The Mohawk Tribe

Topics: Iroquois, Mohawk nation, American Revolutionary War Pages: 6 (1927 words) Published: April 22, 2014
 1 The Mohawk Tribe
The Mohawk tribe resided around the Great Lakes and parts of what is now Canada and the state of New York also knows as the Mohawk Valley. Their territory spread among the south of The Mohawk river, and the westward border from the Oneida Nation's territory, and eastward to the Green Mountains of Vermont . They were one of the five tribes of the Iroquois Confederation, or League. The Mohawk tribe was the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois League. Since they where the most eastern tribe and one of the original tribes they were known as the “Keepers of the Eastern Door”. Their role was to defend the Iroquois league from rival tribes and other invaders that came from that direction. The Iroquois League was compose of five tribes them being the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca tribes. Three centuries earlier, hardships, that included famine and warfare, forced these groups to abandon their homeland in the Mississippi Valley and make an exodus to the New York area. The Iroquois invasion was a gradual process in which the tribes carved out separate homelands by ousting the resident Algonquians. (Jameson, J. Franklin (ed.), Narratives of New Netherland 1609-1664 (1909); Ellis, David M. (et al), A Short History of New York State (1957).) The Mohawk Nation is known by many name. In there language there name was Kanien'kehake, which mean “People of the Place of Flint” or “People of the Light”. For them Kanien'kehake or people of the flint cames form their original territory, The Mohawk Valley. The Mohawk Valley contained deposits of flint, which they used as material for tools and weapons as well gave them their name “People of the Place of Flint”. When the Europeans made contact with them their name was transformed dramatically. When settlers from various places started to come to North America and encountered the tribe, they changed the way Kanien'kehake was written and pronounced by their language. So, the names started to be spelled differently therefore changing the way it was spoken. Since the name was 2 Kanien'kehake it attributed various spelling methods such as Canyenkehaka, that came from the first French settlers. There are many theories about where the Europeans got Mohawk from. One theory is that the English, who first called them Mohowawogs, and the Dutch, who called them Maquasen were trying to render the phonetic sounds of the name they heard other tribes call them. Another theorie is that the European adopted and modify it from the Algonquian-language exonym given by competitor tribes. In the Algonquian-language Mohawk means “eaters of flesh". ("WHO ARE THE MOHAWK?” The Mohawk Nation. N.p., n.d. Web.) Knowing that their rivals called them “eaters of flesh” now we can talk about their religion and beliefs. No, the Mohawks are not known to be cannibalistic, well at least according to descendents. Some people think it was a figure of speech given to them because of their fierce fighting style. Also some people say that before the Mohawks joined The Iroquois League they use to eat their enemies but its not certain if they did or not. They followed and believed in Iroquois mythology. The Iroquois mythology consist of gods that created them and or gave them magical powers. The central part of the Iroquois religion is tobacco which was said to be given as a gift by the god Iosheka. Iocheka was the god that created the first people and gave the Iroquois magical and ceremonial rituals. The god Hahgwehdiyu is the creator god, the myth says that he planted a maize plant in his mothers body. When the plant grew it was a gift for mankind, His mother...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Mohawk Indians Essay
  • Essay about Mohawk Indians: An Introduction
  • Essay about Algonquin tribe
  • The Ojibway Tribe Essay
  • The Mohawk Indians: Native Americans, Local to the Americas Essay
  • Yanomami Tribe Essay
  • Melanau Tribe Essay
  • Idols of the Tribe Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free