Topic: Iroquois

Vocabulary of the Tuscarora

Vocabulary of the Tuscarora Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now 1 God, Ya wuhn ne yuh. 2 Devil, Oo na sa roo nuh. 3 Man, Ehn kweh. 4 Woman, Hah wuhn nuh. 5 Boy, Kun chu kweh’r. 6 Girl, Ya te ah cha yeuh. 7 Child, Kats ah. 8 Father (my), E ah kre ehn. 9 Mother (my), E a nuh. 10 Husband (my), E na yah keah wuhn te kehn rea nuhn. 11 Wife (my), (The same word as for my husband.) 12 Son (his), Trah wuhn ruh, nuh nuhn, a ne hah. 13 Daughter (his), Tra wuhn ruh, nuhn, kah-nuhn nuhn. 14 Brother (my), E ah ke ah t’keuh. 15 Sister (my), Eah keah nuhn nooh’r. 16 An Indian, Reuh kweh hehn weh. 17 Head, Yah reh. 18 Hair (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah weh rah wuhn. 19 Face (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah keuh seuh keh. 20 Forehead (his), Trah wuhn ruh, keuh neuh keh. 21 Scalp, Trah wuhn ruh, nuh reh. 22...

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Traditions of their Wars with Monsters, Giants and Supernatural Phenomena

It is proposed to narrate a few passages of their early wars with monsters and giants, the two prominent objects in the foreground of their traditions. If it be thought, in perusing them, that mythology and superstition mingle too freely with real events or actions, to which the mind makes no exception, that is a matter upon which we have nothing to offer. Let it rather be considered as a proof of the authenticity of the narrative for certainly there could be no stronger-indication of a contrary character, than to find the Indian narrator relating a clear, consistent chain of indisputable facts and deductions to fill up the foreground of his history. What is said of such creations tallies admirably with their belief, at the present day, and harmonizes with itself, and with that state of proud heathendom, adventurous idolatry, and wild and roving independence in which they lived. Who but an Aonaod? who but an Iroquois? could enact such a part, or believe that his ancestors ever did? To be great, and admired and feared, they roved over half America in quest of beasts and men. Surely, the man should be allowed to tell his own story in his own way, with all the witchcraft and spirit-craft he has a mind to bring to bear upon it. No people in the world have ever, probably, so completely mingled...

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The Graveyard Serpent and Corn Giant

Seneca tradition states that they formerly lived on the Chippewa River, near Niagara Falls, Canada. One year, while thus located, they were visited by a calamitous sickness, and their corn was blighted. Their prophet dreamt, one night, that a great serpent laid tinder the Tillage, with his head to the graveyard, and that it devoured all the bodies buried. This gave a most offensive breath, which was the cause of the sickness. He also dreamt that there was a great giant under the cornfield, who ate up the corn. When he revealed these dreams to the chiefs, they determined to abandon the town, and immediately removed to Buffalo Creek. The serpent soon followed them, and entered the mouth of the creek; but the Great Spirit, whose especial favorites they ever were, sent lightning to destroy it. The monster, however, proceeded up the stream, until the arrows from above fell so thick, that he was obliged to turn. His great size made him press against the shores, and break off the ground, and this is the cause of the expanse of the river three miles above its mouth. Before he reached the mouth of the stream, however, the arrows had cut him apart and thus they escaped this scourge. When they went back to visit their old town on the Chippewa River, they found the giant who had eaten up...

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St. Regis Colony, or Band

This community is an off-shoot of the Iroquois stock, but not a member of the confederacy. It originated in the efforts commenced about the middle of the 17th century, by the Roman Catholic church of France, to draw the Iroquois into communion with that church. It was, however, but a part of the public policy, which originated in the reign of Louis XV., to colonize the Iroquois country, and wrest it from the power of the British crown. When this effort failed, replete as it was with wars, intrigues and embassies, battles and massacres, which make it the heroic age of our history, the persons who had become enlisted in the ritual observances of this church, were induced to withdraw from the body of the tribes, and settle on the banks of the St. Lawrence, in the area of the present county of St. Lawrence. It was, in effect, a missionary colony. Its members were mostly Mohawks, from Caughnawaga, with some Oneidas, and perhaps a few of the Onondagas, amongst whom there had been Catholic missions and forts established, at early dates. The exertions made to organize this new canton were, politically considered, at direct variance with the colonial policy of New York, and were therefore opposed by the persons entrusted by the crown with Indian affairs, and also by the councils of the confederacy. Those persons who composed it...

