Where do you stay at?' Home place and community among the Lumbee.

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Blu, Karen I. “'Where do you stay at?' Home place and community among the Lumbee.” Senses of place. Ed. Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1996. Pp. 197-227. Key source


Blu returned to Robeson County during the summer of 1984 to try to develop a model of how the Lumbee conceptualize their home places. Lumbee references to socially significant places are usually vague. “Community” can mean a named local area or the entire Lumbee community. The spaces inhabited by the Lumbee are not well defined and neatly bounded; they also encompass non-Indians. Blu describes the physical characteristics of Lumbee homeland and how homeland has changed over time. Throughout these periods of change, the Lumbee have remained “in mostly rural settlements, or communities, with indeterminate boundaries that operated as sturdy anchors to their homeland while it transformed around them” (202). Blu discusses Scuffletown and Black Ankle, and the sometimes denigrating tone of whites in speaking of these places. She explains the importance for the Lumbee of establishing, about each other, who their family are, where they live, and where the family are from. She notes that Lumbee people can often discern these things from people's accents and might even discern someone's socioeconomic status from where they or their family live or lived. She also discusses the importance of familial bonds and the “connection between place and people-as-a-whole” (p. 207). Provides detailed discussions of Pembroke, Prospect, Union Chapel, and Magnolia. This essay is a valuable exploration of Robeson County as home for Lumbee people.

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