Ongweoweh (Iroquois, Ronkwe)

Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), Ganonsyoni, Six Nations, Five Nations, Ono

A confederation of five groups or tribes who spoke dialects of the same language of the Iroquoian language family. Later the sixth, the Tuscarora, was admitted into the confederation after they fled white aggression in North Carolina. These confederated five groups and later six did not have a common name for themselves other than members of the Haudenosaunee, the Great Longhouse. The word Ongweoweh means the ´common people´ or ´the only true men´ and is perhaps the word that describes them best as a unified group based on linguistic grounds. The name Iroquois is considered derogatory, a French word whose origin is probably from Cree or the Basque language. The word Ronkwe simply means ‘a human being’, a concept used by many Native American nations to refer to themselves as a specific group.

In recent years names used for Native American nations have been changed to mirror that concept. The meaning ´people´, ‘us’ or ‘human beings’ much more preferred by tribal members than some derogatory word that they have been known by until then. Thus this new much fairer practice adopted here as a catch for all name for the Haudenosaunee.

Constituent tribes of the confederation are:

  • Onödowága’ (Seneca)
  • Gayogohó:no’ (Cayuga)
  • Onundagaono (Onondaga)
  • Onyota’a:ka (Oneida)
  • Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk)
  • Skarù:rę (Tuscarora)

Location, some groups migrate from one location to another through time due to outer or inner pressure; other groups do not.


Language, no matter where we are in the world the language we speak is not necessarily the same our foremothers and -fathers spoke, sometimes it is related but at other times language shifts occur due to some form of assimilation processes.


History, every time has it’s place and every place it’s time, it is a sad or a happy time, peaceful or warlike, actors in societies seek riches and fortune, sometimes at the expanse of others, but ultimately it is the winner that writes that history. History can be presented in many different ways that express our cultural ideals.


Culture & Society, traditions, values, politics, kin groups and expectations to ones status in a society now and in the future, we are all players in the cultural surroundings we are born in, social creatures seeking happiness in our varied ways.

Ronkwe culture

Population, diseases, wars and competitions increase or diminish our numbers. Gender values also affects us.

Ronkwe population

DNA, what our genomes say about us tells a lot about our origin and physical appearance.

Ronkwe DNA

Miscellaneous, articles and other interesting things.




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