The Kinship System of the Iroquois Culture Essay

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The Kinship System of the Iroquois Culture C. Hart ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Professor Christina Winn November 28, 2011 The Kinship System of the Iroquois Culture As one of the first known cultures in North America, the Iroquois Indians were located in the northeastern part of what is now called the United States of America, predominantly in New York, but were also found throughout the Finger Lakes Region, and along the St. Lawrence River. Today, they primarily live in New York, Quebec, and Ontario. Lewis Henry Morgan, a prosperous attorney living in Rochester, New York, who has been noted by many as one of the pioneers of Cultural Anthropology, took great interest in the Iroquois Indians of New York. After years of research, he published his book, Ancient Society, in 1877 depicting the cultural lifestyles and kinship of the Iroquois Indians which are comprised of five different nations: Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca. Through his research and the research of others, we understand the lifestyles and beliefs of the Iroquois Indians. Cultural aspects such as the food and clothing, marriage, politics and religion, as well as, knowledge about kinship and status within the tribes are information which has helped us to learn how the Iroquois Indians lived and survived for hundreds of years. Cultural research has taught us that the Iroquois got most of their food from the forest. Ranging from deer and bear, to turtles and frogs, the Iroquois ate almost all animals that lived in the forest. They did not, however, eat these foods raw like some other Native American cultures, but instead cooked everything they captured. They also ate vegetables such as corn, beans, squash, berries and nuts along with green plants and mushrooms. They were also very fond of maple sugar, mixing it in many foods such as cakes and candies. As noted in

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