UsIroqE

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Haudenosaunee Confederacy ♥ 'The League of the Iroquois was originally a confederacy of 5 North American Indian tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the League in 1722 after migrating north from the region of the Roanoke River in response to hostilities with White colonists. [...] On the eve of European contact the Iroquois territory extended from Lake Champlain and Lake George west to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario and from the St. Lawrence River south to the Susquehanna River. Within these boundaries each of the original 5 tribes occupied an north-south oblong strip of territory; from east to west, they were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The region was primarily lake and hill country dissected by numerous rivers. Deciduous forests of birch, beech, maple and elm dominated the region, giving way to fir and spruce forests in the north and in the higher elevations of the Adirondack Mountains. In aboriginal times fish and animal species were diverse and abundant.' [1] The Iroquois Confederacy's original name was Haudenosaunee Confederacy: 'Iroquois, any member of the North American Indian tribes speaking a language of the Iroquoian family-notably the Cayuga, Cherokee, Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie, in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada). That larger group should be differentiated from the Five Nations (later Six Nations) better known as the Iroquois Confederacy (self name Haudenosaunee Confederacy).' [2]


♠ Alternative names ♣ Five Nations; League of the Iroquois; Iroquois Confederacy ♥ 'The League of the Iroquois was originally a confederacy of 5 North American Indian tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the League in 1722 after migrating north from the region of the Roanoke River in response to hostilities with White colonists. [...] On the eve of European contact the Iroquois territory extended from Lake Champlain and Lake George west to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario and from the St. Lawrence River south to the Susquehanna River. Within these boundaries each of the original 5 tribes occupied an north-south oblong strip of territory; from east to west, they were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The region was primarily lake and hill country dissected by numerous rivers. Deciduous forests of birch, beech, maple and elm dominated the region, giving way to fir and spruce forests in the north and in the higher elevations of the Adirondack Mountains. In aboriginal times fish and animal species were diverse and abundant.' [3] The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations, and, after the inclusion of the Tuscaroras, as the Six Nations: 'Iroquois, any member of the North American Indian tribes speaking a language of the Iroquoian family-notably the Cayuga, Cherokee, Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie, in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada). That larger group should be differentiated from the Five Nations (later Six Nations) better known as the Iroquois Confederacy (self name Haudenosaunee Confederacy).' [4] 'In 1715, the Tuscaroras, having been expelled from North Carolina, turned to the north, and sought a home among the Iroquois, on the ground of a common origin. That they were originally descended from the same stock is sufficiently evinced by their language. They were admitted into the League as a constituent member, and a portion of the Oneida territory assigned to them as their future home. After this event, the Iroquois, who had before been styled by the English the “Five Nations,” were known by them under the name of the “Six Nations.”' [5]


♠ Peak Date ♣ 1650-1701 CE ♥ The Iroquois Confederacy pursued aggressive expansionism: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [6] The Confederacy achieved maximum geograhpical expansion by the mid-17th century: 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [7]


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 1566 - 1713 CE ♥ The Iroquois Confederacy pursued aggressive expansionism: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [8] The Confederacy achieved maximum geograhpical expansion by the mid-17th century: 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [9]

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ loose ♥ 'The League of the Iroquois was originally a confederacy of 5 North American Indian tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the League in 1722 after migrating north from the region of the Roanoke River in response to hostilities with White colonists. [...] On the eve of European contact the Iroquois territory extended from Lake Champlain and Lake George west to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario and from the St. Lawrence River south to the Susquehanna River. Within these boundaries each of the original 5 tribes occupied an north-south oblong strip of territory; from east to west, they were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The region was primarily lake and hill country dissected by numerous rivers. Deciduous forests of birch, beech, maple and elm dominated the region, giving way to fir and spruce forests in the north and in the higher elevations of the Adirondack Mountains. In aboriginal times fish and animal species were diverse and abundant.' [10] The individual member nations were represented in a common leage council: 'The Seneca ([unknown] sen[unknown] ku, locally also[unknown] sen[unknown] k[unknown] ), westernmost of the Iroquois tribes, were the largest in the Confederacy. Their numbers were often reported to be almost equal to or to exceed those of the other four Iroquois tribes combined (“The League of the Iroquois: Its History, Politics, and Ritual,” table 1, this vol.). Nevertheless, of all the Iroquois tribes they had the fewest number of chiefs on the League council; they held eight such chieftainships.' [11] The Iroquois Confederacy was effective in dealing with external enemies until the American revolution, but individual nations also enjoyed considerable agency in handling their own affairs: 'The Iroquois Confederacy differed from other American Indian confederacies in the northeastern woodlands primarily in being better organized, more consciously defined, and more effective. The Iroquois used elaborately ritualized systems for choosing leaders and making important decisions. They persuaded colonial governments to use these rituals in their joint negotiations, and they fostered a tradition of political sagacity based on ceremonial sanction rather than on the occasional outstanding individual leader. Because the league lacked administrative control, the nations did not always act in unison; but spectacular successes in warfare compensated for this and were possible because of security at home.' [12] The Confederacy was therefore an alliance of independent nations rather than a confederate state: 'Thus the League of the Iroquois was an alliance conceived among aboriginal nations which, though culturally related and speaking languages fundamentally similar but differing in vocabulary and idiom, had recurrently been in conflict. The league brought them out of conflict into peace. Then came the French, the Dutch, and the English, and the doom of the league was sealed, its desired results nullified. Here was an alliance binding together five distinct nations, based upon an orally transmitted constitution. It had no inscribed statutes, no taxes or levies, no gendarmerie, no hireling politicians. We hear, however, of tribute exacted of subjugated tribes. Tribute, as the Iroquois took it, consisted of stipulated sums of wampum demanded of the Algonkian tribes on the Atlantic Coast who produced it; and wampum was not an item of money, cash, or currency in native economy before the coming of Europeans to the Hudson Valley. Its function was that of a symbol, valuable in a spiritual sense and capable of serving the purposes of mnemonic record making. Thus the wampum tribute we read so much about would seem to be a measure pressed upon subjugated smaller tribes in the shell-bearing coastal regions, requiring them to furnish the wampum the Iroquois needed in the score of ceremonial uses they had developed for it.' [13] 'During the 15th and early 16th centuries, warfare in the Northeast culture area fostered the creation of extensive political and military alliances. It is generally believed that this period of increasing conflict was instigated by internal events rather than by contact with Europeans; some scholars suggest that the region was nearing its carrying capacity. Two of the major alliances in the area were the Huron confederacy (which included the Wendat alliance) and the Five Tribes (later Six Tribes), or Iroquois Confederacy. The constituent tribes of both blocs spoke Iroquoian languages; the term “Iroquoian” is used to refer generally to the groups speaking such languages, while references to the “Iroquois” generally imply the tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy alone.' [14] 'The Five Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy lived south of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Erie, for the most part in the present-day state of New York. The alliance comprised the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca peoples; the Tuscarora joined the confederacy later. Evenly matched with the Huron alliance in terms of aggregate size, the Iroquois were more loosely united and somewhat less densely settled across the landscape. While the Huron nations traded extensively for food, this was less the case for the Five Tribes, who relied more thoroughly upon agriculture. Before colonization they seem to have removed southward, perhaps in response to raids from the Huron to their north. The alliances among the Five Tribes were initiated not only for defense but also to regulate the blood feuds that were common in the region. By replacing retributory raids among themselves with a blood money payment system, each of the constituent nations was better able to engage in offensive and defensive action against outside enemies.' [15]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none: 1566-1702 CE; alliance: 1703-1713 CE ♥ The Iroquois sought to expand their sphere of influence and to gain tributary nations rather than being themselves part of a larger entity: 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [16] The Iroquois supported the British against the French during Queen Anne's war: 'During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [17] The Iroquois regularly interacted with European colonists and other native polities through the fur trade, but were not made British subjects until the end of Queen Anne's war: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [18]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Iroquois Confederacy ♥ The Confederacy was founded before 1566: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [19] 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [20] Warfare and population pressure were probably major factors in the formation and consolidation of the Confederacy and similar polities: 'During the 15th and early 16th centuries, warfare in the Northeast culture area fostered the creation of extensive political and military alliances. It is generally believed that this period of increasing conflict was instigated by internal events rather than by contact with Europeans; some scholars suggest that the region was nearing its carrying capacity. Two of the major alliances in the area were the Huron confederacy (which included the Wendat alliance) and the Five Tribes (later Six Tribes), or Iroquois Confederacy. The constituent tribes of both blocs spoke Iroquoian languages; the term “Iroquoian” is used to refer generally to the groups speaking such languages, while references to the “Iroquois” generally imply the tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy alone.' [21]
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥ The Confederacy was founded before 1566: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [22] 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [23] Warfare and population pressure were probably major factors in the formation and consolidation of the Confederacy and similar polities: 'During the 15th and early 16th centuries, warfare in the Northeast culture area fostered the creation of extensive political and military alliances. It is generally believed that this period of increasing conflict was instigated by internal events rather than by contact with Europeans; some scholars suggest that the region was nearing its carrying capacity. Two of the major alliances in the area were the Huron confederacy (which included the Wendat alliance) and the Five Tribes (later Six Tribes), or Iroquois Confederacy. The constituent tribes of both blocs spoke Iroquoian languages; the term “Iroquoian” is used to refer generally to the groups speaking such languages, while references to the “Iroquois” generally imply the tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy alone.' [24]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Iroquois Confederacy ♥ The League Council stayed in place after Queen Anne's War, although colonial incursions were felt more strongly: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [25]
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Eastern Woodlands ♥ 'The languages of the 6 tribes are classified in the Northern Iroquoian branch of the Iroquoian language family.' [26] The Iroquois Peoples include the Iroquois Confederacy, but also other independent nations: 'Iroquois, any member of the North American Indian tribes speaking a language of the Iroquoian family-notably the Cayuga, Cherokee, Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie, in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada). That larger group should be differentiated from the Five Nations (later Six Nations) better known as the Iroquois Confederacy (self name Haudenosaunee Confederacy).' [27] 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [28] Iroquois expansionism enabled cross-cultural exchange with defeated enemies: 'The Iroquois were not nomadic hunters like many of their neighbors to the north and west. Instead they settled in more or less permanent villages and depended mainly upon their crops of corn, beans and squash for food. The settled life gave them greater political and social unity and this fact was largely responsible for their success as conquerors and governors. Their conquests brought them in contact with many tribes with cultures varying in greater and lesser degrees from their own and from each they absorbed elements that modified or enhanced it.' [29] The wider sphere of cultural interaction also includes the early colonial powers: 'Thus the League of the Iroquois was an alliance conceived among aboriginal nations which, though culturally related and speaking languages fundamentally similar but differing in vocabulary and idiom, had recurrently been in conflict. The league brought them out of conflict into peace. Then came the French, the Dutch, and the English, and the doom of the league was sealed, its desired results nullified. Here was an alliance binding together five distinct nations, based upon an orally transmitted constitution. It had no inscribed statutes, no taxes or levies, no gendarmerie, no hireling politicians. We hear, however, of tribute exacted of subjugated tribes. Tribute, as the Iroquois took it, consisted of stipulated sums of wampum demanded of the Algonkian tribes on the Atlantic Coast who produced it; and wampum was not an item of money, cash, or currency in native economy before the coming of Europeans to the Hudson Valley. Its function was that of a symbol, valuable in a spiritual sense and capable of serving the purposes of mnemonic record making. Thus the wampum tribute we read so much about would seem to be a measure pressed upon subjugated smaller tribes in the shell-bearing coastal regions, requiring them to furnish the wampum the Iroquois needed in the score of ceremonial uses they had developed for it.' [30] eHRAF groups the Iroquois with other indigenous communities of the 'Eastern Woodlands' [31].
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared. 'The languages of the 6 tribes are classified in the Northern Iroquoian branch of the Iroquoian language family.' [32] The Iroquois Peoples include the Iroquois Confederacy, but also other independent nations: 'Iroquois, any member of the North American Indian tribes speaking a language of the Iroquoian family-notably the Cayuga, Cherokee, Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie, in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada). That larger group should be differentiated from the Five Nations (later Six Nations) better known as the Iroquois Confederacy (self name Haudenosaunee Confederacy).' [33] 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [34] Iroquois expansionism enabled cross-cultural exchange with defeated enemies: 'The Iroquois were not nomadic hunters like many of their neighbors to the north and west. Instead they settled in more or less permanent villages and depended mainly upon their crops of corn, beans and squash for food. The settled life gave them greater political and social unity and this fact was largely responsible for their success as conquerors and governors. Their conquests brought them in contact with many tribes with cultures varying in greater and lesser degrees from their own and from each they absorbed elements that modified or enhanced it.' [35] The wider sphere of cultural interaction also includes the early colonial powers: 'Thus the League of the Iroquois was an alliance conceived among aboriginal nations which, though culturally related and speaking languages fundamentally similar but differing in vocabulary and idiom, had recurrently been in conflict. The league brought them out of conflict into peace. Then came the French, the Dutch, and the English, and the doom of the league was sealed, its desired results nullified. Here was an alliance binding together five distinct nations, based upon an orally transmitted constitution. It had no inscribed statutes, no taxes or levies, no gendarmerie, no hireling politicians. We hear, however, of tribute exacted of subjugated tribes. Tribute, as the Iroquois took it, consisted of stipulated sums of wampum demanded of the Algonkian tribes on the Atlantic Coast who produced it; and wampum was not an item of money, cash, or currency in native economy before the coming of Europeans to the Hudson Valley. Its function was that of a symbol, valuable in a spiritual sense and capable of serving the purposes of mnemonic record making. Thus the wampum tribute we read so much about would seem to be a measure pressed upon subjugated smaller tribes in the shell-bearing coastal regions, requiring them to furnish the wampum the Iroquois needed in the score of ceremonial uses they had developed for it.' [36] eHRAF groups the Iroquois with other indigenous communities of the 'Eastern Woodlands' [37]. Unfortunately, no geographical estimate is provided.


