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the yamassee

“If y’all didn’t know the Pale Face used the stroke of the pen to say that the Yamassee was defeated and extinct… But yet they called Yamassee, “Creeks and Seminoles”… And as the Seminoles we had three wars and they still didn’t defeated us…”-By: Chito Pa Yamasee men were killed in battle and the Seminole men married the Yamasee women (Pensacola Gazette October 9, 1824). “Whenever a Seminole appeared to be darker than his fellows, it was said that his Yamasee ancestry was showing.

The Florida Anthropologist, Volumes 23-24 .

The history of The Yamassee Indian Tribe , people and Nation, has now become a forgotten story. No longer passed down from tribe to tribe of a once Fierce nation, whom not only fought for the freedom & oppression of the Gullah people of Africa.

But risked EXTINCTION for ALL of the South Carolina tribes, and later went on to fight in Florida, and be renamed Seminole ( The unconquered), only to be reclassified as Negro’s and eventually be forgotten all together.

However what still holds true and always will, is our continued tradition of being honorable people, even when others have shown no honor and disrespect traditional ways of all the First Nations!

While being described as Negro or “black” in countless historical records within centuries, the Yamassee Indian people has struggled to survive!

Not just in the physical sense of oppression, genocide and the hardships all tribes endured. But by more recent efforts of Paper genocide , Identity theft & culture vultures now coined “Wannabe tribes”.

Once identified as a independent fierce nation the Yamassee later became known as Seminole, a general term being used for most tribes located in southern Georgia and Florida!

While the Yamassee was a large confederation with over 60 towns and villages stretched from the Carolina’s to Florida and even found in other states historical records, clans were known to be nomadic.

And after the Yamassee War of 1715 a large population of the Yamassee continued to reside in what became known as South Carolina either as ‘Kidnapped Slaves’ ,freeman or just “Slaves”, a larger portion continued to reside in Florida, while travelling back and forth rescuing other Yamassee from slave plantations is SC.

These “runaways” or “wild ones” escaping captivity became know as “Seminoli ” or Seminole!

The word Seminole comes from the Spanish term “La Seminoles” which derived from the word ” cimaroon” , the refugees, wild ones or runaways. The first reference to this term was used in 1715 to the Yamassee Nation. Even though some of the Yamassee Indians living in Florida discovered the Spanish in 1539, a tax dispute in 1664 caused bands of our people to move back to present day South Carolina and allied ourselves with the British. In 1715, over 19,000 warriors of Yamassee indians and various Indian tribes of the confederacy declared war on the British and certain bands of Muskogee, hence the Yamassee War of 1715. This war was basically due to land encroachment and treaty violations on the Yamassee people. Various clans, and groups of our people came back to Florida and was granted refuge by the King of Spain at the St. Augustine fort (Castillo De San Marcos) in October of 1715.

Fort Mose was also another refuge and strong hold for Yamassee who assisted with helping African slaves find freedom, later to be mis-identified and categorized as African slaves themselves due to our dark features. (more can be found in Florida & SC historical archives)

Later the Yamassee nation, clans of Hitchiti, Mikisuki (Miccosukee), Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muskogee, Apalachi became known as Seminoles through being allied with the Yamassee and Spain.

Our name “Yamasee” is said in the Muskogee dialect using English Supported spelling is /yvmvsē/, meaning “Gentle” some say tame which is close to the same; or perhaps you would prefer the spelling and meaning from our family of the Catawban /yį musí:/, literally “people-ancient” or Ancient people.

We the Yamassee nation of Florida, South Carolina & Georgia are blood related descendants of the Great chiefs whom fought in countless wars for our survival.

Quote: The Seal of the Seminole Nation Page.265

“The Seminole leaders in this period were Mikanopi? hereditary ruler and descendant of the ancient Oconee, ranked as head chief of the tribe, owner of considerable property, a man of ability and prestige. Jumper, a descendant of the old Yamassee chieftains, was the intelligent and most influential leader in the tribal councils. Alligator, of the ancient Yamassee, was a shrewd, sensible leader “

We are obligated to uphold the decisions our past Chiefs have made.

Now while many claim they are Yamassee today, with or without any lineal proof does not seem to matter in today’s world!

What does to the tribe today is, if you have not continued to live and practice as Yamassee , speak our tongue, and do not know traditions of our people!

Then what do you fight for?

Relearn and discover this countries lost history & past.You’d be surprised at how much you didn’t know!

May you be guided by the Great Spirit in your heart~

~Tehechulaga ( See you later )

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