Deloria, Vine, Jr. “Introduction.” Speaking of Indians. By Ella Deloria. Bison Books Edition. Lincoln: Nebraska UP, 1998. Pages xv-xvii.
Deloria discusses his unsuccessful attempts to obtain photocopies of the pageants on Lumbee history and origins that his aunt, Ella Deloria, wrote and produced in 1940 and 1941 (see item DELO001). He also notes that “Ella was fascinated with the Lumbees, and I believe if she had lived to give testimony on their behalf when they were seeking federal recognition she would have been a powerful witness” (p. xvii). She spent a great deal of time talking to Lumbee women about plants, food, folk medicines, and the names of animals, tracing the colloquial expressions back and comparing them to words in other Indian languages. She had compiled a dictionary of over 300 words in what she believed was the original Lumbee language. The cards were stored in steamer trunks in Fort Lee. She didn't have the money to pay the storage rent, so the trunks were probably sold and the contents discarded.