Shane Locklear #7

20 04 2010

The readings for this week are from Christopher Arris Oakley’s “When Carolina Indians Went on the Warpath” The Media, the Klan, and the Lumbees of North Carolina. This essay describes the riot in Maxton after the KKK attempted to gather for a rally near Hayes pond. Led by the Grand Dragon James “Catfish” Cole and accompanied by 50 other members, the Klan organized to protest the “mongrelization” of whites and Lumbee Indians in Robeson. Before the rally could even begin hundreds of Lumbees came and chased the Klansmen from Maxton. Although no one was killed, hundreds of Indians fired on the gathered Klansmen. This historical event received a great amount of media coverage that has survived up to the 21st century.

The essay uses many different sources that ultimately reinforce the organization and validity of Oakley’s argument. One strong point of the essay is that it gives various firsthand accounts from Indians of Robeson County and the things that they witnessed at the rally. Having these testimonies adds to the validity of the essay because they are from actual Indians who lived in the area. A great deal of history involving American Indians is from the outsider/white man’s perspective and the information is usually biased. Various pictures of Indian individuals and families from Robeson County and of the incident are used throughout the essay. This imagery gives readers a chance to see the incident and some of the people involved. As the media spread the news of the incident, the people outside of North Carolina began to romanticize the issue. The pictures on pages 58 and 80 show how people began to see the incident from a stereotypical point of view. As wrote in a caption below the picture on page 58 “the news coverage of the clash demonstrated ignorance of Indian history and culture in the South.” Ultimately the media is to blame for these stereotypical viewpoints.

This incident involving a clash between the Lumbee Indians and the KKK represents a sense of unity and kinship. After feeling that their home, people, and way of life were threatened by the Klan, the Indians came together for a common cause. This idea of unity makes me wonder if/what part the community played in this incident. In what way/if any did these outsiders view the Indians idea of kinship? Was this gathering of Indians automatically expected?

Kristen Gnau #6

23 03 2010

This week’s reading was from Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery’s (newly released!) Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South.  In the preface, she introduces the book as a look at how Lumbee Identity has been formed over time.  This formation of Lumbee identity, she says, has been one shaped by change rather than one implemented then held constant.  In fact, very little about the Lumbee has been constant. Rather, the Lumbee have a heterogeneous history of conflict and change while also holding a firm belief in their “nation” about what it means to be Indian.  According to Lowery, the Lumbee have conflict with both “outsiders” and within themselves—it is a debate centered around point of view.  Unlike most other scholars, however, she argues that their conflict is strategic—a “creative way of dealing” with their situation.  Furthermore, with a history of displacement, change, and acculturation, conflict is seemingly inevitable.  For Lowery though, these changes are a part of Lumbee identity, which is most securely bound by kinship and place.  National identity as both southerners and Americans is not forgotten for Lowery.

The book’s introduction uses the coalescence of Robeson County Indians to explain the misunderstood idea of Lumbee “Indianness.”  In the 1930’s, the OIA (now the BIA) was sent to Robeson County to determine Lumbee identity on the basis of colonial requirements such as physical features and language, an act that could have helped the Lumbee gain recognition but instead promoted colonized ideas about what it meant to be Indian—ideas that already ran rampant in the Jim Crow era.  The truth is, the Lumbee cannot be identified by such standards because they are a coalescence of different tribes (such as Cheraw, Tuscarora, and Waccamaw) due to migration and cultural mixing and coming together.  Furthermore, with the mixing of so many tribes—ones that possibly belonged to Siouan, Iroquoian, and Algonkian language families—communication would be difficult without a common language, English.  Instead of defining themselves based on the standards of the OIA, the Lumbee identify based on kinship and place.  The five main families in Robeson County—Locklears, Chavis, Lowrys, Brooks, Oxendines—held land because they occupied it before the arrival of English settlers (other ways to hold land were grants or purchases).  These common family names still exist today in Robeson County and are used to help further identify individuals within the community.  Dr. Lowery discusses intermarriage within the community, saying it is perhaps exaggerated by those outside the community and underestimated by those within the community.  Lumbees struggled to identify themselves in the Jim Crow south, but ultimately embraced segregation as a means to separate their identity from black (or simply “colored”) or white.

This reading brought up questions for me about the classification of Indians as non-Indian.  Although it is probable that few census forms were filled out in such a rural area at the time of the OIA visit, it might be interesting to search for names in the census to see if they are listed as Indian.  It could also be interesting to track the different number of people listed as Indian, as I’m sure they have grown as more people identify themselves based on kinship and place and less on the colonized ideas of “indianness.”  Also, an interesting article on the issue

Considering my topic of racial classification, it is of great interest to me how the Lumbee used educational segregation to retain an Indian identity as opposed to a “colored” one.
An interview with Jim Chavis in which he discusses the history of Lumbee education before 1835 and after Reconstruction

An article about miscegenation laws for Indians, “a questionable fourth race”

Kasey Oxendine #6

23 03 2010

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South

By Malinda Maynor Lowery

In her book Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South, Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery explores how the identities of the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County were shaped in Robeson County over time. This identity is described in terms of layers. Lowery draws on personal conversation or Interviews and also the work of Gerald Sider and Karen Blu to tell the story of Indian identity in Robeson County. In addition, she also relies on non-written records such as oral history and photographs that were selected based on the method of autoethnography. Lowery describes identity as a fluid dialogue between insiders and outsiders. Being placed in the category of Indian is also fluid over time, moments, and conversations.  The account of a personal conversation with a Lumbee is used to demonstrate how place and kinship are the foundation of Indian identity. The Indian New Deal policies will be examined in reference to its role in shaping self-determination, governance and race and identity ideas.  The book will also explore the link between factionalism and identity.  Lowery states that the names used to identify Indians in Robeson County resulted from political circumstances. The book will show that race is assigned for strategic purposes in addition to being ascribed by dominant groups.  While the book will explore the shaping of Indian identities it is important to note that the Lumbee rarely questioned who they were, but rather their struggle has been for recognition and sovereignty. People, race, tribe, and nation are the four layers of Native American Identity in the book.

In the introduction, the coalescence of the Indians in Robeson County is explained during a time when the foundation of kinship and settlement was laid out. The visit to Robeson County from members of the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) in 1936 was supposed to help Indians in their fight for recognition; however, it promoted white supremacy like Jim Crow. The Indian community hoped that the visit would bring needed help to the community in areas such as the schools. At this time Pembroke boasted Indian-run businesses, churches, and schools. Despite Indian power in the town, white supremacy was still present and subject Indians to prejudice. Indians were still non-white and therefore faced discrimination; in addition they were not black and therefore elicited frustrations from blacks.  Joseph Brook and Jim Chavis, members of General Council of Siouan Indians, met with the OIA representatives. OIA representative came to Robeson County to examine physical feature in an attempt to determine who was Indian and who was not, an effort that failed. The visit from OIA revealed how government and Robeson County have conflicting views on what it means to be Indian.

Lowery goes on to explain how Lumbee and Tuscarora Indians of Robeson County are the result of migration and cultural exchange between many tribes over about 300 years. Three language families are said to belong to these people: Siouan, Iroquoian, and Algonkian, according to archaeologists and anthropologists. This migration and integration of different tribes could be the reason that tribal language is lost to Indians in this region, coming together would have been difficult without speaking a common language, English. Oral tradition credits the Roanoke River, Pamlico Sound, and the Outer Banks and the piedmont regions of North Carolina as the regions that these Indian people originated. Kinship was used to govern and identify as Indian. Kinship was first a matrilineal system that later became patrilineal. Owning land came about in three possible ways: grants, purchases, or occupation prior to English settlement. Indians were identified by there connection to settlements and families. Locale strengthened family and cultural values as well as social relations in the Indian community.  The claim that Lumbee’s have multiracial ancestry may be the result of intermarrying. It is important to note that intermarriage is not distinct to the Lumbee people, but also occurred throughout history in many tribes. The 1854 constitution stripped some Lumbee’s civil rights event thought the bill did not name Indians.  Shortly after this time the era of Henry Berry Lowry took place which ties together the aspects of Indian belonging: reciprocity, kinship, and settlement.


1)      Lowery’s book explores the formation of identity among Indians of Robeson County. How did separate schools allow for the formation of Indian Identity or add to the notion of being Indian?

2)      The OIA stated that “these people did not have a clear understanding of the term Indian.”  How do Lumbee’s understand the term Indian today, in particular how do Lumbee Indian students in a predominately Indian High School (Purnell Sweat) describe what it means to be Indian.


Interview with Carnell Locklear by Malinda Maynor, February 24, 2004 Interview #U-0007, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Meeting with NASA Students at Purnell Sweat High School on March 16, 2010.

