Historical records show members of the Catawba tribe have lived in South Carolina since 1650. The original Catawba called themselves "Ye Iswa," meaning "river people."
Early Catawba lived in round pine bark homes and farmed, fished, traded and hunted to survive. But European colonization of America meant disease and loss of tribal lands for the Catawba. Their population fell from an estimated 5,000 in 1692 to around 100 in 1826. Currently the Catawba population has grown to over 1,000 people in South Carolina.