North Carolina Newspapers

    Along the Robeson Trail
by Dr. Stanley Knick
Director, VSCP Sative American Resource Center
In our continuing discussion of the
Lumbee in context, and specifically |
the prehistoric part of that context, last ;
week we began looking at the i
linguistic diversity of the Woodland
ancestors of the Lumbee. We saw that i
the three language families of eastern
North Carolina were Algonkian,
Iroquoian and Eastern Siouan, and that
some ancestors of some segments of
the modern Lumbee population
probably came from the Algonkian
and Iroquoian language families. This
week we turn to the third and probably
largest linguistic contributor to the
Lumbee ? the Eastern Siouan
language family.
The homeland of the Eastern
Siouan language family apparently
covered a large portion of eastern North
Carolina (and well into South
Carolina). The southern coastal plain
(including present-day Robeson
County) and most of the Piedmont
were home to numerous Siouan
languages (Western Siouan languages
such as Lakota and others are distantly
related). These original Carolina
languages included Tutelo, Cheraw,
Catawba and Woccon (probably the
same as Waccamaw), as well as Saponi,
Occaneechi, Santee, Waterce and
The Woodland archaeological
sites found in Robeson County fall
within the geographical and
chronological distribution of the
Eastern Siouan language family in the
Carolinas. That is, they occur in the
same region at the same period of
lime. Thus it seems probable that the
core ancestral language of Native
Americans here along the Lumbee ?
the ones who left so many Woodland
archaeological sites here ? was also
an Eastern Siouan language.
Aside from the fact that some <
people like to know about their
ancestral linguistic stock, why is this
diverse linguistic background ? with
its three language families and many
distinct languages ? important for
understanding the Lumbce in context?
Perhaps one of the most significant
reasons is that when we comprehend
just how linguistically diverse the
ancestors of the Lumbce were then we
may better understand why no single
Indian language dominated into the
twentieth century. Looked at another
way, if only one Native language group
had been the source of the modem
Lumbce population, itwouldhavebccn
much more likely for that Native
language to have survived.
Thus the great linguistic diversity
of the Woodland ancestors of the
Lumbce may have been a contributing
factor to the complete replacement of
Indian languages with English. As the
colonial conquest of America
proceeded, many tribal remnants
(greatly diminished in population by
smallpox and other epidemics)
coalesced with remnants of other
tribes in isolated areas. One such
geographically isolated area was the
land of the Lumbee, in what came to be
known as "the Settlement" to the
Indians of the early 1800s (Evans
Situated as it was near the
geographical intersection of three
language families, "the Settlement"
was a place where Indian people
speaking different languages came
together (probably as many as four
Eastern Siouan languages, and at least
one each from Iroquoian and
Algonkian). As small remnant groups
? sometimes as few as a single
extended family ? joined the pre
existing Lumbce community at "the
Settlement," old language barriers
bad to melt away in order for the
people to survive together. With only
a few members of some groups
remaining after, .the massive
epidemics, some whole languages
Encouraged by the desire not to
have to learn the language of a
traditional opponent (such as a Siouan
speaker being forced to learn an
Iroquoian language); encouraged by
missionaries who promised the
Indians an English-speaking God who
would protect the people from
epidemic diseases; and encouraged by
an increasing need to trade with
Europeans for products only available
in English, the Indian people of "the
Settlement" soon adopted English. It
became, as' they say in West Africa,
the lingua franca, the common
language of trade.
j In the process, all that would
remain of the (probably Eastern
Siouan) Lumbee language was the
word itself: Lumbee. This would be
true of many other Carolina Native
languages (i.e., Machapunga, Coree,
etc.) By the mid-1700s when nonIndians
began to establish permanent
settlements here along the Lumbee
River, the Indians were already
speaking a kind of broken English (at
least they spoke it to their new
European neighbors) (Dial and Eliades
In the next segment we will
continue to look at the prehistoric
context of the Lumbee. For more
information, visit the Native
American Resource Center in historic
Old Main Building, on the campus of
The University of North Carolina at
Pembroke. __
Chicken and BBQ Plate Sale
10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Friday, October 3, J 997
$5.00 per plate
Union ChapeI Baptist Church
Say You Read |
It In The
Indian Voice,
To Subscribe
Call 521-2826,
R - l CT
Lorry T. Brooks
Toujn Council
For Continued
Progressive Government
On November 4, 1997
"ffle Charts $/(></,"
Injured At No Fault Of Your Own?
