First Peoples > An Ancient Bond with the Land > People of the Longhouse

An Ancient Bond with the Land

People of the Longhouse

From ancient times, Iroquoian peoples' relationship to the land was based on agriculture. The principal crops were "The Three Sisters": corn, beans and squash. Women had a central role in the economy: planting, tending, and harvesting food crops. Social structures emphasized the important role of women.

Clan Mothers - The figures on this wampum (shell-bead belt) represent Clan Mothers from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The figures show the central role of women in Iroquoian life.
Drawing: Susan Laurie-Bourque
© Canadian Museum of Civilization

Wampum - Drawing: Susan Laurie-Bourque

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Landscape photograph:
Jean-Luc Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization