There are a number of places in Hoke County where evidence of Indian villages have been found. Some people believe there was an Indian path through Hoke County. They have found pieces of pottery, arrowheads, tomahawks, and corn stones. The two main tribes that lived in Hoke County long ago were the Choctaw and the Tuscarora Indians.
The Lumbee Indians who live in Hoke County today have always been associated with an air of mystery. Their identity as an Indian nation has been blurred. This is the tribe that was once known as the Croatan. Many people believe that they were descended from Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony. Most people believe that the people from the Lost Colony and the Indians that were already here mingled and formed the Lumbee Indians.
According to the 1990 Census there were 1,932 Indians in Hoke County, most of whom are Lumbee. The Lumbee tribe is the largest tribe of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River and the largest in the United States not fully recognized by the federal government. Dr. Stanley Knick says that while all Native Americans have been treated unfairly, Lumbees have been ignored as well. They fight for full federal recognition and funds. The Lumbee are dedicated to education and political activity, to improve the lives of all their people and their future.
The Lumbee have a rich culture full of different traditions. In an interview with Mrs. Teresa Locklear it was discovered that many traditions are still practiced today. "I celebrate Lumbee homecoming and it's the week of July 4th. Most of the activities are held in Pembroke (approximately 30 miles from Hoke County). We still have hog killings once a year," said Mrs. Locklear. When asked if she attended any Pow Wows, Mrs. Locklear said, "Yes. But my grandparents went to more Pow-Wows than I do." When asked if it's ok to celebrate one's culture, Mrs. Locklear replied, "Yes. Because I think each culture should celebrate what they believe in."
Mrs. Locklear and Ashley
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