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ECU Notes: QAR lab partners with Waccamaw Siouan Tribe to conserve 930-year-old canoe
The Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR) Conservation Laboratory at East Carolina University’s West Research Campus is home to thousands of artifacts from the 300-year-old wreck of Blackbeard’s ship. Now it’s also home to an even older piece of North Carolina history — a Native American canoe discovered in Lake Waccamaw.
The canoe is about 30 feet long and about 930 years old, based on carbon-14 dating, said Kim Kenyon, lead conservator with the QAR lab. Made of a single tree, it is essentially a hollowed-out log. Native Americans in North Carolina would have used fire to fell the tree and to carve out the inside, Kenyon said.
Yes. Jamie Harris is the author.
1,000-year-old canoe recovered from N.C. lake moves Waccamaw tribe members to tears
‘An opportunity to actually handle and touch our history is just a blessing,’ says Waccamaw Siouan Tribe chief
Sheena Goodyear · CBC Radio
When Michael Jacobs first laid eyes on a canoe his ancestors expertly crafted a millennium ago, he says he “couldn’t do nothing but cry.”
Jacobs is the chief of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe in southeastern North Carolina, where a team of archaeologists and tribe members and local residents recently pulled a 1,000-year-old canoe from the water.
“For the Creator to allow us an opportunity to actually handle and touch our history is just a blessing. I mean, it’s overwhelming,” Chief Jacobs told As It Happens host Nil Köksal.
1,000-year-old Indigenous canoe excavated from Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina
Darren Thompson, Native News Online
LAKE WACCAMAW, N.C. — The Waccamaw Siouan Indian
Tribe helped archaeologists excavate a 28-foot canoe out of Lake Waccamaw on April 12 that is believed to be at least 1,000 years old. Local reports state that the canoe was found while three teenagers were swimming in the lake during the summer of 2021.
The Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe of North Carolina is one of eight state-recognized American Indian tribes in North Carolina. They call themselves “People of the falling star” because of their history near Lake Waccamaw. Their oral history tells that the lake was created long ago when a meteor crashed into the earth, and nearby waterways flowed into the crater, causing a unique blue-green appearance, unlike other lakes in the area.
Waccamaw Siouan Chief Michael Jacobs told Fox News that the canoe supports the tribe’s oral history that they have been there for thousands of years.
“For years and years, we’ve always been questioned about our history and where we come from and who we are,” Jacobs said at the excavation. “Now, we have physical history to back it up.”
Eli Hill, one of the teenagers who found the canoe while swimming, said he initially thought it was a log, but when he tried to pick it up, he couldn’t.
Hill’s family contacted the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, which sent a team to examine the canoe and move it under a dock until it could be safely excavated.
According to reports, dozens of tribal citizens of the Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe observed the canoe excavation, along with community members and other news media. The canoe was immediately placed in a chamber, covered and dried with towels and wrapped in plastic to prevent further deterioration. The canoe will be treated with chemicals in a lab to be preserved for future observation.
The canoe will be displayed during an open house at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Laboratory in Greenville, N.C., on April 22.
Native News Online previously reported on canoe excavations. Last year, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin pulled a second canoe out of Lake Mendota that is at least 1,000 years old.
The prefex “ani” is a Cherokee prefex/word meaning people. That’s why I responded “it sssuuurrreee looks Cherokee.” ? I never heard of anyone but Cherokees using it before to describe “peoples”. When the Cherokee spoke of any groups of people they prefixed it with “ani” this or that.
Some of the words sound like Cherokee, but Oli’ichi Tla Wilano is not a language intelligible to Cherokee speakers. The word for people is odah. Oli’ichi odah = we are the people.
There is a living dictionary site for the language: https://livingdictionaries.app/tla-wilano/about
Is there a listing of surnames for the Ani-Stohini/Unami anywhere and would it go back in the past any significant distance ? Ed
Some names are Smith, Marsh, Bilbray\\Bilbry, Burcham, Patton, Youngblood, and Graham.
