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A Miccosukee Everglades Adventure

   

If gators and Native American tribes are your thing then you’ll love my recent trip to the Everglades. A 40 minute drive outside of the ever moving city of Miami is a more slow paced and peaceful Miccosukee Indian village within the Everglades wetlands. The drive is very scenic and when we arrived to the bold red, yellow, and black colors of the Miccossukee tribe we got very excited .



The day’s events began with a village tour where we saw and learnt about different Chikees (rooms) where the natives carry out their daily tasks such as these sleeping and cooking Chickees below.




We also got to meet some Native American people who demonstrated their trade such as patchwork, beading, carving, and jewelry making. One craftswoman told me that the colors used in many crafts are indicative of the tribe which they belong to. Many of the natives we met did not belong to the Miccosuke Tribe and their families had been integrated into society for generations. For example this Mayan beader.


The second item on our agenda was the Alligator show which also took place in the village. The show involved a demonstrator doing “tricks” such as placing his hand between the gator’s teeth, riding the gator, and also allowing viewers to sit on its back .




I don’t know if it was the animal lover in me but the show was a bit flat. I think I just prefer observing alligators in their natural habitat. Off to the museum we went. Inside there were many exhibits and a movie which told stories about the Miccosukee village. One thing I learnt from the village tour was that the Miccosukee people are very resourceful, efficient and communal.



We headed to a boardwalk where we could look out and get a wide view of the Evergladess. As far out as I could see were wetland marshes. Beyond the boardwalk were many wild gators. An employee told me that the Miccosukee people are the only ones allowed to hunt alligators in the Everglades and have a system where they know which gender and how many to hunt to avoid offsetting the ecosystem's balance. 


As we left the village I was very grateful for the enriching stories and displays of what Miccosukee life is like, however I was a little disappointed that there were no Miccosukee tribe members actively living at the site. I was told that they left and sold their village to be used for educational purposes. Right across the road from the Miccosukee village is the Airboat station where we hoped on a boat and zipped through the tall grasses of the wetlands. This was definitely the highlight of my day.
    






 Our boat guide took us to another village site where we saw many tribal monuments, other Chikee’s and a mommy gator with her babies. They were so tiny. Again this village was not actively inhabited by Miccosukee people however it was fascinating to see the genuine Chikee's, spears, crafts and other things that they left behind. 


Our visit to the Everglades ended with a beautiful boat ride back as the sun was setting. It was breathtaking and I couldn't help but feel very connected to nature. 
   


3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this post! I'm moving (temporarily) to Florida in March and hope to visit the Everglades while I'm there! I'll try to make a trip down towards Miami so I can check Miccosukee out :)

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    Replies
    1. Yay ! I'm sure you'll have a great time !! :)

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  2. You have a real ability for writing unique content.
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