The Mohawk Indians were farming people. Mohawk women planted crops of corn, beans, and squash and harvested wild berries and herbs. Mohawk men hunted for deer and elk and fished in the rivers. Traditional Mohawk foods included cornbread, soups, and stews, which they cooked on stone hearths.
Their main crops of corn, beans, and squash —known as the Three Sisters—became the basis of their economy. These plants not only served as food, but were important to many medicines, dyes, and teas.
The name Mohawk comes from a name their enemies called them, meaning “man-eaters.” The term man-eaters does not really mean that they ate people. It means that they were fierce warriors. The Mohawk’s name for themselves means “people of the flint.” Mohawks were members of the Iroquois Confederacy.
The Mohawks were fierce warriors who fought wars with the other eastern tribes, particularly the Wabanaki tribes, the Algonquin and Ojibway, and the Mohican bands. The Mohawks also traded with their neighbors, exchanging corn and woodcrafts for furs and quahog shells.
Today, there are about 30,000 Mohawk in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, Mohawks divided labor by gender. Men spent most of the time hunting and fishing and the rest of the time warred with rivals, notably Algoniquins and later the French. Women’s farming provided most of the sustenance.
Many warriors did cut their hair, but in various ways such as cut on one side, in front and more. According to Arnold Printup, who himself sports a scalplock, “Our ancestors wore several styles to their liking.
Enemies of the Mohawk tribe included the Algonquin, Huron, Pennacook, Lenape, Ojibway (aka Chippewa) and the Mohican tribes together with all the other people they conquered.
Beginning in 1669, missionaries attempted to convert Mohawks to Christianity, operating a mission in Ossernenon 9 miles west of present-day Auriesville, New York until 1684, when the Mohawks destroyed it, killing several priests.
The Algonquians (Mohican) and Iroquois (Mohawk) were traditional competitors and enemies. This was perhaps in response to the formation of the League of the Iroquois. In September 1609 Henry Hudson encountered Mohican villages just below present day Albany, with whom he traded goods for furs.
The Mohawk lived in what would become the New York colony. They were the most powerful tribe in the Confederacy and played important roles during the French and Indian War, American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.
Kanyen’kéha or Kanien’kéha (also known as the Mohawk language) is an Indigenous language of North America.
Twin Gods: Sky Woman’s twin grandsons, Maple Sapling (Okwiraseh) and Flint (Tawiskaron.) These twin deities were the creators and culture heroes of the Iroquois people. Maple Sapling was the god of life and created many things to help humankind; his twin Flint was the god of death and primarily caused destruction.