The Pipe Carrier performs duties related to Mohegan traditions and ceremonies.
Other Tribal leaders help maintain Mohegan traditions and customs. Lynn Malerba, Lifetime Chief Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, Medicine Woman and Tribal Historian Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Pipe Carrier
Marilynn "Lynn" Malerba, Lifetime Chief
Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010, and is the first female Chief in the tribe’s modern history. The position is a lifetime appointment made by the Tribe’s Council of Elders. Lynn follows in footsteps of many strong female role models in the Mohegan Tribe, including her mother, Loretta Roberge, who holds the position of Tribal Nonner (elder female of respect). She had a long and dedicated career as a nurse, nurse manager and director at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, and now serves on the hospital and corporation’s Board of Directors. Lynn put her health-care skills to work for the benefit of the Mohegan Tribe in 1997, eventually becoming Executive Director of the Tribe’s Health and Human Services department. Lynn was responsible for the development of the department and the programs that directly benefit the membership. In 2005, she made a decision to become more directly involved in Tribal government, and was elected by her fellow Tribal members to the Tribal Council. She served as Vice Chairwoman for four years, and moved into the Chairwoman’s position in 2009. During her tenure on the Council, Lynn also earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut in 2008, and in 2010 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Joseph College in Hartford. She currently lives in Uncasville with her husband Paul, and they have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Angela.
Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, Medicine Woman and Tribal Historian
Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel is the Tribal Historian for the Mohegan Tribe. Her great-aunt, Medicine Woman Dr. Gladys Tantaquidgeon, trained her in Tribal oral tradition, traditional lifeways and spiritual beliefs.
After receiving a B.S.F.S. in history/diplomacy from Georgetown University and an M.A. in history from the University of Connecticut, she traveled throughout New England as a storyteller for the Tribe. In 1992, she won the first annual Non-Fiction Award of the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americas, for her manuscript The Lasting of the Mohegans (Mohegan: Little People Publications, 1995).
Shortly after that, Zobel became the first American Indian appointed by Governor Weicker to the Connecticut Historical Commission. In 1996, she received the first annual Chief Little Hatchet Award, granted for contributions to the success and survival of the Mohegan people.
Zobel has written several books, including Medicine Trail: The Life and Lessons of Gladys Tantaquidgeon (University of Arizona Press, 2000) and a traditional Mohegan children’s story co-authored with Joseph Bruchac, entitled Makiawisug: The Gift of the Little People (Mohegan: Little People Publications, 1997). Zobel’s most recent book is Oracles: A Novel, a futuristic novel in which the fictional Yantuck Indians must find a way to preserve the natural environment that survives on their reservation.
Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Pipe Carrier and
Tribal Council Chairman
Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum is the grandson of Joseph D. Gray, Sr., whose grandmother was Mary Tracy Fielding Story. Bozsum is an appointed ceremonial pipe carrier, a long honored Mohegan tradition and a self-taught, indigenous flutist. He served as Manager of cultural and community programs for the Tribe and now serves as the Chairman of the Tribal Council.