Reflection 6

23 03 2010

Malinda Maynor Lowery’s Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation takes a very different approach from the other sources to explain the identity of Indians in Robeson County. Instead of giving a single definition, it acknowledges that identity is not static. Therefore, it combines other historical sources to give a thorough description that covers the evolution of Indian identity era.

This book shows us how Lumbee Identity was shaped by racial, political, and social issues in the American south. For example, the Lumbees used the Jim Crow era to their advantage by distancing themselves from other ethnic groups and solidifying their own identity. They also used the factionalism caused by political strategies to push for autonomy as a separate people. Lowery documents this experience for the Lumbee people by using oral tradition and personal accounts rather than written sources which often overlook this perspective.

There are few theories about how the Lumbee people coalesced in Robeson County, but they never seem to explain why. It is mentioned that many Indians migrated in the 18th century to escape war and disease. I’ve seen several historical documents that can confirm this theory for other tribes, but does it apply to the Lumbee people as well?

After searching through Blu’s The Lumbee Problem, and Dial’s The Only Land I Know I found nothing about disease. Therefore the causes for Lumbee migration are still ambiguous.

Dial, Adolf. The Only Land I Know. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996. Print

Shalom Cherian-#6

23 03 2010

Today’s reading was from Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery’s Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South. The selected readings were the preface and the introduction.

In the preface, Lowery begins with an introduction to the geographical location, and goes on to introduce the Indians of Robeson County, NC. I think the geographical introduction was a good way to emphasize the importance of place to the Robeson county Indians. The book focuses on how these Indians have toiled to create an identity as a People, a race, a tribe, a nation-these the main aspects of Indian identity that the book focuses on.  Lowery points out that the markers of Indian Identity have been/are fluid and has changed/may change over time depending on various circumstances. Notions of Indian identity may have two very different perspectives- one, for those inside the community (they Know they are Indian), and the other for outsiders who may have specific ideas of what qualities may constitute being called ‘Indian.’ An example that the author gives is the various name changes that the Robeson County Indians underwent from 1885 to 1956.

Inspite of segregation, disempowerment, and factionalism, Robeson County Indians have maintained their identity as a people held together by the bonds of place and kinship. According to Lowery, Kinship and place is the main foundation of identity for these Indians. Factionalism among the Indians, and how it has been used as a strategic response to political conditions, and its effect on Indian Identity is a big topic that Lowery covers in the book. Lowery explains why having an Indian perspective on the historical events surrounding them is vital. Also, she reminds us that the Robeson county Indians are not only Indians, but also Americans, and southerners, and that their oral traditions and history are integral pieces of American Histories.

In the introduction, Lowery begins with the narrative of the 1936 visit of the OIA members to Robeson County. This visit was meant to help the Indians gain federal recognition. But, the OIA’s criteria for proving the ‘Indianess’ of Robeson County Indians was through testing ancestry and physical features. However, this undertaking harmed, more than helped the Indians efforts for recognition. The OIA failed to recognize the history of the coalescence of these Indians, and the kinship and identification within the community.

Lowery explains how and why Robeson county Indians are a “nation of nations” (p. 5). Te present day Lumbees and Tuscaroras are the results of mass migrations, intermarriage, and cultural exchange between various tribes like the Cheraw, Peedee, Tuscarora that lived in/settled in and around Robeson county during the 16th and 17th century.  The roles of women in the community are explained and the importance of ancestors to group identity is shown. One thing that I was surprised by, is when Lowery points out that ancestry and kinship can be distinct aspects of identity for the Lumbee Indian. Personally, I have never had to think of them as separate.

The historical events that impacted the Indians during the 18th and 19th century are mentioned. For example, how the Robeson County Indians lost their right to vote in 1835. The White supremacist landscape of the south, is against which the Indians suffered segregation and disempowerment. Lowery uses the events of Henry Berry Lowry as an example of how Indians reacted to increasing amounts of restrictions set on them. The Lowry war had integral effects on the South and on the community. The event gave Robeson county Indians a social identity and a drive to be politically active and achieve autonomy.

