Iberville, commandant of the newly constructed fort, declared friendly intentions of the French by smoking the ceremonial calumet with the visiting dignitaries.
For Indians, this ceremonial gesture was as serious as business ever gets: Smoking the pipe represents a sacred trust between the two groups of people, that members of each group are bound to help members of the other under any circumstance. Even though six outposts were established within the first few years, few “settlers” were willing or able to do even the minimal amount of work required to produce their own food.
In South Florida we have the Bahamian people who have for centuries been crossing over from the nearby Bahama islands, the most populous of which, are north of Miami.
( It has been said that most African Americans are, in part, descended from Native Americans.
The French brought some of their own presents, and bestowed upon Indian communities the traditional European hospitality, including dysentery, smallpox, cholera, Christianity, horses and pigs, rats and cockroaches.
Indians viewed them as children because they were puerile in their dependence on the mercy of others to supply them their daily bread.However, few really celebrate this aspect of their heritage.Fifty years ago, in North Carolina especially, there were large groups of people who saw themselves as Black Indians. Franklin Frazier discusses them in depth in The Negro Family in the United States.There is still a large community of Creoles in Louisiana today. It is said that, as intermediaries between the Blacks and the whites, they got European instruments into the hands of African musicians and thereby facilitated the development of jazz.In New England we find Cape Verdians, Africans who migrated here in the 18th and 19th century aboard whaling ships that stopped in Cabo Verde, an island off the coast of West Africa, to resupply and pick up extra hands.He also talks about “,” areas of the country where large numbers of enslaved Africans had lived in the midst of a surrounding sea of Europeans and Native Americans.