Interview with Jeanette Cypress






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General Note/Comment

  • One reel to reel. Jeannette is the daughter of Agnes Cypress, and granddaughter Susie Billie, both Seminole medicine women. She discusses her education; growing up at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation; learning traditional medicine from her family; medicine songs; the Seminole clan system; leadership at reservations; women's roles at reservations; women's rights movements' effect upon Seminole women; differences between medicine women and medicine men in Seminole society; traditional medicinal practices; the Green Corn Dance; Christianity; and bilingual education. The Seminole Video Project was a joint project between the Florida Folklife Program and WFSU-TV. Completed in Spring 1984, and financed by a Florida Endowment for the Humanities grant with the support of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the project culminated in a thirty-minute documentary entitled "Four Corners of the Earth" which profiled Ethel Santiago, a Seminole craftswoman and tribal representative. The program addressed such issues as cultural retention within contemporary society; the role of women in Seminole society; traditional Seminole foods, arts, and medicine; and the changing emphasis on clan affiliations. The project covered Seminoles on the Big Cypress and Hollywood Reservations and at Immokalee, Florida. Raw video footage, along with the finished product, can be found in S 1615, V84-16 through V-84-24. Images from the project can be found in S 1577, v. 23, slides S83-2994 - S83-3020.

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