An anthropologist named Frank Speck took this photograph of an American Indian woman and child on Roanoke Island, N.C., in 1915. He referred to them as "Machapunga Indians" (though I will not), a tribe whose homeland had historically been the area around the Pungo River and Lake Mattamuskeet.
When Dr. Linwood Watson and I visited last winter, he also told me about an extraordinary project that the Coharie Tribe in eastern North Carolina has undertaken to deepen their ancestral ties to the river and the land that has been their home for centuries.
I first got an inkling of how much Indian Woods, in Bertie County, N.C., still means to the Tuscarora people in New York State when I was listening to a talk by a Tuscarora teacher named Vince Shiffert. At the time, I was at an extraordinary conference called “Three Hundred Years at Indian Woods.”