Neutral Indians

Neutral Indians. So called by the French because they remained neutral during the later wars between the Iroquois and Huron. Also called:

  • Hatiwanta-runh, by Tuscarora, meaning “Their speech is awry”; in form it is close to the names applied by the other Iroquois tribes and more often quoted as Attiwandaronk.
  • Neutrals

Neutral Connections  The Neutrals belonged to the Iroquoian linguistic Stock; their position within this is uncertain.

Neutral Location. In the southern part of the province of Ontario, the westernmost part of New York, in northeastern Ohio, and in southeastern Michigan. (See also Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Canada.)

Neutral Subdivisions

It seems impossible to separate these from the names of the villages, except perhaps in the cases of the Aondironon (in Ontario bordering Huron territory), and the Ongniaahra (see below).

Neutral Villages

There were 28, but only the names of the following have been preserved:
Kandoucho, in Ontario near the Huron country, i. e., in the northern part of Neutral territory.
Khioetoa, apparently a short distance east of Sandwich, Ontario.
Ongniaahra, probably on the site of Youngstown, N.Y.
Ounontisaston, not far from Niagara River.
Teotongniaton, in Ontario.

Neutral History. Shortly after the destruction of the Huron, the Neutrals became involved in hostilities with the Iroquois and were themselves destroyed in 1650-51, most of them evidently being incorporated with their conquerors, though an independent body is mentioned as wintering near Detroit in 1653.

Neutral Population. The Neutrals were estimated by Mooney (1928) to number 10,000 in 1600; in 1653 the independent remnant included 800. They were probably incorporated finally with the Iroquois and Wyandot.

Connection in which the Neutral have become noted. The chief claim of the Neutrals to permanent fame is the fact that the name of one of their subdivisions, the Ongniaahra, became fixed, in the form Niagara, to the world-famous cataract between New York and Ontario.



Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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