The Iroquois Indians

Meeting Their Basic Needs

By Brandon Kennedy

The Iroquois Indians lived in the Eastern Woodlands region. They originaly started as five tribes and then a sixth tribe joined 1722. They became known as the Six Nations. The Iroquois Tribes include the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and Seneca Tribes.

Food for the Iroquois Tribes

The Iroquois Indians got most of their food from farming and agriculture. The men cleared the fields and the women planted the crops. They mainly grew corn, squash, and beans which were known as "The three sisters." Women and children also collected wild nuts, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, bird eggs, and turtle eggs. They used sunflower oil for frying food and they learned to tap maple trees to make maple syrup. The Iroquois Indians also ate meat. The men used bows and arrows to hunt black bear, elk, deer, rabbits, and wolves. They also trapped wild turkey, ducks, and other birds, and hunted turtles. The Iroquis Indians did not waste any part of the animals they killed. They used the bones and other parts to make tools, spoons, and other things they needed. In the spring they used large nets to catch fish.

Shelter for the Iroquois Indians

The Iroquis Indians lived in two types of shelters. The first type of shelter was called a wigwam and the other was called a longhouse. Wigwams were made by bending young trees to create the round shape for the house. Pieces of bark were placed on top to protect it from weather and then grass was placed on top of the bark. They left a small hole on the roof so that the smoke from fires could go out. The longhouses were rectangular houses made by sewing pieces of bark together and using them to cover the house frame which was made of young trees. Inside the longhouses there was a long hallway with rooms on both sides for sleeping and storing things.

Clothing for the Iroquois Indians

The Iroquois Indians made their clothes from the skins of animals they hunted. The men and women wore leggings, shirts, and moccasins. The women wore skirts or dresses that covered most of there leggings in the winter the men wore a smock that went to their knees to keep warm. They also wove plants and tree barks together to make clothing. They decorated their clothing with beads, ribbon, and dyed porcupine quills. The men also sometimes wore hats with feathers in them. Warriors wore their hair in a mohawk, and both men and women decorated their bodies with tattoos.

More Interesting Facts About the Iroquois Indians

Fact 1:

Iroquois boys were not allowed to hunt with the men until they caught an animal of their own.

Fact 2:

Iroquois Indians would move to a new area once the fields stopped producing good crops.

Fact 3:

The Iroquois Indians favorite food was corn cakes.

Fact 4:

The women in the Iroquois Tribes were more powerful than the men. They chose the chief and when a man got married he and the children lived with the mother's family.

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