Pre- European Contact


Large coniferous forests, with many hills and rivers. Lots of bodies of water, like the great lakes that were a part of their territory. Animals included deer, rabbits, fox, racoons, black bears, weasels, squirrels, fish such as salmon and many birds as well as lots of small rodents. There were lots of coniferous trees, and the deciduous trees would become colourful canopies in autumn. The winters were very cold and the summers were warm and humid.

Daily Life

Longhouses and Marriage

The Iroquois system was matrilineal, so upon marriage the husband would move in to the wifes longhouse. The man would hunt and go to war, while the woman would do chores and take care of the kids/family. Longhouses were made of sticks, bark and logs. They could house lots of people at the same time, and often belonged to a clan, such as wolf, bear, turtle etc. The people living inside would sleep in bunk beds, and would eat many vegetables that they had harvested or meat that the man had collected.

Clothing and Transportation

Clothing was usually made of deerskin, and decorated with feathers, colourful beads and yarn, made into complicated but interesting patterns. They got around in canoes, kayaks, and in the wintertime they used snowshoes, made from wood and leather.

Food and Government

They would mostly eat vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and the three sisters. They would store their food over in small holes in the ground, barred with sticks to prevent scavengers from getting to it, men also hunted many animals, which they cooked over a fire. The government was a chief from each clan, chosen by the female elders of the clan. The chiefs were always male, each clan had a chief that was part of a council.