Bryce Marin
Mr. Duvall
Catawba
October 3, 2011

The Catawba

The Catawba, Native Americans who lived in South Carolina, traded many times with the English settlers who came to South Carolina hoping to settle in the land. The goods that the Catawba provided to the settlers were valuable in terms of usefulness and so, the settlers offered other things in return. What the English provided made the Catawba's daily life easier. Indeed, trading with the English allowed the Catawba access to goods that they would not normally have come across while enabling them to maintain their way of life as well.
The Catawba were significant to the English settlers because they provided valuable goods. Slaves, deerskin pelts, woven mats and baskets were what the Catawba provided. The English responded by giving the Catawba firearms, alcohol, cloth and beads. The Catawba also received brass or iron kettles, knives, blankets, and clothing. They procured their goods by having the men hunt for the pelts and the woman make the baskets and the mats. The Catawba were warriors and so they acquired slaves by capturing people of the tribes that they defeated.
The Catawba's everyday life had much to do with the goods that they traded and received from the settlers and it also allowed them to relax. Men hunted deer, buffalo and bear as well as smaller animals. They would trade the deer pelts to the settlers. Meanwhile, the women dressed the animal skin and created woven baskets and mats which were traded to the settlers. The women also grew beans, squash and corn to eat. While the adults worked the children helped around the house and went to school. They played lacrosse and a variety of hoop and pole games (an arrow shot through a hoop). Life was very consistent for the Catawba.
The Catawba had a complex culture, with religious beliefs, music, medicine, death and the afterlife. The Catawba worshiped more than one god and they had conjurers who also were healers and diviners. They could find thieves by speaking with the spirits. The Catawba had ceremonies to celebrate the harvest and pray for future success in planting. They used wooden images in ceremonies. Rattles, drums and singing were often heard. When a person fell sick, the Catawba applied cures, which were plants with medical properties that were applied through rituals. Sickness could be due to ghosts, evil spirits and the violation of certain ways. Death could also be due to the same causes as sickness. The afterworld was divided into two parts; the bad part, and the good, while heaven had four levels. Fancy funeral services, fasting, a three day wait for the departure of the soul, and a ban on speaking the dead one's name accompanied the death. The Catawba also killed the deceased's enemies to join them.
During the early 1700s when the English realized how much the Catawba depended on them and their goods, they began cheating on the Catawba. Several wars happened because of the cheating. However, there was the Tuscarora War in which the Catawba and the English settlers along with other tribes came together to drive the Tuscarora out. The Tuscarora had fought because of the unfair treatment that the received from the English. After the Tuscarora war ended there was another war in which the Catawba, along with other tribes, came together to battle the settlers because the settlers were being unreasonable and dishonest. This was the Yemassee War. It was during this war that the Catawba realized that they could not fight against the English because they did not have enough ammunition and supplies. They made peace with the English soon after that. This was the last war that the Catawba fought against the English settlers.
The Catawba and English alike felt it was important to keep on friendly terms; the Catawba because they didn’t want another war with the English and the English because the Catawba performed many valuable services for settlers. However, white settlers began going into Catawba territory and trouble came. In the Treaty of Pine Hill the chief of the Catawba managed to keep two million acres of Catawba land. Three years after, the Treaty of Augusta was signed and the Catawba lost more land. Soon after the treaty of Augusta, the Catawba petitioned King George for a land title. This meant that the lands that the Catawba had were theirs alone. Soon after, the Catawba discovered that they could not fully keep their lands their own; they could not keep the white settlers completely off it. So, they decided to lease or rent their land out to the settlers and the settlers in turn lent the land to other settlers. This was done because the Catawba did not want another war with the English. They also helped the English fight in the American Revolution which helped their relationship. Afterwards, the state gradually took over the Catawba’s land until they had nowhere to go. Eventually, the Catawba got some of their land back and started teaching their children the ways and language of the Catawba.
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Catawba_river.jpg
The Catawaba lived near this river

catawba_pottery.jpg
The Catawba made pottery as well