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Pequot Museum Exhibit showing Mashantucket Pequot warrior
Total population
1620: 16,000 (est.)

1637: 3,000 (est.)
1910: 66
1972: 21

2000: 1,000–2,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, Lantern Hill, North Stonington, Connecticut: 1,130
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe or Western Pequot, Ledyard, Connecticut: 350
Historically Pequot, a dialect of the Mohegan-Pequot language (an Algonquian language), now English
Native American religion, Christianity
Related ethnic groups

The Pequot (/ˈpiːkwɒt/) are Native Americans from Connecticut. They are part of the Northeastern Woodlands. Their language is the extinct Mohegan-Pequot language. It is part of the Algonquian language family. The Pequot used to be with the Mohegan. They fought against colonists in the Pequot War (1634–1638). Many were killed. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe was created in 1975. The tribe runs the Foxwoods Resort Casino since 1986. Other recognized tribes of the Pequot today include Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, Mohegan Tribe, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation.[1]

History[change | change source]

There is debate about the meaning of the name Pequot.[2]

The Pequot have lived thousands of year on the land in present-day Connecticut.[3] In parts of Connecticut the tribe had a strong presence.

Many Pequot died from European diseases like smallpox. They were not immune to these diseases.[4]

At first, the Pequot and Dutch were just the main players in the region. They were involved in the fur trade. The English came later and brought unbalance. Tension between Natives and the English developed. The Pequot killed a English colonists in Connecticut. This led to the Pequot War. The Narragansett and Mohegan allied with the English colonists. The Pequot were successful in the beginning. Eventually, the Connecticut armies began a total war. The colonists killed many Pequot. Colonists and Native allies destroyed the Pequot village Mistick. This event is often called the Mistick Massacre.[5] The Pequot lost their control and power of the land. They were forced onto reservations. Many are sold into slavery.[6]

In 1976, Pequot sued North Stonington for illegal land purchase. The US government later recognized the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and gave the tribe land. The tribe built the Foxwoods Resort Casino in 1992.[7]

In the 21st century, Pequot have been trying to bring back the lost language.[8]

References[change | change source]

Pequot Tribe
  1. Pritzker, Barry (2000) A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples, pp. 656–657. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513897-X.
  2. Frank Speck, "Native Tribes and Dialects of Connecticut: A Mohegan-Pequot Diary", Annual Reports of the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology 43 (1928): 218.
  3. Kevin McBride, "Prehistory of the Lower Connecticut Valley" (Ph.D. diss., University of Connecticut, 1984), pp. 126-28, 199-269
  4. Sherburne F. Cook, "The Significance of Disease in the Extinction of the New England Indians," Human Biology 45 (1973): 485-508
  5. "Pequot War | History, Facts, & Significance | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  6. Lion Gardiner, "Relation of the Pequot Warres," History of the Pequot War: The Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underhill, Vincent, and Gardiner(Cleveland, 1897), p. 138; Ethel Boissevain, "Whatever Became of the New England Indians Shipped to Bermuda to be Sold as Slaves," Man in the Northwest 11 (Spring 1981), pp. 103-114; and Karen O. Kupperman, Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 172.
  7. See Reagan's initial response in "Message to the Senate Returning Without Approval the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Claims Settlement Bill", April 5, 1983, University of Texas.
  8. "Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project". Retrieved 2022-08-08.