IntroductionThe Huron people, also called Wyandot, were a Northeast American Indian tribe who were originally from Quebec. The name is somewhat derogatory and was given to them by the French which translates to "wild boar". The information below contains a list of facts and provides a general overview of what the Huron way of life was like including where they settled, why they were known for trading, what their clothing was like, and how they celebrated the dead. There is also a list of the tribes clans.
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List of Huron Indian Clans
- Bear Clan
- Cord Clan
- Deer Clan
- Rock Clan
- One House Lodge
Basic Huron Indian Facts
- The Huron warriors were known for their Mohawk hair style which the French thought looked like the mane of a wild boar. Many Huron people migrated to the United States after they were defeated by the Iroquois.
- Many Huron migrated to Michigan and Ohio after leaving Quebec. Although they initially refused, the Huron were forced to relocate to Kansas and Oklahoma along with numerous other tribes during the U.S. Indian Removal Act of 1830, a sad time in history for all Native Americans.
- Although they were often enemies with the Iroquois, they did respect and admire their skills and abilities. They emulated many of the Iroquois ways of life including the way in which they built their houses and the way they farmed.
- The Huron lived in longhouses which were rectangular wooden houses or shelters with rounded roofs that were covered with sheets of bark. They were usually built on high ground near a water source. They could reach 150 feet long and could accommodate an entire clan.
- Their crops were their main source of food. Corn, squash, and beans were staples in the Huron diet. They also farmed tobacco (mainly for trade) and sunflower. They would also hunt bear and deer and other animals and fish for whitefish.
- Weapons and tools were essential for everyday life. They used nets, harpoons, tomahawks. Shields were made of buffalo rawhide and spoons were made of buffalo horns.
- Pottery, beadwork, and weaving were all traditional types of Huron art. The Huron also used colored shell beads to make their currency, wampum. They would also use this material as another form of art and often created intricately designed belts out of wampum.
- The Huron people built a close relationship with Samuel de Champlain, the founder of New France and Quebec City. He agreed to aid them in any wars they fought with the Iroquois but his most valuable contribution to the Huron tribe was introducing them to the lucrative business of fur trading. They would provide the French with furs, especially beaver and, in exchange, the Huron would receive a variety of European goods.
- Like the Blackfeet, the Huron wore very decorative clothing. They adorned their clothing with fur strips, fringe, and often used paint to add designs.
- The dead were as important to the Huron people as the living. They held a ceremony called the Feast of the Dead which brought together different tribes. Bodies were exhumed, cleaned, and reburied. There was a feast to honor and celebrate the dead at the end of this process.
Facts about Huron Indian Children
- Children were taught important skills early in life.
- The boys often played a game that helped them practice hitting a moving target. This in addition to joining their father on a hunting trip taught them how to become good hunters ands warriors.
- Girls learned how to be mothers by taking care of their dolls.
- Girls learned at a young age how to plant crops, make tools, and cook by following their mothers around.