|Re: Our alleged possible violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990
Dear Kathleen Siemont:
We are responding to your October 8, 1998 phone call, and subsequent letter, concerning our Web Site which can
be found at: http://www.mohicanpress.com, entitled On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans.
We would like to address the several issues you brought up, point by point.
First of all, our intention is NOT to mislead anyone, nor is it to use the Indian tribal name of Mohican for our own
gains. Our Web Site was founded by a love of, and has as its central theme, the story of James Fenimore Cooper’s
The Last of the Mohicans, the classic American novel written in 1826. Michael Mann’s film adaptation of
Cooper’s work, in 1992, was the impetus for creating the Site. ANY use of the word Mohicans on our Web Site,
other than in purely historical instances, is a reference to those works. We believe that this fact is obvious to any
person objectively viewing our Web Site, and not taking small excerpts out of context. Thus, we feel confident
that we do not use the tribal name Mohican in an unqualified manner.
More specifically, and, we believe, at the core of the perceived problem, is our Mohican Press Gift Shop, one of
several sub-sections within our Site. Here, is the disclaimer we have on the opening page to this section:
Please Note!! We have absolutely no affiliation with the Mohican Indian tribe. Any
use of the name "Mohicans" is borrowed from the title of James Fenimore Cooper's
classic novel. None of the items offered for sale on these pages are crafted by
Mohican Indians, though some, as noted, are made by other Native Americans. All
materials used are genuine, but we are not attempting to pass any crafts off as "Made
By Mohican Indians." Simply, they are inspired by The Last of the Mohicans.
To us, that should answer any and all questions regarding our integrity and purpose. This disclaimer was, by the
way, satisfactory to the Stockbridge/Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. Nowhere do we state that anything is made
by the Mohican Tribe; quite the contrary, we plainly state that nothing is!
As far as the Canadian Indian tribe regulations go, this is from our Dream Catcher page:
Our custom made Dreamcatchers are handcrafted in Canada by Kihew, a Canadian
And this, from our Mask page:
Widely known for his portrayal as Uncas in "The Last of the Mohicans", Inuit actor
Eric Schweig is also an artisan/carver.
Clearly, in both instances, the artists are identified as to their tribal affiliations. Inuits, by the way, are NOT
exclusively native to the United States, but we will change this to read Canadian Inuit actor ...
None of the other items sold within our Gift Shop were cited, and none of them is made, or claimed to BE made,
by any Indian tribe. These items range from books, videos & CD’s to a fully licensed Last of the Mohicans Play
Regarding the complaint of the use of our phrase, Mohicanize Your World ... again, it is implied, within the
overall context of the Web Site’s content, that this reads, “Last of the Mohican”-ize Your World. We have changed
it to, Mohicaanize Your World.
It is our fervent belief that we are not in violation of anyone’s rights, nor are we misrepresenting our products to
the consumer. It is also our conviction that we are not in violation of the Act. We have built this Web Site, from the
beginning, with a sense of responsibility, honesty, and objectivity. Anyone accusing us of violating this Act, is
certainly NOT using those attributes when passing their judgments.
Please inform us as to the acceptance of these minor changes.