First South Carolinians

Two Native Americans carving our a canoe.

Native Americans Making Canoes . 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

  • Indian Tribes
    Need to know more about a Native American tribe? Here is a list of many South Carolina tribes, including ones that are now extinct.
  • The First South Carolinians
    Meet the Santee, Catawba, Pee Dee, Edisto, Chicora, and Cherokee Indian tribes.
  • Native American Tribes of SC
    Learn more about Native American tribes in South Carolina.
  • Topper Site
    Learn more about Topper archaeological site where people came thousands of years ago to make weapons and stone tools.


  • Cofitachiqui
    The Cofitachiqui were a tribe in South Carolina encountered by the Hernando de Soto Expedition and were related to the Catawba.
  • Catawba Indians
    See a reproduction of a Catawba council house and an example of Catawba pottery.
  • Catawba Pottery
    Read and watch how Billie Anne McKellar and other are creating pottery using traditional techniques and materials.


Parris Island

  • Parris Island Indians
    Find out more about the Native Americans that lived on this island in Beaufort County.
  • Santa Elena History
    Learn about the Spanish occupation of Parris Island and how they interacted with the native population.

Prehistoric Time Periods

The early history of eastern North America can be divided into 4 time periods, each of which have unique characteristics: Paleoindian (13,000 BC-8,000 BC); Archaic (8000 BC-1,500 BC); Woodland (1,500 BC-1150 AD); Mississippian (1500 AD-1650 AD).

  • Time Period Overview
    Find out what each time period was like in South Carolina.
  • Primitive Tools 
    Learn how early people in South Carolina used the materials found in nature to create tools to assist with day-to-day life.