Title: Joe Sando
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Title: Joe Sando
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V. LUM 211A
Joe Sando/ Monologue 1 B
pwh
"My Impression of the Lumbees"
For Adolph Dial
S: Well, well, well, would you believe it? Adolph, here'goes-what you've
been asking for, for a little over a year now. You wanted me to explain
or express my impressions of my visit to the Lumbee country. Well, I've
been thinking-about it a long time, in fact, I have a class on Thursday
evening where I just came from, and for the past two weeks, I have
been an expert on the Luimbees. I have talked to my classes aboutithe
Lumbees and they seemed quite impressed. I don't know what I told them
and I don't know if you'll believe me, if you knew what I told them,
but like I told you before, my visit to New Zealand had a lot to do
with some of my impressions of the Lumbees, because as I said before,
they look very much like the natives in New Zealand, who are
Polynesians, and also heavily mixed with Europeans. So they are a
combination of Polynesians and Europeans, and the result is what I
thought I also saw in Pembroke. Anyway, my impressions of the Lumbees
is that they remind me of a people who are trying, or their environment
has made it possible, if not forced them, to try to fight, or tryoto
struggle to keep an identity. I can see, from my research of the
*frOrn
Lumbees, during the time I met Helen, that they were a mixture e* the
very beginning of Sir Walter Raleigh's lost tribe and the Hatteras
Indians, of the North Carolina coast or up in through there. The east
coast, anyway. And I suppose from then on, they had been mixed, and I
suppose the uh, fathers of the families began to dominate, which
caused the Hatteras people to lose their identity as tribal Americans,
*1_ _





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as other tribal Americans ha/ maintained their cultural identity.
No doubt they tried to keep it, but from what I've read, about the
time in the middle 1800's, when the Scotchmen came upon them again,
they were already speaking English, from what I read. So,as I said,
the head of the family doubt predominated in many families, I
suppose. Ike white man was the head of the family, so his ways
predominated, and I suppose many of the tribal cultures, their
customs were lost and they adapted to a living style which was
acceptable'to the group. And so, much of the tribal ways were lost,
and the European look, I mean, the appearance, the physical features,
no doubt began to predominate. That is, well, I guess I just didn't
see enough Lumbee people to see the so-called American Indian nose
or the high cheekbone as we find in the Western Indians. Anyway, I
didn't see enough of them to see those things, but maybe they have
some of those physical features. However, as I said, my impression
is of the people who have struggled through the years to keep an identity
dictated by the environment. Let me qualy' this last statement. We
all know that the Anglo, the European Anglo, is very, ver dominating,
and their aim through history has been to replace the original American
culture with the European culture, and they attempted this with the
Lumbees; however, in later years, I suppose, when they failed in this
rorc. Or 0 tQiS
attempt, they/said, "Okay, you don't want to be like us. We attempted,
but you failed." I don't think they blamed themselves for this failure,
but more or lass, said, "You have not become whites, therefore, you are
not us, you are not one of us, and in:this wdrld, it's the white man.
and the black man. There is no place for somebody else. Thus you try
prcud
to exist, co-exist with the blacks." The Lumbees, taum as they were
began to fight for survival, and this, I believe, has strengthened