♠ Capital ♣ Onondaga ♥ The League Council met at Onondaga: 'The term “longhouse” was at one time symbolically applied to the League, and its members spoke of themselves as the “Hodinonhsióni ónon,” “the people of the longhouse.” The symbolic longhouse was represented as extending from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It sheltered within its walls the five tribes who kept the five fires of the longhouse. At the ends of the house stood the doorkeepers, the Mohawk at the east and the Seneca at the west. In between these were the Oneida who kept the second fire and the Cayuga who kept the fourth fire. They were regarded as the younger brothers whose duty it was to care for the captives. In the center were the Onondaga who kept the ever-burning central fire and presided over the council of the league, and whose principal village (Onondaga, later Onondaga Castle) was the capital of the confederacy. At one time Onondaga was one of the most important and widely known towns in North America north of Mexico.' [38]


♠ Language ♣ Cayuga; Mohawk; Oneida; Onondaga; Seneca; Tuscarora ♥ 'The languages of the 6 tribes are classified in the Northern Iroquoian branch of the Iroquoian language family.' [39] 'Iroquois, any member of the North American Indian tribes speaking a language of the Iroquoian family-notably the Cayuga, Cherokee, Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie, in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada). That larger group should be differentiated from the Five Nations (later Six Nations) better known as the Iroquois Confederacy (self name Haudenosaunee Confederacy).' [40] 'The League of the Iroquois was originally a confederacy of 5 North American Indian tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the League in 1722 after migrating north from the region of the Roanoke River in response to hostilities with White colonists. [...] On the eve of European contact the Iroquois territory extended from Lake Champlain and Lake George west to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario and from the St. Lawrence River south to the Susquehanna River. Within these boundaries each of the original 5 tribes occupied an north-south oblong strip of territory; from east to west, they were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The region was primarily lake and hill country dissected by numerous rivers. Deciduous forests of birch, beech, maple and elm dominated the region, giving way to fir and spruce forests in the north and in the higher elevations of the Adirondack Mountains. In aboriginal times fish and animal species were diverse and abundant.' [41]

General Description

The Finger Lakes region of the modern-day state of New York was once part of Iroquois territory. On the eve of European contact, this territory stretched from Lake Champlain and Lake George west to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario and from the St. Lawrence River south to the Susquehanna River. Originally, the League of the Iroquois was a confederacy of five Native American tribes (the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca), joined by a sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, in 1722, following its northward migration from the Roanoke River. This confederacy was created between 1400 and 1600 CE. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the confederacy was overall able to exploit the establishment of the European fur trade to its advantage, playing French and English interests off against one another, and gaining a major role in economic and political affairs. As a result of this, the Iroquois - particularly the Seneca - also frequently clashed with other Native tribes, such as the Huron, Petun, Neutral and Susquehannock. Eventually, the Iroquois also came into conflict with the Europeans, first with the French, then with the American revolutionaries. Starting in the 19th century, the Iroquois tribes settled on reservations in western New York state, southern Quebec and southern Ontario.[42]

Population and political organization

The central Iroquois League Council dealt with common affairs, while tribal chiefs and councils (as well as the female elders of their respective lineages and more recently created non-hereditary positions) occupied an intermediary position. The council included 50 men and women representing the five original tribes and had legislative, executive and judiciary powers, but it only deliberated on matters relating to foreign affairs (for example, peace and war) as well as matters of common interest to all five tribes.[43]
According to Gerald Reid, there were around 5,500 Iroquois at the beginning of the 17th century.[44]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 100,000 ♥ in squared kilometers The Iroquois at the time inhabited the Great Lakes Area: 'Between the Hudson and lake Erie, our broad territory was occupied by the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, scattered far and wide, in small encampments, or in disconnected villages. Their council-fires, emblematical of civil jurisdiction, burned continuously from the Hudson to Niagara. At the era of Dutch discovery (1609), they had pushed their permanent possession as far west as the Genesee; and shortly after, about 1650, they extended it to the Niagara. They then occupied the entire territory of our State west of the Hudson, with the exception of certain tracts upon that river below the junction of the Mohawk, in the possession of the River Indians, and the country of the Delawares, upon the Delaware river. But both these had been subdued by the conquering Iroquois, and had become tributary nations.' [45] Some aspects of Iroquois social geography make the determination of boundary lines more easy: 'A boundary line would seem at first to be a difficult problem in Indian geography. But a peculiar custom of our predecessors has divested this subject of much of its embarrassment, and enabled us to ascertain with considerable certainty the territorial limits of the nations of the League. The Iroquois rejected all natural boundaries, and substituted longitudinal lines. This appears to have resulted from the custom of establishing themselves upon both banks of the streams upon which they resided. Having no knowledge of the use of wells, they were accustomed to fix their habitations upon the banks of creeks, and easily forded rivers, or in the vicinity of copious springs. Inland lakes were never divided by a boundary line; but the line itself was deflected, that the entire circuit of each lake might be possessed by a single nation. The natural limits which rivers and lakes might furnish having thus been disregarded, and straight lines substituted, the inquiry is freed from some of its difficulties, and greater certainty is given to their boundaries, when certain points upon them are decisively ascertained.' [46] These comments seem to indicate an extensive territory of around 100,000 km squared. This was taken from an informal source [47]. [48]

♠ Polity Population ♣ 5,500: 1600 CE ♥ People. The Britannica gives a number of 12,000, but seems to refer to the period immediately preceding the American Revolution: 'For a century and a quarter before the American Revolution, the Iroquois stood athwart the path from Albany to the Great Lakes, keeping the route from permanent settlement by the French and containing the Dutch and the English. In the 18th century the Six Nations remained consistent and bitter enemies of the French, who were allied with their traditional foes. The Iroquois became dependent on the British in Albany for European goods (which were cheaper there than in Montreal), and thus Albany was never attacked. The Iroquois’ success in maintaining their autonomy vis-à-vis both the French and English was a remarkable achievement for an aboriginal people that could field only 2,200 men from a total population of scarcely 12,000. During the American Revolution, a schism developed among the Iroquois. The Oneida and Tuscarora espoused the American cause, while the rest of the league, led by Chief Joseph Brant’s Mohawk loyalists, fought for the British out of Niagara, decimating several isolated American settlements. The fields, orchards, and granaries, as well as the morale of the Iroquois, were destroyed in 1779 when U.S. Major General John Sullivan led a retaliatory expedition of 4,000 Americans against them, defeating them near present-day Elmira, New York. Having acknowledged defeat in the Second Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784), the Iroquois Confederacy effectively came to an end. In a treaty that was made at Canandaigua, New York, 10 years later, the Iroquois and the United States each pledged not to disturb the other in lands that had been relinquished or reserved. Of the Six Nations, the Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora remained in New York, eventually settling on reservations; the Mohawk and Cayuga withdrew to Canada; and, a generation later, a large group of the Oneida departed for Wisconsin.' [49] eHRAF gives the total number of Iroquois at 5,500 for the beginning of the 17th century: 'In 1600 the population of the Five Nations is estimated to have been about 5,500 and that of the Tuscarora about 5,000.' [50] We have chosen to follow the eHRAF estimate.

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ {600; 3,000} ♥ Inhabitants. The Iroquois resided in longhouse communities: 'Villages were built on elevated terraces in close proximity to streams or lakes and were secured by log palisades. Village populations ranged between 300 and 600 persons. Typically, an enclosed village included numerous longhouses and several acres of fields for growing crops; surrounding the village were several hundred more acres of fields for growing crops. Longhouses were constructed of log posts and poles and covered with a sheathing of elm bark; they averaged 25 feet in width and 80 feet in length, though some exceeded 200 feet in length. Villages were semi-permanent and in use year round. When soil fertility in the fields declined and firewood in the vicinity of the village became scarce the village was moved to a new site. This was a gradual process, with the new village being built as the old one was gradually abandoned. The settlements of the 5 tribes lay along an east-west axis were connected by a system of trails.' [51] Morgan provides a wider range: 'The Iroquoians were gregarious, and apparently the size of their towns was limited only by the difficulty of raising corn and cutting firewood for a large population within a reasonable distance. Partly for protection and still more from their own fondness for society, nearly all were found in closely built villages varying in size from 300 to 3,000 inhabitants.' [52] Iroquois settlements were initially heavily concentrated, but gave way to smaller and more dispersed patterns during the colonial period: 'Iroquois settlements were formerly much concentrated. Before 1687, the League Iroquois were 12 or 13 villages, ranging between 300 and 600 persons per town: Mohawk (3), Oneida (1), Onondaga (2), Cayuga (3), Seneca (4). Two Seneca towns comprised upward of 100 houses, of which a good proportion were extended bark houses sheltering composite families. During the next century settlements dispersed and were smaller, the bark house giving way to log houses of smaller dimensions. By 1800 the bark longhouse was a thing of the past. With it went old patterns of coresidence.' [53] Onondaga doubled as the capital of the League, despite of intermittent relocations of the council fire in the colonia period, and was among the larger settlements in the area: 'The term “longhouse” was at one time symbolically applied to the League, and its members spoke of themselves as the “Hodinonhsióni ónon,” “the people of the longhouse.” The symbolic longhouse was represented as extending from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It sheltered within its walls the five tribes who kept the five fires of the longhouse. At the ends of the house stood the doorkeepers, the Mohawk at the east and the Seneca at the west. In between these were the Oneida who kept the second fire and the Cayuga who kept the fourth fire. They were regarded as the younger brothers whose duty it was to care for the captives. In the center were the Onondaga who kept the ever-burning central fire and presided over the council of the league, and whose principal village (Onondaga, later Onondaga Castle) was the capital of the confederacy. At one time Onondaga was one of the most important and widely known towns in North America north of Mexico.' [54] 'When the council fire of the Confederacy was rekindledat Buffalo Creek, more Onondagas as well as otherIroquois were living there than at any other location. TheOnondaga village at Buffalo Creek, which in 1791 wassaid to consist of 28 good houses (Proctor 1864-1865,2:307), was located near the ford on Cazenovia Creek(near the present junction of Potter Road and SenecaStreet, a mile west of Ebenezer). The Onondaga councilhouse stood on the east bank of the creek near the fordand the cemetery on a terrace on the opposite side(Houghton 1920:11, 115-116).' [55] Given the dramatic differences between both estimates, we have decided to provide both. A judgment call is needed on this.

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 2 ♥ levels.

(2) Larger Villages doubling as Capitals of the confederacy of individual nations; (1) Residential Villages comprising several Longhouses

Most Iroquois lived in residential villages: 'Villages were built on elevated terraces in close proximity to streams or lakes and were secured by log palisades. Village populations ranged between 300 and 600 persons. Typically, an enclosed village included numerous longhouses and several acres of fields for growing crops; surrounding the village were several hundred more acres of fields for growing crops. Longhouses were constructed of log posts and poles and covered with a sheathing of elm bark; they averaged 25 feet in width and 80 feet in length, though some exceeded 200 feet in length. Villages were semi-permanent and in use year round. When soil fertility in the fields declined and firewood in the vicinity of the village became scarce the village was moved to a new site. This was a gradual process, with the new village being built as the old one was gradually abandoned. The settlements of the 5 tribes lay along an east-west axis were connected by a system of trails.' [56] 'The primary local groups of Iroquois society were the extended household and the village. Each extended family lived in a long bark structure, some of which were from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet in length by sixty in breadth, known as longhouses. Throughout its length was a central passageway in which were located hearths at intervals of ten to twelve feet with each hearth being used by two conjugal families. On both sides of this central passageway were apartments each occupied by a simple family. The composition of the group inhabiting the longhouse appears to have been controlled by the matriarch of a lineage. Influential matriarchs who held a chiefly title tended to group their female relatives around them in the same longhouse.' [57] 'The characteristic dwelling of the Iroquois was a log and bark community house known as the longhouse (ganonh[unknown] sees) designed to accommodate five, ten, or twenty families. The longhouse ranged in length from 30 to 200 feet, in width from 15 to 25 feet, and in height, at the center, from 15 to 20 feet. The average longhouse was 60 feet in length, 18 feet wide, and 18 feet high. It was built with a framework of upright posts with forked tops. The lower ends of the posts were set one foot into the ground to form a rectangular space the size of the building to be constructed. Horizontal poles were tied with withes to the vertical poles, along the sides and across the tops. A steep triangular or rounded roof was formed by bending the slender, flexible poles toward the center above the space enclosed by the poles.' [58] Some larger villages or towns doubled as capitals of the confederacy or individual nations: 'The term “longhouse” was at one time symbolically applied to the League, and its members spoke of themselves as the “Hodinonhsióni ónon,” “the people of the longhouse.” The symbolic longhouse was represented as extending from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It sheltered within its walls the five tribes who kept the five fires of the longhouse. At the ends of the house stood the doorkeepers, the Mohawk at the east and the Seneca at the west. In between these were the Oneida who kept the second fire and the Cayuga who kept the fourth fire. They were regarded as the younger brothers whose duty it was to care for the captives. In the center were the Onondaga who kept the ever-burning central fire and presided over the council of the league, and whose principal village (Onondaga, later Onondaga Castle) was the capital of the confederacy. At one time Onondaga was one of the most important and widely known towns in North America north of Mexico.' [59] 'They had begun their tribal existence as a Huron phratry upon a fishing expedition, pressing on in advance of their kin to the lower St. Lawrence. Quebec was for some time their chief town. Probably they were the people whom Jacques Cartier found there. Their Huron kindred built Hochelaga on the island of Montreal. Between these related tribes arose jealousy and finally war. The Mohawks drove the Hurons from Hochelaga and built their capital there. This was the height of Mohawk power. Apparently they held the country from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the headwaters of the Mohawk. From their capital at Montreal they controlled the great river down to Gaspe. Vermont and the Adirondacks were their hunting-grounds, and their outlying dependency the Oneidas had for some time had a permanent town in New York.' [60] Settlements were initially heavily concentrated, but became smaller and more dispersed during the colonial period, especially in the 19th century: 'Iroquois settlements were formerly much concentrated. Before 1687, the League Iroquois were 12 or 13 villages, ranging between 300 and 600 persons per town: Mohawk (3), Oneida (1), Onondaga (2), Cayuga (3), Seneca (4). Two Seneca towns comprised upward of 100 houses, of which a good proportion were extended bark houses sheltering composite families. During the next century settlements dispersed and were smaller, the bark house giving way to log houses of smaller dimensions. By 1800 the bark longhouse was a thing of the past. With it went old patterns of coresidence.' [61] 'What them was the impotus for change? Most Iroqueis were non-Christian in 1820; however, by 1860 most had become Christian. The spread of Christianity was accsnpanied by a number of intorrolated eausal facters. The land tenure system changed from the late 1820's when Darling made his roport public. Most of the Iroquois were no longer living in villages by 1840. Only two villages existed, the Mehawk and Tusearera. Formerly, the Cayuga and Onendaga had longhouses in which whele lineages lived and the matron rodistributed the produce (Campbell, 1958.) In 1842, three-quartors of the pepalation lived on small homestead farms and oultivated plets avoraging 20 acres (Canada Province, 1847). Food was redistributed prinarily among individual homesteads.' [62]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ 3 ♥ levels.

