|extinct as a tribe|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States Florida, southwestern Georgia|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Apalachicola, other Muskogean peoples|
The Apalachee were an
The Apalachee occupied the site of Velda Mound starting about 1450 CE, they but had mostly abandoned it when Spanish started settlements in the 17th century. They first encountered Spanish explorers in 1528, when the Narváez expedition arrived. Their tribal enemies, European diseases, and European encroachment severely reduced their population.
The Apalachee language was a Muskogean language, about which little more is known. It went extinct in the late 18th century. The only surviving Apalachee document is a 1688 letter written by Apalachee chiefs to the Spanish king.
The Apalachee are thought to be part of
The Apalachee were horticulturalists with stratified chiefdoms and sedentary towns and villages.
At the time of
Villages and towns were often situated by lakes, as the Native people hunted fish and used the water for domestic needs and transport. The largest Apalachee community was at
The Apalachee cultivated
The Apalachee were part of an expansive trade network that extended from the
The Apalachee made tools from stone, bone and shell. They made
The Apalachee men wore a deerskin
The Apalachee scalped opponents whom they killed, exhibiting the scalps as signs of warrior ability. Taking a scalp was a means of entering the warrior class, and was celebrated with a scalp dance. The warriors wore headdresses made of bird beaks and animal fur. The village or clan of a slain warrior was expected to avenge his death.
The Apalachee played a ball game, sometimes known as the "Apalachee ball game", described in detail by Spaniards in the 17th century. The fullest description,
No indigenous name for the game has been preserved. The Spanish referred to it as el juego de la pelota, "the ballgame." The game involved kicking a small, hard ball against a single
A village would challenge another village to a game, and the two villages would then negotiate a day and place for the match. After the Spanish missions were established, the games usually took place on a Sunday afternoon, from about noon until dark. The two teams kicked a small ball (not much bigger than a musket ball), made by wrapping buckskin around dried mud, trying to hit the goalpost. The single goalpost was triangular, flat, and taller than it was wide, on a long post (Bushnell described it, based on a drawing in a Spanish manuscript, as "like a tall, flat Christmas tree with a long trunk"). There were snail shells, a nest and a stuffed eagle on top of the goalpost. Benches, and sometimes arbors to shade them, were placed at the edges of the field for the two teams. Spectators gambled heavily on the games. As the Apalachee did not normally use money, their bets were made with personal goods.
Each team consisted of 40 to 50 men. The best players were highly prized, and villages gave them houses, planted their fields for them, and overlooked their misdeeds in an effort to keep such players on their teams. Players scored one point if they hit the goalpost with the ball, and two points if the ball landed in the nest. Eleven points won the game. Play was rough.. They would try to hide the ball in their mouths; other players would choke them or kick them in the stomach to force the ball out. There were occasional deaths. According to Father Paiva, five games in a row had ended in riots.
The game's origin story was elaborate. Challenging a team to a game, erecting goalposts and players' benches, and other aspects were governed by strict ceremonial protocols. Christian elements became part of the game. Players began asking priests to make the sign of the cross-over pileups during a game.
The densely populated Apalachee had a complex, highly stratified society of regional chiefdoms. They were one of the Mississippian cultures and part of an expansive trade network reaching to the Great Lakes. Their reputation was such that when tribes in southern Florida first encountered the Pánfilo de Narváez expedition, they said the riches which the Spanish sought could be found in Apalachee country.
Because of their prior experience with the Narváez expedition and reports of fighting between the de Soto expedition and tribes along the way, the Apalachee feared and hated the Spanish. When the de Soto expedition entered the Apalachee domain, the Spanish soldiers were described as "lancing every Indian encountered on both sides of the road." De Soto and his men seized the Apalachee town of Anhaica, where they spent the winter of 1539 and 1540.
Apalachee fought back with quick raiding parties and ambushes. Their arrows could penetrate two layers of chain mail. They targeted Spaniards' horses, which otherwise gave the Spanish an advantage against the unmounted Apalachee. The Apalachee were described as "being more pleased in killing one of these animals than they were in killing four Christians." In the spring of 1540, de Soto and his men left the Apalachee domain and headed north into what is now the state of Georgia.
Spanish missions and 18th-century warfare
About 1600, the
In the 1670s, tribes north and west of the Apalachee (including
When the Spanish abandoned Apalachee province in 1704, some 800 surviving Indians, including Apalachees, Chatots, and Yamasee, fled west to
Later, some Apalachees moved on to the Red River in present-day Louisiana, while others returned to the Pensacola area, to a village called Nuestra Señora de la Soledad y San Luís. A few Apalachees from the Pensacola area returned to Apalachee province around 1718, settling near a recently built Spanish fort at St. Marks, Florida. Many Apalachees from the village of Ivitachuco moved to a site called Abosaya near a fortified Spanish ranch in what is today Alachua County, Florida. In late 1705, the remaining missions and ranches in the area were attacked, and Abosaya was under siege for 20 days. The Apalachees of Abosaya moved south of St. Augustine, but most of them were killed in raids within a year.
