Melungeon

From Academic Kids

Melungeon is a term used for an ethnically mixed population in the southeastern United States that is of uncertain origin, perhaps a combination of various European, Middle Eastern, African, and Native American strains. The name was an obscure racial pejorative in the early 1800s.

Melungeons have been the subject of much debate about their ethnic, linguistic, cultural and geographic origins. While not officially recognized as an ethnic or racial group by the U.S. government, they often have a keen sense of self identity and, in some areas, a long history of existing separate from the mainstream community.

The extent to which Melungeons constitute a specific race or ethnicity is controversial, because members of this group are considered to be ethnically mixed rather than exhibiting characteristics which can be incontrovertibly classified as being of a single racial phenotype.

Even the origin of the term "Melungeon" is highly controversial.

Contents

1 References
2 External links

Location

"Melungeon" has been applied to group members living in:

Potentially related populations include:

Each of these groupings of Melungeons has a particular history and culture, but historical evidence shows relationships among some of them.

Local customs and beliefs in Southwest Virginia where there were quite a few Melungeons living held that they were dark-skinned because they had American Indian ancestry, although African ancestry is the more plausible explanation.

Origin

Melungeons claim to be of the following origin:

References

Kennedy, N. Brent, with Robyn Vaughan Kennedy (1994). The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press.

External links

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