Language: Catawba
Family: Southeastern Siouan
Stock: Siouan Proper
Phylum: Siouan
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers None
       The Catawba were a hunter/farmer nation, and the largest of the eastern Siouan tribes. They fissioned from the greater Siouan culture about 1,000 B. C. and crossed the Appalachians into the Carolinas displacing the previous inhabitants. The Catawba were at war with the Cherokee and Iroquois, as well as other neighbor nations. Smallpox destroyed much of their culture. Several tribes confederated with the Catawba over their history.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions (Villages)
SC    Catawba and Iswa (Said to be numerous)
Present Locations
SC   Catawba Indian Community, Rock Hill (Others removed to North Carolina and confederated with the Cherokee, while still others migrated to Utah, abandoning their culture)
Year History
1566 Met by Pardo (called Ysa, Issa, or Iswa) at war with Cherokee and others
1653 Contact from British colonists from Virginia
1660 Shawnee, fleeing the Iroquois, settled between the Catawba and Cherokee; soon at war with the Shawnee; the Yuchi soon followed and they too were soon at war with the Catawba; Catawba received firearms from the British colonists with whom they allied particularly to repel marauding Iroquois
1670 Visited by Lederer (called Ushery); smallpox epidemic thereafter
1711 Assisted colonists in Tuscarora Wars (1711-1713)
1715 Participated in Yamasee uprising due to abuses by British colonists
1716 Joined by the Congaree, Santee and Sissipahaw after the Yamasee War
1728 Had six villages, all on Catawba River
1738 Devastating Smallpox epidemic
1744 Joined by the combined Cape Fear and Pedee who migrated from North Carolina, and the Wateree
1752 Smallpox epidemic, 50% losses; joined by the Waccamaw
1759 Albany peace pact between Indian tribes, smallpox 50% losses
1761 Joined by the Keyauwee
1763 Moved to small reservation on Catawba River, Shawnee party killed tribal leader King Haigler
1781 Had two villages on opposite sides of Catawba River
1840 Sold reservation to South Carolina for new land in North Carolina but North Carolina disallowed passage; 800 acre reservation set aside in South Carolina
1841 Reservation had dwindled to 1 sq mile
1884 Some of tribe converted to Mormonism and relocated to Utah
1890 Some joined Cherokee, others to North Carolina
1943 New reservation established, 3,388 acres
1959 Tribe petitioned congress to terminate tribal status; reservation terminated
1973 Reinstituted tribal council
Year Total SC  Pop. Source
1600 5,000 Mooney estimate
1682 4,600   Swanton
1700 4,600 NAHDB calculation
1752 1,000   Swanton
1760 200   Catawba King Haigler
1775 400   Swanton
1780 490   Swanton
1784 250   Swanton
1800 400 NAHDB calculation
1822 450   Swanton
1881 120   Gatchet estimate
1900 150 NAHDB calculation 
1930 166   Census
1970 400   Tamarin
2000 1,200 NAHDB calculation 
Other speakers of the same language:
Cheraw, Congaree, Santee, Sewee, Wateree, Waxhaw, Woccon
Catawba Sites:
Archeologists Uncover Remains of Catawba Village ...
Archeology in the Old Catawba Nation
Black Snake in Catawba Indian Art
Catawba Archeology
Catawba Authors
Catawba Constitution and By-Laws
Catawba History
Catawba Indian Cemetery
Catawba Indian Nation
Catawba Indian Nation in South Carolina
Catawba Indian Nation Timeline
Catawba Indian Pottery
Catawba Indian Reservation
Catawba Indians "People of the River"
Catawba Indian Tribe History
Catawba Language
Catawba Language
Catawba Language
Catawba Language Department
Catawba Linguistic Lineage
Catawba Native American
Catawba Native Americans
Catawba Native Tribe
Catawbas to Become Town
Catawba (tribe)
Identity of Red Thunder Cloud
Looking Back
River People, The
South Carolina Native Americans - Catawba

Last updated 10/01/07  Copyright 2007 by Four Directions Press