Woodland Indians Tribes

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Eastern Woodland Indians Tribes: 

Eastern Woodland Indians Tribes Created and Presented By Pam Pirtle 3rd Grade Spring Creek Elementary


Tribes The group of Native American known as the Woodland Indians is made up of several tribes. These are some of the major tribes. Delaware Wampanoag Huron Narraganset Powhatan Iroquois Mohawk Oneida Onondaga Cayuga Seneca Tuscarora


Location These tribes lived east of the Plains in the forest areas along the eastern part of the United States. They lived there long before the Europeans came to this continent. The people of these tribes found everything they needed to live in the forest.


Map of the area the Eastern Woodland Indians lived.


Clothing Their clothing was made mostly from hides of animals. In the winter, the men wore shirts, leggings, and moccasins made of buckskin. Buckskin is clothing made from the skins of animals, mainly deer. The women wore skirts they had woven from the wild grasses, covered with furs, with leggings underneath..


Clothing In the summer, the men wore a breechcloth, a short piece of buckskin that hung from the front to the back of the Indian. The women wore their grass dresses, and the children wore nothing at all.


This is a picture of the traditional dress of men in many of the Eastern Woodland tribes.


Dyed quills decorated moccasins in red, blue and violet. These are Seneca quilled moccasins

Wampum : 

Wampum Wampum belts and necklaces were made from wampum beads. These beads were actually white and purple shells. Wampum was used as money between white man and Indians. Wampum belts were used as a form of communication between Indian tribes. Wampum belts would be made into pictures showing the reason it was made. All Indian messengers carried wampum belts when going to other tribes


These are some of the types of shells used in the wampum belts created from around 200 AD to colonial times.


The Great Chain, or Covenant Belt, is generally thought to be a belt presented by the U.S. government to the Iroquois in 1794 at the Pickering Treaty at Canandaigua, N.Y. Adapted from The Native Americans. Edited by B. & I. Ballantine. 1993 This is a sample of a wampum belt.

The Huron Wampum Belt commemorates the 1683 agreement between the Herons and Jesuit missionaries for the construction of the first wooden church on Huron Lands. Adapted from The Native Americans. Edited by B. & I. Ballantine. 1993. : 

The Huron Wampum Belt commemorates the 1683 agreement between the Herons and Jesuit missionaries for the construction of the first wooden church on Huron Lands. Adapted from The Native Americans. Edited by B. & I. Ballantine. 1993.

How to make dyes: 

How to make dyes The Eastern Woodland Indians used many plants to create dyes to dye fibers, quills, and other items used to decorate their clothing and household goods. Let’s look at some of the plants used.


YELLOW Sunflower, Gold thread, Cone flower petals with decayed oak bark or cattail root, Black willow roots, Fox moss , Yellow or curled dock root, Cottonwood, Lichen , Oregon Grape, Osage orange wood RED Choke cherry or wild plum, Tamarack bark, Spruce cones, Sumac berries, Alder, Hemlock inner bark, Poke berry, Bloodroot, Sassafras, Red Bedstraw, Buffalo-berry, Squaw current, Red Osier Dogwood, Red cedar.


BLACK Wild grape Maples, Burr oak, Elderberries, Hazel nut bark combined with powdered brown stone BROWN Hickory or Walnuts gathered green and turned black, Rushes PURPLE Blueberries, Blackberries, Elderberries, Northern dog whelk, White maple. BLUE Larkspur, Beech, Wire Birch, Indigo. GREEN Prince's Pine, Moosewood, Evergreen, Copper mixed with ammonia (urine).


Food Many of the Eastern Woodland tribes hunted small game such as deer, rabbit, and bear. Since their villages were usually near the ocean, streams, or lakes, they also fished using spears and nets. Berries, nuts, and wild plants were important forms of food. Many of these tribes were considered to be excellent farmers. They had large farms which grew corn, beans, and squash.


Food Corn, beans, and squash were the most important crops planted. They were know as “The Three Sisters” as they were also grown together.


Shelter The Iroquois Indians lived in wigwams and longhouses.


Wigwams were made by bending young trees to form the round shape of the home. Over this shape pieces of tree bark were overlapped to protect the Indians from bad weather.


Over the bark a layer of thatch, or dried grass, was added. A small hole in the top allowed smoke from the fires to escape. Beds were matting covered with animal skin.


Longhouses were long rectangular homes. Longhouses were made by building a frame from saplings, or young trees.


They were then covered with bark sewn together. There was a long hallway with rooms on both sides.


The Iroquois village consisted of two or more longhouses. In the early years the longhouses were built near streams.


Later they were built on hilltops for protection from invading tribes. Around the village great wooden palisades with watch towers were built. The village was moved every 10 to 15 years because crops no longer grew well.


Sleeping platforms, covered with deerskin, lined each wall. There were also shelves for storing baskets, pots, and pelts. Pelts are the skins of animals with the fur attached. Several families would live in the long house, but the families were related to each other.


The longhouse was large enough to hold a family of 30 to 60 people. It could be 25 to 150 feet long. Each family had a space about six by nine feet for a personal area. The family space was separated from the rest on the longhouse by leather curtains. In the personal space a seat was built against the wall.


