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Transcript of The Iroquois
Environment and Climate
Samuel de Champlain
One of the adventurers was Samuel De Champlain who had a stroke and died on Christmas Day (December 25,1635). Champlain’s first winter (at habitation) he made an alliance with the Montagnais, the Algonquin and the Huron (the Iroquois enemy). The first contact happened in the spring 1609 when Samuel de Champlain,three of his men,60 Huron and Algonquin in a canoe and going to Iroquois land,they were spotted by the a group of Mohawk, Who are members of the Iroquois confederacy. By dawn the Huron and Algonquins were going to face the Iroquois,both sides were ready to fight Champlain fired his arquebus (a heavy,portable gun invented in the 1400s.) Which killed 2 Iroquois chiefs and wounded the third (who died later) the Iroquois fled into the forest,Champlain shot more who tried to escape (the first contact wasn’t positive). Feeling confident Champlain thought it would be easy to get rid of the Iroquois. He went back to "new France" and told the Algonquin and Huron that he was coming back with 500 men. Champlain's men went to fight the Iroquois. The Iroquois attacked the men with a shower of poisoned arrows. Many Huron were hurt and Champlain got shot in the leg twice. The Huron wouldn't give Champlain a ride back to habitation,instead go to huronia. Champlain eventually got better but in 1635 he got a stroke he died on Christmas day.
Another explorer was Jacques Cartier,he was hired by the king to look for the northwest passage(a route to china). The king gave him 2 ships,supplies and a crew with 61 men. They started at cape bonavista (off the coast of Newfoundland). They explored the coast for a month.Cartier and crew traveled north (to gaspe peninsula) but the was a big storm that swept them to gaspe bay. Where he met the st.lawrence Iroquois (they spoke laurentian)”a man came into sight who ran after our long-boats along the coast,making frequent signs towards the said [first nations] point.And seeing these signs we began to row towards him,but he saw that we were returning,he started to run away and to flee before us.We landed opposite to him and placed a knife and a woolen girdle [sash,belt] on a branch;and then returned to our ships.” On Tuesday, July seven,the Iroquois traded furs and Cartier sent two men to trade iron goods.before leaving Gape bay Cartier built a wooden cross at the mouth of the bay to claim the land in the name of France. The chief of the Iroquois (Donnacona) was dubious of the cross and decided to question Cartier about it, he told him that it was a landmark so he could return again. Cartier asked Donnacona if he could bring his sons with him to France so they can learn french to be translators when he comes back. Nobody knows if Cartier kidnapped the sons (Domagaya and Taignoagny) or if they willingly went but the next day they were with Cartier. The king of France was pleased with Cartier and hired him for another expedition. Cartier returned were the Iroquois celebrated Domagaya and Taignoagny return,after the celebration Cartier had a fort built because he was afraid that the St.Lawrence Iroquois would attack. The winters were hard,the food supply ran out and many of the crew members suffered scurvy,the St.Lawrence Iroquois showed Cartier how to make tea high in vitamin C. The recipe cured Cartier’s crew in a week. At the end of winter he captured many Iroquois to bring back to France as hostages. Sadly all the people he captured died except a little girl. Carter was supposed to go on a third voyage to start a colony and Roberval was supposed meet Cartier with supplies in the new world but he never came. Cartier decided to continue sailing to Stadacona and told the Iroquois that their chief died in France,lied about the deaths of the other Iroquois even the chiefs sons he told them that they have become powerful lords in France and didn't want to come back. On September 1 Cartier died.
Location and vegetation
The Iroquois lived in the Northern woodlands which stretch from the south shores of the gulf of st. Lawrence to the west of lake superior.The Northern Woodlands. rocky outcrops, musket, rugged hills and uplands, many lakes and rivers. Swift flowing rivers and streams, especially during spring runoff. Vegetation: dense coniferous forests, with some deciduous shrubs. Farther north, area becomes a tundra( sparse trees, low shrubs, mosses and lichens).the Iroquois were sedentary.
