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393 Billy Bowlegs III

Posted By Kaye Celyn Fabregas, Sunday, April 20, 2014

Garden name: Billy Bowlegs' Little Seminole

Garden 393: Billy Bowlegs III

Location: Filipino-American Ministries (12300 NE 6th Ct, North Miami, FL 33161)

Honoree portrait photograph by Joseph Janney Steinmetz

I decided to plant a garden in a church in honor of Billy Bowlegs III to portray his goodness and the purity of his intention in leading and guiding the Seminole tribe. A church serves as a haven for Christian people, and just like a church Billy Bowlegs III stood as a shelter to the Seminole tribe. Through his persistence, he was able to gain the approval of Florida state legislature to reserve 100,000-acre of land property for the tribe in the Everglades. He not only led and stood for the Seminole tribe but also taught the history of the tribe to younger generations. He wanted to improve the understanding of the both the people in the tribe and the public of the Seminole culture and its history. In addition to the garden, I also made a dream catcher dedicated to him to further represent the Seminole tribe and the role he played in its people. A dream catcher is a well-known art form to the Native Americans. Although, it is not originally started by the Seminole tribe, it has influenced their lives and beliefs. Billy was like a dream catcher to the Seminole tribe because he only did things for the betterment of the tribe. He guided the tribe and filtered all the negative representations of the Seminoles by teaching its history to all the people.

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts


Xavier Cortada
Artist-in-Residence
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.






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