Onondaga - Encyclopedia

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ONONDAGA, a tribe of North American Indians of Iroquoian stock, forming one of the Six Nations. The tribal headquarters was about the lake and creek of the same name in New York state. Their territory extended northward to Lake Ontario and southward to the Susquehanna river. They were the official guardians of the council-fire of the Iroquois. Their chief town, near the site of the present Onondzga, consisted of some 140 houses in the middle of the 17th century, when the tribe was estimated as numbering between 1500 and 1700. During the 18th century the tribe divided, part loyally supporting the Iroquois league, while part, having come under the influence of French missionaries, migrated to the Catholic Iroquois settlements in Canada. Of those who supported the league, the majority, after the War of Independence, settled on a reservation on Grand river, Ontario, where their descendants still are. About Soo are upon the Onondaga reservation in New York state.

For Onondaga cosmology see 21st Ann. Report Bureau Amer. Ethnol. (1899-1900).

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