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The Iroquois People of the Longhouse Mr. Davison Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy http://hometown.aol.com/Don h523/navapage/iroquois.htm People of Turtle Island Early Inhabitants of Western New York Several cultures lived in Western NY Clovis people (10,000 B.C.) Lamokas (3,500 – 2,500 B.C.) Hopewell Indians (300 A.D.) – mound builders, Wenros and Neutrals Iroquoian people (next 1,000 years) What’s in a Name Iroquois means “real adder” – a kind of snake. Name given as a backhanded compliment by their rivals the Algonquians Iroquois – name given by the French Six Nations – name given by the British Hau de no sau nee – meaning people building a long house – sometimes translated as people of the long house League of the Five Nations Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Oneida Mohawk Remember the Tribes: SCOOM S – Seneca – people of the Great Hill (Onodowaga) C – Cayuga – people of the Great Swamp or the Great Pipe O – Onondaga – people of the Hills O – Oneida – People of the Standing Stone M – Mohawk – People of the Flint T – Tuscarora – shirt wearing people – added to the confederacy later Iroquoian Life Great Abundance Survived on fish, game, cultivated food Large population, perhaps greater than present day population of WNY Most natives lived south of present day Routs 5 & 20 (Broadway) – offered families protection away from warpaths along the Great Lakes The Five Nations & Their Position in the Iroquois Confederacy Seneca – the Elder Brother and Keepers of the Western Door Cayuga – Younger Brother Onondaga – Fire Keepers – the council fire Oneida – Younger Brother Mohawk – Elder Brother and Keepers of the Eastern Door Where Would You Live? Village surrounded by oval shaped stockade (20 ft. tall fence) Farm fields surrounds village Inside stockade, rows of buildings-LONGHOUSES The Iroquois Village Longhouse Village Image From: Bridgeman Art Library, London/New York, http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/r efpages/RefMedia.aspx?refid=7 01508371&artrefid=761552484 &sec=-1&pn=1 Iroquois Shelter Iroquois Homes were called longhouses Longhouses were built in groups or villages for protection. Made of logs- covered with elm bark Curved roof made of saplings No windows Fire holes in roof to let out smoke from cooking fires 15 - 20 feet tall, 20 feet wide and 50 – 150 feet long Picture of the Longhouse Inside the Longhouse Center aisle from one end to the other Near doors- food storage barrels and stacks of firewood On the sides of the aisle, compartments 13 feet by 16 feet (half of your classroom) Wooden platforms for sleeping and storage Fire shared with family across the aisle Each family has their own clothing, blankets, tools and cooking utensils Inside the longhouse contd. Family Structure Fireside Family: your parents, brothers and sisters – Matriarchal structure Longhouse Family: – oldest woman in the longhouse is the head of family and everyone in the longhouse is related to her – You always belong to your mother’s longhouse family Clan Family: – – – – two or more longhouse families make up a clan You belong to your mother’s clan Clans named after animals (wolf, bear, turtle) Head of clan was the oldest most respected woman Iroquoian Food Lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and different kinds of meat and fish Women grew corn, beans and squash (The Three Sisters) in fields surrounding village Hunters brought home deer, bear, beaver, rabbit, and wild turkey Iroquois men and boys were skilled fishermen You’d eat breakfast together with your family, but other meals on your own-mother would have a pot cooking all day The three Sisters Iroquoian Economy The Iroquois – money is called wampum when trading with white men. They have very little money – barter economy. They go great distances to trade with other tribes. Iroquois Economy Wampum belts were used as a form of communication between Indian tribes. Wampum belts would be made into pictures showing the reason it was made. All Indian messengers carry wampum when going to other tribes. Hiawatha Wampum Belt Iroquoian Clothing Deerskins that the women tanned, cut and sewed by hand Women: long skirts decorated with beads, porcupine quills dyed red, blue or yellow (sometimes leggings under their skirts), vest or blouse on top Men: kilt-like skirts over leggings and vests or blouses made of decorated deerskins Everyone wore moccasins-made of one piece of deerskin sewn together with a deer-bone needle and using sinew from the deer for thread Iroquois Clothing Women prepared the hides by removing the hair and flesh with stone scrapers. Men in the winter wore robes or cloaks made from bear, deer, buffalos, or beaver skins. Women soaked the hides in dilution of boiled deer brain to soften them. Men's summer clothing were made from buckskin and men's winter outfits were leggings, breechclouts, kilts, and moccasins. Image of Traditional Dress from: http://www.u.arizona.edu/ic/kmartin/School/iroqcloth.htm