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The Mohawk Indian Nation


The Mohawks are original people of New York state. They existed before the 1600's when the Dutch explorers came to America. No one exactly knows when their tribe arose. The name Mohawk is pronounced "mo-hawk." It comes from a name their Algonquin enemies used to call them, meaning "man-eaters." In their own language, the Mohawk people call themselves Kanienkehaka, which means "people of the flint."

The Mohawk Indian tribe was one of the original members of the Iroquois Confederation, or Kanonsionni in their own language ("people of the longhouse.") The other member nations were the the Seneca, the Oneida, the Cayuga, and the Onondaga. Later a sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the confederacy. Today these long-term allies refer to themselves as the Haudenosaunee or Six Nations.


Some Mohawk people still live in New York today, but most Mohawks retreated to Canada in the 1700's.


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