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Mound Key’s mighty Calusa warriors


Mound Key Archaeological State Park in Estero was once home to the Calusa tribe of fierce warriors who built their homes on the shells they used to create tools, jewelry and even weapons.

The Calusa gathered at Mound Key in the early 1500s as the Spaniards arrived. These natives launched war canoes against the incoming incursion, causing the invaders to fall back to Cuba.

Ponce De Leon, one of these invaders, was shot by a Calusa arrow while retreating from Mound Key, after making a second attempt to colonize the area. He later died of an infection from the arrow.

– Elle Bancroft, intern, Naples High School

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