^^ /ork State Museum Bullet
nH,-,,,/ f,.r admission as second-class matfer at the Po-t rj^-rirr. r,f /. ik
under the act of August 24, 1912
'25 ii-iied monthly by The Uaivorsity of the Stai
ALBANY, N. Y.
AjPKiL I, 191 6
^^ nivervSit3^'of the vState of New Yort
New York State Museum
](.;->: y\. ChAr. ■']■:, Director
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS
AR'JITUR C. PARKER
The Iroquois constitution 7
The Dekanawida legend. . . ... . . 14
The Code of Dekanahwldeh 61
Origin of the! confederation of the
Five Nations 65
The condolence cerdnony ...... no
The Hiawatha tradition 114
Appendix A: The Passamaquoddy
_svampum records 119
Appendix B: Sketches of an Indian
Cpurfcil, 1846 1 26
Appendix C: Minutes of the Six
Nati<>n3 Council of 1839 133
Appendix D: Minutes of the Coun-
cil of the Six Nations, upon the
Cattaraugus reservation. 144
Appendix E: Certain Iroquois tree
myths and symbols 152
Tiiii UMiviiRsrry op the st.\ ■
■ -xlCW YD
Presented to the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Digitized by the Internet Archive
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♦V York State Museum Bulletin
Application pending for admission as second-class matter at the Post Office at Albany, N. Y.
under the act of August 24, 19x2
Published monthly by The University of the State of New York
ALBANY, N. Y.
The University of the State of New York
New York State Museum
John M. Clarke, Director
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS
ARTHUR C. PARKER
The Iroquois constitution 7
The Dekanawida legend 14
The Code of Dekanahwideh 61
Origin of the confederation of the
Five Nations 65
The condolence cerdnony no
The Hiawatha tradition 114
Appendix A: The Passamaquoddy
wampum records 119
Appendix B : Sketches of an Indian
Council, 1846 126
Appendix C: Minutes of the Six
Nations Council of 1839 I33
Appendix D: Minutes of the Coun-
cil of the Six Nations, upon the
Cattaraugus reservation 144
Appendix E: Certain Iroquois tree
myths and symbols 152
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NE\^YORK
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Regents of the University
With years when terms expire
1926 Pliny T. Sexton LL.B. LL.D. Chancellor - - Palmyra
1927 Albert Vander Veer M.D. M.A. Ph.D. LL.D.
Vice Chancellor Albany
1922 Chester S. Lord M.A. LL.D. ----- Brooklyn
1918 William Nottingham M.A. Ph.D. LL.D. - -Syracuse
192 1 Francis M. Carpenter ------- Mount Kisco
1923 Abram I. Elkus LL.B. D.C.L. ----- New York
1924 Adelbert Moot LL.D. ------- Buffalo
, 1925 Charles B. Alexander M.A. LL.B. LL.D.
Litt.D. ----------- Tuxedo
1919 John Moore ---------- Elmira
19Z8 Walter Guest Kellogg B.A. ----- Ogdensburg
19 1 7 William Berri ------ ___ Brooklyn
1920 James Byrne B.A. L.L.B. ----- New York
President of the University
and Commissioner of Education
'"i John H. Finley M.A. LL.D. L.H.D.
••«• •wV"*'* " Dbp^ Ud'mmis^sS^^nd Assistant Commissioner for Elementary Education
V^ LIB^^/^RY ThWs)^. Finegan M.A. Pd.D. LL.D.
s \ "'a"! 1*7^* '"jr " Assistant Commissioner for Higher Education
Ct\ J: AjgtJ§^s S. Downing M.A. L.H.D. LL.D.
^\ ^ / ^ Jr.
^ Oj. \ X "^ ^sistant Commissioner for Secondary Education
\ ^3X1988/ .i2> Charles F. Wheelock B.S. LL.D.
\ V* \ / /^ /
X ^ ^ X ^ £ Director of State Library
\u/ '^ / James I. Wyer, Jr, M.L.S.
^^ ^^^V ^ Director of Science and State Museum
X^^^Jf John M. Clarke Ph.D. D.Sc. LL.D.
Chiefs and Directors of Divisions
Administration, George M. Wiley M.A.
Agricultural and Industrial Education, Arthur D. Dean D.Sc,
Archives and History, James A. Holden B.A., Director
Attendance, James D. Sullivan
Educational Extension, William R. Watson B.S.
Examinations, Harlan H. Horner M.A.
Inspections, Frank H. Wood M.A.
Law, Frank B. Gilbert B.A.
Library School, Frank K. Walter M.A. M.L.S.
School Libraries, Sherman Williams Pd.D.
Statistics, Hiram C. Case
Visual Instruction, Alfred W. Abrams Ph.B.
The University of the State of New York
Science Department, July 12, 1915
Dr John H. Finley
President of the University
Sir: I beg to communicate to you herewith and to recommend
for publication as a bulletin of the State Museum, a manuscript
with accompanying illustrations, entitled The Constitution of the
Five Nations, which has been prepared by Arthur C. Parker, the
Archeologist of the State Museum.
John M. Clarke
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Approved for publication this 15th day of March ipi^
President of the University
New York State Museum Bull^^ii;^
Application pending for entry as second-class matter at the Post Office at Al^n^pl^KJ^
under the act of August 24, 19 13 T^ VJI^BK
Published monthly by The University of the State of New York ^Mu
No. 184 ALBANY, N. Y. April i. 1916"
The University of the State of New York
New York State Museum
John M. Clarke, Director Cj fT
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS
THE IROQUOIS BOOK OF THE GREAT LAW
ARTHUR C. PARKER
THE IROQUOIS CONSTITUTION
The constitution of the Iroquois League is known to the Iroquois
as the Great Binding Law, or the Great Immutable Law. Their
term for it is Ne" Gayanesha"gowa. It was transmitted orally
from one generation to another through certain of the lords or
sachems of the confederacy who had made it their business to
learn it. Not until recently have the Iroquois attempted to put
their code in written form. For many generations its knowledge
has been preserved by a collection of wampum belts and strings,
each of which served to recall each law or regulation. Many of
the belts and strings became lost or destroyed, and fearing a total
destruction of their ancient archives, the Six Nations^ of New
York Indians in 1898 elected The University of the State of New
York the official custodian of their wampums. The University
accepted the charge and the Legislature passed suitable laws
governing the custody of the wampums. In 1908 the Director of
the State Museum was proclaimed the keeper of the wampums
by Sa-ha-whi, president of the Six Nations.
