Single men over 50 in iroquois

Single men over 50 in iroquois

single men over 50 in iroquois

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In some Seneca and Cayuga moved to Indian Territory now Oklahoma as part of the federal removal effort; other Iroquois factions held their ground until the policy was overturned in and ownership of some of the Seneca land was restored. In Congress passed legislation conferring U. The Iroquois have actively worked to reclaim sacred artifacts and ancestral remains from museums. In a moratorium was enacted prohibiting archaeologists from excavating native burial sites in New York state; tribal members would be notified to arrange proper reburials for remains unearthed accidentally.

Wampum belts held by the New York State Museum in Albany were removed from public display in deference to the Indians' belief that they should not be treated as curiosities, and were finally returned to the Onondagas as Keeper of the Central Fire for the Iroquois League in Years of effort were rewarded in the early s when the Smithsonian Institution and its National Museum of the American Indian committed to returning human remains, burial artifacts, sacred objects, and other articles of cultural patrimony to Indian tribes. Although disputed by some, there is significant evidence that the Iroquois Confederacy served as a model or inspiration for the U.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine were well acquainted with the League. John Rutledge , chairman of the committee that wrote the first draft of the Constitution, began the process by quoting some passages from the Haudenosaunee Great Law. The Iroquois form of government was based on democracy and personal freedom, and included elements equivalent to the modern political tools of initiative, referendum, and recall. In Senator Daniel Inouye sponsored a resolution that would commemorate the Iroquois' contributions to the formation of the federal government.

Many Iroquois people have made notable contributions to society and culture that transcend political boundaries. A dramatic example is Oren Lyons — , an Onondaga chief who has led political delegations to numerous countries in support of the rights of indigenous people. Twice named an All-American lacrosse goal-keeper, he led his team at Syracuse University to an undefeated season and was eventually enrolled in the sport's Hall of Fame. He was a successful amateur boxer in both the U.

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Army and in the Golden Gloves competition. He worked as a commercial artist for several years before returning to the reservation to assume his position as faithkeeper.

In he became the first indigenous leader to have addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Parker Seneca, was a leading authority on Iroquois culture as well as museum administration. He wrote 14 major books and hundreds of articles. He has written extensively on the Iroquois philosophy and approach to government. He founded Akwesasne Notes, a quarterly activist magazine, and the Indigenous Press Network, a computerized news service focusing on Indian affairs. She has been involved with Poets-in-the-Schools programs in at least seven states and has taught at the University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire.

Bennett Oneida and Louis R. Mohawk served in the s and early s as commissioners of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Katsi Cook Mohawk , a midwife and lecturer on women's health, is active is the Akwesasne Environment Project. Her health-related writings have appeared in national magazines as well as in medical books. She also lectures and teaches workshops on the topic of disabilities. Tahnahga Mohawk has a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling; she incorporates traditional Native American healing methods into her work with chemical dependency.

She also uses her talent as a poet and storyteller to show Indian youth how to use visions and dreaming to enhance their lives. Richard Hill — followed in his father's footsteps and became an ironworker in construction before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago. His watercolor paintings include a series on Iroquois culture, and he has also documented the culture through photography. Since the early s, he has curated numerous art shows, prepared museum exhibits for such clients as the Smithsonian Institution , and written many articles about history and art.

He is described as having "a distinctive voice, one shaped by the rhythms of Mohawk life and speech, yet one which defines and moves beyond cultural boundaries" Joseph Bruchac , New Voices from the Longhouse: Greenfield Review Press, ] p. Daniel Thompson Mohawk, — has been a photographer, graphic artist, and editor of several publications including the Northeast Indian Quarterly published by Cornell University. He writes poetry in both English and Mohawk and is working to devise an improved written form for the Mohawk language. He has also served as news director for the Mohawk radio station.

Using the knowledge she acquired when earning bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology, Carol Snow Seneca has written and illustrated a dozen reports on endangered and rare species for the Bureau of Land Management. As an artist, in she created a technique incorporating ink and acrylic paint, which she employed in her renderings of Native American and wildlife themes. Tuscarora sculptor Duffy Wilson works in both wood and stone.

Tom Huff, another stone sculptor, is also a writer and poet; he served as editor of the Institute of American Indian Arts' literary journal in Alex Jacobs Mohawk , whose sculptures, paintings, and prints can be found in New York galleries, has had his written works included in several Native American poetry and literature anthologies. Siverheels was an actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of Tonto, the loyal Indian sidekick to the Lone Ranger series, which ran from to His noted performances include his depiction of the Apache Indian chief, Geronimo, in Broken Arrow , a film acclaimed by many as the first picture to portray Native Americans in a sympathetic light, as well as three "Lone Ranger" films.

