Carolina - The Native Americans

The Waxhaw Indians

The meaning of the name Waxhaw is unknown. Also called: Flatheads, a name given to this tribe and others of the Catawba connection owing to their custom of deforming the head.

Nothing of their language has been preserved, but circumstantial evidence points to a close relationship between the Waxhaw and the Catawba and hence to membership in the Siouan linguistic stock. Their closest contacts appear to have been with the Sugeree.

The Waxhaw primarily live in what is present-day Lancaster County, South Carolina, and Union and Mecklenburg Counties in North Carolina.

Lawson mentions two villages in 1701 but the names are not given.

The Waxhaw were possibly the Gueza of Vandera, who lived in western South Carolina in 1566-67.

Lederer, writing about 1670, speaks of the Waxhaw under the name Wisacky and says that they were subject to and might be considered a part of the Catawba.

They were probably identical with the Weesock, whose children were said by Gabriel Arthur (1918) to be brought up in Tamahita (Yuchi) families "as ye Ianesaryes are mongst ye Turkes."

Lawson visited them in 1701.

At the end of the Yamasee War (1715-1716), the Waxhaw refused to make peace with the English and were set upon by the Catawba and the greater part of them killed.

The rest fled to the Cheraw, but a band numbering 25 accompanied the Yamasee to Florida in 1715 and are noted as still there in 1720.

The Waxhaw are included by Mooney (1928) in the 5,000 estimated population of the Catawba. No separate estimate of their numbers is given anywhere.

The Waxhaw were distinguished in early times on account of their custom of deforming the heads of their children, Their name is preserved in Waxhaw Creek and in the name of a post town, both in Union County, North Carolina.; by a hamlet in Lancaster County, South Carolina, and a place in Bolivar County, Mississippi.


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