1 The Five Nations became the Six Nations, with the admission of the
Tuscarora in 1724.
6 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
The Iroquois constitution is mentioned by both Morgan and
Hale, but neither seems to have been able to make a transcript
and translation of it. All the Iroquois nations were acquainted
with it and extracts from the law are found in many of the speeches
of their sachems, as recorded by historians, notably the French
explorers and Colden.
The version of the constitution now held authentic by the Iroquois
of New York and Ontario, embraces a narrative of the events
in the lives of Hiawatha and Dekanawida that lead up to its founda-
tion. Its special interest lies in the fact that it is an attempt of
the Iroquois themselves to explain their own civic and social system.
It is therefore an invaluable guide to many interesting branches of
Iroquois ethnology. Many of the facts contained in this document
are familiar to students, but that they formed a part of a definite
system of law will perhaps be new. Several of the wampum belts
in the New York State Museum are constitutional belts or
Originally the Five Nations of Iroquois were similar to other
Indian tribes or bands — independent bodies with similar dialects
and similar customs but with no political coherence. Each man
and each tribe to itself, was the rule. Often the individual nations
warred with one another, and with external enemies pressing them
from all quarters they found themselves in a precarious situation.
The very peril in which they lived developed their strategic ability
and fostered diplomacy. It likewise produced leaders and finally
the great lawgiver who should bring about peace and unity and
make the Iroquois the " Indians of Indian," the " Romans of the
New World." Hale referred to Hiawatha as the " lawgiver of the
Stone age "^ but Hiawatha does not deserve the title. He was only
the spokesman of a greater mind. The Mohawk nation recognizes
in Dekanawida its great culture hero and the founder of its civic
system, giving Haiyentwatha (Hiawatha) a second place. Nearly
all authorities among the other nations of the five agree in this
and attribute to Dekanawida the establishment of the Great Peace.
The prefatory articles of the Great Immutable Law recognize him
as such and represent him as saying :
I am Dekanawideh and with the Five Nations' confederate lords I
plant the Tree of the Great Peace. I plant it in your territory Adodarhoh
and the Onondaga Nation, in the territory of you who are fire keepers.
I name the tree the Tree of the Great Long Leaves. Under the shade
of this Tree of the Great Peace we spread the soft, white, feathery down
of the globe thistle as seats for you, Adodarhoh and your cousin lords.
1 Proc. Amer. Ass'n. Adv. Sci., 30:324. 1881.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS Q
. . . There shall you sit and watch the council fire of the Confederacy
of the Five Nations.
Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace . . .
and the name of these roots is the Great White Roots of Peace. If any
man of any nation outside of the Five Nations shall show a desire to
obey the laws of the Great Peace . . . they may trace the roots to
their source . . . and they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath
the Tree of the Long Leaves.
The smoke of the confederate council fire shall ever ascend and shall
pierce the sky so that all nations may discover the central council fire of
the Great Peace.
I, Dekanawideh, and the confederate lords now uproot the tallest pine
tree and into the cavity thereby made we cast all weapons of war. Into
the depths of the earth, down into the deep underearth currents of water
flowing into unknown regions, we cast all weapons of strife. We bury
them from sight forever and plant again the tree. Thus shall all Great
Peace be established and hostilities shall no longer be known between
the Five Nations but only peace to a united people.
As one goes further into the unique document, the method by
which universal peace is to be established is revealed. All nations
were to sit beneath the peace tree and acknowledge the imperial
regency of the Five Nations' council. To the Five Nations this
seemed a very simple thing for they called themselves Ongweoweh,
Original Men, a term that implied their racial superiority. Thus
to them it seemed quite natural that other nations should ac-
knowledge their right to rule. They never doubted the justness
of their claim or saw that it possibly could be disputed. With them
it was the basis for universal action. Other nations were inclined
to dispute that the Iroquois were inherently superior and naturally
rebelled at the idea of submission, even though it might be for
their own ultimate benefit.
From tribe to tribe, tradition shows,^ the emissaries of the
Great Peace went carrying with them the messages in their wam-
pum strands, and inviting delegates to sit beneath the Peace Tree
and " clasp their arms about it " and to discuss the advantages of
The political success of the Iroquois as a result of their system
gave them phenomenal strength and likewise excited widespread
jealousy. Thus the Iroquois found themselves plunged in a war
for existence and without friends to call upon.
How a government calling itself the Great Peace provided for
war is shown in the part of the great immutable law called " Skana-
watih^s Laws of Peace and War." Extracts from these laws
When the proposition to establish the^reat Peace is made to a foreign
nation it shall be done in mutual council. The nation is to be persuaded
1 See, for example. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records by J. D. Prince,
page 483, Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc, v. 36. Also Appendix, page 119 of this
lO NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
by reason and urged to come into the Great Peace. If the Five Nations
fail . . . after a third council . . . the war captain of the
Five Nations shall address the head chief of the rebellious nation and
request him three times to accept the Great Peace. If refusal steadfastly
follows the war captain shall let a bunch of white lake shells fall from
his outstretched hand and shall bound quickly forward and club the
offending chief to death. War shall thereby be declared and the war
captain shall have his men at his back to support him in any emergency.
War shall continue until won by the Five Nations. . . . Then shall
the Five Nations seek to establish the Great Peace by a conquest of the
When peace shall have been established by the termination of the
war . . . then the war captain shall cause all weapons of war to be
taken from the nation. Then shall the Great Peace be established and
the nation shall observe all the rules of the Great Peace for all time to
Whenever a foreign nation is conquered or has by their own free will
accepted the Great Peace, their own system of internal government may
continue so far as is consistent but they must cease all strife with other
In this manner and under these provisions and others every
rebellious tribe or nation, almost without exception, was either
exterminated or absorbed. The Erie, the Neutral, the Huron, the
Andaste and other cognate tribes of the Iroquoian stock were broken
up and the scattered bands or survivors settled in the numerous
Iroquois towns to forget in time their birth nation and to be known
forever after only as Iroquois. The law read, *' Henceforth let no
one so adopted mention the name of his birth nation. To do so
will hasten the end of the Great Peace." The Lenni Lenape or
Delaware, the Nanticoke, the broken bands of the Minsi and the
Shawne, the Brothertown and other Algonquian tribes yielded to
the armed persuasions to accept the Great Peace ; likewise did the
Tutelo and Catawba of the eastern Siouan stock, and the Choctaw
of the Muskoghean yield, and to that action is due the fact that
they have descendants today.