There is an abundant food source. The Iroquois get some of their food by hunting beaver,fox,otter,rabbit,muskrat,deer,elk,
moose and bear. In the spring fall and summer there are migrating birds that the Iroquois would also hunt such as geese,duck and pigeons because they provided meat and eggs. They would also hunt seals and walruses that came ashore on the beaches to the enjoy the warm sunlight and sometimes they would hunt dolphins and small whales. They would also go fishing when spring was coming to catch the first schools of salmon,herring and sturgeon, the Iroquois would settle in villages along the coast near the shellfish beds or at the mouth of the river,anticipating the first runs of fish, these fishes would come year after year and each year they would come during spring and stay until autumn. In the lakes and rivers there was also bass,pike,pickerel,trout,perch,halibut,white fish and cod. During summer the main source of food came from the water,the Iroquois ate different types of shellfish like scallops,mussels,oysters and clams. During fall the Iroquois would gather wild rice,honey,wild fruit,roots,herbs,nuts and other plants from the woods and meadows around their village to eat,use for medicine or to be preserved for winter (smoked and dried and also made into pemmican,pemmican is compacted nutritious food used during traveling). The Iroquois would collect sap from birch and maple trees and boiled into syrup or sugar. The Iroquois would farm too. The main food they grew is corn,beans and squash. (the three sisters. ) Farmers take advantage of the corns,beans and squash being very compatible by growing them very close to each other so the corn would be a natural support for the beans and the squash would squish,weeds.
who was responsible for getting the food and who is responsible for making the food
the males where responsible for getting the food and females were responsible for getting and making the food.
the males would:
-hunt,trap and snare animals both big and small -go fishing
the women would:
-gather plants for food,medicine and for materials
-hunt and snare small animals
-dry/preserved foods for winter
-tend the fire
-skin the animals,clean and tan the fur and stretch the fur
-some would plant and harvest summer gardens
The Iroquois lived in longhouses. The longhouses were made out of saplings
and sheltered with elm bark..Before building a longhouse the men would go into the woods and find young elm,cedar and birch trees. They peeled the bark from the trees, dried it and then cut it into large sheets of bark.They made long poles from the thin tree trunks. On a clear flat ground the men would trace out the longhouse and dig out holes for the poles to be in and then start the framework. To make the framework you would have to take saplings or young trees and wrap them sideways across the poles for support. Beams or rafters were tied under the roof inside to brace the structure. The men covered the walls and roof with bark sheets (rough inside out) They tied the bark on with bark strips. For extra protection, they set up some upright poles on the outside of the bark to hold it in a tight grip. The door was made of bark or animal hides at one or both ends of the longhouse. The door always was low to keep the heat in.
The longhouse villages were surrounded by long tall pointy sticks to prevent sneak attacks from the other tribes. There was only one door and outside it there were cornfields. The villagers moved to different locations every 10-15 years when the soil was no longer fertile enough to grow crops.
Inside the long house they all had to share one room. Each longhouse was home of a clan. A clan is normally made up of 15-20 families. Sometimes a clan occupied other longhouses to fit everyone. Members of a family include the parents, the children, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins. Over each longhouse door there was a emblem (a symbol ) . The emblem is the clan who lived there. It stood for the animal that the clan believed to be their guardian,the clan was named after that animal.
Late winter was the most difficult time for people living in the deep woods. As the days grew longer and warmer, migrating ducks and geese returned from the south. The woodland Cree families traveled toward the traditional meeting. Travel was difficult as the deep snow softened and grew wet. They stopped often to hunt, because food was short in supply. By the time the duck hunts began, the streams were running high and lakes were clearing of ice. Fish were swimming up the creeks in great numbers to spawn. Flocks of waterfowl were back. The beaver were active again,so food was plentiful. Birch and maple grew in the southern areas. Sapping for syrup was a spring activity, and the syrup was made into sugar.
During the summer, groups came together for festivals or to make group decisions. This helped people to have a sense of group identity. Religious ceremonies were held. Some law cases were summer activities. Summer camps were made in open areas of the forest near lakes and rivers. Fish was a main source of food in the summer. Hunting for such a long group of people would have quickly reduced the amount of game in the area.
When the first frost appeared, family groups returned to the forests. Families had traditional hunting, trapping and ice fishing territories. Groups would be separated by many kilometers. Each hectare of forest supported a limited amount of game.During the long winter months they hunted, fished and set snares and traps for smaller animals like snowshoe hare. Snares and traps were checked every day. During the long winter months, the women made clothing from animal skins they had tanned during the summer. They decorated clothing and objects with porcupine quills or dyes. Stories were told during winter work. If no food was available in a family's area, they were welcome to hunt in another family’s territory. Sharing of food and hospitality were essential. A family could starve if its main hunter was injured or killed, so others shared with them.
Hunting, gathering, drying and preserving food for winter were autumn activities. Trading furs for supplies such as wild rice with groups farther south increased the food supply. Individuals who had been away on trading expeditions returned to camp in autumn.
