Mound Key was the seat of power in Southwest Florida for over 200 years. This small island rises from the mangroves of Estero Bay. The Native American culture known as Calusa, maintained a chiefdom that dominated south Florida. Their shell mounds and ridges, called middens, are now silent. Man-made canals and water courts also remain. Both are testament to their enduring legacy.

The Calusa successfully resisted Spanish rule and attempts to convert them to Christianity. However their stronghold in Florida would crumble by the early 1700s.  Slave raids drove them to the Florida Keys and ultimately to Cuba. Their abandoned island capital would live on as a camp for Cuban fishermen. Then home to a small community of pioneers and Koreshans.  Finally a state archaeological preserve.

Escampaba ~ The Kingdom of Carlos brings this history to life. Filmed on location at Mound Key and St. Augustine, this documentary is by archaeologist, Theresa Schober.  It recreates the unique and significant role southwest Florida played in our nation’s history. The film includes interviews with leading scholars, descendants and activists.  Bringing the past to life with re-enactments, animations, archival photographs and environmental footage, Escampaba ~ The Kingdom of Carlos recreates a forgotten piece of the history of Florida and America.



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Television adaptation will be presented by WGCU Public Media in Fort Myers, Florida, a PBS/NPR affiliate. WGCU’s primary channel features all your PBS favorites and signature programs.