"The Iroquois policy of adopting captives led to the mixture of
widely scattered stocks. The Iroquois therefore became an ethnic
group of composite elements. Thus from the ideas of universal
peace and brotherhood grew universal intermarriage, modified of
course by clan laws.
According to the great immutable law the Iroquois confederate
council was to consist of fifty rodiyaner (civil chiefs) and was to
be divided into three bodies, namely, the older brothers, the Mohawk
and the Seneca ; the younger brothers, the Cayuga and the Oneida ;
and the fire keepers, the Onondaga. Each brotherhood debated a
question separately and reported to the fire keepers, who referred
the matter back and ordered a unanimous report. If the two
brotherhoods still disagreed the fire keepers had the casting vote.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS II
If, however, the brotherhoods agreed and their decision was not in
accord with the wishes of the fire keepers, the fire keepers could
only confirm the decision, for absolute unanimity was the law and
required for the passage of any question. Provisions to break
speedily any deadlock were provided. All the work of the council
was done without an executive head, save a temporary speaker
appointed by acclamation. Adodarhoh, in spite of his high title, was
only the moderator of the fire keepers.
These " lords " or civil chiefs were nominated by certain noble
women in whose families the titles were hereditary; the nomina-
tions were confirmed by popular councils both of men and of women
and finally by the confederate council. Women thus had great
power for not only could they nominate their rulers but also depose
them for incompetency in office. Here, then, we find the right of
popular nomination, the right of recall and of w^oman suflfrage, all
flourishing in the old America of the Red Man and centuries before
it became the clamor of the new America of the white invader.
Who now shall call Indians and Iroquois savages!
Not only were there popular councils to check an overambitious
government, but both the men and the women had in their " war
chief " a sort of aboriginal public service commissioner who had
authority to voice their will before the council. Men of worth who
had won their way into the hearts of the people were elected pine
tree chiefs with voice but no vote in the governing body. The
rights of every man were provided for and all things done for the
promotion of the Great Peace.
Among the interesting things in this Iroquois constitution are
the provisions for the official symbols. Many of these symbols, such
as the point within a circle, the bundle of arrows, the watchful
eagle, are described in detail. The fifteenth string of the Tree of
the Long Leaves section, for example, reads :
" Five arrows shall be bound together very strongly and each
arrow shall represent one nation. As the five arrows are strongly
bound, this shall symbolize the union of the nations. . . ."
This reference to the arrows bound together was quoted by King
Hendrick in 1755 in his talk with Sir William Johnson.
Perhaps a more striking paragraph to students of Indian history
will be the reference to a certain wampum belt :
"A broad, dark belt of wampum . . . having a white heart
in the center on either side of which^are two white squares all
connected with the heart by white rows shall be the emblem of the
unity of the Five Nations. The white heart in the middle . . .
12 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
means the Onondaga nation . . . and it also means that the
heart of the Five Nations is single in its loyalty to the Great
Peace. . . ."
This belt is sometimes called the Hiawatha belt and is one of the
most valuable Iroquois belts now extant. It is now on exhibition
in the Congressional Library.
The Great Peace as a governmental system was an almost ideal
one for the stage of culture with which it was designed to cope. I
think it will be found to be the greatest ever devised by barbaric
man on any continent. By adhering to it the Five Nations became
the dominant native power east of the Mississippi and during the
colonial times exercised an immense influence in determining the
fate of English civilization on the continent. They, as allies of the
British, fought for it and destroyed all French hopes for
The authors of the great immutable law gave the Iroquois two
great culture heroes, heroes almost without equal in American
Indian annals. Through the law as a guiding force and through
the heroes as ideals the Iroquois have persisted as a people, pre-
served their national identity and much of their native culture and
lore. Today in their various bodies they number more than 16,000
souls. This is a remarkable fact when it is considered that they are
entirely surrounded by a dominant culture whose encroachments
are persistent and unrelenting in the very nature of things.
The Canadian Iroquois indeed govern themselves by the laws
contained in these codes, proving their utility even in modern days.
The two principal manuscripts that form the basis of this work
were found in the Six Nations Reservation, Ontario, Canada, in
The first manuscript was a lengthy account of the Dekanawida
legend and an account of the Confederate Iroquois laws. This ma-
terial has been brought together by Seth Newhouse, a Mohawk, who
has expended a large amount of time and given the subject a lengthy
study. His account written in Indian English was submitted to
Albert Cusick, a New York Onondaga-Tuscarora, for review and
criticism. Mr Cusick had long been an authority on Iroquois law
and civic rites, and had been a chief informant for Horatio Hale,
William M. Beauchamp and in several instances for the present
writer. Mr Cusick was employed for more than a month in cor-
recting the Newhouse manuscript until he believed the form in
which it is now presented fairly correct and at least as accurate as
a free translation could be made.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I3
The second manuscript was compiled by the chiefs of the Six
Nations council and in the form here published has been reviewed
and corrected by several of their own number, including Chiefs
John Gibson, Jacob Johnson and John William Elliott. The official
copy was made by Hilton Hill, a Seneca, then employed by the
Dominion superintendent for the Six Nations. It has been reviewed
and changes were suggested by Albert Cusick.
The Newhouse code was divided into three sections. These were,
" The Tree of the Long Leaves," " The Emblematical Union Com-
pact," and " Skanawatih's Law of Peace and War." Each law
was associated with a wampum belt or string of wampum beads.
The string number and the section of the code from which it is
extracted is indicated after each law, as given in the text.
In examining this code of Iroquois law it will be noted that no
reference is made in the Canadian codes to the " Long House of
the Five Nations." Various reasons are assigned for this. Mr
Newhouse cut out all reference to it from his original manuscript
because some of the older chiefs said that Handsome Lake, the
destroyer of the old religious system, had successfully associated
his religious teachings with the Long House. The force of this
fact is apparent when we learn that a follower of the Handsome
Lake religion is called among other names, Ganun'sisne'ha, " Long
House Lover." Another reason is that the historic Long House
territory is in New York State, and that the Ontario Iroquois who
left New York after the Revolution to cling to the British, dislike
any reference to their former habitation that seems to bind them
to it. The Dekanawida code provides a refuge for the confederacy
in distress, and in Canada they believe they have found " the great
elm " under which they may gather in safety to continue their
In presenting these documents the original orthography has been
retained. The only attempt to record Iroquois names and words
phonetically is in the notes. This will account for some variations
in spelling. The Mohawk and Onondaga writers in their manu-
scripts used Ayonhwatha and Hayonhwatha interchangeably and
there are other variations.
