The Iroquois Tribe:By: Matthew, Ayush, Upkar, Radhika, Sarah and Parneet!

Written By:


In this project you will learn about the Iroquois tribe.The word Iroquois ("err-uh-kwoy") is singular not plural means "real snakes". This tribe lived in the northeastern part of America which is is now known as New York. They were known and famous for their living in longhouses, the lots of farming they do, the beedwork called wampum and mask carving they considered these artworks sacred art. They were also famous for inventing the sport named lacrosse. Back in the day this tribe originally was named "Kanonsionni", but today they call themselves "The Haudenosaunee" or "The People of the Longhouse" or "The Six Nations". The Iroquois were very skilled workers.
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Flag/symbol of the Iroquois tribe. Each part of
this represents 1 of the 6 nations


Where the Iroquois lived they had hot summers and cold winters just like us. They used many trees to make lots of unique things, maples, birches, elms, oaks and coniferous trees were some of the main eco-friendly things that they used. They used lots of interesting stuff from the environment that we had never
iroquois amp of 6 nations.jpgeven heard of, one of the main things that differ the other tribes from this tribe is that they never wasted. The most likely animals that you would see as an Iroquoian would be bears, rabbits, moose and deers. There were lots of lakes, rivers and freshwater streams with mostly salmon and trout inside them. On this map it shows the 6 nations of the Iroquois tribe. Today the 6 nations are called - 1)-Mohawk 2)-Cayuga 3)-Onondaga 4)-Oneida 5)-Seneca and 6)-Tuscarora.
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Iroquois environment


Their shoes are intricate. Their type of shoe is called moccasins. Moccasins were made of tanned/smoked hide of an animal that was sewed. Moccasins were very decorated with patterns and colours. They were also decorated with porcupine quills, shell beads and animal teeth. Shell beads are beads made out of shells. Their shoes are incredibly beautiful and a challenge to make.

Men and women have particular clothing they wear. Men wear deerskin breechcloth in the summer. Breechcloth is sort of like a skirt. Both wear moccasins.(see above) Women wear vests and dresses made of deerskin. Women also sometimes wore wrap around skirts. Both wore thick and heavy robes in winter to keep warm. Also they both sometimes wore belts made of leather that were secured round waist. In summer men wore fringed leather kilts that tightened with sash. A sash is like a scarf that ties round the waist. A kilt is like a skirt for boys and men. In winter Iroquois wear rabbit fur capes or shawl tied on their shoulder. In northern areas where it is cold all year round they both wear leggings and breechcloth For special ceremonies men wore a kastoweh, a ceremony feather hat. They wear way different clothing than each other.

The Iroquois used mostly the same material and hand sewed their clothes. The Iroquois mostly used deerskin to make their clothes. Some other materials were corn husks tree and plant fibers or fur and hides. They used a tendon of an animal or woven elm-bar fibers to make the thread to sew the clothes. Needles to go with the thread were made from the ankle bone of a deer. When the clothes were made they were kept under a bench attached to a wall of the home. The clothes were made by a female in the household. The Iroquois were good at making their own clothes from their materials.

Tanning Moosehide

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Iroquois male fully dressed.

Head dress


They Iroquois Tribe lived in villages. They lived in longhouses that were about 25 feet in height width, and length. Inside each longhouse was a carving or decoration to symbolize the person living there. Inside the longhouse were door openings but no doors or windows. The longhouses were built from birch hemlock pine maple ash and beech wood. Also, if they were hunting, they would build a house called the wigman. The wigman was made with young tree poles bent to make the shape of a small hut. Then, they would cover the top with bark, leaving a small hole for smoke to get out. There were no mountains nearby, only small hills. Since the Iroquois couldn't waste anything, it wasn't the gathering that was hard. It was using every piece of everything gathered that took long. The Iroquois changed there houses according the seasons. In the summer, they removed some bark off the roof to provide ventilation.
Iroquois village from bird's eye view.

Here is a video that better describes the history of the longhouse.

Hope this helps!



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Before the Europeans settled in, the Iroquois were the farmers and hunters. The three main crops that they often grew, cropped and used were the three sisters. Corn was used mainly to harvest bread. There was lots of hunting, fishing and gathering. Roots, nuts and especially berries were thing that they gathered. Hunting deer, wild turkeys, muskrats and beavers was hard work for the men. The boys were allowed to hunt exactly like the men after they had killed a deer,this was an very old tradition that mostly everyone followed. The woman did farming, they grew sunflowers foral in seeds which was used oftentimes to cook, mounds protected the seeds from the harsh weather. Squash and pumpkins were in very deep pits an the longhouses. The woman cooked the food on stone hearths. For desert, their most often meal was corn cakes.


The Iroquois tribe usually preferred to travel by land. However canoes were used as often. In the harsh weather like when it snowed or was cold they used laced snowshoes and at the same time they used sleds just as much. There were a very little amount of dogs who carried some items. The biggest concern is that there were no horses or some type of large beasts of burden.
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Iroquois males working on a Algonkian Canoe.

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Snowshoes that Iroquois Indians used for transportation.

Iroquois males making a Birchbark Canoe.

Iroquois traveling off land
Kids were aloud to go hunting exactly like the men after they had killed a deer.


The Iroquois did many things to have fun and make the days to pass on. They played traditional sports like lacrosse. They danced at ceremonies and played seasonal games. They also played games to teach them skills they might need in the future and to make the days shorter. This what the Iroquois did to make the days go faster.

