* * *or MahicanNorth American Indian people living mostly in northeastern Wisconsin, U.S. Their original territory was the upper Hudson River valley above the Catskill Mountains.Their name for themselves is Muh-he-con-neok, meaning "The People of the Waters That Are Never Still." The Mahican consisted of five major divisions governed by hereditary sachems (chiefs) assisted by elected counselors. They lived in strongholds of 20–30 houses situated on hills or in woodlands. In 1664 they were forced by the Mohawk to move to what is now Stockbridge, Mass., where they became known as the Stockbridge Indians. Later they moved to Wisconsin. Some 1,200 people claimed sole Mohican descent in the 2000 U.S. census. James Fenimore Cooper drew a romanticized portrait of the declining Mohican in The Last of the Mohicans (1826).
* * *▪ peoplealso spelled Mahican self-name Muh-he-con-neokAlgonquian (Algonquian languages)-speaking North American Indian tribe of what is now the upper Hudson River Valley above the Catskill Mountains in New York state, U.S. Their name for themselves means “the people of the waters that are never still.” During the colonial period, they were known to the Dutch and the English as the River Indians and to the French as the Loups (“wolves”). The Mohican are not to be confused with the Mohegan, who originally resided in what is now Connecticut and are related to the Pequot.Before colonization, the Mohican consisted of at least five bands and were further organized by three matrilineal clans; the latter were governed by hereditary sachems, or chiefs, who were assisted by elected counselors. Tribal members lived in strongholds of 20 to 30 houses, situated on hills and enclosed by stockades, as well as in enclosed villages situated between cornfields and woodland.When first contacted by the Dutch, the Mohican were at war with the Mohawk, and in 1664 they were forced to move from Schodack, near Albany, to what is now Stockbridge, Mass. They gradually sold their territory there, and in 1736 some of them were gathered into a mission at Stockbridge and became known as the Stockbridge band; other groups scattered and merged with other tribes. The Stockbridge band later moved to Wisconsin and were joined by the Munsee band; the two groups were allotted a joint reservation in Wisconsin in the 19th century. The American novelist James Fenimore Cooper (Cooper, James Fenimore) drew a romanticized portrait of the Mohican in his book The Last of the Mohicans (1826).Population estimates indicated approximately 3,500 Mohican descendants in the early 21st century.
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