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Weapemeoc Indians

by Michael D. Green, 2006

"Scene depicting an Algonquian village in the Carolinas. Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum" Accessed via National Park Service. The Weapemeoc Indians, also known as the Yeopim Indians, were a branch of Algonquian-speaking peoples living in sprawling villages along the northern rim of the Albemarle Sound when the Roanoke Island colonists arrived in the 1580s. The subtribes of the Weapemeoc included the Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Poteskeet. They were partly agricultural and raised several varieties of beans (pulse), melons, and gourds, as well as corn, squash, and other vegetables. They were also food-gatherers, hunting turkeys and deer. During the summer months, fish, shellfish, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, hickory nuts, and acorns supplemented their diet. Severe outbreaks of epidemic diseases during the seventeenth century seem to have devastated the Weapemeocs, who are believed to have had 700 to 800 warriors in 1586, roughly the same in 1600, and only 200 by 1700. One of the Weapemeoc settlements to survive was within modern-day Perquimans County, the name of which was reportedly derived from the name of the Indians who lived there.

References:

Maurice A. Mook, "Algonkian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound," Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 34 (15 June, 15 July 1944).

Theda Perdue, Native Carolinians: The Indians of North Carolina (1985).

Douglas L. Rights, The American Indian in North Carolina (2nd ed., 1957).

Eugene Waddell, Indians of the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1562-1751 (1980).

Additional Resources:

NC Markers, Weapemeoc: http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?ct=ddl&sp=search&k=Markers&sv=A-46%20-%20WEAPEMEOC

NC Markers, Yeopim: http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?sp=map&sv=A-47

North Carolima Museum of History: American History Timeline: http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/nchh/amerindian.html

Image Credit:

"Scene depicting an Algonquian village in the Carolinas. Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum" Accessed via National Park Service. Available from http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/jamesriver/colonization.HTM (accessed May 23, 2012).

 

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Educator Resources on North Carolina American Indians

NC Humanities Council, 2009 - 2011. "Teaching about North Carolina American Indians." Online at Learn NC.

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