Winyaw Indians

Winyaw Tribe: Meaning unknown.

Winyaw Connections. The Winyaw are placed in the Siouan linguistic family on circumstantial evidence. Their closest connections were with the Pedee and Waccamaw.

Winyaw Location. On Winyaw Bay, Black River, and the lower course of the Pee Dee.

Winyaw History. Unless this tribe is represented by the Yenyohol of Francisco of Chicora (1521), the Winyaw were first mentioned by the colonists of South Carolina after 1670. In 1683 it was charged that colonists had raided them for slaves on an insufficiently supported charge of murder by some of their people This unfriendly act did not prevent some of them from joining Barnwell’s army in the first Tuscarora War. Along with other Indians they, indeed, withdrew later from the expedition, but they claimed that it was for lack of equipment. In 1715 the Cheraw tried to induce them and the Waccamaw to side against the colonists in the Yamasee War. A year later a trading post was established in the territory of the Waccamaw not far from their own lands. About the same time some of them settled among the Santee, but they appear to have returned to their own country a few years later. Some assisted the Whites in their war with the Waccamaw in 1720. They soon disappear from history and probably united with the Waccamaw.

Winyaw Population. Mooney (1928) includes the Winyaw in his estimate of 900 for the “Waccamaw, Winyaw, Hook, &c.” as of the year 1600. The census of 1715 gives them one village of 36 men and a total population of 106.

Connection in which they have become noted. Winyaw Bay, S. C., preserves the name. It was from this tribe or one in the immediate neighborhood that Francisco of Chicora was carried away by the first Ayllon expedition and from which one of the earliest ethnological descriptions of a North American tribe was recorded The name by which the Spaniards knew the province, however, Chicora, was probably derived from the Shakori, Sugeree, or a branch of one of them.

Siouan, Winyaw,

1 thought on “Winyaw Indians”

  1. A letter was found written to the king of England during the 1700s about this particular tribe and when mentioned in the letter, it was a three syllabled word. ” weh-nee-yah” versus the two syllable winyah. Wth nee yah is a Lakota word meaning breath of life

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