Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Quinnipiac Tribal Place Names Massachusetts - Mohican's

Massachusetts - Mohican's

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Massachusetts means “by the range of hills

The Indian tribes that originated in Massachusetts were the Wampanoag, Mohegan, and Mohican.  The Wampanoags inhabited most of eastern Massachusetts and the islands.  The Mohegan inhabited the middle and the Mohicans inhabited all of western Massachusetts.


The Mohicans and the Mohegans were two different tribes, but because of the language barrier early settlers perceived them as being the same.  The Mohicans originated in the Hudson Valley.  They were not a single tribe but rather a confederacy.  After contact with the European settlers  they were forced to divide into; Mohican proper, Westenhuck, Wawayachtonoc, Mechkentowoon, and Wiekagjoc.  Over following one hundred years the confederacy were forced west into eastern New York and Western Massachusetts due to tensions between the tribes and the Iroquois Indians and Dutch and English Settlers. The Mohicans today live is parts of Massachusetts and New York but most were forced west during European settlement and are now located primarily in Wisconsin.  The actual pronunciation of Mohican is “Muh-he-con-neok” which means “people of the waters that are never still” most likely because their original habitation was located on the Hudson River.


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