Economy of the Iroquois
The economy of the Iroquois (also known as Haudenosaunee) historically was based on communal production and combined elements of both horticulture and hunter-gatherer systems. The tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy and other Northern Iroquoian-speaking peoples, including the Huron, had their traditional territory in what is now New York State and the southern areas bordering the Great Lakes.The Iroquois Confederacy was composed of Five Nations: Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca, who had created an alliance long before European contact. The Tuscarora were added as a sixth nation in the early eighteenth century after they migrated from North Carolina. The Huron peoples, located mostly in what is now Canada, were also Iroquioan-speaking and shared some culture, but were never part of the Iroquois.The Iroquois peoples were predominantly agricultural, harvesting the ""Three Sisters"" commonly grown by Native American groups: corn, beans, and squash. They developed certain cultural customs. Among these developments were ideas concerning the nature and management of property. The Iroquois developed a system very different from the now-dominant Western variety. This system was characterized by such components as common ownership of land, division of labor by gender, and trade mostly based on gift economy.Contact with Europeans in the early 17th century had a profound impact on the economy of the Iroquois. At first, they became important trading partners, but the expansion of European settlement upset the balance of the Iroquois economy. By 1800, following the American Revolutionary War, in which most of the nations supported the British and had to share their defeat, the Iroquois were reduced to reservations, primarily in New York in the United States, and Quebec and Ontario in Canada. They had to adapt their traditional economic system to dramatic changes. In the 20th century, some of the Iroquois nations in the United States have benefited from their sovereign status by founding gambling and recreation facilities, which have yielded greater revenues than some other enterprises. Individually, Iroquois have also become part of the larger economies in cities off the reservation.