Hatteras Indians

The Hatteras Indians are a tribe of Native Americans in the United States who were the earliest inhabitants of the North Carolina Outer Banks.[1] They inhabited a village on what is now called Hatteras Island called Croatoan.[1] They lived in a small village consisting of 80 people.[2]

The meaning of the name Hatteras is unspecified. It was first used by English explorer John Lawson. Lawson was writing a book where he mentioned the Hatteras Indians for the first time. Although the meaning of Hatteras is unknown, the people from that island were known as "the people of shallow water". They are also known as Croatans. [3] They first had contact with English settlers in 1587 and were gone by the mid 18th century.[1] In the 1711 Tuscarora War, the Hatteras Indians sided with the colonists and fought against the Tuscarora tribe and their allies for the colonists. This cost them heavily and many were driven from their lands by enemy tribes.[4]

The Hatteras Indians are part of the  Algonquian family. Several people from the Hatteras Island area are of white ancestry. According to some historians after the tribe was colonized some of them affiliated with other tribes such as the North Carolina Algonquian, Siouan tribes, and survivors of the Roanoke colony. The modern-day Roanoke-Hatteras tribe is partially descended from them.[5] It is known that the descendants of the Hatteras Indians are also part of the Lumbee Indians.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Harrison, Molly (August 1, 2003). Exploring Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0762726097.
  2. ^ Lewis, J.D."The Hatteras Indians", "Carolina-The Native Americans", South Carolina, 2007.
  3. ^ Dumbar, Gary."The Hatteras Indians of North Carolina", "Ethnohistory", 1960, DOI:10.2307/480877
  4. ^ Michael Leroy Oberg (2013), The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand: Roanoke's Forgotten Indians, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0812203410, retrieved 2015-03-28, ... In 1711, the conflict known as the Tuscarora War began ... The Hatteras, who "always had been friendly with the whites ... and cherished friendship with the English because of their affinity," fought for the colonists against the Tuscaroras and their allies. By 1714 the Hatteras were refugees ...
  5. ^ Evans, P. "Croatoan Indians", "NCPEDIA", 2006.
  6. ^ "Hatteras Tribe","Native Language of the Americas", 1998.