Seminole Nation Clans

The clan was the second major element of Seminole Society. Like the band, clan membership was inherited from the mother. The clan were considered to be close kin and could not marry one another. Relations by marriage were also extended to all members of the affected clan. Thus, all men of a person's father's clan were considered to be "father" and all women were "aunts" and therefore could not be married.

There were many clans among the Seminole, at least 25 in 1900 and probably more earlier. Each clan generally had members in several bands and some, such as the Bird, Potato, Bear, and Deer clans were found in virtually all of the bands. There were also larger groupings called phratries by social scientists, which combines several clans. Members of the same phratry were considered related, though not as closely as members of the same clan, and generally could not marry.

There were two larger groups of clans called the "Hataka" and the "Chiloki". Persons belonging to the first had responsibility for most civic and religious functions, while members of the second presided over military affairs.

The clans had many functions beside regulating marriage. They were represented on the band councils and provided support and assistance in disputes concerning their members. The clans also helped provide for members who were orphaned or destitute. Additionally, the band officials were selected from specific clans, there being only one or two clans who members were eligible for specific office.

Clans of the Seminole and Miccosukee

( These clans are still in existence)

Alligator (Hvlpvtvlke), Bear (Nokusvlke), Beaver (Echaswvlke), Bird (Fuswvlke), Deer (Ecovlke), Fox (Culvlke), Lye Drip, Otter, Panther, Potato (Ahalvlke) Raccoon (Wotkvlke), Snake, Water Moccasin, and Wind Clan (Hotvlkvlke)

The Snake and Water Moccasin clans are daughter clans of the Alligator. Clans are related in a few different ways. The Panther is related to the Raccoon because they both have claws. Beaver is kin to Snake because of their association with water, Alligator would be, also. Bird is not related to the Wind, only compatible. Wolf is an off-branch of the Bear which would be related to the Panther since they all have claws. The Lye Drip is related to anything in the water, since lye is made up of water, but it is also made up of wood ashes. This would make this clan related to any type of plants, like Cane, Potato, Moss, etc.

 

 (These clans are no longer in existence)

Arrow, Buffalo, Buzzard, Cane, Corn, Crow, Daddy Longlegs, Dew, Eagle, Earth, Fish, Fresh Land, Hair, Hickory Nut, Horned Owl, Medicine, Mink, Mole, Moss, Muskrat, Nokfelvlke, Pumpkin, Rabbit, Raven, Red Paint, Salt, Skunk, Spanish, Tamvlke, Woksvlke, Toad, Turkey, Turtle, Weevil, Wildcat and Wolf Clan (Yvhvlke)

(The clans listed below were Creek clans and are no longer in existence)

Cowastvlke, Enransvlke, Kuntvlke, Mvklasvlke, Recvmvlke,
Tvmvlke, Wvrakvlke, and Woksvlke

 -courtesy of Pare Bowlegs and the Seminole Nation Museum

 

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2001-2002 Linda Simpson

 02 Aug 2015 05:46:40 PM

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