14 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
THE DEKANAWIDA LEGEND^
DEKANAWIDA'S BIRTH AND JOURNEY
North of the beautiful lake (Ontario) in the land of the Crooked
Tongues, was a long winding bay and at a certain spot was the
Huron town, Ka-ha-nah-yenh. Near by was the great hill, Ti-ro-
nat-ha-ra-da-donh. In the village lived a good woman who had a
virgin daughter. Now strangely this virgin conceived and her
mother knew that she was about to bear a child. The daughter
about this time went into a long sleep and dreamed that her child
should be a son whom she should name Dekanawida. The mes-
senger in the dream told her that he should become a great man
and that he should go among the Flint people to live and that he
should also go to the Many Hill Nation and there raise up the Great
Tree of Peace. It was true as had been said the virgin gave birth
to a boy and the grandmother greatly disliked him and she rebuked
" You refuse to tell me the father of the child," she said, *' and
now how do you know that great calamity will not befall us, and
our nation? You must drown the child."
So then the mother took the child to the bay and chopped a hole
in the ice where she customarily drew water and thrust him in, but
when night came the child was found at his mother's bosom. So
then the mother took the child again and threw him in the bay
but at night the child returned. Then the third time the grand-
mother herself took the child and drowned him but in the morning
the child nestled as before on its mother's own bosom.
So the grandmother marveled that the child, her grandson, could
not be drowned. Then she said to her daughter :
" Mother, now nurse your child for he may become an important
man. He can not be drowned, we know, and you have borne him
without having marriage with any man. Now I have never heard
of such an occurrence nor has the world known of it before."
Beginning with that time the mother took great care of her child
and nursed him. She named him Dekanawida in accord with the
instruction of her dream.
The child rapidly grew and was remarkably strong and healthy.
His appearance was noticed for its good aspect and his face was
When Dekanawida had grown to manhood he was greatly abused
A From the Newhouse version.
-a.^i-— — •— -•a.
r ....... ..•«.. .Bo
..^ :.':-" v^i
- ■'■ ■■•-
:..-:i:;-. ■-... r.' i
1 ■;» '
n-— — -— -•
Great Belt of the Confederacy symbolizing the Gayanessha"gowa as an
ever growing tree
THK CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVK NATIONS I5
by the Huron people because of his handsome face and his good
mind. He was always honest and always told what he believed
was right. Nevertheless he was a peculiar man and his people did
not understand him.
Many things conspired to drive him away for the Crooked
Tongues had no love for such a man. Their hearts were bitter
against a man who loved not war better than all things.
After a journey by canoe across the lake he came into the hunt-
ing territory of the Flint Nation. He journeyed on to the lower
fall of the river of the Flint Nation and made a camp a short way
from the fall on the flat land above it. He sat beneath a tall tree
and smoked his pipe in quiet meditation.
A man of the Flints passed by and seeing the fire and the
stranger approached him cautiously to discover what weapon he
bore, if any. Carefully the man of the Flint reconnoitered but
saw no weapon, but only the stranger quietly smoking. Returning
to the town a short distance away the presence of the odd stranger
was reported. Then the chiefs and their men went out and assem-
bled about the man who smoked. One of the head men was dele-
gated to question the stranger and so he asked '' From whence
" I am from Ka-ka-na-yenh," the stranger replied.
" I am of the Wyandots, whom you call the Crooked Tongues
because our speech is slightly diflferent," answered the stranger,
'' My mother is a virgin woman."
" Then," said the speaker, " By what name are you known ? "
" I am Dekanawidah, so named because my virgin mother
dreamed that it should be so and no one else shall ever be named
by this name."
** What brought you here to us," asked the speaker.
So then Dekanawidah answered, " The Great Creator from
whom we all are descended sent me to establish the Great Peace
among you. No longer shall you kill one another and nations shall
cease warring upon each other. Such things are entirely evil and
he, your Maker, forbids it. Peace and comfort are better than war
and misery for a nation's welfare."
Then answered the speaker of the Flints, "All that you say is
surely true and we are not able to contradict it. We must have
proof, however, before we submit ourselves to you whereby we
may know that you indeed possess rightful power to establish the
l6 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
So answered Dekanawida, " I am able to demonstrate my power
for I am the messenger of the Creator and he truly has given me
my choice of the manner of my death."
" Choose then," said the speaker, " a manner of destruction for
we are ready to destroy you." Dekanawida replied, " By the side
of the falls at the edge of a precipice stands a tall tree. I will
climb the tree and seat myself in the topmost branches. Then shall
you cut down the tree and I shall fall into the depths below. Will
not that destroy me ? "
Then said the speaker, " Let us proceed at once."
Dekanawida ascended the tree and it was chopped down. A
multitude of people saw him fall into the chasm and plunge into
the water. So they were satisfied that he was surely drowned.
Night came but Dekanawida did not appear and thus were the
people sure of his death, and then were they satisfied.
The next morning the warriors saw strange smoke arising from
the smoke hole of an empty cabin. They approached cautiously and
peering in the side of the wall where the bark was loosened they
saw Dekanawidah. He was alive and was not a ghost and he was
cooking his morning meal.
So the watchers reported their discovery and then were the
chiefs and people truly convinced that indeed Dekanawidah might
establish the Great Peace.
THE TROUBLED NATIONS
The Ongwe-oweh had fought long and bravely. So long had
they fought that they became lustful for war and many times
Endeka-Gakwa, the Sun, came out of the east to find them fighting.
It was thus because the Ongwe-oweh were so successful that they
said the Sun loved war and gave them power.
All the Ongwe-oweh fought other nations sometimes together and
sometimes singly and, ah-gi! ofttimes they fought among them-
selves. The nation of the Flint had little sympathy for the Nation
of the Great Hill, and sometimes they raided one another's settle-
ments. Thus did brothers and Ongwe-oweh fight. The nation of
the Sunken Pole fought the Nation of the Flint and hated them,
and the Nation of the Sunken Pole was Ongwe.
