Ethnie: Erie
Dialects (Speakers): Erie (0)
Language: Huron
Family: Northern Iroquoian
Stock: Iroquoian
Phylum: Macro-Siouan
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
     The Erie were a sedentary hunter/farmer nation.  They occupied eastern Ohio from the western end of Lake Erie southwest of the Ohio River, and parts of northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York.  The Erie were annihilated by their close relatives the Iroquois during the Beaver Wars, largely for giving refuge to the Huron and Neutrals who were likewise defeated by the Iroquois.  Many Erie remnants were incorporated into the Wyandot and Seneca and some descendents are today among the Wyandot and Seneca in Oklahoma.
Aboriginal Locations (Known sub-groups)
NY, OH, PA:  There are expected to be numerous sub-divisions but only three names have been preserved:  Kentaientonga (Gentaguehronon, Gentaienton, Gentaguetehronnon), Honniasont (Black Minqua, Honniasontkeronon, Oniassontke), and Rigué (Arrigahaga, Rigueronnon, Rique, Riquehronnon)
Present Locations
Extinct as a culture but some ancestors may be among the Seneca in Oklahoma
Year History
1615 Etienne Brule met a group of Erie near Niagara Falls, the nation's only encounter with Europeans; Erie part of a three way alliance including the Neutrals and Wenro against the Iroquois, may have also been allied with the Susquehannock, their trading partners
1635 A war with an unknown Algonquian enemy forced Erie to abandon some of their eastern villages
1648 Alliance with Neutrals ended when Erie refused to support the Neutrals in war with the Iroquois
1651 Erie accepted thousands of Huron and Neutrals refugees from war with the Iroquois but Erie did not treat refugees well; nonetheless, Erie refused to give up refugees to demanding Iroquois
1653 Erie killed a Seneca sachem during a raid into Seneca homeland; Erie killed and Onondaga during a peace conference resulting in Iroquois killing all 30 Erie delegates, war ensued after Iroquois made peace with French
1654 Western Iroquois, taking heavy losses, attacked and destroyed two fortified Erie villages 
1656 Erie totally defeated, many were adopted into the Seneca
1662 Susquenannock indicated there were 800 Honniasont (Erie sub-tribe) warriors who would join them against the Iroquois but they were gone by 1680
1680 Last small group of Erie surrendered to the Iroquois in southern Pennsylvania
Year Total Population NY OH PA Source
1653 14,500 3,500 9,500 1,500 Hewitt estimate
1653 4,000 Mooney estimate
1700 0 NAHDB calculation
1800 0 NAHDB calculation
1900 0 NAHDB calculation 
2000 0 NAHDB calculation 
Other speakers of the same language:
Erie Sites:
Erie Authors
Erie History
Erie Indian Mound Builders
Erie Indians
Erie Indians, Avon, Ohio
Erie Indians Tribe
Erie Indian Tribe History
Erie Tale
Erie Tribe
Lake Erie Islands
Town of West Seneca

Last updated 11/14/07  Copyright © 2007 by Four Directions Press