Iroquoian love poem
Ne' ne tsya'taa' tsya'tí;yú nô
ëhsasnuwë ne' ëwö;htö;'
U'ki' kö;nuö;hkwa' shô.
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The Iroquois lived in the valleys of the St. Laurent, Susquehanna, and on the shores of Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Huron. Iroquois is an Algonquin term which means "viper".
The Iroquois called themselves "people of the long house". This denomination corresponds to their organization in matriclans, and to the effective occupation of this type of habitat by extended families. The matriclans formed five tribes or nations (Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas), united in a league that the Tuscaoras joined in 1722. The great council of the league counted 50 sages or sachems, one per matriclan, guaranteeing the freedom of minorities expression. This decision-making process passes for the most elaborate political system of North American Indians.
Farmers, fishermen and game hunters, they lived in peace until they meet the whites. They made them compete with the Hurons for the fur trade. Allied with the English, then with the Dutch, they will oppose in a massacres and harassment war, to the French, supported by the Hurons.