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them to become the people that they are today. The school that they
began as a result of not being considered for an appropriation for
a Lumbee school,has; you know better than I do,become Pembroke State.
That school, I suppose, had a lot to do with the Lumbee today. So
the school is the major factor I see, along with the farm holdings
that they have, that, and maybe the Church, Lumber River, or whatever
you called it, those three institutions; the school, the church,
and the land has kept you as an identifiable group-not black, not
white, but the goup that you call that kind of Indian...the Lumbee
Indian, becauseI wonder if many of our Pueblo people, if they met
a Lumbee on the'street, they wouldn't know who they'd met, because
they have never seen a Lumbee, sd as seai-d, knowing the history
and the names, the Locklears, the Oxendines, and all those L'nbee
names, if I know the name, I can say,"Oh, he's Lumbee." If I knew
anyone was from North Carolina, with that last name I would say,
"He's a Lumbee." An ordinary Pueblo who has not had the advantages
of seeing what I did, and knowing what I do about the Lumbee back-
ground, its history, would not know that they were talking with a
Lumbee. Howeverthese are the impressions that I can think of
immediately. In my classes that I had at the' University of New
Mexico, I have 'told the students, in which there are a few native
Southwest Indians and naturally, a majority of them, white students
who are interested in the Indians, taking the course. I have told them
about the Lumbee, and the history of that school, the Lumbee school,
Pembroke State, and the result that you've had, as you know, because
of the school, you no doubt, have many educated Lumbees, in various
professions, including the President of the United States...I mean,
the President of embroke State, and member of the. Clauni Commission,





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and other attorneys, and I don't know. if you have dentists, doctors,
or some of these other professions, but no doubt you have had many
teachers who went into different fields, so this has been a good
example, a good experience for the Lumbees, a fine example for other
American Indians to follow. I have suggested that because of the
Lumbee community college, or Pembroke State, as it's called now,
has been an example for other Indians to follow. The Navaho Community
College is patterned, not necessarily along Pembroke State, but the
idea is there. It's located on Indian land, and quite a few who ordinarily
would not go on to junior college or community college, has gone to the
Navaho Community College, and I believe two colleges, junior colleges,
or community colleges, are starting under Sioux reservations in South
Dakota. So before long, I am sure there will be other Indiar, own Indian
administered junior colleges, community colleges throughout the
country, because I see this as a very good example that the Lumbees have
done. However I' would suggest that more of the Lumbees would attend
NCAI conventions, the National Congress of American Indians, as well as
the o, what do you call the American Indian Educatimn Association.
We need more Lumbees to attend some of these meetings, so other Indians
can become aware of the Lumbee and their progress. You need to advertise
your experience, not necessarily the negative, but they need to be
explained because most Indians have suffered. And the way you have come
through through all your difficulties, has Helped you to become the
people that you' are today. This is what the Indians American Indians
throughout the country need,an example' of the negative and your
persistence to overcome the negative aspects :of the fOir+un S '
and. I see your people as an outstanding representative of an ethnic
group who has overcome these problems. And these are things I'd like





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to see your people explain to other Indian groups at NCAI conventions,
or NIEA conventions, or any other place, because I know Dr. ratqio -
4hat
has been in Albequerque, but he doesn't go around telling peopleAhe
^+,Q
is a Lumbee. I am sure I am one of the few who know\Ahe is a Lumbee,
f *
but if there were more Lumbees around, thet saidjthey were Lumbees,
I am sure other Indian people would look to them and try to find out
about them, and have an institution as you have in Pembroke State,
that would help the people locally,to attain some success in equality
in education, and training because we don't necessarily need to be
assimilated. All we want is the education, the tools, of the current
living style, so that we can alsoAour living, while we also live in
the life styles that we prefer. ,Therefore, I'm suggesting that the
Lumbees feel free to join some of these National Indian organizations,
and I'm not talking about Red Power because the Pueblos don't believe
in Red Power either. We just want to work with other Indian tribes
for the benefit of the Indian nation, as a whole. -The majority of
us here in the Southwest, consider an Indian a parson who has a
non-Christian belief in a non-Christian religion, but believe in a
great spirit, of god, and also performs a dance, peculiar to the
native American. No doubt the Lumbees don't have any such things,
and I wonder if'the Christian missionaries, or either the white house...
what do you call it, the white man, head of the household, discouraged
that during the time when the Lost Colony descendants started out, and
I just wondered if this is how you lost a culture that we today identify
as the major part of the Indian culture today. That is, singing Indian
songs, and also dancing. But I suppose, because you no longer have these
things, they don't seem a particular part of the Lumbee people; however,
this is something that keeps us going. I suppose that your substitution
. 11,______~~





