Long before European colonization and American rebellion created the state of Connecticut, diverse Indigenous communities called the land home. They worked its soil, traveled its reaches to trade, and established cultures rich in political, artistic, technological, spiritual, and environmental legacies that continue to evolve today. Despite war, enslavement, and prejudice, Native people have remained active agents in their own and state history. Notable figures include Robin Cassacinamon, a 17th-century Pequot sachem and diplomat, and Mohegan medicine woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon, an educator, activist, and, in 1931, co-founder of the first Native American-owned Indian museum in the US. The state-recognized sovereign nations in Connecticut are the Eastern Pequot, Golden Hill Paugussett, and Schaghticoke tribes with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan having federal recognition as well.
More on Native Americans from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
Living Rituals: Mohegan Wigwam Festival
The Wigwam festival is a modern version of the ancient Mohegan Thanksgiving for the Corn Harvest, or Green Corn Festival. …[more]
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Bragdon, Kathleen Joan. Native People of Southern New England, 1650-1775. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.
Carlson, Richard G. Rooted Like the Ash Trees: New England Indians and the Land. Naugatuck, CT: Eagle Wing Press, 1987.
Occom, Samson, and Joanna Brooks. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Demos, John. The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
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