This late 1930s, early 1940s educational movie attempts to provide some insight into the Seminole tribe in Florida's Everglades. It contains rare footage of tribe members foraging in the swamps amid alligators, wildcats and snakes. Alligators are harvested at the 2:20 mark. Clothesmaking is seen at the 3:50 mark, using a sewing machine. Hunting is seen at the 5:00 mark. A scarce black bear is seen at the 5:30 mark. The film's droning and jingoistic narration is of course fairly appalling in light of modern standards, but the footage of the tribe is fairly stunning.
The Seminole are a Native American tribe originally from Florida. They comprise three federally recognized tribes and independent groups, most living in Oklahoma with a minority in Florida. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creek from what are now northern Muscogee. The word Seminole is a corruption of cimarrón, a Spanish term for "runaway" or "wild one".
Seminole culture is largely derived from that of the Creek; the most important ceremony is the Green Corn Dance; other notable traditions include use of the black drink and ritual tobacco. As the Seminole adapted to Florida environs, they developed local traditions, such as the construction of open-air, thatched-roof houses known as chickees. Historically the Seminole spoke Mikasuki and Creek, both Muskogean languages.
Perhaps fewer than 200 Seminoles remained in Florida after the Third Seminole War (1855-1858), but they fostered a resurgence in traditional customs and a culture of staunch independence. In the late 19th century, the Florida Seminole re-established limited relations with the U.S. government and in 1930 received 5,000 acres (20 km2) of reservation lands. Few Seminole moved to reservations until the 1940s; they reorganized their government and received federal recognition in 1957 as the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The more traditional people near the Tamiami Trail received federal recognition as the Miccosukee Tribe in 1962.
The Oklahoma and Florida Seminole filed land claim suits in the 1950s, which were combined in the government's settlement of 1976. The tribes and Traditionals took until 1990 to negotiate an agreement as to division of the settlement, a judgment trust against which members can draw for education and other benefits. The Florida Seminole founded a high-stakes bingo game on their reservation in the late 1970s, winning court challenges to initiate Indian Gaming, which many tribes have adopted to generate revenues for welfare, education and development.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com