Immediate Help Is Available
Your Winning Team
Locklear, Jacobs & Hunt
is only a Phone Call Away!
Attrorneys Committed to Your Interests
Sen. David Weinsteincompletes
first session with accolades from
Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight
Dear I dilor
We concluded a htsioiis session
of lite General Asseniblv lasl
nionili audi wanted sou andvoui
Kadeisloknow lion impressedue
neie bv (lie h.ud wotk and leadeislup
or \oiii ness siaie senaloi
David einsiem
I lie North Carolina Senate
started this session with pi onuses
A commitment tolhcqualiiv of our
children's education, to cleaning
upour stale's waters and to helping
North Carolina families We finished
having kept oni pledges
In out commitment to better
education we passed the F'seellent
Schools Act w Inch requires tougher
standards for teachers ami stops
ihe Hood ol teachers leaving llie
profession b\ aiming to raise their
salaiies to the national average
I lie Senate also look the lead in
boosting the ABC's program to
revvanl the best schools and offer
incentives to improve student petlomiancc
And the Senate initiated
the Safe Schools Ael to give
teachers and principals the tools
tliev need to maintain discipline in
Iheelassiooni Senalot Wcinstcin's
advocaev onbchallol the Univcr
sitv oCNorlh Carolina at Pembroke
was invaluable
NVc also pushed ;i two-prong
approach lo cleaning our Male's
rivers and streams The Senate's
Clean Water Rcsponsibiht) Actninth
soiiscivaiioiusis call the
most significant piece of env ironinenlal
legislation in our stale's
lusloiv? will livild even one who
uses out waters aeeountable Ibi
keeping them clean
Andscnalorsfought secccsslullv
lor the Clean W atei M.uiageinenl
I rust Fund the first nudoulv dedicated
fund for environmental preset
vat ion in the hislorv of our state
Despite aliempis bv the House to
tap the 1 rust I'm id and taid it foi
olliei uses we preserved it lot fulute
gc lie i at tons. and Senator
W'ciiislein was a slioiig advocate
I'oi these clean water programs
Other initiatives will lteip North
( arolina lanulies find gixxl dav
care with new training for daveare
workers and qualitv ratings
forda\-carecenters, and will help
litem ensure children arc health)
and read) to learn through the
expansion of Smart Start to the
slac's It") counties For example.
Robeson('iiuiil> will move into us
thirdycar WilliSI ' million in new
funding. Cumberland County will
conlinne us model protiniiii mid
Bladen. Hoke and Sampson connlies
have platinum money lo slarl
ilieir partnerships
The Senate also coniinued the
crack down against drunk drivers
Willi a clear message lliat is violators
coiilinued lo drink and drive
we will pui ihem in jail and lake
llieircar Plus, we led the way with
a slaie-wide registry for sc\ offenders
llial willbcopcn I'oi public
rev icw
VVilliotil Senator Wcinslcin's
leadersliip as v ice cliairnian of (lie
Transportation ('oniinillec and as
a meinbci of llie .Senate's Agrieulline.
I iiv iionmeiil and Nalural
Resources Committee and the I'inanee('oniinillec
would have been far less
I am proud of his ihoughful
deliberation and Ins hard work,
and the people of the slate's Ttith
Senatorial District should be. loo
Marc liiisnifjht
Prcsitlvnl Pro tempore
North ( arolina Senate ^
Say You Read It In The Carolina
Indian Voice.
Public Announcement
The Lumbee Tribe/Lumbee Regional
Development Association will conduct
elections on December 4, 1997 for
Districts 4, 5, and 8 to serve on the
LRDA/Council/Board of Directors.
Specific candidate criteria will be
announced later.
Let Us Continue To Love Lillian McKoy\
Our Commissioner for Maxton,
Lillian McKoy has two (2) more years
as commissioner.
Tuesday,November , 1997
Paid for hy Clarence Woods
to the
LREMC Board of Directors
October 7, 1997
Performing Arts
"t 'on siller what / say am! die l.ortl f>ivc the an/leisfanthny in all things. "

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