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today is by going to your Methodist or Lumber River Church or
whatever it is, ut most of us here, especially the Pueblos,have
Catholicism, and a few other Protestant churches together with
their Indian religious beliefs. :,mean, in the Indian religion,
we believe in God and his creations and getting along with the
universe. We don't believe in competing with God like the white
man; that is, getting a bulldozer level a runway which is subject
to floods during the rainy season; however, an.Inrdian would never
do that, that is competing against God. We respect nature. We will
never try to transform nature into something else. And we get the
last laugh when aftbuilder or a contractor, Or some promoter has a
big tractor level a place, builds the house, sells it for anywhere
from twelve to twenty thousand, and then some poor Easterner comes
along, buys it at a bargain of that price, and the first flood that
comes, the first rainfall that comes through, the flood hits him.
So, this plus other things that the white people do against nature
is what the Indians do not do and we getAenjoy the last laugh. But
some of these things I don't know if the Lumbees are aware of. No
doubt the Lumbees have a feeling, brought about by
their land, and that is not necessarily Indian. Anyone, any of those
farmers in the'South or anyplace, no doubt are attached, although
the lack of prices or the, the prices, let's say, the economy, has
more or less, -F6recl many farmers not to love their land; however,
I suppose many of the Lumbees because of the-r streak of Indianness
in their veins,' are tied to the land by thib' peculiar relationship
of the original natives with land, because 6ut here, we are land-based
Indians, We call ourselves as compared' to what we today call the urban
Indians. We cannot be happy unless we owned some kind of security, which





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is land. Without land, we are nobody. We could be just like the white
man, who goes wherever his job is. He can be an engineer in New
England one year, and if the pay is better in Florida why that's where
he moves his family. And if the job peters out, he goes to California,
to get his job. We cannot do that as Indian people because we are tied
to our land which is security for us, and we have to be near our
land, and most cf the Indian people are near that land, the group that
we identify with, so we are near there also. And I am sure you have
that feeling. I don't think many Lumbees will ever move to Arizona,
to Nevada, or State of Washington, because after thirty or -i:- .
thirty-five years very likely the Locklears, the Oxendines will all
be back to North.Crolina, and who' can say, I' don't know if you can
say that about the new generations, maybe they are different, because
we are beginning to show some change after W6rld War II. Before World
War II fI'm sure we were 101% Pueblo Indians. But after World War II,
no doubt we are about 98% Pueblo Indians today. Because we like the
living style, the color-T.V., the big car, refrigerators, aid all
these things. In fact. today, we have the new housing that the Indian
people enjoy. Maybe a lot more than the original adobe houses, which
did not have running water, or inside toilets, these things are very
handy today. Webhave new housing under the iUD program, and many of our
people today have plumbing, hot and cold water, inside toilets
refrigerators, toasters. These things changed the life-style of people.
That's why I' saying we are now about 98% as compared to 101% Indian
before World War II. And I don't know, I'm sire the Lumbees enjoyed
these same things, but what I am trying to say is that we are still
Indians, but wet'are going over to enjoy these good things easy things
of life, and most fortunately, we have'not suffered as t'h ",, u BU '