Farmer appeared in the movies Friday the Thirteenth and Police Academy. He also appeared on the television series Miami Vice and China Beach. After , Farmer began lecturing on Native American culture and issues on many campuses in the United States and Canada, focusing on media, environmental, and social topics relevant to Native communities. In , Farmer had a role in the well-received film Smoke Signals. Graham Greene Oneida, is a film actor who has found success in both Canada and the United States.

Greene is one of the most visible Native American actors working on the stage and in film today. He is best known for his roles in Dances with Wolves , for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Thunderheart Greene also appeared in the films Maverick and Die Hard: With a Vengeance, as well as on the television series Northern Exposure. Radio station owned and operated by the Mohawk tribe on the St. Regis Reservation in New York. It broadcasts music 24 hours a day, including country, adult contemporary, rock, and blues segments.

In addition, it airs hourly local news summaries, community announcements sometimes in Mohawk or French three times a day, and live coverage of local lacrosse games. Displays traditional Mohawk artifacts and basketry, contemporary Iroquois artifacts, and ethnological exhibitions. Features the history of the Iroquois and displays contemporary arts and crafts. A library is available for research. Displays artifacts and maintains the only completely excavated and staked-out Iroquois village in the United States.

Preserves the culture of the Wisconsin tribe and serves as a point of contact for the Oneida Reservation. Offers changing exhibits as well as a permanent display, "At the Western Door," that focuses on relations between the Seneca Indians and European colonists. Also on display are a furnished s Seneca cabin, six life-size figure tableaus, and over 2, artifacts. Located on the Allegany Reservation, this museum houses , articles portraying the life and culture of the Seneca and other Iroquois Indians, including wampum belts, costumes, games, and modern art. The European and the Indian: Oxford University Press, New Voices from the Longhouse: An Anthology of Contemporary Iroquois Writing.

Greenfield Review Press, The Great Law and the Long-house: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy. University of Oklahoma Press, An Anthology, edited by W. AMS Press, reprint of edition. Now That the Buffalo's Gone: A Study of Today's American Indians. Morgan on Iroquois Material Culture. University of Arizona Press, Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Retrieved January 13, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. In the early 17th cent. Lawrence River and W to the Genesee River. Traditional Culture and Political Organization Their material culture was the most advanced of the Eastern Woodlands area, but they exhibited many traits peculiar to other areas, and this leads many authorities to believe that the Iroquois at some time in the distant past migrated from the lower Mississippi valley. They lived in palisaded villages; the men hunted deer and small game, and the women raised corn, squash, tobacco, and beans.

Women held a high status in the society, and descent was matrilineal. Even before the formation of the confederation, the Iroquois families lived in the distinctive bark-covered rectangular structure known as the long house. When the prophet Deganawidah and his disciple Hiawatha founded c. They thought of themselves metaphorically as dwelling in a large long house, which had a door on the eastern end, guarded by the Mohawk in the extreme geographical east , and a door on the western end, guarded by the Seneca in the extreme west. The Onondaga, keepers of the council fires and the wampum records, were between the Cayuga on the west and the Oneida on the east.

The main Onondaga village served as the capital, or meeting place, of the federated council. Voting in the council was conducted by tribe, and a unanimous decision was necessary to wage war. Nevertheless, intertribal war was not unknown. Rise to Power The Iroquois were second to no other Native Americans N of Mexico in political organization, statecraft, and military prowess. In the midth cent. It dispersed the Huron in , the Tobacco and the Neutral Nation in , the Erie in , the Conestoga in , and the Illinois c.

Depleted by continual warfare, they increased the population by the wholesale adoption of alien tribes, so that by the end of the 17th cent. Their conquests were checked in the west by the Ojibwa, in the south by the Cherokee and the Catawba, and in the north by the French. Relationship with the French and the British Many historians argue that the hostility of the Iroquois toward the French was caused by Samuel Champlain when in he accompanied a Huron war party armed with French guns into Iroquois territory.

In any case, the Iroquois, firm allies of the British, opposed the French at every step until the French lost control of Canada in The French, partly in the hope of winning over the Iroquois, sent missionaries to them. Isaac Jogues , a notable Jesuit missionary, was killed by the Iroquois as a sorcerer in , but the missionaries were somewhat successful, and a considerable number of the Mohawk withdrew from the confederacy and founded c. These Catholic Iroquois, called French Mohawks, took the part of the French against their former brethren. In the early 18th cent. British settlers had expelled the Tuscarora from North Carolina , and by they had moved north.

