Fidelia Hoscott Fielding

Fidelia Hoscott Fielding
"Those people who can say much, half of what they say is not true as they say it."
- Fidelia Hoscott Fielding

Induction Category:
Education & Preservation

Born: 1827

Died: 1908

Inducted: 1994

Town: Uncasville

Fidelia Hoscott is considered the last speaker and preserver of the Mohegan Pequot language. She and her grandmother, Martha Uncas, conversed in their native language and Fidelia called herself Dji’ts Bud dnaca, or “Flying Bird.”

Even after marrying William Fielding, Fidelia Hoscott Fielding continued to live in the traditional Mohegan lifestyle. After her husband’s death, she tended a tiny garden and searched for food and herbs. She did not participate in community activities such as the Green Corn Festival revitalized by Emma Fielding Baker, or the Church Ladies Sewing Society. She did, however, pass on many Mohegan traditions to Gladys Tantaquidgeon including the stories of the Makiawisug, or Little People.

In about 1900, Frank Speck, an anthropology student at Columbia University, sought out Fielding in his effort to salvage what remained of a dying language. After her death, he translated four of her diaries and they are now preserved in the archives of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

On May 24, 1936, an estimated 1,000 people gathered at the Ancient Burial Grounds of the Mohegans at Fort Shantok State Park in Montville, Conn., to pay tribute to Fidelia Hoscott Fielding.

Recently, the Mohegan Language Project has begun to recover and revitalize the lost language of the Mohegan Tribes. Working from materials compiled and archived by Fielding and Speck, linguists are piecing together the language in hopes of bringing it back into use among new generations.

During This Time
1800 - 1920: Industrialization & Reform