November is Native American Heritage Month and what better way to celebrate than to learn more about the American Indian tribes that once called Florida home. The websites LostWorlds.org and TheNewWorld.us are the perfect places to start your research into Florida’s Native American history. These sites contain several exhibits focused exclusively on learning more about Florida’s Native American past and present. Here’s a look:
- Ancient Civilizations of Florida: this exhibit focuses on the most important Native American archaeological sites in Florida which reveal the rich and complex American Indian societies that existed in Florida before the arrival of Europeans. These include such sites as Mound Key, a man-made island constructed from tons of seashells and include such features as pyramids, canals and water courts, and Lake Jackson Mounds, an earthen pyramid complex that includes a great temple mound, funeral mound, and central plaza where games and festivities were held.
- Public Indian Sites of Florida: this exhibit focuses on the publicly accessible sites which preserve, present and interpret Florida’s rich Native American past. These sites include archaeological sites open to the public as well living history museums, science museums, natural history museums, art museums, and science centers to name just a few. All of these sites reveal aspects of Native American culture not commonly known to the public.
- Public Indian Events of Florida: this exhibit focuses on the Native American powwows, festivals and other events that bring Florida’s Native American history to life.
- Florida’s Native American Heritage Trail: this exhibit consists of a Google map showing the exact locations of sites from the Public Indian Sites of Florida exhibit with short descriptions and links for more in-depth information.
- Le Moyne’s Florida Indians: this exhibit includes the first artistic depictions of Native Americans and their lifeways by a European. Le Moyne, an artist with the first French colonial attempt at Fort Caroline in Jacksonville, Florida, provides an invaluable peek into how Florida’s Indians hunted, waged war, farmed, got married, buried their dead, and more.