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n'__t_ I was gonna say t0'ri. We have not suffered as the Lumbee has
had to go through because of the tri-ethnic society that exists in
the South, not necessarily all of the South, but at least in North
Carolina where the black and the white and the Lumbee are, and with
the peculiar problem, of not really getting along, because as a com-
'parison in New Mexico, we also have had the three ethnic groups, the
Indians, the Spanish speaking, and the whites. But in this particular
state, New Mexico, we have always gotten along. We didn't have any
fights, like they do in Texas with the Spanish speaking and the whites
are always fighting; in Colorado, where they'discriminate against the
Spanish-speaking; in New Mexico, the three groups have always gotten
along, and gradually, as the blacks find the tranquility of ethnic
cooperation, the blacks are beginning to come into New Mexico, and
say, listen here, there aren't three ethnic groups, there are four.
They are beginning to demand a part in New Mexico. And I suppose, we
can't deny them because they are a people. And one of the first non-
Indians to reach this area was a black'man, knd he plays a prominent
part in New Mexico history. And among the first settlers, who came
into New Mexico 'to live among the Pueblos in''1598 was a black man, who
married an Indian woman from Mexico, ard identified themselves with'
the Pueblo people after 1598. So the blacks have been a part of New
Mexico history from the very beginning. ,Ii fatA the first white man
that the Pueblos saw was a black man. His name was Esteban. Stephen,
white people called him. He and a priest, a religious, let's say, his
nameAFiiar Marcus dL Nice, from Nice, It'aly. He and this black boy were
the first non-Indians to talk, or meet with Pueblo people. That was in
1539. So the blacks have a legitimate claim fo New Mexico also. However,
they haven't been around, in New Mexicd, until after World War II, and
11 ;:* S .' *': .'.





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even today, we don't have too many around, ini fact the first blacks
I saw was when I was ifi boot camp in San Diego in 1942. But anyway
today they demand their part, their place in New Mexico, but we haven't
had that situation, and because of the past feelings of the black
and the white, ou were caught in the middle and had to adjust in that
situation, so I am saying that history has been a little kinder to
the Pueblo people, although. your people have always cooperated, but
the situation of the relationship between the blacks and the white
has caused you to suffer innocently. That situation did not take place
in this area, so we have been fairly fortunate in the experiences of
the past, helping us tobe a, what would be the word, a desired
people, not necessarily a group tb be left out when people are
distributing property, not necessarily property but,entitlements,
like.uh, Wa, the Pueblo people had a right to vote equal to the
Spaniht, from 1870, I believe it was. Even the white man, when they
came into New Mexico, recognized this, so the PueblOs were
equal to the Euiopeans until 1913, when we were declared Indians,
entitled t!o theisame kind of assistance as the earlier Indians were
receiving'in the Southwest; the Apache, the Navaho, and some of these
other nomadics,iomadic tribes. But before that, coming from legislation,
wok the Pueblo s being farmers, and having accepted Catholicism, and
being village or city people, we were considered civilized, as compared
to a Navaho, an Apache, so we enjoyed the privileges of the Europeans
of that era, until 1913 when we were recognized as American Indians,
entitled to receive help from the government. After that, our problems
also began. Whei my book comes out, I am sure you will read some of that
in the writtenbistory part GA, about the '20-s. From about 1918 to
were -th
about 19...let's say 1928 staeo rough years for the Pueblos because
:' i. :





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they were after our land, and they were out to get rid of our
religion, one way or another because when the government establishes
regulations saying that you will join the mainstream, do away with your
religion, your culture, and be like us why, anytime the government
bangs out these regulations, or hears the preacher, the ministers,
the missionaries, who say, "Oh, yes, yes. We agree with the government.
Do away with your culture, your religion, take ours." So, many western
Indians, not necessarily in the Southwest or New Mexico, but further
east from here, maybe Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and through there,
many of the Indian tribes, when they were forced by the government to
do away with their religion, these missionaries jumped in and say,
"Yes, do away with your religion and take ours." So today, we have
many staunch Baptists and different Protestant religions among the
Indian tribes and they have forgotten their Indian dances and songs
or
but they have church singing aa& gospel singing, or whatever you
want to call it, using the Indian language, or Indian style of
gospel singing. These are some of the things we lid not have, so
today we remain Indian people, recognized throughout the world and
we are also, lee's say, Americans. Well, itiook a long time, but
here it is. I will take it to Washington with me Sunday, and I think
I will see Helen,on Monday I'll give her the tape to send it on to
you sometimes. Well, when your book comes out, I want a copy of yours
and I'll get yohi one of my books. Okay? We'll see you later.
,'
,T





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