Florida Folklife Program

Folk Heritage Awards Recipient: SUSIE JIM BILLIE

SUSIE JIM BILLIE, . Photo by Ormond Loomis.
SUSIE JIM BILLIEPhoto by Ormond Loomis

SUSIE JIM BILLIE (1900 - 2002) - 1985 Florida Folk Heritage Award

Susie Jim Billie was a highly respected Seminole medicine woman. She was born at the turn of the last century in Collier County and resided on the Big Cypress Reservation, where she practiced traditional healing arts for the tribe. Billie received most of her training in folk medicine from her grandfather and uncle, who were medicine men of the tribe. She knew not only the herbal remedies for physical ailments, but the songs, chants, and ritual expressions that lent power to cures as well. Susie Jim Billie was one of a dwindling number of Seminole women who continued to practice traditional medicine.

Billie received a Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1985. She participated twice as a master artist in the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, passing her knowledge on to her daughter Agnes Cypress and to Mary Johns.