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Time of the Mohicans (US History - Period B)
Transcript of Time of the Mohicans (US History - Period B)
Historians report that the original Mohican group came from the north and west across the water to eventually settle around the Hudson River. They came from a place where the waters were never still, in search of a place where the waters are never still. Their journey led them to the Hudson River. The Mohicans of the Hudson River (Also known as the Muh-he-kun-ne-tuck), were first encountered by Henry Hudson in 1609.
Hudson discovered that the river's surrounding area was plentiful in furs prized by the Dutch and set up trading posts a few years later.
Soon the fur resources became depleted, causing the Mohicans and Mohawk tribes to develop tension against each other, as well as the Europeans. These conflicts forced the Mohicans from their precious river to the territory that is modern-day Connecticut and Massachusetts. About 100 years after Hudson's arrival, the Mohicans developed a new settlement in Massachusetts called Stockbridge. These Mohican people came to be known as the Stockbridge Mohicans. Trials and Tribulations Tribe Relations The Mohicans traded regularly with all the other New England Indians, particularly the Wampanoag and Delaware Indians. Occasionally, tension would build and fighting would break out between the Mohawks and other Iroquois Indians.
Today, the closest ally of the Mohicans is the Munsee tribe, with whom the Stockbridge Mohicans share a reservation in Wisconsin. How did the Mohicans interact with their Environment? The Mohicans were known as Woodland Indians. They didn't live in teepees like the Great Plains Indians, but instead they lived in sturdier structures called longhouses and wigwams.
The Mohicans' lives were rooted in the woodlands in which they lived. This was covered with red spruce, elm, pine, oak, birch and maple trees. Black bear, deer, moose, beaver, otter, bobcat, mink and other animals thrived in the woods, as well as wild turkeys and pheasants. The wildlife and game was so plentiful that the Mohicans would hunt it with relish! The rivers were filled with herring, shad, trout and other fish. Oyster beds were found beneath the river's overhanging banks for some distance up the Mahicannituck. Berries, cherries and nuts were abundant. It was a rich life.
During the cold winter months, utensils and containers were carved, hunting, trapping and fishing gear were repaired, baskets and pottery were created, and clothing was fashioned and decorated with colorfully dyed porcupine quills and shells. Winter also served as time for teaching the children about responsibility and the gifts given to them by the Creator.
During the warmer months, the people set up camp in the Sugar Bush, a forest area known for maple syrup. They would tap the trees, gathering the sap and boiling it to make maple syrup and sugar. The ceremony was to welcome spring. There were many events during the year of great importance, such as the planting of the first seeds and harvest time. In the beginning nothing existed, only darkness was everywhere. Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colors appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colors. He also created three other gods: a little girl, a Sun-God and a small boy.
Then he created celestial phenomena, the winds, the tarantula, and the earth from the sweat of the four gods mixed together in the Creator's palms, from a small round, brown ball, not much larger than a bean. The world was expanded to its current size by the gods kicking the small brown ball until it expanded. Creator told Wind to go inside the ball and to blow it up.
The tarantula, the trickster character, spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to immeasurable size--it became the earth! No hills, mountains, or rivers were visible; only smooth, treeless, brown plains appeared. Then the Creator created the rest of the beings and features of the Earth.
. How did the Mohicans Believe the World came to Be? The Daily Life of a Mohican Mohican men were hunters and sometimes went to war to protect their families. When the men were going to battle they would shave their heads on both sides leaving only a strip of hair down the middle. They believed if the hair was sticking up toward the sky, it was closest to their creator. The Mohican cut is very similar to that of a "Mohawk" hairstyle.
Mohican women were farmers (also harvested crops such as squash, beans, and sunflower seeds) and also did most of the child care and cooking (Mohican recipes included corn bread, trail mix, and soup). Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. In the past, Mohican chiefs were always men, but today a Mohican Indian woman can be a politician too. The children usually engaged in helping out around the house and played games during their free time.
