Mohawk Indian Tribe of New York

Published on October 18, 2010 by John

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a Mohawk Warrior in the late 1799's

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a Mohawk Warrior in the late 1799′s


The Mohawk Nation, then known as Kanien’kehake (people of the flint) was one of the five founding Nations of the Iroquois League (or confederacy). The name Mohawk was given to the tribe by the Algonquin and was later adopted by the Europeans who had difficulty pronouncing Kanien’kehake. The other Nations in the Confederacy were the Cayuga, the Seneca, the Oneida, and the Onondaga. The sixth Nation to join were the Tuscarora.

At the time of the formation of the Iroquois League, the five tribes occupied territory from the East to the West, the Mohawk being the “keepers of the eastern door”. People of Iroquoian linguistic stock were sedentary tribes who were accustomed to life in the harsher climates of the North-East.

They were sometimes referred to as the Haudenosaunee, which meant “People of the Longhouse” because of their long, rectangular communal dwellings. In addition to hunting, the Mohawk practiced agriculture, cultivating corn, squash and beans (the three sisters). They were also excellent trappers; when the European settlers came, the Mohawk exchanged furs for rifles, and arrangement which kept the colonists warm, and the conquering Mohawk strong.

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