Seminole Nation Case Study

How were some of the members of the Seminole Nation able to avoid removal? These sources allow you to further to investigate this story of American Indian removal.

Seminole Nation regalia. In this historical painting, the Seminole leader Osceola wears regalia that was worn by American Indians of the southeast during the early 19th century.

Be the Anthropologist

What does this portrait of Osceola tell you?

  1. Does this look like everyday clothing? Why or why not?
  2. Are there parts or features of Osceola's clothing that might show his importance as a leader?
  3. Osceola's portrait was painted by George Catlin, a well-known American artist. What does this fact tell you about Osceola?
  4. Challenge Question
  5. Why might it have been important for leaders of the Seminole Nation to dress in special ways?
Portrait of  Osceola

This kind of dress was worn mostly for special occasions. Osceola wears three metal gorgets around his neck, probably a symbol of his status as a leader.

George Catlin (1796–1872). Os-ce-o-lá, 1838. Smithsonian American Art Museum. (1985.66.301)

print Portrait of Osceola


Gorget, ca. 1780. Florida. (24/122)

print gorget

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