Lake Istokpoga Village
  • The Seminole Indian lady is grinding corn with a mortar and pestle to make grits for sofkee
  • Her dress is authentic and her hair resembles a bonnet
  • The chickees were their only shelter and used for sleeping and communal cooking

Artist Guy LaBree pulls an Istokpoga image straight out of history.  This is a replica of a Seminole village about 100 years ago. 

Today, these big billowing clouds still loom over the lake on a warm afternoon as we ponder these wondrous waters that sustained the life of this Indian woman and, in a remarkable way, sustain life 100 years later. 

Village men found abundant food around and in the lake.  Still, the mystery of Istokpoga's history includes stories of dangerous whirlpools were people drowned.  Impossible?  Consider the word "Istokpoga" means "many men died here".  Thankfully, these stories also included the legend of the shaman who magically "fixed" the whirpools to make the lake safer. 

Village woman prepared the food.  This Indian woman pounds corn with a mortar and pestle to make grits for sofkee, a bland corn soup.  It is a favorite hot drink of Florida natives. 

Behind her, the chickees are built of cypress logs and palm thatching.  Designed to let the breezes blow freely through, they also bore mosquito netting.  Chickees had roof rafters for storage.  Everyone shared a cooking chickee and the fire never went out. 

The Indian lady is wearing a dress made by cutting brightly colored fabric into squares and folding it like origami.  Then it is sewn together on a hand operated sewing machine. 

For hairstyle emulates the bonnets adopted from non-Indian fashion.  She is barefoot and loves necklaces. 

Like the Caucasian settlers that followed, the Seminole Indians were not native Floridians, but drifted southward mostly from Alabama and Georgia. 

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio
Guy LaBree Lake Placid Travel at Main Street and Bellview Street 32 ft wide x 13 ft high Noon Rotary Club Look for two one inch spirit men N/A

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