Luke Layton Section #7204 The Iroquois
  1. Area inhabited/ruled [if members of your group emigrated, immigrated, or established settlement (colonies) outside of their home country you should include an explanation of that travel or settlement in this section; include places traveled and reasons for leaving home country]
The area that was the original homeland of the Iroquois, was in upstate New York between the Adirondack mountains and Niagra Falls. Over time the Iroquois gained control of most of the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada. The Iroquois’s main land was New York. Back then there was towering forests, teeming rivers, and fertile marshes for all different types of wildlife. At the tribe’s maximum in 1680 their empire extended from Chesapeake Bay, across Kentucky, and the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, by the Illinois River, to lower Michigan, and southern Ontario, and southwestern Quebec, then ending up in New England. In the United States much of the Iroquois homeland was surrendered to New York land speculators in a series of treaties following the Revolutionary War.
iroquois_new_york.jpg
The state of New York was the mainland of the Iroquois
  1. Everyday Life
The Iroquois women have equal rights with men. Women are in charge of property, agricultural land holdings, including dwellings and horses. Occupations for men include farming, gathering forest products, fishing, and hunting. One of the most famous things about the Iroquois is that they lived in the Indian longhouse. They called their selves Haudenosaunee, or people of the longhouse. The six different Iroquois tribes were constantly having wars against each other before they joined together to form the Iroquois Confederacy. The reason how the hairstyle “Mohawk” got its name and the reason why people cut their hair like that is because of one of the six regions of the Iroquois “Mohawk”. The Iroquois tribe dominated two-hundred years before Colonial America, but it is strange because their enemies were twice their size (in
iroquois_longhouse.jpg
This is what an Iroquois longhouse looked like
population).


  1. Social and Political Organization
The government that ruled over the six Iroquois nations was called the Iroquois Confederacy. A legend of how it started is the first five tribes would have war against each other all the time, and one day two wise men told the tribes to stop fighting, and after some speculation, it made sense, so the fighting stopped. The Iroquois Confederacy would vote on their chiefs by discussion and voting. The clan mothers of each tribe would vote on their chiefs. In 1722 the Tuscarora joined the Iroquois Confederacy, but they are a non-voting member. The Iroquois Confederacy joined together in the 16th Century.

  1. Religion
The Iroquois religious beliefs are centered on an omniscient “Great Spirit”. Iroquois people believe they cannot speak to their “Great Spirit” directly, so they give their prayers up by burning tobacco up to the lesser spirits of good. The lesser spirits of good that helped the “Great Spirit” were Thunderer, and the three sisters(Maize, Beans, and Squash). When full time religious specialists were absent; elders appointed part time male and female specialists known as “Keepers of the Faith”. Around 1800 an Iroquoian tribe member named Handsome Lake said he had a vision that the Iroquoian people had lost their cultural integrity. He created his own religious belief by combining Iroquois beliefs, Quaker beliefs, and aspects of White culture. In 1960 at least half of the Iroquoian people had accepted the Handsome Lake Religion.
  1. Arts/Technology/Developed Culture
The Iroquois people used wampum and wampumpeag for money and traditions. The Iroquois made their clothes out of animal hides and woven plant fibers. The Iroquoian False Face Masks were unique and interesting. The mask represents spirits who reveal themselves in a prayer and tobacco-burning ritual preformed before the carving of the mask. Men wear headgear called Kastoweh. The women’s headgear resembles a tiara and each one is different. The Iroquois knew how to bend wood in a way to make different types of products. The Iroquois can simply be put as the most important Native American group in North American history.


iroquois_indian.jpg
This is how a typical Iroquois Indian would dress