Who Were the Tocobagas?

Who Were the Tocobagas?

The Tocobagas, a word that translates to "Place of the Gourds," were members of a Native American tribe who lived near Tampa Bay, Fla. They were the most important group participating in the Safety Harbor culture on the Florida Gulf Coast.

These Native Americans were conquered by the Spanish in the early 1500s, who mistakenly believed all the Safety Harbor peoples were Tocobaga. In reality, "Tocobaga" referred to a single tribe centered around one Safety Harbor city in the north of Tampa Bay. The Tocobagas, like other Safety Harbor tribes, built cities around rectangular plazas, at one end of which was a temple mound that probably doubled as a charnel house. Their diet centered around seafood, deer, dogs, pumpkins and a cabbage that was in fact palmetto or cabbage palm. Their culture died out sometime during the 18th century.