Catechna Indian Village
Catechna Indian Village, on the banks of Contentnea Creek at Grifton, N.C., is a scaled-down replica of an Indian village located just across the street from the Grifton Museum. During annual festivals like John Lawson Days, volunteers use the site to demonstrate lifestyle skills of the Native Americans who lived here. The precise location of the actual Catechna village, inhabitated by the Tuscaroras in the 1600-1700s, is unknown but the many prehistoric and later artifacts found here indicate that it was very near this site.

Catechna Village Layout
A "short version" of a longhouse (a long, bark-covered, round-topped communal structure sectioned into family compartments) illustrates living conditions. A fire-pit area shows where ceremonies and other social and governing activities took place. A work shed contains the necessities for grinding corn and other chores of daily needs. During the growing season, the small garden grows corn, beans, gourds and other important crops. The village is surrounded by a palisade of cut, pointed logs set upright for protection from animals and human invaders.
Tuscarora Background
The Tuscarora Indians are known to have lived along the Neuse, Tar, Pamlico and Roanoke Rivers and Contentnea Creek, here at Grifton. (Contentnea is thought to be an Anglicized version of the Native name Catechna.) As settlers moved in, complicated relationships between neighboring tribes, settlers and officials developed. In fact, the fascinating "politics" of the time could easily rival those of today. Catechna Village and other Tuscarora territory was described in detail by
North Carolina's first Surveyor General, John Lawson. Lawson was a dedicated student and supporter of the Tuscarora Indians. Ironically, he was brutally executed due to what may have been a horrific misunderstanding. Learn more about the Tuscaroras, John Lawson and this important part of North Carolina's history when you visit the Historical Museum and Indian Village of Grifton, NC.  Call for an appointment and tour or visit during the days and hours shown at right.

Discover More....
See our online store for books, maps and other materials that will add to your knowledge and understanding of North Carolina's history.

Open: 1st and 3rd Sunday
1 - 5pm
Groups and Individuals
also by appointment