Because of bitter jealousy and love of bloodshed sometimes towns
would send their young men against the young men of another
town to practise them in fighting.
Even in his own town a warrior's own neighbor might be his
enemy and it was not safe to roam about at night when Soi-ka-
Gakwa, our Grandmother, the Moon, was hidden.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 17
Everywhere there was peril and everywhere mourning. Men
were ragged with sacrifice and the women scarred with the flints,
so everywhere there was misery. Feuds with outer nations, feuds
with brother nations, feuds of sister towns and feuds of families
and of clans made every warrior a stealthy man who liked to kill.
Then in those days there was no great law. Our founder had
not yet come to create peace and give united strength to the Real
Men, the Ongwe-oweh.
In those same days the Onondagas had no peace. A man's life
was valued as nothing. For any slight offence a man or woman
was killed by his enemy and in this manner feuds started between
families and clans. At night none dared leave their doorways lest
they be struck down by an enemy's war club. Such was the con-
dition when there was no Great Law.
South of the Onondaga town lived an evil-minded man. His
lodge was in a swale and his nest was made of bulrushes. His body
was distorted by seven crooks and his long tangled locks were
adorned by writhing living serpents. Moreover, this monster was
a devourer of raw meat, even of human flesh. He was also a master
of wizardry and by his magic he destroyed men but he could not
be destroyed. Adodarhoh was the name of the evil man.
Notwithstanding the evil character of Adadarhoh the people of
Onondaga, the Nation of Many Hills, obeyed his commands and
though it cost many lives they satisfied his insane whims, so much
did they fear him for his sorcery.
The time came, however, when the Onondaga people could endure
him no longer. A council was called to devise a way to pacify him
and to entreat him to cease his evil ways. Hayonwatha called the
council for he had many times sought to clear the mind of Ado-
darhoh and straighten his crooked body. So then the council was
held in the house of Hayontawatha. It was decided that half the
people should go by boat across the creek where it widens and
that others should skirt the shore. Adodarhoh was not in his nest
in the swale but in a new spot across the wide place in the creek.
The boats started and the people walked. From the bushes that
overhung the shore a loud voice sounded. " Stand quickly and
look behind you for a storm will overwhelm you."
In dismay the people arose in their canoes and turned about.
As they did so the canoes overturned and the men were plunged
into the water and many were drowned. A few escaped and then
all survivors returned to the village. So had Adodarhoh frustrated
the attempt to meet with him.
l8 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Again the people prepared to conciliate Adodarho. Three times
they agreed to attempt the undertaking. So on the second occasion
they go by canoe and by land, those who go by canoe follow the
shore and those who go by land walk on the pebbles close to the
Again the cunning Adodarho sees them and calling down Hagoks
he shook him, and the people in a wild rush scramble for the
feathers, for the plumes of Hagoks are most beautiful and men are
proud when their heads are adorned with them. There is a tumult
and blows are struck. Evil feelings arise and in anger the people
return to the village still contending. The mission of conciliation
The next day Ayonhwatha called the people to their promise and
for the third time to attempt a council with Adodarho. Moreover,
they promised to obey every instruction and listen neither to a voice
outside nor an omen nor any commotion.
Another council was held in the lodge of a certain great dreamer.
He said, '' I have dreamed that another shall prevail. He shall come
from the north and pass to the east. Hayonwhatha shall meet him
there in the Mohawk country and the two together shall prevail.
Hayonwhatha must not remain with us but must go from us to the
Flint land people."
So when the journey across the lake was attempted there was a
division and the dreamer's council prevailed.
Then the dreamer held two cot^ncils and those who believed in
him conspired to employ Ohsinoh, a famous shaman.
Hayonwhatha had seven daughters whom he loved and in whom
he took great pride. While they lived the conspirators knew he
would not depart. With the daughters dead they knew the crushing
sorrow would sever every tie that bound him to Onondaga. Then
would he be free to leave and in thinking of the welfare of the
people forget his own sorrow.
Hayonwhatha could not call the people together for they refused
further to listen to his voice. The dreamer's council had prevailed.
At night Osinoh climbed a tree overlooking his lodge and sat on a
large limb. Filling his mouth with clay he imitated the sound of
a screech owl. Calling the name of the youngest daughter he sang:
" Unless you marry Osinoh
You will surely die, -whoo-hoo ! "
Then he came down and went to his own home.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I9
In three days the maiden strangely died. Hayonwhatha was dis-
consolate and sat sitting with his head bowed in his hands. He
mourned, but none came to comfort him.
In like manner five other daughters passed away and the grief
of Hayonwhatha was extreme.
Clansmen of the daughters then went to the lodge of Hayon-
whatha to watch, for they knew nothing of Osinoh's sorcery.
They gathered close against the large trees and in the shadows of
bushes. The clansmen suspected some evil treachery and were
there to discover it.
There was no moon in the sky when Osinoh came. Cautiously
he came from habit but he was not afraid. He drove his staff in
the ground, he breathed loud like a magic totem animal snorting
and then he climbed the tree. He spat the clay about the tree to
imitate the screech owl and as he did he said : " Si-twit, si-twit,
si-twit." Then he sang:
" Unless you marry Osinoh
You shall surely die, whoo-hoo ! *'
The morning came and Osinoh descended. As he touched the
ground a clansman shot an arrow and transfixed him. Prostrate
fell Osinoh and the clansman rushed at him with a club.
Osinoh looked up. *' You are unable to club me," he said. *' Your
arm has no power at all. It weakens. Today I shall recover from
this wound. It is of no purpose to injure me."
It was true indeed; the clansman could not lift the club to kill
Osinoh. Then Osinoh arose and went home and in three days the
daughter died. So perished all by the evil magic arts of Osinoh.
The grief of Hayonwhatha was terrible. He threw himself
about as if tortured and yielding to the pain. No one came near
him so awful was his sorrow. Nothing would console him and his
mind was shadowed with the thoughts of his heavy sorrow.
" I shall cast myself away, I shall bury myself in the forest, I
shall become a woodland wanderer," he said. Thus he expressed
his desire to depart. Then it was known that he would go to an-
Hayonwhatha " split the heavens," Watanwhakacia, when he de-
parted and his skies were rent asunder.
