Vernon Cooper, Lumbee.

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Arden, Harvey, and Steve Wall. “Vernon Cooper, Lumbee.” Wisdomkeepers: meetings with Native American spiritual leaders. Hillsboro, Oregon: Beyond Words Publishing, 1990. Pp. 56-63. 


Contains numerous quotations from a 1989 interview with Vernon Cooper, who was 84 at the time.  Cooper, who heals with his hands, received this gift from his grandmother at her deathbed in 1917.  He prefers to use a variety of herbs but has more difficulty finding them and observes that while in “the old days” he could cure someone with one herb, it now takes several.  He states, “Everything I know I learned by listening and watching....  Doctors study what man has learned.  I pray to understand what man has forgotten” (p. 58).  As his grandmother taught, he rubs people with his hands to locate the sickness.  He considers the present age dangerous, because people are only existing, rather than living.  He sees people becoming more distant from spiritual realities. 

The text is illustrated by Steve Wall's striking photography of Lumbee people (see also The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 1830, for another example of Wall's work).

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10 photographs
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