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(mōhä`vē), indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Yuman branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). In the mid-18th cent. they lived on both banks of the Colorado River, in Arizona and California. They then numbered some 3,000. The Mohave were semisedentary farmers who generally cultivated bottomland along the river. They lived in low brush dwellings. Most of the Mohave now live on the Colorado River Reservation in Arizona, which was established in 1865. In 1990 there were close to 1,400 Mohave in the United States.


See H. Grey, Tales from the Mohaves (1970); study by A. L. Kroeber (1974).


river and desert: see MojaveMojave
, river, c.100 mi (160 km) long, rising in the San Bernardino Mts., S Calif., and flowing generally north to disappear in the Mojave Desert. Due to the porous soil and rapid evaporation, much of its course is underground except during the short wet season.
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The Mohave, a Native American tribe of the American Southwest, are said to interpret their culture in terms of dreams, rather than interpret dreams in terms of their culture. For instance, omen dreams, while they may not necessarily reflect what will actually happen, foretell what could happen. While, power dreams of shamans and warriors are considered vital for predicting future events.

The Mohave also believe in pathogenic dreams—dreams that cause illness. There are two types of pathogenic dreams in Mohave culture: dreams, during the course of which, the dreamer falls ill because of certain harmful adventures the soul experiences in the dream; and dreams, that are so upsetting the dreamer reacts to them by becoming ill.

For example, a woman becomes severely depressed after dreaming that a dead relative cooked and served her a fish. While eating the fish, the dreamer realizes that the head of the fish is the head of her mother. Dreams such as this, especially about ghosts of relatives, are known to cause actual illness and are particularly dangerous if they involve being fed by, or engaging in coitus with, the ghost of the dead.

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Keith West, 77, the first president of Mohave Community College (AZ).
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