The British, who had used the Six Nations as a buffer against the advance of the French from Canada in the French and Indian Wars , attempted to retain their favor by accrediting various agents, notably Sir William Johnson Johnson of the Mohawks. The confederacy, as such, refused to take part in the conflict but allowed each tribe to decide for itself, and all the tribes, except the Oneida, joined the British. Samuel Kirkland , a Protestant missionary, was largely responsible for winning over the Oneida, who rallied to the side of the colonists after remaining neutral for two years.

The Continental Congress sent out a punitive expedition under John Sullivan , who in defeated Butler and his Iroquois allies. After the Revolution, Brant, in contrast to the other two chiefs, remained adamant in his hostility toward the United States. Some 17, Mohawk and over 11, Oneida live in the United States, in addition to around 10, people of Seneca or mixed Seneca-Cayuga heritage. Close to 10, Mohawk live in Canada, many on the St. Many Cayuga, who were strong allies of the British, also live on the Six Nations Reserve, which is open to all members of the confederacy.

Large numbers of Iroquois in the United States live in urban areas rather than on reservations. Many Mohawk and Oneida work as structural steelworkers, and the Oneida opened a large gambling casino near Syracuse, N. In recent years the Iroquois nations have pursued land claims in New York in the federal courts, with mixed results. Most Iroquois are either Christians or followers of Handsome Lake , a Seneca prophet of the 18th cent. Bibliography The Iroquois have been the subject of much study and literature.

Hunt, The Wars of the Iroquois , repr. Speck, The Iroquois 2d ed. The Tuscarora joined later. The Iroquois had a highly developed political system and were renowned warriors. Their total number has halved since Today, they number c. For more information on an individual tribe within the Iroquois Confederacy, please see the Mohawk entry. Iroquois pronounced EAR-uh-kwoy Confederacy. The tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy lived in west central New York. They now own eight reservations in New York and Wisconsin, and two in Ontario, Canada, where members of the various tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy reside.

There were 5, Iroquois in the seventeenth century. The census showed 45, people identified themselves as Iroquois only, while 80, claimed some Iroquois heritage. The population of registered Iroquois both on and off the reserves in Canada was 32, in The six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy are: Five of the six tribes that make up the Iroquois Confederacy probably originated in present-day New York. The sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, came from North Carolina. The Iroquois Confederacy was an association of five later six tribes who lived in the northeastern woodlands at the time of the first contact with Europeans.

Theirs was a sophisticated society of some 5, people when the first white explorers encountered it at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The confederacy is said to be the only nation of Native Americans in the New World that was never conquered by white people. The majority of the people live away from the reservations. Depending on the legend, the Iroquois Confederacy was formed sometime between the years and These legends are probably combinations of the many different people and events that brought about the peaceful union of the great tribes of the Haudenosaunee.

As legend has it, the Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, and Oneida nations were engaged in near-constant warfare with one another and with neighboring tribes. People said that Chief Todadaho knew and saw everything, that his hair contained a tangle of snakes, and that he could kill with only a look. He was also reported to be a cannibal. Into this warlike era entered a heroic figure, Deganawida, a member of either the Huron or the Mohawk tribes. Frustrated with the warring going on in his own village, Deganawida journeyed far from home. He met Hiawatha of either the Mohawk or Onondaga tribes , and Hiawatha spoke to him about rules of life, good government, and peace.

Impressed, Deganawida brought Hiawatha back to his own village to teach his people these rules. Then the two men went to other nations, and soon the Mohawk, Oneida, and Cayuga nations had united, persuaded by these two messengers of peace. One day they came upon the home of Todadaho. According to one legend Deganawida watched through a hole in the roof as Todadaho prepared to cook his latest victim. Going outside to dispose of the corpse, he met Deganawida. In another legend, when Todadaho encountered the two messengers his rage sprouted from his head in the form of serpents. Deganawida or Hiawatha asked the chief to join the confederacy and then reached forward and combed the serpents from his head.

In both versions the Onondaga chief agreed to join the union. So it was that Deganawida and Hiawatha made peace among the five warring tribes and established the Iroquois Confederacy ruled by the Great Law. The five tribes shared a code of positive values and lived in mutual harmony. The council included the Chief of the Chiefs and forty-nine other chiefs: The Great Law also established rules for settling blood disputes, thus gradually resolving some generations-old cycles of feuding.

