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Editorial: Tantaquidgeon kept Mohegan culture alive

"Gladys Tantaquidgeon, the Mohegan medicine woman and elder who died this week at age 106, reportedly carried a sound philosophy: You can't hate someone you know a lot about.

By that standard, Miss Tantaquidgeon did her American Indian peers a service by teaching tribal traditions to both family and outsiders. She was beloved by the many generations of schoolchildren she and her late brother ushered through her tribal museum, established in 1931 on Mohegan Hill in Uncasville. She taught the customs and lore of the Mohegans, who settled much of the eastern parts of the state. Their heritage is Connecticut's heritage.

Miss Tantaquidgeon, a 10th-generation descendant of famed tribal chief Uncas, was born on the reservation when the tribe's native language was still spoken. Her recollections have prompted succeeding generations to make sure that knowledge does not fade away. Her grandniece, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, wondered aloud after her great-aunt's passing if the tribe would be where it is today without her."

Get the Story:
Tribal Elder's Spirit Survives (The Harford Courant 11/3)

Relevant Links:
Mohegan Tribe -

Related Stories:
Tantaquidgeon, oldest Mohegan, dies at 106 (11/2)