Iroquoian Village Crawford Lake Conservation Area
Indian Life 15 Century ~ Three Sisters ~ Travel Ontario Canada
Iroquoian Village at Crawdord Lake is a great road trip in southern Ontario Canada. The restored 15 Century Iroquois village is part of the Halton Ontario Conservation Area west of Mississauga Ontario Canada).
Crawford Lake Iroquoian Village is open on weekends and holidays year round, and daily from May to October. Several native Indian longhouses are on this site, which is the location of the original Indian village. Gardens are home to native plants, and traditional foods like the Three Sisters. Map from Mississauga.
Iroquoian Village is a hands-on, please-touch kind of historic attraction, which makes Crawford Lake Conservation Area a special favourite for student school field trips and for day trips. From the Iroquoian Village, you can hike or drive to Rattlesnake Point. For directions see the Crawford Lake page (bottom), and check Hamilton and Niagara Falls for more pictures of Ontario Canada. On this page are the pictures of the Iroquois village.
Crawford Lake ON Turtle Clan Longhouse Traditional Bark, Wood
Indian longhouses were sized according to the number of people living in them. The Turtle Clan longhouse in this picture would be home to 30-40 clan members; it's the smallest of the longhouses on site.
Turtle Clan Longhouse is the fully remade longhouse containing the hands-on artefacts and replica items of daily Indian life.
Iroquoian Village site is laid out in a circular pattern, with the longhouses located roughly on the perimeter.
What's in a Name? Iroquois or Iroquoian? ^
Iroquois refers to Six Nations mainly in New York State who formed the League of the Iroquois, known to themselves as Haudenosaunne (People of the Longhouse).
Iroquoian refers to groups of people who share similar languages, customs and practices. Some of these groups include the Wendat (Huron), Attiwandaron (Neutral), Tionontati (Tobacco/Peton).
^Source: Halton Conservation
Iroquoian Village Hunting Area - Drying Racks, Frames for Animal Skins, Fish
Animal pelts stretched onto bent wood rings (frames) dry in the summer sun. Staff bring these types of displays indoors at night.
Wooden poles in background (like a tall fence) are the frame of another longhouse.
This area is next to the parking lot. Enter through an opening in the perimeter fence, or via a short path through a maze.
Interior Turtle Clan Longhouse Crawford Lake ON - Skylight, Vaulted Ceiling
The items hanging from the scallop shaped ropes are models of ears of corn hung out to dry, and stay dry, far above the living space.
Real corn had been used to illustrate Indian daily life, but real corn is prone to insect and rodent damage. Keep an eye on the longhouse walls where they meet the floor - you may spot a mouse or two!
Here, only two garlands of dried corn are shown. However, in an actual village, following a good harvest, the rafters would have been thick with corn and other dried foods.
Fur Lined Deer Skin Baby Bunting Bag, Furs on Display Iroquoian Village
This wonderfully warm and soft baby bunting bag hangs from a post in the Turtle Clan Longhouse.
Properly tanned and prepared deerskin is arguably the softest of leathers.
Lined with fur, this bunting bag would have been the cosiest snugli a baby could want.
Dried (Cured) Tobacco Leaves Longhouse Interior ~ Crawford Lake ON
Crawford Lake Iroquoian Village site was first occupied by Wendat (Huron) then later by the Attiwandaron (Neutral).
This display of dried (cured) tobacco leaves is labelled Huron and Seneca (one of the Iroquois tribes).
Pick up an information leaflet at the center; a graphic shows the general geographic distribution of Iroquois and Iroquoian clans.
Sunflower Seed, Sunflower Oil mainstays Huron Crawen Indian Life
Sunflower seed provided oil. Also displayed here are ears of corn and several types of squash, two of the Three Sisters of Indian gardens. Beans are the third.
These vegetables are planted together showing one of the earliest companion plantings.
Tall corn provides support for the sprawling squash vines and climbing beans. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, fertilizing heavy-feeder corn and squash.
Ontario Iroquoian Village Longhouse Framework Large Longhouse Shell
Located near the Turtle Clan longhouse, this much larger longhouse would have housed about 100.
This unrestored longhouse is located on the opposite side of the village from Wolf Clan longhouse, the site's Learning Center of displays, exhibits and video presentations.
According to staff, the number of people who once lived in an Iroquoian village can be inferred by the size and number of longhouses.
In the Crawford Lake Iroquoian village, with 5 longhouses dating from the mid-1400s, the population estimate from that era is about 250.
Three Sisters Garden - Corn, Squash, Beans - Crawford Lake Village
A small framed sign marks the Three Sisters Garden in the Indian village, one of several planted areas of interest.
Outside the perimeter fence, there are a number of raised beds gardens, with well labeled plants along the Native Species Trail.
Near the Three Sisters Garden, there's a Sacred Plant garden.
Iroquoian Village Wood Craft Area Crawford Lake ON
Also near the Three Sisters garden is this wood craft area.
With minimal sharp tools (stones), Iroquoians would first light a fire on large wood logs or chunks of wood to 'soften' the interior parts.
When enough heart wood had been burned out, it was easier to scrape out and smooth the charcoal residue.
There is also a Maple Syrup Area, though in summer, maple syrup season is well over. See my Maple Syrup page for pictures of Indian methods of collecting.
The Gathering Place - Modern Day Meeting Place in Historical Iroquois Village
The modern Gathering Place building located beside the parking lot overlooks the Village and Visitor Centre / gift shop.
From here, you can enter the village compound, or keep to the right and walk the Native Species Trail.
Not pictured on this page are the Grinding Stone artefact, Palisade Lookout, Burial Platforms or teaching trail gardens, among others.
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