The Red River band in Louisiana integrated with other Indian groups, and many eventually went west with the Muscogee, though others remained, and their descendants still live in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
When Florida was transferred to
Cultural heritage groups
Several organizations claim to represent descendants of the Apalachee people today. None of these are
- Talimali Band of Apalachee Indians of Pineville, Louisiana
- Apalachee Indian Tribe of Alexandria, Louisiana
- Apalachee Indians Talimali Band of Stonewall, Louisiana.
- Leon-Jefferson culture
- List of unrecognized tribes in the United States
- Muskogean languages
- List of sites and peoples visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition
- Queen Anne's War
- List of Native American peoples in the United States
- Bobby G. McEwan, "Apalachee and Neighboring Groups," 676.
- Bobby G. McEwan, "Apalachee and Neighboring Groups," 669.
- Bobby G. McEwan, "Apalachee and Neighboring Groups," 673
- Bobby G. McEwan, "Apalachee and Neighboring Groups," 670.
- Bobby G. McEwan, "Apalachee and Neighboring Groups," 671.
- Available in English translation at http://earlyfloridalit.net/?page_id=59, retrieved 6/5/2015.
- Bushnell, "That Demonic Game," 5, 6–15.
- Bushnell, "That Demonic Game," 5
- Bushnell, "That Demonic Game," 5–6.
- Bushnell, "That Demonic Game," 6–7, 9, 13, 15.
- Bushnell, "That Demonic Game," 10–15.
- "Apalachee Province" Archived 2014-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, History and Archeology, Friends of Mission San Luis, 2008, accessed 1 Feb 2010
- Schneider, pp102-103
- Davis, Aaron (1977). "On the Naming of Appalachia" (PDF). In Williamson, J.W. (ed.). An Appalachian Symposium: Essays written in honor of Cratis D. Williams. Boone, N.C.: Appalachian State University Press. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Stewart, George (1945). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States. New York: Random House. p. 17.
- Schneider, p. 145
- McEwan, Bonnie. "San Luis de Talimali (or Mission San Luis)". Florida Humanities Council. Archived from the original on November 16, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Friends of Mission San Luis, Inc. home page". Archived from the original on 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2006-05-16.
- "President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush present the Preserve America award for heritage tourism to Dr. Bonnie McEwan, Executive Director, Mission San Luis of Tallahassee, Fla., left, and Mrs. Columba Bush, the First Lady of Florida, in the Oval Office Monday, May 1, 2006. White House photo by Eric Draper". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov.
- Milanich:184-5, 187
- Ricky, Encyclopedia of Georgia Indians, 77.
- Milanich: 187-8, 191, 195
Tony Horwitz, "Apalachee Tribe, Missing for Centuries, Comes Out of Hiding Archived 2016-11-06 at the Wayback Machine", The Wall Street Journal, 9 Mar 2005; Page A1, on Weyanoke Association Website, accessed 29 Apr 2010
Ricky, Encyclopedia of Georgia Indians, 76–77.
- "Federal and State Recognized Tribes". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
- "List of Petitoners By State" (PDF). 12 November 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
|Library resources about |
- Bushnell, Amy. (1978). "'That Demonic Game': The Campaign to Stop Indian Pelota Playing in Spanish America, 1675–1684." The Americas 35(1):1–19. Reprinted in David Hurst Thomas. (1991). The Missions of Spanish Florida. Spanish Borderlands Sourcebooks 23. New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8240-2098-7
- McEwan, Bonnie G. (2004). Fogelson, Raymond D. (ed.). Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast, Vol. 14. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 669–76. ISBN 0-16-072300-0.
- Milanich, Jerald T. (2006). Laboring in the Fields of the Lord: Spanish Missions and Southeastern Indians. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-2966-X
- Ricky, Donald (2001). The Encyclopedia of Georgia Indians: Indians of Georgia and the Southeast. Native American Books. ISBN 9780403097456.
- ISBN 0-8050-6835-X
- Brown, Robin C. (1994). Florida's First People, Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 1-56164-032-8
- "Apalachee", Florida lessons, University of South Florida
- Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park – official site
- "Apalachee", Regional Folklife, Northern State University of Louisiana
- Jessica E. Saraceni, "Apalachee Surface in Louisiana", Archeology, 29 Jul 1997