An Ancient Bond with the Land

People of the Longhouse

Clans and Clan Mothers

An Iroquoian clan was a social group linked by descent through the female line. Women and children living within a longhouse all belonged to the same clan, while the men belonged to the various clans into which they were born. A person's clan links extended beyond the longhouse to other houses or villages. Clan Mothers were the senior women in a longhouse or clan, and had important social and political roles.

Three generations of Iroquoian women from the Six Nations Reserve: Mrs. David Jack with her daughter and grand-daughter, 1912, photograph by Frederick W. Waugh
Canadian Museum of Civilization, 17121, CD95-816-013

Iroquoian women - 17121 - CD95-816-013

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