Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology

2004 Edition
| Editors: Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember

Iroquois

  • Barbara W. Lex
  • Thomas S. Abler
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29905-X_76

Alternative Names

The Iroquois were and are a confederacy of several Native North American nations. The original five members of the confederacy were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. Accordingly, they were known to English colonial officials as the Five Nations. When the Tuscarora joined them early in the 18th century, they became the Six Nations. The Iroquois saw their confederacy as a metaphorical longhouse, the multifamily dwelling which housed them in settlements at the time of contact with Europeans. Hence they referred to themselves as the Hodénosaunee, meaning, roughly, People of the Longhouse. French colonists in Canada used the term Iroquois, a name they probably learned from a 16th century Basque-Algonquian pidgin used in the St. Lawrence valley (see Bakker, 1990; Goddard, 1978).

Location and Linguistic Affiliation

Iroquois territory stretched through what is now upstate New York from the Mohawk River valley to that of the Genesee. The Mohawks lived in the...

Keywords

Facial Paralysis Medicine Society Animal Spirit Death Certificate Data Senior Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara W. Lex
  • Thomas S. Abler

There are no affiliations available