The Mohegan are a Native American tribe historically based in present-day Connecticut; the majority are associated with the Mohegan Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe living on a reservation in the eastern upper Thames River valley of south-central Connecticut.[1] It is one of two federally recognized tribes in the state, the other being the Mashantucket Pequot whose reservation is in Ledyard, Connecticut. There are also three state-recognized tribes: Schaghticoke, Paugusett, and Eastern Pequot.

At the time of European contact, the Mohegan and Pequot were a unified tribal entity living in the southeastern Connecticut region, but the Mohegan gradually became independent as the hegemonic Pequot lost control over their trading empire and tributary groups. The name Pequot was given to the Mohegan by other tribes throughout the northeast and was eventually adopted by themselves. In 1637, English Puritan colonists destroyed a principal fortified village at Mistick with the help of Uncas, Wequash, and the Narragansetts during the Pequot War. This ended with the death of Uncas' cousin Sassacus at the hands of the Mohawk, an Iroquois Confederacy nation from west of the Hudson River. Thereafter, the Mohegan became a separate tribal nation under the leadership of their sachem Uncas.[1][2] Uncas is a variant anglicized spelling of the Algonquian name Wonkus, which translates to "fox" in English. The word Mohegan (pronounced /ˈmoʊhiːɡæn/) translates in their respective Algonquin dialects (Mohegan-Pequot language) as "People of the Wolf".[3][4]

Over time, the Mohegan gradually lost ownership of much of their tribal lands. In 1978, Chief Rolling Cloud Hamilton petitioned for federal recognition of the Mohegan. Descendants of his Mohegan band operate independently of the federally recognized nation.

In 1994, a majority group of Mohegan gained federal recognition as the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut (MTIC).[5] They have been defined by the United States government as the "successor in interest to the aboriginal entity known as the Mohegan Indian Tribe."[6] The United States took land into trust the same year, under an act of Congress to serve as a reservation for the tribe.

Most of the Mohegan people in Connecticut today live on the Mohegan Reservation at 41°28′42″N 72°04′55″W / 41.47833°N 72.08194°W near Uncasville in the Town of Montville, New London County. The MTIC operate one of two Mohegan Sun Casinos on their reservation in Uncasville.

Lester Skeesuk
Lester Skeesuk, a Narraganset-Mohegan, in traditional dress
Mohegan Indian Tribe
Total population
Regions with significant populations
English, originally Mohegan-Pequot language
Related ethnic groups
Pequot people


The Mohegan Indian Tribe was historically based in central southern Connecticut, originally part of the Pequot people. It gradually became independent and served as allies of English colonists in the Pequot War of 1636, which broke the power of the formerly dominant Pequot tribe in the region. In reward, the Colonists gave Pequot captives to the Mohegan tribe.

The Mohegan homelands in Connecticut include landmarks such as Trading Cove on the Thames River, Cochegan Rock, Fort Shantok, and Mohegan Hill, where the Mohegan founded a Congregational church in the early 1800s. In 1931, the Tantaquidgeon family built the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum on Mohegan Hill to house tribal artifacts and histories. Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-2005) served for years as the Tribe's medicine woman and unofficial historian. She studied anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for a decade with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Returning to Connecticut, she operated this museum for six decades.[7] It was one of the first museums to be owned and operated by American Indians.[8]

In 1933, John E. Hamilton[9][10] (Chief Rolling Cloud) was appointed as a Grand Sachem by his mother Alice Storey through a traditional selection process based on heredity. She was a direct descendant of Uncas and of Tamaquashad, Sachem of the Pequot tribe. In Mohegan tradition, the position of tribal leadership was often hereditary through the maternal line.

Land Claims and Federal Recognition

In the 1960s, during a period of rising activism among Native Americans, John Hamilton filed a number of land claims authorized by the "Council of Descendants of Mohegan Indians." The group had some 300 members at the time. In 1970 the Montville band of Mohegans expressed its dissatisfaction with land-claims litigation. When the Hamilton supporters left the meeting, this band elected Courtland Fowler as their new leader. Notes of that Council meeting referred to Hamilton as Sachem.[11]

The group led by John Hamilton (although opposed by the Fowlers) worked with the attorney Jerome Griner in federal land claims through the 1970s. During this time, a Kent, Connecticut property owners' organization, with some Native and non-Native members, worked to oppose the Hamilton land claims and the recognition petition for federal recognition, out of fear that tribal nations would take private properties.

