Seminole Nation Clans
The clan was the second major element of Seminole Society. Like the band,
clan membership was inherited from the mother. The clan were considered to
be close kin and could not marry one another. Relations by marriage were
also extended to all members of the affected clan. Thus, all men of a person's
father's clan were considered to be "father" and all women were "aunts" and
therefore could not be married. When the last female in a clan passes on, the
clan is considered extinct.
There were many clans among the Seminole, at least 25 in 1900 and probably
more earlier. Each clan generally had members in several bands and some, such
as the Bird, Potato, Bear, and Deer clans were found in virtually all of the bands.
There were also larger groupings called phratries by social scientists, which
combines several clans. Members of the same phratry were considered related,
though not as closely as members of the same clan, and generally could not marry.
There were two larger groups of clans called the "Hataka" and the "Chiloki". Persons
belonging to the first had responsibility for most civic and religious functions, while
members of the second presided over military affairs.
The clans had many functions beside regulating marriage. They were represented on
the band councils and provided support and assistance in disputes concerning their
members. The clans also helped provide for members who were orphaned or destitute.
Additionally, the band officials were selected from specific clans, there being only one
or two clans who members were eligible for specific office.
Clans of the Seminole and Miccosukee
( These clans are still in existence)
Alligator (Hvlpvtvlke), Bear (Nokusvlke), Beaver (Echaswvlke), Bird (Fuswvlke),
Deer (Ecovlke), Fox (Culvlke), Lye Drip, Otter, Panther, Potato (Ahalvlke)
Raccoon (Wotkvlke), Snake, Water Moccasin, and Wind Clan (Hotvlkvlke)
The Snake and Water Moccasin clans are daughter clans of the Alligator. Clans
are related in a few different ways. The Panther (largest clan in Florida) is related
to the Raccoon because they both have claws. Beaver is kin to Snake because
of their association with water, Alligator would be, also. Bird is not related to the
Wind, only compatible. Wolf is an off-branch of the Bear which would be related
to the Panther since they all have claws. The Lye Drip is related to anything in the
water, since lye is made up of water, but it is also made up of wood ashes. This
would make this clan related to any type of plants, like Cane, Potato, Moss, etc.
(These clans are no longer in existence)
Arrow, Buffalo, Buzzard, Cane, Corn, Crow, Daddy Longlegs, Dew, Eagle, Earth, Fish,
Fresh Land, Hair, Hickory Nut, Horned Owl, Medicine, Mink, Mole, Moss, Muskrat,
Nokfelvlke, Pumpkin, Rabbit, Raven, Red Paint, Salt, Skunk, Spanish, Tamvlke,
Woksvlke, Toad, Turkey, Turtle, Weevil, Wildcat and Wolf Clan (Yvhvlke)
(The clans listed below were Creek clans and are no longer in existence)
Cowastvlke, Enransvlke, Kuntvlke, Mvklasvlke, Recvmvlke,
Tvmvlke, Wvrakvlke, and Woksvlke
-courtesy of Pare Bowlegs and the Seminole Nation Museum
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