The woman from the Lumbee tribe

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Tobin, Juanita. “The woman from the Lumbee tribe.” Journal of counseling and development 64 (September 1985): 51. Reprinted in: Ransom street quartet: poems & stories. By Juanita Tobin. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 1995.


This poignant poem describes the behavior of a Lumbee woman in a psychiatric institution.  The final three lines, depicting the woman's emotional instability, could also be read as a comment on the uncertainty, in term of documentary evidence, of the tribal origins of the Lumbee people.  Juanita Tobin states, in her profile in Contemporary Authors, that she served as head nurse at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh for a number of years.  During that time, she started a finger-painting group for her psychiatric patients, all of whom were women. 

Juanita Tobin now lives in Blowing Rock, North Carolina and writes a column, “AppalCart Adventure,” for the Blowing Rocket.  Additional information on her can be found in Contemporary Authors, online through various GaleNet products (including Literature Resource Center) or in print (volume 156, published in 1997).

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