Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: stockbridge-munsee band | mohican nation | wisconsin | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 31 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation - Wisconsin
The Mohican, also pronounced Mahican, were a northeastern Tribe whose lands spanned Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and eastern New York. As with most eastern Tribes, many were forced to move west as the European settlements turned into the United States. Some Mohicans remain to this day in their original homelands, but the largest concentration of Mohicans can be found in Wisconsin - The Stockbridge-Munsee Band.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans might be considered to be the closest existing generic "Algonquin". Algonquin is a language group composed of several Tribes that stretched from eastern Canada throughout the Middle Atlantic colonies (later states).
The Stockbridge part of the Tribe’s name originated back in the Housatonic Valley of Massachusetts. There an English settlement and mission to the local Indians was established and named "Stockbridge"(NAA, 119-120).
As the Mohicans were forced ever farther to the west, many were absorbed into their Algonquin cousins the Delaware or Lenni Lenape. One of the bands of the Delaware eventually wound up sharing a Wisconsin reservation with the Stockbridge Mohicans - the Munsee Band. Thus the current name reflects the union of Stockbridge Mohican and Munsee Delaware - bringing two separate parts of the Algonquin-speaking peoples together.
Since 1856, the Stockbridge Munsee Mohicans have controlled about 16,000 acres with a tribal capital based in Bowler, WI. The modern Stockbridge Munsee number around 1,600 with about half living on the reservation (REAI,24).
© Donald Healy 2008
The Stockbridge Munsee employ a white flag that is bordered on the three exterior sides by a narrow red band of fringe. Centered on the flag is the tribal seal. The seal is round and divided into four quarters. Each quarter has a narrow stripe of on the four sacred colors and incorporates one of the tribal totems. The northwestern quadrant is edged in red and bears a gray wolf. The northeastern quarter is edged in black and bears a golden turkey. The southwest has a white band an a black bear; while the southeast is edged in gold and has a dark gray turtle. The four quarters are separated by narrow gray lines. Centered in the seal is a complex emblem, in red, created by a Mohican artist, Edwin Martin. Widely used by the Stockbridge Munsee as a logo, this emblem is called "Many Trails". It symbolizes "endurance, strength, and hope for a long-suffering, proud, and determined people" (Indian Center Museum - Gallery of Flags, 7). Hanging from the two sides of the circle are two black-and-white eagle feathers standing for the two original Tribes.
Arching over the seal in large black letters is the name "Mohican Nation". Underneath the seal is the title "Stockbridge - Munsee Band" also in black.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 31 January 2008