Mohawk Information

Mohawk

In the Mohawk language, the people call themselves the autonym, Kanien'kehá:ka, "People of the Flint". It has been spelled in a variety of ways as Europeans tried to put it into their phonetic systems Some sources say Europeans adopted an Algonquian-language exonym given to the Kahnawake by traditional competitors of the tribe: in their language Mohawk meant "eaters of flesh". Other historians believe Europeans such as the Dutch, who called them Maquasen, and English, who first called them Mohowawogs, were trying to render the phonetic sounds of the name which they heard other tribes call them.The Dutch also referred to the Mohawk as Hawks, Egils, or Maquas. The French adapted these terms as Aigniers, Maquis, or called them by the generic Iroquois. The accepted traditional use of "People of the Flint" is associated with their origins in the Mohawk Valley, their homeland in New York. There, the Natives used flint deposits to tip their arrows and for other toolmaking.

In 1614, the Dutch opened a trading post at Fort Nassau, New Netherland near present-day Albany, New York. The Dutch initially traded for furs with the local Mahican. In 1628, the Mohawk tribe defeated the Mahican, who retreated to Connecticut. The Mohawk gained a near-monopoly in the fur trade with the Dutch by not allowing the neighboring Algonquian-speaking tribes to the north or east to trade with them. The Dutch established trading posts at present-day Schenectady and Schoharie, further west in the Mohawk Valley.

Wikipedia, Mohawk, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohawk_nation (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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