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3. Walking into Mocama Utimile (Homelands)

Breezeway to the left of the Visitor Center

We invite you to go back in time to the 1560s as you walk onto the breezeway and the main trail. Everything you see around you was part of the Mocama nation. In fact you are in the middle of their utimile (territory). Just four miles southeast of where you are standing was the town of Saturiwa. The chief of Saturiwa took the name of his town, or hica. He was the highest chief in this nation, and had the title of parucusi. But he was only one leader among many.

Each of the Mocamas’ twenty hicacare (towns) was governed by a different holata (chief) along with his or her council of advisors. Mocama women, as well as men, were holatacare and both women and men served in other political positions. Holatacare represented the interests of their people and were especially in charge of managing foreign relations with outsiders and communicating with other Indigenous leaders in the area.

Mocama towns were part of the bigger Mocama nation which was held together partly by political alliances against common enemies. Mocamas also married across towns, creating strong kinship bonds. What made the Mocama world work were the many connections between its people. Together, the Mocamas were a powerful force in what later became the state of Florida.

Images

"Walking into Mocama" A painting depicting Mocama men and women as they converse with parucusi (high chief), Saturiwa. Source: Warren Anderson, Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida Creator: Celeste Nagry Date: 2011
Indigenous Fort Caroline Tour Map A map displaying the physical locations associated with each tour spot. You are now at Spot 3 at the breezeway to the left of the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center. Our path takes you from the Main Parking Lot, past the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center, overlooking the river, along the Fort Caroline Memorial Trail, to the actual replica of Fort Caroline. Source: Center for Instructional and Research Technology (CIRT), University of North Florida, and the National Park Service Creator: Michael Boyles and the National Park Service at the Fort Caroline National Memorial Date: 2023

Location

Metadata

Indigenous Florida, “3. Walking into Mocama Utimile (Homelands),” Indigenous Florida, accessed April 20, 2024, https://indigenousflorida.domains.unf.edu/items/show/37.