Long ago, the ancestors of the Mohican Indians settled along a beautiful river on which ocean tides reached far inland. The people who came there called themselves the Muhhekunneyuk. This means "People of the Waters That Are Never Still." Over time, their name changed until they finally became known as the Mohican Indians.
The Mohicans chose to live along the river because they found wildlife there. This meant they would not have to travel far to fish or hunt for food. The Mohicans also chose this area because the soil was good for planting crops. The river provided water for cooking and drinking. They also used it for travel by canoe. The river the Mohicans called the Muhheakunnuk is now known as the Hudson River.
The Mohicans occupied an area that extended from near the present-day village of Catskill on the west side of the river and the village of Red Hook on the east side north to Lake Champlain. Their villages also stretched west to Glenville (beyond present-day Schenectady in New York), and as far east as western Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The Mohicans were not the only Native Americans to settle in this area. They were part of a larger group that divided into tribes. These tribes settled throughout the northeastern United States.
From "Settling a New Land" in The Mohicans by Aileen Weintraub and Shirley W. Dunn with paintings by L. F. Tantillo (above, a Mohican summer encampment near the Hudson), a new book for fourth and fifth graders.
39 pages, illustrated, full color, 5.5 x 8.25, 2008
$6.50 booklet--A Purple Mountain Press original
Aileen Weintraub is the author of more than forty non-fiction books for young readers, including one on the Choctaw tribe. Shirley W. Dunn is the author of three adult histories on the Mohicans:
The Mohicans and Their Land, 1609-1730, The Mohican World, 1680-1750
and published recently The River Indians: Mohicans Making History.
Copyright © 2008 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.