Seminole women wear a head of beads that can weigh up to 25 pounds (Peithmann, 1957). According to Peithmann (1957), Seminole women feel immodest without their beads on. Seminole women receive their first string of beads at 12 years old. Seminole women received beads for birthdays and good deeds, andpurchased or made them themselves. One report notes a Seminole woman had two hundred strands of beads on her neck.The only artifact that might come close in significance for Americans would be the cell phone; however, there is nothing that can rival the treasured keepsake that the beading represents for the Seminoles.
Geometric designs were sewed to the bottom of women’s shirts and bottom of men’s knee length tunics (Peithmann, 1957). The most notable features of the Seminole clothing is the abundance of color (Peithmann, 1957).The traditional attire for men is one piece kilt-like garment, and often shoeless (Peithmann, 1957). Women wear floor length dresses with five rows of colored designs on the skirt (Peithmann, 1957). The dress is accompanied by a full cape of soft color (Peithmann, 1957). In a book chronicling some of the earliest observations of Seminole culture, Maccauley (2006) noted that the belts would often have pouches hanging from them that contained supplies for hunting. He also found that the Seminole wear lacked pockets, so the men would store items within the folds of their turbans (Maccauley 2006).
“Hair was very important in daily life, a distinctive part of `Seminoleness' in a social and somewhat ritualistic sense,” (“Hairstyles...” 2011). The use of beading, wraps, and extensions are common in many native cultures. In this way, hair can be considered an artifact as it is used to construct culture identity.Photos!!!
The images of the Seminoles in popular culture depict a fierce Indian warrior. However, upon examining the cultural costumes of the Seminoles we begin to gain a greater understanding of these people. The untold story of the Seminole culture includes a collectivist culture that forms clans on extended family. The culture is also matriarchal; a husband lives with his wife’s clan when he marries. By examining the costumes of the Seminoles, it seems that even in the arena of wardrobe women achieve superior importance.
THE FLORIDA SEMINOLESeparated from Creek tribe in early 1800sPushed further south into Everglades during battlesThriving in casino business
ARTIFACTS IN COMMUNICATIONAnnounces one’s identity and heritagePersonalizes an environmentSignals membership in groupsDefines individual as separate from mass
SEMINOLE ARTIFACTSBeadworkPatchwork, clothing, and dressHairstyles
BEADWORKWorn by WomenEssential part of daily routineWore more ornamental beads to attract husbandBuried with beads in deathUnrivaled by anything in American cultural
PATCHWORK, CLOTHING, AND DRESSGeneral Characteristics Geometric Designs Abundance ofcolorAttire for Women Floor length dress CapeAttire for Men One-piecegarment Belts and pockets
HAIRSTYLESChanged to reflect wider societal fashion trendsSelf-proclaimed feature of importance