Meaning of The Name Refer to themselves as “Haudenosaunee” which means “People of the Longhouse,” or more accurately “They Are Building A Longhouse”. It implies that the nations of the League should live together as families in the same longhouse. French translation of the word irinakhoiw, a Huron name for the Haudenosaunee, meant “black snakes” or “real adders”. French linguists translated the Algonquian word hilokoa as “killer people.”
Formation of The League Members of the League speak Iroquoian languages that are distinctly different from those of other Iroquoian speakers. The Iroquois League was established prior to major European contact. According to tradition the League was formed by the efforts of 2 men, Deganawida (The Great Peacemaker) and Hiawatha. The nations who joined the league were the Seneca, Onandaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Mohawk. Once the infighting ceased among the tribes, the became one of the strongest forces in 17th and 18th century North America.
Beaver Wars 1609 the League engaged in the Beaver Wars with the French and their allies the Huron. The wars were a way to control the lucrative fur trade. 1628, The Mohawks defeated the Mahicans to gain a monopoly in the fur trade with the Dutch at Fort Orange, New Netherland. The Mohawks would not allow the Canadian Indians to trade with the Dutch.