The band was one of the two major elements of Seminole Society. Originally, each band was a separate Tribe which later joined with the others to form the Seminole Tribe in the late 1700ís and early 1800ís. Throughout the history of the Seminole Nation, the band was of primary importance to the Seminole people. The band was the center of religious life; first with the great annual ceremonies such as the Green Corn Dance, and later with the churches. It was also the center of political and legal life. The band Chief, his assistant, and one of the band counselors from each band formed the Tribal Council. Within the band, the band Chiefs and the counselors made the laws for that band and served as a court to settle disputes within the band. The band also was a focus of economic life for the Seminole. Each band had a communal field which was worked by all of its able-bodied members. The produce of the field was under the control of the Chief and was used to feed guests, provide for orphans and the destitute, and to help with the expenses of running the band. Through time, the number of bands has been steadily reduced, as some bands died out or joined with other, related bands. In the 1830ís in Florida, there may have been as many as 35 bands, in 1860 there were 24, and by 1879 there were only 14 bands - the current number. In 1866, two new bands were recognized. These were both Freedmen bands composed of Negroes who had been associated with the Seminole since before removal. Band membership was determined by birth and a person belonged to the band of their mother. While it was possible to change bands, this required the permission of both bands; and band membership was usually for life. Bands were frequently known by the name of their Chief and therefore the names would frequently change when a new Chief was selected. The bands were also known on occasion by their old tribal names.
Seminole Tribal BandsThe towns marked with an * were Red/War Towns, the rest were White/Peace Towns Mvskokee Speaking Towns Efvlv, Fus-hvtce, New Comer, Oceese, Rewahle, Tvlvhasse, Tvsekia Haco, Tom Palmer Hecete Speaking Towns Ceyvah, Hecete, Mekkosukee, Nvrcvp Haco Caesar Bruner Band Caesar Bruner band was named after Caesar Bruner, a freedman, who was born in Florida around 1813. He arrived in Indian Territory over the historical "Trail of Tears". Under his leadership, a small Freedmen community called Bruner Town was formed. Several members of the extended Bruner family settled around him. The settlement was located midway between the present towns of Seminole and Konawa on Salt Creek. Caesar Bruner was the son-in-law to Abraham, an interpreter for the Seminole Indians and a great warrior. Sometime in 1870, Caesar Bruner found a new location for his people on Turkey Creek where there was plenty of room for fishing, hunting, farming and cattle ranching. Caesar Bruner was the first Band chief elected in the band shortly after the Civil War and remained in that position until death on June 26, 1923 at the age of 110 years. He is buried in Mount Zion Church graveyard which he had established for his people. Caesar Bruner and his band promoted education for their members and making money in the cattle business. Band members were not allowed to commit crimes. If caught doing so, the band exacted harsh punishment. Previous Band chiefs included Andrew Crockett and Lance and Lawrence Cudjoe. Ceyvah Band This band is descended from one of the principal tribes of the southeastern area of the United States. The Ceyvah were a part of the Muskhogean confederacy of Georgia and spoke the dialect of the Hitchiti language. They made their way to Florida during the border wars with the Georgia Militia and forces of the American Army. After the Second Seminole War period the Ceyvah Band was removed from Florida to Indian Territory. This Band eventually settled in the northern part of the Seminole Nation after the treaty of 1856. This Band had close ties with the Hitvhiti and Mekusukey Bands, who were neighbors. Prior to the Dawes Commission enrollment period the Band was named the Okkoske Harjo Band. Okkoske Harjo (Miller) was chairman of the Seminole Council (1900). Dosar Barkus Band In the late 17th century Africans who were enslaved by the English in the Carolinas, began to escape into Florida. These people were a part of the foundation of the people who became known as the Seminoles. In 1813, a man by the name of William Noble led what is now the Dosar Barkus Band. Being born in Florida, he had no band, only