Seneca Indians: Allies and Enemies

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Seneca Indians: Allies and Enemies

Seneca are among the most respected and feared. The Seneca are culturally similar to their Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, an Mohawk confederates. The five tribes were known as the Five Nations or the League of Five Nations. Sometime between 1715 and 1722 the Tuscaroras from North Carolina joined the confederacy and changed the name to the Six Nations.

In their relations with white settlers the Seneca played the role of an independent power and were this way from the very start. During the colonial period they held the balance of power between the French and English. Particulary around the Canadian border. The Seneca opposed the extension of French settlement southwards from Canada, and were responsible for prevention the English colonies from being forced on the west by the French.

During the American Revolution the Seneca sided with the British.

SOCIETY

Each town in the tribe contained several long, bark covered communal houses that had both tribal and political significance. Inside each house several families lived in semi-private rooms or areas and the center areas were used as social and political meeting places. They lived in scattered villages that were organized by a system of matrilineal clans.

A calendar cycle of ceremonies reflected their agricultural, hunting, and gathering. The men hunted, cleared fields, traded and made war. The woman gathered various wild plant foods and tended gardens.

They had a great agricultural economy. Their man crop was corn, but they also grew pumpkins, beans, tobacco, maize, squash and later on they grew orchard fruits like apples and peaches.
Crafts were also made. Fine pottery, splint baskets, mats of corn husk and used wampum as a medium of exchange.

FAMOUS TRIBE MEMBERS

There were many famous Indians from the Seneca tribe.
Ely S. Parker- His Indian name was Donehogawa. He was a Seneca Indian of the Wolf clan. Parker served under President...
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