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Eastern Woodland Hunters
Groups in
this Region
Environment / Housing Food / Hunting / Tools Transportation / Migration Religion / Ceremonies / Art / Clothing Tribal Relations / War
The Eastern Woodland Hunters were located in Southwest and Southern Ontario (excluding the very
south that was occupied by the Eastern Woodland Farmers), Southern Quebec and the Maritime Provinces.
Family
  • In Eastern Woodlands society, there were clear-cut family roles for both the men and women.
  • Men were responsible for all the hunting and fishing, and sometimes traveled great distances to catch food.
  • Women stayed near the house to look after the children. They tended to any crops, and collected food nuts, berries, and edible plants. Women prepared the animal skins and made all the clothing. They would also take down, carry and set up the family's wigwam.
  • Only one family lived together in a single wigwam, unlike the Iroquois, where an extended family would live together in a longhouse.

Algonquin couple
Social Structure / Leadership
  • In terms of political divisions, there were no major confederacies amongst the Woodland Algonquian Chiefs, unlike the Iroquois who were known for their very strong alliances.
  • If the Eastern Algonquians did form confederacies, they were not as tightly bound as with the Iroquois.
  • The largest political unit was called a 'village-band'. These were groups of related families (several hundred people) who came together to share resources. Each village-band would have at least one Chief or Headsman, whose position was filled along hereditary lines.
  • The Eastern Woodlands Algonquians can be broken down further into 'clans'. The clans are traced back along patrilineal lines (a group of male descendants traced from a common male ancestor), and had animal names that were designated by animal totems. This differed from the matrilineal Iroquoian society, where ancestry and property were all traced back through female lineage within a family.

Algonquin chief
Groups in
this Region
Environment / Housing Food / Hunting / Tools Transportation / Migration Religion / Ceremonies / Art / Clothing Tribal Relations / War
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