Life and Society:

The Etzltomak wear little clothing except during ceremonies. The men wear full skirts or long wide-sleeved shirts that hang from their necks to their knees and soft high-topped moccasins. Headdresses are made of squares of wool folded cornerwise into bands about three inches wide. The bands wound around the head until it was as much as seven inches thick to protect the eyes from the hot sun. The women wear short blouses and skirts made by sewing strips of bright colored cloth. Woven slashes are worn around the waist. The women go barefoot. Women are given a string of beads every year on their birthdays. They never go out in public without these necklaces. Both the men and women of the Seminole tribes decorated their bodies with tattoos and body painting.

They build their homes on the high ground of the swampland, built around a structure known as the Great House. The Great House is made up of four low, bark-covered houses build around a square courtyard, with each house assigned to a warrior that helps the chief. A round council house is built near one corner of the Great House, where tribal meetings are held. Each village has a large house that is a cook house, with a raised floor which covers half the building. There is space under the cook house for storage of foodstuffs, and the roof of the house is high so that a fire can be kept burning at all times. Family homes are called chickees.




The Etzltomak are primarily farmers. They raise corn, squash, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and melons. Each family had its own garden. All members of the tribe helped plant, cultivate, and harvest the crops. They also gather seeds, berries, and nuts. Blowguns are used to hunt small game and birds. The men hunt fowl, turtles, fish, shellfish, and deer. They eat many fruits including bananas, oranges, pineapples, and coconuts. The palmetto tree has a place of honor in Etzltomak culture, providing them with a form of flour and molasses.




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