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Accession number 2004.183
Catalog Number 2004.183.6
Object Name Spoon
Description Wooden sofkee spoon carved from cypress wood. The bowl of the spoon is oval in shape and the handle extends at a 45 degree angle from the spoon. 14 cm up from the bowl of the spoon the handle angles back and becomes thinner. The outside bark surface of the cypress limb can be seen on the top of the handle, the tip of the spoon and the outer edges of the spoon. This indicates that the spoon was made as large as possible for the size of the cypress branch it was made from. The sofkee spoon is clean and has never been used.

There is a black ink stamp on back side of the handle that reads:
Smallwood's Store
Ole Indian Trading Post
Chokoloskee, FL

Dorothy Downs writes in the "Art of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee Indians" page 253-4: A big wooden spoon with a crook in the handle was used for stirring the ever-present kettle of sofke (fig. 11.11). In 1830 George McCall remarked that it "is a pleasing sight to see four or six stalwart warriors sitting around a large kettle of hot saufkee, with but one large wooden spoon between them. The chief, if he be of the party, or the oldest man, - for great deference is paid to both rank and age, takes the spoon, and with a modest and at the same time studies and graceful motion of the arm bends forward and takes a spoonful of this favorite viand, then having disposed of, he then, with the most respectful air, hands the spoon to his neighbor on the left. Thus it goes round till the kettle is emptied. During the meal, the conversation is cheerful and unwearied" (McCall 1974, 221 - 22).
Dimensions H-8 W-8 L-41 cm
Collection Wooden Objects
Height (cm) 8
Imagefile 014\20041836.JPG
Length (cm) 41
Width (cm) 8