"With modern materials and properties we have the ability to create unique solutions."
"We want life healthy and simple, from the feet up."
"The most important thing is to find the right fit for your own body."
First, a very long history lesson
The Calusa were a fierce, independent native American society flourishing in Southwest Florida after conquering the local Archaic and Muspa nations.
The Calusa canoed, sailed, fished, hunted and shelled, building a powerful and stratified society without the use of large-scale agricultural. Shell islands and complex water berms for aquaculture were blended with existing coastal formations maximize food production without overuse of resources. The Calusa used organic and sustainable materials such as wood, palm-fiber and coral for their tools, fishing nets, homes, and minimalist clothing. Attire was basic such as deerskin breeches, Spanish Moss as skirts and simple sandals of palm-fiber thong, if not barefoot.
Repeated attempts to subjugate the Calusa were met with swift and efficient retaliation by their painted warriors, described as notably tall and strong, in their famed war canoes. Never conquered by the European invaders, nor converted, nevertheless the proud Calusa slowly diminished in population from severe disease and resource displacement. In the early 1700's, the last remnants of the Calusa were attacked by Creek raiders, until the surviving populations fled to Cuba (to perish) or became absorbed by the incoming Seminole and Miccosukee.
The Calusa leave behind a legacy of fierceness, of living harmoniously with their environment, of respect for the gods and water, and an enduring and adventurous spirit that we seek to embody.
Caalius (also Calus, Caalus) was the name of their charismatic leader in the mid 1500's. His power stretched from modern day Tampa down to the Keys, circling up to Miami. It is said his royal home, built on wooden pillars and surrounded by the sea, could hold 2,000 visitors. Until his execution by the Spanish, Caalius fended off the Spanish, the French, and waves of missionaries for at least 30 years.
Caalius was often altered to "Carlos" with the assumed hard k pronunciation, but most likely a linguistic castilianization from King Carlos of Spain. A suggested phonetic correction of Caalius, using the pre-palatal consonant ś instead of the hard k, supported by related Tunica phonetics, gives us a possible genuine pronunciation of Caalius: Śoo/lyos.
Out of respect and admiration for the great leader Caalius, and inspired by the Calusa's unique approach to minimalist lifestyle and footwear, the Zoolios revolution is born.
As modern adventurers on the very same rivers, beaches, estuaries and mounds inhabited by the Calusa, we pay homage to these great people by enjoying and protecting our inherited waterways.
We hope you too may find adventure in your own sacred waterways and natural retreats. Go outside, be healthy, and tread lightly in minimalist footwear from Zoolios.
Everyone has a right to healthy adventure in the great outdoors.