Handsome Lake develops the New Religion. Congress passes legislation conferring U. The Iroquois reject citizenship. The Iroquois request that all sacred masks and remains of their dead be returned to the tribe; The Smithsonian Institution is the first museum to comply with this request. When the first white explorers arrived in Iroquois territory in the early seventeenth century they found a settled agricultural farming society. Members of the Confederacy lived more or less peacefully among themselves, but continued to carry out raids against other tribes.

During these raids the Iroquois were first introduced to European goods acquired by the other tribes from French traders who had settled in Canada. European metal axes, knives, hoes, and kettles replaced traditional Iroquois implements of stone, bone, shell, and wood. Soon European woven cloth began to replace the animal skins used for clothing materials. The tribes raided by the Iroquois formed an alliance with French explorer Samuel de Champlain — and attacked the Iroquois at Ticonderoga in In this way the Iroquois were introduced to French body armor made of metal.

Iroquois armor was made of slatted wood. The French fought with firearms. These were far more destructive than the traditional Iroquois weapons—bows and arrows, stone tomahawks, and wooden war clubs. In response to these European influences, the Iroquois gradually changed their fighting style. Instead of brute power, they used stealth, surprise, and ambush. In the past, they had fought for prestige or revenge, or to obtain goods or captives. Now they fought for economic advantage, seeking control over bountiful beaver-hunting grounds or perhaps a stash of beaver skins to trade for European goods.

The European presence in their territory proved disastrous for the Iroquois tribes. Diseases brought to North America by Europeans—smallpox, measles, influenza flu , lung infections, and even the common cold —took a heavy toll because the Native people had developed no immunity to these newly introduced diseases. Early in the eighteenth century the Tuscarora, an Iroquoian-speaking tribe living in North Carolina , moved into the territory occupied by the Confederacy. They were fleeing from European settlers and traders, who cheated them and took their people as slaves.

Although they came from far away, the Tuscarora found they spoke the same basic language as the other Iroquois. In the Tuscarora became the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. The eighteenth century saw the Iroquois involved in two devastating wars. Members of the Iroquois Confederacy disagreed on which sides to support in these wars. Most favored the British, seeing them as a lesser threat than the colonists who coveted Native American lands.

When the American Revolution ended in the victorious Americans punished those tribes that had sided with the British. Many Iroquois were driven from their homelands, and this badly disrupted the unity of the Iroquois Confederacy. Major changes in Iroquois culture took place in the s. It put new vitality into Iroquois culture, which was severely strained by white settlers pushing westward onto Native American lands. To make way for settlers, the U.

To further the goal of assimilation, members of the Quaker religion arrived to teach the Iroquois to read and write and to instruct them in modern farming methods. Men were encouraged to work on farms. Respected Seneca warrior Gaiantwaka known as Cornplanter; — , helped bring about the change to a farming lifestyle, as did his half brother, Ganiodayo Handsome Lake ; — Throughout the nineteenth century the Iroquois sold large amounts of land in exchange for goods.

Shrinking land holdings made hunting increasingly difficult and left the men with little to do. In the U. In some Seneca did move to Indian Territory, but a core group of the Iroquois people continued to resist efforts to assimilate them into American culture or remove them from their home. Finally the removal policy was overturned in , and ownership of some Seneca land was restored. Census takers asked American Indians in the United States to identify the tribes to which they belonged.

Those who identified themselves as Iroquois said they belonged to the tribes listed below; these numbers do not reflect Canadian Iroquois. American Indian and Alaskan Native summary file. In Congress passed legislation granting U. They see themselves as a sovereign nation with the right to make its own decisions. They do not see themselves as another ethnic group within the United States or Canadian population. In fact, federal law and more than four hundred treaties grant U. Indian tribes the power to act as independent nations. The Iroquois have asserted their position in interesting ways.

For example, when the United States declared war on Germany in World War I —18; a war in which Great Britain , France, the United States and their allies defeated Germany, Austria-Hungary, and their allies , the Iroquois Confederacy issued its own independent declaration of war, claiming status as a separate nation in the war effort. In a delegation representing the Iroquois as a nation attended ground-breaking ceremonies for the United Nations building in New York City.

Iroquois political leaders and athletes use Iroquois passports when they travel around the world. The Iroquois in Canada published a Declaration of Independence in They were responding to efforts by the Canadian government to force Native Americans to become Canadian citizens, which would make them subject to Canadian laws and make their lands subject to taxes. The declaration stated in part:. We, the Lords, Warriors, Principle Women and People, do hereby proclaim to the Dominion of Canada and to the Nations of the World, that we, the People of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy of the Great League of Peace … [are] politically sovereign and independent in our rights to administer over our domestic concerns.

