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South Carolina – Indians, Native Americans – Keyauwee


South Carolina SC Native Americans SC Indian Tribes SC Keyauwee Indians

Name, Language

  • Alternate spellings: Keyawee, Kewawee, Keiauwee, Keeowee, Keeowaw, Keeawawe
  • Possible meanings: Unknown
  • Language family: Presumed to be Siouan

Current Status

SC Location, Territory

  • Traditional: On the Great Pee Dee River, near the border between North Carolina and South Carolina in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties

Population Estimates

  • 1600: 500

  • 1701: 150 (one village)

History

  • In 1701, the Keyauwee were found living in a palisaded village near High Point, North Carolina. Their chief was Keyauwee Jack, a Congaree who had obtained the chieftaincy by marrying the Keyauwee's "queen."

  • Moved eastward to the Albemarle Sound area of Virginia in 1702, along with at least four other small tribes including the Cheraw.

  • Settled along the North Carolina portion of the Pee Dee River after 1716, possibly uniting with the Catawba.

  • Moved southwestward with the Cheraw to Greater Pee Dee River area near the North Carolina and South Carolina border in 1733.

  • A 1761 map shows Keyauwee's Pee Dee village north of the Cheraw's, close to the boundary of the two Carolinas. After this the Keyauwee were probably absorbed by the Catawba. However, one remnant band probably merged with the Lumbee in North Carolina instead.

Dwellings

  • Dome-shaped houses made of bark

Food

  • Farming: Agriculture was a secondary but important food source. The Keyauwee cultivated large fields of corn.
  • Fishing:
  • Hunting: Primary food source

Beliefs and Practices

  • Most of the men had mustaches or whiskers, which was unusual for Indians.

  • Spiritual practices were prominent with distinctive mortuary customs.

  • Semi-nomadic river dwellers

  • Part of a loose confederacy of 20 or more tribes and bands located in North and South Carolina along the river after the English government was established in the Carolinas.

  • It is believed that one remnant band of Keyauwee merged with the Lumbee in North Carolina.

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