Waccamaw Indians

Waccamaw Tribe: Meaning unknown.

Waccamaw Connections. Nothing of their tongue has been preserved but evidence points to a  connection with the Waccamaw with the Siouan linguistic family, and presumably with the Catawba dialectic group. The Woccon may have been a late subdivision, as Dr. Rights has suggested. (See North Carolina.)

Waccamaw Location. On Waccamaw River and the lower course of the Pee Dee. (See North Carolina.)

Waccamaw Villages. The Waccamaw were reported to have had six villages in 1715, but none of the names is preserved.

Waccamaw History. The name of the Waccamaw may perhaps be recorded in the form Guacaya, given by Francisco of Chicora as that of a “province” in this region early in the sixteenth century. In 1715 Cheraw attempted to incite them to attack the English, and they joined the hostile party but made peace the same year. In 1716 a trading post was established in their country at a place called Uauenee (Uaunee, Euaunee), or the Great Bluff, the name perhaps a synonym of Winyaw, although we know of no Winyaw there. There was a short war between them and the colonists in 1720 in which they lost 60 men, women, and children killed or captured. In 1755 the Cherokee and Natchez are reported to have killed some Pedee and Waccamaw in the White settlements. Ultimately they may have united with the Catawba, though more probably with the so-called Croatan Indians of North Carolina. There is, however, a body of mixed bloods in their old country to whom the name is applied.

Waccamaw Population. The Waccamaw are estimated by Mooney (1928) at 900 in 1600 along with the Winyaw and some smaller tribes. The census of 1715 gives 210 men and 610 souls, and in 1720 they are said to have had 100 warriors. (See North Carolina.)

Connection in which they have become noted. Waccamaw River in North and South Carolina and Waccamaw Lake in North Carolina, which empties into the river, perpetuate their name.

Siouan, Waccamaw,

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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