The original Native Americans in what would become New York State were the Algonkians (Algonquins). They were a peaceful people and were no match for the warlike Iroquois who began, around the year 1300, to push them out of their lands and forests. The Iroquois spoke a different language from the Algonkians. Nobody is sure exactly where the newcomers came from before their arrival in New York.
Over a period of time, the Iroquois became the most powerful Indians in this part of the continent and established control over all the other tribes around them, including the Algonkians. No other Indian group was ever able to break their power. Because they were so strong and because they played a large part in the early history of our state, we shall find it interesting to learn more about them. Since it is impossible to see for ourselves what life was like among these early Americans, we shall try to imagine how it might have appeared to the first white men visiting an Iroquois village many years ago.