Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
The mid-nineteenth century was a time of turmoil for many American Indian tribes, but two groups stand out as vivid examples of attempts by tribes to maintain their place along the eastern seaboard: the Cherokee and the collection of peoples that historians have called the Seminole. Betty Sue Cummings has used historical facts about Seminoles to craft a novel about a Miccosukee Indian woman in Florida who stands as a representative of her people. The novel begins in 1835 and See-ho-kee, onl y a young girl at the beginning of the novel, marries Fixonechee rather than the younger Yaha Chatee who has been her friend and lover. Fixonechee dies after they are married only one month, and See-ho-kee faces four years of mourning. She must confront more than the deprivation of a widow, however, for her people are fighting to retain their land in Florida. Apayaka, her great uncle and one of the few "real" characters in the book, is a hero of the Seminole wars and an inspiration to those who have enough faith to listen to him. When See-ho-kee's mother dies in childbirth, the young girl must take over raising her sister, a duty she takes seriously. Her most fervent hope for peace is "so the babies won't die."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1985