Edisto Indians recognized by the state as an official tribe
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To learn more about the tribe, visit their website.
The Edisto Indian tribe of Ridgeville celebrated a milestone last week when their tribe was officially recognized by the state of South Carolina.
Chief Anthony Davidson thanked tribe members and tribal board members who worked tirelessly to get the state recognition. The tribe, with over 800 members, is looking to get its federal recognition next.
ìToday is a good day for the Edisto people,î Chief Davidson said. He asked members of the tribe to enter the circle.
ìBe proud of who you are,î he said.
The ceremony was followed by a traditional powwow on the tribeís sacred grounds in Ridgeville. Each member was blessed with a smoldering mixture of white sage, cedar and tobacco smoke (a ritual to keep bad spirits away) before entering a ceremonial circle. Many wore traditional Indian clothing and body paint.
Marcy Hayden, the Native American Coordinator for the South Carolina Commission of Minority Affairs, and Mary Amonitti, commissioner, presented the tribe with a certificate.
ì(Weíve) been given back a birthright heritage,î said Andy Spells, a member of the tribe who helped get the official status from the state.
According to the tribeís official website, The Edisto are comprised of two distinct groups of Indians, the Kusso (Cussoe, Cusabo, Cursaw, Cassoe) and the Natchez (also known as Natchi or Notchee) Indians.
The combination of the Natchez and Kusso tribes started around the mid-1700s in a community called Osborne, located around the area of Parker's Ferry, South Carolina. Around the mid-1800's they started to settle around areas known today as Creeltown and Four Holes. It is now known that Four Holes is an offshoot of Creeltown. The members of the tribe have adopted the name "Edisto" due to the fact that they have lived along the Edisto River.