Growing up red: the Lumbee experience.

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Woods, Ruth Dial. “Growing up red: the Lumbee experience.” Diss. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001. 222 p.


In this study, woods sought to “describe and interpret the human and social realities of the Lumbee.”   She “examined the social, economic, cultural, and political phenomena that create cultural stress and discontinuity in order to portray historical and continuing struggles for recognition and affirmation of native culture and identity” (p.5).

To accomplish these aims, Woods examined the video tapes and transcripts of over sixty oral history interviews with Lumbee elders.  The elders were born in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  The interviews were conducted in 1981-1983 by Lumbee students from six Robeson County high schools as part of the federally funded Title IV Robeson County Compensatory Indian Education Project.  Woods also conducted three additional in--depth interviews herself.  She added data from personal jounals, speeches and papers--as well as from published research.

Woods looked for themes and patterns in the interviews and used these-- along with her own reflections (given in italics in the dissertation) and guided by the phenomenological method -- to organize the results of her inquiry.

She begins with historical overview of the Lumbee people, followed by sections on family life; herbs, medicine, and midwifery; superstitions and the supernatural; religion and spirituality; Indian burial grounds; traditional Indian worship; schooling; war; the Depression; the Ku Klux Klan; the burning of Old Main; Lumbee social and political perspectives (in historical order, ending with the LRDA-Lumbee Tribal Council lawsuit); a chapter on Lumbee culture; and a chapter on theoretical perspectives, outlining ways in which naterial gathered by this and other oral history projects can be used. Appendix A reproduces the interview protocol used as a guide in the student oral history interviews.  The bibliography of secondary sources is followed by a list of interviewees and the date the interview was conducted.

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