Cayuga men wore breechcloths with leggings. Cayuga women wore wraparound skirts with shorter leggings. Men did not originally wear shirts in the Cayuga culture, but women often wore a poncho-like tunic called an overdress or kilt. Cayuga Indian people usually wore deerskin moccasins on their feet.
The Cayuga Nation is known as ” The People of the Great Swamp”. Cayugas are one the original five members of the Haudenosaunee “The People of the Longhouse”. Cayuga Lake and its northern shores were the primary locations of many villages of the Cayuga people.
Years ago, members of the Cayuga Nation lived in houses called a “Longhouse”. The frame of the longhouses were made of upright logs and cross poles. Then they were covered with the bark of an elm tree.
Their staple food was corn, which was planted and harvested by the women of the tribe. Cayuga women also raised crops of squash and beans and collected berries, seeds, nuts, and other wild plant foods. Men of the tribe fished and hunted deer, elk, and other game.
Today, there are three Cayuga bands. Two federally recognized tribes of Cayuga constitute the third band in the United States: the Cayuga Nation of New York in Seneca Falls, New York, and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. The Cayuga Nation of New York does not have a reservation.
The Cayuga people worshiped an animist religion. The Blackfoot believed in a great creator whose energy and power was in everything.
Cayuga, self-name Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ ( “People of the Great Swamp” ), Iroquoian-speaking North American Indians, members of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy, who originally inhabited the region bordering Lake Cayuga in what is now central New York state. (See also Iroquois.)
Cayuga (Cayuga: Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ) is a Northern Iroquoian language of the Iroquois Proper (also known as “Five Nations Iroquois”) subfamily, and is spoken on Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, Ontario, by around 240 Cayuga people, and on the Cattaraugus Reservation, New York, by fewer than 10.
The traditional territory of the Cayuga Nation is located along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River and south into the Finger Lakes district of New York State. According to the federal government, the registered population of the Upper Cayuga First Nation was 3,903 in September 2021.
About 500 people lived in each of these villages. The Cayuga became trading partner with the French from Canada and were active in the beaver fur trade. They also traded with the Huron for birch bark goods. All the main Iroquois nations except the Oneida had allied with the British in the American Revolution.
After the Revolution After the American victory, the British ceded their claim to land in the colonies, and the Americans forced their allies, the Mohawks and others, to give up their territories in New York. Most of the Mohawks migrated to Canada, where the Crown gave them some land in compensation.
The Turtle Clan is the older brother to the Bear Clan. Symbols of the clans can be seen everywhere throughout the Oneida Nation Reservation; on the tribal logo, the Human Resources Department orientation folder, and throughout the Oneida Tribal School.
The Cayuga Nation is made up of five clans. These clans signify family lineage and a Cayuga citizen’s clan is determined by the clan of their mother. Each of us is a member of one of the five clans – Bear, Heron, Snipe, Turtle and Wolf. Each clan has a Clan Mother, whose role it is to take care of her clan members.