Iroquoian Mythology Iroquois

  1. Iroquoian Mythology Iroquois Facts
  2. Iroquoian Mythology Iroquois Tribe

The elaborate religious cosmology of the Iroquois was based on an origin tradition in which a woman fell from the sky; other parts of the religious tradition featured deluge and earth-diver motifs, supernatural aggression and cruelty, sorcery, torture, cannibalism, star myths, and journeys to the otherworld. The Iroquois creation myth tells of Sky people that lived in the Sky World. From firstpeople.us. In the beginning, the world was not as we know it now. It was a water world inhabited only by animals and creatures of the air who could survive without land.

First Night Binghamton 2007

MythologyStoryIroquoian Mythology Iroquois

Around the World and Home Again

IROQUOIS (and other Native American):

Iroquoian Mythology Iroquois Facts

Dance of The Seven Sisters

For many Native American tribes, the constellation of the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters, is an important marker for the passage of time. This is particularly true in the northeast, where the constellation appears in the spring and vanishes below the horizon with the onset of winter. For the tribes indigenous to the Broome County region, such as the Iroquois (Mohawk) and Algonquin, the cycle of the Pleiades was vitally important, as it delineated the frost-free season during which maize could be cultivated.

There are many legends about the Seven Sisters. One Onandoga tale is set in the late autumn, during the trip to the tribe's hunting grounds. A group of seven children, left idle when their elders went off to hunt, occupy themselves each day with festive dancing. Ignoring a mysterious white-feathered figure who warns them such levity would come to no good, they continue their dances. Their revels leave them hungry, and they ask for food for their elders, who refuse them and admonish the childrens' frivolity. As the daily dancing continues, the children grow lighter and lighter, and eventually begin floating towards the heavens, where they remain to this day.

In our interpretation of the Pleiades myth, we chose to avoid using overtly traditional imagery from Native American art, since such images play a specific and sacred role in a still-active ritual practice. Instead, we have personifies the the Seven sisters through seven illuminated star figures, trailed by diaphonous costumes that trace their path through the heavens.


'Watchers of the Pleiades: Ethnoastronomy among Native Cultivators in Northeastern North America' by Lynn Ceci. Ethnohistory, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 301-317.

Iroquoian Mythology Iroquois Tribe

'The Story-Telling Stone' by Susan Feldmann.http://www.angelfire.com/ca/Indian/Pleiades.html

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