Many Roles of the Mohican Woman

Published December 22, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

As my Victoria Renee grows in my daughter’s belly, I fantasize about the things we can do together (at any age). I have know for a long time that I have four different Native American tribes that I can be linked to. One of my descendent tribes is from the Mohicans. I often wonder what the Grandmother’s role in those societies from back then. I have found that although the men hunted, traded and fought in wars, the women of the Mohican tribe basically took care of the farming, property and family dynamics. The women were also the ‘leaders’ of the tribe. The men might think they were the “head” of their institution but it is definitely the women who makes sure there is food from the garden, clean living arrangements, helped the children create their own artwork, music and were able to make the traditional medicine that they needed. They were both (mother and father) in charge of story-telling of past, present and future. But I have a feeling the grandmother’s played a very important part in the children’s lives. They were responsible for creating the laws of the land within the tribe. It is true, though that men were always the chiefs but the Mohican woman of today can be a politician if she wishes. The best part (in my opinion) in being a Mohican woman in those times had got to be the art. They are known for their beadwork on different articles of clothing, bags, baskets and many other accessories. Wampum beads are known to be traded as a type of currency though some believe that it is more culturally important as art rather than moneys. As beautiful as they are, they are often created for the next generation only to be told as a story in a representation of a person’s family or an incident. They were a very matrilineal tribe so they believe (which I could see) the clan comes from the mother. Whatever your mother was born into means that is what you are born into…for instance if a man marries a Mohican woman, it is tradition that he must move to her village and everything must go to the woman, even the children. Fortunately the man must marry into another clan. This is important because a wolf clan member may not marry another wolf clan member as a bear can not marry another bear because they are considered brother and sister in the end. I am so proud to know that these are my roots because of their position when it comes to women. To them, they believe that a woman created the world. One day I will write another post on this exciting subject, the Ajinjagaayonh or A Matured Flower. In many stories she is referred as ‘Sky-Woman’.



9 comments on “Many Roles of the Mohican Woman

  • Im in your boat to hip grandma. im creek/catawba and my daughter is going to have my grandchild this summer by a seneca-cayuga lad. we already teasing them about this li’l creetawseneyuga lol

  • Family legend gives me a Cherokee grandmother several generations back. I, too, believe the grandmothers of the clans had great responsibility for the health and history of their communities…in much the same way that we do today. Thank you for this lovely post. – Fawn

  • Now this was interesting, the role of grandmother is an important one but for so many nowadays it is not taken as serious as it should be. Many parents think they do not need the help of the grandmother and the children are the ones who lose out………….of course it is not like that with my grandchildren I have 3 out of 4 grandchildren in my care today and you know what I love it. Even though I am trying to cough up a lung and there is the little person hitting my head with a hammer ok not really no one is really hitting me with a hammer but it does feel like that…………lol

    • HA! Joanne! You are funny! Fortunately the more this generation is known as the “Y Generation”, they are going to need us more and more! I fully expect my Y Gen daughter to keep me in her offsprings life and, like you, I am willing to help her in any way I can….be it college or extra expenses. By the way she passed all her classes this semester and is moving on up! 🙂

  • Congratulations! Such an interesting history lesson as well. Native Americans seemed to have such proper respect for their women and elders. It’s great to hear more specifics on what that respect entailed in shaping their social structures.

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