There is a practically unknown tribe in that same area (Ani Stohini Unami) that have ties to the Cherokee. My suspicion has been that we may be related to them, but then the trail led me here.
Hi Beeleaf, I have recently discovered these connections as well. Specifically my Indiana Jones Smith line with the Burcham Ani-Stohini/Unami line in Carroll County VA. Specifically descendants of John E Burcham 1818-1892 married to Mahala Smith 1812-1894. These are some pictures of their descendants from Ancestry.com:
Isaac & Matilda (Burhcam) Burcham – also her maiden name.
Burcham-Joseph Henley & Susie Eveline and extended family
Above photos posted by ejkiler
Rose Lucettie Burcham – Photo posted by drharrisonlbc
Alexander Rufus Burcham – shared by cconley41
Roy Lee (Leroy/Lee Roy) Burcham – shared by ejkiler (Ancestry.com tree says Lee Roy. AN Ani-Stohini/Unami member says it’s Roy Lee)
Joseph Henley Burcham & Susie Eveline with 5 of their children – shared by ejkiler
Your mention of the Ani-Stohini/Unami caught my eye. They used to have a pretty cool website, with herbals and a paper describing some of the history. I have that paper somewhere, but have been unable to locate it.
Since my family lives in the same area as that tribe (and shares at least one surname), I’ve wondered if perhaps the reference to “the reservation” was related. I also wonder if there’s a Saponi connection, since the tribe is connected to a variety of tribes from different language groups.
Hi Beeleaf, I believe you are referring to this paper:
The website is archived here:March 20, 2023 at 8:25 pm in reply to: NC Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of John “Blackfeather” Jeffries #67081
Thank you for sharing Dreaminghawk. Good to see you on SaponiTown.February 26, 2023 at 2:06 am in reply to: ‘Our Indigenous Popstar’: Brooke Simpson raises the bar #67056
North Carolina’s own Brooke Simpson is now being featured on billboards in Times Square and in Los Angeles. She partnered with Nike to advertise the N-7 collection honoring and supporting Indigenous communities.
How Broadway’s 1776 Honors Performer Brooke Simpson’s Indigenous Heritage
The member of Haliwa-Saponi tribe talks about bringing her own culture to her role as a founding father in the musical revival.February 26, 2023 at 12:39 am in reply to: NC Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of John “Blackfeather” Jeffries #67043
https://www.aol.com/remembering-john-blackfeather-jeffries-man-223949464.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADIv4mhLx9IFKbujL6ZhPJaQ-Ce1-K2M-cLrxWXDTbLO7XdDeBHtxl2BA8FSOZ_-sEuCeq18G3Em5nGqHR5Ai5wgQhyd5SG5_n64Ch78LSSFn5jwoMIVGsKRxcmNIep4LVAKRfJ2vgYeAxH8KxCchuAtscXz7WNIOAp_NUDtY0T9February 26, 2023 at 12:37 am in reply to: NC Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of John “Blackfeather” Jeffries #67042
I was asking Dirty Water Dan if he had a link too. I don’t. There is a transcript online from the July 26 2019 meeting of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs discussing it: https://files.nc.gov/ncdoa/Public-Hearing_Condensed-Transcript-of-7-26-19_Tuscarora-Nation-of-NC-2019_0726_MINI.pdf
That is interesting. I believe you are referring to the Eno-Occaneechi petition for regonition from 1990. Do you have a link to the names in the petition?
Francis Smith appears to be the son of Shorten and Lavina ‘Vina’ Smith. Shorten is on a land grant in Montgomery County VA in 1785. In 1791 he is recorded in Upper District of Russell County. In 1802 he is recorded in Tazwell County. Judging by the DNA matches of many Smith descendants it appears there are many in McDowell County WV to this day.
Although these are different counties they are basically the same place.