Native American Languages
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Native Languages of the Americas:
Mohegan (Pequot, Montauk, Niantic, Metoac)
Language: The two Algonkian languages
Mohegan and Mahican are related
and have similar names, but are linguistically distinct. The Mohegan language was once spoken by several related
tribes of New England, including the Pequots, Montauks, and Niantics. A third language,
Narragansett, was spoken by two other tribes,
the Narragansetts and the Nipmucs; this language may have been distinct or may
have been a dialect of
Mohegan or Massachusett. None of these languages
is still spoken natively today, but the Mohegan and Pequot tribes are working actively to revive their shared language.
People: The name "Mohegan" probably originally referred to a particular Pequot clan, which later became their own tribe
after breaking away from the Pequot Nation. Today, however, it is used as a broad rubric referring to many originally distinct
eastern tribes: the Pequot, the Montauk (Metoac), the Narragansett, the Shinnecock, the Niantic, and the Nipmuc, among others.
This would all be confusing enough without James Fenimore Cooper's book "Last of the Mohicans," which incorrectly
merges the Mahicans and Mohegans into a single, extinct
tribe. In fact neither group is extinct, and though they are kinfolk, the similarity between their names is due to coincidence
and European mispronunciation--"Mahican" comes from the word Muheconneok, meaning "people of the Hudson River,"
and "Mohegan" comes from the word Mahiingan, "wolf." Today there are about 5000 Mohegan Indians in southern
New England, counting the Pequots, Montauks, and Narragansetts together, and another 3000 Mahicans.
History: The Pequot, Montaukett, Narragansett, Niantic, Nipmuc, Shinnecock, and other tribes referred to indiscriminately
as "Mohegan" in history texts were originally distinct tribes, each with several autonomous bands. However, due to heavy
population losses and aggressive colonial expansion, the Indian tribes of New England were scattered, merged, and
assimilated to such a degree that they lost their languages and much of their individual tribal characters. Though the
Mohegan tribes for the most part quietly assimilated into New England society, they never gave up their Indian identity,
and have retained several small reservations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island. In recent years the Connecticut
Pequot and Mohegan tribes have become some of the wealthiest Native American bands due to successful management of tribal
Mohegan Language Resources
Mohegan language samples, articles, and indexed links.
Mohegan Culture and History Directory
Information and links about the Mohegan tribe.
Mohegan Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Mohegan Indians, their language and culture.
Introduction to Mohegan and Pequot Indian mythology.
Related Culture and History Directories:
Pequot Tribe, Montauk Tribe, Niantic Tribe, and Shinnecock Tribe
Information and links about other Mohegan-speaking Algonquian tribes.
Related Facts For Kids:
Pequot Indians, Montauk Indians, Niantic Indians, and Shinnecock Indians
Our answers to frequently asked questions about other Algonquian tribes known as Mohegans.
Our Online Mohegan Language Materials
List of vocabulary words in the Mohegan/Pequot language, with comparison to words in other Algonquian languages.
Mohican vs. Mohegan:
Comparison of vocabulary words in the Mohegan and Mohican languages.
Mohegan Pronunciation Guide:
How to pronounce Mohegan words.
Mohegan Animal Words:
Picture dictionary of Mohegan-Pequot animal words.
Worksheet showing color words in Mohegan.
Mohegan Body Parts:
Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Mohegan.
Worksheet showing how to count in Mohegan.
Mohegan Animate Nouns:
Lesson on Mohegan animate and inanimate nouns.
Lesson on the use of Mohegan possessive prefixes.
Mohegan Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
A Vocabulary of Mohegan-Pequod:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
Mohegan glossary for sale.
Native American Language Dictionaries:
Mohegan and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials.
Mohegan Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions
A Modern Mohegan Dictionary:
Dictionary of the Mohegan language, reconstructed from the notes of the last fluent speaker.
Mohegan Language Preservation and Usage
Dreaming a Language Back to Life Mohegans Revive Heritage Through Language:
Tribe to Revive Nearly Lost Language Mashantucket Pequots Seek to Reclaim Language Shinnecock Language Tool:
Articles about Mohegan, Shinnecock and Pequot language revival in Connecticut and New York.
Shinnecock Indian Names:
This article has not only ethnological information about the Shinnecocks, but a list of place names and some basic vocabulary.
Demographic information about Mohegan from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Mohegan-Montauk-Narragansett Language Tree Mohegan-Pequot Language Tree:
Theories about Mohegan's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Additional Resources, Links, and References
Mashantucket Pequot Research Library:
Bibliography of Mohegan-Pequot language materials from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum.
La Lengua Mohegan:
Article on the Mohegan language in Spanish. With a language map.
Mohican and Mohegan links.
Mohegan Indian books.
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 Contacts and FAQ page
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