Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Art & History Feature - Mahicans

Recently, I had a chance to catch one of my favorite movies on TV - The Last of the Mahicans. And while the movie took a lot of creative license with some of the historical facts (and as much as I love the movie, I do have to point out that it differs in a number of ways from the book by James Fenimore Cooper), it is beautifully done.

And that's what inspired today's Art & History Feature, along with my long-time fascination with the Native American culture.

The Mahicans

This Native American tribe, also knows as the Eastern Algonquian tribe, resided mostly in and around the Hudson River Valley and western New England, although in time, they have relocated to Massachusetts and later on, to Shawano County in Wisconsin

The tribe's name, Muh-he-con-neok, translates literally as the "people of the water that are never still."

Etow_oh_koam_th - One of the 4 "kings"
However, it is important to note that the Mahicans was not a single tribe but a confederacy that consisted of five parts - Mohican proper, Westenhuck, Wawayachtonoc, Mechkentowoon, and Wiekagjoc. The history of these people is intertwined forever with the Iroquois Mohawk Indians, with whom they warring much of the time. During the French and Indian War, as well as the American Revolution, the Mohawks fought on the side of the British, one the Iroquois fought on the side of the French.

In the 18th century, many of the Mohawks converted to Christianity through the missionaries that worked among them.

In the 1800th, many of them moved to Shawano County in Wisconsin, where the Government promised them land. There, they came together with the Lenape Indians and formed a federally recognized band called the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Unfortunately, the original Mahican language was lost.

Today, they live on a 22,000-acre reservation, where they own a resort and a casino. The reservation is called the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians.

The Last of the Mahicans by James Fenimore Cooper - a classic

The Last of the Mohicans movie


  1. This is fascinating, thank you. It's been so long since I saw the movie that it never occurred to me to look into the history behind it. Now I'm intrigued!

    1. I love learning about Native American history. The movie was great, I'd love to go to the places where it was shot. So beautiful!

  2. I needed a history fix today. Thanks for putting all of this information together! :)

    1. No problem :) One day I'll do a more thorough post on the topic.


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