Kinship Of The Iroquois Essay

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Kinship of the Iroquois ANT101 Instructor Chris Deere Heather B. July 4, 2011 Kinship of the Iroquois The Iroquois were the most important native group in North American history. Originally from upstate New York between the Adironak Mountains and Niagra Falls, they are currently settled in Canada around Quebec. The Iroquois population increased while others did not because of their adoption of conquered Iroquian-speaking enemies. Like many tribes, their name was given to them by their enemies. Iroqu, meaning rattlesnakes, was what the Algonquin called them. The Iroquois call themselves Haudenosaunee meaning "people of the long house." They are a horticulture society, which means that they cultivate the land and depend on their crops for most of their food, although they do hunt, fish, and forage for wild vegetation. Agriculture provided most of their diet. Corn, beans, and squash, which they called "deohako" was considered their life support. Woman tended to the fields with the clan mother supervising. The men's responsibility was to cultivate or prepare the fields and also build villages. Men would leave the village to hunt in the fall and return in the winter. They lived in longhouses, which were long structures where nuclear families lived. Nuclear families are composed of the mother, father, and their children. Our textbook tells us that the Iroquois women were the key food producers and the land was held jointly between women. This is because of their matrilineage. Matrilineage is decent traced through the female’s line. Matrilineages were common in horticultural societies. The matrilieages provided women with rights to the fields and the tools. “The eldest woman in the matrilineage was most influential in decision making, including the allocation of resources and property.” (Nowak, 2010). The important role of women in the Iroquois

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