I never understood Why the Henry Berry Lowry story was tied in closed to the identity of the people. But on reading the last few paragraphs of the introduction, I think I understand better. Question I would like to know more about:

1. Would Henry Berry Lowry consider himself a Lumbee?

2. Do the Tuscarora hold Henry Berry Lowry in the same light as the Lumbee do?

Source: An Interview with a Tuscarora. Finding who/what Henery Berry Lowry means to them?

Jackson #5

23 02 2010

The readings this week were James Taylor Carson’s “’The Obituary of Nations’:  Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins of the Old South,” and Professor Malinda Maynor’s “People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920.” Both of these articles focused on Indian identity and migration during different time periods. Carson details the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that segregated Southern Indians from whites as the federal government removed them West into Indian Territory. The Removal Act paved the way for the reluctant and forcible emigration of thousands of Indians to the West. Carson details this act since its beginning in the House of Representatives, saying that President Jackson hoped to segregate First Peoples in order to save them from their forthcoming extinction. “’Surrounded by the whites,”the president declared, “with their arts of civilization, which, by destroying the resources of the savage, doom him to weakness,’” Carson quoted the president saying (15). At this same time, Carson also highlights authors’ and historians’ negative views of Indians and their identities. He believes that their place in southern history has been forgotten. He coins this as “ethnic cleansing” of the Old South.

On the other hand, Maynor’s article focuses on identity for the Croatans during their move to Bullock County, Georgia in 1890. This is where they instituted their own church and school and took advantage of all the new resources in Bulloch County, which were quite different from their home in Robeson County. Although they shared their land with non-Indians, Maynor points out that they still kept their identity and community ties.  Maynor establishes that the Croatans embraced racial segregation to maintain their Indian identity away from their original homeland. This article was especially interesting because it highlighted how the Indians, no matter what time of history, and whether voluntarily or involuntarily, have learned to maintain their distinctiveness. This proved the Croatans’ stamina and endurance as a tribe. Maynor also discusses the right to vote that was taken away from Indians in Robeson County in 1835.  This civil right was allowed and then very abruptly taken away.

These readings did a great job of answering a question I’ve had (although does not directly relate to my topic Henry Berry Lowry): How is it possible to remain an Indian and still not be in your tight knit community? I think the concept of Indian identity is a good topic for further research and I found the following sources below.

More Sources (found through UNC’s online journal database):

DEVOSS, D., & LEBEAU, P. (2010). Reading and Composing Indians: Invented Indian Identity through Visual Literacy. Journal of Popular Culture, 43(1), 45-77. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00730.x.

GUARISCO, C. (2009). The Art of Being In-between: Native Intermediaries, Indian Identity, and Local Rule in Colonial Oaxaca. American Historical Review, 114(3), 805-806. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Jenna Price – Reflection #5

23 02 2010


Malinda Maynor, in People and Place, Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920, presents the ways in which the Lumbee (formerly the Croatan) identify themselves as Indian and maintain their identity as a separate entity from blacks and whites.  She argues that there are two main ways that the Croatan Indians identify themselves as Indian – kinship and place.  By detailing the migration of some Croatan Indians from Robeson County to Bulloch County in Georgia; and the Indian community that they created there, the two main markers that they use to characterize Indian identity are apparent.  Even in Georgia, the Croatans kept very close ties to their home and family in Robeson County.  They stayed in touch with relatives in Robeson County, sending money and support when they could; or they brought their family with them to Georgia.  They chose to rent rather than buy land in order to keep their ties to Robeson County.  Also, they used segregation as a way to create their own community in Georgia, creating a separate school and church.  Through the economy, Indians were able to distance themselves from being seen as black.  They did not follow turpentining as most African Americans did, and rather stayed to further develop their community through farming, and the cotton industry.  Eventually, when their Indian community was threatened by white individuals, and the Ku Klux Clan, they moved back home to Robeson County. 

