Native American Class Website
10.15.19
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  • The Iroquois lived in the forests and open lands.
  • They settled mainly in New York.
  • They used long houses as shelter.

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  • They hunted deer, moose and other game.
  • They also ate corn, pumpkins, and squash.
  • Iroquois hunters used bows and arrows.

  • Iroquois fishermen generally used spears and fishing poles.
  • In war, Iroquois men used their bows and arrows or fought with clubs, spears and shields.
  • Other important tools used by the Iroquois Indians included stone adzes (hand axes for woodworking), flint knives for skinning animals, and wooden hoes for farming.

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  • The Iroquois Indians also crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads. Wampum beads were traded as a kind of currency, but they were more culturally important as an art material.
  • The two most important Iroquois instruments are drums and flutes .
  • The Iroquois Indians were fierce warriors who fought with most of the other eastern tribes, particularly the Wabanaki tribes , the Algonquin and Ojibway tribes, and the Mohican bands.

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  • The Iroquois tribes also engaged in trade with their neighbors. Iroquois traders exchanged corn, tobacco and woodcrafts for furs and quahog shells.
  • Iroquois men were in charge of hunting, trading, and war.
  • Iroquois women were in charge of farming, property, and family.

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•·   Iroquois clans were ruled by women, who made all the land and resource decisions for each clan.

  • But the chiefs, who made military decisions and trade agreements, were always men.

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•·   Only men represented the Iroquois Confederacy at the Great Council, but only women voted to determine who the representatives of each tribe would be.

•·   Both genders took part in Iroquois storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.


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  • Iroquois men wore breechcloths with long leggings.
  • Iroquois women wore wraparound skirts with shorter leggings.
  • Men did not originally wear shirts in Iroquois culture, but women often wore a tunic called an overdress.
  • Iroquois people also wore moccasins on their feet and heavy robes in winter.
  • In colonial times, the Iroquois adapted European costume like long cloth shirts, decorating them with fancy beadwork and ribbon appliqué.

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  • The Iroquois tribes were known for their mask carving , which is considered such a sacred art form that outsiders are still not permitted to view many of these masks.
  • Beadwork and the more demanding porcupine quillwork are more common Iroquois crafts.
  • The Iroquois Indians also crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads. Wampum beads were traded as a kind of currency, but they were more culturally important as an art material.