Seminole - Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization. The formal political structures found among the tribes ancestral to the Seminole broke apart under the duress of warfare, disease, and population loss during the migration into Florida. Population movements meant new combinations in new communities, and the leaders eventually became men who had no inherited claim to their positions. The role of chief had been passed on in clans, but that practice ceased as the result of the extinction of some clans and the lack of suitable individuals in others. Leaders became men who were willing, competent, and acceptable. Osceola is an example of such a leader.

Under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Seminole created a political unit in 1957—the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 1962 a smaller group of Seminole organized the Miccosukee Tribe. Although not all Seminole belong to one or the other, most have joined. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has three reservations—Hollywood, Brighton, and Big Cypress; the Miccosukee Tribe has a small reservation on the edge of the Everglades.

Social Control. Social control in the clans traditionally lay in the hands of maternal uncles. Gossip, ridicule, and isolation are used to correct antisocial behavior. Supernatural sanctions were important prior to World War I, but are no longer so.

Conflict. Following the formation of the Seminole as a unit, the major conflict was with outsiders and resulted in the three Seminole wars. During this period, the Seminole remaining in Florida greatly disapproved of those moving to Oklahoma. In recent times, intragroup conflict has been insignificant except insofar as the more traditionally oriented people did not join the Seminole Tribe of Florida but created their own group, the Miccosukee Tribe.

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Matias Gonzalez
What is the infrastructure, structure, and superstructure of the Florida Seminoles?

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