Our presence has been documented by historical accounts and oral traditions. We have continued to exist as a tribe despite conditions that threatened to destroy the fabric of our Indian community. The Lumbee culture is constantly evolving, yet our traditions are still holding firm. The southeastern culture deals a great deal with agriculture, family, and hunting and gathering. In those aspects, we are not very different than we were a century ago.
For the Lumbees, church is more than a religious experience; it is our most important social activity. The churches have Sunday schools, youth organizations, senior citizen's programs, Bible study programs, and choir practices to mention a few. Since congregations tend to draw members from several different elements, these activities serve to integrate. It is not uncommon for members of the same household to attend different churches, and this behavior further acts to bring the tribal membership together.
Most churches have choirs that, in addition to singing on Sunday, occasionally appear at other churches to share in the religious experience. Churches take great pride in their choirs, as Lumbees generally take pride in the singing abilities of their members. Nearly every week there is a gospel sing somewhere in the community and many churches schedule a sing once a month.
Lumbee Patchwork is a traditional handcraft of the Lumbee people. Drawing on the abundant flora around us, we adapted the end of the Long Leaf Pine cone into a design for our blankets, rugs, and clothing. There are many areas where this patchwork can be seen: the UNCP Native American Resource Center, Native American Powwow's, cultural events, quilting bee's, and culture classes around the county. In 1993, the Lumbee patchwork dress was recreated for Miss Lumbee Natasha Wagner, who went on to become the 8th Miss Indian USA. Designed by Hayes Alan Locklear and created by Kat Littleturtle, the Lumbee patchwork dress stands the test time and is now a standard for the Lumbee Misses and cultural symbol for all Lumbees.