In 1978, in response to the desires of tribal nations across the country to gain federal recognition and recover tribal sovereignty, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) established a formal administrative process. The process included specific criteria that BIA officials would judge as evidence of cultural continuity. In that same year, Hamilton's band submitted a petition for federal recognition for the Mohegan tribe.

The petition process stalled when John Hamilton died in 1988. The petition for federal recognition was revived in 1989, but the BIA's preliminary finding was that the Mohegan had not satisfied the criteria of documenting continuity in social community, and political authority and influence as a tribe through the twentieth century.

In 1990, the Mohegan band led by Chief Courtland Fowler submitted a detailed response to meet the BIA's concerns. The tribe included compiled genealogies and other records, including records pertaining to the Mohegan Congregational Church in Montville. BIA researchers used records provided by the Hamilton band, records from the Mohegan Church, and records maintained by Gladys Tantaquidgeon, who had kept genealogy and vital statistics of tribal members for her anthropological research.[7][12]

In 1990, the Fowler group, identifying as the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut (MTIC), decided that the tribe's membership would be restricted to documented descendants from a single family group, ca. 1860. This criteria excludes some of the Hamilton followers. By law, a Federally recognized tribe has the authority to determine its own rules for membership. The MTIC unsuccessfully attempted to stop other Mohegan people from using "Mohegan" as their tribal identity, in public records and in craftwork.[13]

In its 1994 "Final Determination," the BIA cited the vital statistics and genealogies as documents that were decisive in demonstrating "that the tribe did indeed have social and political continuity during the middle of the 20th century."[14] As a result, the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut (MTIC) gained recognition as a sovereign tribal nation.

That same year, Congress passed the Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claim Settlement Act, which authorized the United States to take land into trust to establish a reservation for the Mohegan and settle their land claim. The final 1994 agreement between MTIC and the State in the settlement of land claims extinguished all pending land claims.[14] The MTIC adopted a written constitution. MTIC is governed by a chief, an elected chairman and an elected tribal council, all of whom serve for specific terms.

The Mohegan people associated with Sachem John Hamilton persist as an independent group today. In his will, Hamilton named his non-Mohegan wife, Eleanor Fortin as Sachem. She is now the leader of the "Hamilton group." Despite their contentious histories and disagreements, both groups continued to participate in tribal activities and to identify as members of the Mohegan people. The Hamilton band of Mohegans continues to function and govern themselves independently of the MTIC, holding periodic gatherings and activities in their traditional territory of south central Connecticut.

Extinction and Revival of Language

The last living native speaker of the Mohegan language, Fidelia "Flying Bird" A. Hoscott Fielding, died in 1908. The Mohegan language was recorded primarily in her diaries, and in articles and a Smithsonian Institution report made by the early anthropologist, Frank Speck.[15][16] Her niece, Gladys Tantaquidgeon, worked to preserve the language.[7] Since 2012, the Mohegan Tribe has established a project to revive its language and establish new generations of native speakers.


The Mohegan people have always had extensive knowledge of local flora and fauna, of hunting and fishing technologies, of seasonal adaptations, and of herbal medicine, as practices passed down through the generations. Gladys Tantaquidgeon was instrumental in recording herbal medicinal knowledge and folklore, and in comparing these plants and practices to those of other Algonquian peoples like the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) and Wampanoag,

For example, an infusion of bark removed from the south side of the silver maple tree is used by the Mohegan for cough medicine.[17] The Mohegan also use the inner bark of the sugar maple as a cough remedy, and the sap as a sweetening agent and to make maple syrup.[18]

Confusion among tribal names

Although similar in name, the Mohegan are a different tribe from the Mahican (also called the Stockbridge Mohican), who share similar Algonkian culture and constitute another branch in the Algonquian language family. The Mahican were historically based along the upper Hudson River in present-day eastern New York and along the upper Housatonic River in western Massachusetts. In the United States, both tribes have been referred to in various historic documents by the spelling "Mohican", based on mistakes in translation and location.[19] But, the Dutch colonist Adriaen Block, one of the first Europeans to record the names of both tribes, clearly distinguished between the "Morhicans" (now the Mohegans) and the "Mahicans, Mahikanders, Mohicans, [or] Maikens".[19][20]

