Author: Deanna Butler

Welcome back to the final installment of our Decades of Seminole Tourism series! Over the last year we have traced the triumphs and struggles of Seminole tourism throughout the decades, from the first forays into tourist camps to the monumental success of the casino industry. Last month, we looked at the changes to Seminole tourism in the 2010s. In particular, we celebrated and explored the impact of the Seminole Princesses. For the first time ever, a Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Member, was crowned Miss Indian World in 2019. This week, we will be looking at the extreme challenges that have faced Seminole tourism so far in the 2020s with the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, we will take a hopeful look at what’s next. In our featured image this week, you can see the first Grand Entry of the Brighton Field Day Festival & Rodeo on February 14, 2020 (photo by Beverly

Before Barbie…there were Seminole dolls! Dolls are having their cultural moment right now. But, did you know they have been an important and celebrated part of Seminole culture much longer than Barbie has even been around? This week, we will be exploring the beauty, simplicity, and impact of Seminole dolls. Seminoles have been making them for their children for generations. But, as Seminole tourism began to take off in the early 1900s, Seminole dolls and other crafts became important tourist commodities. We will also be shining a spotlight on the University of Florida Seminole doll collection and other South Florida collections. Much of these are online for your perusal! In our featured image this week you can see a young Seminole girl with a very early cloth head doll, circa 1900 (2001.32.1, ATTK Museum). Before the recognizable palmetto dolls you can still find today, Seminoles would make simple cloth or wooden