The Admiration and Uniqueness of Iroquois Culture

Introduction

Several indigenous tribes in the Northern parts of America form the Iroquois people. The culture of the Iroquois is unique and spectacular. Many people admire the Iroquois because of their unique culture and traditions.

In the 16th century, the Iroquoian-speaking tribes decided to come together and formed the Iroquois League initially composed of Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk and Onondaga tribes. The Iroquois League has a unique cultural and ceremonial embodiment. Although the confederacy dissolved in the 18th century, the League is still in existence.

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For the years, the Iroquois are known for having developed a unique culture that all other races of human kind have looked upon with pride and envy; pride that the Iroquois were human and like themselves, and with envy because the culture was not their own. This paper explores the uniqueness of the Iroquois culture and the reason it is widely admired by many people in the world today.

The Culture of the Iroquois People

The Iroquois people have maintained their cultural practices for centuries. The people developed a unique culture envied by generations and tribes from different parts of the world. The culture developed around certain disciplines and as a result defined the unique roles and responsibilities among the tribesmen. The different tribes in the Iroquois League helped a lot in the preservation of the people’s culture (Graymont 37).

The Iroquois people have specific cultural peculiarities that make the unique and admirable. For instance, the culture embraces some spiritually significant beads known as wampum. The beads are also important and have monetary value. Their cultural practices of the people have remained accurate and unique for very many years. They people also have their own prophets whom they greatly revere. It is because of this uniqueness that many people admired their culture.

The Iroquois used to replace the dead with captives captured during their mourning wars (Graymont 46). They Iroquois naturalized the captives to become citizens of their tribe.

This was the melting pot practice thus making the Iroquois people famous for very many years. Looking at this kind of practice carefully, it is observable that the Iroquois did not simply conquer and capture the people, but they dedicated much of their time to naturalize and remold them to become part of them.

The tradition of the Iroquois also promoted the status of the woman thus making her very powerful and in a position to own properly, horses and even land. This is something widely admired by tribes across the world today.

Occupation is another important feature of the Iroquois people. For very many centuries, the occupation of the Iroquois tribesmen has been taking up different forms including agriculture, hunting, gathering, and fishing.

Some occupational practices such as gathering were the work of children and women while men fish and hunt (Walle 23). The occupation forms a unique aspect of the Iroquois culture. It is through these different forms of occupation that the children learned and obtained experience for the continuity of the people’s cultural practices.

Food forms a unique aspect of the people’s cultural behaviors and practices. The food of the Iroquois is unique because their staple diet maintains proper health. The food is composed of beans, corn and squash as the major components of their meals. They also consume some berries, wild roots and other green vegetables.

The practices of the Iroquois people have made their culture unique and admirable by different tribes (Walle 32). The Iroquois people are selective when cooking different food materials. For example, they prefer bass, whitefish and trout when choosing fish for food. This explains why different individuals have envied the cultural practices of the Iroquois people. The people also eat muskrat, beaver, and wild turkey as source of proteins.

The Iroquois people have a culture characterized by a number of festivals admired by different cultures across the globe. Most of the festivals and ceremonies coincide with certain practices and event such as agriculture. For example, the Iroquois have festivals when harvesting their agricultural products.

The people put the festivals as thanksgiving for the yields obtained. The Iroquois have staged the practice for very many centuries thereby attracting the attention of many people (Tuck 17). It is through these festivals that the people understand the relevance of blessings. During the festivals, the culture of the people requires that they start and end with worship songs and prayers.

The other unique and characteristic aspect of the people’s culture is the wampum. The wampum beads are useful in a similar manner as money. These beads also have a high monetary value. It is because of this monetary value that they available in different parts of the world.

The beads play a huge role in explaining the cultural attachments of the Iroquois people. The other important aspect of the Iroquois people is that they have not developed any form of writing system (Smith 43). Because of this, the Iroquois pass their culture from one generation to the next orally. With this kind of knowledge and understanding, the Iroquois people have learned how to adhere to their cultural practices and traditions.

The use of the wampum beads acts as a stimulant and reminder of the people’s historical backgrounds. For example, the use of shell beads is characteristic of different experiences and events in the people’s history. They Iroquois use beads bored with drilled and polished with different color codes.

Each bed is usually significant of a given event and occasion (Tuck 56). The people use the beads to remind themselves about their historical events and developments. The Iroquois people also use these beads to make belts with historical relevance and meaning.

For very many centuries, the Iroquois people have maintained a unique culture acknowledged across the globe. The religious beliefs of the people centers on a greater spirit and the reason they strongly believe he is the creator of the universe. They also have a strong adherence to seasons and events of nature.

This makes them strong proponents of animated culture. The last one century has also seen many Iroquois becoming Christians. They also show reverence and respect to their prophets and ancestors. The Iroquois people believe they have the power to communicate directly with their creator during their seasonal festivals. They also believe in the eternity of the human soul (Smith 82).

The other unique aspect of the Iroquois people is the ability to study and interpret their dreams. The people have a strong attachment to their dreams. They also know how to interpret them. For very many years, the Iroquois have learned how to interpret dreams because they believe they have hidden meaning. The interpretation is of great relevance to the lives of individuals.

As stated earlier, the Iroquois have specific festivals with great spiritual and religious significance. The people have six ceremonies held in a year. These festivals have unique religious significance including curing diseases, thanksgiving, farming, and worshipping. The people also believe that they will live a life of eternity if they live a good life and honor their gods. This is something that has played a significant role in establishing the relationship between the people and the supernatural world (Roza 65).

In the last centuries, history shows that the Iroquois people have embraced unity thereby making it possible for them to develop a superior cultural organization. For very many centuries, many people have considered the Iroquois people as distinct from the Americans and Canadians (Smith 63).

This is because they have their own cultural practices and attachments. The outstanding thing about these people is that they have managed to retain their cultural practices and traditions. Many people admire the practices with cultures looking at them with envy. The uniqueness of the culture is what has made the Iroquois famous.

Conclusion

As we have discussed above, the Iroquois have a unique culture. They maintain certain festivals, observe their religious practices, and retain their unique foods. The culture has remained unique and properly defined and the reason many people admire it.

It is therefore acknowledgeable that the Iroquois people managed to develop a culture that all people across the world might look upon with both envy and pride; envy that it was not theirs, and pride that Iroquois, like themselves, were human. Many people admire the cultural practices of the Iroquois people because of its uniqueness.

Works Cited

Graymont, Barbara. The Iroquois. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.

Roza, Greg. The Iroquois of New York. New York: McGraw, 2003. Print.

Smith, Vernon. Humankind in Prehistory: Economy, Ecology, and Institutions. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2003. Print.

Tuck, James. Onondaga Iroquois prehistory: a study in settlement archeology. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Walle, Alf. Recovery the native way: a client reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.