In The Obituary of Nations, James Taylor Carson discusses the removal of ‘first peoples’ from their native homes by the federal and state governments.  In 1830, the federal government discussed a bill that would allow the removal of Indians from their ancestral homes and their relocation to Oklahoma – Indian territory.  Carson details the arguments of numerous politicians at the time in favor of their relocation for the “progress” of the state.  Carson also describes some prominent authors’ conceptualizations of Indians within their novels written around the time of removal; none of them painting Indian identity in a particularly positive light. 

Carson discusses the idea of federal vs. state jurisdiction in regard to the Indians.  This is an interesting concept for my topic, civil rights.  A comparison of state and federal jurisdiction over the Lumbee might present some interesting ideas and/or discrepancies between how the Indians are perceived, and how that affects the civil rights they have and do not have access to.

In 1835, as Maynor points out, the right to vote was taken away from Indians in Robeson County.  This civil right was allowed, and then very suddenly taken away.

1. An Historical Analysis of the 1968 ‘Indian Civil Rights’ Act

Donald L. Burnett, Jr.

2.  Civil Liberties Constraints on Tribal Sovereignty after the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968

Robert Berry

Autumn Locklear #5

23 02 2010

Relationship Violence by Women: Issues and Implications

“The Obituary of Nations” Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins of the Old South discusses how the expulsion of Native Americans played such an integral role in Southern History, yet many Americans choose to overlook it. They prefer to replace this tragic event with a more comfortable tale of American heroism. Furthermore, they have continued to completely ignore the existence of Native Americans since then. The first post-removal census is the perfect example of this phenomenon as it fails to document any of the remaining Natives in the American South.

The author then describes how American expansion was used to justify the Trail of tears, and how it nearly destroyed the Five Civilized Tribes. Consequently, this ethnic cleansing erased some of the diversity from the American landscape, and was counter-productive to the formation of our society.

This article caused me to reflect on the theory that the Lumbees are descendants of the Cherokee. But it also drew attention to the fact that there were Indians inhabiting Robeson County long before the Removal. Therefore, if I were to subscribe to this theory, I’m left with two questions: When did the Cherokee migrate to Robeson County, and why?

People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia presents a story about how Lumbees view their own identity, by focusing on one particular group in one particular time period. In 1835,North Carolina passed a constitution that prohibited “free negroes, free mulattos, and free persons of mixed ancestry from voting.” Consequently, the Lumbee were not allowed to vote, which questioned their Indian identity and caused them to distance themselves from anything pertaining to “mixed ancestry”. The Lumbee phenotype has caused some to question their racial identity, but this is only a social construct. Their shared history cultural expressions are enough to validate their identity as a distinct people.

This can be illustrated through the Bulloch County Croatans, who moved to Georgia for the turpentine industry. Although they were separate from their homeland, they were able to maintain their identity in Jim Crow Georgia through their own church and school. This proves that their separation from the surrounding ethnic groups was a means of maintaining Indian identity. Had this been a means of climbing the racial hierarchy, they would have claimed white status and discarded any remnants of Indian identity. Furthermore, they moved back to Robeson County when the KKK threatened their status as Indians, demonstrating the importance of their identity.

I am very familiar with the tri-racial divide in Robeson County during the civil rights era; however, I don’t know anything about racial tensions prior to the 1960’s. Because this article describes race relations as it pertains to Georgia in the 1920’s, it made me question the state of race relations in Robeson County during the Jim Crow times. Was the environment for Croatans analogous to that in Georgia?

In order to address my questions, I searched UNC libraries and found Adolf Dial’s The Only Land I Know. In this book, he presents a theory that some of the Cherokees that fought against the Tuscarora in the Tuscarora War, marched through Robeson County and ended up settling there. He also metions that oral tradition of Cherokee Blood is strong amongst the Lumbee(p.15).

