Florida is rich in Native American culture and history, and there’s no better place to learn about the Seminole Indian tribe than the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.
Located in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in South Florida, this museum is a designated Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and is home to over 30,000 artifacts. Ak-Tah-Thi-Ki means “a place to learn, a place to remember” in the Seminole language and visitors to the museum will definitely learn a lot about the people that make up the Seminole Tribe.
Upon entering the museum, I was greeted and shown to a small theater. I watched a 15 minute video called “We Seminoles” that told the history of the Seminoles and why the museum was created. Then I walked around the various exhibits that they have. They have permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits that reflect different topics and contemporary Seminole life.
I learned about the Catfish Dance which is done during the annual Green Corn Ceremony, and about how the Seminoles hunted, cooked, and married. I especially enjoyed the exhibits displaying intricate patchwork skirts and dolls.
Another really cool thing about the museum is the raised boardwalk they have behind the main building. It is just over a mile long and winds through a natural cypress dome (and it’s all wheel chair accessible!). Along the boardwalk are signs with information on various local plant and animal species. Visitors can also stop to see a recreated Seminole Village and traditional Ceremonial Grounds. Additionally, there are plenty of places to stop and rest and take in the natural beauty of the cypress dome.
The Seminoles played an integral part in Florida history. I’m glad the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is preserving the customs and traditions of the Seminole Tribe, so that everyone can learn the rich history of these amazing people.
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**A big thank you to Melissa and Florida Seminole Tourism for hosting me. As always, all opinions are my own**
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