We are taking a break from business this week and spending time with family and friends in the outdoors. I’m always drawn to our native friends and thinking about a great camping spot. Think about it. If it’s a great camping spot today it’s always been a great camping spot and many have preceded us in this great spot! Our society should never never loose sight of those who came before us. The Mohawk’s had it absolutely correct for setting a good example for the treatment of women. They needed a little growth in their treatment of enemies
The Mohawk tribe, who identify as Kanien'kehá:ka, are a native American people
who are from the Mohawk Valley in Upstate New York. The tribe spoke Iroquoian and became wealthy traders among other tribes for their flint making capabilities. This tribe was a matrilineal society(Pearsing 1).
The Mohawk people held women in the highest regard. It was a matrilineal society meaning genealogical lineage was traced through the mother’s side. The deeper the lineage, the more respected the clan mother was. The tribe was divided up into three clans; Bear, Wolf, and Turtle (Pearsing 1). One could not marry another person in his or her clan. The clan elder, or the clan mother, was in charge of the entire clan and distributing the farmland to its clan members.
The clan women selected the men to act as chiefs for the tribe. The women called the shots. Women were tasked with the great duty of preserving and retelling Mohawk heritage and traditions. They also had control of the clan longhouse and its possessions. The separation of the clans in the tribe proved to be most valuable in ceremonial practices. The Wolf and Turtle clan formed one part of the tribe while the Bear formed the other part. The women realized a grief stricken clan should not be tasked with preparing a funeral for one of its members so as a sign of respect and kinship, another clan would perform the task (Pearcing 1).
In conclusion, the Mohawk tribe was a matriarchal society. The women proved to be wise and extravagant leaders. The tribe lived in relative peace among its peers and only saw decline when the patriarchal European settlers crossed paths with them. The tribe still exists today in parts of the U.S and Canada. Also, as a side note the word Mohawk translates to “Flesh eater” as they engaged in cannibalistic activities and were quite cruel to prisoners (Scheimann 1)