We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who are the Iroquois Indians?

By Heather Phillips
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
UnitedStatesNow is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At UnitedStatesNow, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Iroquois Indians, also known as the Haudenosaunee — which means 'people of the longhouse' — are a group of Native Americans that originally lived in what is now the state of New York. Today, with a population of about 70,000, Iroquois Indians live in various places in the U.S. and Canada, including New York, Wisconsin, Ontario, and Quebec. Actually comprised of six different Native American tribes, the Iroquois nation includes the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora peoples.

The Iroquois Indians traditionally had, and still have, a basically democratic system of governing. Individual Native American tribes in the Iroquois Confederacy lead their own groups. Clan mothers, the matriarchs of the different tribes, however, choose male Iroquois leaders to represent their people at Great Council meetings. These were typically meetings of representatives from the five original tribes. At them, all but the Tuscarora, who were relative latecomers to the Iroquois, meet to discuss issues related to the governing of all Iroquois Indians, and make decisions by consensus.

Some of the United States' founding fathers were familiar with the Iroquois' system of government. They incorporated some of its features into the budding American democracy. For instance, the relationship between the Great Council and the individual tribes is similar to the relationship between the United States' federal government and the individual state governments.

Iroquois Indians generally lived an agrarian existence, using hunting, fishing, and farming to provide sustenance for their people. They relied on what they called the Three Sisters farming method. In this, the people planted corn, and, as it sprouted, they would mound dirt around the young plants. Within these mounds, they would also plant beans, which would provide nitrogen for the corn, just as the corn stalks gave support to the growing bean vines. Between the mounded rows of corn and beans, the Iroquois planted squash or pumpkin, which would shade the soil, keeping moisture in and minimizing weed growth.

Iroquois men and women held different roles within the tribe. Men typically hunted, fished, traded, and made decisions regarding war. Women farmed, owned the longhouses, and took care of matters relating to families. Both men and women told tribal stories, created art and music, and practiced medicinal healing.

The Iroquois Indians were skilled in making implements of bent wood. They made wooden hoes for use in gardening. They also made lacrosse sticks. Some Iroquois Indians still make the sticks, in the traditional way, to this day.

Traditional Iroquois dress for men consisted of a breechcloth and leggings. Men generally did not wear shirts, but, in winter, would wear heavy robes and moccasins. Also, male warriors would often shave the sides of their heads leaving a crest of hair, often referred today as a mohawk. Women would typically wear shorter leggings than the men, along with a wrap skirt and an overdress or tunic shirt. Women usually also wore heavy robes and moccasins in colder weather.

UnitedStatesNow is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

UnitedStatesNow, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

UnitedStatesNow, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.