong. As worn elsewhere, the breechclout consisted of a belt about the waist and a skin or piece of cloth passed between the legs and between the belt and the body, the ends being allowed to fall down in front and behind. That the natives did have belts is proved by Ribault’s narrative, for he says that when he was at the mouth of the St. Johns River a chief sent him a girdle of red leather in token of friendship. 2French, Hist. Colls. La., 1875, p. 170. The warm climate of Florida rendered additional garments less necessary than with other southern tribes,...

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Utina Indians

Utina Indians or Timucua Indians. The first name, which probably refers to the chief and means “powerful,” is perhaps originally from uti, “earth,” while the second name, Timucua, is that from which the linguistic stock, or rather this Muskhogean subdivision of it, has received its name. Utina Connections. As given above. Utina Location. The territory of the Utina seems to have extended from the Suwannee to the St. Johns and even eastward of the latter, though some of the subdivisions given should be rated as independent tribes. (See Timucua under Georgia.) Utina Towns Laudonniere (1586) states that there were more than 40 under the Utina chief, but among them he includes “Acquera” (Acuera) and Moquoso far to the south and entirely independent, so that we are uncertain regarding the status of the others he gives, which are as follows: Cadecha, Calanay, Chilili, Eclauou, Molona. Omittaqua, and Onachaquara. As the Utina, with the possible exception of the Potano, was the leading Timucua division and gave its name to the whole, and as the particular tribe to which each town mentioned in the documents belonged cannot be given, it will be well to enter all here, although those that can be placed more accurately will be inserted in their proper places. In De Soto’s time Aguacaleyquen or Caliquen seems to have been the principal town. In the mission period we are...

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Timucua Tribe

Timucua Tribe, Timucua Indians. The principal of the Timucuan tribes of Florida. The name is written Timucua or Timuqua by the Spaniards; Thimagoa by the French; Atimaco, Tomoco, etc., by the English. They seem to be identical with the people called Nukfalalgi or Nukfila by the Creeks, described by the latter as having once occupied the upper portion of the peninsula and as having been conquered, together with the Apalachee, Yamasee, and Calusa, by the Creeks. When first known to the French and Spanish, about 1565, the Timucua occupied the territory along middle St John River and about the present St Augustine. Their chief was known to the French as Olata Ouae Utina, abbreviated to Utina or Outina, which, however, is a title rather than a personal name, data (hoiceta) signifying ‘chief,’ and utina ‘country.’ His residence town on St John River is believed to have been not far below Lake George. He ruled a number of subchiefs or towns, among which are mentioned (Laudonnière) Acuera, Anacharaqua, Cadecha, Calany, Chilili, Eclaou, Enacappe, Mocoso, and Omitiaqua. Of these Acuera is evidently the coast town south of Cape Canaveral, where the Spaniards afterward established the mission of Santa Lucia de Acuera. The names Acuera, Mocoso, and Utina(ma) are duplicated in the west part of the peninsula in the De Soto narratives. The Timucua were Christianized by Spanish Franciscans toward the close...

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Timucua Indian Tribe

In the sixteenth century the Timucua inhabited the northern and middle portion of the peninsula of Florida, and although their exact limits to the north are unknown, they held a portion of Florida bordering on Georgia, and some of the coast islands in the Atlantic Ocean, as Guale (then the name of Amelia) and others. The more populous settlements of these Indians lay on the eastern coast of Florida, along the St. John’s river and its tributaries, and in the northeastern angle of the Gulf of Mexico. Their southernmost villages known to us were Hirrihigua, near Tampa Bay, and Tucururu, near Cape Canaveral, on the Atlantic Coast. The people received its name from one of their villages called Timagoa, Thimagoua 1Timoga on De Bry’s map , situated on one of the western tributaries of St. John’s River, and having some political importance. The name means lord, ruler, master [atimuca “waited upon (muca) by servants (ati)];” and the people’s name is written Atimuca early in the eighteenth century. We first become acquainted with their numerous tribes through the memoir of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca, the three chroniclers of de Soto’s expedition, and more fully through Réné de Laudonniere (1564). Two missionaries of the Franciscan order, Francisco Pareja (1612 sqq.) and Gregorio de Mouilla (1635), have composed devotional books in their vocalic language. De Bry’s Brevis Narratio, Frankfort a. M.,...

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