The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the grounds of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation is dedicated to preserving knowledge of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Fittingly, the name Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki denotes a place to remember and learn. The museum features more than 30,000 artifacts and archives surrounded by the natural beauty of the Florida Everglades in Clewiston. This is the place to find out about the living history and culture of the Seminole Indians. Tours are available, or you can explore on your own.
Walk through the Everglades
Stroll along the mile-long raised boardwalk under a dome of cypress trees and discover the Clan Pavilion with eight panels representing each of the current Seminole Tribe clans. Recreated ceremonial grounds are just beyond, with an open stickball court in the center. Further down the boardwalk is the Seminole Village where modern Seminole artists demonstrate traditional arts and crafts. The amphitheater is used for education and outreach program, as well as special events like storytelling.
The 5,000 square foot museum features over 40 life-sized figures in dioramas engaging in traditional Seminole activities from the 1890’s, from canoeing to hunting and dancing. Audio special effects, historical artifacts and explanatory panels enhance the displays. A short introduction begins your journey into the culture of the Seminole Indians.
Some of the exhibits include:
- An autumn morning overnight hunting party at a remote hunting campsite with traditional clothing and equipment
- Harvests and animals needed for clothing, food and tools
- A young couple about to be married
- Women preparing a meal at a campfire and mealtime in a chickee hut where many generations ate together
- A family gliding down the river in a dugout canoe enroute to a trading post
- A silversmith creating decorative jewelry
- A depiction of the sacred Green Corn ceremony
View the museum’s collections of items that relate to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and other Native American populations in the southeast United States. You can see dolls, baskets, patchwork clothing, military memorabilia and historical documents like newspapers and manuscripts. The Oral History Collection features archived recordings of interviews with members of the tribe and the public. For access, contact the museum in advance.
Seminole Stories and Legends
Hear some of the stories and legends reminiscent of Aesop’s fables that are still used to teach Seminole children the values, beliefs and history of their people. The Legends Theater presents several stories that feature animals with human qualities and a lesson to be learned.
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
34725 West Boundary Road