Iroquois


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Iroquois: Iroquois Confederacy

Iroquois

 

a group of American Indian tribes that inhabited the northeastern part of the present USA and engaged in farming and hunting and, beginning in the 16th century, fur trading. Their ancient social organization is a classic example of the maternal tribal system.

The League of the Iroquois (League of the Six Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora), which played a large role in the 17th and 18th centuries during the colonial wars of the European powers for supremacy in North America, was formed in about 1570. At this time, Iroquois society was a military democracy. By the late 18th century, the league had been defeated by American forces, lands had been expropriated, and the Iroquois had been settled on 16 reservations in the USA and Canada. Most contemporary Iroquois are engaged in agriculture, and some are industrial and construction workers. They are subjected to discrimination and segregation. It is estimated that in 1960 the Iroquois numbered about 35,000 in the USA and about 15,000 in Canada. The Iroquoian languages are related to the Hokan-Siouan language family. Most Iroquois are considered to be Christians, although a considerable number of them actually continue to adhere to the syncretic worship of the powers of nature.

REFERENCES

Engels, F. Proiskhozhdenie sem V, chastnoi sobstvennosti i gosudarstva. Moscow, 1953.
Morgan, L. H. Drevnee obshchestvo …. 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1935. (Translated from English.)
Morgan, L. H. League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee, or Iroquois. New York, 1922.
Weinman, P. L. A Bibliography of the Iroquoian Literature. Albany, N.Y., 1969.
Fenton, W. “The Iroquois in History.” In North American Indians in Historical Perspective. New York, 1971.

IU. P. AVERKIEVA

Enlarge picture
In the Iroquois tradition, the soul communicates to a person through his or her dreams.

Iroquois

(dreams)

The Iroquois are an indigenous North American people, currently centered in upstate New York. The theory of the “soul-wish-manifesting” dream, which is basically similar to psychoanalytic theory, is the most important dream theory of traditional Iroquois. They believe that human souls have desires that are inborn and concealed and come from the depths of the soul. The soul makes these natural desires known by means of dreams.

For this reason, most Iroquois are careful to note their dreams and to provide the soul with what it has requested during their sleep. They also recognize that a manifest dream might conceal rather than reveal the soul’s true wish. Because the individual cannot always properly interpret dreams, the Iroquois usually rely on a dream specialist.

The Iroquois are aware of the power of unconscious desires expressed in symbolic form by dreams and realize that the frustration of these desires can cause mental and physical illness. In Iroquois dream theory, a dream can reveal not only the wishes of the dreamer but also the desires of supernatural beings. The frustration of these desires may be dangerous, in that they can cause the death of the dreamer or bring disaster to the whole society or even cause the end of the world.

According to the accounts of Jesuit missionaries who reported the theory and practice relative to dreams among the seventeenth-century Iroquois, the dream represented the only divinity of the Iroquois. They submitted to it and followed all its orders. They believed themselves absolutely obliged to execute what their dreams dictated at the earliest possible moment. The Jesuits were frustrated by their inability to discourage this faith in dreams. Quaker missionaries, who reached the Iroquois 130 years later, observed in them the same respect for dreams.

The Iroquois faith in dreams is still alive in the twentieth century, although it has diminished somewhat in strength. Even today, dreams are allowed to control the choice and occasion of curing ceremonies, membership in the secret medicine societies, the selection of friends, and even the degree of confidence in life. At the New Year’s ceremony, Iroquois still ask that their dreams be guessed, and particularly vivid dreams are still brought to specialists for interpretation.

Iroquois

strongest, most feared of eastern confederacies. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 250]
References in periodicals archive ?
That is why I found the Iroquois so moving; they had prescribed a social mechanism to become people of the future to consider what to do now in their constitution and used it.
"I have heard wonderful things about the staff, students and families at Iroquois and look forward to providing academic experiences for children at Iroquois that are rigorous and relevant," Krueger said in a news release.
The Iroquois Group, an Allegany, N.Y.-headquartered network of independent insurance agencies, has hired Charles Venus as its vice president of Middle Market & Specialty.
[Quotation]"We are asking you to respect our nonviolent picket line by withdrawing from the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships, denying Israel the opportunity to use the national sport of the Iroquois to cover up its escalating, violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians throughout our ancestral lands."[Quotation]
The Iroquois Nationals have thrived because the team is an intimately communal institution in a way that their rivals never could be.
"At the Valu-Mart in Iroquois Falls, it's been selling very, very well," Jessup said.
One of the most famous Native Americans of his time, he led the negotiations of the Iroquois nations with the new United States and maintained Iroquois neutrality and friendship with the Americans from then on.
This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" as defined under federal securities laws relating to expectations and future financial performance, including expected accretion to earnings and distributable cash flow resulting from the acquisition of the 49.3 percent interest in Iroquois and the 11.8 percent interest in PNGTS.
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee and Chief Clinton Phillips, on behalf of the Iroquois Caucus and Kahnawa:ke Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton, jointly declared their opposition and concerns at the Chiefs of Ontario--Special Chiefs Assembly.
Judging by the sheer number we see, the volume of souvenir beadwork produced by the Iroquois must have been phenomenal and this type of beaded purse probably ranks as the most commonly encountered article of Native American beadwork in existence.
The Iroquois Nationals registered a convincing 18-1 triumph versus England in the bronze-medal match.
The two courses teamed up to produce the Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge, with a half-a-million bonus should any horse win the aforementioned races in either order in the same calendar year.