What was the religion of the following South Florida American Indian tribes: Ais, Tequesta, and Jaega?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Jaega and the Tequesta were subjects of the Ais, who were, most scholars believe, Muskogean speakers. Like most Southeastern Indian people, their religion contained what some ethnohistorians call the "Southern Cult." While their actual practices are not all that clear, there are many icons, including skulls, circles, and various spiritual figures, that Florida Indians have in common with Mississippian culture. Their society was highly stratified, and it is known that they venerated ancestors, as many Indian people did.  In the eighteenth century, these tribes assimilated with Creeks, also Muskogean speakers, who came to Florida to escape the Indian slave trade. They became part of the coalition of Indian people known as Seminoles to outsiders. There are two accounts of these people by shipwrecked Europeans, both of which can be found in libraries. One is the memoirs of Hernando D'Escalante Fonteneda, a Spanish explorer who spent time with the nearby Calusa Indians in the sixteenth century, and the other is Jonathan Dickinson's Journal.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial