Research Shows The Last Of The Mohicans Lives

Direct Genetic link In Mitochondrial DNA

Research Shows The Last Of The Mohicans Lives

However in this case we are not talking about the fictional characters of James Fenimore Cooper’s historical novel, The last of the Mohican’s, but about the real native Americans. (Quite possibly even the Mahican, the tribe Cooper confused with Mohegan, who supposedly lived in New York next to the Hudson River. New research shows that there is a direct genetic link between the remains of Native Americans, who wondered around thousands of years ago, and their living descendants.

This direct genetic link was found in mitochondrial DNA. (This DNA is inherited by children from their mothers.) Using this mitochondrial material the researchers were able to track three maternal lineages from ancient times to 2013. Therefore proving that quite possibly ‘The Last of the Mohicans,’ still lives.

Barbara Petzelt, an author and participant in the study and liaison to the Tsimshian-speaking Metlakatla community, one of the First Nations groups that participated in the study, explained: “Having a DNA link showing direct maternal ancestry dating back at least 5,000 years is huge as far as helping the Metlakatla prove that this territory was theirs over the millennia.”

Professor Ripan Malhi, who led the research said that it shows that: “This is the beginning of the golden era for ancient DNA research because we can do so much now that we couldn’t do a few years ago because of advances in sequencing technologies, we’re just starting to get an idea of the mitogenomic diversity in the Americas, in the living individuals as well as the ancient individuals.” He added: “There’s a pattern of European males mixing with Native American females after European contact and so lots of the Y chromosomes in the community trace back to Europe.” Wouldn’t that be fun, if the original Mohicans were indeed European? (Or Mahican, to avoid confusion.) That the last one didn’t die but lives on, thousands of years later?

Scientists, David Archer, an anthropology professor at Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert, commented: “Archaeology is one important source of information about the past, and oral traditions give us a lot of verifiable information about the past cultural events and patterns,” he said. “But the genetic information is something that is immediately recognizable. If somebody is told that their DNA links to somebody who was present 2,500 years ago and also to someone who was present 5,500 years ago, you can summarize that in a sentence and it’s very easily understood and it’s exciting.”

It definitely is exciting that research shows that some form of the last of the Mohicans continued and still lives. (Of course as mentioned before the Mohicans weren’t a real tribe but the tribes that helped the researchers in this study most definitely are real.) It means that we are able to use genealogical searches for our own relatives. Maybe we will find out that we are all linked together and one big family after all. (Just like Trinh Xuan Thuan, astrophysicist said: “This is always connected to that; everything is connected to everything else. You never live by yourself. You live always within a family, society or culture. You constantly interact with other people all the time. So our happiness depends on their happiness as well. How can we be happy if we are the only one happy on just an island of happiness within an ocean of misery? Of course that’s not possible.”

Would you like to find out to whom you are connected? Where your roots are? Let us know in the comments.

By Georgina Pijttersen



14 Responses to "Research Shows The Last Of The Mohicans Lives"

  1. Psalms   May 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I am from seneca and I am trying to learn more always . Many of the agents where from Britian yet some were French and they had many wife’s amongst the tribes some had over 100 children yet only legitely married to one white women .

  2. Jeremy   July 5, 2013 at 3:23 am

    OBVIOUSLY people are related to their ancestors. What is the point of this “story”? I hate these online content factories! Last time I come here.

  3. lizard   July 5, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Native Americans did not wonder or wander around the landscape thousands of years ago, but instead engaged in complex economic and social activities the same as you and me. I can’t imagine anyone reducing European behaviors and cultures to mere wandering, and to characterize indigenous lifeways as such is racist.

    • Roger Bird   July 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

      So sensitive to even the slightest hint of racism that it make me wonder if perhaps you protest too much. Do you see racists even under your bed?

      • lizard   July 6, 2013 at 9:01 am

        Unfortunate how pointing out Eurocentric bias that is reflected in our speech and that ultimately perpetuates social inequality could ever be a problem. Threatened much?

        • Roger Bird   July 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

          I am sensitive to anyone calling anyone a dreadful name when it is not called for. Euro-centric bias is no more immoral than Afrio-centric bias or Thai-centric bias or Sino-centric bias. They are all as natural as the rising sun. But you liberals call anyone a dreadful name whenever you see someone that you disagree with. You really don’t know how contemptible that habit of calling people “racist” is, do you?

        • Roger Bird   July 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

          Your generalizing about T-Party people and calling them all [insert evil-adjective starting with ‘R’] is the moral equivalent to someone else generalizing about black people and calling them all [insert evil-adjective starting with ‘N’]. The target may be different, but the damage to social harmony and to your conscience is the same.

          It may be true that Obama getting elected was a trigger for that movement, but triggers do not propel projectiles, and not all T-Party people are racists. I am not racist; just ask my brown skinned wife and my tan skinned children. And I am very concerned about the size of government, and I would even greatly prefer a single payer system (a progressive goal) than the system that we had 10 years ago or Obamacare. I can’t get raw milk, thanks to big government, and that ticked me off enough to start me thinking about the wisdom and value of the Constitution, and now I am a T-Party libertarian thinker (not a member of anything other than the human race).

          • lizard   July 15, 2013 at 6:27 am

            I did not call anyone anything; I described the comment as racist and Eurocentric. Nor did I claim ay sort of bias/racism was any more or less natural or acceptable than any other. I believe it is you who goes off on the slightest hint- or perceived hint- of something you son’t like, including offering up a political rant that was so far not part of this discussion.

          • lizard   July 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm

            Have we met? My original message says nothing about my political orientation. Or are you saying that no conservative would ever care about a racist remark?

  4. Nick Meinzer   July 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Wow this is a terrible article. It reads like a high school student wrote it, and a none too talented one at that.

  5. Automusings   July 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Interesting article — too bad it’s so poorly written! People do not “wonder” around, they wander around. Sentences need a subject and a verb, usually. Etc, etc.

  6. Roger Bird   July 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I have no interest whatsoever who I am related to biologically speaking. I am happy to see that the consciousness of the unity of all humanity talked about or alluded to in this article.

  7. RT   July 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Writer, there are many errors in your article, both spelling and punctuation!

  8. leo teneyuque   July 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Hi. My last name is Teneyuque and i havent been able to find its origin or meaning. My family is from mexico but it would be nice to know which civilization we came from(olmec, aztec, maya etc.) Thanjs

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