SENECA

Seneca Headdress

Living along the foothills of Allegany Pennsylvania, the Seneca were known as the People of the Hill, or Onondowahgah in their language. They are an important part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as the Elder Brothers alongside the Mohawk and the Onondaga in Grand Council.

Traditionally located in New York State between the Genesee River and Canandaigua, the Seneca still occupy areas in Western New York mainly on the Cattaraugus, Allegany and Tonawanda reservations. There are also a number of Seneca people on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma and on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario. The Seneca are also the only nation to own a U.S. city. The Seneca own the city of Salamanca located on the Allegany Indian reservation.

One of the most famous and influential Seneca figures was the Chief Handsome Lake. It was his visions which renewed the practice of traditional Haudenosaunee religion, known as long house religion, among those who’d lost their way.

The Seneca have within them eight clans including: turtle, bear, wolf, beaver, snipe, heron, deer and hawk.