Toward the south he went and at n^ht he camped on the moun-
tain. This was the first day of his journey. On the second day
he descended and camped at the base of the hill. On the third day
20 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
he journeyed onward and when evening came he camped in a hick-
ory grove. This he named O-nea-no-ka-res-geh, and it was on
the morning he came to a place where round jointed rushes grew.
He paused as he saw them and made three strings of them and
when he had built a fire he said : " This would I do if I found
anyone burdened with grief even as I am. I would console them
for they would be covered with night and wrapped in darkness.
This would I lift with words of condolence and these strands of
beads would become words with which I would address them."
So at this place he stayed that night and he called the spot O-hon-
do-gon-wa, meaning Rush-land.
When daylight came he wandered on again and altering the
course of his journey turned to the east. At night he came to a
group of small lakes and upon one he saw a flock of ducks. So
many were there and so closely together did they swim that they
seemed like a raft.
" If I am to be truly royaneh (noble)," he said aloud to himself,
'* I shall here discover my power." So then he spoke aloud and
said : "Oh you who are ' floats ' lift up the water and permit me
to pass over the bottom of the lake dryshod."
In a compact body the ducks flew upward suddenly and swiftly,
lifting the water with them. Thus did he walk down the shore and
upon the bottom of the lake. There he noticed lying in layers the
empty shells of the water snail, some shells white, and others pur-
ple. Stooping down he filled a pouch of deer skin with them, and
then passed on to the other shore. Then did the ducks descend
and replace the water.
It was here that Hayonwhatha desired for the first time to eat.
He then killed three ducks and roasted them. This was the evening
of the fifth day.
In the morning he ate the cold meat of the roasted ducks and
resumed his journey. This was the sixth day and on that day he
hunted for small game and slept.
On the morning of the seventh day he ate again and turned his
way to the south. Late in the evening he came to a clearing and
found a bark field hut. There he found a shelter and there he
erected two poles, placed another across the tops and suspended
three shell strings. Locking at them he said : " Men boast what
they would do in extremity but they do not do what they say. If
I should see anyone in deep grief I would remove these shell strings
from the pole and console them. The strings would become words
and lift away the darkness with which they are covered. More-
over what I say I would surely do." This he repeated.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 21
A little girl discovered smoke arising from the field lodge and
she crept up and hstened. She advanced and peered in a chink in
the bark. Then she ran homeward and told her father of the
" The stranger must be Hayonwhatha," said the father, " I have
heard that he has departed from Onondaga. Return, my daughter,
and invite him to our house."
The girl-child obeyed and Hayonwhatha went to her house. " We
are about to hold a council," the father said. " Sit in that place on
one side of the fire and I will acquaint you with our decisions."
The council was convened and there was a great discussion.
Before darkness every evening the council dissolved and at no time
was Hayonwhatha called upon for advice nor was anything officially
reported to him.
On the tenth day of his journey during the debate in the council
Hayonwhatha quietly left and resumed his wandering. Nothing
had been asked of him and he felt himself not needed by the people.
Late in the evening he came to the edge of another settlement and
as was his custom he kindled a fire and erected a horizontal pole
on two upright poles. On this he placed three strings of the
wampum shells. Then he sat down and repeated his saying : " Men
boast what they would do in extremity but they do not do what
they promise. If I should see any one in deep grief I would re-
move these shells from this pole and console him. The shells would
become words and lift away the darkness with which they are
covered. Moreover, I truly would do as I say." This he repeated.
The chief man of the village saw the smoke at the edge of the
forest and sent a messenger to discover who the stranger might be.
Now when the messenger reached the spot he saw a man seated
before a fire and a horizontal pole from which three strings of small
shells were suspended. He also heard the words spoken as the
stranger looked at the strings. So then when he had seen all he
returned and reported what he had seen and heard.
Then said the chief man, " The person whom you describe must
truly be Hayonwhatha whom we have heard left his home at Onon-
daga. He it is who shall meet the great man foretold by the
dreamer. We have heard that this man should work with the man
who talks of the establishment of peaQf ."
So then the chiefs sent a messenger who should say, '' Our prin-
cipal chief sent me to greet you. Now then I wish you would come
into our village with me."
22 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Hayonwhatha heard the messenger and gathered up his goods
and went into the village and when he had entered the chief's house
the chief said, " Seat yourself on the opposite side of the fire so that
you may have an understanding of all that we do here in this place."
Then Hayonhwatha sat there for seven days and the chiefs and
people talked without arriving at any decision. No word was asked
Hayonhwatha and he was not consulted. No report was made
officially to him. So he did not hear what they talked about.
On the eighteenth night a runner came from the south. He was
from the nation residing on the seashore. He told the chiefs of
the eminent man who had now come to the town on the Mohawk
river at the lower falls. Then the messenger said : '*' We have
heard of the dream of Onodaga which told of the great man who
came from the north. Now another great man who shall now go
forward in haste to meet him shall change his course and go east-
ward to meet in the Flinty land village (Kanyakahake), the great
man. There shall the two council together and establish the Great
Peace." So said the messenger from the salt water seashore, who
came to tell Hayonwhatha to journey east.
So the chiefs of the town where Hayonhwatha was staying chose
five men as an escort for Hayonhwatha. They must go with him
until he reached the house where Dekanawida was present. So
then on the next day the chief himself went with the party and
watched carefully the health of Hayonhwatha. The journey lasted
five days and on the fifth day the party stopped on the outskirts of
the town where Dekanawida was staying and then they built a fire.
This was the custom, to make a smoke so that the town might know
that visitors were approaching and send word that they might enter
without danger to their lives. The smoke was the signal of friends
approaching.^ The Mohawks (People of the Flinty Country) knew
the meaning of the signal so they sent messengers and invited the
party into the village.
When Hayonhwatha had entered the house where the people had
gathered the chief asked him whom he would like to see most.
Then Ayonhwatha answered, " I came to see a very great man
who lately came from the north." The chief said, " I have with you
two men who shall escort you to the house where Dekanawida is
iln those days it was necessary to build a fire on the outskirts of a village
about to be entered. If necessary to kill an animal for food, its pelt must
be hung on a tree in plain sight because it is the property of the nation in
whose territory it is killed. This information was given to me by Albert
Cusick and Seth Newhouse.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 23
present." Then the people went out and the two men escorted
Hayonhwatha to Dekanawida. This was on the twenty-third day.
