Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kat Williams

Second Advisor

Dan Holbrook

Third Advisor

David Duke


This analysis provides a better understanding of how members of the Mohawk tribe strived to maintain their cultural and gender identity within a white male-dominated high steel industry. This thesis examines traditional Mohawk warrior culture, meaning traditional Mohawk rites of passage and Mohawk male gender roles, through analyzing the role of Mohawk skywalkers in the late 19th and early 20th century. In tribal Mohawk society, the passage from adolescence to manhood was representative of a boy becoming a warrior. By exhibiting bravery, he earned the title of warrior and, consistent with his new tribal stature, increased his chances at marriage and acceptance as a leader. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Mohawk boys entered manhood by becoming skywalkers. Whether it was a boy’s acceptance into a riveting gang, or a war party, a boy’s passage to manhood was complete.


Mohawk Indians - Rites and ceremonies