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The Iroquois Indians were also known as the Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse, and the Six Nations. Their entire population consisted of approximately 125,000 people. Iroquois Indians lived in what is now New York State along the St. Lawrence River. The Iroquois village consisted of two or more longhouses. In the early years, the longhouses were built near streams, but were later built on hilltops for protection from invading tribes. The longhouse was large enough to hold a family of 30 to 60 people and could be as long as 25 to 150 feet. The village was moved every 10-15 years because crops no longer grew well. Each family had a space about six by nine feet for a personal area. During this time, women held a powerful position in the Iroquois tribe. They owned longhouses, controlled the land, and chose the chief. The Iroquois made most of their clothing from deerskin. The women wore skirts, vests, and moccasins and the men wore deerskin breechcloths during the summer along with moccasins made of leather or corn husks.
The Iroquois men hunted deer and other game. Boys were allowed to join the men in hunting after they had killed a deer by themselves. The Iroquois Indians held six big festivals each year. Each festival lasted several days. During these festivals music was made by shaking rattles and beating drums. Rattles were made from gourds and turtle shells. The festivals included the New Year Festival in the winter, the Maple Festival in spring, the Corn Planting Festival, the Strawberry Festival, the Green Corn Festival, and the Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving. The festivals were held to give thanks to the good spirits for health, clothes, food, and happiness.