People of the Flint. The Mohawk are part of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Haudenosaune, the People that Build, because of the longhouses and palisades. We were invaders to the east and were met by Lenni Lenape, Algonquin or Anishinaabe peoples. The Mohawk were like the tip of the spear and our three clans, Turtle, Bear & Wolf, were old clans that described the Haudenosaunee way of governing. The Turtles and Wolves would toss an issue across the council fire. If no consensus could be made, the Bears who remained silent and listening, would offer a judgement. The issue would be debated more until consensus was reached. This is what Benjamin Franklin admired and these influences found their way into the Constitution of the young country, the United States of America.

In my thinking, The Wolfs represent the Senate, the Turtles represent the House, the Bears represent the Supreme Court. The 50 Council Chiefs are the executive and legislative. The Tree of Peace is the Great Law and all laws created by consensus become the rafters that strengthen the Longhouse, the Nation, the Confederacy just as the branches of the tree protect the Longhouse and the People.

The women as represented by Clan Mothers are said to own the land, the tools, the harvest, and own the titles, appoint and reject Chiefs. They also have a voice through the War Chief to commit or decline to go to war and commit the lives of men, women and children.

KANIENKEHAKE – PEOPLE OF THE FLINT (THEY CARRY THE FLINT), fabric collage, 16x20x1, 2006. Santa Fe Indian Market, 1st Places in Classification (2D) Category (Painting/Graphics), Division (Mixed Media). 3 Mohawks representing the 3 clans look back to the west & setting sun on their migration route. The River can represent history & trade & treaties, much like wampum.
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