Why the name Cusabo?

Why the name Cusabo?

The longest running game of North America

Lacrosse is believed to be several hundreds of years old. A brief history from the Federation of International Lacrosse shows that close to the to the time of the European settlement of Charleston in 1670,  there was a long tradition of the game. French Jesuits first witnessed the game in the St. Lawrence Valley in the 1630’s. The origins of lacrosse, created by the Iroquois. To this day the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team continue to play of “little war” internationally.

The Cusabo Nation of the Low Country, the unifiers

The Cusabo people were a unified coastal tribe of the low country, the area of Islands from Charleston to Savannah. Either pronounce koo-saw-bo, or koo-suh-bo, no one truly knows. We prefer the former. As we researched and considered names for our organization, we were struck with the statement of beliefs and practices.

Beliefs and Practices

  1. The Cusabo belief system was similar to other southeastern tribes in that it valued order and saw chaos as harmful or evil.
  2. Ritual healing was practiced by village priests. The Cusabo believed that the spirit and body were closely linked, one could not be healed without healing the other.
  3. In addition to dances, the tribes often gathered for ball games.

This historical understanding, and oral tradition was certainly strong to be observed and handed down make it to our time.

Order from the Chaos, a Values driven organization

Knowing the story of the Cusabo people and seeing the rapid and sometimes chaotic growth of lacrosse in Charleston, we knew our role and our name. We believe in our youth and our community. Our children are our future leaders. We model and honor the values of DEDICATION, TEAMWORK, & FUN. Our hope is some form of order that will allow us to teach these important vales.

The children want to play and the adults are the ones to organize it all. Through careful consideration and collaboration a great experience can be created for our youth. This is the work of Cusabo Nation today. Often we dream of a community of lacrosse where order is valued, referees are honored, coaches teach the life long values of teamwork, the boys and girls develop their bodies along with a strong spirit of teamwork, and respect and love of one another. The purity of our vision is aligned with a past people that we respect, but will never know.


The Many Tribes of the Cusabo (many of these names today are names of our river systems):

  1. Ashepoo
  2. Combahee
  3. Coosa
  4. Edisto
  5. Escamacu
  6. Etiwan
  7. Kiawah
  8. Stono
  9. Wando
  10. Wimbee