As far as race relations in the 1920’s is concerned, Lumbee kinship, community, and the success of the Red Banks Mutual Association provides some insight this subject.  At the end of the 19th century, the Indians in Robeson County were in racial limbo because they were neither black nor white. They sought to strengthen their Indian identity, but it was hard for them to achieve recognition thanks to their lack of a consistent name. They had the name Croatan, but the federal government refused to recognize it, and the white’s in Robeson County referred to them as Cro’s which held a racist connotation during these Jim Crow times.

Anderson, Ryan. Lumbee kinship, community, and the success of the Red Banks Mutual Association. Berkeley: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

Dial, Adolf. The Only Land I Know. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996. Print

Monnoca Badonnih–#5

23 02 2010

In the article, People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920, Malinda Maynor discusses the effects of the Indian Removal Policy, which relocated the vast majority of large Southern Indian tribes west of the Mississippi River and the remaining smaller tribes to coalescence. At first surrounding white communities paid little attention to the Croatan Indian community, but over time the Indian community began to encounter a different type of removal- one that attempted to destroy their identity. When North Carolina passed a new constitution in 1835 that declared that “free Negros, free mulattos, and free persons of mixed blood” could not vote”, issues of racial discrimination against Croatans arose. Indians were no longer seen as a distinct group of people and were discriminated against for simply being non-white.  Furthermore, as discrimination became prevalent, the Croatan’s Indian identity also came under scrutiny. Many scholars believed that Croatan Indians were not Indians because they did not possess phenotypic Indian traits, pure Indian blood, racial ancestry and a connection to land. However, many counter-argued with the belief that such ideas were social constructions and that “historical memories, cultural expressions, lived experience, a shared place, or religious belief” could be just as prominent in the identity of Indian group. Additionally, the reinforcement and preservation of kinship as a marker of identity allowed the Croatans to remain as an Indian community.

Around the 1890’s a group of Croatan Indians migrated to Bulloch County, Georgia in search for a friendlier economic environment. Upon settling in Bulloch County the Croatan Indians were seen as a distinct race and thus were not subjected to the black experience. As Bulloch County transformed from a turpentine industry to cotton agriculture, the Croatan further solidified their Indian identity. Croatans separated themselves from both the whites and blacks and in doing so established their community boundaries within Bulloch County known as the Sinkholde and proceeded to build their own churches, schools, and cemeteries. Despite establishing their own community, the Croatans rented land knowing their home was always in Robeson County. The Croatans also strongly held onto the idea of kinship and married only with their own and continually maintained connections with their families in Robeson County. In conclusion, the small group of Croatans Indians who moved to Georgia greatly illustrates the strength and perpetualness of the Croatan/ Lumbee identity through the employment of racism and segregation.

In the Obituary of Nation: Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins, of the Old South,” James Taylor Carson discusses the history of relations between Southern Indian tribes, whom were eventually relocated west of the Mississippi River, and the state and federal governments’ motivations for implementing the removal policy. Southern Tribes Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws have a historical presence in the Southern US, however, it is apparent throughout history this presence has been neglected and nearly abolished which laid grounds for what Carson calls ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing began around the 1830’s as state and federal governments deemed Indian tribes in the South as a roadblock to their idea of progression. Their idea of progression, both socially and economically would multiply as they gained access to Indian lands, which would open ways for more white settlements and economic opportunities.  Despite their visible assimilation into modern white society, Indians were still recognized as distinct and separate racial group, which consequently uprooted them from their homelands to a foreign place known today as Oklahoma.

The People and Place: Croatan Indian in Jim Crow Georgia article was a great source for the reinforcing the idea of kinship amongst Southern Indians and more specifically the Croatan Indians and present-day Lumbees. Maynor consistently stressed the importance of kinship throughout and recognized it as an “identitiy marker” for the Croatan Indians.