What the women wore
The clothes were made of deerskin. Women wore skirts,vests and
. They decorated their clothes with porcupine quills, shell beads and dyed hair. Women also made necklaces out of shell beads and animal teeth. The women in the northern area wore leggings and
. In winter they wore rabbit fur capes or shawls tied over their left shoulder.
What the men wore
The clothes were made from deer skin.The men wore deerskin
in the very hot summer. In the winter they wore leather leggings and tunics. They wore
made of leather or corn husks.
a slipper/shoe usually made from soft leather,deerskin or animal skins,with no heel and the soles brought up and sewed to a U shaped leather on top
Who made the clothes and what it was made from
During the warm months, women and girls wore dresses and
made from animal skins. Knee-length leggings were added when the weather got cold.Coats and blankets were woven from strips of rabbit skin. Moose or caribou coats, hats and blankets were made for winter wear. Boots lined with fur were worn over
for extra warmth.
pieces of material (deerskin,animal skin,animal furs,leather) hang from the front and the back to the waist
Pics from the ROM!
The Iroquois called themselves the “Haudenosaunee” and it means “People of the long house” or being more precise "they are building a longhouse" .they referred them selves as “Ganonsyoni” (“Goano'ganoch'sa'jeh'seroni” ) which means "The Lodge extended Lengthwise". The Iroquois confederacy is made up of Five Nations and Five Nations of the Iroquois,Six Nations later in 1722. The Iroquois say that The Great Peacemaker established the name at the time during the formation of the League. It says that the nations of the League should live together as families in the same longhouse.
Traditionally,the Mohawk are the guardians of the eastern door because they are located in the east, The Seneca are the guardians of the western door of the "tribal longhouse"
The French colonists called the Haudenosaunee as Iroquois,the phrase used by the Algonquian-speaking tribes they first encountered along the Atlantic Coast. The name has two possible origins, both involving Algonquian-speaking tribes,who were enemies with Haudenosaunee . French transliteration of irinakhoiw, a Huron (Wyandot) name for the Haudenosaunee. They used a derogatory term, meaning "black snakes" or "real adders" or it could be that Basque fishermen had traded with the Algonquins along the Atlantic coast, who were enemies of the Haudenosaunee. "Iroquois" was derived from a Basque expression, hilokoa, meaning the "killer people". Since there is no "L" sound in the Algonquian languages of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence region, the tribes used the name Hirokoa for the Haudenosaunee. They used this in the pidgin language for communicating with the Basque. The later French colonists transliterated the word according to their own phonetic rules and becoming "Iroquois".
The Iroquois invented lacrosse ("the creator's game") the Iroquois called lacrosse "Tewaarathon" it was played to give thanks to the creator and to add extra power to the medicine to heal the sick. It was also played to resolve conflicts. The Iroquois also invented many games such as "the snowsnake game" it was a winter game,you play by throwing a snowsnake down a long snow packed track the player who slides the snowsnake the furthest wins.(You can place bets.)A snowsnake is a stick with a lead point for balance,another game they invented was Atenaha (Seed Game) Pronounced: ah-deh-nah-ha you play by first choosing someone to roll eight dice,the dice is passed counter-clockwise if you are playing for fun but if you are playing to honor someone who passed on to the spirit world. The person who is rolling the the dice can keep on rolling as long as they are winning corn. They also invented the wampum belts and the longhouse.
Festivals (Community gathering)
The new year would begin when the men came back from the fall hunt announcing that the mid-winter festival will begin, it would last for five days with two or three days of game playing.it was held in late January or early February. It was a time for spiritual cleansing and renewal to honor that the Iroquois would clean their home,public confessions were made,the playing of the traditional dice game which represent the struggle between the creator and his evil twin for control over earth,thanks was given to the creator,(dreams were believed as supernatural messages) everyone was committed to help the dreamer by execute the needs/desires in the dream.
When it was spring,it was time for the thanks to the maple festival,it was a one day celebration with social dances and ceremonial burning of tobacco at the base of a maple tree.
In May or June, corn seeds saved from last year are blessed at the corn planting festival, it would last for half a day the creator would be given thanks along with the spirit forces for sun and rain.
When the strawberry's ripened in June, it meant it was time for the strawberry festival. Dancers would mimic the motions of berry pickers it lasted for one day and it was a time to give thanks.
In August or early September the corn was ready to eat which meant it was time for the green corn festival. It was for four days an ceremony for each day on the first day there is a regular thanksgiving, a Feather Dance to honoring the people who worked to put on the festival and there is the naming of children,young adults and adoptees. On the second day there is more dances and more names given to children,young adults and adoptees. The third day was a day committed to personal commitment and sacrifice. There is a ceremonial burning of tobacco,speeches and dancing and afterward a feast. On the forth day the traditional dice game is played and finally the women who worked in the fields sang thanksgiving for the crops.
