Topic: Cusabo

Cusabo Indians

Cusabo Tribe: Meaning perhaps “Coosawhatchie River (people).” Cusabo Connections. There is little doubt that the Cusabo belonged to the Muskhogean linguistic family. Their closest connections appear to have been with the Indians of the Georgia coast, the Guale. Cusabo Location.—In the southernmost part of South Carolina between Charleston Harbor and Savannah River and including most of the valleys of the Ashley, Edisto, Ashepoo, Combahee, Salkehatchie, and  Coosawhatchie Rivers. Cusabo Subdivisions. These people should be divided first into the Cusabo proper, who occupied all the coast, and the Coosa, who were inland upon the rivers above mentioned. The Cusabo proper seem to have consisted of a northern group of tribes or sub-tribes, including the Etiwaw (on Wando River), Wando (on Cooper River), Kiawa (on the lower vourse of Ashley River), and perhaps the Stone (about Stono Entrance); and a southern group including the Edisto (on Edisto Island), Ashepoo (on lower Ashepoo River), a Combahee (on lower combahee River), Wimbee (between the latter and the lower Coosawhatchie River), Escamacu (between St. Helena Sound and Broad River), and perhaps a few others.  Sometimes early writers erroneously include the Siouan Sewee and Santee as Cusabo. Cusabo Villages Ahoya or Hoya, on or near Broad River. Ahoyabi, near the preceding. Aluste, near Beaufort, possibly a form of Edisto. Awendaw, near Awendaw Creek; it may have been Sewee. Bohicket, near Rockville. Cambe, near Beaufort. Chatuache,...

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Sewee Tribe

Sewee Indians. A small tribe, supposedly Siouan, formerly living in east South Carolina. According to Rivers they occupied the lower part of Santee river and the coast westward to the divide of Ashley river, about the present Monks Corner, Berkeley County, where they adjoined the Etiwaw.

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Cusabo Indian Tribe

Little as we know about these people, it is a curious fact that their territory was one of the first in North America on which European settlements were attempted, and these were of historical importance and even celebrity. They were made, moreover, by three different nations, the Spaniards, French, and English. The first visitors were the Spaniards, who made a landing here in 1521, only eight years after Ponce de Leon’s assumed 1The Spanish orthography of this word is retained; It was pronounced something like Heaga. discovery of Florida. Accounts of this voyage, more or less complete, have been...

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Ethnological Information Regarding the Cusabo

Ethnological information regarding the Cusabo is scanty and unsatisfactory, the interest of the colonists having been quickly attracted to those great tribes lying inland which they called “nations.” Such material as is to be had must be interpreted in the light of the fuller information to be gathered from larger southern tribes like the Creeks, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw. Nevertheless it is of interest to know that certain features of the lives of these peoples were or were not shared by the ones better known. The material gathered by the Spaniards as a result of the Ayllon expedition has been given in connection with the account of that venture, and will not be considered again. The region to which it applies is too uncertain to consider it definitely under this head. From the time of the French settlement in 1562, however, we have a sufficiently clear localization, from the French, Spanish, and English narratives successively. The greater part of our information comes, however, from the French and English, the Spaniards not having been interested in the people among whom they came or not having published those papers which contained accounts of them. The following general description of the appearance of the natives, and their mental and moral characteristics, is from Alexander Hewat. It does not apply to the Cusabo alone, but Hewat was probably better acquainted with them than...

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Middle Slave Raid Period 1684-1706

Stark changes occurred during the mid-1680s in the Southeast. There were many movements of population as the intensity of attacks on the Spanish mission by the Westo, Chickmawka’s, Yamassee and pirates intensified. The Rickohockens were completely pushed out of their stronghold at the Peaks of the Twin Otter by Iroquois raids. The Iroquois had obtained firearms first from the Dutch, and now from the English. Many minor ethnic groups and villages in the Carolina’s had disappeared during the previous twenty years due to Rickohocken and Westo slave raids. Now African slaves were much more available, so the emphasis of the Native American slave raids shifted to the capture of youth to trade on the docks in Charleston, Port Royal and Georgetown for African slaves. The ratio was four Indians for one African. The American Indian slaves rarely lived past two harvest seasons on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean. They were so cheap as to be considered expendable. Basically, they were fed as little as possible, then worked to death. Many Southeastern indigenous tribes today think of themselves as pure descendants of ancient peoples – perhaps with a tad of European or African blood mixed in <chuckle>. However, it is clear from looking at the maps and reading the archives of the late 1600s, that Native American communities had become locations where remnant peoples assimilated. Somewhere between 90 and...

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