"As the United States is a nation made up of people from many nations, so the Seminole is a tribe made up of Indians from many tribes."  (Garbarino 13)  The Seminole are the indigenous people living in southeastern America.  They lived in what is now Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi.  The Seminole had a Muskogean language of the Hokan-Siouan stock.  (Bookshelf)  The Indian tribes found in the southeast were the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Yuchi, Yamassee, Apalachicola, Timucua, and Calusa.  The southeastern Indians were described by the Spanish as being tall with complexions ranging from olive, to brownish.  The Indians in the mountainous regions were described as having lighter complexions, and those in the sunnier regions as brown.  (Garbarino 13)



        The Seminole were originally part of the Creek, but they began to migrate from Southern Georgia to Northern Florida in the later half of the eighteenth century.  The Seminole fled there because Spain owned Florida, and they hoped they would be free.  They shared the land with another group of Indians, the Apalachee and the Timucua, who spoke the Mikasuki Language.  (Seminole Indians 290)  By about the year 1775, they began to be known by the name Seminole, which is derived from the Creek word simanoli, meaning "separatist," or "runaway".  The name, Seminole, could also originate from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning "wild."  Also joining the migrants were Indian and Negro slaves, who fled from the power struggles between the Americans and the Indians.  (Seminole 626)



        The Indians who moved to Florida all had similar ways of life.  After their migration, they kept many of the qualities of their original culture. Their natural environment affected every aspect of their culture and life.  The environment determined what food they ate, what clothing they could wear, the houses that they could build, and how to live in them.  The environment even influenced the language and rituals.  Due to this involvement with Nature, they revered all of Nature.  (Garbarino 13)



        The landscape in which the Seminole lived was composed of fertile valleys, thick woods, and low mountains.  The largest and most powerful tribes took the desirable locations, the fertile valleys.  The small tribes settled in the woods and mountains.  (Garbarino 14)  The environment influenced the types of food the people could find the most.  It allowed maize, beans, and squash to grow plentifully.  Although these plants grow plentifully, the Seminoles lived more by hunting and gathering.  It was easier to hunt and fish because the woodlands and rivers were filled with an abundance of game.  The Indians also gathered founds that were found in the environment, like berries, nuts, tubers, and seeds.  (Seminole 626)



        The jobs of gathering and growing plants were doled out to the women.  They also had to prepare and cook the food that the men obtained.   Most of the time, they baked boiled, or broiled the food.  The women also preserved the food that they collect, such as plums and persimmons.  (Garbarino 17)  The men usually helped where there was heavy and intensive work to be do be done, like clearing land and harvesting, but the men\'s main jobs were to hunt, fish, and battle.  (Seminole Indians 290)  The men hunted animals for their hides in addition to their meats.  The most hunted for animals were:  deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, bears, turkeys, ducks, and geese.  The Indians also ate alligator meat, turtle meat, shellfish, and fresh and salt-water fish.  (Garbarino 15)



        The Indians lived in villages that ranged in size from 20 to 100 houses and in population from 100 to more than one thousand.  The homes were most likely to be built around a square or town plaza.  The central area of the square was left for ceremonial purposes.  The chief\'s house, a meeting hall, storage building, and often the home of an important medicine man or religious leader surrounded the square.  Around these buildings, the townspeople made their homes.  (Garbarino 20)



        Early Seminoles used to build log cabins, but later on they began to live in basic shelters with thatched roofs that were supported by poles.  These homes were called chickees.  They had a chickee for summer, winter, and for a woman who is going to have a baby.