In 1735, Housatonic Mahican leaders negotiated with Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher to found the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, just to the west of the Berkshire Mountains, as a mission village. After the American Revolution, these Mahican people, along with New York Mahicans, relocated to central New York to live among the native Oneida People. In time the settlement became known as Stockbridge, New York. During the 1820s the majority of these people removed further west, eventually settling in Wisconsin, where today they constitute the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. These removals inspired the myth of the "Last of the Mohicans."

Most of the descendants of the Mohegan tribe, by contrast, have continued to live in New England, and particularly in Connecticut, since the colonial era.

Notable Mohegans

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mohican, Mahican and Mohegan". 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18. Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from EB-Mohegan the original Check |url= value (help) on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  2. ^ William C. Sturtevant, ed. (1978). Handbook of North American Indians. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 9780160045752.
  3. ^ The Mohegan Tribe: Heritage - Our Traditions and Symbols
  4. ^ Jaap Van Marle, ed. (1993). Historical linguistics 1991 : papers from the 10th international conference on historical linguistics, Amsterdam, 12-16 August 1991. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. ISBN 9789027236098.
  5. ^ "Mohegan Event Timeline, 1933 to present", Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, official website
  6. ^ "25 USC § 1775 - Findings and purposes", Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claim Settlement Act (1994), Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School, accessed 12 January 2013
  7. ^ a b c "Running Against Time - Medicine Woman Preserves Mohegan Culture". School of Anthropology; Alumni Newsletter. University of Pennsylvania. Summer 2001.
  8. ^ "The Mohegan Tribe Celebrates Re-Opening of Tantaquidgeon Museum". Press Room. The Mohegan Tribe. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Passings: John E. Hamilton; Indian Activist". Los Angeles Times. 12 May 1988. Retrieved 28 February 2013. John E. Hamilton; Indian Activist
  10. ^ Oberg, Michael Leroy (2003). Uncas : first of the Mohegans. Ithaca (N.Y.): Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801438776.
  11. ^ "Contemporary History of Mohegan, 1933-2002", Native American Mohegans
  12. ^ Associated Press, "Gladys Tantaquidgeon, Mohegans' Medicine Woman, Is Dead at 106", New York Times, 2 November 2005
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ a b "Final Determination that the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut Does Exist as an Indian Tribe", Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 50, 15 March 1994, accessed 18 March 2013
  15. ^ Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology
  16. ^ Mithun, Marianne (1979). Lyle Campbell, ed. The languages of native America : historical and comparative assessment. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292746244.
  17. ^ Tantaquidgeon, Gladys 1928 Mohegan Medicinal Practices, Weather-Lore and Superstitions. SI-BAE Annual Report #43: 264-270 (p. 269)
  18. ^ Tantaquidgeon, Gladys 1972 Folk Medicine of the Delaware and Related Algonkian Indians. Harrisburg. Pennsylvania Historical Commission Anthropological Papers #3 (p. 69, 128)
  19. ^ a b William C. Sturtevant (General Editor), Bruce G. Trigger (Volume Editor). Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15, Northeast. Smithsonian Institution, Washington (1978).
  20. ^ Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian languages : the historical linguistics of native America ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0195094275.
  21. ^ Melissa Jane Fawcett. Medicine Trail: The Life and Lessons of Gladys Tantaquidgeon. University of Arizona Press (2000),

External links

Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun are a professional women's basketball team based in Uncasville, Connecticut that competes in the Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Along with the Minnesota Lynx, the club was established in 1999 as part of the league's expansion from ten to twelve teams. The Miracle, the club's previous moniker, originated that year in Orlando, Florida, as the sister team to the NBA's Orlando Magic. Financial straits left the Miracle teetering on the brink of disbanding before the Mohegan Indian tribe purchased and relocated the team to Mohegan Sun, becoming the first Native American tribe to own a professional sports franchise. The derivative of the club's name comes from its affiliation with Mohegan Sun, while the team's logo is reflective of a modern interpretation of an ancient Mohegan symbol.

