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The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


Buffalo Indian Village

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Historic marker near Buffalo Indian Village along WV-62

Just east of Buffalo,WV, on WV Rt. 62, in Putnam County, the Buffalo Indian Village and Cemetery was one of the largest known Indian towns in West Virginia. It is believed to have been occupied as late as the mid-1600s by Native Americans who lived along the Kanawha River during the Fort Ancient era (circa A.D. 1000-1550).

Speculation from non-native researchers concerning the peoples who occupied the village varies. Some believe they were Shawnee; others, from a Siouan-speaking group. Many Native American traditionalists believe the village's people were likely made-up of people from many different groups, including Cherokee, Shawnee, and Sioux, citing traditional oral-history references to several multi-tribal villages that existed in present-day West Virginia. Excavations at the village site in 1963-1964 revealed a central plaza surrounded by large ceremonial buildings and a semi-circle of ordinary houses, all of which were enclosed by a stockade. Hundreds of burials were found dating from the Fort Ancient era.