arms, legs, hands and feet. The force with which the punishment is
administered draws blood and leaves ridges that last a lifetime. In
ancient times claws of animals were used.
The board has other uses besides that of punishment. When a
child is initiated into the tribe, his strength and endurance is tested.
Forbidden to cry, he is scratched on the hands or feet. The medicine
men also resort to the needle board to bleed the sick. This is usually
when the patent medicine, that the Indian dearly loves, has failed to
produce the desired results.
Fire-hunting by the Seminole is now forbidden by law. In the
still of the night, on narrow waterways, they formerly stole along
silently. A fire built in the prow of a dugout would reflect largely in the
eyes of an animal on the banks or in the water, making a perfect target.
The only fire-hunting allowed the Florida Indian today, is flounder
spearing. The same principle is involved, as the fire reflects into the
water, and the fish, plainly visible, are easy prey for the poised spear.
The Everglades Today
Although Federal law forbids the killing of "plume birds,"
poachers still hunt them. The plumes are taken at nesting time. This
invariably causes the death of the young birds. But the illegal $12 that
the poachers receive for a plume, is often too great a temptation.