What is one example of how geography affects culture for the Iroquois?  

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The Iroquois culture is native to what we now know as Upstate New York, and was made up of six First Nations tribes- the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations. The area along the St. Lawrence River, between the Adirondack Mountains and Niagara Falls, is the homeland of Iroquois culture. 

One of the ways in which geography impacted the Iroquois Nations is through the natural environment it created. Geography presents natural boundaries for where people may live and roam. In this case, the natural boundaries for the Iroquois Nations would have been the St. Lawrence River to the north and west, the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains to the East, and the Poconos mountain range to the south. Because of these natural boundaries, the Iroquois culture was settled in a bowl-shape along the North-West border of New York. The Iroquois culture eventually expanded to absorb or conquer more southern First Nations groups throughout the Ohio Valley and beyond. 

A more secondary way geography impacted the lives of Iroquois people is through the subsistence strategy their surroundings helped shape. Northern New York has lots of mountains, forests, and rivers and long, wet winters. Because of natural weather patterns and the soil quality, Iroquois people grew crops of maize, beans, and squash during warmer months, and relied more on hunting and fishing during colder months. Some foods like beans and maize could be dried and stored for eating long after they were harvested, but squash was not so sturdy. Iroquois people would have hunted deer, pigeon, and fish like pike or catfish.

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