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The Onondaga tribe of the Haudenosaunee people lived in great longhouses made from branches and bark of trees in the forest. Each longhouse could hold up to 100 people.


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Inside each longhouse, families lived in separate areas around their own campfire. Each longhouse had holes in the roof to vent the smoke from the fires.


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Branches were trimmed and bent over a frame to form a shelter with curved sides and flattened top. Bark was tied to the sides.

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Inside the longhouse, each family slept on bunk beds with the upper one used for storage. Walls were lined with animal fur for warmth. Food was stored in baskets.


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Each longhouse contained one family, related through the mother's clan. When a woman married, her husband joined her clan. Children were related through their mother's clan. No one married within their clan. Each longhouse had a clan symbol outside.


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There was a huge barricade of wooden poles built around the entire village to protect it. Some villages contains many longhouses.



Research Links

NYS Museum.png
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Canada's First People.png
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Books

Life in a Longhouse Village Book.png
See our librarian for a copy.