Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Seminole.

The Seminole Tribe Of Florida is a Federally recognised Indian Tribe which resides in Florida. It is one of three Seminole entities which is recognised by the United States Government. The other two being the Seminole Nation Of Oklahoma where the majority of Seminole Indians are part of and the Miccosukee Tribe Of Indians Of Florida.

The Website is arranged by categories such as History, Government, Culture and a news section called The Seminole Tribune ("Voice Of The Unconquered"). Within these categories are various subsections which allow a visitor to look into that area in greater detail (such as 'Art' in the Culture section). Overall it is very well designed and presented due to it's clarity.

The first thing that struck me about the webpage was the logo (which is a logical reaction seeing how a logo represents the image a person or group wishes to project); for aside from the immediate colour connotations with the flag of Germany (a coincidence I am certain) the logo bares the inscription "In God We Trust". This intrigued me for it suggested that the Seminole people were not following the religion of their forebears and had converted. However I was wrong; their forebears had converted. For the website has a page on it's Culture section entitled 'Seminoles And Christianity' explaining that they were being Christianised "as early as 1846" by The Southern Baptist Convention, Home Mission Board. The only real mention of the original religion of the Seminoles is under the 'Legends' article. This struck me as a sign that the tribe despite keeping a separate Identity from the Americans still had conformed to the majority's way of life in some small part.

However that being said the website does proudly state that the Seminole were the only Indian Tribe that never signed a peace treaty (I.e. they were never technically defeated by the United States). The History section allows the visitor to access various chapters of the tribe's history to the present day which are well presented and are very interesting; for the Seminoles in Florida are the remnant who fled to the Everglades while the rest of the Seminole people were moved westwards and fought 2 successful guerilla wars against the United States. Eventually they received Federal Recognition in 1957.

The website also has a section on Tourism telling visitors where they can find a Seminole Reservation within Florida (the total being 6). Many of these have casinos which is a common venture for Indian Tribes to undertake in modern America, again suggesting conformity even amongst the 'unconquered'.

Finally there is a link to a Seminole eBay store for re-enactment tickets (re-enactments of the Seminole Wars being a popular method of bringing Tribal History to life) and overpriced tat various Seminole arts & crafts such as knives and beaded bracelets.

In conclusion I would say that the Seminole Tribe Of Florida has a great deal to be proud of, it's history and cluture are fascinating and have been well preserved. However I would also say the fact that even the one 'unconquered' Indian Tribe has adapted to the European way of life in some key areas shows the dominance of the European America.

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