The Lumbee Problem: The Making of an American Indian People / Edition 1

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Overview


How does a group of people who have American Indian ancestry but no records of treaties, reservations, Native language, or peculiarly "Indian" customs come to be accepted—socially and legally—as Indians? Originally published in 1980, The Lumbee Problem traces the political and legal history of the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina, arguing that Lumbee political activities have been powerfully affected by the interplay between their own and others' conceptions of who they are. The book offers insights into the workings of racial ideology and practice in both the past and the present South—and particularly into the nature of Indianness as it is widely experienced among nonreservation Southeastern Indians. Race and ethnicity, as concepts and as elements guiding action, are seen to be at the heart of the matter. By exploring these issues and their implications as they are worked out in the United States, Blu brings much-needed clarity to the question of how such concepts are—or should be—applied across real and perceived cultural borders.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"The work is authoritative, theoretically provocative, and accessibly written, and should stand as a definitive source on the Lumbee for some time, as well as a useful contribution to the understanding of the South."—Choice
Ethnohistory

"A welcome and valiant effort to elaborate on a quasi-comprehensive basis the history and contemporary status of this indigenous group. . . . It ranks high on the small list of works dealing with an Eastern tribe minus a treaty relationship with the federal government."—Ethnohistory
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803261976
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 1,156,891
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Karen I. Blu is an associate professor of anthropology at New York University.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Why the Lumbee? 1
Why should the Lumbee be of any general interest? 2
What kind of evidence is cited? 5
Robeson County today 8
2 Where did they come from and what were they like before? 36
Where did they come from? 36
What were they like before? 44
3 What changed and how? 66
Underlying conditions 67
Leaders and tactics 68
Identity conflict and change 77
4 What are they trying to do now? 91
County politics 92
The coalition 99
5 Who do they say they are? 134
How do Indians talk about themselves? 134
Traditions expressive of Indianness 148
Other behavioral qualities of Indianness 160
6 What difference does who they say they are make? 169
Membership in the Lumbee community 170
Black, White, and Indian identity concepts 181
7 Where does the Lumbee problem lead? 200
The "Lumbee problem" and American ethnicity 201
Ideas of "race" and "ethnic group" in America 203
How useful is the concept of "ethnicity"? 218
Toward understanding 227
Afterword 236
App Events in Lumbee political history 258
Notes 260
Bibliography 273
Index 287
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