Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Mohave Indians

Mohave Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

Primitively the dress was entirely of willow-bark cloth. Mohave men wore only a breech-cloth, and women a skirt reaching from waist to knees. Moccasins were unknown; sandals were made of badger skin. Rabbit-skin and rat-skin robes were sometimes worn. The hair of the men was uncut and hung loosely down the back; frequently it was twisted into thin strands. Both styles are yet common. The women have always worn the hair hanging loosely, but cut a trifle shorter than that of the men.

Dwelling

The primitive house, called ava, was built over a shallow circular excavation, nearly three feet deep, in which four posts were planted to support the roof timbers, which in turn supported the sloping wall poles. The whole was thatched with brush and covered with mud. About three feet of the structure was above the surrounding surface, the measurement inside from floor to roof being somewhat less than six feet. A low opening was left at the eastern side as a doorway.

Food

The Mohave were not a hunting tribe, although they caught some small game, such as rabbits, badgers, rats, beaver, birds, and fish. Their principal diet was vegetal, including mesquite and screw-bean pods, various grass seeds, certain bulbous roots, squashes, and bean, and in later times watermelons and muskmelons.

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