Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect

In the 1880s, Hamilton McMillan claimed that the Lumbee descended from Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony, abandoned on Roanoke Island in 1587.  One of the pieces of evidence to support that allegation is that the language of the Lumbee held very unique Elizabethan words that were also found along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the area where the colonists, if they survived, would have likely assimilated with the Native people.

Seeing lists of words and hearing the Lumbee dialect is two entirely different experiences.  The North Carolina Language and Life project has documented a number of unique dialects, producing documentaries that can be seen at  Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect focused on the Robeson County Lumbee and their unique cultural way of speaking.

Indian By Birth: The Lumbee Dialect excerpt

Lumbee English 1

Lumbee English 2

The documentary film, “Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect” is available at this link:

Information about the film is available here:

Hat tip to John for these video links.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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1 Response to Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect

  1. susi c Pentico says:

    Thank you for these postings. Somehow I feel we are getting closer but not there yet.

    Susi Pentico

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