Native Americans culture
Native American languages
Native American tribes
This article has been archived from the now-defunct MSU E-Museum (http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/)
for educational purposes. Please visit our Article Archive Index for
further information. If the author of this article would like to make changes to it, or if you are the author of another article you would
like us to add to our archives, please contact us.
The homelands of the Iroquois (ir-uh-coy) includes the land from the banks of the Hudson River to the shores of Lake Erie.
Best Known Feature:
The most sacred tradition to the Iroquois Indians are the rituals involving the false faces or medicine masks. No two masks are ever the same. The creator always make them unique, but they all possess a crooked nose. This is to honor the fabled giant who, because of a loss of a challenge to the Creator, promised to protect the Creators people. The men who wear these masks are believed to have the power to ward off sickness because of a Seneca legend. It is said that the Spirit of Sickness tried to infect a longhouse of people. Before he had the chance to do so, the giant (Great False Face) appeared and scared him away.
Hunt, George T., The Wars of the Iroquois, University of Wisconsin; Wisconsin, 1940.
Time Life Books, Realm of the Iroquois, Time Warner. Inc.; Virginia, 1993.
Fenton, William N., The Iroquois Book of Rites, University of Toronto Press; Toronto, 1963.
New York Native Americans
Return to our main Native American Indian culture site
Read our article submission guidelines
Language of the day: Massachusetts language
What is Indian heritage
Tribal tattoo art
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?