(3) the central League Council; (2) Tribal Chiefs (Sachems) and associated Tribal Councils; (1) Village Elders and Village Councils

The political organization distinguished between villages, tribes, and the common confederate level: 'THE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION of the Iroquois--the system by which decisions were made about problems affecting village, tribe, or confederacy --had three levels. The town or village itself decided local issues like the use of nearby hunting lands, the relocation of houses and cornfields, movement to another site, the acceptance or rejection of visitors, and the raising of war parties. There was a village chiefs' council, numbering up to twenty men, formally organized with a chairman and one or more representatives for each clan. These chiefs were influential men and women, who might be League sachems, warcaptains, warriors, or simply old men who were looked up to and consulted. The council generally met in the presence of the warriors and the women, and rarely diverged in its decisions from the popular consensus, or at least the majority view. This council met in the village's ceremonial longhouse, which usually was merely a large dwelling.' [63] Female lineage elders played an important role on the local level: 'The primary local groups of Iroquois society were the extended household and the village. Each extended family lived in a long bark structure, some of which were from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet in length by sixty in breadth, known as longhouses. Throughout its length was a central passageway in which were located hearths at intervals of ten to twelve feet with each hearth being used by two conjugal families. On both sides of this central passageway were apartments each occupied by a simple family. The composition of the group inhabiting the longhouse appears to have been controlled by the matriarch of a lineage. Influential matriarchs who held a chiefly title tended to group their female relatives around them in the same longhouse.' [64] Various political levels were validated by wampum beads: 'The longhouse owns “wampums” which validate its position as a ritual center but which are rarely brought out. Wampum occasionally figures in the ritual, such as the string of wampum used in the rite of confession. But the significance of wampum generally is that because it is a valuable object, it is used to indicate the significance of the event, either by giving it as a commemoration of the event or as being shown in remembrance of the event. Wampum belts, for example, were given at treaties to indicate good faith in the making of the treaty, and might be brought out to remind others of the treaty. In and of itself, wampum is not sacred.' [65] The central League Council dealt with commonn affairs, with tribal chiefs and councils (as well as the female elders of their respective lineages and more recently created non-hereditary positions) occupying an intermediary position: 'The Iroquois confederacy operated under a council of 50 sachems representing the five original tribes. When the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722, no new sachem positions were created for it. The council was a legislative, executive and judicial body that deliberated only on the external affairs of the confederacy, such as peace and war, and on matters common to the five constituent tribes. The council had no voice in the internal affairs of the separate tribes. Tribal representation on the council was unequally distributed among the 5 tribes although abuse of power was limited by the requirement of unanimity in all council decisions. Below the level of the League council were separate tribal councils concerned with the internal affairs of each tribe and each tribe's relations with external groups. The tribal council was composed of the sachems who represented the tribe on the League council. Sachem positions were hereditary within each tribe and belonged to particular matrisibs. The women of the matrisib nominated each new sachem, who was always a male, and had the power to recall or "dehorn" a chief who failed to represent the interests of his people. Theoretically, each sachem was equal to the others in power, but in practice those with better oratorial skills wielded greater influence. After the confederacy had been functioning for a period of time a new, nonhereditary office of Pine Tree Chief was created to provide local leadership and to act as advisors to the council sachems, although later they actually sat on the League council and equaled the sachems in power. Pine Tree Chiefs held their position for life and were chosen by the women of a matrisib on the basis of skill in warfare. Iroquois involvement in the fur trade and war with the French increased the importance and solidarity of the League council and thereby strengthened the confederacy. The strength of the confederacy continued to grow until the time of the American Revolution when Iroquois interests divided between alliances to the British and the American colonists.' [66] 'A Chief was appointed by the oldest woman of the maternal family in which the title descended. Her descendants and those who were related clanwise were his constituents. The matron and the chief tended to reside in the same settlement, for when the Chief removed, the clan had no one to regard with confidence unless he returned for village councils. If the matron removed, local succession was in jeopardy. The results of deliberations by the clan were taken from village councils to the council of the tribe. The ranking clan chiefs residing at a place were the cochiefs of that settlement. All eight of the Seneca chiefs are now concentrated at Tonawanda, but formerly the Seneca had at least four villages, and all the rest save the Oneida had each two or three principal towns with satellite settlements. The tribe thus spoke a common language, it comprised two or more settlements, it was governed by a common council of village chiefs who also represented constituent clans, and they governed a common territory adjacent to the towns. In time all clans were present in all villages, probably about in the same proportions as they are now. As any clan predominated in a settlement, members had to seek mates in the next village, or divide their own house in twain, thus distributing the clans again.' [67] Tribes were composed of matrilineages: 'Matrilineages were organized into 15 matrisibs. Among the Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora the matrisibs were further organized into moieties. Among the Mohawk and the Oneida no moiety division was recognized. Descent was matrilineal.' [68] The League Council initially met at Onondaga, but the council fire was extinguished and rekindled in various places during the tribulations of the colonial period: 'The council continued to be composed of hereditary chiefs, who together with the “war chiefs” from 1812 andthe Pine Tree chiefs numbered over 50. The Crown madeno attempt to interfere with the appointment or dismissalof chiefs (Weaver 1975). The chiefs met in the Onondagacouncil house, a log structure near Middleport, two orthree times a year to deliberate in traditional fashionmatters of community interest (Weaver 1963-1974). The Onondagas, known collectively as the firekeepers, actedas mediators in the proceedings according to traditionalcustom. However, the tribal seating plan differed fromthe traditional one in that the Mohawks and Senecasoccupied the positions east of the council fire, while theOneidas and Cayugas sat on the west, together with thedependent nations: Tuscaroras, Nanticokes, Delawares,and Tutelos. Although the dependent nations were tospeak through “their voice,” the Cayugas, in fact theyoften directly addressed the assembly of chiefs, andoperated quite independently, though not equaling theoriginal five nations in power or status.' [69]

♠ Religious levels ♣ 1 ♥ levels.

(1) Local ceremonial specialists (Keepers of the Faith) and shamans (False Face Societies)

Religious specialists were generally village-based: 'Full time religious specialists were absent, however, there were part-time male and female specialists known as Keepers of the Faith whose primary responsibilities were to arrange and conduct the main religious ceremonies. Keepers of the Faith were appointed by matrisib elders and were accorded considerable prestige.' [70] 'Part time religious specialists known as Keepers of the Faith served in part to censure anti-social behavior. Unconfessed witches detected through council proceedings were punished with death, while those who confessed might be allowed to reform.' [71] 'Illness and disease were attributed to supernatural causes. Curing ceremonies consisted of group shamanistic practices directed towards propitiating the responsible supernatural agents. One of the curing groups was the False Face Society. False Face Societies were found in each village and, except for a female Keeper of the False Faces who protected the ritual paraphernalia, consisted only of male members who had dreamed of participation in False Face ceremonies.' [72] Christian attempts at proselytization were initially largely unsuccessful: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [73]

♠ Military levels ♣ 3 ♥ levels.

(3) the Warrior Council; (2) War-Leaders (non-hereditary); (1) Warrior Volunteers or Citizen-Soldiers;

The political organization distinguished between villages, tribes, and the common confederate level: 'THE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION of the Iroquois--the system by which decisions were made about problems affecting village, tribe, or confederacy --had three levels. The town or village itself decided local issues like the use of nearby hunting lands, the relocation of houses and cornfields, movement to another site, the acceptance or rejection of visitors, and the raising of war parties. There was a village chiefs' council, numbering up to twenty men, formally organized with a chairman and one or more representatives for each clan. These chiefs were influential men and women, who might be League sachems, warcaptains, warriors, or simply old men who were looked up to and consulted. The council generally met in the presence of the warriors and the women, and rarely diverged in its decisions from the popular consensus, or at least the majority view. This council met in the village's ceremonial longhouse, which usually was merely a large dwelling.' [74] Distinguished war-leaders were eligible for non-hereditary chieftainships: 'The powers and duties of the sachems and chiefs were entirely of a civil character, and confined, by their organic laws, to the affairs of peace. No sachem could go out to war in his official capacity, as a civil ruler. If disposed to take the war-path, he laid aside his civil office, for the time being, and became a common warrior. It becomes an important inquiry, therefore, to ascertain in whom the military power, was vested. The Iroquois had no distinct class of war-chiefs, raised up and set apart to command in time of war; neither do the sachems or chiefs appear to have possessed the power of appointing such persons as they considered suitable to the post of command. All military operations were left entirely to private enterprise, and to the system of voluntary service, the sachems seeking rather to repress and restrain, than to encourage the martial ardor of the people. Their principal war-captains were to be found among he class called chiefs, many of whom were elected to this office in reward for their military achievements. The singular method of warfare among the Iroquois renders it extremely difficult to obtain a complete and satisfactory explanation of the manner in which their varlike operations were conducted. Their whole civil policy was averse to the concentration of power in the hands of any single individual, but inclined to the opposite principle of division among a number of equals; and this policy they carried into their military as well as through their civil organization. Small bands were, in the first instance, organized by individual leaders, each of which, if they were afterwards united upon the same enterprise, continued under its own captain, and the whole force, as well as the conduct of the expedition, was under their joint management. They appointed no one of their number to absolute command, but the general direction was left open to the strongest will, or the most persuasive voice.' [75] 'When the power of the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee began to develop, under the new system of oligarchies within an oligarchy, there sprang up around the sachems a class of warriors, distinguished for enterprise upon the war-path, and eloquence in council, who demanded some participation in the administration of public affairs. The serious objections to the enlargement of the number of rulers, involving, as it did, changes in the framework of the government, for a long period enabled the sachems to resist the encroachment. In the progress of events, this class became too powerful to be withstood, and the sachems were compelled to raise them up in the subordinate station of chiefs. The title was purely elective, and the reward of merit. Unlike the sachemships, the name was not hereditary in the tribe or family of the individual, but terminated with the chief himself; unless subsequently bestowed by the tribe upon some other person, to preserve it as one of their illustrious names. These chiefs were originally invested with very limited powers, their principal office being that of advisers and counsellors of the sachems. Having thus obtained a foothold in the government, this class, to the number of which there was no limit, gradually enlarged their influence, and from generation to generation drew nearer to an equality with the sachems themselves. By this innovation the government was liberalized, to the sensible diminution of the power of the sachems, which, at the institution of the League, was extremely arbitrary.' [76] Warriors were represented in their own councils: 'Closely allied with the Council of Elders was the women's council who brought the matters up before the council. Lafitau maintained: Separate from both the women's and elder's councils was the warriors' council which sought to influence authority decisions of the council of elders because they were the soldiers or ‘police’ of the village. Their internal affairs idsally were limited to military raids, games, and carrying out the military policy of the council of elders or League Council. In addition to the various councils, asseciations of men and women possibly existed for curing. Lafitau noted “I have been told that they have several sorts of private associations like fraternities” (Ibdd.:476). Fenton speculated that these associations were procursers of the “medicine societies” (Lafitau, 1724, 1:476). However, these associations seem to be the actual medicine societies and as such would have been village groups that criss-cross lineage, clan and moiety statuses.' [77]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists The warriors were represented in their own council: 'Closely allied with the Council of Elders was the women's council who brought the matters up before the council. Lafitau maintained: Separate from both the women's and elder's councils was the warriors' council which sought to influence authority decisions of the council of elders because they were the soldiers or ‘police’ of the village. Their internal affairs idsally were limited to military raids, games, and carrying out the military policy of the council of elders or League Council. In addition to the various councils, asseciations of men and women possibly existed for curing. Lafitau noted “I have been told that they have several sorts of private associations like fraternities” (Ibdd.:476). Fenton speculated that these associations were procursers of the “medicine societies” (Lafitau, 1724, 1:476). However, these associations seem to be the actual medicine societies and as such would have been village groups that criss-cross lineage, clan and moiety statuses.' [78] Distinguished war-leaders were eligible for non-hereditary chieftainships: 'The powers and duties of the sachems and chiefs were entirely of a civil character, and confined, by their organic laws, to the affairs of peace. No sachem could go out to war in his official capacity, as a civil ruler. If disposed to take the war-path, he laid aside his civil office, for the time being, and became a common warrior. It becomes an important inquiry, therefore, to ascertain in whom the military power, was vested. The Iroquois had no distinct class of war-chiefs, raised up and set apart to command in time of war; neither do the sachems or chiefs appear to have possessed the power of appointing such persons as they considered suitable to the post of command. All military operations were left entirely to private enterprise, and to the system of voluntary service, the sachems seeking rather to repress and restrain, than to encourage the martial ardor of the people. Their principal war-captains were to be found among he class called chiefs, many of whom were elected to this office in reward for their military achievements. The singular method of warfare among the Iroquois renders it extremely difficult to obtain a complete and satisfactory explanation of the manner in which their varlike operations were conducted. Their whole civil policy was averse to the concentration of power in the hands of any single individual, but inclined to the opposite principle of division among a number of equals; and this policy they carried into their military as well as through their civil organization. Small bands were, in the first instance, organized by individual leaders, each of which, if they were afterwards united upon the same enterprise, continued under its own captain, and the whole force, as well as the conduct of the expedition, was under their joint management. They appointed no one of their number to absolute command, but the general direction was left open to the strongest will, or the most persuasive voice.' [79] 'When the power of the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee began to develop, under the new system of oligarchies within an oligarchy, there sprang up around the sachems a class of warriors, distinguished for enterprise upon the war-path, and eloquence in council, who demanded some participation in the administration of public affairs. The serious objections to the enlargement of the number of rulers, involving, as it did, changes in the framework of the government, for a long period enabled the sachems to resist the encroachment. In the progress of events, this class became too powerful to be withstood, and the sachems were compelled to raise them up in the subordinate station of chiefs. The title was purely elective, and the reward of merit. Unlike the sachemships, the name was not hereditary in the tribe or family of the individual, but terminated with the chief himself; unless subsequently bestowed by the tribe upon some other person, to preserve it as one of their illustrious names. These chiefs were originally invested with very limited powers, their principal office being that of advisers and counsellors of the sachems. Having thus obtained a foothold in the government, this class, to the number of which there was no limit, gradually enlarged their influence, and from generation to generation drew nearer to an equality with the sachems themselves. By this innovation the government was liberalized, to the sensible diminution of the power of the sachems, which, at the institution of the League, was extremely arbitrary.' [80] Given Morgan's remarks on personal enterprise as the source of military operations, the war-leaders should not be characterized as professional officers.

