The Seminole Indians are indigenous to the state of Florida, meaning they were originally from there and did not migrate from other areas. It has been said the Seminole tribe settled there as far back as 10,000 BC. For hundreds of years, the Seminole Indians basically controlled almost all of Florida. Even when the Europeans arrived, at first they were not interested in the area of Florida, but showed more curiosity toward the southern part of the nation (Virginia, North Carolina, etc), so the Seminoles still had control of their homeland.
Unfortunately, things took a turn around 1732, when settlers started heading southward into Florida. Once they arrived, many Seminole Indians were kidnapped, tortured, or killed. But the Seminoles held their own ground and stayed within their territory, many migrating near where Tampa exists today.
The language spoken by the Seminole Indians was known as Muskogee. They typically hunted and fished the abundant waters off the coast of Florida. Since the temperature where they lived was warm, their homes were very simple, consisting of poles and thatched roofs. When the Spanish had arrived to Florida, the Seminoles often emulated them by wearing brightly colored clothing. When the 20th century arrived, modern man was overtaking much of the United States. Florida was an ideal area to develop, and many of the Seminole Indians were forced out of the area. Those who stayed ended up being forced to work for money, either as an agricultural helper or a tourist attraction. In 1957, a law was passed declaring the tribes in Florida were officially the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 1970, the Seminoles were awarded over $12 million by the government because of land taken from them by the United States military. Today the tribe is still in existence and is a proud part of the state of Florida’s rich heritage.
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