Then Dekanawida arose when Hayonhwatha had entered and he
said: " My younger brother I perceive that you have suffered from
some deep grief. You are a chief among your people and yet you
are wandering about."
Hayonhwatha answered, " That person skilled in sorcery, Osinoh,
has destroyed my family of seven daughters. It was truly a great
calamity and I am now very miserable. My sorrow and my rage
have been bitter. I can only rove about since now I have cast
myself away from my people. I am only a wanderer. I split the
heavens when I went away from my house and my nation."
Dekanawida replied, " Dwell here with me. I will represent your
sorrow to the people here dwelling."
So Hayonhwatha had found some one who considered his dis-
tress and he did stay. Then Dekanawida told of his suffering and
the people listened.
The five escorts were then dismissed and Hayonhwatha gave
thanks to them and told them to return to their own region again.
Then the escorts said, *' Now today it has happened as was foretold
in a drearn. The two are now together. Let them now arrange
the Great Peace." Then they returned home.
When Dekanawida laid the trouble before the council he promised
to let Hayonhwatha know their decision. The chiefs deliberated
over the sad events and then decided to do as Dekanawida should
say. He then should remedy the trouble. Then Dekanawida went
in perplexity to his lodge and as he came to it he heard Hayonh-
watha say, " It is useless, for the people only boast what they will
do, saying ' I would do this way,' but they do nothing at all. If what
has befallen me should happen to them I would take down the three
shell strings from the upright pole and I would address them and I
would console them because they would be covered by heavy dark-
ness." Dekanawida stood outside the door and heard all these
words. So then Dekanawida went forward into the house and he
went up to the pole, then he said : " My younger brother, it has
now become very plain to my eyes that your sorrow must be re-
moved. Your griefs and your rage have been great. I shall now
undertake to remove your sorrow so that your mind may be rested.
Have you no more shell strings on yowr pole ? "
Hayonhwatha replied, " I have no more strings but I have many
shells in a tanned deer's skin." So he opened his bundle and a great
24 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
quantity of shells fell out. So then Dekanawida said, " My younger
brother, I shall string eight more strands because there must be
eight parts to my address to you." So then Hayonhwatha per-
mitted the stringing of the shells and Dekanawida made the strings
so that in all there were thirteen strings and bound them in four
bunches. These must be used to console the one who has lost by
death a near relative. " My younger brother, the thirteen strings
are now ready on this horizontal pole. I shall use them. I shall
address you. This is all that is necessary in your case."
So then he took one bunch off the pole and held it in his hand
while he talked. While he talked one after another he took them
down and gave one to Hayonhwatha after each part of his address.
The words that he spoke when he addressed Hayonhwatha were
eight of the thirteen condolences.
When the eight ceremonial addresses had been made by Dekana-
wida the mind of Hayonhwatha was made clear. He was then satis-
fied and once more saw things rightly.
Dekanawida then said, " My younger brother, these thirteen'
strings of shell are now completed. In the future they shall be used
in this way : They shall be held in the hand to remind the speaker
of each part of his address, and as each part is finished a string
shall be given to the bereaved chief (Royaneh) on the other side of
the fire. Then shall the Royaneh hand them back one by one as he
addresses a reply ; it then can be said, ' I have now become even
with you/ "
Dekanawida then said, " My junior brother, your mind being
cleared and you being competent to judge, we now shall make our
laws and when all are made we shall call the organization we have
formed the Great Peace. It shall be the power to abolish war and
robbery between brothers and bring peace and quietness.
'*As emblems of our Royoneh titles we shall wear deer antlers
and place them on the heads of Royaneh men."
Hayonhwatha then said, " What you have said is good, I do
Dekanawida said, " My younger brother, since you have agreed
I now propose that we compose our Peace song. We shall use it
on our journey to pacify Adodarhoh. When he hears it his mind
shall be made straight. His mind shall then be like that of other
men. This will be true if the singer remembers and makes no error
in his singing from the beginning to the end, as he walks before
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 25
Hayonhwatha said, " I do agree, I truly believe the truth of what
Then Dekanawida said, " My younger brother, we shall now pro-
pose to the Mohawk council the plan we have made. We shall tell
our plan for a confederation and the building of a hpuse of peace.
It will be necessary for us to know its opinion and have its consent
The plan was talked about in the council and Dekanawida spoke
of establishing a union of all the nations. He told them that all the
chiefs must be virtuous men and be very patient. These should
wear deer horns as emblems of their position, because as he told
them their strength came from the meat of the deer. Then Hayonh-
watha confirmed all that Dekanawida had said.
Then the speaker of the Mohawk council said, '' You two, Dekana-
wida and Hayonhwatha, shall send messengers to the Oneida (Peo-
ple of the Stone) and they shall ask Odatshedeh if he will consider
When Odatshedeh had been asked he replied, " I will consider
this plan and answer you tomorrow."
When the tomorrow of the next year had come, there came the
answer of the Oneida council, " We will join the confederation."
So then the Mohawks (Kanyenga) sent two messengers to Onon-
daga asking that the nation consider the proposals of Dekanawida.
It was a midsummer day when the message went forth and the
Onondaga council answered, " Return tomorrow at high sun." So
the two great men returned home and waited until the next mid-
summer. Then the midday came and the Onondaga council sent
messengers who said, " We have decided that it would be a good
plan to build the fire and set about it with you." Dekanawida and
Hayonhwatha heard this answer.
So then at the same time Dekanawida and Hayonhwatha sent
messengers to the Cayuga nation and the answer was sent back.
The Cayugas said they would send word of their decision tomorrow,
upon the midsummer day. The next year at midsummer the
Cayugas sent their answer and they said, " We do agree with
Dekanawida and Hayonhwatha."
Now the People of the Great Hill were divided and were not
agreed because there had been trouble between their war chiefs, but
messengers were sent to them but th^ Senecas could not agree to
listen and requested the messengers to return the next year. So
when the messengers returned the councHs did listen and considered
26 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
the proposals. After a year had passed they sent messengers to say
that they had agreed to enter into the confederacy.
Then Dekanawida said, " I now will report to the Mohawk coun-
cil the result of my work of five years." Hayonhwatha then said,
" I do agree to the report."
