CROAT-O-ANby croatoansociety croatoansociety on 03/13/16
Welcome to the CAS Blog!!!
We have decided we will give this blogging a try and see if we like it.. if you like it... or if we should just trash it!
But... for the first blog, it seemed totally appropriate that we start out by explaining our name... CROATOAN! That's right Croat-o-an, not Croatan. I realize it can be confusing since the highway through our towns is Croatan Highway, and most people say Croa-tan instead of the original accurate term Croat-o-an.
So when and where did the word originate? Well, when the English first visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina during their now infamous Roanoke Voyages from 1584-1590, they were told by the Native Manteo that the name of modern-day Hatteras Island was then called Croatoan. Manteo himself, who served as an interpreter for the English, was actually from the island of Croatoan.. so I am pretty sure he got the name right. The English on all of their maps from the time period, clearly marked the name Croatoan over the Southern half of modern-day Hatteras Island, which was then separate from the Northern half of Hatteras Island by an inlet called Chancandepeco. Geologists believe the inlet closed in the early 1700s due to a bad hurricane. (As we locals know all to well... hurricanes and even bad Nor'easters can open and close inlets more often than we like!)
So now that you know that the original word is Croatoan .. not Croatan, please help to educate others that the proper way to honor the original name of Hatteras Island and its native people is to say CROATOAN.
Until the next time....