Facts about the Mojave Native Indian
This article contains fast, fun facts and
interesting information about the Mojave Native
American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions
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
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Mojave
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
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
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.
Animals: Rabbits, squirrels, quail and
Natural Resources: Mushrooms, roots, acorns,
nuts and grasses, seaweed. Redwood and
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
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?
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
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
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.