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The Iroquois of the Eastern Woodlands

SS9 Project

Brendan Woodward

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of The Iroquois of the Eastern Woodlands

The iroquois of THe eastern woodlands
Iroquois flag
The Iroquois is a tribe of six nations in the Eastern Woodlands

They formed the Iroquois Confederacy
This tribe is very important to history and the North American natives
Name was given by the French

- The Twin Gods-
The Twin Gods were grandsons of the goddess

Sky Woman
Some people believed the twins represented good and evil
The Good twin helped people,and brought good things to the world
The Evil twin killed his mother, harmed people, brought danger to the world
Others believed that the twins were winter and summer, life and death
The twins were exactly opposite
Iroquois Nations
The Iroquoian society was
and matrilocal society
meaning that when a man and a women Mary, they go to live with the women’s extended family.
Female members lived together with their husbands in a single longhouse;

a village = few small-50 longhouses
formation of the Confederacy/league.
of the Iroquois Nations was a group of five, later on 6, different tribal governments.
Mohawks,Senecas,Onodagas,Oneidas and the Cayugas
The 5 original nations constantly waged war amongst themselves
However Deganawidah managed to make the tribes see sense
Thus together the 5 nations formed the first United Nations called the Great Peace Law
Later in 1720 the Tuscarora joined The Great Peace Law

There were 6 annual ceremonies, 4 relating to the corn crops, each lasted several days.
The New year festival, maple festival, corn planting festival, strawberry festival, green corn festival, and the harvest festival of thanksgiving.

made from fur and hides along with corn shucks and plants and tree fiber.
Sewing needles were made from a small bone near the ankle joint of a deer.
Thread was either animal
or twisted elm-bar fibers.
Porcupine quills and moose hair were used for decoration.
Everyday footwear made from a piece of tanned and smoked hide seamed together at the heel and toe, with the top folded down to produce a cuff.
A separate piece of fabric decorated with
symbols was attached to the cuff and removed afterward to be attached to another pair of moccasins.
They also had a
which was a feathered ceremonial hat.

: kilts, breech cloth-long piece of deer skin
: leggings and winter shirts made from deer skin.

mens clothing
League of Iroquois
formed between 1450 & 1600
Called themselves
"people of the longhouse"
But their rivals, The Alogonquins called them "rattlesnake" as they were "silent killers"
In The Beaver Wars(1609), they had defeated The Huron , Petun, the Neutral Nation, Erie Tribe, and Susquehannock
All of the tribes signed a treaty with the French in 1665
in 1677 the Iroquois decided to ally with the English(Covenant Chain), they together would attack the French
The Alogonquins would attack the Iroquois with the help of the French
After the French and Iroquois had signed the Great Peace of Montreal, The French and indian War had started
This had the Iroquois once again sided with the English Against the French
Once the American Revolution started the Iroquois had tried to stay neutral
but pressered to choose sides, the Tuscarora and the Oneida went over on the side of colonists and the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga had stayed with Great Britain
The Continentals had planned an attack on the Iroquois and had burned and destroyed all but few villages
The few remaining villages left New York and moved to Quebec
Multiple families would live together in one longhouse
Marriages had mutual consent between man and women
Women were free to divorce their husband at any time
Women must marry men from a different clan and when married the men would move to the Women's longhouse
men would bring few thing such as a weapon and few pieces of clothes
When a child was born it would become a part of the mother's clan
The boys would move to their wives clan once they have married, the girls will stay and bring their husbands to their longhouse
The women controlled the longhouses, the most elder women were in charge
The men would clear the fields, build and repair longhouses, but most of their time was training for and being in war, hunting, and trading goods
compare and contrast

Boy rescued by a bear
A Party of hunters, who were encamped a long distance from home, were preparing to return
One boy in the party was missing
People couldn't find him and concluded he had been killed
The lost child, in an almost famishing condition, was discovered by a very kind-hearten bear
bear transformed
herself to woman and brought the child to her house
The child lived with bears and cubs until autumn
When the boy needed to return to the hunters, the bear, which brought the boy to her house, said "You can go to your group and be kind to bear tribes" and she gone to forest
The boy never, even when grown, was known to kill a bear.
government based on clans
complex system of government

There were three levels to the Iroquoian government, town, tribal and confederacy
At all levels, everyone attempted to cooperate with one another
in order for things to move smoothly, which is why in all decisions,
the majority ruled
the role of women

honored in their society
symbol of strength and balance
in each longhouse lived an extended family
oldest woman = clan mother
settled disputes and selected the
served for life unless he displeased his clan mother.
Women in the Iroquois nations were in charge of agricultural and property decisions
responsible for ensuring crops well-tended and harvested
when a couple married they went to live with the bride's family
matriarchal society
The Iroquois Confederacy protected the American colonies during the French and English wars, without them there would be no United States.
The league was governed by a council of 50

Wampum belts were used to call sachems to council
sent to other tribes as an invitation to join war
could refuse to partake in an attack on an enemy.
Treaties were recorded on wampum belts
women held real power.