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Red Jacket and the Wyandot Claim to Supremacy

At a great council of the western tribes, assembled near Detroit, prior to the late war, the celebrated Seneca orator, Red Jacket, was present, when the question of the right of the Wyandots to light the council fire, was brought up. This claim he strenuously resisted, and administered a rebuke to this nation in the following terms: “Have the Quatoghies forgotten themselves? Or do they suppose we have forgotten them? Who gave you the right in the west or east, to light the general council fire? You must have fallen asleep, and dreamt that the Six Nations were dead! Who permitted you to escape from the lower country? Had you any heart left to speak a word for yourselves? Remember how you hung on by the bushes. You had not even a place to land on. You have not yet done p___g for fear of the Konoshioni. High claim, indeed, for a tribe who had to run away from the Kadarakwa. 1Hon. Albert H. Tracy. “As for you, my nephews,” he continued, turning to the Lenapees, or Delawares,” it is fit you should let another light your fire. Before Miqùon came, we had put out your fire and poured water on it; it would not burn. Could you hunt or plant without our leave? Could you sell a foot of land? Did not the voice of the Long House...

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Principles of the Iroquois Government

No one has attended to the operations of the Iroquois government and polity, as they are developed in their councils and meetings for general consultation and action, without perceiving a degree of intricacy in its workings, which it is difficult to grasp. Or rather, the obscurity may be said to grow out of the little time and the imperfect opportunities which casual observes have to devote to the object. For, maturely considered, there is no inherent difficulty in the way. It seems clear that they came together as independent tribes, who, at an early age, had all proceeded from the same parental stock, but who, after an indefinite period of fighting and wars, became, convinced of the short-sightedness of such a course, and fell on the plan of a confederation which should produce general action, and yet leave the several members free, both in their internal polity, and in the exercise of most of their co-tribal powers. It was clearly a con federation for common purposes of defense and offense, and not a perfect union. Each tribe, or more properly speaking, canton, was still governed by its own chiefs, civil and military. They came together in general councils, by sachems, exercising the power of delegates. These delegates or sages came in their hereditary or elective character, as the case might be, or as the customs and laws of the...

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Origin and History of the Oneidas

This canton of the Iroquois nation, deduces its origin in a remote age, from the Onondagas, with the language of which, the Oneida has the closest affinity. According to a tradition which was related to me, and which is believed to be entitled to respect, they are descended from two persons, who, in their obscure ages, and before a confederation had been thought of, went out from the people at Onondaga, and first dwelt at the head of the Oneida river. After increasing in numbers, they removed to the outlet of the Oneida creek, which flows into Oneida Lake....

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Origin and History of the Iroquois, as a Distinct People

The first period of Indian history having thus terminated in dis cords, wars, and the mutual destruction of each other, tradition does not denote how long the depopulation of the country continued. It begins a second period by recollections of the Konoshioni, or Iroquois. They do not indicate what relation they bear to the ancient, broken down confederacy glanced at, in the preceding paper; but leave us to suppose that they may have been fragmentary descendants of it. That such a conclusion should not be formed, however, and in order to prove themselves an original people in the land, they frame a new myth, to begin their national existence. They boldly assert, that they were, through some means, confined in a mountain, from whose sub-terraneous bowels they were extricated by Taryenyawagon, the Holder of the Heavens. They point to a place at or near the falls of the Oswego River, where this deliverance happened, and they look to this divine messenger, who could assume various shapes, as the friend and patron of their nation. 1Where the Indians dwelt for a long time, it is customary for them to affirm in their metaphorical language, that they originated, or were created. When they date from such a spot, we find they frame a story, saying that they came out of a hill, &c. at that spot. In 1791, an extensive work,...