a tribe. William Noble led what later became the Dosar Barkus Band from 1870--1898. Dosar Barkus took over leadership in 1898. The Dawes Roll gave the band the name, Dosar Barkus Band. This band was comprised of the slaves of John Jumper, Chief of the Seminole Nation. Fushutche Band (Bird Creek) Fushutche Band was originally Fushutche Town, an old Upper Creek Town appearing on maps as early as 1733. A small band was noted in northern Florida as early as 1778. Fushutche Town migrated to Florida between 1814-1815, joined other Indian tribes and became known as the Seminoles. While in Florida, Fushutche Town became a Band and was represented on the Seminole Tribal Council. During the Second Seminole War, they were removed to Indian Territory and eventually in 1845, settled in the southern part of the Seminole Nation. To this date, Fushutche Band continues representation on the General Council of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Band Chief/Chairman (1836-Present) Tastanakochi, Tastanak Kochokeni, Short Bird, Ahalakochi, William Connor, Marcy Cully, Hazel (Wood) Larney (present) General Council Representative (1969-Present) Marcy Cully, Tony M. Palmer, Sr., Jackson Tiger, Ida (Harjo) Harjo, Roy Wood, Susie (Cully) Petete, Danny J. Hooper, Mickey W. Davis, Tony Davis, Symathia (Palmer) Hooper. Hecete Band The Hecete Tribe originated in the southeastern United States. The Creek term ahitchita meaning to "look up" has been generally accepted s the origin of the name Hecete or Hitchiti. The Hecete although classified as part of the Muskogean linguistic family, actually spoke a dialect that is different from the Muskogee proper. The Hecete were an ancient tribal group who lived in southern Georgia and northern Florida long before the arrival of the Muskogean proper to that region. The Hecete were considered the "mother" town of the lower Creek towns of the Creek Confederacy. The Hecete migrated with the Seminoles to Florida and to Indian Territory, later Oklahoma. The Hecete settled in the northern part of Seminole Territory. Hvteyievike Band This Band is also referred to as the Newcomer Band. They were the last band to arrive from Florida during the removal period under the leadership of their Band Chief John Chupco, also called "Long John". They carried with them to the sacred medicine bundle to Indian Territory. Among the longtime leaders of this Seminole Band included Concharty Micco, John Chupco, Carpitchoche and Simon Brown for whom the Band was named prior to the Dawes Commission of 1887. During the Civil War the Seminole Nation became divided and John Chupco became the Principal Chief of the Union faction of Seminoles. He served as a sergeant in the loyal Indian Regiment of the Union Army. As a Principal Chief he was noted for rigid enforcement of Seminole law and for his energetic, practical and incorruptible administration. Among the notable women of this band includes longtime General Council Representative and first woman band chairperson Marie Hall and Rina Coker the Seminole girl who made the journey from Florida on the "Trail of Tears" to Indian Territory. She grew into a respected elder and told many stories from that era of Seminole history. Nurcup Harjo Band This band was a part of the Appalachicola Tribe of northern Florida, a branch of the lower Creek Confederacy. They were also known as the Tamathi. In 1818 their leader was Asi Harjo, in 1822 Mulatto King, and in 1834 Nokus Yahola became the paramount leader. In 1835 two Bands of the Appalachicola merged under the leadership of John Walker, the son of Mulatto King. Both of these Bands were "white towns". By 1838 the Appalachicola were sent west where Tamathli reached the Indian Territory in late October of 1838. They settled around the Little country under the leadership of John Walker. In 1861 the Band sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War period under the leadership of Band Chief Charley Walker. Other noted leaders of this band include longtime Chairman Wilson Kinney, Principak Chiefs Phillip Walker and James Milam, Council Representatives Robert Kernell, Helen Colbert, Beulah Jones and Sam Johnson. Nurcup Harjo at present numbers around 650 members. They continue to be a proud and vital part of the Seminole Nation. Ocese Band This monument is dedicated to Ocese Band members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma-past members who heroically survived the removal to the West (Indian Territory); the present members who continue to carry on the