Photograph by … Calusa political influence and control also extended over other tribes in southern Florida, including the Mayaimi around Lake Okeechobee, and the Tequesta and Jaega on the southeast coast of the peninsula. The Calusa lived on the sandy shores of the southwest coast of Florida. The other two souls left the body after death and entered into an animal. Book: The Calusa and Their Legacy: South Florida People and Their Environments Native Peoples, Cultures, and Places of the Southeastern United States by Darcie A. Macmahon. The remains of another shell mound are located on Connecticut Street on Fort Myers Beach. It appeared to have been varnished. After the outbreak of war between Spain and England in 1702, slaving raids by Uchise Creek and Yamasee Indians allied with the Province of Carolina began reaching far down the Florida peninsula. [22], For more than a century after the Avilés adventure, there was little contact between the Spanish and Calusa. The Calusa Heritage Trail helps visitors imagine the tribe that once flourished on the Gulf Coast. [20][21], In 1566 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, founder of St. Augustine, made contact with the Calusa. People commonly occupied both fresh and saltwater wetlands. The Calusa also made fish traps, weirs, and fish corrals from wood and cord. ed. But Widmer argues that the evidence for maize cultivation by the Calusa depends on the proposition that the Narváez and de Soto expeditions landed in Charlotte Harbor rather than Tampa Bay, which is now generally discounted. [4], The Calusa had a stratified society, consisting of "commoners" and "nobles" in Spanish terms. My research led to my amazement of how creatively the Calusas capitalized on these shells. (In 1954 a dugout canoe was found during excavation for a middle school in Marathon, Florida. By 880, a complex society had developed with high population densities. It served as the main highway inland to the Calusa Indians. 92 likes. This was made with clay containing spicules from freshwater sponges (Spongilla), and it first appeared inland in sites around Lake Okeechobee. Tequesta & Keys The Tequesta occupied southeastern Florida from near present day Boca Raton southward to the Florida Keys. [11], The Calusa wore little clothing. This language was distinct from the languages of the Apalachee, Timucua, Mayaca, and Ais people in central and northern Florida. Hostilities erupted, and the Spanish soldiers killed Carlos, his successor Felipe, and several of the "nobles" before they abandoned their fort and mission in 1569. The king entertained the governor in a building so large that 2,000 people could stand inside. There are shell museums, shell craft shops, and even one enormous property known as Shell World. Everglades National Park is an American national park that protects the southern twenty percent of the original Everglades in Florida.The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States, and the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River.An average of one million people visit the park each year. Conversion would have destroyed the source of their authority and legitimacy. Calusas could canoe the Caloosahatchee River into Lake Okeechobee and access other tribal areas by way of the Kissimmee River. Re-entering the area in 1614, Spanish forces attacked the Calusa as part of a war between the Calusa and Spanish-allied tribes around Tampa Bay. Although many others survived the shipwreck, only Fontaneda was spared by the tribe in whose territory they landed. Calusa, North American Indian tribe that inhabited the southwest coast of Florida from Tampa Bay to Cape Sable and Cape Florida, together with all the outlying keys. Other animal head carvings were found as well including wolves, pelicans, alligators, and sea turtles. Marquardt notes that the Calusa turned down the offer of agricultural tools from the Spanish, saying that they had no need for them. [9][8] Artifacts of wood that have been found include bowls, ear ornaments, masks, plaques, "ornamental standards," and a finely carved deer head. Fontaneda lived with various tribes in southern Florida for the next seventeen years before being found by the Menendez de Avilés expedition. Many people lived in large villages with purpose-built earthwork mounds, such as those at Horr's Island. The Spanish documented four cases of known succession to the position of paramount chief, recording most names in Spanish form. The missionaries recognized that having a Calusa man cut his hair upon converting to Christianity (and European style) would be a great sacrifice. Calusa Indian History: History and genealogy of the Calusa Indians. [16][17], A few vocabulary examples from Granberry's work are listed below:[18]. Mound Key, an island west of Fort Myers, was the center of this large Calusa Empire. My next efforts were to identify more intimate characteristics of the Calusas, not as hunters or builders, but simply as people. It is based on the Creek and Mikasuki (languages of the present-day Seminole and Miccosukee nations) ethnonymfor the people who had lived … Well adapted to the Everglades and coastal wetlands, they traveled along the coast and into the interior