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American Indian Journal

by Ellena Kelly

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The Eastern Woodlands
IROQUOIS TRIBE
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By Ellena Kelly
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Table of contents
1. Introduction

2.Geography and Climate

3.Villages and Shelter

4.Food and clothing

5.Tools and utensils

6.Conclusion
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INTRODUCTION
Hi, my name is Oheo, which means “beautiful”. I am ten years old and I live Eastern woodlands with my mom and my cousin. I am from the Iroquis tribe. My cousin's name is Garakanthie but I usually call him Gara for short. His name means beaming sun, I am pretty sure he got that name because he was born when the sun was beaming and moving against him. And he is about to turn 16. My mother is 41 and her name is Dehhewamis which means pretty girl or Handsome girl. I always get so jealous when someone says her name because she has the prettiest name I have ever heard and she got that name because when she was born she had the prettiest smile on her face. And my father even though he is not here anymore he is at least still in my heart. He past away when I was just born all my mom mentions about him to me without balling her head off is his name which is Deganawida that means two rivers currents flowing together and my mom told me why he got that name but I didn't really listen to her, but also she mentions how my dad passed away. She does cry a little bit but not too much. I think he died when he was hunting with Gara, I am pretty sure when he was trying to shoot a bear it attacked him. Gara saw him die right in front of his eyes that is why he does talk about it much.  Even though living in the Eastern woodlands has its downsides, I still love it here and I would never want to leave.
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Geograghy and Climate
Here in the Eastern Woodlands, our geography and climate are quite unique. We live East of the Mississippi around the Great Lakes. We are surrounded by mountains and beautiful forests. My cousin Gara and I like to go bird watching outside because there are so many different kinds, since there are so many lush forests with trees. Sometimes we sit near the rivers and watch fish swim by. The climate where we live has hot and humid summers and mild winters. I like when it rains because we like to stomp in the puddles. The driest month is April because it has scorching hot weather with no rainfall. Gara and I like to stop by the river to get a nice cold splash to cool down. In the mild winters, we get to help make fires around the village to keep warm. The humid weather here in the summer is so sticky and you feel a hot coat of weight on you. Even though I love the weather where I live, sometimes I wish I could live where it snows.
Villages and shelter
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Every day I look around this village and their shelters and realize they are like no other in the world. I live in a longhouse,which is a long, narrow shelter. A longhouse can fit up to 20 families, but it is split into sections for about two families to share. Each time I wake up early, I watch Caneadea braid her hair into one long braid. Caneadea is a 17 year-old girl who lives in the same longhouse section as me and my family. Our job is to go out and look for young trees to use for the frame of the longhouse. The men cut the poles out of the young trees and then cover them with bark. Each morning I go out and collect water from the river banks near our village. I am not scared anymore because we have palisades built around our village to protect us. Palisades are made out of wooden stakes to make a fence. I love where I live and I would never want to change it, but sometimes I would not be too mad for a little change.
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Food and Clothing
When it comes to food and clothing our tribe has the best. We eat wild fruits from trees and also corn, beans, and squash which we also call the three sisters are grown. Sometimes my mom and I go out to pick some of the fruits from the trees, then we gather them all up and bring them back to the village. While the women harvest the men are out hunting. Some of the larger animals we hunt are bear, deer, beaver, rabbits, and turtles. And some of the smaller animals are turkey, ducks, and grouse. And we also used the skin from the deer to make our clothing. The women wore long skirts and leggings out of deerskin. And also in the winter the women  would fringed some of the deer skin shirts. And sometimes I will pop in and help them fringe some of the clothing. And the men also wore fringed shirts, and in the summer they often did not  wear shirts, but they did wear a finger woven sash that went over their shoulders then was wrapped around the waist. And we also have jewelry with our clothing. We make our own necklaces out of wooden or shell beads, also animal teeth and some of the natural resources around us. And one more thing that we wore our shoes that we call moccasins that are made out of leather or corn. Overall our tribe’s clothing is amazing, and the people find food to eat even in the harsh circumstances they live in.
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