First South Carolinians

Native Americans cooking fish over a blazing fire.

Cooking Fish. In " A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia” (German edition) by Theodore De Bry, 1590. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Meet the Native Americans who first called South Carolina home.

Native Americans



  • Catawba Indian Nation
    The Catawba tribe has a 640-acre reservation in York County. Learn about their history since the European arrival.
  • Catawba Indians DISCUS
    Learn about the Catawba Indians, including their villages and language.
  • Catawba Indians
    See a reproduction of a Catawba council house and an example of Catawba pottery.

Specific Native American Tribes

  • The Pee Dee Indians
    The Pee Dee Indians lived along the Pee Dee River near Georgetown, SC and many members now live near Cheraw and McColl.
  • The Edisto Indians
    The Edisto Indians were originally known as the Natchez Kusso and took the name Edisto in honor of the river.
  • The Chicora Tribes
    The Chicora Indians historically live on the coast and are now represented by the Chicora-Siouan Indian Nation and the Chicora-Waccamaw Indian People.
  • Santee Indians
    The Santee Indians lived near the Santee River and now have fewer than 400 descendants in the state.
  • Yamasee Indians DISCUS
    The Yamasee Indians were originally from Florida and Georgia until they fled to South Carolina in 1687.

Native Americans Today

  • Yap Ye Iswa (Day of the Catawba)
    On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Catawba Indian Nation celebrates Yap Ye Iswa, the Day of the Catawba.
  • Catawba Pottery
    Read and watch how Billie Anne McKellar and other are creating pottery using traditional techniques and materials.
  • Cherokee Indians (1927)
    Watch this movie from 1927 showing Catawba and Cherokee Indians. What do you think has changed?