The Clans of the Seminole Tribe

A student at the Pemayetv Emahakv school. (Photo by Aaron Bristol)

In Seminole folklore, animals were made by the Creator and were put away in a shell. They each found their way out, and the Creator gave each of them a name and a strength—the panther was given knowledge and the power to heal, wind allowed the world to breathe, the bird could oversee the world.

Seminoles are all members of a clan, and there are eight today: Panther, Bear, Deer, Wind, Bigtown/Toad, Bird, Snake, and Otter. Other clans have gone extinct, including the Alligator clan.

Children inherit their clan through their mothers and husbands traditionally go to live in the camp of his new wife’s clan. Clan members do not intermarry, and when the last woman of a clan dies, it’s considered extinct.

Source: Seminole tribe of Florida

This story was inspired by our May/June 2019 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.