Many of the readings we have done suggested a number of ways the Lumbee tribe came to be, the most popular theory is the coalescence of various Southern tribes. Do the Lumbee people accept this idea today? or is the idea seen as an outsiders view? and if so what would be the more common theory of the origination of the Lumbee people amongst the Lumbee people themselves?

-After searching for sources to answer this question I’ve come to concluded the  way to answer this question would be through various interviews conducted amongst the Lumbee community.

Nirav Lakhani-#5

23 02 2010

Malinda Maynor’s article, “People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920,” is an essay on Lumbee identity. Maynor addresses Lumbee identity in the context of a migrant Lumbee community that settled in Bulloch County, Georgia after moving away from Robeson County in the early 20th century. The essay provides excellent commentary on racial classification in the United States by using the common criteria for “real” Indians and breaking them down into subjective social constructs. Perhaps most powerful, is Maynor’s upright acceptance that “For scholars who define tribal Indian identity by “blood,” “land,” and “community,” the Lumbee are not “real” Indians. Most important from this article, Maynor refuses to allow Lumbee’s to become victims of circumstance and lose their federal claim to Indian classification.

            This week’s readings on migration have prompted my interested in a specific Indian belief in unseen intangible things. Whether it is Lumbee identity, belief in fire talking and healing, or the general Native American belief in spirits, faith is ubiquitous in Native American ideals. The second source I selected was chosen in particular due to its discussion of fire breathing, a topic that we hope to research further and present in our presentation of healing practices at the end of the semester.

“The evidence of things not seen” : faith  and tradition in a  Lumbee healing practice. Steedly, Mary Margaret, 1946-. Published 1979.

“Herbal and magical medicine [electronic resource] : traditional healing today” Kirkland et al, Duke University Press, 1992

Daniel Lowe – #5

23 02 2010

‘The Obituary of Nations’: Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins of the Old South – James Carson

In the article “The Obituary of Nations”: Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins of the Old South, James Taylor Carson writes about the construction of the Old South and the Removal of Native Americans from this area. The article mostly focuses on the politics behind the removal of Indians and Carson argues that Indians were as much part of Southern History as whites and blacks.

The beginning of the article tells of the arguments of two congressmen as the Indian Removal Act was debated in 1930. Carson first draws on the words of U.S. Representative Richard H. Wilde of Georgia. Wilde argued in defense of the bill that “’ignorant and brutal barbarians’ who failed to invest the land with their labor could not own it.” With this statement, Wilde pushes forth the idea that because the Indians did not embrace the “white” ideal when it came to land rearing, they were not worthy to live on the land that they had lived on for some time. Wilde then utters the sentence “what is history but the obituary of nations?” This statement sets the tone for actions seen after the passing of the Indian Removal Act.

After opening the article with the words of congressman Wilde, Carson moves on to talk of how Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama dealt with the removal of their Native populations. Removal happened in these states because whites at the time wanted the land that the Natives resided on to be used for farming. Many southern politicians also advocated Removal to promote state’s rights. With the advent of the cotton gin, Removal became a big topic and Natives were interfering. After the Removal Act was passed, many Indians of the south were relocated to the western frontier. Thousands of Indians died along the way and due to their leaving the south, they were excluded from Southern history. Carson mainly argues that they should not have been excluded because they were a large part of the history and their ethnic cleansing should not be interpreted as them impeding the progress of the South.

“People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920” – Malinda Maynor

Malinda Maynor’s article “People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920” discusses the moving of Croatan Indians of Robeson County to Bulloch County Georgia during this period. In this article Maynor argues that the Croatans resisted being caste into the bi-racial hierarchy that was present in Georgia and maintained their sense of self.

