group of American Indian peoples which originally inhabited the Hudson River Valley of the United States (includes the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, and Onondaga tribes); member of one of the Iroquois tribes
\ir`o*quois"\ (?), n. sing. & pl. [f.] (ethnol.) a powerful and warlike confederacy of indian tribes, formerly inhabiting central new york and constituting most of the five nations. also, any indian of the iroquois tribes.
The Iroquois ( or ), also known as the Haudenosaunee , the Five Nations and Five Nations of the Iroquois (Six Nations after 1722), and (to themselves) the Ganonsyoni, are a historically powerful important Native American people who formed the Iroquois Confederacy, a league of five (later six) distinct nations. French, Dutch and British colonists in both Canada and the Thirteen Colonies wanted to curry favor with the Iroquois; for nearly 200 years considerations of the Iroquois were a powerful factor in North American colonial policy-making decisions. All sides wooed them, each settlement feared them, politically they were unique, a large Native American polity which, until during the American Revolution, could not be divided. At the time of European encounter and colonization, the original Iroquois League, based in present-day New York, was also known as the Five Nations, as it was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. The Five Nations are believed to have emerged as distinct tribes by the 15th century or earlier. Each had a distinct territory and function within the League. Iroquois influence extended into Canada, westward into the Great Lakes and down both sides of the Allegheny mountains into Virginia and Kentucky. To reduce conflict, they came together in an association known today as the Iroquois League, which in their language was known as the League of Peace and Power. The League is embodied in the Grand Council, an assembly of fifty hereditary sachems.
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1. any member of the warlike North American Indian peoples formerly living in New York state; the Iroquois League were allies of the British during the American Revolution
(hypernym) Indian, North American Indian, American Indian, Red Indian
2. a family of North American Indian languages spoken by the Iroquois peoples
(synonym) Iroquoian, Iroquoian language
(hypernym) Amerind, Amerindian language, American-Indian language, American Indian, Indian
(n. sing. & pl.
A powerful and warlike confederacy of Indian tribes, formerly inhabiting Central New York and constituting most of the Five Nations. Also, any Indian of the Iroquois tribes.
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