Video . . . Dancing . . . What the Florida Apalachee actually looked like
Florida artists consistently portray their Apalachee to look like the ancestors of the Creek Indians in Alabama and Georgia. The background music piped into most Florida museums sounds like it came from a reservation on the Western Plains. However, the chroniclers of the Hernando de Soto Expedition stated something entirely different. The Florida Apalache . . . or whatever they really called themselves . . . were about the height of the Spanish, which means that they averaged a foot shorter than the Creeks. The Spanish also clearly described the men and women as wearing skirts, made out Spanish moss. The Spanish were stunned when they saw the people in present day Central Georgia wearing brightly colored, woven cloth.
The dancers in this video from eastern Peru are Southern Arawaks, who lived in the Amazon Jungle. They are wearing skirts made from a plant closely related to Spanish moss. Would you believe that they are in the bromeliad-pineapple-orchid family? You can be fairly certain that these dancers are what the Spanish Conquistadors observed at the capital town of Anihaica in the winter of 1539-1540. The only difference would have been that the women would have been topless too.
Note: Those who enjoy music and dance should peruse the other indigenous folk dances that follow this one. These dances from eastern Peru are much the same as what our ancestors danced. Typical pow-wow music has nothing to with the Southeaster cultural heritage.
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