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An Ancient Bond with the Land

People of the Longhouse

The Forest and the Clearing

The worlds of Iroquoian women and men complemented and completed each other. The world of women consisted of the village and the clearings where crops were grown. The men's world was the forest away from the community where they hunted, fished and traded for resources not available in the village or its fields.

" ought to hear and listen to what we, women, shall speak, as well as the sachems (chiefs), for we are the owners of this land - and it is ours. It is we that plant it for our and their use."

Iroquois women in council with Colonel Proctor, 1791

While fields were cleared primarily by men, they were used by women. Early historical accounts tell how some fields were so large that one could just about get lost in them.
Courtesy of Jean-Luc Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization

Corn field - Courtesy of Jean-Luc Pilon

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