The Calusa


Pat O'Connor

A Tribute to the People and Nation

Also known as The Caloosa


A Bit About Pat O'Connor

Originally, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, I moved to Oregon in 1967 and lived in Portland until 1989. I attended Portland Community College, where I served a year as president of the Associated Student Body. Subsequently, I also attended Portland State University, where I served two terms/years as student body president as well and graduated with degrees in history and social sciences.

I have some four dozen other sites, blogs and groups scattered throughout the internet and as time permits I will post links to them.

Lymphedema People

Creative Brooding

The Life and Times of Pat O'Connor

Iconoclastic Eclectic

Pat O'Connor

Pat O'Connor - Spaces Live  

Zany for Zinnias


Cosmos Flowers


Snap Dragons



My Life with Lymphedema


Trisomy Disorders

Fungus Infections

Disorders of the Lymph System

Lymphedema ville


Edema and Related Medical Conditions

Developmental Disorders of the Lymphatics

Bacterial Infections

All About Lymphedema

Like so many Americans, my heritage comes from many sources, many peoples and cultures.  Part of that heritage comes from places like Ireland, England, and Norway.

But another extremely important part comes from the indigenous people of North America.  Some comes from the Tsalgi or Cherokee, but the other comes from the people known as the Calusa.  The term Calusa means "fierce people."

The ancient Calusa nation once covered most of Southwest Florida from the keys northward close to Tampa.  Their actual political domain also extended across the state to the Atlantic.

Their society was complex, rich in culture and art and lasted for centuries.

Because they had no written language, factual information is hard to find and is scattered in dozens of places. As a historian, it is frustrating for me as well because you can not verify much of the information that is available. 

I have ran accross many sites who refer to the Calusa as an extinct people.  That isn't quite the truth.  Many Calusa fled to Cuba and returned eventually to Florida.

That is how my Calusa heritage came about.  An elderly aunt recounted to me how her grandfather had gone to Cuba, and return with a wife who was indeed Calusa.  I only wish that before their passing, that my older generation would have valued passing on our ancestral heritage.

Out of ancestral respect, I thought it would be valuable to try and gather as much history as possible in one location.

I will use articles from many sources and I make the following committment:

1.) I will in no manner change, alter or amend any article.

2.) I will in no manner take credit as author for any article

3.) I will always provide links back to the sites from which the information is gathered.

Pat O'Connor

February 17, 2007


         Approximate Calusa core area (red) and political domain (blue)




An introduction:

The Calusa

A History of the Calusa

The Calusa: "The Shell Indians"

Calusa Indian Art, Artifacts and Anecedotes

Calusa Artifacts Remnants of a Vanished Culture

Calusa Indians On The Islands     

Calusa Indian History 

Calusa "Fierce ones" turn up in 1711 in Cuba