The Tekesta or Tequesta Tribe

The Tequesta were a powerful Indian tribe whose main village was at the mouth of the Miami River. What we know about the tribe comes both from Spanish accounts dating to the sixteenth century and archaeology done in recent decades at the Miami Circle.

Like other prehistoric coastal Floridians the Tequesta had no need for agriculture to support a thriving and complex society. Instead, they relied upon the bounty of their environment, hunting, gathering, and utilizing the rich marine resources of the bays, rivers, and ocean. Fishing was a year-round activity and the archaeology of shell middens shows that the Tequesta caught diverse fishes and marine mammals, including mako shark, swordfish, and right whales. The Tequesta were expert wood carvers, and it is believed that makers of dugout canoes held an honored role. The canoes were used both along the coast, and deep into the Everglades.

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Miami Museums