Famous Iroquois people include Dekanawidah, the author of the Iroquois Constitution, and the prophet Handsome Lake. Hiawatha and Chief John Big Tree also are notable Iroquois.Know More
The Iroquois consider Dekanawidah, or the Great Peacemaker, the founder of the Iroquois Confederacy. He established the Great Peace and Great Law, which served as the tribe's constitution. In some legends, Hiawatha, another famous Iroquois, and Jigonsaseh, or Peace Queen, helped write the document. They forbade the Iroquois from engaging in cannibalism, human sacrifice and black magic. Though Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized Hiawatha in "The Song of Hiawatha," he based the poem on Manabozho, who wasn't even Iroquois. Some stories cast Hiawatha as Dehanawidah's descendant, disciple or assistant, while other stories describe them as equals.
During an attempt to unite the five Iroquois tribes, Joseph Brant served as the Mohawk's tribal spokesman. He also was a Christian missionary and a British military officer during the Revolutionary War. The prophet Handsome Lake helped revive the Iroquois League. He also established the Code of Handsome Lake, which predicted that failure to abstain from drunkenness, witchcraft, sexual promiscuity, wife beating, quarreling and gambling would cause fire to destroy the world.
Perhaps the most recognized Iroquois is actor Chief John Big Tree, whose face is on the Indian Head Nickel. Pontiac also uses his profile on its car emblem.Learn more about US History
An Iroquois longhouse was a traditional home for Native American tribes living in southern New England, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A longhouse was constructed of wooden poles covered in bark that housed as many as 20 families simultaneously. A typical Iroquois longhouse ranged from 180 to 220 feet long, although some were nearly 400 feet in length.Full Answer >
The men of the Iroquois, also known as Haudenosaunee mostly wore breech cloth, and the women often wore skirts and tunics. Children dressed similarly to their parents.Full Answer >
The Iroquois were a native confederacy whose territories were originally within the boundaries of modern-day New York state between the Adirondack mountains and Niagara Falls. They conquered lands that eventually extended along the eastern seaboard of North America and into the interior, from modern Kentucky to southern Ontario down through the Delaware River Valley.Full Answer >
Tools used by the Iroquois included stone axes, flint knives, hoes, arrowheads and knives. Tools of the Iroquois served many purposes: some helped the Iroquois farm, while others facilitated hunting and preparing animals for food and clothing. Iroquois used knives, for instance, to remove animal meat from skin following kills; the meat served as food, while Iroquois used the hides as clothing or to make shelters.Full Answer >