Who Are the Tequesta Indians?


Quick Answer

The Tequesta Indians were a small tribe that settled in Florida along the coast around the 3rd century B.C.E. They eventually left the area following Britain's invasion in 1763, and were evacuated to Cuba.

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Full Answer

Although the Tequesta was a small tribe, they managed to live peacefully alongside their neighbors. Thanks to their close proximity to the coast, they were able to rely on their hunting skills for sustenance, which included fish and other local wildlife. Explorers who visited the area noted that they mainly consumed sea life, including fish and turtles. Although they mainly inhabited Biscayne Bay, they would move to outer islands or the Florida Keys during the peak mosquito season, which lasted around 3 months.

Explorers visiting the Biscayne Bay area noted some Tequesta customs, which included burying the chief's small bones with the body, but using the large bones as objects of worship for people throughout the village. In addition, they worshipped idols, and used a stuffed deer as the sun's representative. They also reported that the Tequesta may have engaged in human sacrifice.

The Tequesta people lived in the Biscayne Bay area for more than 2,000 years, but were forced to abandon it when the British invaded in 1763. By the 1770s, there were no more Tequestan villages in the area, as they had moved to Cuba.

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