spiritofatlantis.com | Duane K. McCullough

Major Mayami mound sites near Lake Okeechobee

Although many have heard of the Calusa and the Tequesta Indians, the Mayaimi tribe of Southern Florida
was perhaps the most influential of the pre-Seminole family.

Mound site information from the book: A CRACKER HISTORY OF OKEECHOBEE by LAWRENCE E. WILL / Glades Historical Society.

Chapter 2: The Mayaimi Mounds

1/ There is a legend told by some Seminole Indians of Florida that "long time ago" a family tribe came up the Caloosahatchee River (A major river of southwest Florida) and settled near the west bank of Lake Mayaimi.

2/ There they built some village mounds and dug a canal linking the river with the lake.

3/ Later they were driven to the eastern side of the lake by a war-like tribe - perhaps the Calusa tribe, and built another group of village mounds.

4/ Evidence of these shell filled mounds can still be found today - although many smaller associated mounds were probably destroyed early this century to pave the hard surface roads that surround the shallow region of the lake.

Southern Florida today.

5/ On the west bank of what is now Lake Okeechobee, near a site called Ft. Center and Fisheating Creek, are a series of Indian mounds adjacent to a large circular canal that measures about a quarter of a mile in diameter.

6/ Near the circular canal is a thirty-foot mound with a sloping diameter of approximately 125 feet.

7/ Across the lake, some twelve miles inland from the eastern shore, lies Florida's largest collection of prehistoric earthworks known as "Big Mound City" - in which the most substantial mound once measured roughly 300 feet by 800 feet across and nearly 25 feet high.

8/ Other surrounding mounds measuring thirty to forty feet in diameter lie within and outside a large fifty-foot wide semi-circle causeway that calculates to almost a quarter of a mile in diameter.
(Apparent access to this particular mount site may be restricted due to private property rights)

9/ Twenty miles to the southwest - just west of the town of Belle Glade and near the southeastern shore of the lake exist the "Chosen Mounds".

10/ In 1933-34 archeologist from the Smithsonian Institution - together with the State of Florida Works Progress Administration, discovered that by calculating soil layers and comparing buried artifacts within, these mounds have been occupied by tool making Indians for possibly two-thousand years.
(Recent excavations by Dr. Williams Sears, professor emeritus of anthropology at Florida Atlantic University, has revealed pottery evidence that date the native inhabitants of the Belle Glade region to much older than the birth of Christ)

11/ Now because the Seminole Indians of Florida are believed to be relatively newcomers to the region that migrated from the north to escape colonial oppression, their legend about a family tribe arriving from the Gulf realm "long time ago" would barely qualify for two-hundred years - let alone two-thousand years.

12/ But for now, let us assume that the legend of the mound builders was passed on to the Seminoles by local lore.

13/ With this in mind, the first mounds mentioned in the legend - the ones at Ft. Center and Fisheating Creek, revealed some evidence that may prove the Seminole story true.

14/ In 1961 the Florida Archeological Society uncovered fifty-four upright long bodied skeletons on top of what appeared to be the older burials of a smaller boned race of people with elongated skulls and receding fore-heads - possibly the original mound builders.

15/ The fifty-four long bodied skeletons uncovered on top are characteristic of the Calusa Indians of southwest Florida, which were known to be a very large race of American Indian - perhaps because of a high "Fluorapatite diet" found within the region.
(Fluorapatite is a nutritional crystalloid salt containing calcium phosphate of fluorine, which, if digested properly, is capable of promoting "flexible bones" in the early stages of human growth - thus permitting a "stretching" of the skeletal frame and resulting in a physically larger class of human being)

16/ But the smaller boned race of people buried underneath the larger Indians revealed features of a Central American family of tribes known as the Mayas.

17/ Which if this if the case, the first Mayaimi Indians may have been Mayan colonist that migrated from the Mayan region of the Yucatan peninsula - some five-hundred miles southwest of Florida, via a sailing raft and the prevailing Gulfstream current.

18/ Now that there may be more than a phonetic link between the Mayaimi natives of southern Florida and the Mayan family tribes of Middle America, this story about ancestral America must include the most important legend in Central America - the story of an ancient Indian king named Quetzalcoatl and his eastern departure toward the sunrise onboard a raft made from reptile skin and wood.

19/ But first, a little review of Middle American history.

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