What Did the Iroquois Do for Fun?

Although Iroquois children did not have much free time, to have fun they would play with cornhusk dolls, toys and games, including sports like lacrosse. Adults would use cow horn rattles and water drums to produce music for dancing, and social events would often take place in the longhouse.

Much like colonial children, the Iroquois children did not have much time for playing, as they helped their parents around the home. However, when they did have free time they would play with cornhusk dolls, which eventually fell apart as they grew older. One game they would engage in involved throwing a dart through a moving hoop, and boys would play lacrosse.

Both adults and children would enjoy music and storytelling. The instruments used to produce music included cow horn rattles, drums and flutes. To ensure the drums produced a noise that was different to other tribes, the Iroquois filled theirs with water. Music was usually played at traditional ceremonies and in the longhouse where people from throughout the community would gather. In terms of stories, both oral histories and fairy tales were passed down through generations.

Although the Iroquois were more likely to engage in war with neighboring tribes than socialize with them, they did trade periodically. This included the Wabanaki, Algonquin and Ojibway tribes.