—Senecan, adj.1. a member of the largest tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy of North American Indians, formerly inhabiting western New York and being conspicuous in the wars south and west of Lake Erie.2. an Iroquoian language of the Seneca, Onondaga, and Cayuga tribes.[ < New York D Sennecaas, etc., orig. applied to the Oneida and, more generally, to all the Upper Iroquois (as opposed to the Mohawk), prob. < an unattested Mahican name]/sen"i keuh/, n.Lucius Annaeus /euh nee'euhs/, c4 B.C. -A.D. 65, Roman philosopher and writer of tragedies.
* * *North American Indian people living mainly in western New York, U.S. Their language belongs to the Iroquoian linguistic group, and their traditional homeland is western New York and eastern Ohio.They were the largest nation of the Iroquois Confederacy and were known as the "Keepers of the Western Door." They call themselves Onondowahgah, meaning "People of the Great Hill." The Seneca have eight clans, and a person's clan is the same as his mother's. Historically, families linked by maternal kinship lived together in longhouses. Each community had a council of adult males, which guided the village chief. In the autumn small parties would leave the villages for the annual hunt, returning about midwinter; spring was the fishing season. Seneca women cultivated corn and other vegetables. Warfare with other Indian nations was frequent. In the American Revolution the Seneca were British allies, resulting in the destruction of their villages by Gen. John Sullivan in 1779. In 1797 they secured land for 12 reservations in western New York, four of which still exist. Today the Seneca number about 5,500. See also Cornplanter; Ganioda'yo.
* * *county, central New York state, U.S., lying between Cayuga Lake to the east and Seneca Lake to the west, the latter the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes. Lowlands in the north that are forested with oak and hickory rise to a plateau region in the south that contains maple, birch, and beech trees. The principal stream is the Seneca River, which comprises part of the New York State Canal System (and its constituent Erie Canal) and Seneca and Cayuga canals. Several state parks and vineyards are found along the shores of the lakes, while Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is located in marshland in the northeastern corner of the county.In 1779 an American military campaign razed the local villages of the Seneca Indians, members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Seneca Falls was the home of feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Stanton, Elizabeth Cady) and Amelia Jenks Bloomer (Bloomer, Amelia Jenks) and the site of the Seneca Falls Convention for women's rights (1848). Waterloo is the county seat. The Seneca Army Depot is located in the centre of the county.Seneca county was created in 1804 and named for the Indian tribe. The economy is based on manufacturing and agriculture. Area 325 square miles (842 square km). Pop. (2000) 33,342; (2007 est.) 34,228.▪ peopleNorth American Indians of the Iroquoian linguistic group who lived in what is now western New York state and eastern Ohio. They were the largest of the original five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, in which they were represented by eight chiefs. In the autumn small parties of Seneca men left the villages for the annual hunt, returning about midwinter; spring was the fishing season. Seneca women were responsible for the cultivation of corn (maize) and other vegetables.The Seneca used kinship to organize their society; extended families linked through the maternal line lived together in longhouses. The tribe had eight clans; these were in turn organized into two equally sized groups, or moieties. The moieties had their own chiefs and served complementary roles in games, funerals, and ceremonies. Kinship rules mandated marriage between, not within, the moieties. Each community had a council of adult males who guided the moiety chiefs.Warfare with other indigenous nations was frequent; to a greater extent than most other Northeast Indians (Northeast Indian), the Seneca recovered their losses by adopting whole towns of other tribes. During the 17th century, wars led to the expansion of the original Seneca territory between Seneca Lake and the Genesee River to include all of western New York state from Niagara south along the Allegheny River into Pennsylvania. Remote from colonial contact, secure in game and corn, the Seneca could field 1,000 warriors, equaling the combined strength of the rest of the Iroquois Confederacy.Because the Seneca were allied with the British during the American Revolution, American Gen. John Sullivan (Sullivan, John) destroyed their villages in 1779. In 1797, having lost much of their land, the Seneca secured 12 tracts as reservations. In 1848 the incompetence and corruption of the hereditary chiefs, in particular their surrender of tribal land to non-Indians, caused the Seneca to change their form of government to a republic.Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 16,000 individuals of Seneca descent.
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