Bear, Wolf, Turtle, Eagle, Eel, Beaver, Deer and Heron are the major clan families of the Iroquois matrilineal nation. The Iroquois Confederation is made up of five separate nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga and Seneca.
The Circle Wampum is one of the most important Iroquois wampums, and is linked to the founding of the Great Peace. It has often been given the name Great Charter of the Confederation. Two interlinked rows of white wampum or white beads border fifty rows that point to the centre of the circle thereby formed. The longest of these rows of white beads represents the seventh chief of the Onondaga nation, whose role is to be the guardian of the wampum.
We join their holding each other firmly by the hand, forming a circle so solid that our people and our great-grandchildren will always remain within a circle of safety, peace and happiness.
There are nine major spiritual ceremonies. Each of us in turn gives thanks for what we receive and what helps us achieve a good life for our families and our children to come, in the greatest possible respect for the Creator.