Who Are The Coree?

"The fate of the Chicora Nation is a strange blank place in our history. The Coree lacuna is an abscess that no one wants opened since we have forgotten its origin and have become accustomed to the pain."

Al Pate

We are privileged to be able to experience a Wondrous World...that of the Internet and all the wonders residing therein. Depending on your expertise and interests this World can be an aimless maze or, as I hope it has become for those of you who are reading this particular page, it has become place of comfort and learning. Conflict too...but, even midst the conflict education is taking place. Yes?

It has been my privilege, due to involvement in Lee Sultzman's work with the Compact First Nations Histories, to encounter a gentleman who has written a wonderful piece of work, The Coree Are Not Extinct. This writing sees the first light of day here at First Nations...I find this pretty damn exciting...

I've asked Lee Sultzman to educate me (thence you) re the Coree and am offering his advice here so that you will have some idea as to what may be coming on following pages...Lee's advice has absolutely nothing to do with The Coree Are Not Extinct. I offer that advice here only so as to introduce those who have never heard of the Coree to a sense of what the word means.

One last comment...unravelling history seems to me to be a tedious process. It requires a peculiar dedication and committment...and, as I see it "historians" are going to disagree as to what is what. However, it is the *basis* of this disagreement that actually furthers the unravelling...see?

In agreeing to disagree Al and Lee are carrying on this grand tradition..and we, the Armchair CyberNauts, can do naught but sit back and marvel at the marvel they unfold...JS Dill.

Lee Sultzman now speaks...Just east of the original Cherokee homeland resided a number of Nations:

Hassinunga, Manahoac (Mahock), Ontponea, Shackonia, Stegaraki (Stenkenock), Tauxitania (Tanx), Tegninateo, Whonkentia, Massinacac, Meipontsky, Mohemencho, Monacan (Manakin), Monahassano (Nahyssan), Monasiccapano, Moneton, Occaneechi, Saponi, Tutelo, Adshusheer, Backhook, Cape Fear (Neccoes), Cheraw (Sara, Saraw, Saura, Sauro. Their Cherokee name was the Sauali), Congaree, Eno (Enoree), Hook, Keyauwee, Nahyssan, Pedee, Santee, Saxaphaw, Sewee, Shakori (Shoccoree), Shuteree, Sissipahaw, Sugaree, Waccamaw, Warrennuncock, Wateree, Waxhaw, Winyaw, Woccon.

Collectively, these peoples are what I prefer to call, because of their related Siouan languages, the Southeastern Siouan, and as you can see, there were a bunch of them. Just to be on the safe side on what is meant by "related languages" ...these conclusions are based on the certain core words (man, woman, etc.) and/or common gramatical structure and do imply that that there was mutual intellibility. Catawba and a Lakota speakers would have as much difficulty understanding each other as for instance, a Greek and a Swede.

Most of the Southeastern Siouan ended up as part of the Catawba during the 1700s. Several groups also moved north during this

period and joined the Iroquois covenant chain in Pennsylvania and New York, and others simply remained in remote areas of the Carolinas and were gradually absorbed by the general population. That is until recently, when they have started coming out of the woodwork like the group in Virginia (whose name I forget) which you inquired about last spring. The largest present-day group-, the Lumbee, however, seem to be descended from Algonquin-speakers. At least this is what their tradition says because of the lost Roanoke Colony (Virginia Dare and all that). From their location in Robeson County NC, it would seem more likely that the Lumbee were Siouan, but who knows, and I have not found any reason to dispute their claim.

Not much has been written about the Southeastern Siouan tribes relative to the Algonquin-speaking Powhatan and the Tsalagi who spoke an Iroquian language, but they were generally organized into small and independent bands which were generally hostile to both the neighboring Tsalagi and Powhatan at the time that Jamestown was settled in 1607. Their initial contact with Europeans began much earlier through a series of Spanish slave raids along the Carolina coasts during the early 1500s which originated from Cuba and Puerto Rico. One of these, led by Pedro de Quejo and Francisco Gordillo and funded by Lucas Vsquez de Aylln, landed at Winyaw Bay SC in 1521 and captured 60 people. Because of sickness, only a few of these prisoners lived to reach Cuba, but they lasted long enough for the Spanish to learn that they called either themselves or their homeland Chicora. One young warrior did survive the capture and voyage south, and after an apparent conversion to Christianity, was renamed Francisco of Chicora. Francisco volunteered to serve the Spanish as a guide and interpreter, and in 1525 Aylln sent Quejo back to area with two ships and 60 men. Francisco accompanied the expedition, but the Spanish had no sooner hit the beach than he took to the woods. Aylln later attempted to establish a permanent settlement on the SC and GA coast but this failed soon after he got ill and died. Note that all of these things occurrred 15-20 years before De Soto's grand tour of the region in 1539-43.

Anyway, that is where the name of Chicora originated. Which tribe was this? People have been trying to figure this out ever since. Was there ever a Chicora Nation? Rather doubt this myself because as far as I can tell, the Southeastern Siouan tribes were never organized politically much beyond the village or band level until encouraged to do so by the SC colonists after 1720 when Iroquois war parties began to terrorize the region. Even then, the individual Siouan tribes were very reluctant to surrender their individual identities, traditions, and leadership.

Al [the author of The Coree Are Not Extinct] proposes that the Coree were the Chicora, but others have suggested the Shakori as better possibility. A lot of these names sound pretty alike, especially after being mauled though different European languages over the years. No one knows and few care, but Al has apparently done a lot of digging where "angels fear to tread" which, because of the obvious implications of racial mixing, has been shoved under the carpet, and I would be very interested in looking a good look at what he has found. However, it appears that he has fallen love with "his tribe" since he has some pretty harsh words for other tribes: i.e., the Tuscarora and Cherokee were vassels of the Iroquois and British; the Catawba were the butt-end of different tribes; and he seems to concluded that the Cofachiqui were Siouan speakers. It seems fairly certain that the Cofachiqui who were visited by De Soto in the spring of 1540 were Muskogean speakers (related to the Creek) who had moved into the Columbia SC area from the southwest during the 1300s. According to the De Soto Chronicles, the Cofachiqui had a lot of Mississippian cultural characteristics (mounds, temples, priests, ossaries or bone houses). The Southeastern Siouan tribes were matrilineal and farmed, but beyond this had none of these other traits....Lee Sultzman

So...now you have some sense of what might have been, what might be, actually...and we can move on...it is with great pleasure I welcome you to a Prologue to The Coree Are Not Extinct .

Who are the Coree
Family History Relating to the Coree Indians
The Historical Problem
Coree - Intro
Coree - Chapter One
Coree - Chapter Twelve
Coree - Chapter Twenty
Coree - Chapter Twenty-eight
Coree - Chapter Thirty-one
Coree - Chapter Thirty-two

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