Great Seal Of The Seminole Nation


The above seal is a reproduction of the original oil painting of the Seminole Seal, one of the five paintings of the official seals of the Five Civilized Tribes. The central device of this seal shows a plumed tribesman paddling a canoe across a lake to a village where a factory (trading house) stands on the shore~

There is a tradition that the central device of the Seminole Seal was based on old tribal religious beliefs as well as real history when the design for the seal was adopted. Medicinal herbs and roots were purchased for the manufacture of commercial tonics, by traders among the Indians living in easy access to the places where such plants grew, near lakes and streams both in Florida and the Indian Territory. This trade was brisk in early times, bringing in considerable revenue to the Indians during certain seasons of the year~

The knowledge and the use of some of the herbs and roots were held sacred by the Creek and the Seminole, in connection with certain tribal religious rites and ceremonials. These ideas had a significant place for the people in gathering and preserving the plants as well as in the journey when taking the dried products to the trading post. The whole event followed a definite pattern of procedure, and was associated with thoughts of happiness and well being. When an official seal was planned and adopted for the nation west, the scene of the plumed tribesman paddling a canoe across a lake to a trading post suggested a design representing peace and plenty for the old time Seminole~

At the close of the Seminole government in 1907, official documents and papers of the Seminole Indian Nation and the old die of the Seminole Seal were taken to the Five Civilized Tribes Agency as the depository for the United States government at Muskogee. The painting made from the impress of this old die, shown above is a symbol of the history, lore and promise of a remarkable Indian Nation--the Seminole--, in establishing social institutions and a new form of government along the lines of old tribal customs as a law abiding, peaceful people~


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©2001-2002 Linda Simpson

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