Carolina - The Native Americans

The Sissipahaw Indians

The meaning of the name Sissipahaw is unknown.

The Sissipahaw were probably of the Siouan linguistic family though no words of their language are known.

The principal Sissipahaw settlement appears to have been about what is present-day Saxapahaw on Haw River in the lower part of Alamance County, North Carolina. Possibly they were the Sauxpa mentioned by the Spanish officer Vandera, in 1569, and if so they may have been in South Carolina, a proposition considerably strengthened if Chicora is to be identified with the Shakori, since Colonel John Barnwell equates these tribes.

The name of this tribe is possibly preserved in the Sauxpa mentioned by the Spanish officer Vandera in 1569 as a place visited by Juan Pardo. Lawson spoke of them in connection with his travels through both Carolinas in 1701, but he did not visit them.

Colonel John Barnwell identified them with the Shakori with whom they were doubtless nearly allied and of whom they may have been a branch. They united with other tribes of the region against the English in the Yamasee war of 1715-16, and later with other Siouan remnants probably joined the Catawba.

Mooney (1928) estimates the Sissipahaw at 800 in 1600.

The name Sissipahaw has been brought down to our times by Haw River and the towns of Haw River and Saxapahaw on the same, in Alamance County, North Carolina


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