Between myth and history: the Pequots

The origin and life of a tribe of Native Americans from Connecticut in the United States

The Pequots come from the upper Hudson River in New York, near Lake Champlain.The forests of the State of Connecticut in the United States enclose mysticism, its nature is impressive, old trees that change their tonalities with the seasonal seasons, they witnessed the rituals of the American Indians and their great battles to preserve their territory.

The origin

Art work on Sky woman, Pequot Museum & Reserch Center.

According to the mythology of the North American Indians, the land did not exist only a great ocean and the sky. The earth was formed of a celestial woman fallen from the sky who descended through a hole. Among the Indian peoples, the Pequots stand out for their great battles and perseverance for defending their lands. Its name comes from pakawatawog, pequttoog, or Paquatanog «destroyer» or «invader». His language is Algonquian.

The tribe throughout history suffered the dispossession of their lands, wars, slavery and massacres of its members. This tribe has occupied Mashantucket in Connecticut for more than 10, 000 years. His legacy is full of traditions and culture. The history to which the Pequots are also linked begins with a couple that lived in the sky and lived together daily with the great tree from which flowers, fruits and their large branches were detached.

One day Sky woman (the woman who fell from the sky) wanted to cut one of her fruits while her husband dug around the base of the tree to remove a large root, a hole was present. She, looked through the hole the blue sea, suddenly slid and skidded. The birds took it to the sea and placed it on the back of a turtle.

 The woman from the sky asks the turtle to dive to find where to sow the seeds and roots that were between her hands when she fell, she realized that between her feet she had earth and with that she could plant on the back of the turtle, suddenly the earth became green and expanded over the ocean. Sky woman was pregnant and gave birth already on land to a girl, who in turn gave birth to two twin children, who represent balance in nature.


Daily life

They wore simple clothes, but rich in ornamentation

The Connecticut region is rich in lakes and rivers the Pequots were transported in canoes made on pine trunks. The cult of nature was linked in his daily life. Their houses were circular cabins, named Wigwam referring to the womb, were made with trunks and branches of trees, covered with leaves. Inside they kept the corn and its food, they had animal skins to cover the cold.

 The Pequots were characterized by their dark hair, brown skin and bodies turned by their healthy diet. The men who used to marry and be in the wars combed with Mohica, so that their hair was not a hindrance when it came to hunting or fighting. In summer women uncovered their breasts. Cots for babies were made of leather. As for the medicinal remedies, their ancestors developed several extracted from the branches of trees, leaves, fruits and flowers, resulting to be highly effective. They had a spiritual life, when dying they prepared the soul for their trip to the afterlife.

War for the dispossession of their land

Their recreation in the Valley of Connecticut took them to conflicts with the English colonists, culminating in the Pequot War (1636-1637). When the Pequot War came to an end, many members of the tribe were killed and others put into slavery under the control of other tribes, such as the Mohegans. The Pequots eventually became known as the Pequots Mashantucket (Western) receiving land in the Noank region in 1651.

In the following decades and centuries the Pequots fought to preserve their lands. It was not until 1970 that the members of the tribe began to return to the Mashantucket reserve in the hope of restoring themselves on their lands to pursue economic self-sufficiency. They also began to take legal action to recover the lands that were taken from them. At last the Pequots in 1993 were named with the federal recognition of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, established in Mashantucket. They are one of the oldest Indian reservations in North America.

The community has several companies to activate its economy, among them the Pequot Museum & Reserch Center, which stands out for its magnificent installation with sculptures that recreates what its life was like in the past. Today the American Indians live in reserves, many of them forgotten by the society and the North American government. Its history will continue to last for centuries, the forest will keep its secrets and mystical places.

Namely:– In 1633 the smallpox coming from the Europeans devastated the Pequot population.

-The English settlers forbade them to speak their native language, even punished by death to those who were heard to speak a word.

-One of its main foods was corn.-In 1637 they lived the worst of their killings in Ford Mystic, the whole community was exterminated including children and women, the survivors were sold as slaves.

– The Pequts shield represents a symbol of hope, the tree on a hill makes mention of Mashantucket, the «wooded land», where they hunted and maintained their identity as an independent people. The fox is a reminder that the Pequots are known as «The People of Zorro».



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