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A member of a group of people living primarily in the southern Appalachians, thought to be descended from a mixture of southern European, Middle Eastern, African, and Native American peoples.

[Perhaps ultimately from French mélange, mixture (the French word being brought to the Appalachians by Huguenot settlers from Virginia); see mélange, or from African and Brazilian Portuguese malungo, comrade, person transported on the same slave ship as oneself (probably from Mbundu malungo, companion, adopted brother, or a kindred Bantu source).]


(Peoples) any of a dark-skinned group of people of the Appalachians in E Tennessee, of mixed Indian, White, and Black ancestry
[C20: of unknown origin]
References in periodicals archive ?
Through the back door; Melungeon literacies and twenty-first-century technologies.
And then I was doing so many consultations for Melungeon cousins that I decided to commercialize my sideline and get paid for what I was doing.
The electronic front porch; an oral history of the arrival of modern media in rural Appalachia and the Melungeon community.
Butrick, who ardently believed that the Cherokee were descended from the lost tribes of Israel, a myth which has since been applied to various of the "little races" of the South, including the mysterious Melungeons of Tennessee (Reed).
Children Of Perdition: Melungeons And The Struggle Of Mixed America by award winning investigative journalist Tim Hashaw is the history of mixed-race communities in America during the 300 years in which marriage between whites and nonwhites was outlawed.
The recent experiences of the Southern Africa Lemba and the Melungeons of Southern Appalachia have shown that genetic testing of ancestry can have a dramatic effect on how people perceive themselves and on how they are perceived by others.
The first free Muslim immigrants may date back to the later sixteenth century, when captured Muslim soldiers were deposited on the coast of North Carolina and elsewhere in the South; if so, then the Melungeons, swarthy whites living on the Cumberland Plateau in remote parts of the southeastern United States, from Virginia to Kentucky, may be their descendants.
The Portuguese making of America: Melungeons and early settlers of America.
In Tennessee, meet the Melungeons, a people who claim their roots date back prior to the Pilgrims.
Children of perdition; Melungeons and the struggle of mixed America.
These people -- the Melungeons -- were of unknown ancestry.