This doll was created by a Seminole artisan in the mid-1900s. Seminoles regularly sold dolls like this one to tourists in the twentieth century.
Tampa History Center Collection
Scan Courtesy of Center for Digital Heritage and Geospatial Information, University of South Florida Libraries
After the long running war between the U.S. military and Seminole Indians ended in the 1850s, just a few hundred Seminole Indians lived in the isolated Everglades. In the 1900s, this isolation was erased by roads and railways that linked Seminole communities to traveling tourists. In response, Seminoles tapped into the tourist economy by wrestling alligators, selling dolls, and, later, building casinos.
Three Fast Florida Facts
- Thlocklo “Captain Tom Tiger” Tustenugee established the first Seminole tourist camp on the Miami River in 1904.
- The Tamiami Trail, officially opened in 1928, funneled tourists to the Everglades and various Seminole camps.
- By 2023, there were seven Indian-run casinos in Florida.