Faye & Linda - Having a long-held interest in eastern NC Indians since I
found a bunch of artifacts on our farm as a boy, I've enjoyed your
discussion about the Tuscaroras. Interestingly, I just found out about a
new book on the subject in the Daily Reflector and have posted it below...
hmm, looks like it could be a good Christmas present.
One other comment before the article - I'm a bit skeptical about anybody
saying that they are "100% pure" related to any race, tribe or ethnic
identity. We all swim in a big pool of diverse genetic material, which is a
good thing, for the products of mix-and-match genes are in general a lot
better off, genetically, than those isolated souls who are not!
ECU NOTES MAIN: Book focuses on area tribes
The Daily Reflector
Monday, December 12, 2005
ECU history professor Christopher Arris Oakley tackles a topic few have
written about in his new book.
Oakley explores the history of Native American tribes in eastern North
Carolina in "Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity in Eastern North
Carolina, 1885-2004," published by University of Nebraska Press.
Oakley examines the region's Native American population and the efforts they
have made to maintain their identity.
"I became intrigued how the Indian communities in eastern North Carolina
have maintained their identity, especially since the Jim Crow era," he said.
"I found that they employed several strategies during the past 100 years,
and those strategies have changed over time."
Drawing from a range of research material, including interviews, news
clippings, state and federal archives, and personal papers, Oakley found
that segregated churches and schools in the 1900s initially provided a means
for Native Americans to maintain their cultural identity, while economic and
social conditions have inspired modern day Native Americans to protect and
celebrate their identity primarily through the powwow.
"In the last 30 years, the powwow celebrations have been a combination of
different tribal cultures," he said. "The traditions are not necessarily
indigenous to the region, and some of the traditions are from the west or
the Plains culture. But the powwow is designed to promote internal unity,
and it serves as an assertion of culture to outsiders, even though it might
play off of what people tend to think what a 'traditional' Indian is."
Eastern North Carolina Native Americans found other ways of preserving their
Oakley said the tribal name, Lumbee, did not exist in the 1880s, but
continual challenges from outsiders to the heritage in these eastern
communities helped to form structures of kinship and acceptance in the 1940s
and 1950s under that name.
"Some have ancestral ties and some are new to tribal organizations," he
said. "Many of them are not descendents of a single origin, but rather from
The tribes of eastern North Carolina, which include Lumbees, the Tuscaroras,
the Waccamaw Sioux, the Occaneechis, the Meherrins, the Haliwa-Saponis, and
the Coharies, are not federally recognized, although some have state
recognition and have sought to be recognized federally. The Cherokee of
western North Carolina, said Oakley, is the only federally recognized tribe
in the state.
"Keeping the Circle" was welcomed Nov. 16 by several of ECU's Native
American student organizations, the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the
Office of Institutional Diversity
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 11:56 PM
Subject: Re: [genpcncfir] Tuscarora-Elm City
> In a message dated 12/13/2005 7:39:25 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Lou-BB@... writes:
> As far as the Tuscarora Indians laying claim to property in this area,
> will have to prove they are 100%, no mix blood, Tuscaroran's! Where did
> get your information on their history? I would love to read this article.