—Onondagan, adj.1. a member of a tribe of Iroquoian Indians formerly inhabiting the region of Onondaga Lake.2. the dialect of the Seneca language spoken by these Indians.3. Lake, a salt lake in central New York. 5 mi. (8 km) long; 1 mi. (1.6 km) wide.[ < Onondaga onó·tàke on the hill, the name of the main Onondaga town, at successive locations]
* * *county, central New York state, U.S., bounded by the Oswego and Oneida rivers to the north, Oneida Lake to the northeast, De Ruyter Reservoir to the southeast, Skaneateles Lake to the southwest, and Cross Lake to the west. It comprises a marshy lowland in the north and a hilly plateau region in the south. Other waterways include Onondaga and Otisco lakes and the Seneca River. Canals of the New York State Canal System (including the Erie (Erie Canal) and Oswego canals) converge at the north-central border of the county. Forests comprise a mix of hardwoods. State parks include Green Lakes, Old Erie Canal, and Clark Reservation. A military reservation is located near Syracuse, the county seat.Onondaga Indians, now residing in a reservation south of Syracuse, have inhabited the region for many centuries. Syracuse was the leading national salt supplier in the 19th century until the industry began to decline in 1870. That same year Syracuse University was founded. Many regional historical artifacts are on display at the Erie Canal Museum, the Salt Museum, and Sainte Marie de Gannentaha, which is a re-creation of a French Jesuit mission from the 1650s.Onondaga county was created in 1794 and named for the Indian tribe. Among the principal towns are North Syracuse, Galeville, Solvay, Baldwinsville, and Manlius. The main economic activities are services, retail and wholesale trade, and manufacturing. Area 780 square miles (2,021 square km). Pop. (2000) 458,336; (2007 est.) 454,010.▪ peopletribe of Iroquoian-speaking North American Indians who lived in what is now the U.S. state of New York. The Onondaga traditionally inhabited villages of wood and bark longhouses occupied by related families. They moved these houses periodically to plant new fields, to seek fresh supplies of firewood, and to be nearer fish and game. They grew corn (maize), beans, squash, sunflowers, and tobacco. A council of adult males in each community guided the village chiefs.The Onondaga tribe, one of the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, was the political and geographical centre of the league. With 14 seats in the council, the Onondaga furnished the chairman and the archivist, who kept the records of transactions in wampum belts.In the 18th century a sizable faction of Onondaga favouring the French interest migrated to Jesuit mission settlements along the St. Lawrence River. Another faction remained loyal to the British, and, upon the breakup of the Iroquois Confederacy after the American Revolution, a small party followed other members to Grand River in what is now Ontario. The majority, however, remained in their ancestral valley.Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 4,000 individuals of Onondaga descent.
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