The first people to live in a land are called indigenous people. This means they were the original settlers of a certain place. Over the course of time, new settlers from other countries such as in Asia or Europe came to other places seeking fortune, slaves, and many more. For example, the British colonists wanted to make an empire because of profitable trade, competition within Europe, and religion.
They were very determined in building a successful empire, and they succeeded. Like other places such as Canada and South America, North America was colonized by European countries. North America was colonized by France, Britain, and Spain. Today, I will be investigating the Iroquois tribe that is located in North America, and explain life as a member of the Iroquois tribe during the time when the settlers first came.
The Iroquois (pronounced as “earo-koy”) tribe is located in modern day New York City and eastern Canada. The tribe is split into five sub-tribes (six sub-tribes later): The Cayuga, Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, and Oneida. Afterwards in the 1700s, the Tuscarora tribe joined. The Iroquois people call themselves the Haudenosaunee tribe meaning “people of the long house”, and the name “Iroquois” was given by the French. They were also called as the “Five Nations” by the British. The Iroquois tribe was governed by the Chiefs.
There was a Chief for each sub-tribe, and they acted as an official elected by the people of the tribe. The Chiefs would attend an Iroquois council where major decisions were made that would affect the tribes. The tribes also had leaders who made local decisions for the people. The council still exists today. Living as a member of the Iroquois tribe might have been exhausting, because men and women had to work everyday to feed its population of 20,000 people. Unless there is a shortage of food, no one in the Iroquois tribe starved, as the food was shared equally.
The Iroquois believed in cooperation, and this is the reason why no war related to hunger ever broke out in the tribe. In the tribes, women would gather berries, vegetables, nuts, and cook the meals while the men hunted wild animals such as deers, rabbits, turkeys, bears, fishes, clams, oysters, lobsters and beavers. The men could hunt beavers and seafood easily because of the Kaniatarowanenneh river, also known as St.
Lawrence River today. The Kaniatarowanenneh plays an important role in aboriginal history, as the river played a key role in burials, hunting, and collecting herbs and berries near the river. The women cooked different varieties of food mainly using corn, beans, and squash. These three crops were called the “Three Sisters”. They gathered wild foods such as blueberries, mushrooms, chestnuts, and wild roots very similar to carrots, onions, and potatoes. Being given so many varieties of vegetables, meat, and berries, the Iroquois had a lot of dishes such as Iroquois maple syrup candies, Iroquois white corn cakes, the Three Sisters Soup, Iroquois stew with beef, etc.
We can safely assume that the Iroquois people were not often sick, because their diet consisted of many healthy foods which is rich in minerals and vitamins, and the meat was not processed at all.In the tribes, girls would tie their hair in two separate braids, then change to one after they get married. For men, they occasionally had the Mohawk hairstyle, where there is little to no excess hair except for the middle part, where the hair stands upright. Men wore leggings and long loincloth, and women wore long skirts. Both men and women wore shirts, blouses, and shoes out of moccasin, which is made of dried deerskin. The Iroquois wore snowshoes made out of thick leather during the winter, where there is snow. The Iroquois people spoke Iroquoian.
Even though there are different versions of Iroquoian, the languages were related, and mutually intelligible. The Iroquois lived in a longhouse, which is made out of wood frames covered in tree bark. These longhouses are up to 30.48 meters long, and only have two doors that act as a window to let out the smokes from the cooking. Many families lived together in a longhouse, and have separate compartments for each family, which is separated by a curtain made out of tree bark or animal skin. The village had several longhouses, with fences called palisades surrounding it. Outside the longhouses, th farm were there.
The Iroquois would move to a different place every 10 years or more to settle in a fresh land and new hunting places. The Iroquois usually moved by foot.In conclusion, the Iroquois people had an average lifestyle like the other aboriginal tribes, they hunted and gathered food. After the French invasion of the Iroquois tribe, the already small population of 20,000 was cut in half. Some fled to Canada, and others stayed in North America. I do think reconciliation is necessary, however drastic reconciliation is not required, as the Iroquois was given rights to stay unlike many other unfortunate tribes, and most of them weren’t killed ruthlessly.