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Native Languages of the Americas:
Mohican (Mahican, Stockbridge, Wappinger)

Language: The two Algonkian languages Mahican and Mohegan are related and have similar-sounding names, but they are linguistically distinct from each other, like Spanish and Italian. A third language, Narragansett, may have been distinct or may have been a dialect of Mohegan or Massachusett. The language spoken by the Wappinger tribe is considered a Mohican dialect by many linguists, but it may have been more closely related to Lenape. Unfortunately the point is moot, for none of these languages has been spoken since the early 20th century.



People: The general term "Mohican" has been used to refer not only to the Mahicans and their kin the Wappingers, but also to six or seven other Indian tribes lumped together as Mohegans by early colonists. The confusion between these eastern tribes was worsened by James Fenimore Cooper's book "Last of the Mohicans," which incorrectly merged the Mahicans and Mohegans into a single, extinct Mohican tribe. In reality the Mahicans and Mohegans have never been the same tribe, and neither group is extinct. (Cooper may have been thinking of the Wappingers, who really had been destroyed as a distinct people by the time he wrote his book--the survivors were mostly absorbed into the Mahican tribe, where their descendents remain today.) The similarity between their names is due to coincidence and European mispronunciation--"Mahican" comes from the word Muheconneok, "from the waters that are never still" (the Hudson River), and "Mohegan" comes from the word Mahiingan, "wolf." Today there are about 3000 Mahican Indians in Wisconsin, where they were forced to emigrate, and many Mahican descendents scattered throughout New England.

History: The Mahicans, or Mohicans, were original natives of what is now New York state, along the banks of the Hudson River. Like most Indian tribes of New England, the Mohicans were devastated by warfare and European diseases during the early colonial period, then forced to leave their homelands by Dutch and British expansion. Some Mohicans sought refuge with neighboring tribes, including the Lenape and the Iroquois, but most resettled in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they came to be known as the Stockbridge Indian tribe. Soon the Stockbridge Mohicans were deported once again to Wisconsin, where they joined the Munsee Indians on a jointly held reservation. The Munsee and Mohican tribes remain together there to this day.



Mohican Language Resources
Mohican language samples, articles, and indexed links.

Mohican Culture and History Directory
Information and links about the Mohican tribe.

Pocomtuc Culture and History Directory
Information and links about the Pocumtuc tribe.

Wappinger Culture and History Directory
Information and links about the Wappinger tribe.

Mohican Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Mohican Indians.

Pocumtuck Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Pocomtuck Indians.

Wappinger Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Wappinger Indians.

Mohican Legends
Introduction to Mohican Indian mythology.



Mohican Language Resources

Our Online Mohican Language Materials

Mohican Vocabulary:
    List of Stockbridge Mohican vocabulary words.
Mohican Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Mohican words.
Mohican vs. Mohegan:
    Comparison of vocabulary in the Mohegan and Mohican languages.
Mohican Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Mohican language.
Mohican Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Mohican language.
Mohican Possession:
    Lesson on the use of Mohican possessive prefixes.

Mohican Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Materials

Schmick's Mahican Dictionary * Vocabulary of Stockbridge Mahican * Observations on the Mahican Language:
    Mohican dictionaries and grammar texts for sale online.
Native American Dictionaries:
    Mohican and other American Indian dictionaries and lesson books for sale.

Mohican Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Mahican Words:
    Mohican-English glossary.
Mohican-7:
    Messageboard for Mohican Indians today to learn and practice their language.

Mohican Language Maintenance and Usage

Day Touches Stockbridge Indians:
    Mohican and Ojibwe language loss.
Technology Builds Mohican Tribal Relationship:
    Articles about online Mohican preservation.
William Dick, Last of the Mohicans:
    Obituaries for William Dick (Makwa Monpuy), the last fluent speaker of Mahican.
Ethnologue: Mahican * Ethnologue: Stockbridge:
    Demographic information about the Mohican and Mohegan languages.
Mahican Language Tree:
    Theories about Mohican's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Mahican Language Structures:
    Mohican linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Additional Resources, Links, and References

   La Lengua Mahican:
   Article on the Mohican language in Spanish. With a language map.
   Mohican:
   Mahican language links.
  Mohican Tribe:
  Mohican Indian books.



Learn more about the Mohican Indian tribe
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