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(48:16, 88.3 MB; S1640; Tape 1)
Recorded on January 18, 1985 by the Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program
Welcome back to the Florida Folklife Collection Podcast Series from the State Library and Archives of Florida. This month’s podcast is being released in conjunction with the State Library and Archives’ new online exhibit, Pestilence, Potions, and Persistence: Early Florida Medicine. The materials in the exhibit originate from various collections in the holdings of the State Library and Archives of Florida that highlight the role of health and wellness in the lives of Florida’s citizens and the development of the state. The exhibit follows the gradual evolution of medical practice and health care infrastructure in Florida with documents, correspondence, and photographs dating back to the territorial period.Transcript of the introduction: Digitized images from the Florida Photographic Collection provide a view of early health care facilities and doctors, pioneering African-American physicians and women caregivers, as well as Native American healers.Transcript of the introduction:An extensive essay chronicles the many challenges facing Florida’s transition from a disease prone wilderness swampland to the tourism and recreation paradise we know today. In whole, Pestilence, Potions, and Persistence: Early Florida Medicine paints a sweeping picture of the changing face of medicine in the nation’s first state to experience settlement by foreign explorers.
Our podcast features a component of Florida medicine that existed long before those European adventurers ever reached the coastlines of the state. In this oral history interview, recorded on January 18, 1985, Seminole Indian tribal healer Susie Billie of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation discusses how she learned healing practices from her mother and father as a child, including herb gathering and identification, preparing natural cures, gender roles in Seminole medicine, physical and spiritual healing, payment methods for administering services, and the use of medicine songs. It is a truly rare and fascinating opportunity to listen to the experiences and methods of a Seminole healer firsthand. Enjoy.