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Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive
Photographs of Seminole Indians, 1894-1939.
0.50 cubic ft.
Terms Governing Use:
Legislation in 1979 (79-322, SB 1208) transferred the Florida Folk Arts component of the Stephen Foster Memorial to the Florida Department of State. Operating as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until 1995, the Bureau coordinated the annual Florida Folk Festival and directed such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, annual research surveys and numerous other projects and programs. From 1995 through June 30, 2021, the renamed and reorganized Florida Folklife Program continued the majority of these operations from within the Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historic Preservation in Tallahassee. During the 1995 reorganization, the State Archives of Florida acquired the Florida Folklife Collection from the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs’ previously maintained Florida Folklife Archives. Legislation in 2021 (2021-71, L. O. F., HB 909) transferred the Florida Folklife Program and its operations from the Division of Historical Resources to the newly renamed Division of Arts and Culture, previously the Division of Cultural Resources, effective July 1, 2021. The program is charged to "identify, research, interpret, and present Florida folk arts, artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk cultural resources and folklife projects available throughout the state."
The people known as Seminoles count among their ancestors the Yamasee of the Carolinas, Oconee from the Apalachicola River region, Creeks from Georgia, and African fugitives from slavery. At the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842, 3,824 indigenous and Black settlers were relocated to Arkansas, but other Seminoles had fled into the Everglades. The Seminoles continued to live in the wilderness of South Florida with little contact with white Americans until the 1880s when settlers began moving into the area in substantial numbers. By the turn of the century, Seminoles were slowly beginning to expand their social contacts with non-Indians. It was due in large part to trade with the Seminoles that many early settlers of south Florida prospered and their small trading posts developed into successful groceries or general stores.
This series consists of twenty black and white photographs, primarily of Seminole Indians, dating from the turn of the century. The collection includes ten studio portraits of Seminole men and boys; three outdoor shots of Seminoles, including one in front of Hand's Photographic Studio, an early Miami photo studio where several of the portraits appear to have been shot; a photograph of Girtman Brother's Grocers of Miami, a store frequented by the Seminoles; and a newspaper clipping from 1939 with a portrait of Seminole boys and men. Notations on the photographs identify the subjects of the portraits. Also included in the series are several photos which have no apparent connection to the Seminoles; they portray the Lake House (ca. 1900), the first hotel in Kissimmee; J.R. Graves, proprietor of the Lake House, and other men playing golf (ca. 1900); an unidentified woman; a monkey; and golfers at Palm Beach in 1933.
Additional Physical Form:
Copies of these photographs are available in the Florida Photographic Collection.
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
These photographs were donated to the Florida Folklife Archive by Patrick Pattillo in 1987.