traditions taught them; and to the future members who will continue to keep our spirit and traditions alive. Rewahle Band The history of this Upper Creek town dates before the arrival of the Spanish explorer, Hernando DeSoto in the early 1500's. Horrewahle, as they were originally called, means to "Divide War" or "War Dividers", was the oldest Red Stick or war town in the Mvskokee Confederacy. They had the right to formally declare war on their enemies, and are the Creek speaking faction of the Mvskokee and Seminole tribes. Situated for centuries on the Tallapoosa River in present day Elmore County, Alabama, Horrewahle was one of the larger towns with several daughter towns that formed at different times throughout their history. These are the Atvsee, Fus-hvtce, Kvlvme, Kvn-hvtke and Rop-Rakko tribal towns. Some of the population also included members from the ancient town of Coosa. After the massacre at Horseshoe Bend in 1814, Rewahle moved with other Red Stick Creeks to Florida and found refuge with their kinsmen, the Seminole, other members of the Creek faction were removed to Indian Territory along with the Creeks. During the start of the Second Seminole War in 1835, the Rewahle, Efvlv, Kvn-hvkte, and Fus-hvtce were all living in the same vicinity near what is now Tampa Bay, Florida. Rewahle Band Chief, Kowa Rakko and his band of 407 people boarded a steamboat at Ft. Brooke on April 12, 1836, to take them through the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi and then to the Arkansas River. Other Seminole Bands included the Fus-hvtce, Kvn-hvyke, Oktaha and most of the Oceese members. They arrived in New Orleans on April 23rd and reached Little Rock, Arkansas on May 5th with 382 members. Two days later, they embarked on the steamship 'Compromise', and arrived ashore at McLeans's Bottom, a few miles below Ft. Smith. Once there, Lt. Meade procured wagons to take them overland to their destination in the Indian Territory. These Seminole eventually settled along the south Canadian River near their kinsmen, the Creeks. Their ancient ceremonial fire that was carried in a horn from Florida, was rekindled again after settling in their assigned regions. They continued to make large gardens of corn, pumpkin, beans and squash. These gardens were often as large as seven miles wide and eleven miles long. They continued to hunt wild game and gather nuts and berries. By February of 1845, Rewahle and the rest of the Seminoles migrated west on the south Canadian River in the extreme southern part of Seminole county. Rewahle and members of other towns like the Coosa and Kvn-hvtke, merged back into the large town that it once was, where some soon lost the identity of their original tribal town affiliation. In the 1980's, the Rewahle ceremonial fire was extinguished and the ground remains dormant today. Some of the members still attend the Posketa, or Green Corn ceremony at other active ceremonial grounds and others attend Indian Baptist Churches. Once a most populated town, the Seminole Rewahle Etvlwv remain the smallest of the bands today. -courtesy Pare Bowlegs Tallahassee Band Tallahassee of the Seminole Tribe originally lived in northern Florida, a region known as the Ablachi Old Fields. They were in leadership of the Abalachi region, circa 1750-1780 under Chief Tonoby. During the first Seminole War, 1817-1818, tribal towns from this region were participants in the engagements. In 1823 the first treaty with the Seminole, the "Treaty of Camp Moultrie", would establish a reservation in central Florida. The Tallahassee refuted the action and did not sign the treaty. Ironically, the Governor's council formed a commission to find a site for the capitol of Florida Territory. While exploring the area, the commission came into contact with the Chefixico and knowing the purpose of the visit, he snatched up from the ground a handful of dirt saying, "Is this my land?" On May 24, 1824 Congress confirmed the site chosen by the Governor's Commission by passing an act to establish the capitol of Florida Territory on the Tallahassee's former homeland, which remains today as the capitol of the state of Florida. The location of the new reservation in central Florida would place the Tallahassee northeast of Tampa. The continuation of the Seminole Wars (1836-1858) would result in many Tallahassee being relocated to Indian Territory. Other leaders after removal were Tallobee (1860); Nokus Emartha (1871); Neha Harjo (1879); and Echo Emarthoge (1898). The Tallahassee are still one of the largest