When the first white explorers arrived in the early seventeenth century, they found the settled, agricultural society of the Iroquois a contrast to the nomadic culture of the neighboring Algonquians.
The French had established a presence in Canada for over 50 years before they met the Iroquois.
During that period, the Iroquois began to acquire European trade goods through raids on other Indian tribes.
They found the metal axes, knives, hoes, and kettles far superior to their implements of stone, bone, shell, and wood.
The origin of the name Iroquois is uncertain, although it seems to have involved French adaptations of Indian words.
Algonquins And Iroquois Farmers Of The Woodlands Essay
Among the possibilities that have been suggested are a blending of hiro (an Iroquois word used to conclude a speech) and koué (an exclamation); ierokwa ("they who smoke"); iakwai ("bear"); or the Algonquian words irin ("real") and ako ("snake") with the French -ois termination.Seeing the stranger's face reflected in the cooking pot, the barbarian assumed it to be his own image.He was struck by the thought that the beauty of the face was incompatible with the horrendous practice of cannibalism and immediately forsook the practice.They called themselves Haudenosaunee (pronounced "hoo-dee-noh-SHAW-nee"), or people of the longhouse, referring to the construction of their homes, in which extended families of up to 50 people lived together in bark-covered, wooden-framed houses that were 50 to 150 feet long.They also envisioned their extended community as occupying a symbolic longhouse some 300 miles long, with the Mohawk guarding the eastern door and the Seneca the western.The Cherokee people, whose historic homeland was in the southeastern United States, belong to the same linguistic group and share some other links with the Iroquois.Where and when they may have lived near each other is unknown.Despite their common culture and language, relations among the Five Tribes deteriorated to a state of near-constant warfare in ancient times.The infighting, in turn, made them vulnerable to attacks from the surrounding Algonquian tribes.Finally, he encountered a violent, cannibalistic Onondagan.According to legend, Deganawidah watched through a hole in the roof while the man prepared to cook his latest victim.