1) Who were the Timucua Indians?
The Timucuas were all the Indians in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia that spoke the same language. There were three main leaders (Saturiwa, Outina, and Potano). These leaders or headchiefs were usually at war with each other. Each of these headchiefs ruled over about 30 villages. Each village had its own chief.
What language did the Timucuas speak? They did not speak English or French or Spanish. They spoke Timucua. (Later they learned to speak other languages.) All the Indians in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia spoke Timucua, but they had different dialects (die-uh-lect). A dialect is a way of saying certain words depending on where you live. In the South, people say "yall" instead of "you all." Up north, people call a water fountain a "bubbler." In England, a pencil eraser is called a rubber. (Get it? You rub out the mistake.) In Australia, your "mate" is your friend. People in England and Australia speak English differently than people in the United States. So, even though all the Timucuas spoke the same language, they spoke different dialects.
Where did the name "Timucua" come from? The Timucuas did NOT call themselves by this name. They had names for themselves that meant "the people." We think the name "Timucua" got started when a French soldier asked Chief Saturiwa where he got some silver. He pointed to the West and said he got it from Thimogona (Tee-mo-go-na). He had actually captured it from his enemy, Chief Outina. (Outina had found it from a Spanish shipwreck.) "Thimogona" probably meant "enemy." He got it from his enemy. But the French got mixed up and started calling all the Indians Thimogona or Timogoa, or Timoga, or Timucua, or Timucua. See how the name got changed? There is no Timucua way to say the name. The Spanish would have pronounced it Timucua (Tee-moo-qua).
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