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists The warriors were represented in their own council: 'Closely allied with the Council of Elders was the women's council who brought the matters up before the council. Lafitau maintained: Separate from both the women's and elder's councils was the warriors' council which sought to influence authority decisions of the council of elders because they were the soldiers or ‘police’ of the village. Their internal affairs idsally were limited to military raids, games, and carrying out the military policy of the council of elders or League Council. In addition to the various councils, asseciations of men and women possibly existed for curing. Lafitau noted “I have been told that they have several sorts of private associations like fraternities” (Ibdd.:476). Fenton speculated that these associations were procursers of the “medicine societies” (Lafitau, 1724, 1:476). However, these associations seem to be the actual medicine societies and as such would have been village groups that criss-cross lineage, clan and moiety statuses.' [81] Distinguished war-leaders were eligible for non-hereditary chieftainships: 'The powers and duties of the sachems and chiefs were entirely of a civil character, and confined, by their organic laws, to the affairs of peace. No sachem could go out to war in his official capacity, as a civil ruler. If disposed to take the war-path, he laid aside his civil office, for the time being, and became a common warrior. It becomes an important inquiry, therefore, to ascertain in whom the military power, was vested. The Iroquois had no distinct class of war-chiefs, raised up and set apart to command in time of war; neither do the sachems or chiefs appear to have possessed the power of appointing such persons as they considered suitable to the post of command. All military operations were left entirely to private enterprise, and to the system of voluntary service, the sachems seeking rather to repress and restrain, than to encourage the martial ardor of the people. Their principal war-captains were to be found among he class called chiefs, many of whom were elected to this office in reward for their military achievements. The singular method of warfare among the Iroquois renders it extremely difficult to obtain a complete and satisfactory explanation of the manner in which their varlike operations were conducted. Their whole civil policy was averse to the concentration of power in the hands of any single individual, but inclined to the opposite principle of division among a number of equals; and this policy they carried into their military as well as through their civil organization. Small bands were, in the first instance, organized by individual leaders, each of which, if they were afterwards united upon the same enterprise, continued under its own captain, and the whole force, as well as the conduct of the expedition, was under their joint management. They appointed no one of their number to absolute command, but the general direction was left open to the strongest will, or the most persuasive voice.' [82] 'When the power of the Ho-de[unknown] -no-sau-nee began to develop, under the new system of oligarchies within an oligarchy, there sprang up around the sachems a class of warriors, distinguished for enterprise upon the war-path, and eloquence in council, who demanded some participation in the administration of public affairs. The serious objections to the enlargement of the number of rulers, involving, as it did, changes in the framework of the government, for a long period enabled the sachems to resist the encroachment. In the progress of events, this class became too powerful to be withstood, and the sachems were compelled to raise them up in the subordinate station of chiefs. The title was purely elective, and the reward of merit. Unlike the sachemships, the name was not hereditary in the tribe or family of the individual, but terminated with the chief himself; unless subsequently bestowed by the tribe upon some other person, to preserve it as one of their illustrious names. These chiefs were originally invested with very limited powers, their principal office being that of advisers and counsellors of the sachems. Having thus obtained a foothold in the government, this class, to the number of which there was no limit, gradually enlarged their influence, and from generation to generation drew nearer to an equality with the sachems themselves. By this innovation the government was liberalized, to the sensible diminution of the power of the sachems, which, at the institution of the League, was extremely arbitrary.' [83] Given Morgan's remarks on personal enterprise as the source of military operations, the war-leaders should not be characterized as professional officers, and the warriors were likely citizen-soldiers rather than full-time specialists: 'Traditionally, men hunted and fished, built houses, cleared fields for planting, and were responsible for trade and warfare. In addition, men had the more visible roles in tribal and confederacy politics. Farming was the responsibility of women, whose work also included gathering wild foods, rearing children, preparing food, and making clothing and baskets and other utensils.' [84]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists Village-based specialists were not full-time professionals: 'Full time religious specialists were absent, however, there were part-time male and female specialists known as Keepers of the Faith whose primary responsibilities were to arrange and conduct the main religious ceremonies. Keepers of the Faith were appointed by matrisib elders and were accorded considerable prestige.' [85] 'Part time religious specialists known as Keepers of the Faith served in part to censure anti-social behavior. Unconfessed witches detected through council proceedings were punished with death, while those who confessed might be allowed to reform.' [86] 'Illness and disease were attributed to supernatural causes. Curing ceremonies consisted of group shamanistic practices directed towards propitiating the responsible supernatural agents. One of the curing groups was the False Face Society. False Face Societies were found in each village and, except for a female Keeper of the False Faces who protected the ritual paraphernalia, consisted only of male members who had dreamed of participation in False Face ceremonies.' [87] Christian attempts at proselytization were not successful on a large scale: 'The Iroquoian confederacy was organized sometime between 1400 and A.D. 1600 for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations between the 5 constituent tribes. Subsequent to European contact relations within the confederacy were sometimes strained as each of the 5 tribes sought to expand and maintain its own interests in the developing fur trade. For the most part, however, the fur trade served to strengthen the confederacy because tribal interests often complemented one another and all gained from acting in concert. The League was skillful at playing French and English interests off against one another to its advantage and thereby was able to play a major role in the economic and political events of northeastern North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Iroquois aggressively maintained and expanded their role in the fur trade and as a result periodically found themselves at war with their neighbors, such as the Huron, Petun, and the Neutral to the West and the Susquehannock to the south. Much of the fighting was done by the Seneca, the most powerful of the Iroquoian tribes. From 1667 to the 1680s the Iroquois maintained friendly relations with the French and during this time Jesuit missions were established among each of the 5 tribes. However, Iroquois aggression and expansion eventually brought them into conflict with the French and, at the same time, into closer alliance with the English. In 1687, 1693 and 1696 French military expeditions raided and burned Iroquois villages and fields. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the Iroquois allied with the English and at the War's end were acknowledged to be British subjects, though they continued to aggressively maintain and extend their middleman role between English traders at Fort Orange (Albany) and native groups farther west.' [88]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists Most communal matters were decided by village, tribal, and central councils, combining judicial, executive, and legislative functions. Leadership in 'civil' affairs was largely hereditary and councils as well as lineage organization were not bureaucratized: 'Quite apart from this supervision by the women, however, the council suffered from another and more serious limitation. Its members obtained their position by birthright, not by military prowess or ability in other ways; and while they might declare peace or war in the name of the whole league, they could not control ambitious individuals who sought profit, revenge, or renown through sudden attacks on neighbouring peoples. Many of the so-called wars of the Iroquois seem to have been irresponsible affairs, organized and conducted without the consent and often without the knowledge of the council; for since the sachems were civil chieftains, not necessarily leaders in warfare or gifted with military talents, it was easy for a warrior who had gained a reputation for skill or valour to muster a band of hunters and start out on the warpath without notice. . . . There arose in consequence a group of warrior chiefs who attained considerable influence and sometimes rivalled the sachems themselves. It was the warrior chiefs, indeed, not the sachems, who won most fame and honour during the Revolutionary War.' [89] The same is true for non-hereditary leadership in warfare: 'The powers and duties of the sachems and chiefs were entirely of a civil character, and confined, by their organic laws, to the affairs of peace. No sachem could go out to war in his official capacity, as a civil ruler. If disposed to take the war-path, he laid aside his civil office, for the time being, and became a common warrior. It becomes an important inquiry, therefore, to ascertain in whom the military power, was vested. The Iroquois had no distinct class of war-chiefs, raised up and set apart to command in time of war; neither do the sachems or chiefs appear to have possessed the power of appointing such persons as they considered suitable to the post of command. All military operations were left entirely to private enterprise, and to the system of voluntary service, the sachems seeking rather to repress and restrain, than to encourage the martial ardor of the people. Their principal war-captains were to be found among he class called chiefs, many of whom were elected to this office in reward for their military achievements. The singular method of warfare among the Iroquois renders it extremely difficult to obtain a complete and satisfactory explanation of the manner in which their varlike operations were conducted. Their whole civil policy was averse to the concentration of power in the hands of any single individual, but inclined to the opposite principle of division among a number of equals; and this policy they carried into their military as well as through their civil organization. Small bands were, in the first instance, organized by individual leaders, each of which, if they were afterwards united upon the same enterprise, continued under its own captain, and the whole force, as well as the conduct of the expedition, was under their joint management. They appointed no one of their number to absolute command, but the general direction was left open to the strongest will, or the most persuasive voice.' [90]

♠ Examination system ♣ absent ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ absent ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ absent ♥ Council houses were residential buildings doubling as gathering and ceremonial places: 'In 1818, Timothy Alden (1827:54-55) described a similar council house at Tonawanda. It was fifty feet long and twenty wide. On each side of it, longitudinally is a platform, a little more than one foot high and four feet wide, covered with furs, which furnishes a convenient place for sitting, lounging, and sleeping. A rail across the centre separates the males from the females, who are constant attendants and listen, with silence, diligence, and interest, to whatever is delivered in council. Over the platform is a kind of galley, five or six feet from the floor, which is loaded with peltry, corn, implements of hunting, and a variety of other articles. At each end of the building is a door, and near each door, within, was the council fire. . . . Over each fire several large kettles of soup were hanging and boiling. The smoke was conveyed away through apertures in the roof and did not annoy. The chiefs and others, as many as could be accommodated, in their appropriate grotesque habiliments, were seated on the platform, smoking calumets, of various forms, sizes, and materials, several of which were tendered to me in token of friendship. Profound silence pervaded the crowded assembly.' [91]

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ {absent; present} ♥ According to L.H. Morgan, there was no formal penal code: 'Crimes and offences were so unfrequent under their social system, that the Iroquois can scarcely be said to have had a criminal code. Yet there were certain misdemeanors which fell under the judicial cognizance of the sachems, and were punished by them in proportion to their magnitude. Witchcraft was punishable with death. Any person could take the life of a witch when discovered in the act. If this was not done, a council was called, and the witch arraigned before it, in the presence of the accuser. A full confession, with a promise of amendment, secured a discharge. But if the accusation was denied, witnesses were called and examined concerning the circumstances of the case; and if they established the charge to the satisfaction of the council, which they rarely failed to do, condemnation followed, with a sentence of death. The witch was then delivered over to such executioners as volunteered for the purpose, and by them was led away to punishment. After the decision of the council, the relatives of the witch gave him up to his doom without a murmur.' [92] But according to Lyford, there was an orally transmitted constitution validated by wampum beads: 'The League of the Iroquois was governed by a carefully worked out constitution that was transmitted orally from one generation to another by certain leaders (lords or sachems) whose business it was to learn and to recite the laws and regulations. For many generations these laws and regulations were recorded in a collection of wampum belts and strings, twenty-five of which are preserved today in the New York State Museum, whose director has been proclaimed “the keeper of the wampums.”' [93] Expert feedback on the matter is needed.

♠ Judges ♣ absent ♥ Chiefs and councils doubled as judicial authorities: 'Crimes and offences were so unfrequent under their social system, that the Iroquois can scarcely be said to have had a criminal code. Yet there were certain misdemeanors which fell under the judicial cognizance of the sachems, and were punished by them in proportion to their magnitude. Witchcraft was punishable with death. Any person could take the life of a witch when discovered in the act. If this was not done, a council was called, and the witch arraigned before it, in the presence of the accuser. A full confession, with a promise of amendment, secured a discharge. But if the accusation was denied, witnesses were called and examined concerning the circumstances of the case; and if they established the charge to the satisfaction of the council, which they rarely failed to do, condemnation followed, with a sentence of death. The witch was then delivered over to such executioners as volunteered for the purpose, and by them was led away to punishment. After the decision of the council, the relatives of the witch gave him up to his doom without a murmur.' [94]

