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In the Classroom > Picturing America Lessons > The Truth Behind The Last of the Mohicans

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Excerpt from "The Mohegan People - Confusion among Tribal Names"

Although similar in name, the Mohegan are a different tribe from the Mahican, who were another branch in the Algonquian language family.

Most descendants of the Mohegan tribe, by contrast, have continued to live in New England, and particularly Connecticut, since the colonial era. In 1994, they gained federal recognition and a reservation in the settlement of a major land claims case, in their traditional territory of south central Connecticut.

From Wikipedia article "The Mohegan People", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohegan_people

Excerpt from "Mahican"

The Mahican (/m∂´hi¦k∂n/; also Mohican /mou´hi¦k∂n/) are an Eastern Algonquian Native American tribe, originally settled in the Hudson River Valley (around Albany, NY) and western New England. After 1680, many moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Since the 1830s, most descendants of the Mahican are located in Shawano County, Wisconsin, where they formed the federally recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community with Lenape people and have a 22,000-acre reservation.

Following the disruption of the American Revolutionary War, most of the Mahican descendants first migrated westward to join the Iroquois Oneida on their reservation in central New York. The Oneida gave them about 22,000 acres for their use. After more than two decades, in the 1820s and 1830s, the Oneida and the Stockbridge moved again, pressured to relocate to northeastern Wisconsin under the federal Indian Removal program.  The tribe's name for itself (autonym) was Muhhekunneuw, Muh-he-con-neok, or "People of the waters that are never still", referring to their tribal territory in the Valley of the Hudson River (Mahicannituck - "waters that are never still"). Therefore, they along with tribes also living along the Hudson River — like the Munsee and Wappinger, were called "the River Indians" by the Dutch and English. The Dutch botched the name of the Wolf Clan ('Manhigan') in Mahigan, Mahikander, Mahinganak, Maikan and Mawhickon, which the English simplified later to Mahican or Mohican. The French translated the Clan name and therefore called them Loups (wolves).

From Wikipedia article "Mahican", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahican

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