THE MOJAVE INDIANS


Mojave Indian girl with chin tattoosThe Mojave (sometimes referred to as "Mohave") Indians are a tribe of the Yuman linguistic stock.  Yuman is a language of the Hokan Family, spoken by various tribes from Arizona, California and Mexico.

The name Mojave is composed of two Indian words, "aha" which means water, and macav", meaning alongside.  The historic Mojave were known as the Pipa Aha Macav,  - the people by the water.

The Mojave lived alongside the banks of the Colorado River, which represented the center of their universe.  The Mojave were adept agriculturists, having mastered complex methods of irrigation to grow crops of beans, corn and pumpkins.

The Mojave believed that performing rain dances would bring forth rain that would help them grow bountiful crops.

They also practiced fishing and trapped small animals on the riverbank, including rabbits, skunks and beavers, from which they fashioned what little clothing they needed.  the men would normally spend their days in the nude, while the women would wear beaver and rabbit skins.

Although their bodies were free of clothes, the Mojave often adorned themselves with extensive blue cactus ink tattoos, which had different meanings, i.e., slaves were identified by their chin tattoos (see inset).

When not indelibly inking their skins, the Mojave decorated the pottery and plates they made from clay and crushed sandstone with beautiful geometric designs.  The pots, along with beaver furs and other goods would then be used in trade with other tribes from the Pacific Coast.

The Mojave were sedentary, but their homes or "wikiups" were rather simple in their construction, being made of upright logs covered with brush.

Mojave funerals were highly spiritual proceedings; as mourners cremated the deceased alongside their belongings and other gifts offered by grieving loved ones for the journey to the afterworld.

This website was created in order to help you gain a better understanding of the history and culture of the Mojave Indians, from ancient history to the present.

We have added references, resources, and other relevant information, as well as a discussion board you can use to exchange ideas and talk about the current affairs pertaining to the Ft. Mojave Native Americans.


Contact: webmaster@mojaveindian.com
2003 http://www.moaveindian.com
Last modified: May 02, 2003