Fidelia Hoscott Fielding
(1827–1908), also known as Dji'ts Bud dnaca
(Flying Bird), was the last native speaker of the Mohegan
The Mohegan tribe is an Algonquian-speaking tribe that lives in the eastern upper Thames River valley of Connecticut. Mohegan translates to "People of the Wolf". At the time of European contact, the Mohegan and Pequot were one people, historically living in the lower Connecticut region...
Pequot people are a tribe of Native Americans who, in the 17th century, inhabited much of what is now Connecticut. They were of the Algonquian language family. The Pequot War and Mystic massacre reduced the Pequot's sociopolitical influence in southern New England...
language. Credited with being instrumental in teaching and preserving the language, she was posthumously inducted into the Connecticut Womens Hall of Fame.
She learned the language and spoke it with her maternal grandmother, Martha Uncas. Fielding kept four diaries, which have been vital to reconstructing Mohegan Pequot and related Algongquian languages. She was a mentor to Gladys Tantaquidgeon
Gladys Tantaquidgeon was a Mohegan anthropologist, author, council member, and elder. In 1994 she was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.- Biography :...
, who became an anthropologist and worked in language and cultural preservation.
As a youth, the future anthropologist Frank Speck
Frank Gouldsmith Speck was an American anthropologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples among the Eastern Woodland Native Americans of the United States and First Nations peoples of eastern boreal Canada.-Early life and...
lived with Fidelia Fielding. That experience started his interest in Native American languages and cultures, as he learned from Fielding.
Fidelia Hoscott married William Fielding. She was independent and was one of the last in her area to live in a traditional Mohegan log cabin.
Legacy and honors
- Fielding is one of three American Indians who have been inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.