- Ignatia Broker, Ojibwe
The art of the Woodlands people is closely related to the natural environment. The territories of the Woodlands people have extended from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River. Although the terrain varies from seacoast to mountains, valleys, and inland waters, one element was common to all - the forests. Everything the people needed to survive came from the trees, the plants, and the animals of the forest.
Woodlands people can be divided into two major language groups, Iroquoian and Algonquian. Each language group is composed of people that share certain cultural characteristics, even though they varied in lifestyle. Historically, the Iroquois were known as the "People of the Longhouse" because of the rectangular, barrel-roofed communal houses in which they lived. Conical or domed wigwams were common to the Algonquian group. Woodlands people maintained a complex political system and trade network. The confederation of the Iroquois, which was made up of six nations, served as one model for European colonists when they formed the United States government.