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The Onondagas Indians

Onondaga was, from the remotest times, the seat of the Iroquois government. Granting credence to the account of their own origin, on the high grounds or falls of the Oswego, they had not proceeded far up the course of the widely gathered waters of this stream, when a portion of them planted their wigwams in this fertile region. Whatever was the cause of their migrating from their primary council fire, nothing was more natural than that, by pursuing this stream upward, they should separate into independent tribes, and by further tracing out its far spread forks, gradually expand themselves, as they were found by the discoverers and first settlers, over the entire area of western New York. On reaching the grand junction of Three River Point, a part went up the Seneca river, who subsequently dividing, formed the Senecas and Cayugas. The bands who took the eastern fork, or Oneida River, pushed forward over the Deowainsta, or Rome summit, into the first large stream, flowing east, and became the Mohawks. The central or Onondaga fork was chosen by the portion who, from the hill country they first located in, took this name; and from them, the Oneidas, pursuing in fact the track of the Mohawks, were an off-shoot. That such was the general route, and causes of their separation, appears as evident as strong probabilities, in coincidence with their...

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Oneida Vocabulary

224 Alive Loon ha. 225 Dead La wan ha yun. 226 Life Yun ha. 227 Death Ya wu ha yah. 228 Cold Yutholah. 229 Hot Yu ta le han. 230 Sour Ta yo yo gis. 231 Sweet Ya wa gon. 232 Bitter Yutskalot. 233 I Ee. 234 Thou Eesa. He she. 235 He or she La oon ha a oon ha. 236 We Tat ne jah loo 237 You Eesa. 238 They Lo no hah. 239 This Kah e kah. 240 That To e kuh. 241 All A quR kon. 242 Part Ta kah ha sioun. 243 Many A so. 244 Who Hon ka. 245 Near Ac tah. 246 Far-off E non. 247 To-day Ka wan da. 248 Yesterday Ta tan. 249 To-morrow A yul ha na. 250 Yes Ha. 251 No Yah ten. 252 Perhaps To ga no nah. 253 Above A nah kan. 254 Wonder An ta ka. 255 Within Na gon. 256 Without Ats ta. 257 On Ka ha le. 258 Something Ot hok no ho ta. 259 Nothing Ya ha ta non. 260 One Ans cot. 261 Two, Da ga nee. 262 Three Ha son. 263 Four Ki ya lee. 264 Five Wisk. 265 Six Yah yak. 266 Seven Ja dak. 267 Eight Ta ka Ion. 268 Nine Wa tlon. 269 Ten O ya lee. 270 Eleven Ans cot ya wa la. 271 Twelve Da...

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Necariage Indians

The Tuscaroras were probably admitted into the confederacy about 1714. Nine years afterwards the Iroquois received the Nicariages. Under this name the long expatriated Quatoghies, or Hurons, then living at Teiodonderoghie or Michilimackinac, were taken into the confederacy as the Seventh Tribe, or canton. This act was consummated in the reign of George II, at a public council held at Albany on the 30th May, 1723, on their own desire. A delegation of 80 men, who had their families with them, were present. Of this curious transaction but little is known. For although done in faith, it was not perceived that a tribe so far separated from the main body, although now reconciled, and officially incorporated, could not effectually coalesce and act as one. And accordingly, it does not appear, by the subsequent history of the confederacy, that they ever came to recognize, permanently, the Necariages as a Seventh Nation. The foundation for this act of admission had been laid at a prior period by the daring and adroit policy of Adario, who had so skillfully contrived to shift the atrocity of his own act, in the capture of the Iroquois delegates on the St. Lawrence, on the Governor-General of Canada. It has been mentioned, in a preceding page of this report, that the Iroquois recommended their political league as a model to the colonies, long before the American...

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Moral and Social Condition of the Iroquois People

The gospel was preached to the Iroquois as well as to the several tribes of Algonquin origin, who lined the banks of the Hudson and the Delaware, early in the 17th century. The Reformed Church of Holland does not appear to have underrated its duties in this respect, while the Holland States, under a hereditary President or Stadtholder, were extending their civil jurisdiction and commercial enterprise on this continent, notwithstanding the want of any direct evidence, that the conversion of the Indians constituted a fixed part of the policy of the servants and governors of the West India Company, to whose lot it fell to introduce the arts and commerce of the mother country. It was the common impression of those times, not only in Holland, the center of theological discussion, but in the reformed churches generally, that civilization and the arts must precede the introduction of Christianity among barbarous and idolatrous nations, and it was under such views, that the gospel was first carried to India and to Iceland by the pious zeal of the German reformers. The impulse which had been imparted to the subject through the zeal and devotion of Xavier and Loyola, and the energetic spirit of making proselytes and converts, which characterized the particular order of the Romish church, which they founded, impressed the rulers of Spain, France and Portugal, with a deep sense...

