Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)

The six Iroquois nations on a map of where they are located.

The 6 Nations








-Green beans

-Lima beans

-Kidney beans




-The Three Sisters














-Leopard frog



The Three Sisters




-Helped each other

-Corn stalks helped the climbing beans

-Squash stopped weeds from surrounding the corn

-Squash leaves kept the soil moist and shaded

Tradition says that the Sky Woman was the first human on earth when she to earth from the Sky World. She had a daughter she was pregnant with before she fell to earth. Her daughter was born , and a while later the Sky Woman was pregnant with twin boys.her daughter died when the Sky Woman was giving birth to her sons. She buried her daughter, and she put plants and leaves that she held in her hand when she fell in her daughters grave. Not too long after, there were beans,corn, and squash growing from the grave. This is how the Three Sisters became the main food source of the people of the Iroquois.

Roles of Women

-Take care of the garden

-Head of the longhouse (clan mother)

-Owned everything in the house

-Planted crops

-Raised the children


-Made clothes

-Made clay pots

-Gathered wild fruit


-Decided where the new village would be

-Decided what kind of crops to plant

-Decided where the crops would be planted

-Decided if the men went to war

-Decided to make peace

-Made sure rituals where done right

-Taught the children

Roles of Men


-Went to war

-Built longhouses




The family was matrilineal witch means that the family would follow the mother or wife's side of the family. When two people got married, they would move to the wife's longhouse. And the children would be in the mother's clan. The family structure is based on the clan system. The clan system starts with a female that lives in her longhouse. All the female descendants would live in the longhouse where there female ancestor lived. All the children lived in the longhouse. When the sons grew up and got married, they would move into their wife's longhouse. Children called their mother and their aunts "mother" because it made the children feel safe. They also called other children "brother" or "sister".


The shelter of the Haudenosaunee people were longhouses. Longhouses were made out of elm bark and had no windows, but had smoke holes in the roof.


-Elk hides

-Deer hides

-Rabbit fur

-Bear fur

-Corn husks


Men and women had embellishments on their clothes of their clan or art of the creation story. They used wooden beds, porcupine quills, and feathers. Most men wore a rectangular piece of cloth or buckskin called breech cloth. If it is a special occasion, men would wear a breech cloth cover or an apron, which is beaded or embroidered. Men also wear leggings and moccasins made out of buckskin. In winter the moccasins would be made of bear fur with the fur on the inside. An important ensemble of the men's clothing was a gustoweh. A gustoweh is a headpiece decorated with feathers and beads. The feathers were attached different in every nation.

Women wear skirts, dresses, tunics, and ponchos. Skirts were sometimes a piece of hide. They also wear leggings and moccasins. In cold weather they wear hoods or wraps around their head.

Children wear


Each nation has a different amount of clans. The Mohawk has 3 and the Oneida has 8 clans. The clans were split into three different elements. There was land, water, and air. The animals that represent the land element are bear, world, and deer. The animals that represent the water element are turtle, eel, and beaver. The animals that represent the air element are snipe, hawk, and heron. The turtle clan has three different types of turtles. The wolf clan has three different types of wolves. The bear clan has three different types of bears. In the bear clan, the people are allowed to marry someone in their cla, but they have to be from a different kind of bear clan. Usually you could not marry someone in your clan. If two nations are in the same clan, then they are considered related. Example, the Seneca turtle clan, the Cayuga turtles clan, the Onondaga turtle clan, the Oneida turtle clan, and the Mohawk turtle clan are related. The leader of the clan is the eldest women called the Clan Mother. The Clan Mother choses the chief for the clan. When the Iroquois are making a decision, they do something called consensus. Consensus is a long decision making process witch every nation has a say ing what they want to do. The order goes Onondaga, Seneca and Mohawk, and Cayuga and Oneida. If there is no decision, then it starts all over again.


-New York



-Canada And USA boarder

-Great Lakes

Wampum Belt

A wampum belt is a way to record important events. It it made out of dyed shells. The shells could only be purple or cream colour.


The Three Sisters corn, squash, and beans.
Iroquois men hunting.
Iroquois clothing
Iroquois longhouse.

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