Our nation is Canada and the Indian people of Canada are Canadians. Why should they expect us to apply their laws … in our territory? From ancient times the Iroquois believed that a powerful spirit some called Orenda created everything that is good and useful, while the Evil Spirit made things that are poisonous. French Jesuit missionaries converted many Iroquois to Catholicism in the seventeenth century. Quaker, Baptist, Methodist, and other church groups joined the effort to convert the Iroquois. An intense rivalry developed between the new Christian factions and those who clung to the old ways.

In the Iroquois way of life was eroding. Land had been lost and living conditions on the reservations were poor. Many Iroquois began to experience alcohol abuse, fighting, disintegration of family structure, and other hardships. At this time a revival of the ancient Longhouse religion developed. It was led by a Seneca known as Handsome Lake c. He had spent much of his life in loose living and fell gravely ill when he was about 65 years old. He expected to die, but instead he experienced a vision and recovered. His New Religion was a combination of ancient Native beliefs and Quakerism.

The New Religion called for abstaining from alcoholic beverages. Europeans had introduced alcohol, which had become a problem for many Native Americans. The New Religion also called for abandoning witchcraft. The Longhouse religion is practiced only by Iroquois nations. Today perhaps half of the Iroquois people are followers of the Code of Handsome Lake. Some practice only the Longhouse religion, while others maintain a simultaneous membership in a Christian church. Every other fall members of the Six Nations come together for a traditional Longhouse religion ceremony.

The six Iroquoian dialects varieties of a language are similar enough to allow members of different tribes to talk easily with one another. In the Iroquois language many terms describe characteristics of a single animal, but there is no general word for animal. There are also words for good man, good woman, or good dog, but no word for goodness. The Iroquois language was written down in the twentieth century. Dictionaries and grammar texts have been developed for teaching the languages on the reservations.

The Iroquois tribes were divided into clans group of people related by a common anscestor , each with an animal name Bear, Beaver, Turtle, and so on. In early times the clan mother, who was usually the oldest woman in the group, led each clan. Each chief was appointed for life, but the clan mother and her advisors could remove him from office if he failed to carry out his duties. Handsome Lake and his followers revived this traditional system of chieftainship, and today it is present on the Onondaga, Tuscarora, and Tonawanda Seneca reservations in New York.

Under the Iroquois Confederacy, fifty chiefs from the various tribes were chosen to act as tribal representatives at annual meetings of the Great Council. This method of governing, as well as Iroquois ideas of political equality and freedom, separation of powers, and checks and balances between different parts of government, was used as a model by the founding fathers of the United States when they were forming a government for the new nation. All decisions of the Confederacy were to be made by a unanimous vote of the chiefs, meaning they all had to vote the same way.

However, if they did not reach unanimous agreement, then they agreed to disagree and the individual nations were free to act on their own. When the Tuscarora Nation joined the confederacy at the invitation of the Oneida sometime after , they were allowed no chiefs in the council, but the Oneida represented them in council. In the s both the Mohawk and the Seneca living within the United States abandoned their traditional clan-based structure and established elective tribal governments. Other tribes eventually did the same, either abandoning their ancestral governments or modifying them to add elections.

Traditionalists clung to the ancient structure, however, and hereditary chiefs continue to be appointed by clan matrons in some tribes. On some reservations these two differing sets of governments exist simultaneously. In the mids the Grand Council still met regularly at Onondaga to resolve disputes and make decisions concerning the Confederacy. They regarded the primary crops as sacred gifts from the Creator. Corn, beans, and squash were called the Three Sisters: In addition to providing food, the corn plants were used to make a variety of other goods, for personal use, or for trade with other tribes.

After the Europeans came, the Iroquois traded furs, especially beaver, for European goods. Today more than two-thirds of the Iroquois live in cities. Some work in construction, factory work, and in health care, education, and retail professions. In a modern version of their ancient travels away from the village to hunt, Iroquois men today may support their families on the reservation by living and working in a city, but they return home regularly. For example, many Mohawk live in Brooklyn, New York, during the week, but return to their families on weekends.

They walk steel girders high in the air and are known for showing little fear of heights. Traditionally, fathers pass their ironworking tools on to their sons or sometimes daughters in a ceremony. About half of those living outside cities actually live on reservations. There, unemployment and underemployment lack of high-paying jobs are constant problems. A large number of people on the reservations work for the tribal governments. About one-fifth of the Iroquois people on reservations who want to work are not able to find work.

