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The photographs remember

Happy holidays to you and your families, from the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.

Christmas and the New Year are times for celebration, but also for recollection and thought.

We remember times gone by and we wonder what is to come. These days we all have our own interests and activities, but it’s rewarding to come together and find a common ground at family gatherings.

While you enjoy the company of your family and all of the entertainment that the modern holidays offer, take a moment to think about the Seminole Tribe’s journey for the last 100 years.

Mrs. Corey Osceola poses for a picture with her two children at a chickee in 1942. See how many things are in and around the chickee? Mrs. Osceola had to have everything she needed for her family in that one place. Not only that, but they probably stored many things in the rafters so that they could have a clear floor to sleep on at night. Imagine if we had to do that today, and how many possessions we’d have to move. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)

This selection of the Museum’s historic photographs was chosen to show how amazing that journey has been.

The pictures show scenes from the early, middle and late 20th century.

These decades saw the journey from humble camp lives in rustic settings to hard work and economic success in the modern world.

When we see how much things have changed during this time, we can only imagine what changes the future will bring.

It is our mission at the Museum to chronicle the Tribe’s journey and to make sure everyone knows this tremendous story.

Come and help us if that is your mission too!

Henry Nelson wrestles an alligator at Okalee Indian Village in 1960. Talented wrestlers learned this skill to show it off to visiting tourists. The mid-20th century tourism enterprises of the Tribe showed that the Tribe had the diverse ingenuity needed to succeed financially. Ventures like Okalee led to the acquisition of Hard Rock International. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)
At a scenic camp in the Everglades in the 1930s or 40s, two men are taking a canoe out on a journey. Others watch them leave. Notice this camp has several canoes of different sizes. Canoes were shared by the residents, and different sizes were needed for different kinds of trips. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)
In the 1950s education was a big priority. The world was changing and government schools helped people learn new things. Annie Tiger, Joyce Osceola, Sadie Fewell, Addie Tommie, Betty Mae Osceola and Johnson Billie study hard in this adult education night class on the Big Cypress Reservation in 1957. Education helped people start businesses and form a government. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)
Today the vibrant colors of the Tribe can be seen at public events like this Hollywood Tribal Fair in 2001. Seminole royalty advances during the grand procession. Pictured are Joe Dan Osceola, Ambassador; Desiree Jumper, Miss Seminole; and Jo Jo Osceola, Junior Miss Seminole. This is a great place to see Seminole artists shine as you watch the clothing contests. Tribal Fair has been held for many decades, and is sure to keep traditions alive in years to come. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)
In 1957 members of the brand new Tribal Council and Board posed proudly for this picture. Included are: Billy Osceola, Chairman of Council, Bill Osceola, President of the Board of Directors, Willie Frank, Toby Johns, Robert Osceola and Dan Osceola. This was a proud moment born of hard work and a warrior spirit. People like this didn’t let the U.S. government terminate the Tribe’s sovereign status. They persevered and started a brand new type of government, which is now over 60 years old. (Photo Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki)