Early N.C. Indians
Native Americans were located in three places in North Carolina: the Piedmont, the Coastal Plains, and the Mountains. On this page you will learn about the three groups!
There are lots of tribes in the Coastial Plain like the Siouan [SOO•uhn], Iroquoian [ir•uh•KWOY•uhn] and the Algonquian [al•GAHN•kwee•uhn]. The people of each tribe spoke different languages and lived in different parts of the Coastal plain. The Algonquian people lived in the northern Tidewater. These tribes consisted of the Secotan [SEK•uh•tan], the Hatteras [HA•tuh•ruhs], and the Pamlico [PAM•lih•koh]. The Iroquoian groups made their life in the central Coastal Plain. There was another tribe called the Tuscarora. Many of their towns [villages] were along the Neuse and Tar rivers. The Siouan groups such as the Wacamaw lived in the southern Coastal Plain. Many built longhouses which are long, rectangular cottages. Men hunted deer with bows and arrows. They also used spears to catch fish. Women made food, clothing, and sometimes farmed.
Most Piedmont Indians spoke Siouan Languages. The tribes included the Catawba [kuh•TAW•buh], the Occaneechi [ah•kuh•nee•che], the Tutelo [too•TAY•loh], and the Waxhaw. They all used mostly the same resources. Some tribes moved to different places during the year. In summer and spring, they lived near water. In winter, they lived in forests and set up hunting traps. Most people lived in houses called wigwams. Wigwams were built in much the same way as a long house but were smaller and more like a tent. Even tribes had a goverement system. They were all democratic. The largest of the tribes was the Catawba .
There was one mountain group called the Cherokee. They spoke the Iroquoian language, and lived in the mountians for 1,000 years. They settled in about 200 villages, where they lived all year. Some villages had over 400 houses. Most families had two houses. In the summer they lived in a wooden box-shaped house to stay cool, and in the winter they lived in a small grass and clay house to stay warm. They were very good hunters and farmers. The families belonged to clans. There were 7 clans (such as Bird, Deer or Wolf.) Every year, they had a harvest festival. They also had a very well developed governmental system.