The routines of Iroquois family life depended on the seasons. When the weather was right, for example, Iroquois men set out on hunting expeditions in bark canoes to provide meat and hides, while the women tended to the farming and other tasks associated with providing food. They also had primary responsibility for child rearing. Young girls were responsible for caring for younger brothers and sisters or for their cousins if they had no siblings. In Iroquois society women owned the property and determined the kinship. For this reason daughters were often considered more valuable than sons.

Extended families grandparents, their sons or daughters, and their children of up to fifty people lived together in bark-covered, wood-framed longhouses that were 50 to feet 15 to 46 meters long. Longhouses were constructed with a small entrance hall at each end that could be used by all residents. Within the body of the house, a central corridor 8 feet 2. A nuclear family father, mother, and children occupied each compartment. Within the longhouse compartment, a raised wooden platform served as a bed by night and chair by day; some compartments included small bunks for children.

Every 20 feet 6 meters along the central corridor, a fire pit served the two families living on its opposite sides. Bark or hide doors at the ends of the buildings were attached at the top; these openings and the smoke holes in the roof 15 to 20 feet 4 to 6 meters above each hearth provided the only ventilation. Villages of three hundred to six hundred people were protected by a triple-walled stockade, consisting of wooden stakes 15 to 20 feet 4 to 6 meters tall that were buried in the ground. During a period of two years or so, the men would find and clear another site for the village, which would then be completely rebuilt.

While traditional longhouses are no longer built, buildings on Iroquois reservations set aside for religious activity are referred to as longhouses. It passed between the legs and was secured at the waist by a belt or sash. Decorated flaps hung in the front and back. The belt was a favorite article. Sometimes worn only around the waist, and sometimes also over the left shoulder, it was woven on a loom or by hand, and might be decorated with beadwork. Both sexes wore fringed, sleeveless tunics, separate sleeves connected to each other by thongs, but not connected to the tunic , leggings, moccasins, and a robe or blanket.

Women adorned clothing with moose-hair embroidery featuring curved-line figures with coiled ends. Decorated pouches for carrying personal items completed the outfits. By the end of the eighteenth century cloth obtained from European traders replaced deerskin as the primary clothing material. In the mids a sudden change occurred in the style of artwork used to decorate clothing with beads, quills, and embroidery. Rather than the traditional patterns of curving lines and scrolls, designs became images of plants and flowers, influenced by the floral style prominent among the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French.

Corn was the traditional staple of the Iroquois diet. It was baked or boiled and eaten on or off the cob; the kernels were mashed and either fried, baked in a kettle, or spread on corn leaves that were folded and boiled to form a dish called tamales pronounced tuh-MA-lees. They processed some varieties of corn into a mixture called hominy by boiling the kernels in a weak lye solution of hardwood ashes and water. Besides corn, and the beans and squash they grew with it, the Iroquois people ate a wide variety of other plant foods.

They gathered wild fruits, nuts, and roots to supplement the crops they grew and dried berries for year-round use. The traditional diet featured more than thirty types of meat, including deer, bear, beaver, rabbit, and squirrel. Iroquois enjoyed fresh meat during the hunting season, and smoked or dried some to use in corn dishes during the rest of the year. Traditionally mothers had primary responsibility for raising children and teaching them good behavior.

Children learned informally by watching their family and clan elders. Girls learned practical skills by watching the women in the longhouse. Boys learned to hunt with miniature bows and arrows and blowguns when they were about six years old. Difficult children might be frightened into better behavior by a visit from someone wearing the frightening mask of Longnose, a cannibal clown. Elders incorporated lessons about life and Iroquois history in the stories told around the fire. Today most children attend American or Canadian public and private schools. Some reservations operate their own Indian schools, where children usually in the lower grades can learn about the old ways as well as modern ways.

Traditional Iroquois rituals dealt with both physical and mental health issues. They treated disorders caused by evil spirits, and they used herbs and natural ointments to cure physical ailments including fevers, coughs, and snakebites. They also cleaned wounds and set broken bones. Another type of healer, known as a conjurer, used chants to fight ailments caused by witchcraft. Twice a year groups of masked people called False Faces visited each house in the village, waving pine boughs and casting out sickness. The Iroquois have a rich ceremonial tradition involving music and dancing. From the time of the first contact with Europeans until , many Native American dances were discouraged by missionaries and by government officials, who wanted the Natives to adopt the ways of white society.

Nevertheless, the Iroquois preserved some of their traditional dances, both social and sacred. Sacred dances celebrate the creation of the world, while social dances are for amusement. The dancers are accompanied by the music of drums and turtle shell rattles, which are still made by Iroquois artisans. Flutes are used in sacred dances, but not for social dancing. The Iroquois are especially skilled at carving masks. Usually made of basswood, the masks are carved into the tree, then removed.

