Politically, the Iroquois were divided into five nations. However, their social division consisted of nine clans, or families. Each nation was composed of individuals belonging to different clans, whose members claimed to be descended from a common ancestor. Each clan was represented by a totem, usually in the form of an animal that possessed particular qualities. For example, the wolf, which lives in packs and often explores its territory, symbolized the idea of family and curiosity.

Iroquois Families
Report on the nine Iroquois families, with totems, 1666
FR CAOM COL C11A 2 fol. 263-269