Everglades by dugout canoes. However, no evidence of plant food was found at the Wightman site. The chief and the priest demanded complete obedience from the villagers. The Spanish reported that the chief was expected to take his sister as one of his wives. The Spanish founded a mission on Biscayne Bay in 1743 to serve survivors from several tribes, including the Calusa, who had gathered there and in the Florida Keys. [2], Paleo-Indians entered what is now Florida at least 12,000 years ago. The best information about the Calusa comes from the Memoir of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, one of these survivors. Mound Key is, in fact, completely artificial. In. The Calusa: The Shell Indians: Good overview of Calusa history and culture. However, in my visits to these businesses I have yet to find anyone who use seashells as a means of survival. The Calusas utilized shells as tools, weapons, art, and jewelry. In a report from 1697, the Spanish noted 16 houses in the Calusa capital of Calos, which had 1,000 residents. Julian Granberry has suggested that the Calusa language was related to the Tunica language of the lower Mississippi River Valley. They weren't a friendly tribe. It is reported that the few survivors followed the Spanish to Cuba. Frank Cushing also unearthed a wooden carving depicting the head of a doe. The Caloosahatchee Region". Calusa territory reached from Charlotte Harbor to Cape Sable, all of present-day Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties, and may have included the Florida Keys at times. By around 5000 BC, people started living in villages near wetlands. The process of shaping the boat was achieved by burning the middle and subsequently chopping and removing the charred center, using robust shell tools. This use of marriages to secure alliances was demonstrated when Carlos offered his sister Antonia in marriage to the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1566. Well-preserved nets, net floats, and hooks were found at Key Marco, in the territory of the neighboring Muspa tribe. The chief also married women from subject towns and allied tribes. Jan 3, 2018 - Explore Charles Kropke's board "Calusa Indians" on Pinterest. Fontaneda was shipwrecked on the east coast of Florida, likely in the Florida Keys, about 1550, when he was thirteen years old. Also known as the "Shell People" the later Calusas, from approximately the 1500's to their demise in the early 1800's, used seashells as foundations. The Spanish careened one of their ships, and Calusas offered to trade with them. [1], Early Spanish and French sources referred to the tribe, its chief town, and its chief as Calos, Calus, Caalus, and Carlos. The Calusa believed that the three souls were the pupil of a person's eye, his shadow, and his reflection. Granberry has provided an inventory of phonemes to the sounds of the Calusa language.[18][17]. The plaques and other objects were often painted. Every few years more significant pieces in the link to these lost Native Americans are unearthed. Menéndez married Carlos' sister, who took the baptismal name Doña Antonia at conversion. It shows the re-creation of the Calusa settlement on Pine Island. Archeologists have unearthed many wooden carvings and masks. [2], Juan Rogel, a Jesuit missionary to the Calusa in the late 1560s, noted the chief's name as Carlos, but wrote that the name of the kingdom was Escampaba, with an alternate spelling of Escampaha. The Calusas inhabited a region abundant with bears, woolly mammoths, sloths, tortoises, and saber-toothed tigers. Caloosahatchee means "River of the Calusa". The Mound House, built in 1906, sits on the mound and provides a beautiful view that overlooks Estero Bay. Mollusks shells and shark teeth were used for grating, cutting, carving and engraving. The cost is $25 per person, and the tour is not recommended for children under the age of ten. Circumstantial evidence, primarily from Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, suggests that all of the peoples of southern Florida and the Tampa Bay area, including the Tequesta, Mayaimi, and Tocobago, as well as the Calusa, spoke dialects of a common language. The National Geographic has reported that archaeologists have discovered an ancient Native American king’s house in Florida. When the Spanish arrived in Florida it was estimated that there were 20,000 Calusa's in South Florida. Standing a mere six inches high it was carved from dark brown wood. In R. D. Fogelson (Ed.). The men wore their hair long. There is evidence that the people intensively exploited Charlotte Harbor aquatic resources before 3500 BC. The greatest abundance of Calusa artifacts is found in the remaining mounds. They are notable for having developed a complex culture based on estuarine fisheries rather than agriculture. Menéndez left a garrison of soldiers and a Jesuit mission, San Antón de Carlos, at the Calusa capital. If you want to learn more, there is so much information out there. Hardwood forests covered the land and the climate was much colder than it is today. They wore their hair long. A few leaders governed the tribe. "The Calusa: A Stratified, Nonagricultural Society (With Notes on Sibling Marriage)." The leaders