Looking back while walking forward (column): Federally commissioned reports.

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Hunt, Cynthia L. “Looking back while walking forward (column): Federally commissioned reports.” Carolina Indian Voice 18 May 2000: 4.


This installment provides a detailed , thorough analysis of the evidence presented in John Reed Swanton's 1933 report, “Probable identity of the Croatan Indians” (see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 535), which concludes that the tribe's origins are Siouan--most prominently the Cheraw.

First, Hunt gives details from Swanton's report concerning the history of the Cheraw tribe; the fact that the Lumbee may also have in its origins blood from remnants of other Siouan and coastal groups such as the Keyauwee, Eno, Shakori, Waccamaw, and Cape Fear; and other theories of Lumbee origin, such as the Lost Colony theory and the Cherokee theory. Hunt notes that Swanton was careful to clarify (especially in his 1938 article; see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 538) that although the Lumbee descended primarily from Siouan tribes--expecially the Cheraw--it is entirely possible that other tribes and individuals may have married into the tribe later.

Hunt also discusses evidence discovered by Wesley D. Taukchiray, who has conducted research on the Lumbee tribe since 1969, which supports Swanton's thesis of Cheraw origin for the Lumbee. Taukchiray discovered documents from the 1700s regarding a Cheraw community living on Drowning Creek, which is the head of the Little Pee Dee River. One of the accounts mentions individuals with distinctive Lumbee surnames. 

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