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Contemporary South Carolina Tribes
Learn more about current South Carolina Tribes. Not all Tribes have yet been included; more information will be added in the future.
The following resources have been recommended by Joshua Shumak, Publicist and Executive Council Member of the Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians, and a 2021 graduate of the College of Charleston. Mr. Shumak stated, “All of these resources hold significant relevance to our tribe's story, and we feel their incorporation would contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of our heritage and the history of Native Americans in the State as a whole.” Many thanks to Mr. Shumak for making these recommendations for our Libguide.
This page is broken into the following categories:
The Catawba Nation
Produced by the only Federally recognized Tribe in South Carolina, with headquarters in Rock Hill, this website provides a brief history and its Media Portal includes numerous stories on public health, economic development, etc., and an archive of stories since 2020.
Waccamaw Indian People
The Waccamaw Indian People of Conway, South Carolina, are the descendants of a group of people who lived and farmed in the area of South Carolina now known as Dog Bluff.
Waccamaw Indian People: Past, Present, Future
This website is the digital home of Waccamaw Indian People: Past, Present, Future, an exhibit by students at Coastal Carolina University in partnership with the Waccamaw Indian People, Horry County Museum, and our many volunteers, interviewees, community members, and partners.
A Conversation with Harold "Buster" Hatcher, Chief of the Waccamaw Indian People
This episode of the Between the Waters podcast features a conversation with Harold “Buster” Hatcher, Chief of the Waccamaw Indian People during our visit to the tribe’s annual Pauwau in Aynor, S.C.
Buster Hatcher Waccamaw Chief Interview
Short two minute interview with Waccamaw Chief Hatcher.
Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians
Those Who Remain: A Photographer’s Memoir of South Carolina Indians by
An important source documenting experiences of Native SC residents from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Crediford photographed and interviewed many SC residents who are Native. His approach foregrounds the lived experience of Native people, inasmuch as he has been able to witness, understand, and record it. Each chapter focuses on a different tribal group and their attempts to gain federal and/or state recognition. Many elder interviewees had vivid memories of the schools they went to–including some schools exclusively for Indians. The interviews contain many candid exchanges between Crediford and his subjects, who are sometimes reluctant to share their stories with a white man and who believe that their histories have often been misrepresented. Overall, Crediford seems to be well regarded by the Native communities he has documented, yet he is always conscious of his own limitations and the potential for misunderstanding. Crediford’s approach and the perspectives he documents demonstrate both the rewards and the unintended alienation that could occur when outsiders study Native histories and don’t realize what they are misunderstanding or misrepresenting.
Crediford begins the book with a map of the “Estimated Footprint of the Cofitachequi Chiefdom” in South Carolina and parts of NC. This is the area in which contemporary Tribes live who are descendants of the Cofitachequi chiefdom. He explains this more in his introduction. “Centuries after de Soto, this story is told with the photographs and words of those who remain, a book written to bear witness to those who have survived ﬁve hundred years of foreign diseases, colonization, enslavement, and a variable purgatory of prejudices and neglect.”
"Wassamasaw and Beyond" by Michael J. Heitzler. City of Goose Creek, SC. 2017.
70-page history of the region known as Wassamasaw and its inhabitants, including the contemporary Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians and their ancestors. It includes population data, photographs, maps, and other historical images. The author, Michael J. Heitzler, Ed. D., is the former mayor of Goose Creek.
"Carnes Crossroads" by Michael J. Heitzler. City of Goose Creek, SC. 2014.
51-page overview of the Carnes Crossroads area in Goose Creek, SC, and the variety of peoples who occupied it, with information on the Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians on page 29. It includes agricultural data, photographs, maps, and other historical images. Author Michael J. Heitzler, Ed. D., is the former mayor of Goose Creek.
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