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Legendary Native American Figures: Moshup (Maushop)

Name: Moshup
Tribal affiliation: Wampanoag, Mohegan, Pequot
Alternate spellings: Maushop, Moshop, Maushup, Mausop, Maushope, Maushump, Moiship, Manshop
Pronunciation: moh-shup or maw-shup, depending on dialect.
Type: Culture hero, Transformer, giant, whale
Related figures in other tribes: Wetucks (Narragansett), Gluskabe (Abenaki)

Moshup is a giant who is the culture hero of the Mohegan and Wampanoag tribes (sometimes referred to as a "transformer" by folklorists.) Moshup is strongly associated with whales; in most tribal traditions he would catch whales to feed the people, and in some stories, Moshup and/or his children eventually transform into whales themselves. Moshup has a wife named Squannit, who is a powerful medicine woman of the Little People.

Moshup Stories

*Maushop and the Circle of Life:
    Wampanoag legend about the culture hero Maushop, and how he left the people to teach them self-reliance.
*Moshup the Giant:
    Mohegan legend about the transformer giant Moshup creating landmarks.
    Wampanoag legends about the giant protector Moshup, including his final warnings about the Europeans.
*How Maushop Created the Most Expensive Real Estate in New England:
    Article summarizing several Wampanoag and Mohegan legends about the giant Maushop.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Spirit of the New England Tribes:
    Collection of Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Mohegan legends and traditional stories, including several about Moshup.
The Good Giants and the Bad Pukwudgies:
    Children's picture book based on Wampanoag legends about Maushop's battles with the pukwudgies.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 First of the Mohegans
 Pequot legends
 Mohegan language
 Mohegan words
 Wampanoag words
 Connecticut Native Americans
 Eastern Woodland languages
 Algonquian languages

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Learn more about the Wampanoag Indians.
Learn more about the Mohegan Indians.

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