Clothing What about work? Work was a part of everyday life Every job was respected Work depended on the season: – Spring: peel bark for longhouses and canoes, tap trees for syrup, pick strawberries, and fish – When the ground was ready, you would plant seeds for all the vegetables – Late summer and fall: harvest crops and prepare them for storage – Fall: begin hunting – Winter: make and repair clothing, tools, bowls, baskets and instruments Who did which jobs? Men: – made tools for hunting, sports equipment and musical instruments – Made wampum and carved bowls, cups, pipes – Cleared farmland – Hunted for animals Women – Made clay pots, baskets, cradleboards, clothing and moccasins – Farmed the fields – Cooked the food Woven Baskets Education You would not go any formal school You learned by watching adults do their jobs You learned history when the elders told stories at the festivals and during the long winter months You also learned from your own experiences Iroquoian Games Everyone loved sports and games Games were played at festivals and celebrations Sometimes one village or clan challenged another Lacrosse (called “the ball game”) was the most popular Running was also an important sport Snow-snake was popular in the winter Iroquois Games The Bowl Game is played by putting peach pits in a bowl and two teams take turns thumping the bowl to make the object fly upward. The Snow Snake game is played by throwing a spear into the snow. The of the game is to see how far the spears could be thrown across the snow. The Double Ball Game is played with buckskin bags filled with sand, then connecting the buckskin bags with a cord you try to throw it three feet in the air. Shinny is played with a flattened buckskin ball, then each player had a long stick and tried to hit the flattened buckskin ball. Lacrosse What if you got sick? Iroquois believed that you could get sick from bad food or water or air or by catching someone else’s disease They also believed that you could become sick because of witchcraft of bad people or by the work of evil spirits There were different kinds of healers to treat you depending on your illness False Face Society A medicine society like the False Face Society would try to heal you by performing special rituals. – You never paid the healers. You just gave them sacred tobacco or kinds of food they liked – If you were cured, you became a member of the society and helped to treat others If you broke an arm or leg, then you were treated by a surgeon. – The Iroquois were excellent surgeons who not only set broken bones, but also understood the importance of cleanliness If you had a cold or snakebite, you were probably treated by an herbalist who would use plants to heal False Face Masks Some Religious Beliefs The Iroquois believed the Creator, or Great Spirit made the world Almost all natural things were under the care of spirits (there were spirits of the wind, rain, trees) Keepers of the Faith were in charge of religious festivals (these were ordinary people with special responsibilities- they would organize the festivals and perform some of the rituals) Religious ceremonies could last for hours Iroquois Government: The Oldest Living Participatory Government on Earth Before the League existed the Five nations were always at war with one another. Village fought village Nation fought nation It was called the time of “great sorrow and terror” Deganawidah (the Peacemaker) brought the message that by ending war among themselves, the nations would be strong and the people would be safe. The story tells that the people uprooted the tallest pine tree and threw all their weapons of war into the hole and then replanted this Great Tree of Peace. Now the Five Nations live in a Great Longhouse, keeping its own fire, but living in peace under one roof The Iroquois Government Each nation had its own government Each nation sent chiefs to League council meetings (chiefs could not be warriors) Council met once a year to discuss anything that concerned all the nations Everyone had to agree to all decisions (votes must be unanimous) If they did all agree then the chief conducting the meeting cloud say the League could now “speak with one voice” If someone disagreed, they would discuss it again until they came to an Iroquois Art “False-face” mask, made from wood carved from a tree. Photo from: Charles Gatewood/Art Resource, NY http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/RefMedia.aspx?refid=46153038 4&artrefid=761552484&sec=-1&pn=1 Dream catchers made of willow and sinew are for children and there not meant to last. Eventually the willow dries out and the tension of the sinew collapses the dream catcher. http://www.rootsweb.com/~nwa/dreamcatcher.jpg Iroquois Transportation Most movement by the Iroquois was done on foot. Messages were sent by runners. Iroquois used canoes, dogs carts, and cradle boards to carry infants. They built their transportation with wood, birch bark, elm bark, shag bark, hickory,white ash, and cedar.