"This book is an easy-reading, interesting, and useful guide to Seminole history and culture. Dr. Weisman’s background as an archaeologist provides a special emphasis and freshness to the subject."--Billy L. Cypress, executive director, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Seminole Tribe of Florida
"May well become a Florida classic. . . . This is the best book-length account of the culture and history of the Seminole people."—William C. Sturtevant, Smithsonian Institution
Who are Florida’s Seminole and Miccosukee Indians? Where did they come from? How and why are they different from one another, and what cultural and historical features do they share?
Brent Weisman explores Seminole and Miccosukee culture through information provided by archaeology, ethnography, historical documents, and the words of the Indians themselves. He explains when and how their culture was formed and how it has withstood historical challenges and survives in the face of pressures from the modern world.
Focusing on key elements of ceremony and history, Weisman examines the origins and persistence of the Green Corn Dance, the importance of the clan in determining political and social relationships, and the crucial role of the Second Seminole War (1835-42) and its aftermath in stimulating cultural adaptation as the entire Indian population was forced deep into the remote wetlands of south Florida. Throughout, he emphasizes the remarkable ability of the Seminoles to adapt successfully to changing circumstances while preserving their core identity, from the colonial period through the present day.
Noting the importance of geography for understanding a people’s identity, Weisman adds a travel guide to publicly accessible historic sites throughout the state that tell of the unique and deep connection between Seminole history and the geography of Florida. Illustrating the range of the Seminoles well beyond the familiar south Florida region, he explains the importance in Seminole history of the Suwannee River and the Paynes Prairie area of north-central Florida, the Withlacoochee River wetlands of central Florida, the Big Cypress region of southwest Florida, and the Pine Island Ridge of the eastern Everglades.
For both students and general readers, Weisman combines scholarship from several disciplines with the perspectives of the Seminoles themselves into an exciting history of Florida’s enduring Native Americans.
Brent Richards Weisman is a member of the anthropology faculty at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is the author of Excavations on the Franciscan Frontier: Archaeology of the Fig Springs Mission (UPF, 1992), Crystal River: A Ceremonial Mound Center on the Florida Gulf Coast, and Like Beads on a String: A Culture History of the Seminole Indians in North Peninsular Florida.
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"This is a special book, quite different form the "pop" Seminole books that have appeared over the years. From the early Creek pottery to the meaning of the Green Corn Dance, its all here in Unconquered People, another winner by the University Press of Florida." - Wings, Suwannee Audubon
--Wings, Suwannee Audubon
"A valuable resource for anyone who wishes to understand the background of these tribes." -- Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal
--Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal
"A well-written, enjoyable account of the Seminole culture and history, from colonial days to the challenges of the modern world. . . . [T]he definitive history of Florida's Native Americans." -- Ocala Star-Banner
"Maps and descriptions of site locations make this book a must to have on any travels in this state. Unconquered People will help bring history alive for your family. The book consolidates volumes between its 170 pages filled with photographs and maps. . . . Unconquered People will leave you with much more than education on the issues. It will open your heart to the powerful story of the Seminole people in this state and a possible future that includes their wonderful uniqueness. Mr. Weisman opens the door to a real interactive opportunity." -- Florida Frontier Gazette
--Florida Frontier Gazette