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Re "a Mohawk" for a guy's hairdo. in Japan, we call it "a Mohican" and no one says or knows of "a Mohawk". Shouldn't we say a Mohican for a hairdo in English?

Question #127552. Asked by aussiesalute.
Last updated Oct 31 2012.
Originally posted Oct 31 2012 9:46 PM.

looney_tunes star
Answer has 3 votes
looney_tunes star
19 year member
3290 replies avatar

Answer has 3 votes.
The hairstyle is called mohawk, mohican, iro, and various other names. They are all references to various groups of Native North Americans, although the hairstyle is actually similar in appearance to a Pawnee tradition, rather than the Iroquois or Mohican groups.


Oct 31 2012, 10:22 PM
sportsherald star
Answer has 4 votes
Currently Best Answer
sportsherald star
13 year member
698 replies avatar

Answer has 4 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
"The mohawk (referred to in British English as a mohican) is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair in the center. It is associated mostly with the punk rock subculture, though today mohawks have entered mainstream fashion. The mohawk is also sometimes referred to as an iro in reference to the Iroquois, from whom the hairstyle is derived." -from link, where much more info is provtded, The Mohawks and the Mohicans are two separate native American tribes- the Mohawks are better known in North AMericaa for its warriors wearing this style, but as the dictionary entry says, "The mohawk hairstyle is named for, and often associated with, the people of the Mohawk nation, an indigenous people of North America who originally inhabited the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York.[1]

However, the hairstyle has been in existence in many different areas of the world, for thousands of years. For instance, the Clonycavan Man, a 2000-year-old male bog body discovered near Dublin, Ireland in 2003, was found to be wearing a mohawk styled with plant oil and pine resin.[2] Artwork discovered at the Pazyryk burials dating back to 600 BC depicts Scythian warriors sporting similar mohawks. The body of a warrior occupying one of the kurgans had been scalped earlier in life and wore a hair prosthesis in the form of a mohawk.[3]

When going to war, 16th century Ukrainian Cossacks would shave their heads, leaving a long central strip. This haircut was known as a khokhol and was often braided or tied in a topknot.[4]

During World War 2, many American GIs, notably paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division wore mohawks to intimidate their enemies. It was also seen during the Vietnam War. In the early 1950s some jazz musicians, and even a few teenage girls, wore them."

It gets more complicated: "SynonymyAlthough similar in name, the Mohegan are a different tribe from the Mahican, also an Algonquian-speaking people, traditionally based in present-day eastern New York. In the United States, both tribes have been referred to in various historic documents as Mohicans, causing a source of confusion based upon a mistake in translation.[4] The Dutch Adriaen Block, one of the first Europeans to refer to both tribes, distinguished between the "Morhicans" and the "Mahicans, Mahikanders, Mohicans, [or] Maikens".[4] Some people confuse the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) with the Mohegan, although they belong to two different language families and were historically enemies.

The Mahican were historically located in the Hudson River Valley (around Albany, New York). Their traditional meeting ground was in Schaghticoke. Under pressure during the American Revolution, many moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts after 1780, where they became known as the "Stockbridge Indians" or Stockbridge Munsee. Descendants of this tribe were removed to Wisconsin during the 1820s and 1830s.[5][6] Most descendants of the Mohegan tribe, in contrast, have remained in New England; the Mohegan have a reservation in Connecticut." -from link

"Most people believe that the Mohawks, like some indigenous tribes in the Great Lakes region, sometimes wore their hair cut off except for a narrow strip down the middle of the scalp from the forehead to the nape, that was approximately three finger widths across.[citation needed] However, the idea that Mohawks had "Mohawk hairstyles" is incorrect, and came from Hollywood movies, particularly Drums Along the Mohawk. The true hairstyle of the Mohawk, including the entire Six Nations, was to remove the hair from the head by plucking (not shaving) tuft by tuft of hair until all that was left was a square of hair on the back crown of the head. The remaining hair was shortened so that three short braids of hair were created and those braids were highly decorated. This is the true "Mohawk" hairstyle and not the Hollywood version taken from the Pawnee." -from link

So, we really should be calling the hairstyle the Pawnee, not the Mohawk or the Mohican! Good luck making that happen...

Oct 31 2012, 10:26 PM
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