The Iroquois played many sports to keep themselves fit and strong. They mostly played lacrosse, the children sometimes played with the adults, but games were rough. In every ten games, two will have someone who has broken a bone. They also played seasonal games like Snow Snake at ceremonies. Snow Snake and Peach and Stone is played in Winter. In spring and fall games like Hoop and Spear were played at ceremonies. In the summer the Iroquois played games like lacrosse. Without these games the Iroquois will not have the skills they did have back then.

external image lacrosse.jpg

The Iroquois women did many things to keep themselves from being bored and also the whole tribe. The Iroquois women weaved tapestries, made bead necklaces, made masks for ceremonies and made dolls for children to play with. Women made lots of stuff for the children and men. The women taught their daughters the skill they might need to serve the tribe in the future. The women even made the men’s sport equipment. Without the women many days will be really boring for the men and children.
Children had the time of their lives by being a child in the Iroquois tribe. Girls played with dolls made of corn husk. The dolls did not have faces because the Iroquois thought that they might harm the spirits living in the doll. The girls also played “House” so they can learn how to take of a house in the future. Boys played sports like lacrosse with no men because the lacrosse men played was harsh. Younger children played hide and seek and tag throughout the village. Being a child was the best thing that could happen to a human that was in the Iroquois tribe.

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The Iroquois did many things to keep themselves busy and make the days go faster. They danced at ceremonies and played sports. Most of those sports are to keep themselves fit and strong. They do many things to keep themselves busy.
By: Upkar Singh Hundal


The Iroquois had different beliefs than other tribes. They believed in the sky spirits which are the wind, sun, moon, and stars. They also believed in the earth spirits which included the animals and plants. All these sprites fall in to one main spirit called the "great spirit", the great spirit back then was called the "Wakan Tanka".

Whatever these Iroquois Indians dreamed of would come true, so if they dream of getting hurt it would happen in real life and if it did not they would hurt themselves on purpose. For when they did ceremonies there was a very unique deigned longhouse in every village.

In this tribe there are 6 big festivals that lasted several days which they celebrate this includes-New Year which was celebrated in the winter, Maple festival in the spring, The Corn festival, Strawberry festival, Green Corn festival and the big main one is The harvesting festival which we today call "Thanksgiving."
Iroquois dancing at a festival.

Iroquois having a ceremonies.


In the Iroquois tribe the men made mostly all the things that they needed. They made canoes, tools and they made the homes/longhouses. This tribe had many types of different weapons, which included bows and arrows and spears. these weapons were made mainly out of ash or hickory wood. In the war the Iroquois men used was bows and arrows or they fought with clubs, spears, shields, tomahawks and lances. They made good use of the animals that they had hunted and there fighting tools. the Iroquois had there own special way of using their weapons and tools. later on in the future the Europeans came along with guns and knifes so then the Iroquois had made trades with the Europeans.
by: Matthew
man made weapons

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Young boys practicing.
Boys practice to use the weapons because they
could go hunting right after they had killed a deer.
this was a something that everyone had followed.


The Iroquois had simple politics. They had a clan mother and the clan mother would make a decision and make the tribe vote on it. If you did a crime you would be punished severely or even be exiled to a unknown forest.

The Iroquois tribe were made up of four tribes who made a treaty together that they wouldn't have wars together because one war a long time ago cost them many lives. These tribes are The Mohawk, The Oneida, The Onondaga, The Cayuga, and the Seneca tribe. Later the Tuscarora tribe signed the treaty and the group became the Iroquois Confederacy. They had to join together because they had a war and because in the Revolutionary War they were in the middle. The Patriots thought the Natives were working for the Red Coats and the Red Coats the Natives were working for the American Patriots so both of them attacked the poor Aboriginals. The natives had to defend themselves from both European armies.

The Iroquois had a hard time after the European settlers arrived from Europe. The Revolutionary War really wounded them, but their punishment has not ended, The War of 1812 has yet arrived. After the Revolutionary War the British showed some sympathy towards the Iroquois, so in the War of 1812the British asked the Natives to join them and fight the Americans, and because of them we are not a part of U.S.A.

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A warrior from the Iroquois tribe in a British uniform
A warrior from the Iroquois tribe in a British uniform

The Iroquois did not have a chief, they had a Clan Mother. The Clan Mother would speak for the tribe when the tribes of the Iroquois would have a tribe meeting.. The Iroquois were one of the first civilizations to have a women leader. The Iroquois chose their Clan Mother carefully. One speck of wickedness in her, she could cause the downfall of the whole tribe. Nobody questioned the Clan Mother of decisions, she questioned them.

The Clan Mother decided what punishment a tribe member will get if he did any type of crime. If a tribe member committed murder for any reason they would be exiled to a unknown forest. If a tribe member stole something valuable, they would be hanged by hands on a large tree for at least 24 hours. The tribes did not tolerate crimes, for they thought that if a tribe member committed a crime he or she was possessed by evil spirits. Without these laws the Iroquois would be barbaric as the natives in Europe, the Celts.

The Iroquois were civilized people. They were not like the natives in the old western movies. They had laws for crimes and they voted to make decisions. They are a democracy.

By: Upkar Singh Hundal


The Iroquois have many languages, here is a sheet of the alphabet.
I don't think anyone would understand it, but it is interesting to see how they wrote the alphabet and how it is very similar to other foreign languages.
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I am going to start learning this language right now!



Well, That's all for now, Thanks. We hope that this will help you learn more about the Iroquois tribe!
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This is an video of everything you have learned in our project.
This video summarizes the project that we worked on.


Below it shows some references that you could link to if you would like to
learn more fascinating and rare things about "The Iroquois Tribe."