What Did the Tocobaga Native Americans Wear?

The Tocobaga Native Americans usually wore very simple clothing made of deerskin. Clothing did not play a big role in their culture. Instead, they preferred to decorate their bodies with tattoos and elaborate hand-crafted jewelry.

The Tocobaga were a Native American tribe that lived around Tampa Bay, Florida before the arrival of European settlers. The tribe died out after the arrival of Spanish explorers. The first explorers, led by Panfilo de Narvaez, arrived in 1528. Subsequent explorers brought diseases from Europe, which the Tocobaga´s immune systems were not adapted to fight. Between warfare and disease, the tribe was wiped out in just over 200 years after the arrival of the first explorers. The few who survived moved away and joined other tribes.

As the tribe died out, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what they wore. Most accounts of the Tocobaga come from the writings of Spanish explorers and settlers. According to these accounts, the members of the tribe wore minimal clothing, leaving most of their skin bare to expose their elaborate tattoos. Their clothing was usually made of deerskin and they also wore jewelry that they made themselves. Deer were hunted for both food and leather. Some reports indicate that the Tocobaga hunters sometimes wore deer heads on top of their own heads to disguise themselves.