Writing In Native American Issues
29 March 2014
The purpose of writing this paper is so the unique group of people will be represented properly from one of their own people. This will get a view into the culture and history that is not usually seen from the outside. In the world of today Native Americans have to be properly represented and understood or misconceptions can happen. Traditionally the Muscogee people practiced opvnkv hacogee, which means drunken, crazy, or spirited dance. More commonly known as the stomp dance they are social dances that included all community members-men, women, and children. The Dances are led by the tribe’s senior men with each turn changing leadership. A leader will call out the verses, and other men respond. The women support the men by shaking shells in rhythm by stomping. The Seminole Baptist used the church as a way to avoid assimilation and to keep the language along side with the culture alive. Throughout this paper I want to show the similarities of both the Seminole Baptist church and the stomp grounds that helped the culture survive in a time of need.
Looking into a history for the Seminoles their history starts with the Muscogee Creeks and were more of a split than a different people. Virtually the difference between the two tribes were never present. The same language was spoke which is Mvskoke and shared cultural practices. When the Seminoles started to migrate south is when the differences started to show. When the Seminole people arrived into Florida which was then owned by the Spanish they called them cimarrones. This term started to describe all the inhabitants that occupied Florida. The Seminoles absorbed rem ants of other Florida tribes into their own; the Oconee were the original “Seminole” and later included the Hecete, Eufaula, Mikasuki, Horrewahle, Talahassee, Chiaha, and Appalachiocla. Through time with intermarriage, traditional cultural adoption practices and treaty obligations, runaway salve and “freed” slaves were absorbed also. The Creeks translated the term cimarrones into “Semvlone”. Overtime semvlone changed into “Semvnole” (which is pronounced sem-uh-no-lee by native speakers even today). During Indian Removal some of the Seminoles were able to survive and stay in Florida by retreating into the Everglades while the majority was moved into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Christianity for the Seminoles was not an easy transition. Just like any other native people laid a harsh distrust towards the Anglos and their foreign ways. The missionaries were not to be trusted and the band leaders seen them as threats to their band members. Many of the first converts to Christianity were looked at with serious suspicion. James Factor was said to be the first Seminole converted to the Baptist faith and was removed from his position on the Seminole council in 1860 because he had been “bewitched” by the Baptist...