Westo Indians

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Last Updated: 1 year The Westo Indians lived in South Carolina along the central Savannah River in Colleton County. They apparently became extinct sometime before the early 1700s.

Name, Language

Westo Indians

  • Alternate spellings: Westoe – possibly related to, or a band of the Yuchi tribe.
  • Possible meanings: Enemies
  • Language family: Yuchi – Although Yuchi is thought to be related to the Siouan languages, it is distinct enough to be considered a separate language stock, called Uchean.

Current Status

  • Extinct

SC Location, Territory

  • Traditional: Their primary location while in South Carolina was along the central Savannah River in what is now Colleton County.

Population Estimates

  • Unknown

History

  • Small bands moved into South Carolina during the 1660s and begin raiding the Cusabo tribes.
  • In 1674, the Westo signed a trade agreement with colonists and remained in good favor for several years.
  • They may have participated in the Yemassee War during 1715 and were driven from the area along with the Yemassee and other tribes afterward. The tribe was not mentioned in colonial historic documents after the early 1700s.

Dwellings

  • Homes: Stuctures covered with bark, clay, or woven mats
  • Villages: Built along streams; homes were grouped around a central square where ceremonies and social gatherings took place

Food

  • Farming: Primarily corn, beans and squash
  • Fishing: Freshwater fish
  • Hunting: Deer and other small game