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Thread: Lumbee Indians

  1. #1
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    While my sister, new-found cousin and I were researching (mostly them, actually) my mom's side of the family, we had been trying to figure out my great-grandfather's (Judge Swan's) Native American roots. We heard for years that he was full-blooded Choctaw, but the censuses listed him as mulatto. This was confirmed when we found a census with his father on it, and the father was listed as black (or whatever they called him) while Judge and his brother was listed as mulatto. Therefore, we figured that his mother may have been the one with Indian blood. Over time, we found out that her name was Lum, and another new-found cousin said he heard that Lum was an Indian word for something. I did a search and found out about the Lumbee Indians. Here are two links:

    http://linux.library.appstate.edu/lumbee/

    http://www.native-languages.org/lumbee.htm

    Good info from the first link:

    People: The Lumbee Indians have been denied federal status as an Indian nation because of their high degree of mixed blood--their ancestors include Cheraw, Tuscarora, and Croatan Indians, many African-Americans (the tribe was known for sheltering runaway slaves), and, in all likelihood, members of the original "lost" colony of Roanoke. The Lumbees are recognized by the state of North Carolina if not the federal government, and they are 40,000 people strong, making them one of the largest Native American tribes remaining in the eastern US.

    History: The Croatan (or Croatoan) Indians first made history when the Roanoke colony left their name carved on a tree. This supposedly mysterious carving has inspired many science-fiction books and conspiracy theories since that time, but in fact it was the name of an island belonging to some friendly Indians, and the colonists probably simply moved in with them when their food supplies ran low. Lumbee historian Adolph Dial made the case that the Croatans and their English guests were among the ancestors of today's Lumbee Indians, who resurfaced some 50 years later speaking English, practicing Christianity, and sporting the same last names many of the colonists had brought with them. Though they are lesser-known to history texts, there were also many Iroquoian and Siouan tribes inhabiting the Carolinas; however, as happened in most of the east coast, the tribes merged together after heavy population losses, and none of their languages have survived. Their descendants, however, still thrive. The Lumbee today are by all accounts a mixed-race people, so mixed-race that they were not even sent to Oklahoma with the other Native Americans of North Carolina in the 1820's and 30's. North Carolina was not the most pleasant place to live in the 19th century if your skin was dark, though, and increasing violence against Lumbees and free mulattos set the stage for the Lumbee folk hero Henry Berry Lowrie in the 1860's. Called the "Indian Robin Hood" by some, Lowrie, enraged by the assault and murder of his family, spent the next decade wreaking vigilante justice on those who harassed Indians and stealing supplies to give to the disenfranchised. He was never caught, and his legend--brave, proud, dangerous when provoked, and above all else free--remains a powerful tribal metaphor.

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    Do some more research on the Lost Colony. I heard some of them ended up with blue eyes. As far as the Lumbees go, see if UNC Pembroke can help. I think it's in Lumberton.
    Any way, I from coastal SC, just South of the Border of NC , and all of the "Indians" I see say they are white. We see them darker than me but they are still white. I'm not trying to start an ethnicity, just b/c you look black post. This is just my personal experience.

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    i'm in nc; there are lots of lumbees scattered about. i went to school with a couple of guys who were lumbees. biggest, bushiest, waviest, curliest fros you've ever seen on caramel skin. :blush:

    http://www.lumbeetribe.com/lumbee/index.htm

    I felt so bad, but so deliciously satisfied. --gigglezk

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    I think that southerncurl is from the area where most of the Lumbee Indians live.. Lumberton, NC. I believe that she still lives in Raleigh. If you PM or email her she may be able to tell you more information about them.
    Quit tripping on what you're wearing on your behind and get some education in your head.

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    Hi,
    Just about all my friends are Lumbee Indians! They mostly reside in Pembroke, NC but are scattered around.
    The reason no one hears about them is because they are still fighting to be recognized by the government. And yes, lots of them do look white, with blue, grey, green eyes, but if you look closely at their bone structure you can tell they're not. Then there are some who look like Pocahontas' cousins! Kind of like us and our various features.

    You can find out a lot about them at UNCP like olympia612 said, which is in Pembroke also.