Kristen Gnau #5

23 02 2010

            James Taylor Carson frames his article, “The Obituary of Nations’: Ethnic Cleansing, Memory, and the Origins of the Old South,” around the 1830 Indian Removal Bill.  He begins by quoting Richard H. Wilde of Georgia who believed that progress requires the disappearance of peoples.  Carson argues that Indians have not disappeared necessarily, but have been forgotten in southern history.  He goes on to say, however, that “what has been forgotten has shaped history as much as what has been remembered.”
            Carson calls American Indian policy “ethnic cleansing,” a term he uses to note that Indians have not been given a place in contemporary Indian society.  Like many of the other articles we have read, he describes American society as biracial.  In fact, he cites the 1840 Census that did not give Indians a category, only white and black.  In this biracial society, he argues, Indians would be fixed in a middle status and would ultimately sink to the status given to black men of the time.
            Carson describes Andrew Jackson’s Indian policy in his article.  Jackson, and many others, was a proponent of state control over Indian nations because if the federal government was given control over Indian policy then they could easily say that black people were no longer slaves.  In his article, Carson gives an estimate that 1/3 Choctaws and ¼ Cherokee died on the Trail of Tears during the Jackson administration.  As a result of the removal, American society began to view the Indian in terms of a dying race.  Writers characterized Indians as archetypes—doomed and “out of time and place.”  This perception of the “inevitable fate of the Indian” persisted even until the late 1980’s (and still does today) when people still saw removal as a final victory over Indians.
            Carson combats this idea by saying that colonists did not conquer a savage land, but instead destroyed a community of people that they perceived to be savage.  He concludes his article by saying that Indians are neighbors.  In the end, his article is an act to humanize Indians—to make them people instead of merely parts of the wildlife.  Regardless of their otherness, he says, it would have been hard to differentiate Indian life from the life of others on the frontier.  Carson wants Indians to be considered a part of Southern history because Indians were the first southerners.  He argues that this fact is forgotten and overshadowed by a commitment in American culture to racial identity.
            In Malinda Maynor’s “People and Place,” she explains how Indians used place and manipulated racism to maintain a distinct Indian identity.  She uses the example of the Croatan Indians (now Lumbee) who moved from Robeson County in the 1890’s to Georgia to follow the terpentine trade to show the value of place for the Lumbee.  Much like in Carson’s article, Georgia wanted to force Indians into a black or white identity.  When their vote was taken away in 1835, whites began viewing Indians as inferior, not as Indian but as “nonwhite.”  Scholars believed that Lumbees claimed to be Indian to not be recognized as black.  Maynor, however, argues that “racial ancestry is not intrinsic to identity.”  She recognizes that the Lumbee are a conglomerate of Indian tribes who associate identity with kinship rather than blood.  In fact, according to Maynor, Indian identity was not an issue until the removal era when whites needed a means to feel justified in expansion.
            In her article, Maynor claims that Indians, too, used racism for their own agenda.  She believes that segregation was a way for Indians to maintain identity through Indian-only schooling and churches.  Marriage was primarily between two Indians, arguably to retain ties to Indian identity.  Although Indians in Georgia were not in Robeson County, place remained an important part of Lumbee identity, which can be seen by their eventual return in 1920.
            Maynor disagrees that Lumbees are not a distinct racial classification.  Employment trends and gender roles were different for Indians than white and black people of the same time in the same area.  Maynor argues that racial classification fluctuated with economic and social status, such that when the terpentine trade migrated (taking many black workers with it and leaving Indians to the marketing industry), Indians were viewed as distinctly “Indian,” whereas before they had been “nonwhites.”

            This week’s articles raised questions for me about the desegregation of Indian-only schools and the impact it had on Indian identity.
Christopher Arris Oakley. “”When Carolina Indians Went on the Warpath”: The Media, the Klan, and the Lumbees of North Carolina.” Southern Cultures 14.4 (2008): 55-84. Project MUSE. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 18 Nov. 2009 <>.

Jones, James Arthur. and Maynor, Malinda M. “What is Progress?: Desegregating an Indian School in Robeson County, North Carolina.” Southern Cultures 10.2 (2004): 87-93. Project MUSE. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 18 Nov. 2009 <>.

Malinda Maynor Lowery. “Indians, Southerners, and Americans: Race, Tribe, and Nation during “Jim Crow”.” Native South 2 (2009): 1-22. Project MUSE. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 5 Feb. 2010 <>.

            Maynor’s article also shows women as the backbone of maintaining an Indian identity.  Given that Walker and I are considering exploring the impact of the eugenics movement, I found an article: Ralstin-Lewis, D. Marie. “The Continuing Struggle against Genocide: Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Rights.” Wicazo Sa Review 20.1 (2005): 71-95. Project MUSE. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 18 Nov. 2009 <>. The article does not explicitly mention Lumbees but does mention other indigenous tribes.

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”.

Kasey Oxendine #5

22 02 2010

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

In James Carson’s essay, The Obituary of Nations, he describes the atrocities Indians experienced as a result of government policies as an ethnic cleansing. Carson also addresses the omission of Native Americans in the history of the south. Carson describes the actions taken to remove Native American tribes from the South as an attempt to increase the prosperity of southern states. To support these claims, various scholars and their work are cited throughout the essay.

