In Tuscarora language and lore references to the North Carolina homeland include allusions to a “pine tree in water.” This could refer either to the Loblolly Pine or to the Bald Cypress — both of which grow abundantly in eastern North Carolina. Thus in connection with the Nooherooka 300 Commemoration, East Carolina University dedicated an existing Loblolly Pine (one of the designated heritage trees on the ECU campus) as the official Tuscarora Tree at East Carolina. At the same time the university planted a new 6″ diameter Bald Cypress to be known on campus as the Nooherooka Tree.
Nooherooka Tree Dedication
Following brief statements by University officials, Tuscarora elders invited all present to sprinkle tobacco beneath the tree. The sprinkling of tobacco represented both the dedication of the tree and the symbolic burial of “any anger, enmity, or harsh feelings toward others” as a part of this ritual.
Location of Nooherooka Tree and Tuscarora Tree on Campus