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South Carolina

South Carolina – Indians, Native Americans – Waccamaw

South Carolina SC Native Americans SC Indian Tribes SC Waccamaw Indians

Name, Language

  • Alternate spellings – Waccamawe, Waccamau, Waccomassee, Wacemaus, Waggamaw, Wicomaw, Wigomaw

  • Possible meanings – ?

  • Language family – Siouan

Current Status

  • Active as a state recognized tribe.

  • Chartered as a nonprofit organization in October, 1992.

Contact Information

SC Location, Territory

  • Traditional: Along the Waccamaw River in Georgetown and Horry counties, especially near the area now known as Dog Bluff.

    The ancient Waccamaw were river dwellers who lived along the Waccamaw River from North Carolina's Lake Waccamaw to Winyah Bay near Georgetown, South Carolina.

  • Today: Headquartered in the city of Conway in Horry County

    In May 2004, The Waccamaw Indian People of Conway, South Carolina received twenty acres of land in the tribe's ancestral homeland in the Dog Bluff community near Aynor in Horry County.

    The new tribal grounds will house offices, ceremonial grounds, an activity and meeting center, a reconstructed tribal village, a museum, and a trading post.


  • 1600:  900 – an estimated number – probably included the Winyah and a few other small tribes

  • 1715:  610 – six villages


  • Received ammunition from the Cheraw, who tried to enlist them to support the Yemassee and other tribes against the English in 1715.

  • Engaged in a brief war against the colonists in 1720. Accounts state that 60 Waccamaw men, women and children were killed or taken captive.

  • In 1755, Cherokee and Natchez raiders killed some Pee Dee and Waccamaw in white settlements. Many of the remaining Waccamaw may have merged with the Catawba soon thereafter.

    Before the white man's arrival at Lake Waccamaw, it was inhabited by Indians. A place still called Indian Mounds is on the east shore and, on the site of one mound, it is said nothing will grow. From the "News Reporter", the following article appeared in March, 1909. A writer for the paper had an interview with Kinchen Council, Columbus County Historian of the day. Mr. Council said that the great Indian Chieftain, Osceola, Who so valiantly led the Seminoles of Florida in their war against the whites was born on Lake Waccamaw. He was born either in Columbus County, or his mother gave birth to him shortly after the U.S. had moved the Indians from this section to Georgia. Mr. Council's impression was that Osceola was a child at the time of removal. As history states, Osceola was a half - breed, his father being one of the leading men of that day in our county. So Osceola inherited the brain and valor of the white race, blended with the craft and strategy characteristic of the Indian. He was undeniably the greatest organizer and warrior that the prolonged struggle between the whites and aborigines produced. History concedes that, and the government has a heroic statue of Osceola on exhibition in the City of Washington. From History of Lake Waccamaw by Bobby Powell Parker and Susan Prescott Little



  • Farming: Both private and communal gardens. Everyone worked in the community garden, including the chiefs, who were seen planting and gathering the crops along with their tribe. Crops included corn, pumpkins, kidney beans, lima beans, squash, melons, gourds, and tobacco.

  • Fishing: ?

  • Fowl: chickens, ducks, geese

  • Hunting: ? The Waccamaw were adept at the domestication of animals, including deer. They manufactured cheese from does' milk. Additionally, they kept a variety of chickens, ducks, geese, and other domestic fowl. There were gardens to tend, both . Everyone worked in the community garden, including the chiefs, who were seen planting and gathering the crops along with their tribe. Among their crops were corn, pumpkins, kidney beans, lima beans, squash, melons, gourds and tobacco.

Beliefs and Practices

Related SC Names

Waccamaw Indian Resources


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