Ewat the Calusa Indian Boy: The Story of ‘The Fierce People.’ Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth by Ed Donlin

Ewat the Calusa Indian Boy was a member of the powerful southwest Florida tribe, who dominated their world until his birth in 1500 and the arrival of Columbus and the following Conquistadors. His coming-of-age story explains the tribe’s adjustments to the new challenges to changes beyond their control and the eventual decision to resist the invaders. First came the shipwrecked live animals, mostly pigs, and then the Spanish survivors of the Spanish Galleon treasure vessels returning to Spain that were caught in violent storms between Cuba and Florida and wrecked on the Keys.

Both animals and humans were as alien as men from outer space. Then Ponce de Leon comes to capture slaves, treasure, and the fountain of youth, but the final battle is unexpectedly more difficult than the other conquests he had with other Caribbean tribes, and most of his intention is foiled by the Fierce People.

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