19 Facts About Apalachee


Apalachee were an Indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, specifically an Indigenous people of Florida, who lived in the Florida Panhandle until the early 18th century.

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Apalachee occupied the site of Velda Mound starting about 1450 CE, they but had mostly abandoned it when Spanish started settlements in the 17th century.

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Apalachee language was a Muskogean language, about which little more is known.

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The only surviving Apalachee document is a 1688 letter written by Apalachee chiefs to the Spanish king.

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Apalachee are thought to be part of Fort Walton Culture, a Florida culture influenced by the Mississippian culture.

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Apalachee were horticulturalists with stratified chiefdoms and sedentary towns and villages.

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The largest Apalachee community was at Lake Jackson, just north of present-day Tallahassee.

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Apalachee cultivated maize, beans, and squash, as well as amaranth and sunflowers.

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Apalachee were part of an expansive trade network that extended from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, and westward to what is Oklahoma.

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The Apalachee acquired copper artifacts, sheets of mica, greenstone, and galena from distant locations through this trade.

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The Apalachee probably paid for such imports with shells, pearls, shark teeth, preserved fish and sea turtle meat, salt, and cassina leaves and twigs .

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Apalachee scalped opponents whom they killed, exhibiting the scalps as signs of warrior ability.

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Apalachee played a ball game, sometimes known as the "Apalachee ball game", described in detail by Spaniards in the 17th century.

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Apalachee was concerned about the effect of community involvement in the games on the welfare of the villages and Spanish missions.

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Goalposts similar to those used by the Apalachee were seen in the Coosa chiefdom of present-day in Alabama during the 16th century, suggesting that similar ball games were played across much of the region.

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Densely populated Apalachee had a complex, highly stratified society of regional chiefdoms.

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The Spanish subsequently adapted the Native American name as Apalachee and applied it to the coastal region bordering Apalachee Bay, as well as to the tribe which lived in it.

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Apalachee resisted attacks by the Spanish, and the Narvaez expedition fled to Apalachee Bay, where they built five boats and attempted to sail to Mexico.

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Many Apalachee converted to Catholicism, in the process creating a syncretic fashioning of their traditions and Christianity.

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