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The Iroquois Indians were a tribe that was from upstate New York Archeological evidence indicates that they were living ever since about 1100 AD which was long before the Europeans ever arrived there The Onondaga were the first of the Iroquois tribes that can be positively identified in New York and seems to have begun after the merger of two villages sometime between 1450 and 1475 The Iroquois Indians originally lives around Lake Ontario At around 1600 AD five Iroquois tribes banded together to for a confederacy The five tribes were the Mohawks the Oneidas the Onondagas the Cayuga and the Seneca A sixth tribe was added to the confederacy in 1722 This tribe was the Tuscarawas There were other tribes who spoke a form of the Iroquois language The Iroquois language was Iroquian-Northern All of the tribes languages were closely related but not identical The Erie Indians spoke a form of the language but were not part of the tribe They were from the eastern shores of Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania The Iroquois confederacy considered them enemies and wiped out the entire tribe The Iroquois Indians were long threatened by the Adirondacks but there greatest danger was themselves Relationships between the tribes had deteriorated into constant war blood feuds and revenge killings A Huron holy man known as the Peacemaker saved the Iroquois from self-destructionThe Iroquois were the most important native group in North American history Culturally however there was little to distinguish them from their Iroquian-speaking neighbors All had matrilineal social structures the women owned all property and determined kinship The individual tribes were divided into three clans turtle bear and wolf each headed by the clan mother After marriage the man moved into his wives household and the children became members of her clan The houses they lived in were called longhouses and some of them could be over 200 feet in length They were built about a framework
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