Indians


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Mohegans and Comanches Different or Similar

Long ago, the Earth was formed atop the back of a giant turtle. From the earth the Great Spirit put life into all things: trees, plants, animals and people. An Indian was created named Gunche Mundo who developed a Mother Tribe, and divided it into three clans--Turtles, Turkeys and Wolves. The Wolf People, known as Mohegans, separated from the Turtles and Turkeys, and headed east toward the rising sun. While the Mohegans headed east to find land, a tribe called the Comanches headed south. Both of the tribes farmed, hunted, and made money in different ways, but they both believed that the power of the government came from the people. The two tribes had their differences, however they both managed to get by with what they had.

From the Southeast corner of Connecticut, the three clans that made up the Mohegan tribe had to hunt, fish, and farm to stay alive. The Mohegans came from the upper Hudson River Valley in New York near Lake Champlain. Around the year 1500, the Mohegans moved to the Thames River Valley in southeastern Connecticut. They named their homeland the Moheganeak. It occupied the upper and western portions of the Thames River. All the Mohegan people lived within three different clans. The three clans made up the Mohegan tribe. Every one of the clans had its own chief. The chiefs had only limited power within the clans. If the Mohegan people did not believe in what the chief had to say, then the people did not have to obey it. One of the ways the Mohegans obtained food was by burning their land around their villages and planting crops. During the spring the woman planted, while the men were on fishing trips. In August the men returned from their fishing adventures to help with harvest. The Mohegans sustained themselves with fishing and farming, while the Comanches turned to violence to secure food and money.

In the Southern groups of the Eastern Shoshoni, the Comanche warriors lived as extended family units and were legendary for raiding villages and other tribes. Unlike the Mohegans, the Comanche moved south and were located between the Platte and Arkansas Rivers. The Mohegans moved very seldom where as the Comanche Indians moved many times. They moved into New Mexico and later moved to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Both the Comanche and the Mohegans based their land area on the name of their tribe.

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The Comanche’s land was called Comancheria and the Mohegan’s land was called Moheganeak. Inside the tribe of the Comanche the wives became part of the husband’s family and did not have much say on what went on in the tribe. Husbands in the Comanche tribe made up all the rules dissimilar to the Mohegans where the chiefs made up most of the rules. While the men were gone in the Comanche tribe they were raiding villages and other tribes for horses and money. The Comanches were very different in that way, because while the men in the Mohegan tribe were gone they were fishing for food. Fighting became a vital aspect to the Comanche way of doing things. They would kill buffalo for food, clothing, tools, and housing materials, just like the Mohegans did. Although the Comanche warriors didn’t grow crops like the Mohegans, the Comanches gathered roots, fruits, and wild vegetables. The two tribes did everything very differently, yet the Mohegans and the Comanches both left a lasting impression in history.

The Mohegans and the Comanches were only two tribes out of so many in the United States. Every tribe had different characteristics. They used their different qualities to live within their surroundings. If it wasn’t raiding villages or other tribes, then it was fishing for food. All the tribes lived very differently, but they still made it through history.


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