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CHINGACHGOOK: Welcome him. Let him take his place at the council fire.  For he is Uncas, my son.  Tell him to be patient, and ask death for speed.  For they are all there but one: I, Chingachgook, last of the Mohicans.


NARRATOR: Who are the real Mohegans? Who is the real Uncas? The historic Uncas is in fact the first of the Mohegans.


Tribal Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon learned the story of her ancestors from the elders of her youth.


GLADYS TANTAQUIDGEON: I must confess I never read Cooper's Last of the Mohegans. It's historical fiction of course. But the Mohican that Cooper wrote about were the northern division of the Lenilanape (SP) or  Delaware Nation. Their homeland was northern New York. And some of that Mohegan group wandered down into this area that's now CT

REDMOON: You have to remember, we came this way for survival, for seafood, clams, oysters, abundance of food we have here. So on the way down we fought with other tribes. By the time we got in this area we was one of the most powerful, vicious tribes around.


G. TANTAQUIDGEON: And there's one story that was told to us that when they arrived in what's now Connecticut, they must have disrupted some of the groups that were in the area because they called them invaders Ė Pequotaug, and that's where you get the name Pequot.  

MELISSA TANTAQUIDGEON: Uncas claimed the name ďMoheganĒ when he separated from the Pequot because thatís the original name of our group, an ancient clan name of the Delaware meaning ďWolf peopleĒ.  


This collar represents the only artifact of wampum that has stayed n the hands of Indian people in all of New England.


The symbols on the collar are very important.  The two white triangles signify the split between the Mohegan and the Pequot people. The purple in between the two triangles signifies the trouble and the division between them.


NARRATOR: Uncas was born in 1598, just before the arrival of the European colonists. As a boy, he learned tribal stories of fierce change


FAITH DAVISON: My great, great grandmother, Mary Tracy Fielding Storey, told this tale that her great, great grandmother told her to her. When the English came in their ships the Indians saw those vessels and they thought that they were ani mals with great white wings and that they spoke with thunder, ominous rumble, and that they breathed smoke and fire. And one of the prophets said, this is the animal that will come and eat all the Indians up. Weíre here. They didnít do it.  

Faith Davison, Tribal Archivist


CARLTON EICHELBERG: Cochegan Rock is the largest freestanding boulder in New England left here by the glaciers. Uncas always held council on the top of this rock.


The word sachem as Uncas was called means ďrock manĒ, and in Mohegan they would say Ne-woe-me-suns-mo, which mean are you going to the rock, or are you coming to the rock? And that was a phrase that probably would have been used when Uncas decided to hold council and call all his captains to come to the rock.


Fort Shantok and Cochegan Rock are probably the two places that are best known as Uncasís stamping grounds, if you will, because they would have to come all the way from Fort Shantok over here to this rock to hold council and, of course, Fort Shantok is the area where the ĺ our village actually was.


I used to come here as a young man.  a lot of the kids, this was woods to play  because all the children wanted to come and see Cochegan Rock and see where Uncas held council.


NARRATOR: Uncas lived a long life, from 1598 to 1683. He was the Great Protector of his people then and now. The places where Uncas lived have remained sacred to the Mohegan Tribe for centuries. Jayne Fawcett is the tribal ambassador.


JAYNE FAWCETT (Tribal Ambassador, Mohegan Tribe): This is Uncas Spring and not far from here is the cabin of Uncas. This is an important place to us, really a sacred place because the waters are said to bring strength and to bring healing and itís also a place where we continually honor Uncas.


When I was a child I used to come here with my uncle and I always thought of him as the keeper of the spring, and he would come here every spring and clean all of the debris out and leave a cup because he felt that it was important that whoever was thirsty and was passing through should be able to get a drink from from this spot.


ERNEST GILMAN (Pipe Carrier, Mohegan Tribe): Weíre at Uncasís cabin here on Mohegan territory and according to the stories that were told to me,  this was,  Uncasís site where he lived and spent a lot of his time.


I was pretty well instilled with a lot of the history of the tribe, you know, when I was a youngun and what it was to mean to me later on in life and to make sure that I did never forget that, and I havenít.  I still get a  good feeling about being out here and any other of the sites that I visit,  during my path in life and that hasnít changed, itís still there.


This pipe is known as Uncasís pipe. It was found in the vicinity of this cabin and there were no other homes that we know of at the time in that area so they are assuming that because of who was here this was Uncasís pipe. I have been authorized by the tribe to carry this and use it at very special occasions.


Tobacco, we believe, is the greatest gift that you could give someone. Okay? And so with that, Iím going to make a presentation. This is a gift to Uncas and Iíll just sprinkle around the area of his home.


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Last modified: September 03, 2012