Seminole Culture and Native American Traditions Are Highlight of Sarasota Festival in Late January

By: Hilda Mitrani

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Seminole culture is intertwined in Florida history and throughout the state. Upcoming events, beginning with the Third Annual Sarasota Native American Indian Festival on Jan. 29, 30 and 31, celebrate hand-made, authentic arts and crafts, rich paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, bead and leather work items, along with traditional Seminole and Navajo foods.

At the Festival in Sarasota, the featured entertainment is East meets West, a reenactment group that presents the lifestyle of the Native American people from both eastern and western tribes. Little Big Mountain of the Comanche/Mohawk nations and Jim Sawgrass of Muskogee Creek heritage will perform traditional Native American drumming, singing and various styles of dance. Storytelling and flute music round out the performances.

This mix of tribes and customs is quite apropos, given the history of the Seminoles, who first arrived around 1760. Many of the original group were Creeks from Georgia and Alabama who migrated here in order to escape conflicts with Europeans and other tribes. At the time, Florida was a Spanish colony, and the Spanish encouraged these migrations to help provide a buffer between Florida and the British colonies.

Today, many members of the Seminole tribe numbers live on six reservations from Big Cypress to Tampa. The Third Annual Sarasota Indian Festival is an opportunity to experience this modern tribe that maintains and respects its traditions.

Sarasota Native American Indian Festival
Sarasota Fairgrounds
3000 Ringling Blvd.
Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
941-924-2784

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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