MOHAWK LARGE TOTE BAG
The Mohawk (Kanienkeh or Kanienkehaka, meaning "People of the Flint") are an indigenous people of North America originally from the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. Their current settlements now include areas around Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River in Canada. ("Canada" itself is a Mohawk word.) Their traditional homeland stretches from just south of the Mohawk River, east to the Green Mountains of Vermont, west to its border with the Oneida Nation, and north to the St Lawrence River. As original members of the Iroquois League, or Haudenosaunee, the Mohawk were known as the "Keepers of the Eastern Door", guarding the Iroquois Confederation against invasion from that direction. (It was from the east that European settlers first appeared, sailing up the Hudson River to found Albany, New York, in the early 1600s.) The traditional language of the Mohawk people is the Mohawk language. Contents *************The name of the people in the Mohawk language is Kanien'kehá:ka, alternately spelled Canyenkehaka. There are various theories as to why they were called the "Mohawk" by Europeans. One theory holds that "Mohawk" was bestowed upon the tribe by German mercenaries fighting with the British troops, who, mistaking a personal name for the group name, started to call the Kanienkehaka "Moackh"; an English corruption of pronunciation turned it into "Mohawk". A widely-accepted theory is that the name is a combination of the Narraganset word for "man-eaters" (Mohowawog) and the Unami term Mhuweyek ("cannibal-monsters"). The Dutch referred to the Mohawk as Maquasen, or Maquas. To the French they were Maquis, or simply Iroquois.*****************A 1634 Dutch expedition from Fort Orange (present-day Albany, New York) to the Mohawk settlements to the west was led by a surgeon named Harmen van den Bogaert. At the time of the expedition there were only 8 villages - from east to west: Onekahoncka, Canowarode, Schatsyerosy, Canagere, Schanidisse, Osquage, Cawaoge, and Tenotoge. All villages were on the south side of the river, between present-day Fonda and Fort Plain. The first (Onekahoncka) being situated on the south side of the Mohawk River where it meets the Cayadutta Creek, and the last being on the south side of the Mohawk River where it meets the Caroga Creek. During the 17th century, the Mohawks were allied with the Dutch at Fort Orange, New Netherland. Their Dutch trade partners equipped the Mohawks to fight against other nations allied with the French, including the Ojibwes, Huron-Wendats, and Algonquins. After the fall of New Netherland to the English, the Mohawks became allies of the English Crown. From the 1690s, they underwent a period of Christianization, during which many were baptized with English first names.*****************During the era of the French and Indian War, Anglo-Mohawk relations were maintained by men such as Sir William Johnson (for the British Crown), Conrad Weiser (on behalf of the colony of Pennsylvania), and King Hendrick (for the Mohawks). The Albany Congress of 1754 was called in part to repair the damaged diplomatic relationship between the British and Mohawks. Because of unsettled conflicts with Anglo-American settlers infiltrating into the Mohawk Valley and outstanding treaty obligations to the Crown, the Mohawks generally fought against the United States during the American Revolutionary War, the Northwest Indian War, and the War of 1812. After the American victory in the revolutionary war, one prominent Mohawk leader, Joseph Brant, led a large group of Iroquois out of New York to a new homeland at Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. On November 11, 1794, representatives of the Mohawks (along with the other Iroquois nations) signed the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States.***************One large group of Mohawks settled in the vicinity of Montreal. From this group descend the Mohawks of Kahnawake, Akwesasne and Kanesatake. One of the most famous Catholic Mohawks was Kateri, who was later beatified. The Mohawk Nation, as part of the Iroquois Confederacy, were recognised for some time by the British government, and the Confederacy was a participant in the Congress of Vienna, having been allied with the British during the War of 1812 which was viewed by the British as part of the Napoleonic Wars. However, in 1842 their legal existence was overlooked in Lord Durham's report on the reform and organization of the Canadas. Members of the Mohawk tribe now live in settlements spread throughout New York State and Southeastern Canada. Among these are Ganienkeh and Kanatsiohareke in northeast New York, Akwesasne/St.Regis along the Ontario-New York State border, Kanesatake/Oka and Kahnawake in southern Quebec, and Tyendinaga and Wahta/Gibson in southern Ontario. Mohawks also form the majority on the mixed Iroquois reserve, Six Nations of the Grand River, in Ontario.********There are also Mohawk Orange Lodges in Canada. Many Mohawk communities have two sets of chiefs that exist in parallel and are in some sense rivals. One group are the hereditary chiefs nominated by clan matriarchs in the traditional fashion; the other are elected chiefs with whom the Canadian and US governments usually deal exclusively. Since the 1980s, Mohawk politics have been driven by factional disputes over gambling. Both the elected chiefs and the controversial Warrior Society have encouraged gaming as a means of ensuring tribal self-sufficiency on the various reserves/reservations, while traditional chiefs have opposed gaming on moral grounds and out of fear of corruption and organized crime. Such disputes have also been associated with religious divisions: the traditional chiefs are often associated with the Longhouse tradition, while Warrior Society has attacked that religion in favour of the pre-Longhouse old tradition. Meanwhile, the elected chiefs have tended to be associated (though in a much looser and general way) with democratic values. The Government of Canada when ruling the Indians imposed English schooling and separated families to place children in English boarding schools. Mohawks like other tribes have mostly lost their native language and many have left the reserve to meld with the English Canadian culture.************The Mohawks, like many indigenous tribes in the Great Lakes region, wore a hair style in which all their hair would be cut off except for a narrow strip down the middle of the scalp. This style was only used by warriors going to war. The Mohawk Indians saw their hair as a connection to the creator, and therefore grew it long. But when they went to war, they cut all or some of it off, leaving that narrow strip. They did this because they did not want the creator to go with them to war. Today such a hairstyle is still called a Mohawk (or 'Mohican' in Britain).