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Hattadare Indian Nation

Field review by the editors.

Bunnlevel, North Carolina

The Hattadare Indian Village Park in Bunnlevel is one of the homes of the Lumbee Indian Nation, or what's left of it.

The Park was built beginning in 1968 by a TV repairman and part-time preacher named James Lowery. He had a little Indian blood (although not Lumbee) and called himself Chief Little Beaver. Lowery envisioned his village as a place where members of all tribes could meet and just hang out. To whatever degree that actually happened, it ended in 1990, when the Chief died.

The Park has continued its slow decay ever since. When we last visited, a sign out front read "Indian Snack Bar," but the trailer that housed it had been abandoned and filled with garbage and rotting mattresses. Other trailers sheltered barking dogs, screaming children, and adults, but the Lumbees wouldn't show themselves.

Big letters dangle off of the fence that surrounds Hattadare: "Indians Are People Too," they read. Humming, overhead high-tension power lines run down the center of the Park; their clear-cut creates a nice, sunny path from which you can admire the scary, overgrown shrines and statues on either side. Venture into the trees only if you dare; you'll find statues of cacti and polar bears(???), as well as garden shop concrete Indians wearing headdresses, something that the swamp-dwelling Lumbees never even considered.

The highlight of Hattadare is the World's Largest Arrowhead, an uneven concrete pillar with little rocks stuck into it. In the center of the arrowhead is a framed photo of an Indian -- Chief Little Beaver. It doesn't look much like an arrowhead, but perhaps the mysterious Lumbee knew a thing or two about aerodynamics that modern science has yet to learn.

Lowery's widow, Letha, lived in a trailer at the Park of many year's after the Chief's death. It was reported that she constantly encouraged the Chief's son to fix the place up, but he was disinterested.

Hattadare Indian Nation

5309-5255 US-401, Bunnlevel, NC
On the west side of US-401, about 1.5 miles north of Bunnlevel.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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