The Museum’s first Director, Thompson Van Hyning, purchased this long shirt from Seminole Chief Tony Tommie in the 1920s. Chief Tommie was the first Seminole to attend school. Van Hyning wanted Tommie to attend UF, and lobbied the university president on his behalf – unsuccessfully.
In the early 20th century, Seminole men commonly wore garments like this one, resembling a loose-fitting dress. Although these shirts later featured patchwork, the early ones from 1900 to 1920 had simpler appliqué bands. Our Museum’s first director, Van Hyning, bought this shirt from Tony Tommie. Tony Tommie was the first Seminole Indian to attend school. The shirt was displayed for years in the Museum. Although the colors have faded, it is still an important object that harks back to the early days of the Florida Museum.
Curator, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography
Director, Randell Research Center
Florida Museum of Natural History
Man’s Long Shirt
Made by a Seminole artist, South Florida
Dates to 1920s
Seminoles in Florida