The spiritual union of the nations began before European contact. The visionary Hiawatha brought a message of peace to the original five nations. These were the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Mohawks.
For the most part they ceased fighting with one another and became one of the strongest forces in the 17th and 18th century in northeastern North America. They engaged in a series of wars against the French and their Huron allies, as well as other native tribes.
According to Francis Parkman, the Iroquois at the 17th century height of their power had a population of around only 12,000 people.
The combined leadership of these nations is known as the Haudenosaunee. It should be noted that "Haudenosaunee" is the term that the people use to refer to themselves. The word "Iroquois" comes from a French version of a Huron (Wendat) name - considered an insult - meaning "Black Snakes." Haudenosaunee means "People Building a Long House." The term is said to have been introduced by the Peace Maker at the time of the formation of the Confederacy. It implies that the Nations of the confederacy should live together as families in the same house.
- Original Five Nations:
- Joined in 1720:
- Tuscarora (Ska-Ruh-Reh or Shirt Wearing People)
- "The Ordeal of the Longhouse", by Daniel K. Richter
- Who Are the Haudenosaunee?
- Oldest Living Participatory Democracy
- Joseph Brant
- Red Jacket
- Ely S. Parker
- Sullivan Expedition
- History of New York
- Iroquoian languages
- Iroquois mythology
- Six Nations of the Grand River
Iroquois-Class destroyer of the Canadian Navy.
Iroquois kinship is a system of familial comprehension that originated with the Iroquois tribes.