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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow, one of four Mohawk
traveled to London in 1710. This picture,
commissioned by Queen Anne (1665–1714),
painted by the Dutchman Jan Verelst
One of the earliest contacts between Mohawk and Europeans took place in 1634,
involving members of a Dutch exploration expedition. The Mohawk nation later
became an ally of
The Mohawk are
a member of the Six Nations (Mohawk Ohswé:ken).
The name “Mohawk” goes back to Moackh, a man’s name German mercenaries mistook for the name of the people.
land of the Mohawk (Kanien’kehá:ka “People of the Flint”)
nowadays lies around Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River (Kaniatarowanenneh), on both sides of the border between Canada and the
United States of America. The original
used to be farther south, centered roughly in the area of Albany (Skahnehtati) in
the State of New York (Kanon:no). The name Toronto
is based on Mohawk Ateronto, more precisely on tkeronto ‘fish weir’, literally “There are trees/poles in the water.”
of Mohawk people are located in Quebec’s three great Mohawk and Cayuga reservations
formerly Saint-Régis), Kahnawake (Kahnawà:ke, formerly Caughnawaga) and Kanesatake (Kanehstà:ke, formerly Oka).
only about one tenth of ethnic Mohawks are proficient in their ancestral language.
In the United
States east of the Mississippi River there is nowadays only one indigenous language with more than one thousand speakers, and this language is Mohawk.
language appears to be tonal, having a rising tone (´) and a falling tone
(`), and both vowel length
and nasalization have phonemic significance. In writing, a following colon (:)
shows that a vowel is long. The letter sequences en and on stand for nasal vowels ( and [ũ] respectively). An apostrophe symbolizes a glottal stop. Unfortunately,
in casual writing, frequently also on web pages, vowel length and tone marks
Mohawk’s language has been having major ongoing contacts with two European languages:
French, in earlier history also with Dutch, and it has imported words from all
Being a member
of the northern division of the Iroquoian (Rotinonhsyón:ni) language family,
Mohawk is related to Huron, Tuscarora, Wyandot, Nottoway, Laurentian, Onondaga,
to Oneida, distantly also to South Iroquoian Tsalagi (Cherokee).
Genealogy: Iroquoian > Northern > Five Nations > Mohawk-Oneida
Historical Lowlands language contacts: Dutch, English, [Scots?]