The story of the florida panther as told by the Seminole Indians
by unknown author

The story of the florida panther as told by the Seminole Indians

Coowahchobee, the grandfather's favorite...The grandfather of all things made the earth and he desired to put many animals upon the planet. Grandfather creator especially liked Coowahchobee (pronounced Coo-wah-chobee which means crawls on four legs close to the ground)

He gave to each certain healing powers, but to panther he said "You are the strongest and most patient. You are majestic and beautiful. I would like you to walk on earth before any of the other animals."

When the creator stopped creating, he put the animals in a shell and placed it on the earth. A tree grew next to the shell. A root wrapped around it and broke the shell. Grandfather waited for panther, whom he commanded to lead, to emerge first. This time, however, panther was too patient. The wind remembered the creator's command and it helped panther from the shell. So the Florida Panther became linked with the winds.

Then came time for the creator to name all of the animals. Again, the grandfather went first to his favored son and he bestowed upon the panther clan the knowledge of making laws and healing medicines.

To this day, the Seminole continue to hold festivals during the spring when panther and the wind mix medicines for the world. During these ceremonies the people gather by clan, each knowing their place among the others. The panther clan are the rulers and the leaders. They interpret the laws and make them.