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Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)

Posted by old bluffer 
Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
June 02, 2005 12:00AM
Comments for death : Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2006 08:05PM by Mr Mouseburger.
You've got the premise all wrong. Chingachok was insane with anger due to the fact that Magua had just killed Chingachok's only son, leaving aged Chingachok the LAST of the Mohicans.

The slaying of Magua is predicated by Chingachok watching, from a distance, his son (named Untas) fighting a losing battle with Magua that is almost as dramatic as Magua's end. Magua guts Untas and drops him off a cliff.

Chingachok's expression says it all. A true look of both horror and passionate hatred overcomes his face.

This is why Magua has a look of fear on his face and why Chingachok makes such sort work of him.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2006 08:05PM by Mr Mouseburger.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
January 21, 2006 01:05AM
> You've got the premise all wrong.
No, I think I am just seeing the death through Eyes Aged with Wisdom winking smiley.

I've hopefully made it quite clear in my writeup that Magua killed Chingachgook's son - but that the resulting killing is beyond simple revenge.

Chingachgook obviously grieves for his son, nobody would say otherwise. His feelings for Magua are more complex than mere hate though, and he certainly isn't "insane". Magua's acts have betrayed his entire people, and even the very land according to Indian beliefs. These are far greater evils than the slaying of a fellow brave in fair combat.

So, for his sins, he must die, but Chingachgook can't take any pleasure in doing it. That, to me, is why he shakes his head at the end - in his own way he is actually feeling sorry for the twisted creature he has just mortally wounded.

There is a huge amount of depth and pathos in the whole scene. You could also argue that Magua's fear is mainly because in seeing the nobility of Chingachgook, he has finally realised how low his grief and hatred has brought him. Certainly Magua doesn't look like a coward anywhere else in the film - it is quite possible that it isn't death he fears, but the knowledge that his life has been shameful.

I should probably have mentioned why Magua was so twisted in the review...

By the way, I think it is clear to everyone that Chingachgook is the eponymous hero of the film (they even say so at the end don't they?) - I thought to mention it in the write-up would belabour the obvious!

In conclusion, I recommend everyone watch this film again - like a Great Totem Pole, it has many levels winking smiley.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2006 08:05PM by Mr Mouseburger.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
February 02, 2007 04:37PM
This death is definitely a complicated one. I agree that it is more than "simple revenge," but I still feel like revenge is part of it, I mean Magua did just kill his son like a minute earlier. On the other hand, if anyone could look at the bigger picture at a moment like that, it would be Chingachgook.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
May 02, 2010 06:21PM
I disagree that Magua looked scared. There is little emotion at all on Wes Studi's face. He just approaches the combat in the same way as he would approach any other, I think.
But Chingachgook simply outclasses him. His experience outweighs that of Magua so much that he can predict what Magua is going to do and reacts instinctively to shoulder roll behind him and make the first blow. He then predicts Magua's next move and counters with the parry which breaks Magua's arm. The final blow breaks Magua's shoulder thus rending him unable to strike a blow. He is helpless. Then I think Magua looks shocked.
There is definite anger on Chingachgook's face, but before he deals the fatal blow, he slightly shakes his head. This comes across to me as scornful. It's not pity, I don't think, so much as disgust.
Chingachgook puts Magua down like the sick dog that he is.

Chingachgook's weapon isn't an axe, either. I watched a programme a long time ago in which a historian stated that it was an unusual weapon and he didn't think they actually existed.

Still, an awesome climax to an awesome film.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
May 04, 2010 05:58PM
Spinball Wrote:
> Chingachgook's weapon isn't an axe, either. I
> watched a programme a long time ago in which a
> historian stated that it was an unusual weapon and
> he didn't think they actually existed.

It's called a gunstock club, I believe.


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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2010 06:01PM by Kooshmeister.
It's called a 'gunstock tomahawk' and they do have history behind them. When Native Americans were first introduced to firearms (on either end of the barrel) it changed their way of life. Early on these were flintlock muskets whose accuracy was questionable, reload time was laughable, and relied on a steady supply of musket balls and gun powder, not something easily found in nature or accessible to Native Americans. Like the resourceful bunch they are, Native Americans DID see great value in muskets as having a sturdy and masterfully-crafted wood assembly. So, a Native American comes across a musket which is a little banged up, has a powder horn, and a few musket balls. Looking for a more permanent solution, this guy modifies the musket by adding a spike, a sharp edge, and shortening the barrel and turns this supply and time dependent European weapon into a brutal melee weapon that's durable, verastile, and usable at the drop of a hat. tomahawk is to a broadsword as gunstock tomahawk is to a claymore.

Since in the movie almost all the Native Americans use firearms [well], just owning a gunstock tomahawk (let alone dispensing an absurd about of ass-kicking) further enhances Chingachkook as a symbol of antiquity and a way of life that has seen its end.
I have watched this film over and over. It is one of my favorites.

In the final scenes when Magua is broken and Chingashgook stands at the ready for the final blow, he gives Magua a shake of the head. I think this was to let Magua know, "I understand your anger ...but you just crossed the line by killing my son."

Magua's response is not fear but a moment of realization that "I must have just killed this mans son, as the white man killed my children." Nothing was wrong with Maguas legs he could have moved away. But, I think he stood his ground to take his punishment in acknowledgement of his wrong doing.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
June 01, 2011 02:01AM
While I agree with much you say, they were not muskets that the heroes used. But rifles. Hawkeye was even called Le Longue Carabine by the French speaking indigenous population. But trade muskets, which were quite plentiful to the natives at that time, having been provided quite liberally by all sides in the fighting of the various North American conflicts, were indeed inaccurate. Which is why soldiers fought all lined up shooting en masse. But the musket did load a lot faster than a rifle did. A lot faster if you was willing to forgo even more accuracy and use a too-small bullet that you didn't need to ram. As to ball and powder, that is the beauty of black powder. It ain't hard to make. Nitrates, Charcoal and Sulfur. Voilà. Only the lead would be the real trouble. And they even used rocks in a pinch.
Re: Last of the Mohicans, The: Magua (Wes Studi)
January 26, 2012 06:19AM
..no..white people killed Magua´s children, they are his enemies..Poe, Uncas and Chingachgook are friends of white women..friends of my enemies are my enemies..that´s all..

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