Iroquois Confederacy maxim
The Iroquois are a historically powerful northeast Native American confederacy.
- They were known during the colonial years to the French as the “Iroquois League.”
- Later, it was known as the “Iroquois Confederacy”
- To the English they were the “Five Nations” (before 1722) — and later the “Six Nations,” comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora peoples.
- The Iroquois have absorbed many other peoples into their cultures as a result of warfare, adoption of captives, and by offering shelter to displaced peoples.
- The historic Erie, Susquehannock, Wyandot (Huron), and St. Lawrence Iroquoians, all independent peoples, spoke Iroquoian languages.
- In the larger sense of linguistic families, they are often considered Iroquoian peoples because of their similar languages and cultures, all culturally and linguistically descended from the Proto-Iroquoian people and language; however, they were traditionally enemies of the nations in the Iroquois League.