As Indian legends tell it, and as anthropologists theorize, a great Indian migration from the west began in the l5th century. There appears to be conflicting information concerning the origination of the tribes of Connecticut due to the lack of good records on the subject.
The Indians who settled in Connecticut had migrated in series bringing four distinct groups of Algonkians. The Delaware Indians pushed back and/or mingled with the Algonkians, who were already living in this area. Over a period of time, people from earlier migrations formed affiliations with each other. This led to further localization of smaller tribes scattered throughout this area. The Pequots were the last migrating indins settling in Connecticut in 1600. Each Indian group can be identified and placed in the proper location on a map of Connecticut. But it is important to realize that because of friendly and unfriendly relations between various groups of Indians it is impossible to define exact boundaries of each tribe.
The northeast section of Connecticut and part of Massachusetts was occupied by the Nipmuck tribe. The southeastern section of Connecticut was occupied by the Mohegan and Pequot tribes. Often these two groups were thought of as one group, probably because Uncas, son-in-law of a Pequot tribe chief, led a band of renegades and formed the tribe known as the Mohegans.
When discussing the Indians of the valley region, confusion arises. Some experts group them with the Wappinger Confederacy, and others refer to them as a separate and distinct group. The Dutch called them the Sequin, or River Indians. For the purpose of this unit, we will distinguish them as a separate group.
The western part of the state was occupied by two groups, the Mahican, who occupied a small section of the northwest and much of New York, and the Mattabesec-Wappinger Confederacy. The latter was a loosely knit affiliation of smaller, more localized tribes, which had settled along several rivers in that section of the state.
One more event which occurred before the arrival of settlers tipped the balance of Indian influence over territories. The Pequot Conquest extended the fierce influence of the Pequot tribe over more than half of the state. Figure 6 should be of great help in illustrating this situation.