Published on January 4, 2013 by Amy
Fidelia Hoscott Fielding (1827–1908), also known as Dji’ts Bud dnaca (Flying Bird), was the last native speaker of the Mohegan-Pequot language. Credited with being instrumental in teaching and preserving the language, she was posthumously inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
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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, who became an anthropologist and worked in language and cultural preservation.
As a youth, the future anthropologist Frank Speck 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 wigwam.
Fielding is one of three American Indians who have been inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. She was inducted in 1994 under the category: Education & Preservation. Gladys Tantaquidgeon was also inducted in the Hall.
She was buried at the Ancient Burial Grounds of the Mohegans at Fort Shantok State Park in Montville, Connecticut, with an estimated 1,000 people in attendance on May 24, 1936.
Linguists from the Mohegan Language Project have begun working with materials compiled and archived by Fielding and Speck in order to reconstruct and revive the Mohegan-Pequot language for new generations.