Carson cites Richard H. Wilde as an example of how the south justified expulsion of First Peoples as a way for the south to progress. The concept of the “politics of oblivion” proposed by George B. Handley, explains how leaving First Peoples out of history shapes what is written.  Carson’ speaks of the Native American’s of the south as the first southerners. Tribes such as the Lumbee and Cherokee have remained along with others. The firs removal of Native’s after the invention of the cotton gin, showed an increase in whites and blacks in the south after their removal according to the post-Removal censuses. Carson credits the expansion of slavery and defense of the freedom of slaveholders as the progression that expulsion offered non-Indian Southerners.  Also, state-building projects included the expulsion of First Peoples as evident from the governor of Mississippi, Thomas Holmes. Such projects called for the removal of Indians so that the states revenue would increase due to taxable land. The social class of Indians bothered the governor of Georgia lead to their removal under the Adams administration. President Jackson cited the risk of extinction due to being “surrounded by whites,” as justification for the removal of Indian tribes and passed a law to do so on May 29, 1830. Of the tribes removed, the Cherokee were removed via the Trail of Tears. No record was kept of the expulsions to accurately account for the lives that were lost during the expulsion. For some states, the expulsions served as confirmation that freedom and slavery were based on race.

Scholars such as William Gilmore Simms thought that the “triumph” over Indians was confirmation that progress was in the heart of American civilization. On the other hand author Joseph Glover Baldwin felt sorry for the “helplessness” of the First Peoples in a world where deception and inhumanity. The Bureau of American Ethnology undertook a program to counterpoint assimilation and allotment.  Ethnographers, John R. Swanton and James Mooney worked to rebuild knowledge of the Native cultures that were believed to be disappearing. Others like Angie Debo seen the settlers as savage and wondered how the expulsion affected them. Some like Abernathy viewed the removal to the west as a way for a new type of person or culture to be formed. From the beginning Indians, whites, and slaves lived along side each other thus, conflicting with the social construct of race and civilization that were present with the Age of Jackson.  Carson views removal as an ethnic cleansing in which expulsions were perpetrate against southerns “as much as they were against Indians.”

Malinda Maynor, “People and Place”

The migration of Croatan (present day Lumbee) Indians from Robeson County, North Carolina, to Bulloch County, Georgia raises questions about the matinance of an Indian identity under the pressure to assume a white or black identity. Malinda Maynor addresses this issue in her essay.

The ability to vote prior to 1835 provides proof that Lumbees were identified as Indian despite their 1790 label as “free persons, not white.” Maynor states that the 1835 constitution may have lead whites to discriminate against Indians. Many scholars have chosen to characterize Lumbees as mixed-bloods with no real Indian identity based on the political status of the Lumbee and the definition that relates Indians to blood, land, and community. When identity is looked upon without manipulations, it is evident that it can be constantly renegotiated based on distinguishing a group from outsiders. This constant renegotiation is exemplified in the Lumbee.

Race has been made a factor in the identity of Lumbee people by political acts such as Jim Crow, Reconstruction, and 1835 constitution. Maynor cites Brewton Berry and Guy B. Johnson in support of the claim by scholars that Indians want to identify as white instead of black. However, these scholars did not acknowledge that race and culture are not the same. Indians distinguished themselves as Indians in a biracial society. In addition, the migration to Georgia and maintenance of Indian identity instead of assuming a white identity is evidence that Indians did not wish to be white. There Indian identity is evident in there establishment of Indian institutions. Ancestors of the Lumbee based their identity on kinship instead of racial constructs used today. Late in the 1900’s Lumbee identity also became interwoven in connection to Robeson County by kinship or land ownership.

The Croatans of Georgia points out other markers of Indian identity including kinship, control of labor, and construction of social institutions independent of place. While in Georgia the Croatan Indians married within their kinship ties to maintain their communities. Maynor relies on personal stories of Croatans in Bulloch County to demonstrate the role that connection to place and kinship had in maintaining Indian identity.  Racial identity changed according to economic and social status as evident by the example of E.J. Emanuel.

The economic transition of Bulloch County as exemplified by the Foy & Williams Company provides the Croatans a way to use their racial ambiguity to their economic advantage and establish a distinctive Indian community. The roles of Croatan women were also different from the white and black women. Croatan women fulfilled more domestic roles while their husband’s occupations changed with the economy. Indians invested in Robeson County instead of Bulloch County when it came to land. However, they did establish education and religious institutions in Bulloch County. Establishing separate schools and churches demonstrates the Croatans uptake of segregationist ideology in an attempt to protect their identity.

The Croatans in Bulloch County did eventually return to Robeson County and Maynor cites an incident of discrimination at a barber shop as a catalyst for this movement. The incident involving Warren Dial challenged segregation and the negotiated identity the Croatans had in Bulloch County.


