Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Chickee Huts, Beach Sunset painting by Everglade artist JoAnn Sanborn

Beach Sunset, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on board, 5"x7"

We've had some beautiful sunsets lately and I love the way this little chickee hut glows in the setting sun. This one's on Resident's Beach on Marco Island.

Chickee is a Mikasuki, or Creek word. There is evidence of native Americans using palm frond structures since the time of the Spanish invasion, however at the time of the first Seminole war, log cabins were the homes of choice. As the US troops pushed deeper into the glades, the Chickee hut regained favor as a shelter that could be put up and taken down, or left, quickly.

These open-air homes are still being used by the Mikasuki and Seminoles today. The Chickee provides sturdy shelter, are visibly pleasing in the landscape, and are made of renewable resources.

Part of the settlement at the end of the Seminole wars allowed the tribes to build the chickee huts wherever they could find business, regardless of zoning or permits. If you'd like to see the process of one being built, you can start here.

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