About

INTRO AREA

Rachel Sayet or Ankitusu (She Who Reads) is a Mohegan tribal member and Native American educator. Sayet has a focus on food sovereignty and bringing back traditional Native foods. Sayet gives lectures at historical societies, conferences, high schools, and universities. She educates through storytelling and discussions of Native American foods.

 

Early Life

As a Mohegan tribal member, Rachel grew up attending festivals and events that centered around indigenous food, such as the Green Corn Festival, Succotash Time, and summer powwows throughout New England. During her time with her elders, Sayet would drink tea and tell stories. They would go to the woods to pick flowers and herbs and Sayet would hear stories of giants and little people. These were some of her favorite stories to hear growing up. Sayet's mother, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, serves as both the Mohegan Medicine Woman and Tribal Historian.

Education

Rachel received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and later received her master's degree from Harvard University in anthropology. Sayet's thesis was on stories of culture hero, Moshup, a giant who is taller than the tallest trees and stays near the ocean catching whales. Moshup married Granny Squannit who was the leader of little people and keeper of plants and medicine, which ties back to the stories she would hear as a girl.

Work in Food Sovereignty