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Seminole Nation of Native America

The Seminole is the name for a group of Native Americans who joined together for protection in the 1700s.

They were originally from the modern-day states of Georgia and Florida, and were made up of the Hichitis, Oconees and Miccosukees.

Together they became the Seminole Nation.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

The Seminole were also joined by escaped Native American and African American slaves.

Where did the Seminoles live?

Seminole Family Cypress Tiger


The Seminoles lived in Florida. They moved further south in Florida when the Americans attacked and some moved to Oklahoma.

Some Seminole people still live in Florida.

A Seminole Spearing A Garfish From A Dugout Florida

What were Seminole houses like?



The Seminole peoples lived in houses called chickees. These houses were made out of wood and plaster. In northern Florida, at first, the Seminoles lived in towns but eventually, they dispersed throughout the south into the Everglades region.

In modern-times, the Seminoles live in apartments or houses like other people of Florida.

What did Seminoles wear?

Seminole Patchwork Shawl


The Seminole men wore breechcloths and the women wore wrap-around skirts. They would wear moccasins on their feet.

The Seminoles also wore European-style dress and also had their own style. For example, women wore colourful skirts and men wore turbans. The Seminoles also had distinctive tattoos.

What did the Seminoles eat?

The Seminoles were farmers and farmed crops like beans, squash and corn. Men hunted turkeys, rabbits, turtles and alligators.

The five Civilised tribes

Routes Of Southern Removals To The First Indian Territory Of The Five Civilized Tribes


The Seminole were one of the Five Civilised Tribes.

This was a group of Native Americans but it was not a confederacy or a nation. It is the name given to the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee by white settlers.

They were called ‘civilised’ because they converted to Christianity early.

orthodox church

Europeans also thought that people who lived in one place (like the farming Seminole) were more advanced than nomadic tribes who moved around and hunted.

The Seminole War

There were a number of wars between the Seminole and the Americans in the first half of the twentieth centuries. These were called the First, Second and Third Seminole Wars.

Barracks And Tents At Fort Brooke Near Tampa Bay

The Europeans waged a battle against the Seminoles which pushed them further south. Many Seminoles were moved to Oklahoma.

They took a long journey called the Trail of Tears in the Indian Removal Act of the 1830s. 

The first Seminole War was in 1817, when president Andrew Jackson and 3,000 soldiers invaded Florida.

Andrew Jackson portrait

The second Seminole War was fought between 1835 and 1842. This was when many Seminole peoples were forced to move to Oklahoma.

Many Seminole resisted and fought back, under the leadership of Osceola.

The third Seminole War was between 1855 and 1858. This was led by Billy Bowlegs.

Us Army Troops With A Seminole Guide

Famous Seminoles

Osceola was a leader of the Seminole peoples who led them in the second Seminole War. He was captured in 1837 but would not surrender the people’s land.

Abiaka was a medicine man who led the Seminoles during the second Seminole War. He refused to leave Florida and never surrendered.

Billy Bowlegs was another leader who symbolised survival for the Seminoles. He refused to leave Florida when the Seminoles were forcibly removed to Oklahoma.

Billy Bowlegs Frontispiece

Quiz Time

quiz activity for kids

Where did the Seminole live?

What were Seminole houses called?

What did Seminoles wear?

What did Seminoles eat?

When was the first Seminole war?

Native Americans

Navajo Nation Council Chambers Window Rock

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