Facts about the Mojave Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Mojave Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Mojave tribe live, what did they wear, what did they eat and who were the names of their most famous leaders? Discover what happened to the Mojave tribe with facts about their wars and history.
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Mojave tribe?
The Mojave tribe were fishers, hunters and farmers who mainly inhabited California. The Mojave tribe called themselves Hamakhav meaning "People Living Along the Water," a reference to their homeland along the lower Colorado River in what is now California and Arizona. As can be seen from the above picture, tattoos were particularly popular with the Mojave tribe and used for sacred rituals and ceremonies. The Mojave tribe were expert fishers who used utilized nets and baskets to catch the fish. They traveled the river on rafts and poles to different fishing locations. The Colorado River used to overflow seasonally, depositing rich soil that the Mojave used for agriculture. In the Mojave culture the women were subservient to men. Each Mojave village had an elected chief who was responsible for the overall government of the people. The principal chief shared responsibilities for the tribe with the war chiefs, shamans and other religious leaders.
The Mojave Tribe Tattoos
The Mojave tribe tattoos were made using ink from a blue cactus plant. Tattooing was performed at the time of puberty as an important rite of passage. Both the women and men of the tribe wore complete body tattoos as part of religious ceremonies, and were believed to bring good fortune and entry into the afterlife. Protection tattoos were also made when Mojave warriors prepared to go into battle to bring protection and to instil fear in their enemies.
Where did the Mojave tribe live?
The Mojave are people of the California Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Mojave tribe.
They mainly lived in the American states of California and Arizona along the banks of the Colorado River
Land: Arid but with rivers
Climate: Mild temperate climate.
Land Animals: Rabbits, squirrels, quail and chipmunks,
Natural Resources: Mushrooms, roots, acorns, nuts and grasses, seaweed. Redwood and cotton wood
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Mojave Redwood plankhouse with ramada
What did the Mojave tribe live in?
The Mojave tribe were farmers who lived near the banks of the Colorado River. The rectangular Mojave houses were made from redwood planks with slanted roofs. The supporting framework of the house was made using Redwood logs or cottonwood poles. The framework was then covered with Redwood planks. A stone fire pit was built into the house for cooking and warmth in the winter. At the front of the house the Mojave added a ramada, derived from the Spanish word ramaje (arbor). The ramada was a simple shelter that was open on at least three sides that offered shade in the summer. The Mojave also built granaries to store their grain as can be seen in the picture. Temporary brush shelters were used on hunting and fishing trips.
What language did the Mojave tribe speak?
The Mojave tribe spoke in the Yuman language.
What food did the Mojave tribe eat?
The food that the Mojave tribe ate included a variety of fish and shellfish including salmon, trout, eels, clams and crabs. Rabbits were in abundance in their area and were used as a meat supplement to their fish diet. They grew crops of beans, squash, corn (or maize) and pumpkins and the women collected roots, herbs and berries to add to their meals. Many foods were dried either before they were eaten. The Mohave dried beans, corn, muskmelons, and wild plants by the sun.
What transportation did the Mojave use?
Mojave men made dugout canoes from hollowed logs and redwood planks. The men hollowed logs with controlled fire that softened the timber so they could carve and shape their canoe to have a flat bottom with straight sides.
What clothes did the Mojave men wear?
The clothes worn by the men were limited to loin cloths woven from grass or bark fibers. Cloaks made from rabbit skins were worn if it grew cold at night. The Mojaves were usually barefoot, but occasionally wore sandals. They adorned their hair with a pelican plume.
What clothes did the Mojave women wear?
The type of clothes worn by the women were also basic. They wore a willow-bark, knee-length skirts and, like the men, used rabbit skin cloaks at night. Both the men and women of the tribe wore jewelry made from shells and beadwork. They were highly skilled at creating beaded collars with elaborate designs and patterns. Their clothes were painted and embroidered with porcupine quills.
Who were the most famous leaders and chiefs of the Mojave tribe?
The most famous leaders and chiefs of the Mojaves included Chief Iretaba and Chief Hobelia. The enemies of the Mojave Tribe were the Pima, Halchidhoma, Cocopa, Maricopa, and Papago tribes. Their allies were the Quechan and Yavapai tribes.
What weapons did the Mojave tribe use?
The weapons used by the Mojaves included spears, stone ball clubs, knives and the bow and arrow. Enemies captured during raids and battles were made slaves, identified by tattoo markings on the chin.