♠ Courts ♣ absent ♥ Council houses combined judicial, executive, and legislative with ceremonial functions, but were also residential: 'In 1818, Timothy Alden (1827:54-55) described a similar council house at Tonawanda. It was fifty feet long and twenty wide. On each side of it, longitudinally is a platform, a little more than one foot high and four feet wide, covered with furs, which furnishes a convenient place for sitting, lounging, and sleeping. A rail across the centre separates the males from the females, who are constant attendants and listen, with silence, diligence, and interest, to whatever is delivered in council. Over the platform is a kind of galley, five or six feet from the floor, which is loaded with peltry, corn, implements of hunting, and a variety of other articles. At each end of the building is a door, and near each door, within, was the council fire. . . . Over each fire several large kettles of soup were hanging and boiling. The smoke was conveyed away through apertures in the roof and did not annoy. The chiefs and others, as many as could be accommodated, in their appropriate grotesque habiliments, were seated on the platform, smoking calumets, of various forms, sizes, and materials, several of which were tendered to me in token of friendship. Profound silence pervaded the crowded assembly.' [95] 'Crimes and offences were so unfrequent under their social system, that the Iroquois can scarcely be said to have had a criminal code. Yet there were certain misdemeanors which fell under the judicial cognizance of the sachems, and were punished by them in proportion to their magnitude. Witchcraft was punishable with death. Any person could take the life of a witch when discovered in the act. If this was not done, a council was called, and the witch arraigned before it, in the presence of the accuser. A full confession, with a promise of amendment, secured a discharge. But if the accusation was denied, witnesses were called and examined concerning the circumstances of the case; and if they established the charge to the satisfaction of the council, which they rarely failed to do, condemnation followed, with a sentence of death. The witch was then delivered over to such executioners as volunteered for the purpose, and by them was led away to punishment. After the decision of the council, the relatives of the witch gave him up to his doom without a murmur.' [96]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥ No professional lawyers were present at council hearings: 'Crimes and offences were so unfrequent under their social system, that the Iroquois can scarcely be said to have had a criminal code. Yet there were certain misdemeanors which fell under the judicial cognizance of the sachems, and were punished by them in proportion to their magnitude. Witchcraft was punishable with death. Any person could take the life of a witch when discovered in the act. If this was not done, a council was called, and the witch arraigned before it, in the presence of the accuser. A full confession, with a promise of amendment, secured a discharge. But if the accusation was denied, witnesses were called and examined concerning the circumstances of the case; and if they established the charge to the satisfaction of the council, which they rarely failed to do, condemnation followed, with a sentence of death. The witch was then delivered over to such executioners as volunteered for the purpose, and by them was led away to punishment. After the decision of the council, the relatives of the witch gave him up to his doom without a murmur.' [97]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ absent ♥ Iroquois communities relied on natural rivers and springs for their water supply: 'Water was naturally the most common beverage. The sites of villages everywhere are found to be in proximity to some sort of water supply. Sometimes this was in the form of springs, or spring creeks, rivers, or even pondholes or ditches, sources which are still more or less in favour in many localities.' [98] 'A boundary line would seem at first to be a difficult problem in Indian geography. But a peculiar custom of our predecessors has divested this subject of much of its embarrassment, and enabled us to ascertain with considerable certainty the territorial limits of the nations of the League. The Iroquois rejected all natural boundaries, and substituted longitudinal lines. This appears to have resulted from the custom of establishing themselves upon both banks of the streams upon which they resided. Having no knowledge of the use of wells, they were accustomed to fix their habitations upon the banks of creeks, and easily forded rivers, or in the vicinity of copious springs. Inland lakes were never divided by a boundary line; but the line itself was deflected, that the entire circuit of each lake might be possessed by a single nation. The natural limits which rivers and lakes might furnish having thus been disregarded, and straight lines substituted, the inquiry is freed from some of its difficulties, and greater certainty is given to their boundaries, when certain points upon them are decisively ascertained.' [99]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ absent ♥ Iroquois communities relied on natural rivers and springs for their water supply: 'Water was naturally the most common beverage. The sites of villages everywhere are found to be in proximity to some sort of water supply. Sometimes this was in the form of springs, or spring creeks, rivers, or even pondholes or ditches, sources which are still more or less in favour in many localities.' [100] 'A boundary line would seem at first to be a difficult problem in Indian geography. But a peculiar custom of our predecessors has divested this subject of much of its embarrassment, and enabled us to ascertain with considerable certainty the territorial limits of the nations of the League. The Iroquois rejected all natural boundaries, and substituted longitudinal lines. This appears to have resulted from the custom of establishing themselves upon both banks of the streams upon which they resided. Having no knowledge of the use of wells, they were accustomed to fix their habitations upon the banks of creeks, and easily forded rivers, or in the vicinity of copious springs. Inland lakes were never divided by a boundary line; but the line itself was deflected, that the entire circuit of each lake might be possessed by a single nation. The natural limits which rivers and lakes might furnish having thus been disregarded, and straight lines substituted, the inquiry is freed from some of its difficulties, and greater certainty is given to their boundaries, when certain points upon them are decisively ascertained.' [101]
♠ markets ♣ absent ♥ The Iroquois figured prominently in indigenous and colonial trade networks: 'Long before European contact the Iroquois were involved in an intricate trade network with other native groups (see cultural relations above). Clay pipes were an important trade item that reached other native groups all along the east coast of North America. The aggressive behavior the Iroquois exhibited towards their neighbors during the fur trade period has been interpreted by some as the result of their aim to protect and expand their middleman role. Others have suggested that the aggressive behavior of the Iroquois tribes was related to the scarcity of furs in their own territory and the resulting difficulty in obtaining European trade goods. According to this theory, the Iroquois warred primarily to obtain the trade goods of their neighbors in closer contact with Europeans. After the center of fur trading activities had moved farther west, the Iroquois continued to play an important role as voyageurs and trappers.' [102] Furs were particularly important: 'New goods flooded Iroquois markets in return for beaver pelts. Iroqueis warriers, intensified their dostructive exploits, in return for gratuities from foriegn agents as Sir Willian Johnson. However, as long as matrons romained the chief distributers and as long as coremenials such as the Ten Day Feast funstioned, goods were distributed throughout the tribe, village or lineage in an equalitarian manner. Consequently the symbelis system prevented any significant inorease in distributional inequality. However, beginning in the first half of the sixteonth century, a small segment of Mohawk tradesmen and hunters abandoned their traditional religion in order to cement trading relationships with Dutch, French and English mershantd (Feister 1973). These Christians quickly reverted back to their traditional belief system.' [103] Goods were exchanged at colonial forts and through intermediaries, but no permanent market places are reported for Iroquois settlements or near them.
♠ food storage sites ♣ absent ♥ 'When single, it was about twenty feet by fifteen upon the ground, and from fifteen to twenty feet high. The frame consisted of upright poles firmly set in the ground, usually five upon the sides, and four at the ends, including those at the corners. [...] In the centre of the roof was an opening for the smoke, the fire being upon the ground in the centre of the house, and the smoke ascending without the guidance of a chimney. At the two ends of the house were doors, either of bark hung upon hinges of wood, or of deer or bear skins suspended before the opening; and however long the house, or whatever the number of fires, these were the only entrances. Over one of these doors was cut the tribal device of the head of the family. Within, upon the two sides, were arranged wide seats, also of bark boards, about two feet from the ground, well supported underneath, and reaching the entire length of the house. Upon these they spread their mats of skins, and also their blankets, using them as seats by day and couches at night. Similar berths were constructed on each side, about five feet above these, and secured to the frame of the house, thus furnishing accommodations for the family. Upon cross-poles, near the roof, was hung, in bunches, braided together by the husks, their winter supply of corn. Charred and dried corn, and beans were generally stored in bark barrels, and laid away in corners. Their implements for the chase, domestic utensils, weapons, articles of apparel, and miscellaneous notions, were stowed away, and hung up, whenever an unoccupied place was discovered. A house of this description would accommodate a family of eight, with the limited wants of the Indian, and afford shelter for their necessary stores, making a not uncomfortable residence. After they had learned the use of the axe, they began to substitute houses of hewn logs, but they constructed them after the ancient model. Many of the houses of their modern villages in the valley of the Genesee were of this description.' [104] 'At each end of the longhouse, storage booths and platforms were provided for the food that was to be kept in barrels and other large containers.' [105] Corn cribs and root cellars are more likely candidates for communal food storage, but this is unclear from the sources: 'The Iroquois built shelters for their farm and garden equipment and well ventilated corn cribs of unpainted planks in which corn could be dried and kept, and they dug underground pits or caches (root cellars) for the storage of corn and other foods. The pit was dug in the dry season, and the bottom and sides lined with bark. A watertight bark roof was constructed over it, and the whole thing covered with earth.' [106] We have assumed that the storage methods mentioned above served individual families rather than the whole community, but this remains in need of confirmation.

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ absent ♥ Morgan describes the system of trails used by the Iroquois: 'The principal villages of the Iroquois, in the days of aboriginal dominion, were connected by well-beaten trails. These villages were so situated that the central trail, which started from the Hudson at the site of Albany, passed through those of the Mohawks and Oneidas; and, crossing the Onondaga valley and the Cayuga country, a few miles north of the chief settlements of these nations, it passed through the most prominent villages of the Senecas, in its route to the valley of the Genesee. After crossing this celebrated valley, it proceeded westward to lake Erie, coming out upon it at the mouth of Buffalo creek, on the present site of Buffalo.' [107] 'We have thus followed the great Indian trail, Wä-a-gwen[unknown] -ne-yu, through the State, from the Hudson to lake Erie; noticing, as far as ascertained, the principal stopping-places on the route. To convey an adequate impression of the forest scenery, which then overspread the land, is beyond the power of description. This trail was traced through the over-hanging forest for almost its entire length. In the trail itself, there was nothing particularly remarkable. It was usually from twelve to eighteen inches wide, and deeply worn in the ground; varying in this respect from three to six, and even twelve inches, depending upon the firmness of the soil. The large trees on each side were frequently marked with the hatchet. This well-beaten footpath, which no runner, nor band of warriors could mistake, had doubtless been trodden by successive generations from century to century. It had, without question, been handed down from race to race, as the natural line of travel, geographically considered, between the Hudson and lake Erie. While it is scarcely possible to ascertain a more direct route than the one pursued by this trail, the accuracy with which it was traced from point to point, to save distance, is extremely surprising. It proved, on the survey of the country, to have been so judiciously selected that the turnpike was laid out mainly on the line of this trail, from one extremity of the State to the other. In addition to this, all the larger cities and villages west of the Hudson, with one or two exceptions, have been located upon it. As an independent cause, this forest highway of the Iroquois doubtless determined the establishment of a number of settlements, which have since grown up into cities and villages.' [108]
♠ Bridges ♣ absent ♥ Morgan describes the system of trails used by the Iroquois, but fails to mention bridges and other more permanent structures: 'The principal villages of the Iroquois, in the days of aboriginal dominion, were connected by well-beaten trails. These villages were so situated that the central trail, which started from the Hudson at the site of Albany, passed through those of the Mohawks and Oneidas; and, crossing the Onondaga valley and the Cayuga country, a few miles north of the chief settlements of these nations, it passed through the most prominent villages of the Senecas, in its route to the valley of the Genesee. After crossing this celebrated valley, it proceeded westward to lake Erie, coming out upon it at the mouth of Buffalo creek, on the present site of Buffalo.' [109] 'We have thus followed the great Indian trail, Wä-a-gwen[unknown] -ne-yu, through the State, from the Hudson to lake Erie; noticing, as far as ascertained, the principal stopping-places on the route. To convey an adequate impression of the forest scenery, which then overspread the land, is beyond the power of description. This trail was traced through the over-hanging forest for almost its entire length. In the trail itself, there was nothing particularly remarkable. It was usually from twelve to eighteen inches wide, and deeply worn in the ground; varying in this respect from three to six, and even twelve inches, depending upon the firmness of the soil. The large trees on each side were frequently marked with the hatchet. This well-beaten footpath, which no runner, nor band of warriors could mistake, had doubtless been trodden by successive generations from century to century. It had, without question, been handed down from race to race, as the natural line of travel, geographically considered, between the Hudson and lake Erie. While it is scarcely possible to ascertain a more direct route than the one pursued by this trail, the accuracy with which it was traced from point to point, to save distance, is extremely surprising. It proved, on the survey of the country, to have been so judiciously selected that the turnpike was laid out mainly on the line of this trail, from one extremity of the State to the other. In addition to this, all the larger cities and villages west of the Hudson, with one or two exceptions, have been located upon it. As an independent cause, this forest highway of the Iroquois doubtless determined the establishment of a number of settlements, which have since grown up into cities and villages.' [110]
♠ Canals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Ports ♣ absent ♥

