Iroquois: People of the Longhouse

Michael G. Johnson. Firefly Books (Firefly, North American dist.), $35 (160p) ISBN 978-1-77085-218-1
An introductory work, this examines the history and culture of the Iroquois Confederacy, a nation that survives to the present. In its day, a significant power, able to sweep aside like so much chaff less powerful groups such as the Neutrals and Eries in the 17th century, the Confederacy dominated its Huron neighbors. Less fortunate in the face of European diseases and the growing numbers of settler colonies, and the victim of ill-fated alliances, the League of Peace and Power nevertheless commands respect. The book covers the history of the Confederacy, as well as its culture, goods and some significant figures in Iroquois history. Johnson, who has researched aboriginal peoples in North America for more than 30 years and wrote The Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America, has assembled a lavishly illustrated text. Unfortunately, the emphasis on visual material combined with the brevity of the work means the work can provide only a tantalizing overview of a history that stretches over at least five centuries. This coffee-table book, which includes many beautiful photos of Iroquois masks, clothing and beadwork, is suitable for the casual reader or curious grade-schoolers but readers interested in an in-depth discussion of the Haudenosaunee needs must look elsewhere. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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