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Road To Recognition: LUMBEES Learn From Travails Of Texas Tribe - HISTORY

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Author Topic: Road To Recognition: LUMBEES Learn From Travails Of Texas Tribe - HISTORY  (Read 5068 times)
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2009, 06:36:24 pm »

Tuscarora hypothesis

A number of Robeson Countians reject the modern Lumbee label as fictitious and claim descent from the Tuscarora Indians, a North Carolina tribe that suffered defeat at the hands of the English colonists in 1713.

The Tuscaroras left their homes in northeastern North Carolina to emigrate north to New York, where they joined the Iroquois League. Tuscarora tribal leaders determined that the emigration was complete by 1802.

Some of the current residents in Robeson County claim to be descended from Tuscarora stragglers who stayed behind.

The Lumbees have advanced the so-called Tuscarora hypothesis in their bid to be recognized by the United States as a legitimate Indian tribe.

The Lumbee claim to Tuscarora heritage is hotly contested by both the federally recognized Tuscarora tribe in New York and the unrecognized Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina.

The recognized Tuscarora tribe asserts that only a few Tuscarora remained behind and that by their intermarriage with other races, they lost their tribal membership. The Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina contends that the Lumbees are stealing their tribal history to advance their own specious claim to Indian heritage.

Proponents of the Tuscarora hypothesis make two arguments. First, the migration trail of the ancestral Lumbees from coastal Virginia to Robeson County passed through the territory in which the Tuscaroras had lived. This makes intermarriage with Tuscarora stragglers a possibility. Second, members of the outlaw Henry Berry Lowrie gang of the Reconstruction era laid claim to at least partial Tuscarora descent.

In the 1920s, some Robeson County Indians made contact with individual members of the Mohawk tribe, a tribe politically related to the Tuscarora. These mostly rural Robeson County Indians began to express a Tuscarora identity and strongly objected to the Lumbee name and to the Cheraw theory of ancestry. Many associate with the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina, which is recognized by neither the United States government or the recognized Tuscarora tribe.
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