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ absent ♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ present ♥ Wampum beads served as mnemonic devices: 'Wampum. Of the beads that were manufactured and used by the Iroquois those known as “wampum” are by far the most significant. Though the term wampum has been used in some places to include both the discoidal and the cylindrical beads, the true wampum is an Indian-made shell bead, cylindical in form, averaging about one-quarter of an inch in length by an eighth of an inch in diameter, perfectly straight on the sides, with a hole running through it the long way. Some of the wampum beads prepared for commercial trade were as long as half an inch but none of the long beads has been found in the wampum belts. Wampum was made from the quahaug or hard shell clam (Venus Mercenaria) which provides both white and purple beads. The central axis (columellae) of the great conch shell (pyrula Carica), was used for white wampum.' [111] 'The longhouse owns “wampums” which validate its position as a ritual center but which are rarely brought out. Wampum occasionally figures in the ritual, such as the string of wampum used in the rite of confession. But the significance of wampum generally is that because it is a valuable object, it is used to indicate the significance of the event, either by giving it as a commemoration of the event or as being shown in remembrance of the event. Wampum belts, for example, were given at treaties to indicate good faith in the making of the treaty, and might be brought out to remind others of the treaty. In and of itself, wampum is not sacred.' [112] Wampum encoded regulations and agreements: 'The League of the Iroquois was governed by a carefully worked out constitution that was transmitted orally from one generation to another by certain leaders (lords or sachems) whose business it was to learn and to recite the laws and regulations. For many generations these laws and regulations were recorded in a collection of wampum belts and strings, twenty-five of which are preserved today in the New York State Museum, whose director has been proclaimed “the keeper of the wampums.”' [113]
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ present ♥ Wampum beads served as mnemonic devices: 'Wampum. Of the beads that were manufactured and used by the Iroquois those known as “wampum” are by far the most significant. Though the term wampum has been used in some places to include both the discoidal and the cylindrical beads, the true wampum is an Indian-made shell bead, cylindical in form, averaging about one-quarter of an inch in length by an eighth of an inch in diameter, perfectly straight on the sides, with a hole running through it the long way. Some of the wampum beads prepared for commercial trade were as long as half an inch but none of the long beads has been found in the wampum belts. Wampum was made from the quahaug or hard shell clam (Venus Mercenaria) which provides both white and purple beads. The central axis (columellae) of the great conch shell (pyrula Carica), was used for white wampum.' [114] 'The longhouse owns “wampums” which validate its position as a ritual center but which are rarely brought out. Wampum occasionally figures in the ritual, such as the string of wampum used in the rite of confession. But the significance of wampum generally is that because it is a valuable object, it is used to indicate the significance of the event, either by giving it as a commemoration of the event or as being shown in remembrance of the event. Wampum belts, for example, were given at treaties to indicate good faith in the making of the treaty, and might be brought out to remind others of the treaty. In and of itself, wampum is not sacred.' [115] Wampum encoded regulations and agreements: 'The League of the Iroquois was governed by a carefully worked out constitution that was transmitted orally from one generation to another by certain leaders (lords or sachems) whose business it was to learn and to recite the laws and regulations. For many generations these laws and regulations were recorded in a collection of wampum belts and strings, twenty-five of which are preserved today in the New York State Museum, whose director has been proclaimed “the keeper of the wampums.”' [116] Wampum functioned as a constitution of sorts: 'The League of the Iroquois was governed by a carefully worked out constitution that was transmitted orally from one generation to another by certain leaders (lords or sachems) whose business it was to learn and to recite the laws and regulations. For many generations these laws and regulations were recorded in a collection of wampum belts and strings, twenty-five of which are preserved today in the New York State Museum, whose director has been proclaimed “the keeper of the wampums.”' [117]
♠ Written records ♣ absent ♥
♠ Script ♣ absent ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ absent ♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ absent ♥
♠ Calendar ♣ absent ♥ The Iroquois initially used a non-written lunar calendar: 'Finally, the moon provides a basis for “counting” time ( eyõhseHtá[unknown] tha:k ‘people will count’ [line 316 in Williams]), i.e., for dividing the year into months, a theme mentioned by all speakers except Cusick and Sky.' [118] 'Among the Iroquois there seems to have been a general division of the year into periods corresponding more or less closely with our spring, summer, autumn, and winter, besides [Page 33] that into moons or months. Loskiel remarks of the Delawares and the Iroquois that they “divide the year into winter, spring, summer and autumn, and each quarter into months, but their calculations are very imperfect, nor can they agree when to begin the new year. Most of them begin with the spring, some with any other quarter, and many, who are acquainted with the Europeans, begin with our New Year's day.” His interpretations of the names given to the months, however, differ from those which follow.' [119] The lunar calendar determined the timing of festivals: 'Although there are six major festivals, a listing of the daily composition of the midwinterceremonies embraces all the external forms found in the subsequent celebrations.The two headmen of the longhouse watch the Pleiades throughout the fall and, when theyare near the zenith at dusk, call a meeting of the Faith-keepers to convene on the full moon,which is the first following the winter solstice. They meet at the longhouse in the morning(this occurred on December 31st, 1933), consult the people and set the date for the NewYear, which should be twenty days after this meeting, when the following new moon is five days old. Frequently they mistake the moon and advance or retard the date, which elicits remarks about hoeing corn in winter from their neighbors at Cattaraugus.' [120] The written Christian calendar was only later added to the Iroquois lunar system: 'The Christian Calendar had a yearly and a weekly cycle. The yearly cycle preserved two aboriginal patterns, that of community feasting at harvest and gathering at strawberry picking time. The aboriginal survivals were modified; Protestant religious services replaced the aboriginal ritual. In all other respects the yearly calondar resenblod that of any rural Ontarie community. The weekly calondar encouraged a strong work othic; one worked for six days and rested on the seventh.' [121] But for most of the time period in question, the agricultural calendar would have been orally transmitted and interpreted.
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent ♥
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Practical literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ History ♣ absent ♥
♠ Philosophy ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ The fur trade was characterized by barter: 'Long before European contact the Iroquois were involved in an intricate trade network with other native groups (see cultural relations above). Clay pipes were an important trade item that reached other native groups all along the east coast of North America. The aggressive behavior the Iroquois exhibited towards their neighbors during the fur trade period has been interpreted by some as the result of their aim to protect and expand their middleman role. Others have suggested that the aggressive behavior of the Iroquois tribes was related to the scarcity of furs in their own territory and the resulting difficulty in obtaining European trade goods. According to this theory, the Iroquois warred primarily to obtain the trade goods of their neighbors in closer contact with Europeans. After the center of fur trading activities had moved farther west, the Iroquois continued to play an important role as voyageurs and trappers.' [122]
♠ Tokens ♣ present ♥ Wampum were used as articles of exchange: 'Wampum. Of the beads that were manufactured and used by the Iroquois those known as “wampum” are by far the most significant. Though the term wampum has been used in some places to include both the discoidal and the cylindrical beads, the true wampum is an Indian-made shell bead, cylindical in form, averaging about one-quarter of an inch in length by an eighth of an inch in diameter, perfectly straight on the sides, with a hole running through it the long way. Some of the wampum beads prepared for commercial trade were as long as half an inch but none of the long beads has been found in the wampum belts. Wampum was made from the quahaug or hard shell clam (Venus Mercenaria) which provides both white and purple beads. The central axis (columellae) of the great conch shell (pyrula Carica), was used for white wampum.' [123] 'The longhouse owns “wampums” which validate its position as a ritual center but which are rarely brought out. Wampum occasionally figures in the ritual, such as the string of wampum used in the rite of confession. But the significance of wampum generally is that because it is a valuable object, it is used to indicate the significance of the event, either by giving it as a commemoration of the event or as being shown in remembrance of the event. Wampum belts, for example, were given at treaties to indicate good faith in the making of the treaty, and might be brought out to remind others of the treaty. In and of itself, wampum is not sacred.' [124]
♠ Precious metals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ absent ♥ We have assumed that the above were more characteristic of exchanges between white traders and Iroquois than currency that whites brought with them.
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ absent ♥
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ present ♥ Messages were transmitted by 'runners' or couriers: 'A brief reference to Indian runners will not be in appropriate in this connection. To convey intelligence from nation to nation, and to spread information throughout the Confederacy, as in summoning councils upon public exigencies, trained runners were employed. But three days were necessary, it is said, to convey intelligence from Buffalo to Albany. Swiftness of foot was an acquirement, among the Iroquois, which brought the individual into high repute. A trained runner would traverse a hundred miles per day. With relays, which were sometimes resorted to, the length of the day's journey could be considerably increased. It is said that the runners of Montezuma conveyed intelligence to him of the movements of Cortes, at the rate of two hundred miles per day; but this must be regarded as extravagant. During the last war, a runner left Tonawanda at daylight in the summer season, for Avon, a distance of forty miles upon the trail. He delivered his message, and reached Tonawanda again about noon. In the night their runners were guided by the stars, from which they learned to keep their direction, and regain it, if perchance they lost their way. During the fall and winter, they determined their course by the Pleiades, or Seven Stars. This group in the neck of Taurus, they called Got-gwär[unknown] -där. In the spring and summer they ran by another group, which they named Gwe-o-gä[unknown] -ah, or the Loon, four stars at the angles of a rhombus. In preparing to carry messages they denuded themselves entirely, with the exception of the Gä-kä[unknown] -ah, or breech cloth, and a belt. They were usually sent out in pairs, and took their way through the forest, one behind the other, in perfect silence.' [125] 'If the envoy of a foreign people desired to submit a proposition to the sachems of the League, and applied to the Senecas for that purpose, the sachems of that nation would first determine whether the question was of sufficient importance to authorize a council. If they arrived at an affirmative conclusion, they immediately sent out runners to the Cayugas, the nation nearest in position, with a belt of wampum. This belt announced that, on a certain day thereafter, at such a place, and for such and such purposes, mentioning them, a council of the League would assemble. The Cayugas then notified the Onondagas, they the Oneidas, and these the Mohawks. Each nation, within its own confines, spread the information far and wide; and thus, in a space of time astonishingly brief, intelligence of the council was heralded from one extremity of their country to the other. It produced a stir among the people in proportion to the magnitude and importance of the business to be transacted. If the subject was calculated to arouse a deep feeling of interest, one common impulse from the Hudson to the Niagara, and from the St. Lawrence to the Susquehanna, drew them towards the council-fire. Sachems, chiefs and warriors, women, and even children, deserted their hunting grounds and woodland seclusions, and taking the trail, literally flocked to the place of council. When the day arrived, a multitude had gathered together, from the most remote and toilsome distances, but yet animated by an unyielding spirit of hardihood and endurance.' [126] 'Upon the death of a sachem the nation in which the loss had occurred had power to summon a council, and designate the day and place. If the Oneidas, for example, had lost a ruler, they sent out runners at the earliest convenient day, with “belts of invitation” to the sachems of the League, and to the people at large, to assemble around their national council-fire at Gä-no-a-lo[unknown] -häle. The invitation was circulated in the same manner, and with the same celerity as in convoking a civil council. These belts or the strings of wampum, sent out on such occasions, conveyed a laconic inessage: “the name” of the deceased “calls for a council.” It also announced the place and the time.' [127]
♠ Postal stations ♣ absent ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Hugh Bennett; Eva Brandl ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ absent: 1566-1620 CE; present: 1621-1713 CE ♥ Metals acquired through trade gradually displaced wooden and stone tools: "Through trade with the Colonists, brass, steel, and iron war clubs replaced the wooden ones." [128] "The tomahawk succeeded the war-club, as the rifle did the bow. With the invention of this terrible implement of warfare the red man had nothing to do, except in having it so fashioned as to be adapted to his taste and usage. The tomahawk is known as widely as the Indian, and the two names have become apparently inseparable. They are made of steel, brass, or iron." [129] We have adopted 1620 as a provisional date of transition (see below).
♠ Iron ♣ absent: 1566-1620 CE; present: 1621-1713 CE ♥ Metals acquired through trade gradually displaced wooden and stone tools: "The tomahawk succeeded the war-club, as the rifle did the bow. With the invention of this terrible implement of warfare the red man had nothing to do, except in having it so fashioned as to be adapted to his taste and usage. The tomahawk is known as widely as the Indian, and the two names have become apparently inseparable. They are made of steel, brass, or iron." [130] There were considerable time-lags when it comes to the adoption of metal weapons among different indigenous groups of the North-East: "The Northeast was crisscrossed by an extensive series of trade routes that consisted of rivers and short portages. The Huron used these routes to travel to the Cree and Innu peoples, while the Iroquois used them to travel to the Iroquoians on the Atlantic coast. The French claimed the more northerly area and built a series of trade entrepôts at and near Huron communities, whose residents recognized the material advantages of French goods as well as the fortifications’ defensive capabilities. The Huron alliance quickly became the gatekeeper of trade with the Subarctic, profiting handsomely in this role. Its people rapidly adopted new kinds of material culture, particularly iron axes, as these were immensely more effective in shattering indigenous wooden armour than were traditional stone tomahawks." [131] "For a period of time the new weapons enabled the Huron confederacy to gain the upper hand against the Iroquois, who did not gain access to European goods as quickly as their foes. By about 1615 the long traditions of interethnic conflict between the two alliances had become inflamed, and each bloc formally joined with a member of another traditional rivalry-the French or the English. Initially the Huron-French alliance held the upper hand, in no small part because the French trading system was in place several years before those of the Dutch and English. The indigenous coalitions became more evenly matched after 1620, however, as the Dutch and English trading system expanded. These Europeans began to make guns available for trade, something the French had preferred not to do. The Huron found that the technological advantage provided by iron axes was emphatically surpassed by that of the new firearms." [132] We have adopted 1620 as a provisional date of transition.
♠ Steel ♣ absent: 1566-1620 CE; present: 1621-1713 CE ♥ Metals acquired through trade gradually displaced wooden and stone tools: "The tomahawk succeeded the war-club, as the rifle did the bow. With the invention of this terrible implement of warfare the red man had nothing to do, except in having it so fashioned as to be adapted to his taste and usage. The tomahawk is known as widely as the Indian, and the two names have become apparently inseparable. They are made of steel, brass, or iron." [133] There were considerable time-lags when it comes to the adoption of metal weapons among different indigenous groups of the North-East: "The Northeast was crisscrossed by an extensive series of trade routes that consisted of rivers and short portages. The Huron used these routes to travel to the Cree and Innu peoples, while the Iroquois used them to travel to the Iroquoians on the Atlantic coast. The French claimed the more northerly area and built a series of trade entrepôts at and near Huron communities, whose residents recognized the material advantages of French goods as well as the fortifications’ defensive capabilities. The Huron alliance quickly became the gatekeeper of trade with the Subarctic, profiting handsomely in this role. Its people rapidly adopted new kinds of material culture, particularly iron axes, as these were immensely more effective in shattering indigenous wooden armour than were traditional stone tomahawks." [134] "For a period of time the new weapons enabled the Huron confederacy to gain the upper hand against the Iroquois, who did not gain access to European goods as quickly as their foes. By about 1615 the long traditions of interethnic conflict between the two alliances had become inflamed, and each bloc formally joined with a member of another traditional rivalry-the French or the English. Initially the Huron-French alliance held the upper hand, in no small part because the French trading system was in place several years before those of the Dutch and English. The indigenous coalitions became more evenly matched after 1620, however, as the Dutch and English trading system expanded. These Europeans began to make guns available for trade, something the French had preferred not to do. The Huron found that the technological advantage provided by iron axes was emphatically surpassed by that of the new firearms." [135] We have adopted 1620 as a provisional date of transition.

