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Iroquois, around 1400 C.E. - present-day

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Iroquois pottery

Friends

North American Indians
France (Modern)



Technology

We made snowshoes so that the men would have an easier time walking through the
snow while they hunted in the winter. The canoe was very important for traveling from
village to village. We also used sharpened peices of rocks as knives which we used to
cut bark or to scalp enemies. As weapons we had spears used for catching fish, the bow
and arrow for catching large land animals like the bull, and the war club.

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A dugout canoe from a tree trunk. These were important for fishing.
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Some of our sharp weapons made from rocks.

Culture

Each individual tribe of our nation was broken up into three clans which were the turtle,
bear, and wolf. Each clan was led by a clan mother. Families lived in structures called
longhouses. Longhouses were able to be up to 200 feet in length and were built with a
framework covered with elm bark. Our villages only tranferred to a new location if the people
were under attack or if the soil was worn out. When a couple married, the husband was
expected to move into the home of his wife. Their children entered into the clan of the
mother. Corn, beans, and squash were the essential foods of our diet. Women owned and
tended to the crop fields under the supervision of their clan mothers. Men left the village
in the fall to participate in their annual hunt and they usuallt returned around midwinter. The
men cleared the feilds and built villages, but their main job was warfare. Men removed all
facial and body hair, and the women grew their hair very long. Both the men and women of
our nation got tattoos. We also liked to torturte and ritually eat people.
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Map of the six Nations of the Iroquois: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora,
Oneida, and Mohawk. All nations were located in upstate New York.

Religion

We had a healing group called the False Face Society. They wore wooden
masks that looked very frighteningbecause they believed they would frighten away evil
spirits that caused sickness and death. The mask were carved out of living trees because
they believed the strength and the spirit of the tree went into the mask. Our tribes also
held many harvest festivals so that we would grow healthy crops.

Blog

Blog Entry One: December 19, 1450
Today I played my favorite game of snowsnake with some of the other men as we took a
break from hunting in the cold snow. The eldest of us dug a path in the snow and I eagerly
sprinkled water on it to make the path smooth. We took turns to see who could slide a
stick the furthest down the path. I went last so that I could observe my competition. All
my training and arm strength paid off as I slide the stick further down the path than anyone
else. I have now been named as a person of great strength.

Blog Entry Two: March 15, 1653
As a women in the Iroquois nation, I preform a lot of tiring tasks. I worked in the field for
most of the day and also had to take care of my children, cook, and weave baskets. I
thought my work was nearing completion until my husband announced that he had caught
a deer. This meant I had to help him carry the deer back to our home and later I had to tan
the deer skin to make clothing out of it for our family. Then I had to cook the deer meat for
supper.

Blog Entry Three: March 15, 1653
The day was long and full of work. I and the other men of our Iroquois nation cut down more
trees today so that we would have more land for our village. I also made a pair of
snowshoes so that I would be able to walk in the snow during our winter hunts. The best
part of the day was when I show a deer with my bow and arrow. I ordered my wife to help
me carry it back to our longhouse and my family was able to use all parts of the deer.

The Wall


Sources
All About the Iroquois Nation. May 1 2007
<http://www.westirondequoit.org/Technology/K-6/Iroquois_Nation/Index.htm>

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler.
Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. New York. McGraw-Hill,2006

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