bands with many members in leadership positions, just as their ancestors of old. Thomas Palmer Band The steamboat "Wm. Gaston" carried the remnants of Pascofas Oklocknee Seminoles down the coast of Florida towards their new homes in Indian Territory. Pascofa was called the "Scourge of Florida" by the Florida Territory newspapers. His warriors had carried on a relentless war against white settlers and U.S. Troops. Finally, his people weary, starving, and destitute, Pascofa agreed to meet Col. Hitchcock of the 3rd Infantry on January 9, 1843. They were given a military salute with cannons as they came in. An elder woman of the band stated o the officers that babies had been put to death as a means of preventing the capture of the entire group. The band was placed on the boat and carried out to sea. Legend states that Pascofa and his band looked silently upon the shores of their beloved Florida. Tears filled their eyes as they began to lose sight of their land, then the wails and cries could be heard by the soldiers on the shore. The band was taken to Jefferson Barracks, New Orleans. In Indian Territory this Band joined the Eufaula Band but were led separately by Pascofa who became a respected leader among the Seminoles. Other noted leaders include Chief John F. Brown the last Chief before statehood, Alice Davis First Woman Chief and Tribal Secretary, Thomas Palmer (1897) for whom the band is named. The Thomas Palmer Band proudly upholds the traditions of the Seminole Nation and is a vital part of the tribal government. Tusekia Harjo Band The Tusekia Harjo Band is the largest band in the Great Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Tusekia or Tvsekiyv, meaning "one who has received a war name". Harjo or Hacho means "a title" like a Colonel, being courageous, somewhat reckless in war. The bands that were enrolled during the period of the Dawes Commission in 1897, have retained the name sake of the Band Chief of that time until the present. Tusekia Harjo Band, are descended from the Okone. In the early 1740's and early 1750's and ethnic group, the Okone, moved from the region of Central Georgia of the Muskogee towns into the Alachua Prairie region of north central Florida, the area of the present city of Gainesville. The Okone behaved as an old Chiefdom regaining their earlier autonomy. Their leader, Ahaya or Wakapuchasce (Cow Keeper) had also been called the founder of the Seminoles, for although the Okone were not the earliest of the Prot-Seminole regional cheifdoms, they were the first to be labeled Seminole. Some features of the Alachua Okone were clearly recorded. The Okone had several settlements in the area of the Alachua Prairies, Cuskowilla being the home of the primary Okone group appears to have belonged to the Red Division as well as to the Santa Fe Tolofa under the Okone leadership of Viokafki or Long Warrior. Alachua Okone Seminoles changed leadership between 1775 and 1785. Payne replaced Cowkeeper as Chief of Alachua. After Paynes death in 1812, his brother Hotti Hopoya (Bowlegs) succeeded him as Paramount Chief of the Alachuas. Mikkonapa succeeded Bowlegs from 1821 to 1849, Mikkonapa and five other sub-chiefs, during a truce conference, were made prisoners of war on December 14, 1837, while encamped near Fort Mellon. They were then sent on a steamer to St. Augustine, and later they were taken to Sullivan Island. Micanapy Emathla and 218 of their people were sent by steamer to New Orleans on February 22, 1838 and imprisoned them there at the barracks of Fort Pike. Huithli Emathla (Jumper) died at the barracks April 18, 1838. The captors collected prisoners at the barracks until mid-May, when they sent 1,127 toward Fort Gibson, 47 of them had died by the time they reached Vicksburgh. Mikkonapas party reached Fort Gibson in June of 1838. After moving to their new land in 1845, Mikkonapa was paramount chief, and died in December of 1848. He was succeeded to office by Jim Jumper, his sister's son Mikko Mucasa (Jim Jumper) from 1851 to 1878. Cotchaile 1879-? and Tusikayo Hacho in 1898. Tusikayo Hacho Band fought for the south during the Civil War. After the war they were removed to what is now Seminole County. Tusekia Harjo Band at present includes over 2,500 members, the largest of the Seminole Nation Bands under the leadership of Tom Palmer. They continue to strive for excellence and the right to determine their place in this world as a sovereign.
* New Comer
* Thomas Palmer
* Tvsekia Haco
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