power to
treaties or declarations of war
member of the council was equal but one chief chosen by the mother clan
The women used men as runners to send word of their decisions to parties, or a
woman could appear at the men's council as an
Iroquois thought they could bring the great peace to all nations

The league of the Iroquois = form of


government that assured order and prosperity among its members
decisions made democratically
councils would be held to discuss matters such as hunting,fishing,farming, defense,religion,and ceremonies
the tribal council discussed policy but lacked authority to carry out decisions unless a
agreement was reached.

six different tribal governments.
Mohawks, Senecas ,Onodagas, Oneidas, ayugas and the Tuscarora
: deer skin dresses and sometimes leather belts.
the dress was worn with a skirt that fell to about the calf and leather leggings tied at the knee.

womens clothing
The Iroquois lived in longhouses
longhouses were very big and held many families in one longhouse
each longhouse contained a clan or with husbands of clan members
beds were made along the sides of the longhouses as well as storage areas
location of iroquois
the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy
known as the "Keepers of the Eastern Door"

guarded the Iroquois Confederation against invasion.
often trading with settler coming from Europe but they also had to protect from armies/tribes in the east
speak their native Mohawk language
their territory ranged to present-day southern Quebec and eastern Ontario
created the present-day "mohawk"
wore during war
women wore this hairstyle during mourning
violent tribe
skilled at the art of beadwork
The sacred art of mask carving, is an art form that held special meaning to the Mohawk
Elders in the villages, on their long winter nights, huddled around longhouse fires and passed around stories of creation, how things came to be, to the younger generations Each myth or legend had a purpose, to explain an element of creation, legends did this by using characters with symbolic representation

believed in the Great Spirit, the Creator of all things.
The Good Spirit made all the good things on earth.
The Evil Spirit, the twin, was responsible for all the bad things on earth.
The Iroquois believed in an afterlife.
False Face Society
was an Iroquois healing group.
Their job was to scare the bad spirits.
used masks chants,rattles, dance to scare evil spirits and chase them away.
THe effect of agriculture

Difference between a legend and a myth
Myths are the story of gods and legends don't have gods but heroes are in the story
Myths don't have exact time and evidences. However legends have exact times and some of evidences such as ponds, and rocks
Usually myths background is before history start
Similarities between a legend and a myth
Both are far from the truth
Both have a purpose

The Iroquois learned to grow corn around 500CE
-They previously led a nomadic lifestyle
Their villages began to grow in size and population
, though not until 1300CE
- Between 500 and 1300CE, villages had an average of 250 people and eight longhouses
- After 1300CE villages averaged around 1000 people and 12 longhouses
- From 1400 to 1600CE villages doubled with more than 2000 people per village, some with more than four hectares


the language spoken over a very large expanse of territory,
including much of the southern Canada, particularly along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, through large portions of the Mid-Atlantic states, and down into the Carolinas.
there were 8 different yet similar languages spoken among the Iroquoians
Cherokee,Mohawk,Oneida,Cayuga,Seneca Onondaga,Tuscarora,Mingo
the diet of the iroquois
Men and women sometimes had tattoos which had symbolic significance.
false face society
had masks which were very expansive.
Rattles were made from deer toes, tied to a piece of hide, which was tied to a person’s knee, when they moved the rattle shook.
dug raw clay from the ground and shaped it into cooking pots, storage containers, pipes and beads.

Since there were no wheels, pots were built by hand, with snake-like coils
The Iroquois mainly


the Three Sisters, corn, beans, and squash
-Though all three were well respected,
corn was the staple crop
-Other crops include: berries, wild tubers, maple syrup, barks and herbs, and sunflowers
-Tobacco is related to Sisters but is used in trade
They had many recipes for corn, some of which could be stored through winter to provide a stable source of food

Tools and methods
The Iroquois grew the Sisters in a specific way that kept the soil fertile for years
-This system required timing, seed spacing and variety
After the soil was
, a section of the forest was chopped down to access the untouched soil
They used stone axes, arrowheads, and knives
While knives were used for more delicate work, stone axes were for stripping bark, clearing fields and removing fat from hides
- Arrowheads were used for hunting

The Agriculture of the Iroquois
-Though the Iroquois are hunters as well, much of their diet comes from agriculture
Men had little to do with farming so the responsibility fell to the women and children
To make it simple, we’ll be breaking this section into four parts: the effect of agriculture, the diet of the Iroquois, tools and methods, and corn

The fifty strings on the wampum stood for each of the sachems.
One string was longer to show the Onondaga were the keepers of the wampum
the Mohawk tribe
extremely influential group of native americans
influence was felt most by the role of women within its society
great example of how men and women can work together.
equality in this culture had a profound impact on the women's rights movement (1840-1920)
worked in so much harmony together and everybody respected each other's thoughts
-Dried kernels were used for decorating
-Corn husks were used to make mats, moccasins,
kindling, baskets, etc.
-Corn stalks were used as tubes for medicine
-Green corn leaves were used as bandages
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