A Seminole Story

A Cattle Tradition Older than America

I would spend the nights at the Morgan’s Camp lying under the ole tin roof while having my Indian Cowboy Dreams,

Awakening to the sounds of the squeaky old army saddles and feeling the coolness of the morning fog as the men would have that important coffee and cream…

I loved it all and for a boy of nine, it was all I wanted to be,

— Moses Jumper Jr. (Snake Clan)

Cowkeeper's Legacy:

A Seminole Story

The history of Florida cattle began over five centuries ago, with cattle taken from Spanish Conquistadores by Seminole Ancestors. This began a new tradition of ranching based on Indigenous knowledge, learned over generations working with native species like the Florida Buffalo. Over the next 500 years the Seminole developed their cattle tradition, learning new ways from within and from without. The cattle tradition led to incredible prosperity. It helped the Tribe survive the harshest years, and helped the Tribe to not only recover, but thrive!

Through Generations

From Ahaya, whose giant herd and passion in defending it led the English to call him Cowkeeper, to Ada Tiger who kept the traditional ranching ways alive through the harsh post-war years, to Charlie Micco who oversaw the birth of the modern tradition, the Seminole have kept the legacy alive.

A Modern Industry

The tradition has grown into a fundamental part of Seminole culture. From the economic independence it brought in the early 20th century, to the rodeo that raised money to fight for Tribal recognition and sovereignty, to becoming one of the largest Florida cattle operations in the 21st Century. Continuously passed from one generation to the next, Cowkeeper’s legacy lives on.

The Red Barn Story Map

The Red Barn was built in 1941 for the up-and-coming cattle industry. Not only was The Red Barn used by cattle ranchers, but it was also commonly used as an informal meeting place and a social center. The Red Barn holds a place in the hearts of the Tribal members on the Brighton Reservation and has been listed on the Tribal and National Registers of Historic Places.

Below Image: Red Barn Story Map

Story Map Coming Soon



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