The origin of the Lumbee Indians, who today are among the most numerous of native Americans, appears to be a combination of scholarly theory and popular legend.
Many historians believe that the word “Lumbee” likely refers to the Lumber River, although the tribe has been referred to by several different names throughout its history and contact with both Anglo and African societies. Recent scholarship has suggested that the Lumbee tribe may even have existed in the region as early as 12,000 B.C.
More certain is the fact that in the 18th century, the Lumbee were, like many tribes, stripped of many civil rights, including those of serving in the local militia or carrying a weapon. This injustice led to the rise of one of the most famous figures in tribal history, Henry Berry Lowrie, whose “Lowrie Gang” conducted an eight year vendetta to avenge the murders of Lowrie’s father and brother.
The Lumbee attained federal recognition in 1956. Today, they conduct a broad spectrum of cultural and community events in Scotland County.