Native American Heritage Month

November is Native-American Heritage Month in the U.S. To honor this national month of commemoration and acknowledgment of the contribution of Native Americans, today's blog entry highlights the Native American heritage within the confines of the old Beaufort District.

Once upon a time, Native Americans roamed the wetlands, fished the estuaries, and camped along our riverbanks. Many small Native American groups lived in the area. These former residents left behind shell middens, pottery shards, and their words upon our landscape: Wimbee, Combahee, Kussoh, Yamasee, Pocotaligo, Coosawhatchie, Daufuskie, Salkehatchie. The groups were rather small and unorganized, key factors in the ability of European newcomers to successfully take advantage of them. Although the Native American tribes populating the area when the Europeans arrived have long since either died out or moved on, their legacy continues.

To learn more about the local Native American groups who once inhabited Beaufort District, Beaufort County Library suggests these resources:
Lowcountry South Carolina Indians
Native Americans
Yamassee artifacts from Altamaha

The Topper Site in nearby Allendale County is changing our understanding of the Native Americans who came to South Caorlina during the Ice Age.

For the more visually minded, check out They Were Here: Ice Age Humans in South Carolina [DVD] (975.701 THE - BDC, BEA, HHI, BLU); and Carolina Stories: Finding Clovis [DVD](975.701 CAR - BDC; but also appears to be available through the State Library Ed8368 2.F45)

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.