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ inferred present ♥ Javelins are mentioned, but not in an explicitly military context: "Two games of the javelin are yet popular among the Onondagas. In one a group of boys may be seen with their hands full of peeled sumac sticks, often gayly colored. These they throw in the air, and often to a great distance, as they are very light. As a game it is simply a contest of throwing farthest, but a boy will sometimes amuse himself alone. The javelin and hoop requires opposing sides, as one must roll the hoop while the other throws the javelin at or through it. It is little played now." [136]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ Iroquois warfare is relatively well documented, so the fact that source do not mention the atlatl suggests that there weren't used, or that they weren't particularly common.
♠ Slings ♣ absent ♥ Iroquois warfare is relatively well documented, so the fact that source do not mention slings suggests that there weren't any, or that they weren't particularly common.
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ "The men of the Five Nations devised a number of weapons effective in aggressive warfare, which they fashioned with much skill. The making of spears, bows and arrows, and the tomahawk or war club occupied much of their time." [137] "The Indian bow was usually from three and a half to four feet in length, with such a difficult spring that an inexperienced person could scarcely bend it sufficiently to set the string... With such an arrow, it was an easy matter to bring down the deer, the wild fowl, or the warrior himself. Skeletons have been disentombed, having the skull penetrated with an arrow-head of this description, with the flint-head itself still in the fracture, or entirely within the skull." [138]
♠ Composite bow ♣ absent ♥ "The local bows, according to Lafitau, “are made of red cedar, or of another species of wood, very hard and further stiffened in fire. They are straight and almost of the height of a man” (Lafitau 1977, 115)."[139]
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥ Wallace and Steen mention a cannon installed at the Onondaga council house: "Three Onondaga villages were burned, twelve Indians were killed, thirtythree were taken prisoner, and considerable military equipment (including the cannon installed at the council-house) was taken or destroyed." [140] But captured and traded cannons must have been the exception rather than the rule, especially prior to 1713.
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent: 1566-1640 CE; present: 1641-1713 CE ♥ The Huron confederacy obtained guns before the Iroquois did: "For a period of time the new weapons enabled the Huron confederacy to gain the upper hand against the Iroquois, who did not gain access to European goods as quickly as their foes. By about 1615 the long traditions of interethnic conflict between the two alliances had become inflamed, and each bloc formally joined with a member of another traditional rivalry-the French or the English. Initially the Huron-French alliance held the upper hand, in no small part because the French trading system was in place several years before those of the Dutch and English. The indigenous coalitions became more evenly matched after 1620, however, as the Dutch and English trading system expanded. These Europeans began to make guns available for trade, something the French had preferred not to do. The Huron found that the technological advantage provided by iron axes was emphatically surpassed by that of the new firearms." [141] The Mohawk obtained guns in the first half of the 17th century: "In the early 1640s the Mohawk obtained guns, first from the English and then in large numbers from the Dutch." [142]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ present ♥ "The men of the Five Nations devised a number of weapons effective in aggressive warfare, which they fashioned with much skill... The Iroquois war club was originally a heavy weapon two feet in length made of ironwood with a globular head five or six inches in diameter." [143]
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥ "The tomahawk, which the Iroquois could throw with great dexterity, was originally a stone weapon somewhat like an ax, with a deep groove cut around the outside by means of which the wooden handle was firmly attached with a willow withe or rawhide thong.[144] They used [the tomahawk] in close combat with terrible effect, and also threw it with unerring certainty at distant objects, making it revolve in the air in its flight." [145]
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ "Personal ornaments of various kinds, together with the war-club, the tomahawk, and the scalping-knife, completed the attire." [146]
♠ Swords ♣ absent ♥
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ "The men of the Five Nations devised a number of weapons effective in aggressive warfare, which they fashioned with much skill. The making of spears, bows and arrows, and the tomahawk or war club occupied much of their time. Such weapons were constantly being broken, lost, or worn out and had to be replaced so that a steady industry was carried on." [147]
♠ Polearms ♣ absent ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ absent ♥ Dogs were traditionally used as pack animals. No mention of military use has been found.
♠ Donkeys ♣ absent ♥
♠ Horses ♣ absent ♥ "Although the horse was adopted by the eastern tribes as a beast of burden, there seems to be little reference to its use in warfare except in the later 18th and early 19th centuries and particularly by the western tribes Sauk, Fox, Winnebago, etc. However, the Iroquois and Cherokee has large numbers of horses from the mid-18th century on."[148]
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ present: 1566-1609CE ; absent: 1610-1713CE ♥ "Early reports suggest that a type of wooden slatted armour made of tied rods was used by the Huron and Iroquois."[149] "[T]he introduction of firearms and metal tipped weapons into native warfare forced the Iroquois to reconsider the way they approached combat. They discarded their wooden body armor and shields, which were only marginally effective against metal weapons and afforded no protection whatsoever against French guns. Moreover, continued use of wooden armor became impractical as Iroquois warriors learned to adapt their fighting style to the new weaponry. Shortly after the stunning debut of French firearms in the 1609 revolt of the Mohawks, Champlain recorded that the Iroquois had already learned to 'throw themselves on the ground when they hear the report' of guns being fired. Wooden armor was too cumbersome for use in evolving Iroquois tactics, which also included hiding behind trees for protection until after the guns had fired. Armor and shields remained present in Iroquois society as teaching and protectice tools in the education of young warriors, but they no longer found a place in Iroquois wars."[150]
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ "Later this type of helmet developed into a skull cap or round turban... This was covered with tanned skin, red or blue broadcloth, velvet, or a fancy silk handkerchief, and bound at the rim with a quilled, beaded, or silver band." [151]
♠ Shields ♣ present: 1566-1609CE ; absent: 1610-1713CE ♥ "[T]he introduction of firearms and metal tipped weapons into native warfare forced the Iroquois to reconsider the way they approached combat. They discarded their wooden body armor and shields, which were only marginally effective against metal weapons and afforded no protection whatsoever against French guns. Moreover, continued use of wooden armor became impractical as Iroquois warriors learned to adapt their fighting style to the new weaponry. Shortly after the stunning debut of French firearms in the 1609 revolt of the Mohawks, Champlain recorded that the Iroquois had already learned to 'throw themselves on the ground when they hear the report' of guns being fired. Wooden armor was too cumbersome for use in evolving Iroquois tactics, which also included hiding behind trees for protection until after the guns had fired. Armor and shields remained present in Iroquois society as teaching and protectice tools in the education of young warriors, but they no longer found a place in Iroquois wars."[152]
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ "At one time a round cap, woven of willow sticks, in two layers, was worn for better protection against a stroke from a war club. Later this type of helmet developed into a skull cap or round turban. It was made over a frame consisting of a band of splints shaped round to fit the head, with two cross splints arched over the top. This was covered with tanned skin, red or blue broadcloth, velvet, or a fancy silk handkerchief, and bound at the rim with a quilled, beaded, or silver band." [153] "Helmets are not referenced for the Huron, but the Iroquois sometimes wore them (Lafitau 1977, 115). 'Several New York pipes and carved heads have helmets. They seem made of a series of hoops, gradually becoming smaller and sometimes with a knob at the top. They were woven of twine. Another kind was cylindric, with some animal’s head in front and a cover for the neck behind.' (Beauchamp 1905, 128)"[154]
♠ Breastplates ♣ inferred present: 1566-1609CE ; absent: 1610-1713CE ♥ Inferred for the early period because, though it seems that the Iroquois did wear armour before the introduction of firearms, it is not clear that it protected the torso specifically, though this seems reasonably likely. "Early reports suggest that a type of wooden slatted armour made of tied rods was used by the Huron and Iroquois."[155] "[T]he introduction of firearms and metal tipped weapons into native warfare forced the Iroquois to reconsider the way they approached combat. They discarded their wooden body armor and shields, which were only marginally effective against metal weapons and afforded no protection whatsoever against French guns. Moreover, continued use of wooden armor became impractical as Iroquois warriors learned to adapt their fighting style to the new weaponry. Shortly after the stunning debut of French firearms in the 1609 revolt of the Mohawks, Champlain recorded that the Iroquois had already learned to 'throw themselves on the ground when they hear the report' of guns being fired. Wooden armor was too cumbersome for use in evolving Iroquois tactics, which also included hiding behind trees for protection until after the guns had fired. Armor and shields remained present in Iroquois society as teaching and protectice tools in the education of young warriors, but they no longer found a place in Iroquois wars."[156]
♠ Limb protection ♣ inferred present: 1566-1609CE ; absent: 1610-1713CE ♥ "Hard armor of wood was found throughout the Northeast area in early times, although soft armor— rawhide corselets, long tunics, war shirts— is rarely mentioned. Lafitau offered this description of Iroquois armor: 'Their breastplates were also a fabric of wood or little reed wands, cut in proportional lengths, clasped against each other, twined and woven very neatly with little cords made of antelope or deerskin. They had thigh and arm guards of the same material. These breast-plates were made to resist arrows with bone or stone heads but would have been no protection against iron arrowheads. (1977, 115- 116)'"[157] "[T]he introduction of firearms and metal tipped weapons into native warfare forced the Iroquois to reconsider the way they approached combat. They discarded their wooden body armor and shields, which were only marginally effective against metal weapons and afforded no protection whatsoever against French guns. Moreover, continued use of wooden armor became impractical as Iroquois warriors learned to adapt their fighting style to the new weaponry. Shortly after the stunning debut of French firearms in the 1609 revolt of the Mohawks, Champlain recorded that the Iroquois had already learned to 'throw themselves on the ground when they hear the report' of guns being fired. Wooden armor was too cumbersome for use in evolving Iroquois tactics, which also included hiding behind trees for protection until after the guns had fired. Armor and shields remained present in Iroquois society as teaching and protectice tools in the education of young warriors, but they no longer found a place in Iroquois wars."[158]
♠ Chainmail ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ absent ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ inferred absent ♥ The following quotes do not suggest that canoes were used in warfare, simply as vehicles to escape conflict. "The Indians withdrew to the fort and the French forces remained on the river overnight to keep the Iroquois from escaping in their canoes." [159] "Some more Indians from the other side tried to cross the river to save their fellows; these were shot down in their canoes." [160] Overall, because Iroquois warfare is relatively well documented, it seems reasonable to infer that the use of canoes for warfare would be known and mentioned in the literature.
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ absent ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ present ♥ "Village sites were usually located on high banks and were palisaded, indicating defensive priorities. Iroquois men frequently went on extensive hunting forays, leaving their women and children unprotected. This settlement pattern probably provided the best defensive protection under the circumstances." [161] "Villages were built on elevated terraces in close proximity to streams or lakes and were secured by log palisades." [162] [163]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present: 1566-1700 CE; inferred absent: 1701-1713 CE ♥ Many sources mention palisaded villages, however they are often unspecific with regards to time period. "In prehistoric times Iroquois villages consisted of a number of rectangular structures called “longhouses”... Village sites were usually located on high banks and were pallisaded, indicating defensive priorities. Iroquois men frequently went on extensive hunting forays, leaving their women and children unprotected. This settlement pattern probably provided the best defensive protection under the circumstances.[164] Palisaded villages offered protection from maurauding neighbors." [165] Some sources suggest that the building of palisades ceased to be a common occurrence after the 17th century: "The necessity of stockading the villages had almost ceased by the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by the close of the century the stockades were abandoned. Villages became less compact, but houses continued to be built near enough together to form a neighborhood." [166]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present: 1566-1700 CE; inferred absent: 1701-1713 CE ♥ "Some villages were fortified by a moat enclosing as many as five to ten acres of land. Frequently inside the moat a continual row of stakes or palisades was fixed in a bank of earth thrown up in its construction." [167] Some sources suggest that the building of palisades ceased to be a common occurrence after the 17th century: "The necessity of stockading the villages had almost ceased by the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by the close of the century the stockades were abandoned. Villages became less compact, but houses continued to be built near enough together to form a neighborhood." [168] We follow Lyford's periodization in selecting the end of the 17th century as the date of transition. Indeed, it's suggestive that all sources we could find describing Iroquois fortification date to the seventeenth century. It's possible that the end of fortifications also meant the end of earth ramparts.
♠ Ditch ♣ present: 1566-1700 CE; inferred absent: 1701-1713 CE ♥ "About the period of the formation of the League, when they were exposed to the inroads of hostile nations, and the warfare of migratory bands, their villages were compact and stockaded. Having run a trench several feet deep, around five or ten acres of land, and thrown up the ground upon the inside, they set a continuous row of stakes or palisades in this bank of earth, fixing them at such an angle that they inclined over the trench." [169] Some sources suggest that the building of palisades ceased to be a common occurrence after the 17th century: "The necessity of stockading the villages had almost ceased by the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by the close of the century the stockades were abandoned. Villages became less compact, but houses continued to be built near enough together to form a neighborhood." [170] We follow Lyford's periodization in selecting the end of the 17th century as the date of transition. Indeed, it's suggestive that all sources we could find describing Iroquois fortification date to the seventeenth century. It's possible that the end of fortifications also meant the end of defensive ditches.
♠ Moat ♣ absent ♥ "The Iroquois preferred a location where a stream or river looped in such a fashion that it could be utilized as a natural moat. If such a condition was not practicable, they built a dry moat."[171]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ present ♥ "Not only could the Northeastern Indians build strongly fortified sites, but they were also well versed in the rapid construction of breastwork defenses. Much Iroquois information is available on this subject. Champlain, traveling with the Iroquois, observed the camps they prepared while moving in contested terrain: 'Proceeding about three leagues farther on, we made a halt, in order to rest the coming night. They all at once set to work, some cut wood, and others to obtain the bark of trees for covering their cabins, for the sake of sheltering themselves, others to fell large trees for constructing a barricade on the river-bank around their cabins, which they do so quickly that in less than two hours so much is accomplished that five hundred of their enemies would find it very difficult to dislodge them without killing large numbers. They make no barricade on the river-bank where their canoes are drawn up, in order that they may be able to embark, if occasion requires.' (Grant 1907, 157- 158)"[172]
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present: 1566-1700 CE; inferred absent: 1701-1713 CE ♥ "Having run a trench several feet deep, around five or ten acres of land, and thrown up the ground upon the inside, they set a continuous row of stakes or palisades in this bank of earth, fixing them at such an angle that they inclined over the trench. Sometimes a village was surrounded by a double, or even triple row of palisades. Within this enclosure they constructed their bark-houses, and secured their stores." [173] Some sources suggest that the building of palisades ceased to be a common occurrence after the 17th century: "The necessity of stockading the villages had almost ceased by the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by the close of the century the stockades were abandoned. Villages became less compact, but houses continued to be built near enough together to form a neighborhood." [174] We follow Lyford's periodization in selecting the end of the 17th century as the date of transition. Indeed, it's suggestive that all sources we could find describing Iroquois fortification date to the seventeenth century.
♠ Long walls ♣ absent ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ absent ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ present ♥ Matrisibs could nominate and 'dehorn' chiefs: 'The Iroquois confederacy operated under a council of 50 sachems representing the five original tribes. When the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722, no new sachem positions were created for it. The council was a legislative, executive and judicial body that deliberated only on the external affairs of the confederacy, such as peace and war, and on matters common to the five constituent tribes. The council had no voice in the internal affairs of the separate tribes.' [175] 'Tribal representation on the council was unequally distributed among the 5 tribes although abuse of power was limited by the requirement of unanimity in all council decisions. Below the level of the League council were separate tribal councils concerned with the internal affairs of each tribe and each tribe's relations with external groups. The tribal council was composed of the sachems who represented the tribe on the League council. Sachem positions were hereditary within each tribe and belonged to particular matrisibs. The women of the matrisib nominated each new sachem, who was always a male, and had the power to recall or "dehorn" a chief who failed to represent the interests of his people. Theoretically, each sachem was equal to the others in power, but in practice those with better oratorial skills wielded greater influence. After the confederacy had been functioning for a period of time a new, nonhereditary office of Pine Tree Chief was created to provide local leadership and to act as advisors to the council sachems, although later they actually sat on the League council and equaled the sachems in power. Pine Tree Chiefs held their position for life and were chosen by the women of a matrisib on the basis of skill in warfare.' [176]
♠ Impeachment ♣ present ♥ See below.

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ Chiefly matrilineages held and transmitted formal titles (see below). However, adopted individuals could be nominated for these once integrated into Iroquois society. We have coded for this under social mobility (see below) rather than here as titles were still attached to those same clans/lineages.

