Symbolic Representation in Native American Lumbee Art

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nancy Winora Johnson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Dr. Ann Horton-Lopez

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to examine the art and craft products of the Lumbee to determine the extent to which their symbolic representations and artistic responses reflected the influences of their past heritage and existing culture. The descriptive nature of this study entailed personal interviews of Lumbee artists, photography of data, examination and comparison of other Native American arts and crafts, examination of pertinent literature, the maintenance of field notes for verification of data and the investigator’s personal observations and interpretations. With more than a hundred years of pursuing recognition, it was important to examine the symbolic representations of the Lumbee. These symbols and icons could also be considered a contributing component of their physical and cultural environment. The findings from this study indicated that the pinecone-quilting motif is recognized as a Lumbee symbol and has been used by the Lumbee for more than a century. The findings also include some shared imagery and craft productions of other Native American tribes with the Lumbee. However, first-hand interviews lead the researcher to understand that some symbolic representations vary in meaning from tribe to tribe. Pine needle baskets are another product unique to the Lumbee because of the materials (long leaf pine needles and tobacco twine) used for production, even though other cultures produce similar baskets using different materials. One concludes that the study gave evidence of a symbolic image produced and used by the Lumbee as their representative icon.

Additional Information

School of Graduate Studies
Language: English
Date: 2004
Arts and Crafts, Native American Lumbee Art, Lumbee Art, Lumbee Symbolic Representations, Lumbee Symbols and Icons, Pinecone-Quilting Motif, Long Leaf Pine Needles, Tobacco Twine, Pine Needle Baskets
Authors, American -- 20th century
American literature -- 20th century

Email this document to