Who Were the Eastern Woodland Indians?

The Eastern Woodlands Indians are tribes that lived in a region spanning as north as Maine, as south as Maryland and as west as the Great Lakes Area, just east of the Plains Indians. These tribes made the forest their home and used the woodlands for their food, shelter, tools, weapons and clothing. Tribes considered part of the Eastern Woodlands Indians include the Iroquois, Algonquian, Shawnee, Mohawk and the Mound Builders.

Eastern Woodlands Indians lived in log homes built with trees, mud, bark, grass and clay. These homes constructed by the men served as training experiences for the boys of the tribe. The Native Americans typically ate deer, rabbit, bison, and bear and filled out their nutrition with vegetables such as squash, berries, nuts and beans. They gathered their water from streams, lakes, rivers and rainfall. The Native Americans also used the pelts of animals they killed and ate as clothing, made buckskin moccasins for their feet, and wore skirts made of grass.

Most tribes of the Eastern Woodlands Indians spoke their own languages, with Algonquian and Iroquois being two of the most common.

Spiritual traditions incorporated the tribes as members frequently wore face paint and performed rites, songs or dances to honor the dead, talk to the gods or drive out evil spirits.