What Forms of Transportation Did the Iroquois Indians Employ?

forms-transportation-did-iroquois-indians-employ Credit: Marilyn Angel Wynn/Nativestock/Getty Images

While the Iroquois used several modes of transportation, almost all of them were dependent on human power. Walking was their most common way of moving. They used canoes to travel along rivers and in the Great Lakes. When there was snow on the ground or the water froze, they used snow shoes and toboggans pulled by human power or a team of three dogs.

The Iroquois made canoes by hollowing out logs from birch bark. They shaped the bark over a cedar frame and sewed it together using a bone awl and tree roots. They then sealed the canoe with tree pitch they cooked with charcoal to darken. After contact with the Europeans, the Iroquois developed sleds with bent ash runners. These sleds made collecting firewood and maple sap easier when there was snow.

The Iroquois lived along the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. They built longhouses that housed 18 to 20 people each. Because they used human power to move their belongings, they limited their personal possessions. In actuality, the Iroquois were not a single tribe, but a group of six tribes that banded together to form a league believed to have formed when the Europeans came to America; however, oral tradition claims this league existed thousands of years before the first white settlers crossed the ocean.