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Native Americans: Cahokia and Iroquois

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Presentation on theme: "Native Americans: Cahokia and Iroquois"— Presentation transcript:

1 Native Americans: Cahokia and Iroquois
US History – Libertyville HS

2 Cahokia Mound Builders
City of Cahokia, c AD (artist’s rendition)

3 Who were the Cahokia? Mississippian people (group of related tribes along Mississippi River) Mound Builders Subgroup of Miss. tribes that erected earthen mounds as common public works Cahokian culture was centered on a big city near modern day St. Louis

4 Cahokia City and “suburbs” of 30,000 +
Rich art work reflected leisure time Huge trade network Tech included calendars, walls

5 Cahokian Mounds Purpose of mounds
Burial? Ceremonial? Living space above flood plain? Massive building effort requiring mobilization of entire civilization, decades / centuries French explorers in 1600s discovered mounds, did not build on them (recognized their significance) Monk’s Mound, Cahokia “Monk’s Mound” – 1037 feet long, 790 feet wide base; ten stories tall; over 250,000 square feet

6 Mississippian Trade Network
Centered on Great Lakes region North to St. Lawrence Along Atlantic coast South to Gulf of Mexico West to Oklahoma Larger than Europe & Scandinavia!

7 Cahokia Cahokia flourished from 850 to 1500s
Abruptly disappeared; why? Massive flooding? Disease?

8 Iroquois Confederacy Located in upstate New York and Canada; Empire extended into Ohio Valley Niagara Falls = center of Iroquois culture, religion Iroquois were major force in early US history – why?

9 Iroquois Confederacy Trading empire
Military empire based on warrior culture Total population = 25,000 Unified government / people / culture Union of five tribes Mohawk Oneida Onodagas Cayugas Senecas Mohawk Logo “Tree of Peace”

10 Iroquois Confederacy Called selves “Haudenosaunee” = human being (“the people”) very arrogant people due to their military success Ohio Valley Indians called them “Irokwek” – rough translation = “snake in the grass” French translation = Iroquois

11 Lifestyle of the Iroquois
Village dwellers ( persons / village) Communal living, based on gender NOT based on equality Village made up of extended families – cousins, aunts, etc Families identified matrilineally (through mother’s family) Child, son / daughter of mother, etc Iroquois village, c. 1720 (note longhouses, wall)

12 Lifestyle of the Iroquois
Families lived matrilocally (live where mothers are) Lived in mother’s family lodge Longhouse = oval shaped, single entrance; sleep to sides, eat, meet in center Village, longhouse as woman’s domain Woods, everything else = male’s domain Male goes to live in wife’s longhouse Why is this a more practical way of organizing society? Iroquois longhouse (interior view here)

13 Lifestyle of the Iroquois
Divorce customs Raising children Lack of domestic violence Child raising High suicide rate amongst male teens

14 Iroquois Culture VS. Concept of time Examples?
Patience needed to hunt, farm No concept of minutes, hours Cycle of seasons, moon basis of “time” Time concept circular – no beginning or end vs. European linear time: start, end point Examples? European view of Indians = lazy VS.

15 Iroquois Culture Matriarchal society Gender division of labor
Village leadership = clan mother Gender division of labor Men = hunter, warrior, political leader Women = farmers, village leaders Naming of individuals Clan mother named kids Names given when you do something good, bad, funny Iroquois adopted European names based on what they liked

16 Iroquois Politics Iroquois political system Men discuss, women decide
Iroquois a confederacy of tribes 50 or so male chiefs got together about 1 / year 2 issues to consider Make war? Everyone have food? “Circle of Power” Inner circle of males Outer circle of clan mothers Men discuss, women decide

17 Iroquois Empire Rivals to Iroquois = Ohio Valley Indians
Iroquois defeat them in every conflict BUT European involvement changed dynamic Map of Ohio River System, created by George Washington (1754)

18 Iroquois and the Europeans
European rivalries translated to rivalries between Indian tribes French allied with Ohio Valley Indians Wanted trade, not land French fur trappers needed Indian hunters / guides French traded guns, alcohol for furs British allied with Iroquois (why?) Because French allied with Ohio Valley Indians French trapper and Ohio Indian

19 Conflict between Indians, Europeans
Why is it that EVERY contact between Europeans, Indians resulted in bloodshed? Pattern to contacts Initial cooperation Dispute over resources based on different perspectives towards those resources European ultimatum: move or die vs. Indians we’re not moving and we’ll kill you

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