The League of Five (later Six) Nations of North American Indian tribes (i.e. Huron, Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, and Cayuga), speaking the Iroquoian languages, which joined in confederacy c.1570 by the efforts of the Huron prophet Deganawida and his disciple Hiawatha. A powerful force in early colonial history, the divisions in the confederacy occasioned by conflicting support of the various contestants in the War of American Independence saw the rapid decline of the Six Nations in the late 18th century, with half the League (i.e. the Cayugas, Mohawks, and Seneca) migrating north to Canada, where they accepted grants of land as allies of the defeated Loyalists and where they still continue to live. Traditional Iroquois society revolved around matrilineal residential and social organization.
Subjects: Arts and Humanities.