When all the crops harvested and stored away before all the men would leave for the fall hunt the harvest festival is held.this festival is taken place in October
-Gather wild plants,berries and other sources of food,medicine and raw materials
-Hunt snare small animals and fish
-Dry meat fish berries for winter storage
-prepare meals and tend the fire
-gather bulrushes to weave into mats
-make twine,rope,thread from spruce roots,rawhide and sinew (“a piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting muscle to bone; a tendon or ligament”)
-clan mothers were given the right to ordain and remove sachems (chief) from the Iroquois Confederacy
- take care of the longhouse
- tending to the gardens, collecting food
- They also made many household objects for the longhouses, such as: baskets, pottery, clothing, storage items, and cradleboards
-take care of the children when they were young; and when young girl's were old enough they would work beside their mothers and learn from them how to take care of the longhouse.
The roles and responsibilities of a women
The roles and responsibilities of a man
-Men were the warriors, tradesmen, and hunters
- responsible for protecting their families from raiding enemy tribes and animal attacks.
- responsible for hunting wild game so that their wive could prepare the meals.
- men would go out to trade with other Iroquoian-speaking nations
-teach the children
- instruct the young one's.
roles and responsibilities
Interacting with other tribes
In the beginning of 1609 the Iroquois league was in a series of wars (the beaver war) against the French,their Huron allies, and other neighboring tribes, including the Petun, Erie, and Susquehannock. Trying to control access to game for the profitable fur trade, European goods on which they had become dependent. The Iroquois launched attacks against neighboring tribes in order to avenge or replace the huge number of deaths caused from battles and smallpox epidemics. In 1628, the Mohawk defeated the Mahican gained fur trade with the Dutch at Fort Orange, New Netherland. In 1649 during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois used recently purchased Dutch guns to attack the Huron, who were allied with the French. These attacks, mainly against the Huron towns of Taenhatentaron (St. Ignace) and St. Louis in Michigan, were the final battles that destroyed the Huron Confederacy. From 1651 to 1652, the Iroquois attacked the Susquehannocks, located to the south in present-day Pennsylvania, without sustained success.In 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Sokoki tribe of the upper Connecticut River. Smallpox struck again; and through the effects of disease, famine and war, the Iroquois were threatened by extinction. In 1664, an Oneida party struck at allies of the Susquehannock on Chesapeake Bay. About 1670, the Iroquois drove the Mannahoac tribe out of the northern Virginia Piedmont region. They began to claimed their territory. In 1672, the Iroquois were defeated by a war party of Susquehannock. 1677, the Iroquois adopted the majority of the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock into their nation. In 1684, the Iroquois invaded Virginia and Illinois territory again. In 1679, the Susquehannock, with Iroquois help, assaulted Maryland's Piscataway and Mattawoman allies. Peace was not reached until 1685. Before these war the Iroquois would trade with other tribes.
The Iroquois played lacrosse ("the creator's game") the Iroquois called lacrosse "Tewaarathon" it was played to give thanks to the creator and to add extra power to the medicine to heal the sick. It was also played to resolve conflicts. The Iroquois also played many games such as "the snowsnake game" it was a winter game, you play by throwing a snowsnake down a long snow packed track the player who slides the snowsnake the furthest wins.(you can place bets.)A snowsnake is a stick with a lead point for balance,another game they played was Atenaha (Seed Game)Pronounced: ah-deh-nah-ha you play by first choosing someone to roll eight dice,the dice is passed counter-clockwise if you are playing for fun but if you are playing to honor someone who passed on to the spirit world. The person who is rolling the the dice can keep on rolling as long as they are winning corn and the Iroquois also played the bouncing of dried fruit-pit "dice" from a wooden bowl.
The main instrument the Iroquois used is wind instruments, the Iroquois had wooden flute called "courting flute," it had six finger stops and was blown from the end. Rattles were also made, they were made by placing dried corn kernels inside different materials like turtle shells, gourds, bison horns or folded dried bark. The Iroquois had drums too, the Iroquois would make a wooden bucket and cover it with stretched animal skin and inside the right amount of water was placed to create the sound wanted when the drum was tapped with a stick.
The Iroquois made Kindling, baskets, shoes, and dolls were made from corn husks. Containers were made of elm bark and the Iroquois made wampum belts,wampum belts were made of quahog (round,hard clam) or large clam shell.