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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2020 11:39 a.m. PST

"Of all the North American Indian tribes, the seventeenth-century Iroquois are the most renowned for their cruelty towards other human beings. Scholars know that they ruthlessly tortured war prisoners and that they were cannibals; in the Algonquin tongue the word Mohawk actually means "flesh-eater." There is even a story that the Indians in neighboring Iroquois territory would flee their homes upon sight of just a small band of Mohawks. Ironically, the Iroquois were not alone in these practices. There is ample evidence that most, if not all, of the Indians of northeastern America engaged in cannibalism and torture—there is documentation of the Huron, Neutral, and Algonquin tribes each exhibiting the same behavior. This paper will examine these atrocities, search through several possible explanations, and ultimately reveal that the practices of cannibalism and torture in the Iroquois were actually related.

First a bit of background is necessary to understand the state of the Native American people before colonial exploration and settlement. The Iroquois were the dominant force in northeastern America until the Europeans came to the New World. Five smaller nations made up the League of the Iroquois: they were the Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes. The legendary Hiawatha joined these five tribes together into a single powerful confederation after fierce blood feuds threatened to destroy all five nations. The date of the League's formation could be any time between 900 AD and 1570; the confederation was certainly established before European settlers made first contact. Based upon Hiawatha's plan, members of each nation could only marry members of other Iroquois nations; these blood ties formed a web of loyalties between the different tribes. This Iroquois League now began to dominate the rest of the Native American tribes in the northeast.

Most of what scholars know about the Iroquois comes from European accounts. Very little of this information is flattering. These negative views result because Europeans settling in North America first came to encounter the Huron, Naragansett, and Algonquin tribes, who were enemies to the Iroquois. These tribes had become oppressed by the Iroquois nations after they had formed their confederation; prior to the League these three tribes were actually the dominant tribes of Native Americans in the Northeast. Later, these tribes were also among the first to accept Catholicism, which added favor in the eyes of the French. When the Europeans accepted the friendship of these tribes, however, they accepted the enmity of the Iroquois as well…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Garde de Paris19 Oct 2020 12:40 p.m. PST

"The Noble Red Man."

GdeP

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2020 11:45 a.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

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