Florida boasts teeming coastal waters and inland lakes and rivers that have spawned both recreational and commercial fishing traditions. Recreational and commercial fishermen have contributed to its economy. Despite their importance to the state, however, the traditions of maritime occupations have received little interest. The significance of maritime occupational folklife stems from the historical role of maritime enterprise, along with the distinctive character of the local culture that produced and continues to sustain it. Maritime industries have helped transform Florida into a strategically important region in navigation and shipping, as well as in seafood production. This chapter provides an overview of Florida’s maritime folklife and oral traditions, including naming practices, signs and beliefs, storytelling, boatbuilding, and fishing gear. It also examines maritime-related music, such as Bahamian music in Key West, and foodways, along with the presence of Greeks in Tarpon Springs.
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