Women were the true leaders in Iroquois society. They had the power to name candidates for chief as well as to remove them from office. They could declare war and were important in conducting ceremonies throughout the year. This is one of the many interesting aspects of Iroquois life that we learn about from Charlotte Wilcox's exploration of this Northeastern tribe. Among other items of interest include the set up of Iroquois homes—many families live in one longhouse, but each had their own living area; the recording of important events on belts using shells since their was no written language; and Hiawatha's message of peace which helped the Iroquois become a united confederacy. This confederacy stopped the constant warfare among the Iroquois by bringing together their different nations at council to talk about problems and the best ways for the people to act. Like many Native Americans, the Iroquois lost land to settlers as well as members of their nations to disease, but though they were pushed out and down, they are still a strong nation today. The confederacy and council still continues and the tribe still holds onto its identity: festivals and gatherings are used as a way to pass on traditions, and the native languages are spoken at home and taught in school along with English. Reviewer: Patrick Hunter
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Using photos, reproductions, and drawings, these three books briefly describe the history and present-day lives of three Native nations. Each title includes a recipe and a listing of historical and cultural places to visit. Most of the Web sites are official sites of the nations and are not age-appropriate; only one of them has a children's page. Cherokees occasionally oversimplifies, especially with regard to the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. Navajos includes two poorly reproduced historical photographs. Iroquois is potentially the most confusing since it attempts to explain the Confederacy of the Six Nations. Sometimes the text is not specific about whether the information provided applies to a specific member nation or the whole group. While there is nothing wrong with these books, the corresponding titles in the "Native American Peoples" series (Gareth Stevens) do a better job covering the same material.-S K Joiner, Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.