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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. Mooney, Siouan Tribes of the East, 18, 1894....

The Manahoac Confederacy

The Manahoac confederacy of Virginia consisted of perhaps a dozen tribes, of which the names of eight have been preserved. With the exception of the Stegarake, all that is known of these tribes was recorded by Smith, whose own acquaintance with them seems to have been limited to an encounter with a large hunting party in 1608. Smith, however, was a man who knew how to improve an opportunity; and having had the good fortune to make one of them a prisoner he managed to get from him a very fair idea of the tribes and territories of the confederacy, their alliances and warfare’s, their manner of living, and their cosmogony, and succeeded, before his departure, in arranging a precarious peace between them and their hereditary enemies, the Powhatan confederacy. The Manahoac tiles occupied the upper waters of the Rappahannock above the falls near Fredericksburg. In this territory, comprising northern Virginia between tide water and the Blue ridge, the allied bands wandered about without any fixed location. Jefferson’s attempt at locating them by counties is evidently based on Smith’s map, which, however, as regards this region, is only intended to be a rough approximation, as Smith did not penetrate far beyond the falls. Smith tells us in one place that they lived at the head of the river, among the mountains; and in another place1 he gives more detailed information: Upon the head of the river of Toppahanock is a people called Mannahoacks. To these are contributers the Tauxanias, the Shackaconias, the Ontponeas, the Tigninateos, the Whonkenteaes, the Stegarakes, the Hassinungaes, and divers others, all confederates with the Monacans,...

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