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    What you may want to consider is that the Lumbee are not just one people historically; they are an amalgamation of various tribes. They were labelled by various names, at one time they were called the Cherokee Indians of Robeson County. That caused some bad blood with the Cherokee (who never resided in Eastern NC except for a few stragglers). The Lumbee were not classified as "Lumbee Indians" until recently - the last 50 years (?).

    They are called Lumbee because the various tribes gathered together and forged an Indian identity on the Lumber river. I'm thinking that your great-grandmother (?) may have been Indian but none of them would have said that they were Lumbee because they didn't exist as such at that time. Same thing with the Pee Dee Indians, who are related to the Lumbee but live in SC. Lum must refer to something else...where was your Indian ancestor from?

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    What you may want to consider is that the Lumbee are not just one people historically; they are an amalgamation of various tribes. They were labelled by various names, at one time they were called the Cherokee Indians of Robeson County. That caused some bad blood with the Cherokee (who never resided in Eastern NC except for a few stragglers). The Lumbee were not classified as "Lumbee Indians" until recently - the last 50 years (?).

    They are called Lumbee because the various tribes gathered together and forged an Indian identity on the Lumber river. I'm thinking that your great-grandmother (?) may have been Indian but none of them would have said that they were Lumbee because they didn't exist as such at that time. Same thing with the Pee Dee Indians, who are related to the Lumbee but live in SC. Lum must refer to something else...where was your Indian ancestor from?
    [/b]
    We're still not sure where she was from. It took forever just to find her name.

    I knew about the tribal mixture, but I figure that even with that information, it would help narrow down what tribe she could have belonged to.

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    i'm lumbee...my people live in lumberton NC.

    also..I had to prove my lineage and fill out a form to be considered LUMBEE...
    my GREAT grandfather married a very darkskinned indian woman, his family and friends gave him such a hard time about marrying a dark woman that he moved to another town..wilson NC, where i grew up.

    my grandfather married a black woman and he ALSO got flack for that, thats just they way it is.

    lumberton is a very rural area, and thier attitudes about color are very outdated, I wish we could get recognition to help bring them into the 21st century, It's a damn shame that we have to ASK the government to recognize us...beg them really.

    some of them have very nappy hair, some have straight hair, some look as white as white can be and some, like my aunts and great grandmother are very dark..there are blue eyes, green eyes like my mom and brother...any color combo you can imagine!

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    We're still not sure where she was from. It took forever just to find her name.

    I knew about the tribal mixture, but I figure that even with that information, it would help narrow down what tribe she could have belonged to.
    [/b]
    I'm in the same boat as you on this one. My ancestor, Mariah Chavis, was actually listed as Black although my grandmother says that she was actually Native Am. or of Native descent. The Chavis name is popular in many Southeastern Indian tribes so I am out of luck.

    There are some people that share ancestry with the Lumbee that say that they are actually Tuscarora. The Pee Dee in South Carolina share common lineage too, as far as I know. It's all confusing! My ancestor "showed up" in Chesterfield, SC in the 1880's so I have no clue where she came from. I am also lucky just to have her name. No one that I know of can actually help me with this since I don't know whether Chavis is her maiden name or married name.

    I have seen the application to apply for membership in the Lumbee tribe and I believe that one of the stipulations is that you can prove some type of consistent link/interaction with your ancestors and the Lumbee people. That instantly rules me out. My family even looks Lumbee but I don't think that I would ever be able to apply. My cousin, by marriage, has actually enrolled in one of the Pee Dee tribes in South Carolina but their rules for membership are less stringent. I really wish I could help you here...

    Southerncurl, what do folks say about your hair???? One of the parents of a former student of mine is Lumbee and she would always talk about how prejudiced some of them are; she married a Black man. Didn't you have to actually go to the tribal office in order to complete the enrollment process? I wonder what they would think if I showed up with my app. while wearing my nappy hair out? *LOL*

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    I knew several Lumbees when I was in school and they are very proud of their heritage. Many of them have the last names Oxendine, Locklear, Lowery/Lowry, and I forget the other one. Lumberton, Polk County, Fayetteville, Whiteville, and eastern NC is where the most of them that I knew were from. I hope you find them!
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