The idea that the 1835 constitution would have given whites a reason to discriminate against Indians. I would like to know what type of discrimination Indians may have been subject to? Were they discriminated against in other ways besides voting, what are some examples of the discriminations they experienced?


Statesboro News, 24 May 1901

Violence report at Foy & Williams in 1901

Did the Croatan Indians in Bulloch County experience any opposition to establishing a separate school system like the Lumbees did in Robeson County?


Robesonian, 3 October 1910, 17 April 1913, 4 May1914, 15 June 1911

Bulloch Times, 16 April 1914

Pierce et. al., The Lumbee Petition 1:140

Coty Brayboy Source Reflection Paper

16 02 2010

Croom, Edward M., Jr. “Herbal Medicine Among the Lumbee Indians.” Herbal and Magical Medicine: Traditional Healing Today.  Eds. James K. Kirkland, Holly F. Matthews, Charles Sullivan III, Karen Baldwin. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992. 137-165.

“If the Lumbee do comprise a distinct ethnic group it is because of the survival of a unique body of folklore and traditions. One major body of lore linking the Lumbee to other Native Americans in the region is concerning the use of herbal remedies to treat illness” (1992:140).

Croom’s article analyzes his ethnographic fieldwork findings about Lumbee herbal remedies, including their acquisition and utilization.  This primary source information derives from his dissertation research conducted in 1982.  Although this book is somewhat stereotypical and old fashioned by saying that historically, “traditional Lumbee conjurers worked spells to cure the sick, predict the future”, the content is important for my project (1992:140).  Croom notes that while Lumbees today visit physicians and use scientific medicines, they also rely on herbal remedies for prevention and cure.  Similar to how Humphreys’ frames her novel with a description of land in Robeson County, Croom starts his article with an analysis of the natural landscape of Robeson County, including topography and the plants that are indigenous to the area.  He summarizes his research methods and describes how 25 Lumbees, 12 men and 13 women, instructed him on the harvesting, drying and storing, preparation, and administration of herbal remedies.  This primary source information will probably be very useful for my project.

Herbal remedy trade and exchange, both of actual remedies and of information, fosters social bonds in the Lumbee community. Croom found that knowledge of herbal remedies varies by family, particularly plant teas.  However, people bring their knowledge together resulting in “the community’s collective knowledge [being] quite extensive” (1992:144).  This finding relates to last week’s Sider reading about social interaction and stratification, as I discussed in my reflection paper.  Thus, Lumbee herbal remedies are inherently social.  One family group can only personally know about, harvest, and prepare so many remedies, but collectively, the community has access to a variety of remedies. The community becomes a herbal pharmacy, with different families stocking various remedies. Remedies for common conditions, including Rabbit Tobacco, Pine, Sassafras, Oak, Poke, Wile Horehouse and John-the-Worker are “readily available within a few minutes’ walk of almost all Lumbee homes”, which is important for “quick accessibility for rapid treatment of an illness soon after its onset”(1992:145).  Any family can treat an acute condition, while a more serious or chronic condition requires social consultation.

Croom discusses some specific remedies, including Queen’s Delight for syphilis.  He notes that this remedy has fallen out of favor, because contemporary Lumbees go see a physician for syphilis.  Chronic disease such as diabetes may be treated with a combination of western medicine and herbal remedies.  He also briefly discusses the connection with Christianity in Lumbee healing, describing the importance of ideas about sin and punishment as well as the belief that a cure for every disease exists.  The impact of Christianity on healing practices is important, because Christian ideas about faith healing or disease causation certainly influence Lumbee healing practices.

This article raised several questions for my project. Croom writes that some people rely on information from herbal books, in addition to visiting an herbalist in person.  I am curious what herbal books he is referring to, and who authored these books.  Also, I feel his discussion of the social aspect of healing was incomplete, because he did not consider socioeconomic, geographic, or community stratification.  Clearly not all Lumbees equally rely on herbal remedies, today or in 1982 when he first completed his dissertation research.  I am curious how this affects the choices Lumbees make in using allopathic versus herbal or other treatment methods.

Kasey Oxendine- Source-Post #4

16 02 2010

Stilling, Glenn Ellen Starr. “Lumbee Indians.” Encyclopedia of North Carolina. Ed. William S. Powell. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2006. Pages 699-703.

In her book Nowhere Else on Earth, Josephine Humphreys provides insight into the discrimination Lumbee’s faced during the Civil War and Reconstruction. However, this discrimination did not end with the Civil War, but continued to be manifested throughout the tri-racial county.  Glenn Ellen Starr’s article, Lumbee Indians, provides a brief account of racial discrimination and civil rights violations experienced by the Lumbee people of Robeson County. Although brief, the article provides a great foundation for Lumbee history and civil rights.

