The Iroquois Confederacy

Published on July 6, 2013 by Casey

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Map of Iroquois territory and the location of each of the tribes
Map of Iroquois territory and the location of each of the tribes

Iroquois Confederacy

Discover interesting facts and information about the Iroquois Confederacy.

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What was the Iroquois Confederacy?
The Iroquois Confederacy was a cultural and political union of several Native American tribes residing in the present-day state of New York.

The Iroquois Confederacy was a confederation of Native American Indians which was originally composed of 5 tribes consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca peoples.

History of the Iroquois Confederacy

The Iroquois Confederacy was initially a league of five tribes who inhabited New York State living between the Hudson River and the St Lawrence and Lake Erie. The tribes spoke the Iroquoian language which was a family of North American Indian languages spoken by the Iroquois peoples. The Iroquois gave their name to the Iroquoian branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock. Discover interesting history, facts and information about the Confederacy and its founders Deganawida and his spokesman Hiawatha, the tribes of the league, where they were located, the Constitution, the People of the Longhouse, the Hiawatha Wampum Belt, the Tree of Peace, Great Law of Peace and the Great Council.

Iroquois Confederacy Tribes

The Iroquois were also known as the Haudenosaunee or the “People of the Longhouse”. The Longhouse was a long, narrow house that was traditionally built by the Iroquois. The tribes of the Iroquois confederacy belonged to Eastern Woodlands culture group. The union created a powerful alliance of related Iroquoian tribes and peoples. The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the “League of Peace and Power”.

Iroquois Confederacy Tribes

The Iroquois Confederacy was first founded c1450, prior to major European contact, and initially consisted of five tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca tribes, which were known as the Five Nations. The Tuscarora tribe joined the Confederacy in 1722, as non-voting members of the league, and the collective tribes became known as the Six Nations. The powerful, and brutal, Iroquois coalition grew quickly by invading neighboring tribes and absorbing their land into Iroquois territory. The Iroquois Confederacy aimed to create an empire by incorporating subservient, conquered peoples.

Iroquois Confederacy Map – Territory of each of the Tribes

The Iroquois Confederacy initially consisted of five tribes who were in close proximity of the Iroquois territory.

The Mohawk tribe lived along the Mohawk River of the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York to South Quebec and East Ontario – Possessors of the Flint.

The Seneca tribe lived in New York State south of Lake Ontario and were the were the largest nation of the Iroquois Confederacy – Great Hill People

The Onondaga tribe lived between Lake Champlain and the Saint Lawrence River – People on the Hills

The Oneida tribe lived east of Lake Ontario, around Oneida Lake – Granite People

The Cayuga tribe lived around around Cayuga Lake in New York State – People of the Great Swamp

The Iroquois Confederacy map shows the locations and territory of the tribes in the league, before the Europeans arrived.

The neighboring tribes were conquered by the Iroquois Confederacy and their lands absorbed into their territory.

Source: warpaths2peacepipes Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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