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North American Indian people living mainly in what are now central New York and Wisconsin, U.S., and Canada. They constitute one of the original five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Their language is Iroquoian. They call themselves Oneyoteaka, meaning people of the standing stone. The Oneida were semisedentary and practiced corn agriculture. Longhouses sheltered families related through maternal descent and belonging to one of three clansBear, Turtle, or Wolf. Each community had a local council that guided the chief or chiefs. The Oneida supported the colonist cause in the American Revolution and were attacked by the pro-British Iroquois under Joseph Brant. By the mid-19th century most Oneida had dispersed. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated approximately 23,000 individuals of Oneida descent.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Oneida, visit Britannica.com.