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South Florida indians gathering food in the Everglades around the time that European come in Florida.

You are watching: What did the tequesta tribe eat

Courtesy Theodore Morris, www. Floridalosttribes.com


The Tequesta or Tekesta Indians resided in present-day southerly Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. They were second in power and also prominence among the little tribes of Florida’s south east coast. To the north to be the Jeaga and also Jobe, and to the west and southwest to be the dominant Calusa. According to historians of the at an early stage 20th century, the chef of the Tequesta was concerned the chef of the Calusa. The first record the European call with the Tequesta remained in 1513, by Juan Ponce de León when he found the Florida coast.

The Tequesta to be hunter-gatherers who lived in villages, although castle may have actually lived in the open the greater part of the year, together Bishop Diaz Vara Calderon in 1675 composed that the people in southern Florida “had no resolved abodes.” What huts lock did have were probably covered with palmetto thatch. Their villages were typically significant by a kitchen midden, the accumulation of refuse such together shell, bones, ashes, and broken pottery. These middens were always easily accessible by water and also usually situated on a river, close to its mouth, or ~ above a cay (a small, short island formed from greatly coral or sand, more often referred to as “key” in Florida). The Tequesta looked for their food (deer, fish, alligator, turtles, shellfish, plants, and roots) in dugout canoes and also sometimes traveled great distances to discover a manatee or other big marine animal.


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Seminole males in a canoe close to the Jupiter Lighthouse, ca. 1880. Courtesy HSPBC.


Like various other south Florida Indians, the Tequesta wore very small clothing, simply breechcloths (loincloths), maybe made the palmetto, because that the men, and also skirts of Spanish moss for the women. Among the critical written references to the Tequesta to be from dad Monaco in 1743, who claimed they were enduring from the continued strikes of the Yuchi, a large tribe that had actually livedfrom Illinois to Florida among many other peoples, yet struggled because that a home and also identity after the arrival of europeans upset your alliances.

In the 1770s young name Romans listed numerous deserted towns while traveling follow me the eastern coast. Several other authors attribute your extinction, choose so countless other small tribes, to groups of assorted Creek Indians that moved right into Florida in the mid-18th century native Georgia and Alabama, later referred to as Seminoles.

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© Historical society of Palm beach County.


© 2009 Historical culture of Palm beach County | all photos courtesy HSPBC uneven otherwise noted