Manual Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Mohawk

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The following lists catalog the specific articles, stories, legends and research materials of this website. Click Here to give an online gift. Toggle navigation. American Indian Article Categories. Most Popular Indians. There is also a traditionally appointed Council of Chiefs.

Cool article, Vincent! I was wondering what clan is the biggest? Wolf, Bear? I don't know which is the largest clan, but as for a small world story I have the following.

I recently found out, due to my adoption, that once I was connected with my biological family, my great-grandmother was Mohawk indian and her husband a French Canadian. My birth uncle did some genealogy work and actually found she was of the Turtle Clan.

Skennenhatie (Take Peace with You)

Once I learned of my heritage, I asked of his. He replied Turtle Clan, Mohawk! Vincent I think we are related my Dad George Lucky Theaubault was Mohawk of the turtle clan his great grandmother was very high up in the nation and married a French man.

This story was originally published December 11, Comments 3. Sort: Oldest. Jan Apr 1.

Mohawk Tribe: Facts, Clothes, Food and History ***

Big Benn. Aug 9. Featured 2, Community 3, Editor Indian Country Today. Jun 4, New Comment. Apr 5, Associate Editor Vincent Schilling. Feb 7. The Word Squaw: Offensive or Not?

Although only men could be chiefs, women were involved in all clan-level and inter-tribal decisions. Sometimes before , the Mohawk helped form the Iroquois League, which became a model for the U.

Culture and History

The league consisted of the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Mohawk; Tuscaroras migrated from the southeast and joined in the s. The league prevented tribal conflict, secured political recognition from Europeans, and increased the members' territory. Fifty chiefs from the five tribes managed the league's affairs. Decisions had to be unanimous and were made only with the consent of the clan councils, such as the warriors' council, women's council, and council of ancients.

The longhouse served a as symbol for the league: up to feet long with bark walls, it usually sheltered five families representing the unity of the five nations. The league's political power began to wane when the Mohawk migrated to Canada in The power of the clan chiefs was undermined by the Canadian Indian Affairs Acts of and , which required elected councils.


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An act threw the strong matrilineal organization of Mohawk society into confusion, since it called for registration according to patrilineal descent. Although it is hard to discern traditional Mohawk religion amid European influences, a few principles remain distinct. Much of the religion is based on a primordial conflict between good and evil. Dreams manifest divine will and should be obeyed in real life. Mohawk shamans spend much of their time interpreting and satisfying dreams.

Christian influence grew particularly strong among the Mohawks. First the French Jesuits and later the English converted most Mohawks, at least nominally, to Christianity. The Mohawk preserved some aspects of their religion, but most Canadian reservations are aligned with Christian denominations. Mohawk religion also stresses the sacred relationship among human beings, animals, and the rest of creation. Nancy Bonvillain, "Iroquoian Women.