Despite the theory that Lumbee’s are descendents of the Lost Colony and were very much assimilated into white culture as evident from their speech and religious practices, they still faced much injustice in the 19th century. The Lumbee’s were classified as “free persons of color,” until 1835. In 1835, the Lumbee’s lost most of their civil right’s including voting and carrying arms. Josephine Humphreys portrays how important voting was to the Lumbee through the character Allen Lowrie in her book. The Lumbee’s have been proactive in the violation of their civil rights. In 1837-1857, the Lumbee’s challenged their classification as free persons of color successfully in court. Later, biracial school segregation in a tri-racial county provide the Lumbee’s with another way to oppose the violation of  their civil rights and establish their own school systems separate from whites and blacks. Guy B. Johnson also wrote about the establishment of Indian schools in Robeson County during the 1880’s.

In addition to using the legal system to oppose discrimination, the Lumbee’s were also active in other ways. For example, in January of 1958 Lumbee men united to end a Klu Klux Klan assembly in Maxton sparked in reaction to cross burnings in the county.  Karen I. Blu uses the incident as an example of the “mean behavior” used to classify Lumbee Indians.  In addition, Lumbee’s along with other ethnic groups held political meetings to protest the unfair conditions in the county during the 1980’s.

Kristen Gnau #3

11 02 2010

Not being from Robeson County like some of my classmates, I was unsure of how Lumbee views on community differed from my own.  Karen Blu’s article, “Where Do You Stay At?” really helped me better understand the Lumbee idea of community.  In general, because native groups have an identity as a nation or tribe, their views differ quite a bit from the views of the white or black people that also inhabit Robeson County.  Blu explains that white people, instead of viewing themselves as “White Southerners of Robeson County,” tend to identify community with both more specific and more general ideas—like family and state.  The Lumbee, on the other hand, identify community as where the Lumbee people are.  Part of the reasoning behind this is population movement.  The Lumbee community, then, is less about the physical environment (she even says that directions are given based on the individual, not based on physical landmarks) because they have had little control over it.  Because social relationships were more easily controlled, it only made sense for them to build a physical community around where their people already were.

As a result of the emphasis on social relations instead of environment, Lumbee ideas of community and place are subject to change.  Blu explains that these ideas are “products of interaction, competing views, negotiations, and current or past struggles.”  In fact, even the boundaries of Lumbee communities are subject to change and not clear, at least not to people outside the Lumbee “community.”  Blu uses an example where this vagueness used to be used to confuse white people—when whites asked where “Scuffletown” (a name given to the native community by whites) was located, the Lumbee people would point them in the wrong direction and they would leave, unable to find the fictitious town because it was not on a map!  In other words, Indians have communities that are not recognized by white standards of what a “community” should be.

According to the article, black people also have a differing idea of what community is in Robeson County.  Blu cites an instance where a black man was not upset about the outmigration of children but an Indian man was.  Unlike the black man who thought the children should go where the jobs are, the Lumbee people fear outmigration because, for them, it means the loss of a localized community.  In their community, based on the Lumbee people who live there, where you “stay” likely indicates your social status, political positions, kinship ties, and connections with nonindian world.  The white people and black people who also inhabit Robeson County are important in the Lumbee idea of “community” or “place” because they validate the group’s indianness.

Blu draws distinctions between the three races and their ideas on community in her article.  Since my concentration this semester will be on racial classification, it may be helpful to know more about how both Indians and nonindians view the Roberson county community through interviews.  This article also brought up ideas for me about the relationship between racial intermarriage and maintaining the Lumbee “community.”  In a past reading, we read that the Lumbee discouraged mixed race marriages as a way to maintain a pure Indian community.  Although this article is not directly about the Lumbee, perhaps it could apply.

Walker had brought up a question last week about the Lumbee in Baltimore.  I’d like to know more about their ideas on identity based on this week’s Blu reading and if they share the “community based on where their people are” views.  Do the North Carolina Lumbee and the Baltimore Lumbee have different views on Lumbee identity although they are from the same tibe?  I found an article in JSTOR that addresses this subject:

In Living Indian Histories, Gerald Sider uses dialectics to talk about Lumbee history.  He explains early in the text that native people must live within and against their own culture and white culture to maintain their identity in a modern world.  Becoming fully federally recognized is especially a struggle for the Lumbee because their culture looks much like “white culture” when viewed in terms of standards and stereotypes.  Although the freedom to have Anglo culture is, in itself, sovereignty (a right that Indian tribes are supposed to have), for the federal government culture is inextricably linked to history.  When the Lumbee try to meet requirements of federal recognition, they sometimes become something they are not and they, indeed, lose some of their sovereignty.

