Cover image for Like beads on a string : a culture history of the Seminole Indians in northern peninsular Florida
Like beads on a string : a culture history of the Seminole Indians in northern peninsular Florida
Weisman, Brent Richards, 1952-
Publication Information:
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xv, 198 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1450 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.S28 W43 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Florida's Seminole Indians are exerting an ever increasing influence on crucial issues in state politics, economy, and law. From a position of near obscurity less than a century ago, these Native Americans have staged a remarkable comeback to take an active hand in shaping Florida society, present and future. Anthropologists have long been fascinated with the Seminoles and have often remarked upon their ability to adapt to new circumstances while preserving the core features of their traditional culture. Early observers of the Seminoles also commented on the dynamic tension that existed for the individual, clan, and tribe, that drew them together, "like beads on a string," into a resilient and viable society. This study traces the emergence of these qualities in the late prehistoric and early historic period in the Southeast and demonstrates their influence on the course of Seminole culture history.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this book, Weisman combines ethnohistory and archaeology to reconstruct the culture history of the Seminole Indians of northern Florida. Weisman, an archaeologist, uses a number of sources, including a recently transcribed diary written by Henry Prince, who served in the US Army during the Second Seminole War. The tribe's development is documented from its beginnings in the early 1700s, when Creek Indians first began to move into the area from farther north and became identified as Seminoles, through the mid-1800s. During this time, the traditional social and political organization that had persisted for several hundred years was replaced by more adaptive cultural traits. These changes were effected first through the influence of Spanish and English traders, and later by the policies of the US government. Weisman demonstrates the consequences of these adaptations with archaeological data from several Seminole sites. Using the Prince diary, he was able to find the probable location of Powell's Town, occupied in 1837 by the Seminole hero Osceola. Weisman indicates that the archaeological record is consistent with the kinds of material remains expected at a site of this particular type. His book shows clearly the value of combining information from both ethnohistoric and archaeological sources in interpreting the culture history of the Seminoles. Footnotes, index, list of references are all useful, but the text would have been enhanced by the inclusion of additional maps. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -A. Rogers, Western Carolina University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Introductionp. 1
2 Antecedents the Ancestral Creek Patternp. 14
3 Colonization, 1716-1767p. 37
4 Enterprise, 1767-1821p. 59
5 Revitalization, 1821-1841p. 82
6 A Warrior and a Gentleman the Archaeology of Powell's Townp. 124
7 Like Beads on a String Observations on the Seminole Cosmosp. 149
8 Seminole Studies Topical Concerns and Directionsp. 163
Notesp. 175
Referencesp. 180
Indexp. 192