Lumbee History

Indians in the area that is now known as Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have a long history, but most of it has not been documented using "Western" methods of recording, namely the written word. Therefore, much of Indian culture before contact with Europeans is not known to us, and we don't have many "facts" or "records" to tell the story of early contact with Europeans. Lumbees don't necessarily need "facts" to know where we come from and how we got here, though. We just listen to the stories, traditions and landscape that have always been around us.

This section is largely speculative for the reason that all history is speculative. History is mostly a fiction made up by historians to try to help us understand where we are now, and Lumbee history is no different. The story you're about to read, the pictures you will see, and the songs and voices you will hear are an attempt to comprehend where our faith is now. This section is not meant to be an exhaustive study of Lumbee history; it is a summary of the major political, religious and musical trends which have influenced our development as a people, and it poses questions of historical methodology that may apply to the study of American history as a whole, not just Lumbee history. The reader is encouraged to use this essay as a jumping-off point for his or her own research, and investigate the bibliography for further information on the ideas discussed here.

It is extremely difficult to separate Political, Religious, and Musical Histories from one another. All three stories influence each other, and so feel free to follow the links within each category to the other categories to discover those connections for yourself. For example, within the Political History section will be many references to events and transitions in the Religious and Musical history of the Lumbees, and links will be provided to take you to the relevant parts of the other sections.