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(Southern Region). By Kelly Allen. Large groups like the Cherokee, the Chickasaw and the Creek lived in the northern part of the region. Tribes like the Natchez, Biloxi and Seminole lived in the southern area. Native Americans of the Southern Woodlands. Some of the Tribes. Cherokee

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native americans of the southern woodlands

Large groups like the Cherokee, the Chickasaw and the Creek lived in the northern part of the region.

Tribes like the Natchez, Biloxi and Seminole lived in the southern area.

Native Americans of the Southern Woodlands

some of the tribes
Some of the Tribes
  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Creek
  • Choctaw
  • Natchez
  • Biloxi
  • Seminole
seminole government
Seminole Government

Law and Order:

  • The Seminole believed that you took care of your own, and you punished your own. If a Seminole broke a Seminole law, the clan of the offender inflicted the punishment.


  • In the old days, the Seminole would cut deep scratches in their arms and legs. These cuts would be given for punishment and also for purification. Cuts were deep and arranged in a line.
family structure
Family Structure
  • The Seminoles were broken up into several clans. A clan is a family group. Each clan was named after something in nature - Panther, Bear, Bird, Deer, Wind, Snake, Otter.
  • A wedding could be performed by any male relative of the bride or any one of the "old men" of the tribe. Often, the bride's father performed the ceremony. When a child was born, it belonged to the mother's clan.
family structure1
Family Structure

Their homes were built in a circle around a central open area used as a protected play area for their children and their central campfire.

  • Seminole villages were very small. The entire village might be 2 homes (chickees), 1 eating house, and 1 storage house. A large village might have 10-12 homes (chickees).
property ownership
Property Ownership
  • Native people had no concept of land ownership or private property, all land was for the use of all people just as the water and the air. 
  • Tribes of Native people had specific territory where their people lived, hunted, fished, gathered food and raised their families.  Other tribes were free to come into another tribes territory to hunt and fish, with permission, if game was scarce in their territory. 
  • The Seminoles traded fur for beads, needles, and cloth used for making bandolier bags.
land use
Land Use
  • Seminole men were good hunters. Fish were speared from canoes. They caught otter, raccoon, bobcats, alligator, turtle, and birds. To catch deer, they would burn a patch of grass. When the new grass grew in, the deer came to feast, and the Seminole caught the deer.
land use1
Land Use
  • Deer were especially important to southeast Native Americans. They provided many things for them.
  • Clothing was made from skins of animals. Tools used for hunting, building and eating were made from antlers and bones. The meat from the animal provided food.
land use2
Land Use
  • The land teemed with food like wild pineapples, mangos, guava, oranges, and mulberry trees.
  • The Seminole planted pumpkins, pawpaws, and corn. Corn was the main crop.
  • They used corn to make corn flour, corn bread, corn pancakes, and even a corn soft drink called sofkee.
  • People who lived in the warm southeast lived in chickees. The Seminole tribe in Florida built chickees. The frame was made of logs and the roof was covered in palmetto leaves or grasses. It is called a thatch roof. There were no walls in chickees because they weren't needed in the warm southern areas and breezes could blow through. The floor was built up off the ground in case it was wet and soggy and to protect from snakes.


  • Tribes such as the Cherokee and the Creek lived farther north in the region where it was colder in the winter. They needed warmer shelter in the winter. Each village had a circular-shaped council house where ceremonies and tribal meetings were held. It was built with clay walls and a cone-shaped bark roof. Rectangular houses grouped in clusters of four around the council house. The packed mud walls kept the people warm.
  • Seminoles were excellent woodcarvers. They made two types of dolls. One was a little doll, about 2 inches tall. Each doll was dressed with fabric garments such as a Seminole woman or man would wear. The other doll was much bigger, perhaps 10 to 18 inches, and carved out of wood in an odd way. Everything was elongated as if you took a person and pulled them thin like taffy.

Carved dolls




  • Canoes: They traveled by canoe. Canoes were decorated with family colors. A favorite design was the diamond shape. Canoes were made in different sizes. The largest one could carry a family. The smallest was used for spear fishing.
  • On Foot, Following Animal Trails: There were trails made by animals through the Everglades, trails that led from one hammock to another. The Seminole were experts at following animals trails.