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Sarasota County was created in 1921 from Manatee County. The name may be derived from the Spanish word for "tiger" (sarasa). The first inhabitants of Sarasota were Native Americans, and their presence can still be seen today throughout the county. For example, thousands of years before Europeans arrived, a culture known as the Weedon Island Culture lived in South Florida and built its villages on pilings to protect against occasional flooding by water level rise. At some point after 1000 CE, however, they disappeared; it is speculated that this was due to depopulation caused by diseases brought with European contact or climate change which resulted in desiccation of their coastal homeland.