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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore
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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

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Mohawk History & Genealogy

Native American Overview
Native American Mailing Lists
Native American Links
Mohawk Family Names
Mohawk Government
Mohawk Food
Mohawk Clothing
Mohawk Shelter
Mohawk Cycles of Activity
Mohawk Warfare
Mohawk Ceremonies
Mohawk Dreams
Mohawk False Faces
Mohawk Resources & Addresses
Native American Books

Native American Overview
Native American Mailing Lists
Native American Links
Mohawk Family Names
Mohawk Government
Mohawk Food
Mohawk Clothing
Mohawk Shelter
Mohawk Cycles of Activity
Mohawk Warfare
Mohawk Ceremonies
Mohawk Dreams
Mohawk False Faces
Mohawk Resources & Addresses
Native American Books

My ninth great-grandmother, Ots-Toch or Alstock, who was born circa 1620 in the Mohawk village of Canajoharie, New York, was the reason for my delving into the culture and traditions of the Mohawk nation. Ots-Toch married a Dutch settler, Cornelis Van Slyke, but never left the Mohawk village. I became intrigued with her story and wanted to know more about her heritage and mine. Brian Brown generously shared his own research, much of which you can read on these pages.

Cycles
Food sources led to a definite annual cycle for the Iroquois.

November, December, January, February:

Everyone was cooped up in the village. This was the season for merry-making, games, story-telling, conversation, etc. People who wanted to make new tools or weapons might have put the materials aside in summer to have something to do in winter.

March:

Spawning season. Most of the Natives (except the young, sick, old, etc.) left the village and broke up into smaller fishing camps (perhaps 100-200 people). Fishing consisted primarily of netting the fish. Traps might also be constructed, by driving poles into the muddy bottom of a stream to create an enclosure with only a narrow entrance. Two rows of poles in a "v" shape, funneled fish swimming upstream to the entrance of the enclosure. Once inside, they were later collected.

Another fishing technique involved boys with "scare lines" - a cord with a weight on the end - forming a long line along one bank of the stream and then wading and swimming across the stream. The scare lines, dragged on the bottom beneath them, herded the fish into the shallows where they could be collected in baskets by waiting women. Considering the water temperature that far north in March, it is likely this technique much more popular with the boys in August than it was in March!

Everyone gorged themselves on fish at the fishing camp. Besides the actual work of fishing, thousands of fish had to be cleaned, then smoked. Wood had to be gathered for the smoking. Periodically, small groups of people would leave the fishing camps with baskets of smoked fish, walkback to the village (20 miles or so carrying 40-50 pounds...the people were used to physical exertion), spend the night at home, then come back to the fishing area. When the fishing camp broke up around the first of April, almost everyone might have to make several round trips to take all the smoked fish home. Judging from archeological finds, fish may have been as important to their diet as venison.

April, May, June, July, August, September:

The need to plant and tend the crops kept the women and girls close to home. Men and boys brought in a trickle of fresh fish or fresh meat from short (1 to several days) hunting and fishing expeditions. This was also the season for commerce with other tribes with which the Mohawks were at peace and for war with everybody else.

Hunting was in small groups, stalking deer, rabbit, squirrel or other small game. Occasionally, men went after moose or bear. Fishing involved hook and line (when just a few fish were needed for supper, they didn't need mass production using a trap) or else was done by wading into the river and spearing the fish (which required considerable skill and an ability to hold still for quite a while).

October:

Deer are fat and their fur is best before winter. This was the main hunting season. Most of the population left the main village to go to temporary hunting camps. Deer were herded toward waiting archers by lines of women and children beating the brush with sticks. This was done once every day or two, with the rest of the time devoted to gathering wood, dressing and smoking the meat. By about November 1, everyone was back in the village before the real cold weather set in.

The Mohawk and other Indian peoples had fished for Atlantic Salmon for centuries. Within one century, whites virtually obliterated the species and its numbers have never returned.


 
 

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