Iroquois Facts

Iroquois Facts
The Iroquois Native Americans are a confederacy in northeastern United States originally formed by the Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Onondaga, and Cayuga tribes. In the 18th century the Tuscarora tribe joined the Iroquois' Five Nations, making it the Six Nations. When the original five tribes became the Five Nations, they all had their own distinct culture consisting of language, function and territory. The Iroquois originally called themselves the Kanonsionni, which means 'people of the Longhouse'. This eventually changed to Haudenosaunee, which is the name they use today. There are approximately 125,000 Iroquois today, with 45,000 in Canada and 80,000 in the United States.
Interesting Iroquois Facts:
Iroquois sustained themselves through hunting, gathering, fishing, and farming.
Women were responsible for the crops. They managed the growth and harvest of crops, and settlements moved every 10 to 30 years due to soil losing its nutrients.
They moved on every 10 to 30 years also because of the decline of fish and animals in the region.
Women were also gatherers in their tribes. They gathered nuts, herbs, berries, roots and greens.
Iroquois tapped maple trees and made maple syrup from the sap.
In the winter the men would hunt for fowl, beaver, turkey, elk, and deer.
As the Iroquois were in close proximity to the St. Lawrence River they fished for food as well. Several types of fish were available in the river including bass, trout, and salmon.
When hunting the men used bow and arrows, stone axes, and knives, and they used spears to fish.
The three main crops grown were squash, beans and corn. They became known as 'The Three Sisters'.
Boys in the Iroquois tribe were not allowed to hunt alongside the men until they had successfully hunted an animal on their own.
Although the Iroquois were hunters, gatherers, and fished for food, they were mainly a farming community.
Women chose the chief of the tribe.
When a man married he became a member of his wife's family and lived with them.
Each of the tribes within the Iroquois Nation had its own elected chiefs. These chiefs gathered to make major decisions for the entire Iroquois Nation.
Iroquois Natives lived in longhouses, which were long rectangular-shaped buildings. They had wood frames and were covered in bark. They were called longhouses because they were very long - sometimes 100 feet in length.
Villages consisted of several longhouses, often protected by a fence called palisades. Crops were grown outside of the fenced areas.
The Iroquois clothing was made of tanned deerskin; men and women wore blouses and shirts; men wore leggings and breech-cloths and the women wore long skirts; both wore shoes called moccasins that were made of leather and were soft.
Many of the Iroquois men wore their hair as a Mohawk. This meant that their head was shaved except for one strip of hair down the middle.
Women wore two braids (one on each side of their head) until they married, at which time they would wear only one braid.
The Iroquois Great Council still exists today and they continue to meet just as they did throughout their history.


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