Not the Last of the Mohegans
Title: Not the Last of the Mohegans
Image size: 27 x 37 inches
Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.
2006

Original: $3000

Not the Last of the Mohegans is a Portrait of Gladys Tantaquidgeon, a Mohegan medicine woman. Born in 1899 and a direct descendent of the seventeenth century chief Uncas, she was the tribe‚Äôs oldest living member when she died in November of 2005. 

She drew her knowledge from many sources. From her nanu grandmothers, she became versed in the tribe's spirituality and the use of herbs. From the University of Pennsylvania, she learned anthropology. She trained with the noted anthropologist, Dr. Frank Speck, and subsequently wrote several books on Indian medicinal practices and folklore.

Her work became known nationwide and she was called on by several western tribes to assist in the restoration of their ancient practices. In 1934, she served as a community worker on the Yankton (Sioux) reservation in South Dakota and also worked to promote Indian art for the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Board among the Northern Plains Indians.

She concluded her government service in 1947 and joined her father, John, and brother, Harold, as a full-time curator of the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum. She also served on the Mohegan Tribal Council.

The background in her portrait is comprised of Goldenseal, an herb that was used by Native Americans herbalists to treat skin disorders, digestive problems, liver conditions, diarrhea, and eye irritations.