"An extraordinary scholarly work . . . [that] will immediately make everything else written about the Timucua and the Spanish mission system in La Florida out-of-date. This will be the basic scholarly reference for students of Florida history and historical archaeology."--Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Museum of Natural History
"An intricate and detailed portrait of the Timucuan Indians during the European colonial era . . . will undoubtedly stand as the principal source regarding the land of the Timucua speakers for years to come. . . . A classic example of historical scholarship."--John E. Worth, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta
When Spanish and French explorers first landed in Florida early in the 16th century, Timucua speakers occupied more land area and were more numerous than any other aboriginal group. This is their first detailed history, a major study that places its author in the forefront of Spanish colonial historians working in the United States.
The Timucua are the only native people of Florida whose language survives in literature in sufficient quality and quantity to permit significant study. Relying on previously unused documents, this account of the Timucua traces their experience from first contact with Europeans to their exile to Cuba in 1763 and their final eradication.
Beginning with the question of their number and their locations in northern Florida and southern Georgia, John Hann examines the Timucua's contacts with various European groups, starting with Ponce de León's expedition. He includes a detailed presentation of their experience under the mission regimes, and covers such topics as the Europeans' descriptions of the people, their language, culture, and political structures, the derivation of their language, and the meanings of their placenames and titles. He also resolves confusion over the extent of the territory of a Timucua subgroup known as the Mocama, and discusses other Florida native peoples who moved into Timucua territory as refugees during the first half of the 18th century.
John H. Hann is the historian at the San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site in Tallahassee. He is the editor and translator of Missions to the Calusa (UPF, 1991) and the author of Apalachee: The Land Between the Rivers (UPF, 1988) and many articles and book chapters.
No Sample Chapter AvailableAwards
Rembert Patrick Book Award - 1997
Subhead: "Amazing picture of a lost world." From the actual body of the review: "the definitive reference work on the Timucua for years to come." Florida Times-Union
"the definitive guide to this at times poorly documented people." "the richest single compendium of data to date on Timucuan culture and language." Choice
"The chief significance of the book lies in its presentation of American Indians as people with viable cultures of their own, interacting with Western culture." Journal of American History
"John Hann is a historian's historian….For historians and anthropologists interested in the social history of the early Southeast, this book will be indispensable." Florida Historical Quarterly
"As with the Apalachees and the Calusas, John Hann, historian at the San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site of Tallahassee, Florida, has written the most comprehensive historical and archaeological study of the Timucua Indians who once inhabited northern Florida and southern Georgia. Even more, it is an archaeological history of the Spanish missions that converted them."
"Any future work on the Timucuas will have to go through this book." New Mexico Historical Review
"Other colonial-period researchers have focused on the Timucua, but Hann's book is remarkable for its scope and detail. It is the first study of the Timucua-speakers of Florida that encompasses the entire span of their historic-period experiences, covering the time between the landing of Ponce de Leon in 1513 to the withdrawal of the last Timucua to Cuba in 1763. While broad, Hann's book is replete with details of the Timucua's mission history. He weaves together an intricate tale of Timucuan intergroup interaction and Timucuan relationships with their Spanish and non-Timucua-speaking neighbors." Mississippi Archaeology
"Perhaps the best characterization of this work is that it is encyclopedic."
"This volume will deservedly be regarded as the definitive treatment of the topic it has chosen to elucidate." Church History
"A meticulous and exhaustive presentation and evaluation of existing evidence, especiially from the poorly-known Spanish documents of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."
"The scholar will treasure it not only as a complete chronological presentation of all events in which the Timucua were involed, but also as a reference book for mission lists and demographic facts."
"This book must stand as the authoritative treatment of Timucua history and as such will be of great interest to historians of southeastern Indians or of the Spanish borderlads of the region." -- Journal of Southwest Georgia History Journal of Southwest Georgia History
"This work is easily the most comprehensive study likely to appear dealing with a native people of what is presently the United States. The scope is impressive both in terms of the time frame studied, over 250 years, and the range of topics included, everything from daily customs, to religion, politics, and acculturation. It is a truly monumental work. . . . In short, this is a fine work and an important addition to the literature on Spanish Florida." -- Sixteenth Century Journal Sixteenth Century Journal
"Hann explores pre-contact Timucua in enormous detail and discusses concepts of land ownership, linguistic diversity, kinship, spiritual customs, trade and material exchange; and the complexity of political structures. . . . Hann's research effectively incorporates the best anthropological and historical evidence available. Employing the newest methodologies of ethnohistory and the New Indian History, Hann delivers a balanced account of sixteenth-century Indian-European relations."-- American Indian Quarterly American Indian Quarterly