A storage pit is a hole that was dug inside the longhouse and used to store food. When a pit was used for storing food, it is thought that it was lined with bark and grass and covered with bark mats for lids This is a casting of a storage pit found in an old longhouse site.


Clothes and tools were stored under the seat. The seat was also used as a bed. The bed was covered with corn husk mats and then skins and furs.


Tools Snowshoes made winter hunting easier for the Iroquois. They traveled up to 50 miles a day wearing the snowshoes in deep snow. The Iroquois also wore snowshoes in ritual dances.


Tools An ax was created from stones to help with carving, splitting, or chipping wood and stone into the needed items.


Tools The bannerstone was used as a weight to produce thrust when throwing a spear. It is believed to have been a prized possession of the chief of the tribe. The perfect hole which was drilled with a hollow reed, sand, and water may have taken up to 3,000 hours to accomplish


Tools This soapstone net sinker, with a complete groove, was used as a weight for either fish nets or a hand line.


Tools Arrow points and spear points were carved from flint stone and attached to the shaft for arrows or spears as needed by the men using them.


The drill points illustrated are made of flint, jasper and quartzite and were used for drilling a hole in other materials. They were fastened on a wooden handle for leverage.


Tools The antler was used for flaking secondary chips and notching the points when making arrowheads and spearheads


Tools This is a rough stone with an abrasive quality need for the smoothing and straightening the shaft for an arrow or spear. Shaft Smoother


Usually a wooden pestle was used with a stone mortar or vice versa to ovoid ground-up sediment being mixed with the food. The pestle is the pounding implement for grinding grain or herbs. The soapstone mortar is the container for the material being ground.


Tools The bone awl was the Indian woman's needle for sewing clothing and pulling strands apart when weaving


The gorget was sometimes used as an ornament, to fasten back the hair, as fasteners or buttons on the loose shoulder robes worn during the winter, or as a guard to protect the wrist from the back lash of the bow string.


Tools This blade made of brown flint with a sharp edge was used for cutting. Found at Three Bridges near Canton. The scraper is completely flat on one side with sharp cutting edges for scraping fat from the hides of animals or for scaling fish.


Tools In the spring and early summer, when the sap was up, bark was peeled from elm trees and bent to make trays and bowls. These items served every conceivable culinary purpose. Elm Bark Tray (left) George Key, Canada, Wolf clan, Seneca, pre-1910 Elm Bark Tray (right) Seneca, pre-1910


Tools They held cooking ingredients and prepared foods, and made good mixing bowls and dishpans. On occasion, Iroquois women even added hot stones to bring the liquid in larger bowls to a boil, or they carefully placed the vessels over the fire to heat water.


These clay beads were found at Matt’s Landing near Port Elizabeth on the Maurice River


The copper beads were found near Beasley’s Point during the excavation for a housing development. Deposits of copper have been found in northern New Jersey.


This clay pipe was found intact on the Riggins Farm in New Jersey.


This restored clay pipe was found on the Riggins Farm. The Indians grew tobacco and introduced it to the first settlers.


Pots were made using clay coils, etched with sticks and other things, and fired in coals.


Broken pots could be mended. Broken sides were drilled, the pieces bound together with sinew and glued with pine pitch. Such mended vessels were then used for the storage of dried foods.


Tools The men created dugout canoes from tree logs. They used carving and wood burning to create the canoes.

Special Groups in the Tribe: 

Special Groups in the Tribe The False Face Society was a group of medicine men who wore frightening masks made of wood. They were thought to posses special powers when they put on their masks.


An injured or ill Iroquois Indian would sometimes ask the False Face Society to drive away the spirit of the illness or injury. The False Face Society wore masks carved from wood. After a new member joined the False Face Society he had to make his own mask.


To make the mask the Iroquois walked through the woods until he found a tree whose spirit talked to him. After talking to the tree, the Indian built a fire. He sprinkled tobacco, then stripped bark from the tree.


Next the Indian outlined a face and cut out the section to the tree he had outlined. Then the Iroquois went into a secluded shelter to carve the mask. The mask was polished then decorated with hair, feathers, etc.


Sometimes the Indians wore corn husks masks or painted their faces to frighten away the evil spirits.


Games The Iroquois Indians played the Sacred Bowl Game during the last day of the "Ceremonial of Midwinter" which marked the end of the year.


The wooden bowl was decorated with four clan symbols - the bear, wolf, turtle, and deer. To play the game a player placed the six nuts which were colored on one side inside the bowl and hit the bowl against the ground. If five of the six pits turned up the same color, the player scored and took another turn. The first player to reach 10 points wins the game.


This ends the presentation on the Woodland Indians. Use the information you learned to help write your report and slide show.


Bibliography http://www.co.cumberland.nj.us/facts/history/unalachtigo/unalachtigo.html , April 25,2004 http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/native.html , April 26,2004 http://www.mce.k12tn.net/indians/reports1/iroquois2.htm#tools , April 26, 2004 http://www.nativetech.org/scenes/ April 26, 2004 http://www.picadome.fcps.net/lab/currl/nativeam/primary.htm April 26, 2004 http://www.germantown.k12.il.us/html/woodland2.html April 26, 2004 http://www.nativetech.org/wampum/wamphist.htm April 26, 2004 http://jamaica.u.arizona.edu/ic/kmartin/School/iroqcloth.htm April 26, 2004

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