The American Indian people who inhabited the Northeast and North central Florida and South east Georgia were known as the Timucua. The Timucua like most other native American tribes were never a single or unified tribe. There were a number of chiefdoms and each chiefdom had about five hundred villages. Villages werefurther divided into clans and the children belonged to their mother’s clan.
The Timucua Indians observed a number of ceremonies.They celebrated harvesting festivals, planting festivals, fishing and hunting ceremonies, marrisge, death etc.
The chief and his council met every morning in order to discuss the problems of the chiefdom. The council members were the highly respected members of the society. The meeting was initiated with the White Drink. The drink was made of holly and highly caffeinted actually black in colour but was called white as it was thought that it would purify the council members.
The Timucua settlements were small. Their home was circular in shape built on upright poles.
The roof was thatched. They had huge granneries which was well stocked and were raised off the ground to keep off wild animals. There was a bigger building which was made for religious and ceremonial functions. The Timucua Indians cooked and ate together in a public place in the village. These people were semi agrricultural people and they planted corn, beans and other vegetables. They also hunted and fished.
They were tall people and the men wore their hair in a bun on top of their heads. They were also heavily tattooed and they gained these tattoos through their deeds. Children started getting their tattoos when they started assuming responsibility. They wereadrk skinned people usually brown with black hair and the clothes were made of moss and animal skin. In 2006 an archaeological dig in Florida discovered a Timucuan site datingbetween 1100 and 1300 A.D.
When the Europeans came to North America, the Spanish claimed Florida as their territory. The Spanish soldiers were given permission to steal from the Timucuans but the soldiers also had the responsibility of teaching them about Christianity. Many missions were set up and the Timucuans were taught to read and write. Slowly the Timucans started settling in small villages near a mission station. Now they started growing crops to feed themselves as well as the friars and part of their corn were to be given to the Spanish at St. Augustine. They became lessand less like Timucuans and more like Spanish Catholics.
1. www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/ The Timucua Indians—After the Europeans Came—(1562-1767)
By Dr. Jerald T. Milanich, Taino-L,