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Waxhaw Indians

Waxhaw Tribe: Meaning unknown. Also called: Flatheads, a name given to this tribe and others of the Catawba connection owing to their custom of deforming the head. Waxhaw Connection. Nothing of their language has been preserved, but circumstantial evidence points to a close relationship between the Waxhaw and the Catawba and hence to membership in the Siouan linguistic stock. Their closest contacts appear to have been with the Sugeree. Waxhaw Location. In Lancaster County, S. C., and Union and Mecklenburg Counties, N. C. Waxhaw Villages. Lawson mentions two villages in 1701 but the names are not given. Waxhaw History. The Waxhaw were possibly the Gueza of Vandera, who lived in western South Carolina in 1566-67. Lederer (1912) writing about 1670, speaks of the Waxhaw under the name Wisacky and says that they were subject to and might be considered a part of the Catawba. They were probably identical with the Weesock, whose children were said by Gabriel Arthur (1918) to be brought up in Tamahita (Yuchi) families “as ye Ianesaryes are mongst ye Turkes.” Lawson (1860) visited them in 1701. At the end of the Yamasee War, they refused to make peace with the English and were set upon by the Catawba and the greater part of them killed. The rest fled to the Cheraw, but a band numbering 25 accompanied the Yamasee to Florida in 1715 and are noted as still there in 1720. Waxhaw Population. The Waxhaw are included by Mooney (1928) in the 5,000 estimated population of the Catawba. No separate estimate of their numbers is given anywhere. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name...

Waxhaw Tribe

Waxhaw Indians. A small tribe that lived in the 17th century in what is now Lancaster County, South Carolina, and Union and Mecklenburg Counties, North Carolina. They were connected with the neighboring Sugeree, and both were apparently related to the Catawba, and therefore were Siouan. The custom of flattening the head, practiced by the Waxhaw, was also mentioned as a custom of the Catawba. Lederer (1672) says they were subject to and might be considered a part of the Catawba. Lawson visited the Waxhaw in 1701 and was hospitably received. He mentions two of their villages situated about 10 miles apart. He describes the people as very tall, and notes particularly their custom of artificially flattening the head during infancy. The dance ceremonies and councils were held in a council house, much larger than the ordinary dwellings. Instead of being covered with bark, like the domiciles, it was neatly thatched with sedge and rushes; the entrance was low, and around the walls on the inside were benches made of cane. Near the Waxhaw were the Catawba, or more likely a band of that tribe. They were probably so reduced by the Yamasee War of 1715 as to have been obliged to incorporate with the Catawba. For Further Study The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Waxhaw as both an ethnological study, and as a people. See Mooney, Siouan Tribes of the East,...

The Waxhaw and Sugeree Indians

The two small tribes bearing the above designations are hardly known except in connection with the Catawba Indians, with whom they were afterward incorporated. They may be treated together. The tribes lived, respectively, about Waxhaw and Sugar (i. e., Sugeree) creeks, two small streams flowing into Catawba River from the northeast, within, what is now Lancaster County, South Carolina, and Union and Mecklenburg counties, North Carolina. As previously mentioned (The Eno, Shoccoree, and Adshusheer indians) the Waxhaw practiced the custom of flattening the head, a custom probably followed also by the Catawba and other neighboring tribes, whence they were called Flatheads. The first notice of either tribe seems to be that of Lederer, who visited, the Wisacky (Warsaw) in 1672, and found them living next south of the Sara, i. e., about where they were afterward known. He dismisses them with the brief statement that they were subject to the Ushery (Catawba) and might be considered a part of that tribe1 . In 1701 Lawson visited the Waxhaw and was received in the most hospitable fashion. He mentions two of their villages as being situated 10 miles apart, showing that they might be considered a tribe of some importance at that time. From incidental references in Lawson’s work it is evident that at the time of his visit they were on good terms with their neighbors as well as with the Saponi farther toward the north. He says that the Waxhaw were very tall, and describes in detail their method of flattening the head. This was accomplished by laying the infant in a sort of cradle, consisting chiefly of...

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