"With this latest book, historian John Hann has completed his remarkable trifecta on Florida's Indians, adding South Florida to his previous UPF volumes on the Apalachees and Timucuans. Hann deftly weaves a diverse range of Spanish documentary sources into a comprehensive overview of the nonagricultural peoples of the southern Florida peninsula, providing readers with a wealth of much-needed information in a single volume. This book will instantly become required reading for anyone studying South Florida's indigenous peoples."--John Worth, Florida Museum of Natural History
<P>"Finally, a concise, authoritative, and exhaustively researched ethnohistorical synthesis of the native peoples of South Florida. This book presents important documentation on the culture, religion, and political organization of the aboriginal peoples of South Florida, including some of the most politically complex groups in all of North America. . . . A marvelous exposé of Florida's lost natives and how they lived and interacted with each other and the Spanish, ultimately leading to their demise and extinction."--Randolph J. Widmer, University of Houston
John Hann, a preeminent authority and prize-winning author of books on Florida's native peoples, offers here the first survey available of Indians of the peninsula south of Timucua and Apalachee territory, from their earliest contact with Europeans to their disappearance in the 18th century. The book will have broad appeal for residents of South Florida interested in learning about the Indians and colonial history of the areas in which they live and will be of specific interest to historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists.
<P>Hann discusses the peoples who occupied an area south of a line drawn roughly from the mouth of the Withlacoochee River eastward to Turtle Mound, located a little north of Cape Canaveral. He focuses on the Calusa of the southwest coast, the people of the Tampa Bay region, and the Surruque and Ais and their kin of the east coast from Turtle Mound southward through the Keys, as well as their hinterland kin from the St. Johns through the Kissimmee valleys. Using original unpublished sources that are virtually unknown to most anthropologists and archaeologists, Hann examines documents from the first periods of contact in North America. He also analyzes archaeological investigations from the last quarter century, particularly those involving the Calusa and the Tequesta living at the mouth of the Miami River. Common features among these people, he concludes, are the almost total absence of agriculture in their lives and their slight, episodic contact with Spaniards.
<P>Hann offers new insights on subjects such as the marriages and political alliances of chiefs, and his topics range from beverages and household utensils to ceremonial items, musical instruments, and fishing techniques and tools. He also presents an unparalleled compilation of information on indigenous Native American belief systems. This important work will be significant for understanding aboriginal culture not only of Florida but North America in general.
<P>John H. Hann, historian at the San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site in Tallahassee, is a member of the Florida Department of State, Bureau of Archaeological Research. He is the author, coauthor, or translator of many books on the native peoples of Florida, including The Apalachee Indians and Mission San Luis (with Bonnie McEwan, UPF, 1998) and Hernando de Soto among the Apalachee: The Archaeology of the First Winter Encampment (with Charles R. Ewen, UPF, 1998).