Q:

What were some weapons of the Mojave Indians?

A:

Weapons used for hunting and war by the Mohave Indians included bows and arrows, heavy clubs and straight stick clubs. The long bow, approximately the height of a man, was made of willow. The clubs were fashioned from mesquite and screwbean wood.

All healthy men took part in military activities. Courage and success in warfare were integral to male prestige. During battle, warriors specialized in one type of weapon and became either archers or clubbers. The Mojave people lived along the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert, and their enemies consisted mainly of other Native American people who lived along or near the river. Unlike their neighbors, the Mojave people had no superstition against attacking at night, and this gave them a military advantage against their opponents.

Although the Mojave held their own against other Native American peoples, when U.S. army troops led by Lt. Col. William Hoffman arrived in April 1859, they were faced with the choice of submission or extermination. They accepted Hoffman's terms of peace and lived under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior's Office of Indian Affairs. As long as the War Department oversaw Fort Mojave, the Mojave people followed their traditional ways. However, when the garrison withdrew from the fort and the Office of Indian Affairs took over, the Mojave people, especially children, were forced to assimilate into European-American culture. This had a negative effect on the indigenous culture of the Mojave people.


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