Capitalizing on the popularity of women's basketball in the state, as a result of the success of the UConn Huskies, the Sun also held the distinction of being the only WNBA franchise not to share its market with an NBA team from 2003 until the Seattle SuperSonics relocated, leaving the Storm as an independent team in Seattle.The Sun has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in eight of its fourteen years in Connecticut.

Fidelia Fielding

Fidelia Ann Hoscott Smith Fielding (1827–1908), also known as Dji'ts Bud dnaca ("Flying Bird"), was the daughter of Bartholomew Valentine Smith (c. 1811–1843) and Sarah A. Wyyougs (1804–1868), and granddaughter of Martha Shantup Uncas (1761–1859).She married Mohegan mariner William H. Fielding (1811–1843), and they lived in one of the last "tribe houses," a reservation-era log cabin dwelling. She was known to be an independent-minded woman who was well-versed in tribal traditions, and who continued to speak the traditional Mohegan Pequot language during her elder years.

Manchester Wolves

The Manchester Wolves were a professional arena football team, based at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, which folded at the end of the 2009 season along with the rest of the league. They played in the East Division of the American Conference of the AF2 league, which was the minor league of the Arena Football League.

Mohegan, West Virginia

Mohegan (also Monegan) is an unincorporated community on the Tug Fork River in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. It sits at an altitude of 1,230 feet (375 m).

The community was named after the Mahican Indians.

Mohegan-Pequot language

Mohegan-Pequot (also known as Mohegan-Pequot-Montauk, Secatogue, and Shinnecock-Poosepatuck; dialects in New England included Mohegan, Pequot, and Niantic; and on Long Island, Montauk and Shinnecock) is an extinct Algonquian language formerly spoken by indigenous peoples in southern present-day New England and eastern Long Island.

Mohegan Lake, New York

Mohegan Lake, or, rarely, Lake Mohegan, is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the Town of Cortlandt and partially in the Town of Yorktown, both in Westchester County, New York. Mohegan Lake was named "Lake Mohegan" in 1859 by William Jones, who owned the Mount Pleasant Hotel on the East side of the lake. The change dates back to the early 1970s before which residents commonly referred to it as "Lake Mohegan", the name still used by the United States Census Bureau for the CDP. The population in the 2010 Census was 6,010. There is a private lake, Mohegan Lake with beaches which are occasionally closed for swimming due to harmful algal blooms.The town was home to several former summer bungalow colonies in the 1950s and 1960s. They included the Skyview Colony and Lakeview Colony off of U.S. Route 6.

Mohegan State Forest

Mohegan State Forest is a Connecticut state forest located in the towns of Scotland and Sprague. The forest is available for hiking, hunting, and letterboxing.

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun is an American casino, with 364,000 square feet (33,800 square meters) of gambling space. Operated by the Mohegan Tribe, it is located on 240 acres (97 ha) of reservation land along the banks of the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut. It is in the foothills of southeastern Connecticut, where 60 percent of the state's tourism is concentrated. It features the 12,000-seat capacity Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League and the Women's National Basketball Association's Connecticut Sun. It houses a 350-seat Cabaret Theatre, the 300-seat Wolf Den, and 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of meeting and function room space, including the Northeast’s largest ballroom and 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2) of retail shopping. It is also where the studio of WMOS is located.

The casino contains slot machines, gaming tables including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, Caribbean stud poker, keno and baccarat. The race book offers live horse or greyhound racing from around the U.S. as well as from Australia and England. It also offers wagering on jai-alai from Florida.

The economic recession that began in 2007 took a heavy toll of receipts, and by 2012 both the Mohegan Sun and nearby competitor Foxwoods Resort Casino were deeply in debt.

Mohegan Sun Arena

The Mohegan Sun Arena is a 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena in Uncasville, Connecticut located inside Mohegan Sun. The arena facility features 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of configurable exhibition space and a 400-foot (120 m) clear span. It was built by the Perini Building Company, and opened in October 2001.

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza (originally Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center, formerly First Union Arena at Casey Plaza and Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza) is an 8,050-seat multi-purpose arena located in Wilkes-Barre Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, just south of the city of Wilkes-Barre, managed by SMG.

