A dialog on Seminole social structure

Native-L. March, 1995

Message-Id: <199504022358.SAA10901@info.tamu.edu>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 1995 14:49:39 -0500
Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
From: native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Subject: Re: Seminole - requesting information

Original Sender: edjakubo@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Eric)
Mailing List: NATIVE-L (native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us)

Which Seminole Nation--Florida or Oklahoma? Even though they are both Seminole, some differences do exist. However, for the most part clan systems are still in effect, especially with Square Ground people. Clans are only through the woman's line and also vary...e.g. bird, wind, deer, panther, potatoe, owl, corn, aligator, turtle, and a few others. So if mother is of the potatoe clan, her children will be of the potatoe clan, even if she remarries 100 times and has 100 different children. Clans have to marry across the Fire as we say. For example a person of the panther clan, cannot marry a person of the deer clan. But this will depend on where the clans sit in relation to the Fire. Each Square Ground will be a bit different, but generally the rules for marriage into clans still hold true. However, some of the Clan system has wained a bit for those following "the Jesus Road."

Your second question....I don't know what you're looking for. Much has changed since contact, you have to be a bit more specific than that.

Okes ce
Eric--Vbvske -- edjakubo@garnet.acns.fsu.edu
Eric Jakubowski

Message-Id: <199504031740.MAA16680@info.tamu.edu>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 1995 22:55:50 -0500
Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
From: native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Subject: Re: Seminole - Requesting information

Original Sender: pollarde@email.uah.edu
Mailing List: NATIVE-L (native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us)


I am not surprised that you are having trouble finding information on Seminole social structure. The Seminole are an offshoot of the Creek, and their kinship/clan system has been treated as a variant of that of the Creek. Moreover, the studies of change in their kinship system are included in comparative analyses of change in the Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee kinship systems. The place to begin is an article by Fred Eggan, "Historical Changes in the Choctaw Kinship System," _American Anthropologist_, vol. 37, 1937, pp. 34-52. Alexander Spoehr tested Eggan's theory of change in Crow-type kinship systems by interviewing Seminole in Florida and Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Cherokee in Oklahoma. The results were published in _Changing Kinship Systems: A Study in the Acculturation of the Creeks, Cherokee, and Choctaw_, Anthropological Series, Vol. 33, No. 4, 1947, pp. 151-235, Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.

Spoehr did earlier studies of the clan system among the Seminole in Florida. I don't have the references at hand, but you can find them by looking in George Peter Murdock's _Ethnographic Bibliography of North America_. There are five or more volumes in the latest (1975) edition. Find the volume on the Southeast culture area. General references on the culture area are listed first. Then references to the specific cultures are listed under the names of those cultures, arranged in alphabetical order. If there are more recent studies on the Seminole clan system, I am unaware of them.

I hope this helps.

Grosvenor Pollard

via Elizabeth B. Pollard, Systems Librarian
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL 35899

Internet: pollarde@email.uah.edu
Compuserve: 72457,1560
Phone: (205)895-6313

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