A nearly 1,000-year-old canoe was pulled out of a North Carolina lake by a team of archeologists on Wednesday, according to Fox News Digital. The North Carolina Office of State Archeology and The Waccamaw Siouan Tribe came together to extract the small boat from Lake Waccamaw.
Despite having spent a long period underwater, the massive canoe, which measured 28 feet long, was recovered in excellent condition. The boat showed few signs of decay. Waccamaw Siouan Chief Michael Jacobs spoke about the cultural significance that this find holds for his people.
“For years and years we’ve always been questioned about our history and where we come from and who we are. Now, we have physical history to back it up.”
“We’re looking forward to examining it, running some tests on it, really finding out and going back to our elders and getting the history of it, to where we can teach the truth to our people and know that we’ve got concrete evidence to stand on.”
According to Fox News, a couple of boys who were swimming in the lake found the vessel two years ago. One of the teenagers, Eli Hill, said:
“We were throwing mussels at each other and I stepped on it and I thought it was a log. I tried to pick it open and never came up. So, we kept digging at it and it just kept going. And then the next day, we came back and we started digging some more and it just kept going.”
According to their website, the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe is “one of eight state-recognized Native American tribes in North Carolina. Located predominantly in the southeastern North Carolina counties of Bladen and Columbus, in the communities of St. James, Buckhead, and Council. The Waccamaw Siouan tribal homeland is situated on the edge of Green Swamp about 37 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, seven miles from Lake Waccamaw, and four miles north of Bolton, North Carolina.” The website also offers insight into the oldest known history of the tribe:
“The first written mention of the Waccamaw Siouan Indians appeared in historical records of 1521 by the Spanish explorer, Captain Franciso Gordillo, while visiting the South Carolina coast. It is believed that the “province” Francisco de Chicora, a Chicora Indian, called “Guacaya” in Spanish translates to Waccamaw. The Waccamaw Siouan appeared again in 1712 during Col. James Moore Jr. ‘s expedition against the Tuscarora, when a special effort was made to persuade the Waccamaw along with the Cape Fears to join the expedition. The Waccamaw Siouan along with many other tribes in the southeast joined Colonel James Moore’s expedition and fought against the Tuscarora, while a subdivision of the Waccamaw named the Waccon fought with the Tuscarora, as recorded by John Swanton in the Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin of 1952.”
This canoe offers an illuminating glimpse into the past of the tribe and the history of the land that North Carolina now owns. For residents of the state and members of the tribe, this is a wonderfully fascinating discovery.
The featured image is a screenshot from an embedded Youtube video.
"*" indicates required fields