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The Sara Indians

While we know nothing positively as to the linguistic affinity of the Sara, all the evidence goes to show that, like most of the tribes of the central region of Virginia and Carolina, they were of Siouan stock. Their name is probably from the Catawba word sara, signifying a place of “tall grass or weeds” (Gatschet). While the Siouan tribes treated in the foregoing consolidated, after their decline, and joined the Iroquois in the north, most of the remaining people of that stock, including the Sara, migrated southward and merged with the Catawba tribe in South Carolina. The history of the Sara goes back to the earliest Spanish period. In 1540 De Soto, after leaving Cofachiqui (identified as Silver bluff on the Savannah, in Barnwell county, South Carolina), advanced along the border of the Chalaque (Cherokee) country, meeting several small villages of that tribe, and after traveling through a pleasant country for about 50 leagues, equal to about 150 miles, reached the province of “Xuala.” (In writing Indian names the early Spanish authors used x as the equivalent of sh; Xuala of the Spaniards is Suala of Lederer, Suali of the Cherokee, and Saura and Cheraw of later writers.) From the narrative of Garcilaso the Sara must then have lived in the Piedmont Region about the present line between South Carolina and North Carolina, southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. On the De l’Isle map “Chouala” is marked west of the upper Santee. From personal investigation among the Cherokee I learn that the correct name of the Swannanoa gap through the Blue Ridge, east of Asheville, is Suwali-Nunnahi, or “Stiwali...

The Saponi and Tutelo Indians

The Tutelo and Saponi tribes must be considered together. Their history under either name begins in 1670. As already stated, Monahassanugh and Nahyssan are other forms of Yesan, the name given to themselves by the last surviving Tutelo, and which seems to have been the generic term used by all the tribes of this connection to designate them as a people. The name Saponi (Monasickapanough?) was generally limited to a particular tribe or aggregation of tribal remnants, while the Iroquois name Tutelo, Totero, or Todirich-roone, in its various forms, although commonly used by the English to designate a particular tribe, was really the generic Iroquois term for all the Siouan tribes of Virginia and Carolina, including even the Catawba. In 1722 the remnants of all the tribes of Virginia and the adjacent parts of Carolina, included under this general designation by the Iroquois, had been gathered at Fort Christanna and were commonly known collectively as Christanna Indians or Saponi. After their removal to the Iroquois country in the north the Iroquois collective term, Tutelo, became more prominent. In deference to Hale, who first established their Siouan affinity, we have chosen to use the form Tutelo, although Totero is more in agreement with the old authorities. With the Iroquois it takes the tribal suffix rone, as Todirich roone. Hale states that, so far as known, the name has no meaning either to the Tutelo, who call themselves Yesang, or to the Iroquois1 . As the name is used by Batts and Lawson it probably belongs to some southern language and was adopted by the Iroquois. It frequently happens that Indian...

Collateral Tribes of the Siouan

Before treating of these better known names, several other tribal names or synonyms, for each of which there is but a single authority, may be mentioned. They were all probably of the same Manahoac or Monacan connection, but it is impossible to identify them positively with any of the tribes mentioned by Smith or with any of those prominent in the later colonial records. This is not necessary, however, as Smith himself, in speaking of the two Virginia confederacies just referred to, distinctly states that each had other tribes besides those which he names, while as for the interior of Carolina, it was entirely unknown excepting along the line of the great trading path until after the Tuskarora war of 1711 and the Yamasi war of 1715 had brought about an upheaval and readjustment of tribal relations by which many of the old names disappeared and new ones took their place. In the meantime the Indian wars of Bacon’s rebellion and the constant inroads of the Iroquois had served further to complicate the problem. The Mahoc Indians Lederer is the sole authority for this tribe. From his narrative it appears that in 1670 they were living on the upper James, with their village at the junction of a stream coming in from the north which he judged to be about 100 miles above the Monacan town. This estimate is too great, but it is probable that they were located about the foothills east of the Blue Ridge. The name suggests the Manahoac, but, as he mentions both Mahoc and Managog in a list of tribes, they may have been...

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