Mohegan Sun Pocono

Mohegan Sun Pocono (formerly Pocono Downs and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs) is a racino located in Plains Township on the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The casino features over 2,300 slots, and live tables for blackjack, roulette and poker. A ⅝-mile (1-kilometer) harness track is also a major attraction.

Mohegan Tribe

The Mohegan Tribe is a federally recognized tribe and sovereign tribal nation of Mohegan people (pronounced ). Their reservation is the Mohegan Indian Reservation, located on the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Mohegan's independence as a sovereign nation has been documented by treaties and laws for over 350 years, such as the Treaty of Hartford secured by their Sachem (Chief) Uncas after his cooperation and victory with the English in the Pequot War (1637-1638). Although the Treaty of Hartford established English recognition of the tribe's sovereignty in 1638, after the colonial period and loss of lands, the tribe struggled to maintain recognition of its identity. For centuries its people were assumed by whites to have assimilated to majority culture.

The tribe reorganized in the late 20th century and filed a federal land claims suit, seeking to regain land that the state of Connecticut had illegally sold. As part of the settlement, the Mohegan Nation gained federal recognition by the United States government in 1994. That year the US Congress passed the Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claim Settlement Act. The US authorized the cleaned-up United Nuclear site for use as Mohegan reservation lands, and the property was transferred to the United States in trust for the tribe.Gaining a sovereign reservation enabled the Mohegan to establish gaming operations on their lands to generate revenue for welfare and economic development of their tribe. They opened the Mohegan Sun casino on October 12, 1996, near the former Fort Shantok site above the Thames River.

Montville, Connecticut

Montville is a town in New London County, Connecticut in the United States. The population was 19,571 at the 2010 census.The villages of Chesterfield, Mohegan, Oakdale, and Uncasville are located within the town; the latter two have their own ZIP Codes. Town residents often identify with these villages more than the Town of Montville as a whole, and the Mohegan Sun casino resort is nearby.

New England Black Wolves

The New England Black Wolves are a professional box lacrosse team based in Uncasville, Connecticut. They are members of the National Lacrosse League and began play in the winter of 2014–2015 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. The team is partially owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, and partially owned by Brad Brewster.

The Black Wolves relocated from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they were known as the Philadelphia Wings from 1986 to 2014.

North American Poker Tour season 1

Below are the results for season 1 of the North American Poker Tour (NAPT).

SS Mohegan

The SS Mohegan was a steamer which sank off the coast of the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, on her second voyage. She hit The Manacles on 14 October 1898 with the loss of 106 out of 197 on board.

Scouting in Massachusetts

Scouting in Massachusetts includes both Girl Scout and Boy Scout organizations. Both were founded in the 1910s in Massachusetts. With a vigorous history, both organizations actively serve thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Uncasville, Connecticut

Uncasville is an area in the town of Montville, Connecticut, United States. It is a village in southeastern Montville, at the mouth of the Oxoboxo River. The name is now applied more generally to all of the east end of Montville, which is the area served by the Uncasville ZIP Code.

In 1994 the federal government officially recognized the Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut, which had historically occupied this area. That year Congress passed the Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claim Settlement Act. It authorized the United States to take land into trust in northeastern Montville for the Mohegan tribe's use as a reservation. Since gaining a reservation, in 1996 the tribe developed the Mohegan Sun casino resort. It has also built the Mohegan Sun Arena on their land. The Mohegan are one of the Native American peoples of the Algonquian languages family.


WMOS (102.3 FM, "102.3 The Wolf") is a classic rock radio station that targets the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastlines from New London, Connecticut to South Kingstown, Rhode Island (according to Radio-Locator) and it is licensed to Stonington, Connecticut. It broadcasts at 102.3 MHz with 3 kilowatts ERP from a tower located in Westerly, Rhode Island. The station is owned and operated by Cumulus Media and is "powered by Mohegan Sun," the casino in Uncasville. The Mohegan Sun casino also hosts the station's studios.

On March 17, 2008, WMOS changed its frequency from 104.7 FM to 102.3 FM, swapping frequencies with sister station WXLM).

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