Sider continues to use dialectic language when he describes the split between both the Lumbee and the Tuscarora and the “native elite” and the non-elite.  Sider explains the dissociations by saying that “to be a sovereign Indian is to both confront and distance ones self from the social forces that define that identity.”  He believes that the social world outside the Lumbee community conflicts with the social ways within the Lumbee community.  He also believes that schools are the center of their connections with this outside (largely white) culture and of their cultural autonomy.  Because integration was seen as a threat to the cultural identity of the Lumbee and Tuscarora people, I think it is crucial to know more about its history for our project on racial classification.  Sider references a time when schools could determine who was and who was not Indian. Sources I would try: The Public Laws listed in the book may also be an interesting place to start: Public Laws, 1929, Chapter 195.

Community and identity, to me, seem very closely linked for the Lumbee people.  The Lumbee have more of a communal identity than a broader state or narrower individual one.  It is interesting, then, to consider the differences in how the federal government views the ideas of Lumbee community—or identity—and how the Lumbee themselves do.  How does the federal government define Lumbee? Should we consider the impact that the eugenics movement has had on American Indian identity?

newspaper article from Winston Salem
A newspaper article from Lumberton

Felton Shane Locklear- First posting response

26 01 2010

Felton Shane Locklear

Amst 234

January 26th Response Paper

“The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians” is a collection of essays edited by Robbie Ethridge and Charles Hudson that focuses on a time period in which southern Indian societies underwent immense changes that intertwined with interactions involving Europeans. The first chapter “Aboriginal Population Movements in the Postcontact Southeast” by Marvin T. Smith is a detailed explanation of the population movements of southeastern American Indians. Smith has attempted to break up the movements so that he may show them at different intervals of time. Smith relies on the archaeological and historical research of many of his colleagues as a primary resource. He has condensed this information into maps printed in this chapter. Smith emphasizes the concepts of the “push” and “pull” factors which are responsible for the early native population movements. Disease was a big factor involving population displacements in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Smith relates that these epidemics caused a massive amount of people to migrate but the frequency of these migrations is still unclear. With European interaction and the effects of disease many native societies began to break down. Smith believes that these breakdown of native societies increased competition for traditional leadership positions. As a result, some Natchez fled to the Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Creeks. The pull of European settlement and trade, of Indian elites seeking to bolster their power by forming connections to the Spaniards, of missions, of captured territory, and of cultural similarities are all reasons of migration referenced by Smith in this chapter.

Paul Kelton describes and evaluates the Great Southern Smallpox Epidemic and its effects on the American Indians of the Southeast. Kelton suggests that the first major smallpox epidemic that spread throughout the Southeast happened between 1696 and 1700. Originally decimating the native population in Spanish Florida and Virginia, the Indian slave trade seemed to be the key to spreading the disease beyond these colonies. Smallpox was one of many new diseases that accompanied Europeans and Africans to the United States. The most dangerous of these diseases were categorized as acute infectious diseases such as smallpox, measles, yellow fever, whooping cough, typhus, influenza, and the plague. Indians were considered “virgin populations” in that they had never been exposed to these types of diseases and therefore could not have produced any immunity to them. Smallpox was the most deadly of these new types of diseases because it could be transported across great distances through the scattered populations. Smallpox had longer periods of incubation and thus remains alive within a host for about 26-28 days. The virus can also live on cloth in a dry, cool environment for several months. Smallpox spread more easily because it wasn’t restricted by the environment as opposed to the other diseases. Kelton makes this known through his comparison of smallpox to the other acute infectious diseases in the chapter. Kelton also ponders the idea of Smallpox being introduced into the Southeast before 1696. From his analysis and data used it seemed that even if the disease had appeared it had not been spread so far because the trade network had not been greatly established. The epidemic began to appear in Virginia in 1696 then made its way into North Carolina. By February 1697, smallpox arrived in South Carolina. Kelton uses quotes from different Carolina officials to report their view of the disease and the impact it has caused on the Native population. Many even began to speculate if the disease had been sent by God himself to wipe out the Natives to make room for the Europeans.

Helen C. Roundtree examines the movements of both American Indians and Europeans coming Southward through Virginia beginning in 1607. She focuses a great deal on trade and how networks of trade were established and utilized by both sides. Roundtree begins the paper with an emphasis on the limited amount of information we have about exploration before 1670. She references Smith’s reference to the James-town colony as they sent parties south from Virginia in search of any survivors of the “Lost Colony”. The English tried to establish trade with the Tuscarora’s but was unsuccessful. Also Roundtree reveals that native people throughout the Eastern Woodlands were already making long-distance journeys in regards to diplomacy, trade, and warring purposes. In the first half of the seventeenth century tobacco cultivation and the fur trade were the two main sources to wealth. With an influx of the trade network many traders began to travel farther and farther south to attempt to trade with Indians. Roundtree also makes note of important occurrences that had some influence on the trade network. For example, the Third Anglo-Powhatan War would set the stage for major trading efforts, the Powhatan Chiefdom would begin to diminish and an increase in English exploration as tobacco lands began to patent up. English expansion also caused some trouble with the Tuscarora.

