Emma Fielding Baker

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Emma Fielding Baker (1828–1916) was a Mohegan medicine woman and tribal historian.[1] She was a mentor to her niece Gladys Tantaquidgeon, instructing Gladys in herbal medicine.[2] Gladys Tantaquidgeon went on to become a medicine woman in her own right, as well as an anthropologist, author, and tribal elder.[3]

Emma was born in 1828. During that time, the Mohegans were pressured to assimilate into white Christian culture. She was born into a fragmented tribe whose lands were broken up.[1] Later in life, Emma helped preserve tribal historical records and oral traditions.[4] In 1860, she served as the president of the Church Ladies Sewing Society. One of her actions as president was to restore an ancient Mohegan Green Corn Festival nicknamed "Wigwam." This festival continues into the present as a celebration of Mohegan tribal culture.[1]

She represented her tribe before Connecticut legislature as part of an endeavor to protect Mohegan land and sacred sites. She also ran as chair of the Mohegan tribal council. She documented the desecration of the Royal Mohegan Burial Ground. Long after her death in 1916, she was posthumously elected as a member of the Connecticut Hall of Fame.[5]

Emma married a fellow Mohegan man named Henry Baker who fathered her six children.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Baker, Emma Fielding". Connecticut Women's Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b "The Story Trail of Voices". ConnecticutHistory.org. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Gladys Tantaquidgeon", Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame
  4. ^ "Mohegan Congregational Church". Connecticut Women's Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Baker, Emma Fielding". Native America: A State-by-state Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Retrieved 28 June 2016.