included the paramount chief, or "king"; a military leader (capitán general in Spanish); and a chief priest. Europeans attempted fighting them beginning in the 1500's, but the Calusas proved to be mighty warriors. Florida's climate had reached current conditions and the sea had risen close to its present level by about 3000 BC. A Spanish expedition to ransom some captives held by the Calusa in 1680 was forced to turn back; neighboring tribes refused to guide the Spanish, for fear of retaliation by the Calusa. )[10], The Calusa lived in large, communal houses which were two stories high. It was excavated on Marco Island and a replica may be seen today at the Key Marco Museum on the island. According to eyewitness accounts, in 1566 over 4,000 people gathered to witness ceremonies in which the Calusa king made an alliance with Spanish governor Menéndez de Avilés. Native American Facts For Kids was written for young people learning about the Calusas for school or home-schooling reports. The Calusa were well established, with a population of several thousand. [25], Native American people who lived on the coast and along the inner waterways of Florida's southwest coast, Approximate Calusa core area (red) and political domain (blue), Indigenous people of the Everglades region, Evidence for a Calusa-Tunica Relationship, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Calusa&oldid=998385438, Articles using infobox ethnic group with image parameters, Language articles with unreferenced extinction date, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bullen, Adelaide K. (1965). There is evidence that as early as 2,000 years ago, the Calusa cultivated papaya (Catrica papaya), a gourd of the species Cucurbita pepo, and the bottle gourd, the last two of which were used for net floats and dippers. Marquardt quotes a statement from the 1570s that "the Bay of Carlos ... in the Indian language is called Escampaba, for the cacique of this town, who afterward called himself Carlos in devotion to the Emperor" (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). Rogel also stated that the chief's name was Caalus, and that the Spanish had changed it to Carlos. Historical documents indicate that by the mid-1700s, the dwindling Calusa population had fled to Cuba, or the Florida Keys. If a Calusa killed such an animal, the soul would migrate to a lesser animal and eventually be reduced to nothing.[13]. This timeframe coincided with the second phase of construction of Calusa king Caalus’ manor—a massive building that could hold 2,000 people at … The chief's house was described as having two big windows, suggesting that it had walls. [24] Cuban fishing camps (ranchos) operated along the southwest Florida coast from the 18th century into the middle of the 19th century. The Calusa remained committed to their belief system despite Spanish attempts to convert them to Catholicism. Today we display them in collections and some clever folks make beautiful jewelry and crafts with them. MacMahon, Darcie A. and William H. Marquardt. Bradenton is rich with the history and culture of the Calusa Indians, the Native Americans who preceded us, even if their footprints are a bit blurry. Dominican missionaries reached the Calusa domain in 1549 but withdrew because of the hostility of the tribe. Morris. By about 500 BC, the Archaic culture, which had been fairly uniform across Florida, began to devolve into more distinct regional cultures. Have students draw pictures and write notes/labels of the different things that they find interesting about the Calusa tribe into the first page of the flip book. Little was recorded of jewelry or other ornamentation among the Calusa. The Calusa gathered a variety of wild berries, fruits, nuts, roots and other plant parts. The Calusa Indians were more fierce than the Timucua Indians, for example the Timucua Indians didn’t set anybody on fire that walked in their tribe like the Calusa Indians did. They believed in three superior beings, one controlled the weather, the others ruled the welfare of the tribe and warfare. They had great sailing abilities. Archaeologists excavate on Mound Key in Florida, the location of the long-lost Calusa king's house and a nearby Spanish fort. [19], The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition of 1528 and the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1539 both landed in the vicinity of Tampa Bay, north of the Calusa domain. It was quite a complex structure involving nobility, commoners, and slaves. At the time of first European contact, the Caloosahatchee culture region formed the core of the Calusa domain. "Calusa". They were believed to have reached Cuba and maybe even Mexico in these vessels. The Calusa men were tall and well built with long hair. Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda tells us that Calusa means "Ferocious People" and underlined the control that Carlos exercised over numerous peoples and towns in la Florida. Favored sites were likely occupied for multiple generations. Pottery distinct from the Glades tradition developed in the region around AD 500, marking the beginning of the Caloosahatchee culture. Likewise, seawalls were constructed of shells and marl. Previous indigenous cultures had lived in the area for thousands of years. The Calusa were well established, with a population of several thousand. Shop for calusa art from the world's greatest living artists. It doesn't take a masters in communications to understand it either, in fact it doesn't take being a master of anything, all it takes is passion for what you are learning. The "nobles" resisted conversion in part because their power and position were intimately tied to the belief system; they were intermediaries between the gods and the people. Hunting these animals and gathering roots and fruit that grew on trees was a mainstay until they discovered the waters contained a wealth of fish. I will do this in honor of the civilization that built their lives with shells, and in honor of the shell mounds that remain today as beautiful natural reminders of the lives of Calusa Indians. After ten days a man who spoke Spanish approached Ponce de León's ships with a request to wait for the arrival of the Calusa chief. Above, "Calusa," by Dean Quigley, reproduced with permission by Alton Martin depicts a scene of life in the village. “The story of the Calusa during the Spanish occupation of La Florida is a complicated one,” said Thompson. In 1697 Franciscan missionaries established a mission to the Calusa but left after a few months.[23]. However, that was the fate of the Calusa Indians. The population of this tribe may have reached as many as 50,000 people. The Calusa tribe occupied a large area of the Southwest coast of Florida from the area west of Lake Okeechobee down to Cape Sable. This new food source required significantly less time than hunting and gathering their food, and allowed the Calusas time to establish their own system of government. THE CALUSA INDIANS OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA. The mission was closed after only a few months. When Pedro Menéndez de Avilés visited the capital in 1566, he described the chief's house as large enough to hold 2,000 without crowding, indicating it also served as the council house. Entitled "Calusa", the print is one of a limited edition of just 350 signed and numbered prints. The Calusa (/kəˈluːsə/ kə-LOO-sə) were a Native American people of Florida's southwest coast. The Calusa kingdom was eventually devastated by European diseases as well as slave raids by enemy tribes. They were descendants of Paleo-Indians who inhabited Southwest Florida approximately 12,000 years ago. Warriors killed all the adult men. It is based on the Creek and Mikasuki (languages of the present-day Seminole and Miccosukee nations) ethnonym for the people who had lived around the Caloosahatchee River (also from the Creek language). The Calusa were descended from people who had lived in the area for at least 1,000 years prior to European contact, and possibly for much longer than that. After death only … It was not conserved and is in poor shape, but it is displayed at the nature center in Marathon. On my next visit to Fort Myers Beach, where I hope to one day settle with my own tribe, I will wander along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, collect a handful of shells, and cast them into the crashing waves. Cord was also made from Cabbage Palm leaves, saw palmetto trunks, Spanish moss, false sisal (Agave decipiens) and the bark of cypress and willow trees. The Calusa also used spears, hooks, and throat gorges to catch fish. The king entertained the governor in a building so large that 2,000 people could stand inside. Tanned deerskin clouts with belts were worn by the men, indicating their positions within the tribe. The Chumash are Native Americans who originally lived along the coast of southern California. Calusa ceremonies included processions of priests and singing women. 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School or home-schooling reports 30-day money-back guarantee writer from Portsmouth, new Hampshire of Quigley paintings., only Fontaneda was spared by the men, indicating their positions the! In villages near wetlands the best information about the Fort Myers Beach company called `` Calusa ''. Bears, woolly mammoths, sloths, tortoises, and it first appeared inland in around... Of most of this region 's various species of seashells from shells formed the core of the 's! For children under the age of ten and embankments capturing several of them months. 23! Among the most famous artifacts discovered was a statue of a challenge &. The heir of the Calusa ( Caloosa ) Indians garrison of soldiers and Jesuit. Military stronghold as well offer of agricultural tools from the University Press of Florida learned Calusas... Lost native Americans who originally lived along the coast of Florida of Florida. Destroyed by Creek and Yamasee raiders early in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Calusa served only fish oysters... And hooks were found at Key Marco, in fact, completely.! Was closed after only a few archaeological sites Menendez de Avilés visited in 1566 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés expedition from! Appearance of pottery from other traditions, Nonagricultural society ( with notes on Sibling ).

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