They have bent or crooked noses and long, black or white horsehair. Before the Europeans introduced horses, the hair was made of buffalo hair or cornhusks. Because these masks are sacred, the Iroquois do not want anyone outside their culture to view them. Selling, purchasing, exhibiting, or even mimicking the masks is expressly forbidden. Since the tribes have been requesting that museums and collectors return any masks in their possession. They have also asked that all photos and drawings of the masks be destroyed. Storytelling was another prized ritual, a way of teaching moral values and tribal history.

In the winter, Iroquois families would gather around the fire to hear stories told by people who had perfected the art. A hut located outside the village served as the birthing site. As her time drew near the expectant mother and a few other women withdrew to the hut and remained there until a few days after the birth. Until the child could walk it spent its days attached to a wooden board called a cradleboard, which the mother hung from a tree branch while she worked in the fields.

The Iroquois tribes are organized into eight clans groups of related families , and at birth each person becomes a member of the clan of his or her mother. Members of a clan are considered blood relatives, regardless of whether they are members of the Mohawk, Seneca, or other Iroquois tribes. Traditionally babies were named at birth, but when the child reached puberty an adult name was given. Names referred to natural phenomena such as the moon or thunder , landscape features, occupations, and social or ceremonial roles.

Some examples of Iroquois names are: The Iroquois never addressed a person by name during conversation. When speaking about a person, especially to a relative, they only used a name when that person could not otherwise be clearly identified using other words. When her first menstrual period began, a girl would retire to an isolated hut and stay there for as long as her period lasted. A young man had a longer trial. When his voice began to change he went to live in a secluded cabin in the forest for up to a year.

He ate sparingly, and spent his time in physically demanding activities such as running, swimming, bathing in icy water, and scraping his shins with a stone. His quest was complete when he was visited by his spirit, which would remain with him during his adult life. In the Iroquois tradition a man and woman wishing to marry would tell their parents, who then arranged a joint meeting of relatives to discuss the suitability of the two people for marriage to each other. If there were no objections, a day was chosen for the marriage feast.

In old times when a woman was unfaithful to her husband she was punished by whipping, but the man who was her partner in the unfaithful act was not punished. If a married couple decided to separate, both of their families would be called to a council. The parties would state their reasons for wanting a divorce, and the elders would try to convince the couple to stay together. In ancient times fathers kept their sons and mothers kept their daughters when a divorce occurred. By the early eighteenth century, however, mothers usually kept all of the children.

Along with founding the Longhouse Religion, Handsome Lake revived the traditional Midwinter Ceremony, still considered by the Iroquois to be the most important of their ceremonies. Handsome Lake added four sacred rituals: The week-long Midwinter Ceremony, a time of renewal and thanksgiving, is held in late January or early February during the new midwinter moon. To announce the beginning of the ceremony, medicine mask messengers appear at every house to stir the ashes of cold fires. At this time names are announced for newborns or children adopting adult names. In former times, public confessions were part of the ceremony; those who admitted to failures pledged to reform.

At this half-day observance, the Iroquois thanked the Creator and begged spirit forces for sufficient rain and moderate sun. The Green Corn Festival, which involved ceremonies over four mornings, marked this event. When all the crops had been harvested and stored and before the men left for the fall hunt, the tribe held the Harvest Festival. A strict code of honor governed warfare among the tribes. When a tribe was attacked, it was bound by the code to attack in return. If the tribe did not do so, its members were labeled cowards. Deaths had to be avenged. Before departing for battle the Iroquois held a war dance, a costumed event in which chiefs gave speeches about their past victories; the speeches excited a passion for revenge among the listeners.

Then the warriors broke into a vigorous dance, featuring war cries by the chiefs and responses from the others. When a person died everyone who had names similar to the deceased gave them up until the period of mourning ended. Later new people adopted into the clan were often given the name of the deceased person whose place they took. The tribe held a wake the night following a death. A wake is a watch over the body of a dead person before burial. After a midnight meal the best speakers of the village spoke about the deceased and about life and death in general.

The tribe then placed the body on a scaffold a raised platform for several days in case the person only appeared dead and might revive which sometimes happened. Eventually they buried the remains or housed the bones in or near the family lodge after they had been picked clean by animals. When the village relocated, the tribe placed all of the unburied skeletons in a common grave. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Iroquois conducted burials according to European customs.

