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Lifeways

On a fateful day in 1704, a small garrisoned settlement in North America was a crossroads of international conflict. The story of what brought these people and their nations together on that day begins much earlier, however. Millennia of collective, group experience defined and continue to define the beliefs, assumptions and decisions of each group and its members. The day-to-day life-sustaining activities of these peoples and their relationships to the natural world around them reveal their nation's defining ideals and values. How are their societies structured? How do they interact with other groups? How do they react to contact, or conflict, with other groups? Explore the scenes below to find out.
thumbnail of English lifeways illustration thumbnail of French lifeways illustration thumbnail of Kanienkehake lifeways illustration thumbnail of Wendat lifeways illustration thumbnail of Wobanakiak lifeways illustration
English Lifeways - Most Englishmen did not own the land they worked. Disputes over land use and ownership in the 1600s strained community ties and contributed to economic, religious and political upheavals. French Lifeways - Although French society was still organized into the Middle Ages' "Three Estates" (church, nobility, laborers), by 1600 many French farmers owned the land they tilled. Kanienkehaka Lifeways - The Rotinonsionni or Iroquois Confederacy - a deeply ingrained belief system as well as a political alliance - informed every aspect of the lives of the Kanienkehaka and other Iroquois. Wendat Lifeways - Trade and diplomacy formed the basis of peaceful relations among the Wendat confederacy and their many allies. Wôbanaki Lifeways - Although the Wôbanakiak are Algonkian peoples with similar language and culture, their life patterns depended on whether a group lived in a mountainous terrain or in the fertile river valleys.

 

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