The Lost Colony Center
for Science and Research

The Yeopim Indian Tribe

Mike Dunn

Yeopim Indians Introduction:
Yeopim Renape History "We are still here" -most of our Yeopim Renape families still reside on or near the Yeopim Indian Reservation. This is our story. The Yeopim Renape Indian Tribe is small but played an important role in North Carolina history- one of the first Indigenous nations to turn territory over to the English. Yeopim, meaning Ocean is a shortened version of WiYaPeMiAk (Weapemeoc) meaning "People at the Nice Ocean." Various spellings include Yeopim, Yowpinn, Yawpim, Jaupin, Eopim, and others through history. Renape translates to mean "people." The Weapemeoc, inhabited the present counties of Camden, Currituck, Perquimans, and Pasquotank. They were at one time a confederacy of four independent tribes. These tribes were the Yeopim proper, Poteskeet, Perquimans, and Pasquotank. They all spoke the Renape dialect. The Yeopim Renape Indian Tribe were always known as a peaceful people. We rarely went to war, but we and other Algonkians were constantly under threat of attack from our Iroquois neighbors, who they called MaSanKeKWa- "Man Eaters". The Yeopim Renape subsisted mostly off of the Ocean's bounty. In fact, the word Yeopim translates to ocean. Yeopim people ate fish and shellfish but also grew "the three sisters"- corn, beans and squash. Additionally, they hunted deer, turkey, and small animals. The Yeopim Renape lived in small towns and villages. Each town was autononomous and indepenent and formed the group known as the Weapemeoc or "Yeopim Nation." Weapemeoc and other Algonkian towns from North Carolina to Maine and Nova Scotia formed an alliace which was known as Wabanaki- "First Light People." In our language this was the Wapanaki-makok Confederacy.

David Webb

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