Mahican


Mahican
Mahican
Muhhekunneuw
Mohican distribution map.svg
Geographic distribution of the Mahicans.
Regions with significant populations
 United States (Wisconsin)
Languages

English, (originally Mahican)

Religion

Moravian Church

Related ethnic groups

Munsee

The Mahicans (also Mohicans) are an Eastern Algonquian Native American tribe, originally settling in the Hudson River Valley (around Albany, NY). After 1680, many moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. During the early 1820s and 1830s, most of the remaining descendants migrated westward to northeastern Wisconsin.[1] The tribe's name for itself (autonym) was Muh-he-con-neok, or "People of the waters that are never still."

Contents

History

The Mahican were living in and around the Hudson Valley at the time of their first contact with Europeans after 1609, during the settlement of New Netherland. The Mahican were a confederacy rather than a single tribe, and at the time of contact there were five main divisions: Mohican proper, Westenhuck, Wawayachtonoc, Mechkentowoon, and Wiekagjoc. Over the next hundred years, tensions between the Mahican and the Iroquois Mohawk, as well as Dutch and English settlers, caused the Mahican to migrate eastward across the Hudson River into western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Many settled in the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they gradually became known as the Stockbridge Indians.

The Stockbridge Indians allowed Protestant Christian missionaries, including Jonathan Edwards, to live among them. In the 18th century, many converted to Christianity, while keeping certain traditions of their own. Although they fought on the side of the American colonists in both the French and Indian War (North American part of the Seven Years' War) and the American Revolution, citizens of the new United States forced them off their land and westward. In the 1780’s, groups of Stockbridge Indians moved from Stockbridge, Massachusetts to a new location among the Oneidas in western New York, called New Stockbridge. Some individuals and families, mostly people who were old or those with special ties to the area remained behind at Stockbridge. The central figures of Mohican society, however, including the chief sachem and his counselors and relatives, were part of the move to New Stockbridge. At New Stockbridge, the Stockbridge emigrants would be in control of their own affairs and could combine old ways with the new as they chose. After learning from the Christian missionaries, the Stockbridge Indians were now experienced in English ways and at New Stockbridge they replicated their old Stockbridge town. While still being Christians, they retained their language and Indian traditions. Their evolving Mohican identity was still rooted in traditions of the past. [2]

In the 1820s and 1830s, most of the Stockbridge moved to Shawano County, Wisconsin, where they were promised land by the US government. In Wisconsin, they settled on reservations with the Munsee. Together, the two formed a band jointly known as Stockbridge-Munsee. Today the reservation is known as that of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians (Stockbridge-Munsee Community).

Moravian Church missionaries from Bethlehem in present-day Pennsylvania founded a mission at the Mahican village of Shekomeko in Dutchess County, New York. The story of the beginnings of the Moravian mission at Shekomeko is well-known. Christian Henry Rauch, a Protestant missionary, spoke to two Mohican leaders, Maumauntissekun, also known as Shabash, and Wassamapah who later took him back to their village, Shekomeko, and named him their new religious teacher. At first, he found himself unwelcome in Shekomeko. Over time, the promise in Rauch’s sermons at Shekomeko won listeners, even as his affection for them and his frugality convinced the Mohicans that he would never covet their land. Early in 1742, Shabash and two other Native Americas from Shekomeko set out with Rauch for Pennsylvania, where Rauch was to be ordained a deacon. After Rauch’s ordination, the three Indians from Shekomeko were baptized on February 11, 1742 in John de Turk’s barn at Oley, Pennsylvania. Thus Shabash was the first Mohican at Shekomeko to adopt the Christian religion.[3] They built a chapel for the people in 1743. They also diligently defended the Mahican against European settlers' exploitation, trying to protect them against land encroachment and abuses of liquor. One account of these troubles happened in 1738, on a visit to New York, the Mohicans spoke to the Governor concerning the sale of their land near Shekomeko. The Governor promised they would be paid as soon as the lands were surveyed and suggested that for their own security they should mark off their square mile of land they wished to keep, which the Indians never did. It wasn’t until September 1743 that the land was finally surveyed and divided into lots, in which one of the lots ran through the Indians reserved land. With some help from the missionaries, on October 17, 1743 Shabash put together a petition of names of people who could attest that the land in which one of the lots was running through was theirs. Despite Shabash’s appeals, his persistence, and the missionaries help, the matter was never resolved in Shabash’s favor.[4] The lots were eventually bought up and the Indians were forced out of Shekomeko. Some who opposed their work accused them of being secret Catholic Jesuits (who had been outlawed from the colony in 1700) and of working with the Indians on the side of the French. The missionaries were summoned more than once before colonial government, but also had supporters. Finally the colonial government at Poughkeepsie expelled the missionaries from New York in the late 1740s. Settlers soon took over the Mahican land.[5]

The now extinct Mahican language belonged to the Eastern Algonquian branch of the Algonquian language family. It was an Algonquian N-dialect, as were Massachusett and Wampanoag. In many ways, it was similar to one of the L-dialects, such as that of the Lenape, and could be considered one.

