The Last of the Mohicans

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Patriarch of the Native American Delaware village neighboring the Huron village, in the second half of the novel, Tamenund orders that Cora be taken off by Magua, since she is “rightly” Magua’s prisoner. Tamenund also orders that Hawkeye, Alice, and Heyward be set free, as the Delaware have no quarrel with Uncas or his friends.

Tamenund Quotes in The Last of the Mohicans

The The Last of the Mohicans quotes below are all either spoken by Tamenund or refer to Tamenund. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bantam Classics edition of The Last of the Mohicans published in 1982.
Chapter 33 Quotes

Go, children of the Lenape, the anger of the Manitou is not done. Why should Tamenund stay? The pale-faces are masters of the earth, and the time of the redmen has not yet come again. My day has been too long. In the morning I saw the sons of Unamis [the Mohicans] happy and strong; and yet, before the night has come, have I lived to see the last warrior of the wise race of the Mohicans.

Related Characters: Tamenund (speaker)
Page Number: 407
Explanation and Analysis:

This is a very sad moment in the text, and the closing speech. Tamenund has a hard time believing that Uncas is really gone, that he has been brought low in battle - and that, therefore, the "last of the Mohicans," the final warrior of a great line of warriors, will not live to have his own family. Tamenund laments that this is so, and wonders what might have been had Uncas survived.

But Tamenund also notes that the Europeans, for good or for ill, have taken over most of the native lands, and will continue to. In this the leader understands, with great sadness, the path in which history appears to be leading - he neither accepts it nor fights against it, but merely states that it is so. It is a bitter ending to the tale - but Tamenund also notes that Uncas' bravery was so noteworthy during his life, and that that bravery will be remembered, too - along with the tragic state of affairs that caused Uncas' to be taken from his community in the prime of his youth. 

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Tamenund Character Timeline in The Last of the Mohicans

The timeline below shows where the character Tamenund appears in The Last of the Mohicans. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 28
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...Delaware village to enter and speak to them. The Delawares slowly aid their great patriarch Tamenund, who will grace Magua with his presence and speak with Magua about the prisoners. After... (full context)
Chapter 29
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...are united in a common purpose because of their shared ancestry. Magua then defers to Tamenund, saying that it is time for the Delaware patriarch to speak. (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Tamenund, accepting the compliments Magua has bestowed upon the Delaware people, states succinctly that Magua may... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Cora also asks that Tamenund hear the words of Uncas, who has as yet not left the prison-lodge; that Uncas,... (full context)
Chapter 30
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Uncas enters the circle and pays obeisance to Tamenund, who castigates Uncas for partnering with the Yengeese (the English), against whom this particular strand... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Tamenund therefore says that Uncas is one of them, and Uncas, in response, presents Hawkeye, “La... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...arrange for Munro and the English to pay a large ransom on Cora’s behalf. But Tamenund says that this justice is “inviolable.” Hawkeye says that he will renounce his weapon, give... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...and the rest of the band are horrified at the thought of losing Cora, but Tamenund has so ruled, and the rest of the members of the band recognize that his... (full context)
Chapter 33
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...ceremony, Munro sits with Cora’s body in one ring, and Chingachgook with Uncas’s in another. Tamenund, patriarch of the Delawares, rises to speak, saying that Manitou, the gracious God of the... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...says that this “hunter” is now in the eternal “hunting-grounds” where he might find peace. Tamenund, in the closing words of the novel, says that, earlier that morning, he saw Uncas... (full context)