Much of the longstanding friction between the Iroquois and non-Native Americans has involved different attitudes toward land. During one land dispute the grave of Seneca Chief Cornplanter had to be moved to make way for a dam. His descendant, Harriett Pierce, commented: For decades the Iroquois have worked to reclaim articles they consider sacred and the remains of dead ancestors held by museums. In archaeologists were ordered to stop digging up Native burial sites in New York State. Tribal members were notified to arrange proper reburials for any remains unearthed accidentally.

Wampum belts embroidered belts made from strings of beads held by the New York State Museum in Albany were removed from public display after Native Americans complained that they were being treated as curiosities, without proper respect being paid. The belts were finally returned to the Onondaga in Years of effort were rewarded in the early s when the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. He told National Geographic writer Arden Harvey: Lacrosse is a game of Native American origin played on a field by two teams of ten players each.

An artist, author, publisher, illustrator, and tribal faithkeeper, Lyons works on behalf of indigenous native people around the world. In he became the first indigenous leader to address the United Nations General Assembly. A man of many and varied talents, he served as a valued military assistant to General Ulysses S. Grant — during the American Civil War ; a war between the Union [the North], who were opposed to slavery, and the Confederacy [ the South ], who were in favor of slavery and helped prepare the terms of surrender that ended the war. He collaborated with anthropologist and author Lewis Henry Morgan on the first extensive study of Iroquois culture.

He thus became the first Native American to head the office that controlled federal Native American policies. He wrote many articles and preserved dozens of Native American legends that might otherwise have been lost. Gary Dale Farmer — is a Cayuga actor, producer, and activist who has spoken out against negative portrayals of Native Americans in the media. He has lodged protests against the casting of non-Natives to play Natives in movies. In she published the book Philadelphia Flowers. The Six Nations Confederacy. Last of the Seneca. The Iroquois and Their History. Compass Point Books, People of the Northeast.

The Millbrook Press, Native America Nations and Languages. Underlying Values of Haudenosaunee Culture. The Iroquois Confederacy was a political and social alliance of five Indian tribes later six who lived in the northeastern part of North America. Long before Europeans arrived on the continent, the Iroquois had formed a complex, democratic society. In fact, some historians consider the Iroquois Confederacy one of the world's oldest democracies. The story of the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy is known today through oral, or spoken, history, handed down from generation to generation of the Iroquois people.

The story probably blends people and events from the Iroquois past and it does not provide dates, but most historians accept it as a very useful outline of Iroquois history. Some time before European contact, the Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, and Oneida nations engaged in near-constant warfare. The darkest times were during the reign of a warlike Onondaga chief named Todadaho, who was feared far and wide. Many accounts describe him as a cannibal, and in fact, in some native northeastern cultures people believed that eating their victims in battle gave warriors better fighting skills.

Into this violent era entered the prophet Deganawida, a member of either the Huron or the Mohawk tribe. Deganawida grieved to see so much war and conflict in the world around him, and he traveled far from home seeking solutions. In his travels, he met Hiawatha, who was a Mohawk or Onondaga and told him of his hopes for peace and good government. Deganawida believed that the creator of all things had given humans the power to reason, and that by using clear thinking they could find the path to a balanced, peaceful society. Hiawatha was captivated by Deganawida's words and offered to serve as his orator someone who makes public speeches.

Together they traveled to a Mohawk village to begin teaching people the rules for a peaceful society. Deganawida eventually won the Mohawks over and went on to convince the Oneida, Seneca, and Cayuga nations to join the Mohawks in a. Using nonviolent and respectful persuasion, Deganawida was finally able to convince even Todadaho to give up his constant fighting and join the union. The confederacy called itself the Haudenosaunee, or people of the longhouse, because they pledged to live peacefully under one government, in the same way several families might live together as distinct units under the protection of one roof.

Some historians date the union around bce, though others believe it happened later in history, sometime between and ce. The Iroquois nations created an oral constitution called the Great Law. Under its rules of government, the Grand Council of Chiefs, made up of forty-nine chiefs from the five tribes, led the confederacy. The Grand Council gathered at Onondaga to establish laws and customs and to guide the interaction of the members of the confederacy. Each tribe had an equal voice in the council, and the system was mostly democratic. Iroquois women played a major role in decision making.

Deganawida, who came to be known as the Great Peacemaker, is credited with creating the advanced political system. As the council developed over the years, it tried to negotiate among peoples, whether in relations between tribes or in treaties with European settlers arriving on its lands. When the American colonies were established in the Northeast, the united Iroquois nations presented a strong front to avoid invasion of their lands.

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