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English, (originally Mahican)

Moravian Church


The Mahicans (also Mohicans) are an Eastern Algonquian Native American tribe, originally settling in the Hudson River Valley (around Albany, NY). After 1680, many moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. During the early 1820s and 1830s, most of the remaining descendants migrated westward to northeastern Wisconsin.[1] The tribe's name for itself (autonym) was Muhhekunneuw, or "People of the River." Their current name is the name applied to the Wolf Clan division of the tribe, from the Mahican manhigan.



The Mahican were living in and around the Hudson Valley at the time of their first contact with Europeans after 1609, during the settlement of New Netherland. The Mahican were a confederacy rather than a single tribe, and at the time of contact there were five main divisions: Mohican proper, Westenhuck, Wawayachtonoc, Mechkentowoon, and Wiekagjoc. Over the next hundred years, tensions between the Mahican and the Iroquois Mohawk, as well as Dutch and English settlers, caused the Mahican to migrate eastward across the Hudson River into western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Many settled in the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they gradually became known as the Stockbridge Indians.

The Stockbridge Indians allowed Protestant Christian missionaries, including Jonathan Edwards, to live among them. In the 18th century, many converted to Christianity, while keeping certain traditions of their own. Although they fought on the side of the American colonists in both the French and Indian War (North American part of the Seven Years' War) and the American Revolution, citizens of the new United States forced them off their land and westward. First the Stockbridge settled in the 1780s at New Stockbridge, New York, on land allocated by the Oneida, of the Iroquois Confederacy.

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