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Pragmatic Agents Of Empire Dutch Intercultural Mediators Among The Mohawks In Seventeenth-Century New Netherland

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Chapter Summary

Recently, historians of colonial North America have paid much attention to intercultural mediators. Although the Dutch in New Netherland were in frequent contact with various indigenous peoples, this chapter focuses here only on Dutch mediators among the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawks who lived in the region west of the Upper Hudson Valley. The chapter discusses the Mohawk-Dutch relationship for analysis rather than Dutch interactions with other native peoples in New Netherland because the relationship between the Dutch and Mohawks remained largely peaceful throughout the period of Dutch colonial rule. After having provided a short social profile of the Dutch mediators among the Mohawks, the chapter analyzes to what extent these Dutch individuals associated with their Mohawk neighbors. Were these Dutch intermediaries truly people in between who sincerely tried to bring the Dutch colonists and Mohawks closer together or did they only pragmatically cooperate with the Mohawks in order to further colonial expansion?

Keywords: Dutch intercultural mediators; Mohawks in seventeenth-century; Netherland



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