The members of the Seminole tribe are descendants of the Creek nation. This diverse tribe originally spoke seven different languages throughout the lands they inhabited in what is today the South Eastern United States. There lands stretched from Oklahoma to Florida and they were skilled cattlemen. The name Seminole refers mostly to that part of the tribe that settled in Florida. The Seminoles were known for their fierce resistance to all forms of conquest. They used a variety of tools and weapons for normal peace time activities as well as waging their war of resistance.
Club and Tomahawk
Seminole used war clubs and tomahawks during the skirmishes fought between tribes and with the early settlers. Both are striking weapons and best when used at short range. The tomahawk was originally a hatchet-like weapon with a stone head. Iron heads replaced stone as metalworking skills spread from tribe to tribe.
Blow Gun and Darts
Little is known about the Seminole blow gun. It is believed that they were mostly used to catch birds. The Seminole traditionally made blow guns from the switch cane, a bamboo-like plant, that grows wild in the swamplands they inhabited.
Bow and Arrow
The bow and arrow are the archetypal Native American weapon. The Seminoles used them for both hunting and war. A well-constructed bow in the hands of a skilled warrior was capable of killing even the largest of game.
By the 18th century, the Seminole nation began using firearms for both hunting and war. Tribesmen quickly became skilled marksman by applying the principles they had learned from their long history with the bow and arrow.
The Seminoles used dugout canoes and push poles to navigate the swamps and waterways that surrounded their lands. The push pole moved the canoe along instead of paddles.
Fishing spears were used from atop the dugout canoes or in the shallows of the swamps and waterways found in their territory. These spears were the main tool of the Seminole fisherman.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images