The Truth About The Mohawk And Why Mohawk Warriors Shaved Their Heads

Painting And Drawing 1 (Oka Crisis Mohawk Warrior) By Akokatssini (Steven J. Black Weasel) On deviantART

Painting And Drawing 1 (Oka Crisis Mohawk Warrior) By Akokatssini (Steven J. Black Weasel) On deviantART

Mohawk Warriors and those cool haircuts

Perhaps one of the most known Native American tribes – for a hairstyle are the Mohawks.

Where did Mohawk Warrior haircuts come from?

To address the namesake of the Mohawk people, it goes without saying that we should recognize the haircuts of the warriors preparing to go into battle. History dictates Mohawk warriors cut the sides of their heads with a strip of hair remaining in the familiar shape of today’s Mohawk. This style is also called the scalplock.

(Courtesy mohawkvalley-wiki.com)

What history doesn’t say however is that this was NOT the only style of hair and as in any culture, styles varied. Many warriors did cut their hair, but in various ways such as cut on one side, in front and more.

According to Arnold Printup – who himself sports a scalplock, “Our ancestors wore several styles to their liking. According to our oral traditions one historian said there was a warrior who also had a strip down the middle shaved out. The majority shaved our heads in some way. We valued the length of hair for its strength, spirituality and power,” said Printup.

_Mohawk_Warrior_Society_flag

The Flag of the Mohawk Warrior Society

Warriors shaved heads to protect women and children:

Mohawk Tribal historian Printup also says at a time when scalps were desired by settlers for bounty, Mohawk warriors decided to cut their hair in various ways to make their scalps more desirable to bounty hunters. “It was an in your face bold move as if to dare bounty hunters to seek their scalps. It was a distinction and a way to protect women and children.”

Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in 1944

Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in 1944

To throw a bit more confusion into the fire, Mohawk author and historian Darren Bonaparte says Mohawk isn’t a Mohawk word, because “M isn’t one of our letters.” Bonaparte says the hairstyle was originally Huron, yet old movies and Mohawk warrior paratroopers shaving their heads on D-Day inspired the namesake attached to the haircut.

Source: Indian Country Today

Photo: Painting And Drawing 1 (Oka Crisis Mohawk Warrior) By Akokatssini (Steven J. Black Weasel)

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