Food of the Florida Indians

Food of the Florida Indians


  • Food of the Florida Indians

Published Date

  • published 1940


were placed, forming a grill or grating. On this they laid their trophies
and built a fire underneath for smoking the meat. The finished product
was stored in buildings similar to the granaries. It is thought that the
Indians also used salt as a preservative, both for the game and fish, as
it is known that they set receptacles of salt-water in the sun to
evaporate and then collected the mineral.

The fisherman used no less ingenuity than the hunters. They
invented complicated fish traps woven from reeds, and constructed
elaborate fishweirs. The coastal tribes lived almost entirely on fish. In
1568, Father Seleno commented that these tribes lived chiefly on fish
and oysters, supplemented by roots and fruits, such as the prickly pear.
The colorful Francisco Chicora, Indian guide to Peter Martyr,
imaginatively described a tribe of Indians "with tails a meter long and
as thick as a man's arm, who ultimately died for lack of fish, their sole

After food had been stored, the Indians held the Festival of the
First Fruits, which Laudonniere called the "Toya." This was observed
with solemn and peculiar ceremony, preceded by several days of
fishing. The women cleared a large, circular space in which they
created supports for the cook pots. The pots were filled with a choice
collection of venison, alligator tail,