The Croatan moved to Bulloch County, Ga to follow the naval stores industry. In Georgia, they were doing what they did in Robeson County—that is turpentining.  While in Georgia, they encountered a biracial hierarchy. People in Georgia were to be caste into one of two categories, white or black. In the article Maynor argues that the Croatans resisted this by staying within their close-knit group and marrying with each other. In this way, they maintained their own community and exuded their sense of self. They also set up institutions within their communities so that they could maintain whom they classified as Indian.

Questions and Sources

The readings for this week have all been connected to the idea of race and racial relations. Building on this idea, I would like to know more about the black and Lumbee conflict in North Carolina and possibly other places. I have found a couple of sources which could further my knowledge in these areas.

  • Jones, Rhett S. “Black/Indian relations: an overview of the scholarship.” Transforming Anthropology 10.1 (2001): 2-16.
  • Stein, Robert E. “Encountering liberalism: devaluing the economics of racism.” Dissertation. Michigan U, 1999. 275 pages.

Julia Kaminer – #5

23 02 2010

I greatly enjoyed this week’s reading, The Obituary of the Nations by James Taylor Carson, and People and Place: Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920 by our very own Malinda Maynor. Now, I am not just saying that because it is Ms. Malinda’s article; though I will admit I am more than a little intimidated to respond to her work!

Carson’s article, which focuses mainly on the expulsion process of the South’s Indian tribes from the South, presents a crucial fact about Southern American Indians in the nineteenth century. Mainly: At the time of their genocidal removal, tribes such as the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek and Chickasaw were not separate and exotic entities from their White and Black neighbors. Rather, Indians, Whites and Blacks were all mixed together as friends, partners and enemies. They were entwined in all the many social arenas of life, and had been for over 300 years. Over the course of his article, Carson illustrates to his readers the great cultural loss that removal of the Indians from their White and Black neighbors left in the South – not just for the tribes, but for all Southern peoples.

Another important perspective in Carson’s article is the placing the individual above the race. This is something that nineteenth century Federal legislation did not do. The logic of Federal legislation of this time was mainly that European settlers were divinely destined to acquire more land, but a secondary theme was saving the Indian race. Not the Indians that were already living and their ancient southern way of life, but the Indian race. Moving tribes out west was thought to be an avenue in which to do this.

But the powers of the nineteenth century were wrong. But trying to save the race instead of the individual, the South in many cases failed to do either. This is the point at which Carson’s article connects meaningfully with Maynor’s article.

Maynor’s article on the Lumbee, nee Croatan tribe, describes the survival of a tribe in ways that move beyond race, though do not necessarily exclude it. Maynor’s article focuses on a particular group of Lumbees’ victorious survival in a particular time and place. But as I read I found myself thinking about the Lumbee in general as a Southern success story and a picture of what might have been for all of the South. Unlike most Southeastern tribes, the Lumbee were not removed during the nineteenth century. This is because of the common viewpoint of the Lumbee as not quite “real Indians” according to racial standards. If only all tribes had been so fortunate. It is this very perceived racial inferiority that allowed the Lumbee to stay in their primeval home through the nineteenth century to this present day. Robeson County, tri-racial heartland of the Lumbee, is an exemplar of a culturally complete South. Robeson County illustrates what the South might have been like if all of its peoples had been allowed to live their separate ways of life intertwined; what the South might have been if one strand had not been so abruptly removed from the multicultural, multiracial fabric of Southern society.

My final thought on these articles and their themes pertains to their connection to moonshine. Moonshine, while not a practice limited to the South, is deeply associated with Southern culture and has a Southern regional identity. It is a folklore practice claimed with much humor and affection by Southerners; and it is a folklore practice that has been naturally influenced and practiced by all Southerners – Black, Indian, and White. These articles are relevant to my research project on moonshine because they demonstrate the interrelatedness of Southern peoples and practices. The work of Carson and Maynor implores me to look at moonshine within the context of distinct groups, but also to examine the ways in which those distinct groups have shared with each other and been influenced by each other.

