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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.
Melungeon Gypsy and redneck cultures are addressed.
Today, labels such as Brass Ankle, Redbone, and Melungeon are almost quaint, and Southerners whose grandparents would have been ashamed of their heritage are now seeking ways to discover information about their ancestry that earlier generations did their best to conceal.
Loewenstein: It seems you've created a new breed of man - the Melungeon man?
The electronic front porch; an oral history of the arrival of modern media in rural Appalachia and the Melungeon community.
Moreover, many Melungeons dark-skinned Appalachian mountain people of uncertain origin reside in Mason County, and Bridger is half Melungeon.
Another two hundred thousand settled in Australia and in the United States (where the Melungeons of Virginia, who were also contacted by the author, had come four centuries earlier).
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.
1949, and there is a tremor running through Rakertown, one that people would like to blame the Negroes or the Melungeons or even the Cherokees for, if they could.
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.