Free Essay

History of the Iroquios

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Niki88
Words 1246
Pages 5
Unit 5 Individual Project

History of the Iroquois
Nicole Suchocki
American InterContinental University
HIST105-1201B-10 U.S. History
Due March 11th, 2012
Instructor: Scott Lingenfelter

Table of Contents

Title Page 1 Table of Contents 2 Abstract 3 History of the Iroquois 4 Introduction 4 Pre-Columbian History 4 Cultural and Religious Beliefs 5 Post-Columbian History 5 History of Hiawatha 6 Conclusion 6 References 7 Outline 8


In this paper I will discuss the history of the Iroquois in the United States. First by describing the tribes pre-Columbian history to include the settlement dates and known cultural details. Then a brief description of the cultural and religious beliefs of the tribe will be given, as well as the tribes’ history after contact with settlers. Finally discussing Hiawatha, who he was and how he affected the Iroquois tribe.

History of the Iroquois
The Iroquois settled in the Northeast originally known as the Eastern Woodlands. The Iroquois are one of the most well-known tribes in the United States both before and after the settlement of the United States by the European settlers. In this paper I will go over the two different histories of the Iroquois from before and after the European countries had settled the United States. Then I will be discussing the history of Hiawatha and his contributions to the Iroquois tribes. So overall I will cover most of the history of the Iroquois and one of their main leaders Hiawatha.
Pre-Columbian History
The Eastern Woodlands was the original settlement area of the Iroquois (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff, 2011). There were five different tribes that settled in modern day New York, and they are the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayuga, Seneca, and the Oneidas (Hope, 2006). Then later on they became six tribes and included the Tuscarora (Hiawatha, 2010). Now some people believe that the Cherokee, Meherrin, the Coree, and the Neuse River tribe were a part of the Iroquois tribe (History and Prehistory America, 2012). Looking at that it would mean there was a total ten tribes in the United States that were considered to be Iroquois tribesmen. They lived along the Eastern seaboard from modern day New York to modern day North Carolina. Originally they were considered farmers mixed with hunting and gathering economies (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff, 2011). Their housing situation was like semi-permanent towns, and their houses were suited for up to ten families (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff, 2011). They were great hunters and gathers and lived peacefully among the other tribes surrounding them.
Cultural and Religious Beliefs
The Iroquois tribes are very spiritual and religious in their own way. As for their religion they worshiped the “Great Spirit,” but also they became followers of Christianity (Borade, 2012). Following with their religious beliefs they were also big believers in the afterlife. Women in the tribes were and are equal to men in the tribes. Although if there was a divorce the men were required to move out of their dwelling with all of their possessions, and had to leave their ex-wives alone (Borade, 2012). There were six major ceremonies all of the Iroquois tribes celebrated every year. Those six ceremonies were known as the Maple, Planting, Strawberry, Green Corn, Harvest, and Mid-Winter or New Year’s festival (Borade, 2012). As you can see their ceremonies mostly covered their agricultural beliefs so that the tribes had good harvest and great planting seasons to keep their tribes thriving. As for their cultural beliefs they had four major beliefs and they included wampum beads (which were considered as money), their history is to be given orally not written, they had two Major Prophets: Ayonwentah and Dekanawidah, and finally they had a spiritual leader elected by the tribesmen known as Tadodaho (Borade, 2012). As you can see they are very religious and spiritual and believe that by having ceremonies they will have great seasons in planting and harvesting.
Post-Columbian History
After the United States was settled by the French and British the Iroquois were a neutral tribe. The Iroquois describes themselves as independent and balanced between the French and the British (Hope, 2006). In the beginning they traded fur for guns with the French, and eventually for the British they hunted each other and gave them to the British (Hope, 2006). That to me is grotesque to actually hunt your own people just for money, but it apparently was very lucrative for the Iroquois. The Iroquois’ military may have been small, but they were very powerful. After a while the tribes began to split-up and move to different parts of the country. Some of the tribes began moving to Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York but some of the tribes that spilt apart stayed where they were (Hope, 2006).
History of Hiawatha
Hiawatha was one of the greatest leaders of the Iroquois tribes to this day. He lived around 1570, and his name translated means He-Who-Makes-Rivers (Hiawatha The Unifier, 2012). He is known as the Unifier, and the one who gave each of the tribes their land, language, and skills (Hiawatha The Unifier, 2012). Although he was originally a Mohawk, he was exiled from that tribe and became a part of the Onondaga tribe. After a while he went back to the Mohawk tribe, because the Onondaga refused his beliefs, and again they also turned down his beliefs and he moved onto the Oneida tribe (Hiawatha, 2010). Eventually he had a poem written about him known as “the Song of Hiawatha.” His beliefs were that all strife, murder, and war would end, and peace and well-being would be among the tribes (Hiawatha, 2010).
In conclusion the Iroquois were a very diverse tribe and had many different talents. The thing they had most in common was their houses and the fact they lived in semi-permanent homes. They worshiped one spirit known as the “Great Spirit,” and also eventually began to follow Christianity. They had several forms of money but their most important was the wampum beads that were made by the tribesmen. Hiawatha was considered to be one of their most influential leaders because of his beliefs. So in conclusion, the Iroquois were one of the original tribes in the United States, and Hiawatha was one of their greatest leaders.

Hiawatha. (2010). Retrieved from

Hiawatha The Unifier. (2012). Retrieved from

History and Prehistory America. (2012). Retrieved from

Borade, G. (2012). Iroquois Tribe. Retrieved from

Davidson, J. W., Delay, B., Heyrman, C. L., Lytle, M. H., & Stoff, M. B. (2011). Experience History Interpreting America's Past (7 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hope. (2006). Nations of the Woodlands. Retrieved from

Outline I. Introduction
Thesis Statement: So overall I will cover most of the history of the Iroquois and one of their main leaders Hiawatha. II. Pre-Columbian History III. Cultural and Religious Beliefs IV. Post-Columbian History V. History of Hiawatha VI. Conclusion
Concluding Sentence: So in conclusion, the Iroquois were one of the original tribes in the United States, and Hiawatha was one of their greatest leaders.

Similar Documents