Yay! today there’s a vegan potluck at one of my favorite places on Earth, Topeekeegee Yugnee, T.Y. Park, in Hollywood. It was land sacred to the Tequesta Indians who lived in the South East corner Florida in what is now Broward, Miami Dade and Florida Keys areas.
Not big on their veggies. The Tequestas were hunter/ gatherers and did not farm crops like other tribes. They ate roots and wild fruit, palmetto berries, coco plums, sea grapes, and palm nuts. They made flat bread from ground coontie. They made a coffee like drink from the roasted and ground leaves and roots of the Ilex Vomitoria plant.
They hunted bear, deer, wild boars, and other small mammals. ( see photo ) They fished and ate frogs, turtles, iguanas, snakes, alligators, lobsters, sharks, you name it. Only the Big Chief got to eat roasted manatee on special occasions.
While there’s the Hollywood Seminole Hard Rock up the street, a Miccosukee Bingo Buffet around the corner. Those tribes weren’t originally from this area. Their ancestors were chased into Everglades by Andrew Jackson from parts north. The Tequesta Indians were the tribe that was native to this land from the beginning of time. Sadly they were decimated by violence and disease in a very short period of time, like 20 – 30 years or so. Raped and murdered and slaughtered by savages from Europe mostly the Spanish and Portuguese. Some escaped to what is now Weston and survived another 100 years or so. While not that far away, they could only be reached by boat. All of Broward was still swamp land. I was hanging out in these parks, talking to old ghosts and they told me the tale. The Tequesta were the ones that built the Miami Circle. They lived here in peace and in harmony with the land for thousands of years and their fate was truly horrific. They should be honored and remembered as the original inhabitants of South FL.