To this day, if you ask an American Indian, “what are you?” he or she will, in my experience, usually identify with his or her tribe.
Because of the close similarity of many Algonquian dialects and the vagaries of 17th Century phonetic spelling in English, there has been a lot of confusion about tribal names. One of the more shining examples of that confusion was by James Fennimore Cooper, whose Last of the Mohicans manages to thoroughly confuse the Mahican tribe of the Hudson River area with the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut.
I think that both names are a variant of the word “Muhhekunneuw,” which means “people of the great river.” This would make sense since the Mahicans were along the Hudson and the Mohegans were located along the Thames.
On a vaguely related note, Herman Melville saw fit to name Captain Ahab’s ship Pequod, which “you will no doubt remember,” says Melville, “was the name of a celebrated Indian tribe of Massachusetts Indians, now extinct as the ancient Medes.” Even though Melville got the tribe’s location wrong (they’re in Connecticut, not Massachusetts) and the tribe’s status (not only do they exist, they’re now the wealthiest tribe in America), Melville may have known that “Pequot” means “the destroyers.”