Coty Brayboy Response #5

23 02 2010

The Obituary of Nations: Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and Origins of the Old South” by James Taylor Carson and “Croatan Indians in Jim Crow Georgia, 1890-1920” by Malinda Maynor
Carson’s “The Obituary of Nations” uses a theme of a death notice to dramatically impress upon readers how drastic the removal of Southeastern tribes was. He notes that this removal for agrarian peoples’ connected to the land was like a death, because they were forced from their homeland which they had a strong connection with, both spiritually and economically. The word “obituary” also reminds us that obituaries both mourn for the deceased but also list survivors and extended family members. Thus, “obituary” ironically reminds us that while a way of life was lost with removal, the descendants continued to survive in Oklahoma.

Carson explains motivations for removal. States were a primary force behind the federal policy, because they wanted access to Indian lands for settlement and taxation. Also as more whites and black slaves moved into Southern states, there was little room left for Indians. Even though many Southeastern Natives became Christian, dressed in Euro-American clothes, spoke English and farmed the land, their Indianness set them apart. Because Indians were not participating in the state economic system, white Southerners wanted them out of the state territory. Therefore, removal was motivated by race (because Indians had adopted many Euro-American cultural ways of life) and politics (because Indians were separate from the US States).

This article nicely ties into Maynor Lowry’s discussion of Croatan identity outside of Robeson County, NC. In her article, Maynor Lowry argues that a connection with land, specifically Robeson County, ensured that Croatans maintained their own identity even when they were apart from Robeson County. She describes how a group of Croatans migrated to Bulloch County, GA from 1890-1920. These people were motivated by the turpentine industry, a job that many blacks also participated in as well. However, Croatans successfully maintained a separate identity distinct from both the Georgia whites and blacks they encountered and the blacks who they worked alongside of in the turpentine industry.

Land ownership factored into Croatan identity, because Indians usually rented land in Georgia and continued to invest in land ownership in Robeson County. Croatans made this economic choice, because they did not intend to permanently live in Bulloch County. Croatans notably kept many kinship ties with extended family and friends in Robeson County. Maynor Lowry uses primary source materials such as letters to support her argument that Croatans kept in continual contact with family members in Robeson County. In one letter, a family member asks a brother to return to Robeson County because their mother is sick. Family members not only updated each other on the news in their local area, but they also made sure that family members return if necessary to fulfill kinship obligations such as taking care of a sick family member.

Other factors ensured a separate Croatan identity. Records indicate that Croatans were more likely to be married compared to both blacks and whites in GA, and they married other Indians. This regimented marriage system made sure that Croatans remained separate. Croatan women had different roles than black or white women, which further distanced them from others in Bulloch County. Also, Croatans created their own Indian social institutions, including churches, schools and cemeteries. She notes that they neither tried to “pass” as white or black, but instead existed in an ambiguous Indian space in a biracial Georgian society.

These articles relate to healing practices, because it is likely that Croatans also maintained specific ways of healing in GA. Because Croatans married one another, they probably continued to rely on the only healing methods they knew, the ones they learned in Robeson County. One main question that came to mind is whether all the Croatans actually returned to Robeson County. A quick Google search provided two interesting questions that require more research.
First, I found a webpage arguing that a very small group of Croatans/Lumbees as well as Catawbas migrated with the turpentine lumber industry to the Woods community in Liberty County, Florida. This connection would be interesting to research and see if indeed an Indian community with people from Robeson County existed, did they have any separate cultural ways or healing practices?

I also read that a man named John Oxendine is currently an Insurance Commissioner and a Republican frontrunner for Governor of Georgia. According to his Wikipedia entry, Oxendine is of Lumbee heritage. I wonder if his family is from Robeson County or is he descended from people in Bulloch County who did not return. I am interested in any other families who may have remained or intermarried with white or black communities, and whether these descendants have any family stories of an Indian in their family tree. This same question can apply to healing practices and whether families or communities have stories of Indian healing, which may even be distorted to “witchcraft” or “voodoo”.