North-East Native American Cultures Iroquois

Welcome to the North-East Native American Cultures Web Site. Hello, my name is Robert Rhinebeck a student in part with the Microcosm class at Binghamton University.   We will mainly discuss the League Of Nations of the Iroquois such as Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga as well as the sixth tribe added later the Tuscarora. My great-great-great-great Grandmother (4 generations ago) was a Mohawk Native American. The Native Americans for centuries experienced plight and massive cultural deterioration. Despite the harsh circumstances, the Native Americans never gave up and believed these three things were the utmost importance. They were family, land, and religion. Perhaps people that visit this website have some connection to Native American culture. Hopefully this website can answer some of your  questions. Perhaps people who view this site are just curious about Native American cultures in general. Hopefully this website can answer these questions as well. Also there is an additional  approximate 6 minute video at bottom of the page. Enjoy. 


   16th Century to present

Iroquois Native Americans were associated with six different tribes in New York State such as : Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora along with their neighbors including Susquehanna (Wissler,126).

Iroquois used wampum for currency and used it as a symbol to represent Iroquois Native American culture as a whole.

Religion to Native Americans played an important role in their life which encapsulated various belief systems.

This picture represents the wampum belt that symbolized each of the first five Iroquois nations.

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The Iroquois Native Americans were referred to as “real snakes.”

Native American leaders were called sachems or council chief of their tribe.

The first five nations of the Iroquois group were known as “People of the Longhouse(Grumet, 334)”

A Historian George Hunt explained in great detail the success Iroquois achieved from trade(Morgan,xv).

The Trans Appalachian region located in the North eastern region of the United States among the sixteenth through the eighteenth century; most residents of this particular region initially crossed paths with Europeans, and were believed to speak dialect based on the Northern Iroquois Indian peoples(Grumet, 327).

Please Click On Image to Enlarge

Source: Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection / American history — 1620s


Trans Appalachian site considered homeland to five Iroquois Nations as Tuscaroras came later.

Iroquoia is a term that symbolizes the “heartland” of the Iroquois Native Americans(Grumet, 330).

Archaeologists discovered pattern formations between 800 A.D. and 100 A.D. among Northern Iroquois cultures; transformation signaled original sightings of triangular shaped artifacts with “chipped stone projectile points, and domestically clay pots, and tobacco pipes(Grumet, 331).”

Lamoka stone projectile point

Special Thanks to Center for the Study of Human Origins website



 Women played the role of farming as the men played the role for hunting. Women  planted the vegetables corn, bean, and squash. The men hunted for food such as deer, rabbit and sometimes bear.   Deer and bear became popular resources for food( and clothing  among the sixteenth century inhabitants(Grumet,333).  Fur became historically significant as Indian tribes came in contact with European settlers and greeted Native Americans peoples with gifts such as, “glass beads, sheet copper, and woven textiles for food, furs, and favors.”

The Indian chiefs main priorities were to make the military decisions as well as land negotiations of their tribe.

The Iroquois used hollow canoes for transportation. The Europeans introduced horses to Native Americans as they bred them and used them for transportation.

Iroquois commonly used various animal bone and used them as tools for pottery.

In the 1690′s late in the 17th century, approximately 2000 Iroquois Indians died from disease in this particular instance.

The American Government system today has been influenced by the Native American government.

Trading posts were essential to Native Americans economically and culturally.

Several wars broke out in the eighteenth century, primarily involving the British and the Native American Iroquois peoples, over massive land disputes (Grumet, 444). Later in the eighteenth century Iroquois tribes were forced to relocate by selling their property and migrate to live on “reservations.”

According to Leigh Eckmair. Otstenigo County was the starting point of Native American society. Encouraged tourism to be the path to follow among Native American peoples. 1738 became a major Native American trading post. The Mohawk river tied into the  connections among Native American groups.