Manahoac Tribe

Manahoac Indians (Algonquian: ‘they are very merry.’ – Tooker). A confederacy or group of small tribes or bands possibly Siouan, in north Virginia, in 1608, occupying the country from the falls of the rivers to the mountains and from the Potomac to North Anna river. They were at war with the Powhatan and Iroquois, and in alliance with the Monacan, but spoke a language different from any of their neighbors.  Among their tribes Smith mentions the Manahoac, Tanxnitania, Shackaconia, Ontponea, Tegninateo, Whonkenti, Stegaraki, and Hassinunga, and says there were others.  Jefferson confounded them with the Tuscarora.  Mahaskahod is the only one of their villages of which the name has been preserved.  Others may have borne the names of the tribes of the confederacy.  The Mahocks mentioned by Lederer in 1669 seem to be identical to them.

Manahoac Tribe. A tribe or band of the Manahoac group.  According to Jefferson they lived on Rappahannock river in Stafford and Spottsylvania Counties, Va.

For Further Study

The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Manahoac as both an ethnological study, and as a people.


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

2 thoughts on “Manahoac Tribe”

  1. Mr Straight my name is Walter Otten I am also a decedent of the Manahoac. In the book lost trails and forgotten people the story of Jones mountain the author lists my great grandmother. Osby. No last name married Zacacariah McDaniel in 1815. If you would please contact me. By email I would love to talk with someone who does know our history.

  2. Jeffrey Straight arrow Shanks

    I so thankful to have had my elders and my grandfather to teach me who are our people. Most natives were classified as colored/ mullato back in 1800s, My grandfather taught of the ways of The Manahoac tribe and our heritage. I’m a proud Black Manahoac and Lakota. It is important to know who you are despite the ills of the past like the Walter Plecker who did disgenious things to Natives with our records. I would all those that are so called “African Americans” to get with your elders and listen, this is critical. Peace and Blessings Aho!

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