--References--

  1. ^ EB-Mohicans "Mohican" (history), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007
  2. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 213. 
  3. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 228-230. 
  4. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 232-235. 
  5. ^ PHILIP H. SMITH, "PINE PLAINS", GENERAL HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY FROM 1609 TO 1876, INCLUSIVE, PAWLING, NY: 1877, accessed 3 March 2010

In popular culture

  • James Fenimore Cooper's novel, The Last of the Mohicans, is based on the Mahican tribe. It also includes some cultural aspects of the Mohegan, a different Algonquian tribe that lived in eastern Connecticut. The novel was set in the Hudson Valley, Mahican land, but some characters' names, such as Uncas, were Mohegan.
  • The novel has been adapted for the silver screen at least half a dozen times, the first time in 1920. The latest adaptation was released in 1992, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Notable members

References

  1. ^ EB-Mohicans "Mohican" (history), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007
  2. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 213. 
  3. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 228-230. 
  4. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd.. pp. 232-235. 
  5. ^ PHILIP H. SMITH, "PINE PLAINS", GENERAL HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY FROM 1609 TO 1876, INCLUSIVE, PAWLING, NY: 1877, accessed 3 March 2010

Bibliography

  • Brasser, T. J. (1978). "Mahican", in B. G. Trigger (Ed.), Northeast (pp. 198–212). Handbook of North American Indian languages (Vol. 15). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Cappel, Constance, "The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763", The History of a Native American People, Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007.
  • Conkey, Laura E.; Bolissevain, Ethel; & Goddard, Ives. (1978). "Indians of southern New England and Long Island: Late period", in B. G. Trigger (Ed.), Northeast (pp. 177–189). Handbook of North American Indian languages (Vol. 15). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Salwen, Bert. (1978). "Indians of southern New England and Long Island: Early period", in B. G. Trigger (Ed.), Northeast (pp. 160–176). Handbook of North American Indian languages (Vol. 15). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Simpson, J. A.; & Weiner, E. S. C. (1989). "Mohican", Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Online version).
  • Sturtevant, William C. (Ed.). (1978–present). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 1-20). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Trigger, Bruce G. (Ed.). (1978). Northeast, Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 15). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mahican — prop. n. Variant of {Mohican}. [Also spelled {Mohican}.] [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mahican — ☆ Mahican [mə hē′kən ] n. [self designation ] 1. pl. Mahicans or Mahican a member of a North American Indian people that lived chiefly in the upper Hudson Valley 2. the Algonquian language of this people adj. of the Mahicans or their language or… …   English World dictionary

  • Mahican —   [mə hiːkən], nordamerikanischer Indianerstamm, verwandt mit den Mohikanern …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mahican — Die Mahican siedelten im 17 Jahrhundert am Hudson und Mohawk River, zogen dann ostwärts nach Massachusetts und später nach Wisconsin im Westen. Die Mahican, auch Mohican geschrieben, waren Algonkin sprechende Indianer, die im oberen Hudsontal… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mahican — or Mohican noun (plural can or cans) Etymology: Mahican Date: circa 1614 1. a member of an American Indian people of the upper Hudson River valley 2. the extinct Algonquian language of the Mahican people …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Mahican — /meuh hee keuhn/, n., pl. Mahicans, (esp. collectively) Mahican. 1. a tribe or confederacy of Algonquian speaking North American Indians, centralized formerly in the upper Hudson valley. 2. a member of this tribe or confederacy. Also, Mohican.… …   Universalium

  • Mahican — n. tribe of North American Indians formerly located in the upper Hudson valley; member of this tribe; Algonquin language spoken by the Mahican (also Mohican) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Mahican — [ mahɪk(ə)n] (also Mohican) noun 1》 a member of an American Indian people formerly inhabiting the Upper Hudson Valley in New York State. Compare with Mohegan. 2》 the extinct Algonquian language of the Mahicans. adjective relating to the Mahicans …   English new terms dictionary

  • Mahican — Ma•hi•can [[t]məˈhi kən[/t]] n. pl. cans, (esp. collectively) can. 1) peo a member of an American Indian people who lived in the middle and upper Hudson River valley in the 17th century 2) peo the extinct Eastern Algonquian language of the… …   From formal English to slang

  • Mahican — Mohicans Les Mohicans, encore appelés Mahicans ou Mahikans constituaient une tribu d’indiens d’Amérique du Nord. Leur véritable nom est «Muhhehuneuw», ou «Peuple de la Grande Rivière». Le roman de James Fenimore Cooper Le Dernier des Mohicans… …   Wikipédia en Français


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