Mohican Indians all speak English today. In the past they spoke their own Mohican language, but the last Stockbridge Indian who could speak this language died in 1933. Although, the community continues to use Mohican for cultural and religious purposes, the same way Italians may use Latin words today. The European Effect The introduction of European culture contributed largely to the demise of the Mohican Indians. Within the first century of first contact, approximately 90 percent of the population was killed off due to disease. The natives had no immunization against European diseases such as smallpox, measles and chickenpox. The cultural traditions of the Mohicans began to fade as commerce and efforts of Catholic missionaries began to replace the Mohican economy and spirituality. Mohican Clothing Mohican women wore skirts with leggings. Mohican men wore breechcloths(a long rectangular piece of tanned deerskin, cloth, or animal fur. It is worn between the legs and tucked over a belt, so that the flaps fall down in front and behind) and leggings.
Shirts were not necessary in the Mohican culture, but the Mohicans did wear sleeved shirts in cool weather. Mohican people also wore moccasins on their feet. Mohican Corn Bread: mix flour and about 1 tablespoon of salt and cooked beans and some water until you form a stiff dough, kneading it with your hands. Form into flattened cakes about 6 inches in diameter, and about 2 inches thick. Boil in the water in a covered kettle until they rise (about 1 hour). Lift out of the kettle, slice and serve with butter.The corn bread is good the next day as well. Fry in a pan and serve hot. Famous Mohican Foods Slabs of deer meat and potatoes Roasted potatoes and summer squash "Around the Campfire" Honoring the Dead The Mohicans did not utilize death scaffolds. They buried their dead on sacred ground, just like other people of the region. The tribesmen wore elaborate headdresses and spoke incantations over their dead, burned tobacco in a fire like incense, and threw a handful of dirt over the grave. They believed we all came from Mother Earth and that is where we shall return. Their dead were laid out in a fetal position as if being welcomed by their mother's arms again.
It was very important that their dead found peace in the spirit world. Memorable People of the Mohican Tribe Chief Etow Oh Koam -
One of the four chiefs from different nations that visited England in 1710 to petition Queen Anne for military assistance against the maundering French . He was the ONLY known Mohican Chief to have his portrait done during the 18th century. John Wannuacon Quinney -
A Mohican diplomat who fought for native rights and integration.
"May the Great Spirit allow me to die in hope." Present Day Mohican Nation Today the Mohicans enjoy a life steeped with rich cultural traditions. Their stories are still handed down by word of mouth.
They currently have about 1,500 members living on, or near, their reservation west of Green Bay (Shawano County, WI). Today's descendants share this piece of land called the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation with the Munsee Indians.
The Mohicans are still fighting to get back their land that was stolen from the them during the post-American Revolutionary war years.
The Mohicans are a resourceful tribe who now own the successful North Star Mohican Resort and Casino to generate revenue for welfare and economic development. These developments did not come easy to them or without a heavy price. Works Sited
Gardiner, Bob. "David Yarrow: Return of the Mohicans." David Yarrow: Return of the Mohicans. Albany Times-Union, 20 July 1996. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.dyarrow.org/indigenous/mohicans.htm>.
"Mohican - Creation Story." Mohican - Creation Story. Creative Commons Attributions, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <http://mohican.wikispaces.com/Creation Story>.
"Mohican History Summary." The Konkapot Lodge. Native Web Solutions, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://konkapot.com/about-us/mohican-history.html>.
"MOHICANS 101." MOHICANS 101. Mohican Press, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo11006.html>.
"Mohicans, the Lost Tribe Presented in History Section." Mohicans, the Lost Tribe Presented in History Section. Newsfinder, 21 Feb. 2003. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.newsfinder.org/site/more/mohicans_the_lost_tribe/>.
Myers, Lisa. "About the Mohican Indians." EHow. Demand Media, 28 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/about_4570919_the-mohican-indians.html>.
"Orgin and Early Mohican History." Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Ed. Ruth Gudinas. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.mohican-nsn.gov/index.htm>.
Redish, Laura, and Orrin Lewis. "Mohican Indian Fact Sheet." Facts for Kids: Mohican Indians (Mohicans, Wappingers, and Stockbridge Indians). Native Languages of the Americas, 1998. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.bigorrin.org/mohican_kids.htm>.