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ absent ♥ 'THE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION of the Iroquois--the system by which decisions were made about problems affecting village, tribe, or confederacy --had three levels. The town or village itself decided local issues like the use of nearby hunting lands, the relocation of houses and cornfields, movement to another site, the acceptance or rejection of visitors, and the raising of war parties. There was a village chiefs' council, numbering up to twenty men, formally organized with a chairman and one or more representatives for each clan. These chiefs were influential men and women, who might be League sachems, warcaptains, warriors, or simply old men who were looked up to and consulted. The council generally met in the presence of the warriors and the women, and rarely diverged in its decisions from the popular consensus, or at least the majority view. This council met in the village's ceremonial longhouse, which usually was merely a large dwelling.' [177] Female lineage elders played an important role on the local level: 'The primary local groups of Iroquois society were the extended household and the village. Each extended family lived in a long bark structure, some of which were from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet in length by sixty in breadth, known as longhouses. Throughout its length was a central passageway in which were located hearths at intervals of ten to twelve feet with each hearth being used by two conjugal families. On both sides of this central passageway were apartments each occupied by a simple family. The composition of the group inhabiting the longhouse appears to have been controlled by the matriarch of a lineage. Influential matriarchs who held a chiefly title tended to group their female relatives around them in the same longhouse.' [178] Various political levels were validated by wampum beads: 'The longhouse owns “wampums” which validate its position as a ritual center but which are rarely brought out. Wampum occasionally figures in the ritual, such as the string of wampum used in the rite of confession. But the significance of wampum generally is that because it is a valuable object, it is used to indicate the significance of the event, either by giving it as a commemoration of the event or as being shown in remembrance of the event. Wampum belts, for example, were given at treaties to indicate good faith in the making of the treaty, and might be brought out to remind others of the treaty. In and of itself, wampum is not sacred.' [179] The central League Council dealt with commonn affairs, with tribal chiefs and councils (as well as the female elders of their respective lineages and more recently created non-hereditary positions) occupying an intermediary position: 'The Iroquois confederacy operated under a council of 50 sachems representing the five original tribes. When the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722, no new sachem positions were created for it. The council was a legislative, executive and judicial body that deliberated only on the external affairs of the confederacy, such as peace and war, and on matters common to the five constituent tribes. The council had no voice in the internal affairs of the separate tribes. Tribal representation on the council was unequally distributed among the 5 tribes although abuse of power was limited by the requirement of unanimity in all council decisions. Below the level of the League council were separate tribal councils concerned with the internal affairs of each tribe and each tribe's relations with external groups. The tribal council was composed of the sachems who represented the tribe on the League council. Sachem positions were hereditary within each tribe and belonged to particular matrisibs. The women of the matrisib nominated each new sachem, who was always a male, and had the power to recall or "dehorn" a chief who failed to represent the interests of his people. Theoretically, each sachem was equal to the others in power, but in practice those with better oratorial skills wielded greater influence. After the confederacy had been functioning for a period of time a new, nonhereditary office of Pine Tree Chief was created to provide local leadership and to act as advisors to the council sachems, although later they actually sat on the League council and equaled the sachems in power. Pine Tree Chiefs held their position for life and were chosen by the women of a matrisib on the basis of skill in warfare. Iroquois involvement in the fur trade and war with the French increased the importance and solidarity of the League council and thereby strengthened the confederacy. The strength of the confederacy continued to grow until the time of the American Revolution when Iroquois interests divided between alliances to the British and the American colonists.' [180] 'A Chief was appointed by the oldest woman of the maternal family in which the title descended. Her descendants and those who were related clanwise were his constituents. The matron and the chief tended to reside in the same settlement, for when the Chief removed, the clan had no one to regard with confidence unless he returned for village councils. If the matron removed, local succession was in jeopardy. The results of deliberations by the clan were taken from village councils to the council of the tribe. The ranking clan chiefs residing at a place were the cochiefs of that settlement. All eight of the Seneca chiefs are now concentrated at Tonawanda, but formerly the Seneca had at least four villages, and all the rest save the Oneida had each two or three principal towns with satellite settlements. The tribe thus spoke a common language, it comprised two or more settlements, it was governed by a common council of village chiefs who also represented constituent clans, and they governed a common territory adjacent to the towns. In time all clans were present in all villages, probably about in the same proportions as they are now. As any clan predominated in a settlement, members had to seek mates in the next village, or divide their own house in twain, thus distributing the clans again.' [181] Tribes were composed of matrilineages: 'Matrilineages were organized into 15 matrisibs. Among the Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora the matrisibs were further organized into moieties. Among the Mohawk and the Oneida no moiety division was recognized. Descent was matrilineal.' [182] The League Council initially met at Onondaga, but the council fire was extinguished and rekindled in various places during the tribulations of the colonial period: 'The council continued to be composed of hereditary chiefs, who together with the “war chiefs” from 1812 andthe Pine Tree chiefs numbered over 50. The Crown madeno attempt to interfere with the appointment or dismissalof chiefs (Weaver 1975). The chiefs met in the Onondagacouncil house, a log structure near Middleport, two orthree times a year to deliberate in traditional fashionmatters of community interest (Weaver 1963-1974). The Onondagas, known collectively as the firekeepers, actedas mediators in the proceedings according to traditionalcustom. However, the tribal seating plan differed fromthe traditional one in that the Mohawks and Senecasoccupied the positions east of the council fire, while theOneidas and Cayugas sat on the west, together with thedependent nations: Tuscaroras, Nanticokes, Delawares,and Tutelos. Although the dependent nations were tospeak through “their voice,” the Cayugas, in fact theyoften directly addressed the assembly of chiefs, andoperated quite independently, though not equaling theoriginal five nations in power or status.' [183] 'Despite the efforts of the Onondagas at Onondaga tohave them returned to Onondaga, the council fire of theConfederacy and its wampum records remained at BuffaloCreek until after that reservation had been sold andCaptain Cold (“The League of the Iroquois: Its History,Politics, and Ritual,” fig. 11, this vol.), keeper of thecouncil fire and the wampum, had died. In 1847 bothwere moved back to Onondaga (Clark 1849, 1:109, 124).However, a number of Onondagas (approximately 150)continued to live on the Seneca and Tuscarora Reservationsin western New York State, the largest number onthe Allegany Reservation (New York (State) Secretary ofState 1857:507; Fletcher 1888:551; New York (State)Legislature. Assembly 1889:59; U.S. Census Office. 11thCensus 1892:6).' [184] We have found no evidence of divine legitimation of chiefs. More material is needed.

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ absent ♥

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ present ♥

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ present ♥ See 'elites'.
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ present ♥ Iroquois society was organized in matrilineages rather than social classes: 'Matrilineages were organized into 15 matrisibs. Among the Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora the matrisibs were further organized into moieties. Among the Mohawk and the Oneida no moiety division was recognized. Descent was matrilineal. In modern times, the stress placed on patrilineal inheritance by Canadian authorities has undermined the traditional matrilineal system.' [185] 'Traditional kinship terminology followed the Iroquoian pattern. In one's own and the first ascending and descending generations parallel relatives were classed with one's lineal relatives and cross relatives were referred to separately.' [186] Matrilineages held and transmitted property in land: 'Matrilineages were the property holding unit in traditional Iroquoian society.' [187] 'Traditionally, property was inherited matrilineally. In the 1980s matrilineal inheritance continued to be practiced among Iroquois on reservations in the United States, but not so for those in Canada, where the government has enforced a patrilineal system of inheritance.' [188] Matrilineal/matrilocal family groups formed the basic socio-economic units: 'The basic economic unit consisted of matrilineally extended family groups of women, their spouses, and their children. Each extended family group occupied a longhouse within which individual nuclear families occupied designated sections and shared common hearths. Each longhouse was under the control and direction of the elder women in the extended family group.' [189] 'The members of matrisibs cooperated in economic activities and were obligated to avenge the death or injury of any other member. Moieties had reciprocal and complementary ceremonial functions and competed against one another in games. Matrisibs cut across tribal boundaries so that members were found in each tribe and village and often within each longhouse.' [190] Member nations were organized in a joint league council, with chiefly titles being transmitted within particular matrilineages: 'The Iroquois confederacy operated under a council of 50 sachems representing the five original tribes. When the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722, no new sachem positions were created for it. The council was a legislative, executive and judicial body that deliberated only on the external affairs of the confederacy, such as peace and war, and on matters common to the five constituent tribes. The council had no voice in the internal affairs of the separate tribes.' [191] 'Tribal representation on the council was unequally distributed among the 5 tribes although abuse of power was limited by the requirement of unanimity in all council decisions. Below the level of the League council were separate tribal councils concerned with the internal affairs of each tribe and each tribe's relations with external groups. The tribal council was composed of the sachems who represented the tribe on the League council. Sachem positions were hereditary within each tribe and belonged to particular matrisibs. The women of the matrisib nominated each new sachem, who was always a male, and had the power to recall or "dehorn" a chief who failed to represent the interests of his people. Theoretically, each sachem was equal to the others in power, but in practice those with better oratorial skills wielded greater influence. After the confederacy had been functioning for a period of time a new, nonhereditary office of Pine Tree Chief was created to provide local leadership and to act as advisors to the council sachems, although later they actually sat on the League council and equaled the sachems in power. Pine Tree Chiefs held their position for life and were chosen by the women of a matrisib on the basis of skill in warfare.' [192] The league remained a coherent body until the American Revolution: 'Iroquois involvement in the fur trade and war with the French increased the importance and solidarity of the League council and thereby strengthened the confederacy. The strength of the confederacy continued to grow until the time of the American Revolution when Iroquois interests divided between alliances to the British and the American colonists.' [193] Chiefly lineages were more prominent as their matrisibs and matrons could nominate titleholders: 'Now the importance of the maternal family is political, as Goldenweiser indicated, and politics are local business. In precisely those local groups where the system of life chiefs survives (Tonawanda, Onondaga, Tuscarora, Six Nations), the distinction is made between chiefly lineages and the clan. Controversies rage as to which lineage in a clan possesses a title and whether the clan mother is the oldest woman of the chiefly lineage or the oldest woman of the clan (Tonawanda Turtles in National Gypsum Co. case). If the local titlebearing lineage lacks a likely candidate for chiefship, the matron loans her title to the matron of another lineage who installs her son, or sister's son, etc., and the second lineage after a generation or so claims the title, or swears that it belongs to the whole clan. Similarly, a title may pass from one community to another, or to another clan in the same phratry. In the two communities of the Seneca Nation--Allegany and Cattaraugus--which adopted the elective system of Councilors after Buffalo Creek, the practical distinction between maternal family and clan has blurred. The same process has been going on since 1924 at Six Nations, including the Canadian Delaware.' [194] 'A Chief was appointed by the oldest woman of the maternal family in which the title descended. Her descendants and those who were related clanwise were his constituents. The matron and the chief tended to reside in the same settlement, for when the Chief removed, the clan had no one to regard with confidence unless he returned for village councils. If the matron removed, local succession was in jeopardy. [Page 51] The results of deliberations by the clan were taken from village councils to the council of the tribe. The ranking clan chiefs residing at a place were the cochiefs of that settlement. All eight of the Seneca chiefs are now concentrated at Tonawanda, but formerly the Seneca had at least four villages, and all the rest save the Oneida had each two or three principal towns with satellite settlements. The tribe thus spoke a common language, it comprised two or more settlements, it was governed by a common council of village chiefs who also represented constituent clans, and they governed a common territory adjacent to the towns. In time all clans were present in all villages, probably about in the same proportions as they are now. As any clan predominated in a settlement, members had to seek mates in the next village, or divide their own house in twain, thus distributing the clans again.' [195] Beauchamp speaks of an Iroquois 'nobility', by which he might mean chiefly lineages: 'If they had no great prominence in magical arts at an early day it was not because they were undervalued. They might belong to the Iroquois Agoianders, or nobility. In 1671 a Christian Mohawk woman left her country to live in Canada. On this her family “degraded her from the nobility, in an assembly of the chiefs of the town, and took away the name and title of Oiander, that is to say, esteemed, a quality which they much esteem and which she had inherited from her ancestors, and deserved by her own good spirit, her prudence and wise conduct, and at the same time they installed another in her place. These women are much respected; they hold council, and the Ancients complete no affair of consequence without their advice.”' [196] Prisoners of war were enslaved: 'To us slavery is a relic of barbarism, yet for the Onondagas it was a step forward when they perceived the wisdom of sparing captives that they might have slaves to work their fields.' [197] 'As in civilized communities, there was a division of work between men and women, and the women's work was often assigned to men who had become slaves of the Iroquois. They had lost their rank as warriors, unless adopted by some family or clan.'[198] Some remained servants, but others were adopted into Iroquois society and could acquire titles: 'Colden said the Iroquois had no slaves, but they not only frequently appear but are classified in the Relation for 1657. There were three kinds. The first were admitted into families, and sometimes became chiefs, though still considered slaves. The second were given to the richer Indians, and had food and shelter, but nothing more. The third were young women and girls, continually exposed to every danger. Often, however, they were saved from death to become wives. As slaves the treatment of these girls depended on the temper of their mistress, and this was often cruel. In 1656 an Erie girl displeased her Onondaga mistress, who hired a young man to kill her. The life of the slave was absolutely in the power of the owner.' [199] 'Throughout the contact period until the American Revolution the Iroquois maintained their aboriginal corporate structurs. Although disease and warfare such as the Beaver Wars of 1748-1780 and the French and Indian War of 1754 had taken their toll in reducing the Iroquois, they, by adopting captives, replenished their population. Fenton noted: By the end of the seventeenth century the adopted or their offspring outnumbered the Iroquois proper. They became thoroughly acculturated and acted more like the Iroquois than the Iroquois themselves. Chieftenship titles were even conforred on adoptees. The rejuvenating power of the People of the Longhouse amazed everyone who wrote about them. (1971:143)' [200] Morgan describes the process of adoption: 'THE statements in the text, while of course not made on personal observation, are, in the main, correct. The reason prisoners were not exchanged was that after they had been adopted they were Iroquois, and to surrender them would be to give up an Iroquois to a strange nation. Individuals who had not been adopted might be and often were given up, or rescued by their countrymen. An adopted prisoner was usually taken in place of some member of a household who had recently died, and might be tortured and burnt, or saved alive, at the discretion of the house which owned him. From this point of view it was better to be adopted in place of one who had died by disease or accident than in place of one killed in battle. The adopted citizens [Page p278] were for a long time subject to suspicion and in danger of their lives; any untoward event, physical disability of the captive, or the mere caprice of their owners being enough to order them out to be burnt. Most of these were treated as slaves, but their position, particularly if of Iroquoian stock, would gradually improve, and in the second generation no difference would remain between slaves and masters. An interesting and fortunate case of adoption is that of the Jesuit Milet taken prisoner by the Onondagas in 1689. He had previously been among the Oneidas as a missionary, and was given to them, they being represented in the war party. For some weeks he remained in the town, well treated but his fate undetermined. Then a council was held to decide the cases of Milet and three other Frenchmen. Two of the others were burned, but Milet was claimed by both the Bear and Tortoise clans, who finally turned him over to the Wolf clan in which he had friends. “Through the influence of the chief women,” says Milet, “they showed me the friendliness of giving me in the place of a sachem who had died long before of disease, rather than of one killed in the attack on the French.” This sachem was Hodashateh, the first Sachem of the Oneidas, and Milet, accordingly, succeeded to the Sachemship and was soon in good standing as a member of the council. (Letter of Milet, 64 F. R., 90, 100.)' [201] High-ranking individuals tended to have more servants: 'It must be remembered that all were not equally rich, nor did all women rank alike. Some were brought up delicately. In the Relation for 1670 we have an account of the recent death of a young Seneca woman of high rank who had been baptized. To the comforting words of the missionary the mother replied, “Thou wast not acquainted with her; she was mistress here, and commanded more than twenty slaves who are still with me. She knew not what it was to go to the forest to bring in wood, or to the river there to draw up water. She was not able to trouble herself with all that which concerns housekeeping. Now I doubt not but that being now the only one of our family in Paradise, she may have much trouble to accustom herself to it; for she will be obliged to do her cooking herself, to go to the wood and the water, and to prepare all with her own hands for eating and drinking.” If only one of her slaves could go to the same place it would be all right.' [202] But social classes in our sense of the term were absent: 'The lack of social classes is also considered to be characteristically Indian. No individual is considered socially superior to any other. Whatever prestige is to be gained is achieved by living up to the previously mentioned behavioral ideals of generosity, patience, willingness to help, self-control, etc. Indians who try to claim rank are derisively chided or talked about.' [203] We have decided to code for the more egalitarian option.

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Unsure whether mutual aid societies qualify. See above.

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ inferred absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [204] [205] [206]

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