Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Iroquoian-speaking Huron/Wendat, historically known as Huron, lived in Ontario south of Georgian Bay until conquered by the Iroquois in 1649. Refugee populations split into a Great Lakes and Midwestern United States group (uniting with the Tionontati to form the Wyandot) and a Quebec group (the Huron-Wendat); others were incorporated into the Iroquois. The Huron were horticulturalists, principally reliant on maize, supplemented by hunting, gathering and, especially, fishing. Contact with French explorers in the early seventeenth century made the Huron avid fur traders, exchanging maize for furs from Algonquin trappers.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


North America --Eastern Woodlands



United States

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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and title where necessary.

Much of what we know about the Huron/Wendat is from the Jesuit Relations (1610-1791), the record kept by French missionaries who lived in North America. Several volumes document their mission among the Huron (1634-1655). Tooker (1964) and Kinietz (1940) provide an ethnographic reorganization of some of this material. Bruce Trigger wrote the consummate political ecology of Huron/Wendat culture in a multi-volume work (Trigger 1976) and shorter treatment (Trigger 1969). Heidenreich (1978) provides another short culture overview. Several articles discuss the post-1649 diaspora (Garrad and Heidenriech 1978; Morissonneau 1978; Tooker 1978). More topically-focused documents examine kinship terms (Steckley 1993), military strategies (Otterbein 1979), property rights (Herman 1956), material culture (Speck 1911), myths and legends (Barbeau 1914; Hale 1888, 1889, 1891), and design motifs (Smith 2005).

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Ian Skoggard

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