You Lived With the Iroquois (If You)
What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer
the Following Questions:
did the Iroquois live?
From eastern New York to northeastern Ohio, and from southern
Ontario to northern Pennsylvania. The first five nations were
known by different names: they called themselves the Haudenosaunee
[HO-den-o-SAW-nee] or the People of the Longhouse; the French
called them the Iroquois; and the British called them the Five
Nations. Did you know each
nation had a special name relating to where it lived? The Mohawk
were the Keepers of the Eastern Gate because they were the easternmost
nation. The Oneida were the People of the Standing Stone
because of a great rock in Oneida country. The Onondaga
were the Keepers of the Council Fire because they presided over
the League council meetings. The Cayuga were the People
at the Boat Landing. The Seneca were the Keepers of the
2. Which five nations
made up the Iroquois League?
Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. In the early 1700's,
the Tuscarora nation joined the League. Later, over sixty tribes
were under Iroquois protection.
3. What is a longhouse?
The name of the house where the Iroquois lived. It was constructed
of upright logs and cross poles and covered with elm bark. There
were no windows, but had holes along the center of the roof to
let out smoke from cooking fires. There was a center aisle with
compartments on both sides for a family to live in. Fires were
lit in shallow pits in the center aisle. The families cooked there
and shared the fire with the family on the other side of the aisle.
The longhouses were located in villages which were built on high
ground and surrounded by an oval-shaped stockade made of logs.
The entrance was an opening where the logs overlapped. Farm fields
surrounded the villages.
4. What did the Iroquois
Vegetables (corn, beans, and squash), fruits, nuts, meat and fish.
Women farmed the fields surrounding the village. Corn was the
main crop, and some women had over 150 corn recipes. Men hunted
deer, bear, beaver, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey, and passenger
pigeon. At certain times of the year, female animals were not
hunted at all because it was the season when they gave birth.
Also, the men fished at night. They used the light from their
torches to attract fish to the surface where they could catch
the fish easily. Iroquois would eat a morning meal together, and
then each person was own their own. The mother would have a pot
cooking all day long, and each person could eat whenever they
5. What did the Iroquois
Vests, blouses, long skirts, leggings, kilt-like skirts, moccasins,
and snowshoes. Women and men wore deerskin vests or blouses. Women
also wore long skirts decorated with beads or porcupine quills
and sometimes leggings. Men also wore kilt-like skirts to their
knees and leggings. Everyone wore moccasins. In the winter, they
wore snowshoes. Unmarried women and girls wore their hair in two
braids, and married women wore one braid. Men and boys had a strip
of hair on the top of their heads -- did
you know today we call this a Mohawk?
6. Did each family own
the land it farmed?
No. The Iroquois, like most Native Americans, did not believe
land could be owned, bought, or sold. The earth was a gift from
the Creator to be passed on to their children. They spoke of caring
for the earth "to the seventh generation" which meant as far into
the future as they could imagine or forever. The Iroquois did
not measure a person's wealth by how much property or land they
had. They judged a person by their wisdom and generosity.
7. What was the Iroquois
They believed the Creator, or Great Spirit, made the world. They
also believed almost all natural things were under the care of
spirits such as the wind, clouds, rain, trees, plants, and medicines.
These spirits were not worshipped as gods. They were assistants
to the Great Spirit. Each nation had Keepers of the Faith in charge
of religious festivals who organized the festivals and performed
some of the rituals. The Iroquois respected others' religions,
and they did not try to force their beliefs on anyone.
What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the
Wampum: Beads from seashells woven into different picture
patterns used in Condolence Ceremonies, by messengers, and to
record important information and great events
Moccasins: strong, comfortable
shoes made from softened animal skins, and often decorated with
Snowshoes: a special kind of winter
shoe that was 3 feet long and sixteen inches wide and made from
pieces of hickory wood bent round at the top with a netting worn
under the moccasin
Strawberry Festival: held late
May or early June when the wild strawberries ripened to celebrate
the return of the first fruits of the earth
Harvest Festival: a four-day festival
celebrated in early October when all the crops were picked, cooked,
and stored for winter eating
Naho: The way the storytellers ended
their stories meaning, "it is finished"
Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the
Following Questions for Your FREE
a. How did the Iroquois League influence the
United States government?
Benjamin Franklin, one of the drafters of the United States Constitution,
admired the Iroquois form of government and borrowed some of its
ideas for America including: a government with a national and
local systems; a "checks and balance" system to keep one part
of the government from having too much power; a democratic government
in which the leaders were responsible to the people (unlike the
kings and queens of Europe at the time); and a constitution with
the freedom of speech and religion. Did
you know women in the Iroquois League had many more
rights than colonial women? Iroquois women shared responsibility
for running their government centuries earlier, while American
women did not gain these rights until the twentieth century.
b. What is the Great
Law of Peace?
The Iroquois Constitution. It is similar to the United States
Constitution in that it establishes the form of government and
sets down rules about the freedoms and duties of the people and
their leaders. It is also similar to the British Constitution
in that it is unwritten. The Great Law of Peace includes the following
laws: all Iroquois land was open to members of the Five Nations;
women and men participated fully in government; women would appoint
and remove the chiefs; freedom of religion was guaranteed to all,
including other nations or individuals who joined the League;
and there was no such thing as slavery. The Iroquois League is
one of the world's longest lasting unions, and it still exists
today in the U.S. and Canada.
five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
Wampum strings were used by
the Iroquois to remember stories.
My dad likes to get a new pair of moccasins
I wear snowshoes in the snow
to walk to the grocery store.
The Strawberry Festival is
held right before my school gets out for the summer.
I like the Harvest Festival
because we eat pumpkin seeds and plan for Halloween.
I'll end this report with one word, Naho.
d. Have a parent or friend give you
a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.
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