Iroquois Indians And Their Heritage Essay

1636 words - 7 pages

The Iroquois Indians where one the most powerful and unique Indians tribes in America and especially the North Eastern corned of North America. Their location in North America was very important to their empire they had established. They had five sub-nations with many villages making up the sub-nation which gave them a very diverse population. They had their own governing system that made them very strong and united under it. They had many foreign allies at the beginning of the American colonies such as the French as trading partners and Indians war and them the British in the American Revolution. Their lifestyles included they way they got their food, their religious and marriage practices ...view middle of the document...

This was actually a small number of people considering that the Iroquois were such a powerful group of Indians. That number dropped in half by 1660 when the Europeans began to arrive and spread diseases and with warfare. The five sub-nations that were made up of Iroquois Nation were the Cayuga ("people of Oiogouen"), Mohawks ("people of the flint"), Oneida ("people of the standing stone"), Onondaga ("people of the hills"), and Seneca ("great hill people") tribes. Every one of these tribes had numerous amounts of little villages that they were made up of. Each individual tribe was then broken up into sub-clan the turtle, the bear, and the wolf.The Iroquois had many of the same religious beliefs as most of the other tribes around them. They had medicine men who wore mask called "False Faces" during the curing of a sick member of the tribe. They where divine chanters ad was giving great spiritual powers by The Creator to heal. The Iroquois had a very simple way of looking at the Earth and the "Gods" of it. They believed in two different Gods, The Creator was the master of the "Skyworld" and his brother who was in control of the Underworld. They had said that his brother tried to mimic The Creator created all the good animals and his brother created all of the venomous ones. Also they believed people got sick and died because it was The Creators way of balancing out the good and evil in the world. They also believed in spirits that were not as powerful but still important. Some of these where the Three Sisters, Spirit of the Wind, and the Thunder Spirit which they communicated to them by the ritual of burning tobacco leaves. They also believed in evil spirits that hurt and destroyed the crops. They also had many other important ceremonies and rituals they practiced for giving thanks, hope, asking for blessing, fear, hunted/gathering and mourning. These ceremonies many involved spiritual dances, telling of ones dreams, burning of tobacco, storytelling, feast with special foods. The ceremonies were split into the two seasons the winter ones (males controlled) and the Summer Ceremonies. They would dress their dead in traditional clothing, set food out for them, because it was thought the soul would stay around for up to ten days. They believe that the soul would eventually make its way up to the Milky Way or the "Path of Souls." The deceased possessions would be either be buried along with them (like the tradition in ancient Egypt) or just be passes out to everyone in the family. The tradition was to mourn for one year and then after the year they would have a ceremony to end the mourning period.They also believed in a matrilineal way of society where instead of the men ruling the women ruled over everything in the family such as the property and they could determine the kinship. Each clan was actually headed by the senior woman of the group and it was her responsibility to choose the right male for the chief of the clan. After the man and wife get...

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