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Mohawk Vocabulary

Mohawk Vocabulary 1 God Niyoh 2 Devil Onesohrono 3 Man Rongwe 4 Woman Yongwe 5 Boy Raxaa 6 Girl Kaxaa 7 Child Exaa 8 Infant Owiraa 9 Father (my) Rakeniha 10 Mother (my) Isteaha 11 Husband (my) Teyakenitero 12 Wife (my) Teyakenitero 13 Son (my) Iyeaha 14 Daughter (my) Keyeaha 15 Brother (my) Akyatatekeaha 16 Sister (my) Akyatatoseaha 17 An Indian Ongwehowe 18 Head Onontsi 19 Hair Ononkwis 20 Face Okonsa 2 1 Scalp Onora 22 Ear Ohonta 23 Eye, Okara 24 Nose Onyohsa 25 Mouth Jirasakaronte 26 Tongue Aweanaefhsa 27 Tooth Onawi 28 Beard Okeasteara 29 Neck , Onyara 30 Arm Onontsa 31 Shoulder Oghneahsa 32 Back, Oghnagea 33 Hand Osnosa 34 Finger Osnosa 35 Nail Ojiera 36 Breast Aonskwena 37 Body Oyeronta 38 Leg Oghsina 39 Navel Oneritsta 40 Thigh Oghnitsa 41 Knee Okwitsa 42 Foot Oghsita 43 Toe Oghyakwe 44 Heel Grata 45 Bone Ostiea 46 Heart Aweri 47 Liver Otweahsa 48 Windpipe Ratoryehta 49 Stomach Onekereanta 50 Bladder Oninheaghhata 51 Blood Onegweasa 52 Vein Oginohyaghtough 53 Sinew Oginohyaghtough 54 Flesh Owarough 55 Skin Oghna 56 Seat Onitskwara 57 Ankle Osinegota 58 Town Kanata 59 House Kanosa 60 Door Kanhoha 61 Lodge Teyetasta 62 Chief Rakowana 63 Warrior Roskeahragehte 64 Friend Atearosera 65 Enemy Shagoswease 66 Kettle Onta 67 Arrow Kayonkwere 68 Bow Aeana 69 War club Yeanteriyohta kanyoh 70 Spear Aghsikwe 71 Axe Atokea 72...

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Letter from Rev. William Hall to Henry R. Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. William Hall to Henry R. Schoolcraft Allegany Mission, Sept. 8th, 1845 DEAR SIR: Your inquiries in relation to the state of religion, education, &c., among the Indians of this reservation, if I rightly understand them, are briefly answered as follows: Christianity very much prospered here during the four years next preceding the past. The number of church members during that period, was nearly tripled, and very encouraging additions were made to their know ledge and zeal. But the past year has been one of stupidity and drought. There has, however, been four additions from the Indians, made to the church, by profession of faith, and two whites. The present number of Indian members is about one hundred and fifteen. The number of whites is eight. Seven of the Indian members are under censure. I have sustained three schools during the past summer, in which about eighty Indian children have been more or less taught. One of these schools, whose whole number is only about thirty, gives an average attendance of nearly twenty-five. In this neighborhood the population is sufficiently compact for a farming community, and the younger parents are partially educated. In the other neighborhoods, the population is very sparse, and the parents very ignorant. The consequence is, that the daily attendance falls short of one half the whole number of scholars, and cannot be called...

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Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft. Tuscarora Mission, August 1, 1845. SIR: In the following communication, you can make use of such statements as you may deem proper. If all the statements should not be necessary for your official objects, yet they may be interesting to you as an individual. This mission was commenced about fifty years since, under the care of the “New York Missionary Society.” It was transferred to the ” United Foreign Mission Society,” in 1821, and to the ” American Board of Com. for Foreign Missions,” in 1826. The church was organized in 1805, with five persons. The whole number of native members who have united since its organization is 123. The present number of native members is 53; others 5, total 58. Between July 1st, 1844, and July 1st, 1845, there were only three admissions, two by profession and one by letter. About one-third of the population attend meeting on the Sabbath. Their meeting house was built by themselves, with a little assistance from abroad. They have also a schoolhouse, the expense of which was nearly all defrayed by themselves. There is but one school among them, which is kept the year through, with the exception of the vacations. The teacher is appointed by the American Board. The number of scholars the past year is not far from 50. I have...

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