Friday, April 19, 2024

The Buie Mound, an American Indian Cultural Site, to be Featured on N.C. Highway Historical Marker

Apr 19, 2024

A culturally significant archaeological site in Robeson County soon will be recognized with a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker.

The marker commemorating the Buie Mound and the activism of Native people to protect the mound as a sacred site will be dedicated during a ceremony April 27 near the intersection of NC 710 and NC 72 south of Red Springs in Robeson County. The marker will be unveiled at 11 a.m., with a reception following at the Museum of the Southeast American Indian (1369 Old Main Rd., Pembroke, NC 28372) at 12:30 p.m.

The Buie Mound, thought to have been built between 1100-1500 C.E. by American Indian people as a temple mound, represents the presence of a highly sophisticated Mississippian moundbuilding society, according to archaeologists. Mounds were created to demonstrate social and rulership power by elevating structures, such as elite leaders’ dwellings and religious temples on the landscape, archaeologists say. Although the traditional indigenous placename of Buie Mound is lost to time, the acknowledgement and historical significance of the mound still hold importance among Indian and non-Indian communities as a sacred place.

Prior to the 1970s, when formal archaeological digs conducted by St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Wake Forest University and Pembroke State University (the present-day University of North Carolina-Pembroke) on the land of John Todd Buie uncovered human remains and artifacts, the Buie Mound site attracted grave robbers and relic hunters who stole artifacts that included human remains and funerary objects. Archaeologists compiled a formal report called the "Buie Mound Report," that concluded the site was linked to the early Woodland and late Mississippian moundbuilding eras.

In 1974, the local American Indian community sounded an outcry against the excavation of Buie Mound. This followed similar objections at Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site, another significant American Indian site near Mt. Gilead, N.C. These protests led to policy changes forbidding the exhibition and display of human remains at North Carolina State Historic Sites.

The marker is one of nine markers being dedicated this year that highlight American Indian culture and history in North Carolina. Historical markers were approved for the Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi, Sappony, and Waccamaw Siouan tribes. In addition, historical markers were approved for the site of the East Carolina Indian School and the Buie Mound site. The N.C. American Indian Heritage Commission staff worked closely with N.C. tribes to complete applications to be considered for the historical marker program.

For more information about the historical marker and the event, please visit, or call (919) 814-6625.

The Highway Historical Marker Program is a collaboration between the N.C. departments of Natural and Cultural Resources and Transportation.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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