In his chapter Steven C. Hahn talks about Carolina and its development and relation to the Creek Indians. Hahn opens the chapter with a narrative about four Indians who have traveled a distance to make peace with the Governor of Florida. It becomes apparent that many people are surprised with this peace offering because the statement of peace was given by a member of the Creek nation. In the past, the Creek Indians have often waged war against Spanish Florida. Their interaction was based on a history of hate, bloodshed, and looting. The narrative represents the basis of this paper as most of the chapter will focus on the Creek nation. The trade in Indian slaves had supposedly trapped the Creek and other Indians in a downward spiral of war, debt, and more war. The orator of the narrative claims that this downward spiral was fueled by the Creeks own desire for English goods. In regards to this point, Hahn will argue that this dependency on the part of the Creeks was partially a function of their own tendency to define European good as essential “needs”. The paper seems to then report on the events of trade and establishing trade that led up to this Creek dependency.

“The Cultural Landscape of the North Carolina Piedmont at Contact” by Stephen Davis, Jr. is an explanation of the cultural landscape of the North Carolina Piedmont at contact. Davis describes this landscape mainly through the eyes of his most reliable resources, Lawson and Mooney. Along with the knowledge of Lawson, Davis uses a series of maps of the cultural landscape in to somewhat illustrate his points. Davis identifies the linguistic groups and archaeological documentation through many of his sources (people). Two separate divisions of Siouan peoples were proposed and evidence for public buildings and earthworks, distinctive mortuary and architectural patterns, and Lamar-style pottery were discovered. The cultural landscape witnessed by Lawson was short-lived due to four factors: depopulation, impact of Iroquois raiding, changes in the fur trade, and the Tuscarora, Yamasee, and Cheraw wars.

In his article “Because it is right” Stanley Knick talks about the elements of Lumbee history and culture through the use of archaeological, anthropological, and historical records. They are the largest tribe east of the Mississippi river making up approximately fifty-six thousand members. The Lumbee people were recognized as Indian people in 1956 but were denied federal benefits. Knick wants to reveal why the Lumbee people should receive federal benefits through the reflection of anthropological and historical perspectives. From the archaeological perspective there are several important concepts revealed about the Lumbee people including the presence of diverse cultural influences in prehistory and the recognition of Robeson County as a zone of cultural interaction. This place of interaction was home to unusual artifacts such as an Eva-like basal-notched projectile point. Another significance revealed revolves around the number of sites and what that suggests about the size of the pre-Columbian Native American population. The origin of the word Lumbee also comes into question. I have often pondered this myself wondering if the Lumbee name is a modification of the word Lumber, which is in reference to the River. As the article continues Knick begins to talk about the change of culture, population, and language as a result of European colonization. Colonization ultimately resulted in a loss of language and a depopulation but kinship, place, culture, and medicine still bound the Lumbee. In a previous class with Professor Maynor I was taught that many of the Southeastern tribes viewed others as Kin or enemy. Individuals were considered to be a part of the tribal family or an enemy of the tribe. With this is mind I wonder if this concept of kinship could be related to the current generations of the Lumbee people? In this previous class we also focused on the relationship between kinship and place. It was understood that the concepts go hand in hand because where you live was often tied to generations of your family that lived in that home. Similar ideas are reinforced here in Knick’s article.

  • As mentioned towards the end of the Knick article I wonder if the old ideas of kinship/enemy can in some form account for the present day Lumbee people’s attitudes about family, society, community.
    • LRDA (Lumbee Regional Developmental Association) 636 Prospect Road PO Box 68 Pembroke, NC 910.521.8602.
    • Elders of the Lumbee community would also be a good resource to use. With the elders you could also compare the older ideas of kinship believed during their times to the present day.
    • As mentioned in the summary Professor Maynor would also be a very reliable resource.
  • The chapter by Roundtree mentions Smith’s reference to the Jamestown colony sending parties southward from Virginia in 1607-8 in search of survivors of the “Lost Colony”. I have always wondered what specifically was found, if any information was documented or recorded in reference to this search? Also, what could have been a possible explanation for the deaths or supposed deaths of the people at the lost colony since smallpox wasn’t considered to take such an effect until the end of the 17th century.