Seminoles


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Seminoles

 

a North American Indian tribe, formed in Florida in the late 18th century from Indians who migrated from various settlements of the Creek Confederacy in what are now the states of Alabama and Georgia. In the 19th century, in the course of the three Seminole Wars (1817–18, 1835–42, 1855–58), the Seminole lands were seized by the US government, in spite of the tribe’s courageous resistance. Most of the Seminoles were exterminated, but some escaped and hid in the Everglades of the southern Florida peninsula and the rest were moved to Oklahoma. Today, approximately 1,350 Seminoles (1970 estimate) live on three reservations in southeastern Florida, and approximately 3,000, half of whom are of mixed origin, live in several settlements in Oklahoma. They engage in farming, livestock breeding, and handicrafts and work for hire. They have retained certain elements of their traditional institutions, such as matriliny and old religious rituals.

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