While Iroquois women tended to the longhouses and were responsible for collecting and making food, the men were traditionally warriors, defending their people from attacks. As the source below explains, men prepared for warfare through activities such as lacrosse (now a popular sport in the United States and elsewhere). In addition, men carried on trade with other tribes. They became important as middlemen in the fur trade between the western tribes and European settlers, including the Dutch and English, until the supply of pelts dried up.
In addition, the men hunted deer to feed their tribe. In the spring, they fished. Though women were responsible for collecting the beans, squash, and corn that the tribe grew, the men cleared and planted the crops (see the source below). Men served on the Iroquois Confederacy as sachems or representatives from the tribes, but women were responsible for selecting the people who served.