Southern Native Americans

By: Brianna, Brooke, Isabella, and Surya

Government/Political Structure (Brooke)

  • SEMINOLE: At first, the Seminole Indians had some form of a democratic government. But after the Seminole War (The battles between new settlers forcing the Seminoles out of their land and into Florida), the old government stopped working. They then started having family clans, with family leaders. Clan names examples are the Panther and Wild Cat.
  • NAVAJO: Navajo government was based around their religious beliefs. Extended family groups were based around what they believed to be their Shamans, or their religious leaders and healers. In their “government”, the Shamans and the Gods were the leaders.
  • CHOCTAW: The Choctaw used a form of a Democratic government that had occasionally been slightly changed by war and incoming settlers. They even had constitutional rights.
  • CHEROKEE: Not much is known about the Cherokee government until the 1800s when they adopted US ways. Laws were made and a Constitution was written.
  • CREEK: The Creek Indians were actually a group of several tribes coming together as the Creek Confederacy. To gain a higher social and political rank, you had to have a strong family.

Region(s) located (Map) (Brooke)

Cultures/Lifestyles (Isabella) and Unique Facts (Surya)

Seminoles Indian Tribe

  • Seminole means runaway so most of the runaway Indians came to the Seminole tribe

  • the 3 bands that were the most common among the Seminoles were the Creeks, Yuchis, and Yamasses

  • There are 2 languages that seminoles speak Creek and Miccosukee

  • The Spaniards called the Seminoles Cimarrones because they did not want to be controlled by the Europeans. (Cimarrones mean free)
  • There many tribes in Florida and when the Europeans came most of them banded together to create the Seminoles
  • Men would wear leggings or breechcloths, a shirt, neckerchief.
  • Women would wear a short skirt for the upper part and then a long skirt for the lower part of their body.
  • Both men and women would wear skirts (poncho-style)
  • They ate corn, vegetables, roots, beans, squash, cornbread, soups, fish, wild turkeys, rabbits, turtles, and alligators. They would only eat when hungry.
  • They lived in Florida where its hot and a swampy climates. They made homes called chickees made out of a wooden platform several feet higher than the ground to stay away from any swamp animals
  • Men would shave all their hair close to the head except a strips braided like dreadlocks.


Cherokee Indian Tribe

  • The language the Cherokee spoke was called Tsalagi an Iroquoian language
  • Men would wear cotton traded shirts, leggings, finger-woven belts, front-seam moccasins, and a blanket over one shoulder.
  • Women wore skirts of leather, front-seam moccasins, and mantles of leather or feathers
  • Cherokee ate beans corn, sunflowers, squash, turkeys, deer, fished, berries, fruits and nuts. Soups, stews and cornbread were some of the dishes they cooked.
  • Cherokee men and boys would shave their head and leave a small patch on top.Women and girls would leave their hair long because it was considered beautiful.
  • The Cherokee lived in houses called wattle made by weaving river cane, wood and vines into a frame coated with mud and clay or plaster. For the roof, they thatched grass.
  • For the winter, (daub) they made their houses smaller and lower than the summer houses in order to stay warm. They looked like a circular dome and were mainly sunken into the ground.


Influences on the U.S.


  • The Seminoles were a peaceful group but they weren't the "Seminoles" yet
  • When the Europeans came the Seminoles offered to help but it didn't "work out"
  • The Creek were originally from Georgia and Alabama until the Europeans pushed them out in the early 1500s
  • They migrated to Florida in search of peace

  • As soon as the europeans came to Florida they spread a lot of disease and killed thousands of indigenous civilians

  • There many tribes in Florida and when the Europeans came most of them banded together to create the Seminoles
  • Nothing serious happened to the Seminoles until 1812
  • In 1812 the Battle of 1812 came into place DUH! and the Seminoles sided with Great Britain
  • Because they sided with the English President Jackson was mad
  • The next 50 years they were in bad luck because 1813-1814 there was a Creek war and on top of that 1816-1818 there was the Seminole war (but the worse part is Florida was still part of Spain)
  • Finally in 1819 Spain ceded to the U.S.
  • So now there were a decrease in the population of Seminoles and a few African slaves joined the Seminoles
  • What followed that was 2 more Seminole Wars
  • The 2nd Seminole war (1835-1842) was the most significant because the Florida land they once called home is gone from them and they had to migrate once again.
  • All they treaties that the people signed and the agreements had been dissolved and stomped on
  • The second of the Seminoles wars was a bad sign because there was a lot of bloodshed
  • After the second Seminole War there were 500 Seminoles left
  • The 3rd and final Seminole war was from 1855-1858 and was more calm than the others
  • There wasn't much to the 3rd war and there wasn't much after that but the only remaining Seminoles you might find are in Florida or in Oklahoma


Religions (Brianna)


  • Seminole believed that dreams were the gateways to one's unconscious state. They thought that they had animal spirits watching over them. They also held funeral practices to honor their fallen brethren.
  • The Navajo had gods called the Holy Ones and the medicine man would conduct ceremonies called Sings or Blessingways to gather good fortune for his tribe. They'd inscribe sand paintings on one's floors to keep the hut whole and spiritually clean. They too held funerals.
  • The Choctaw believed in harmony between man and nature, and thought that animal spirits watched over and guided them. There were a couple doctors and prophets, and quite a few witches and witch doctors. The thought of the Afterlife and thought that illness was caused by evil spirits.
  • Cherokee prayed to the Deer God who had the power to take away the herds or multiply them. They held festivals to honor their animal spirits and medicine men.
  • Creek Native Americans followed a god called One. One gave them their food, clothing, families, and their life and in return the blessed him. They came to Christianity when the white men bribed them, easily leaving One for respect.