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GREAT PEACE
Dekanawida requested some of the Mohawk chiefs to call a
council, so messengers were sent out among the people and the
council was convened.
Dekanawida said, " I, with my co-worker, have a desire to now
report what we have done on five successive midsummer days, of
five successive years. We have obtained the consent of five nations.
These are the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas
and the Senecas. Our desire is to form a compact for a union of
our nations. Our next step is to seek out Adodarhoh. It is he who
has always set at naught all plans for the establishment of the
Great Peace. We must seek his fire and look for his smoke."
The chief speaker of the council then said, " We do agree and
confirm all you have said and we wish to appoint two spies who shall
volunteer to seek out the smoke of Adodarhoh."
Two men then eagerly volunteered and Dekanawida asked them
if they were able to transform themselves into birds or animals, for
such must be the ability of the messengers who approached Adodar-
hoh. The two men replied, " We are able to transform ourselves
into herons and cranes."
" Then you will not do for you will pause at the first creek or
swamp and look for frogs and fish."
Two men then said, " We have magic that will transform us into
humming birds. They fly very swiftly."
" Then you will not do because you are always hungry and are
looking for flowers."
Two other men then said, " We can become the Dare, the white
" Then you will not do because you are very wild and easily
frightened. You would be afraid when the clouds move. You
would become hungry and fly to the ground looking about for
Then two men who were crows by magic volunteered but they
were told that crows talked too loudly, boasted and were full of
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 27
So then in the end two men who were powerful by the magic of
the deer and the bear stepped before the council and were chosen.
The speaker for the council then reported to Dekanawida that the
spies were ready to go. Then they went.
Now Dekanawida addressed the council and he said, " I am
Dekanawida and with me is my younger brother. We two now lay
before you the laws by which to frame the Ka-ya-neh-renh-ko-wa.
The emblems of the chief rulers shall be the antlers of deer. The
titles shall be vested in certain women and the names shall be held
in their maternal families forever." All the laws were then recited
and Hayonhwatha confirmed them.
Dekanawida then sang the song to be used when conferring titles.
So in this way all the work and the plans were reported to the
Mohawk council and Hayonhwatha confirmed it all. Therefore the
council adopted the plan.
When the spies returned the speaker of the council said, " Ska-
non-donh, our ears are erected." Then the spies spoke and they
said, "At great danger to ourselves we have seen Adodarhoh. We
have returned and tell you that the body of Adodarhoh has seven
crooked parts, his hair is infested with snakes and he is a cannibal."
The council heard the message and decided to go to Onondaga
Then Dekanawida taught the people the Hymn of Peace and
the other songs. He stood before the door of the longhouse and
walked before it singing the new songs. Many came and learned
them so that many were strong by the magic of them when it was
time to carry the Great Peace to Onondaga.
When the time had come, Dekanawida summoned the chiefs and
people together and chose one man to sing the songs before Adodar-
hoh. Soon then this singer led the company through the forest
and he preceded all, singing the Peace songs as he walked. Many
old villages and camping places were passed as they went and the
names were lifted to give the clan name holders. Now the party
passed through these places:
Overgrown with bushes
A temporary place
Between two places
Parties opposite at the council fire
In the Valley
2S NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
On the Hillside
I have daubed it
Between two side hills
At the forks
Broken Branches Lying
Corn Stalks on both sides
The Old Beast
All these places were in the Mohawk country.
Now they entered the Oneida country and the great chief Odat-
shedeh with his chiefs met them. Then all of them marched on-
ward to Onondaga, the singer of the Peace Hymn going on ahead.
The frontier of the Onondaga country was reached and the ex-
pedition halted to kindle a fire, as was customary. Then the chiefs
of the Onondagas with their head men welcomed them and a great
throng marched to the fireside of Adodarhoh, the singer of the
Peace Hymn leading the multitude.
The lodge of Adodarhoh was reached and a new singer was ap-
pointed to sing the Peace Hymn. So he walked before the door
of the house singing to cure the mind of Adodarhoh. He knew that
if he made a single error or hesitated his power would be weakened
and the crooked body of Adodarhoh remain misshapen. Then he
hesitated and made an error. So another singer was appointed and
he too made an error by hesitating.
Then Dekanawida himself sang and walked before the door of
Adodarhoh's house. When he finished his song he walked toward
Adodarhoh and held out his hand to rub it on his body and to
know its inherent strength and life. Then Adodarhoh was made
straight and his mind became healthy.
When Adodarhoh was made strong in rightful powers and his
body had been healed, Dekanawida addressed the three nations.
He said, " We have now overcome a great obstacle. It has long
stood in the way of peace. The mind of Adodarhoh is now made
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 29
right and his crooked parts are made straight. Now indeed may
we establish the Great Peace.
" Before we do firmly establish our union each nation must ap-
point a certain number of its wisest and purest men who shall be
rulers, Rodiyaner. They shall be ithe advisers of the people and
make the new rules that may be needful. These men shall be se-
lected and confirmed by their female relations in whose lines the
titles shall be hereditary. When these are named they shall be
crowned, emblematically, with deer antlers."
So then the women of the Mohawks brought forward nine chiefs
who should become Rodiyaner and one man, Ayenwaehs, as war
So then the women of the Oneidas brought forward nine chiefs
who should become Rodiyaner, and one man, Kahonwadironh, who
should be war chief.
So then the Onondaga women brought forward fourteen chiefs
who should become Rodiyaner, and one man, Ayendes, who should
be war chief.
Each chief then delivered to Dekanawida a string of lake shell
wampum a span in length as a pledge of truth.
Dekanawida then said : " Now, today in the presence of this
great multitude I disrobe you and you are not now covered by
your old names. I now give you names much greater." Then
calling each chief to him he said : " I now place antlers on your
head as an emblem of your power. 'Your old garments are torn
oflf and better robes are given you. Now you are Royaner, each
of you. You will receive many scratches and the thickness of
your skins shall be seven spans. You must be patient and hence-
forth work in unity. Never consider your own interests but work
to benefit the people and for the generations not yet born. You
have pledged yourselves to govern yourselves by the laws of the
Great Peace. All your authority shall come from it.
" I do now order that Skanawateh shall in one-half of his being
be a Royaneh of the Great Peace, and in his other half a war
chief, for the Rodiyaner must have an ear to hear and a hand to
feel the coming of wars."
Then did Dekanawida repeat all the rules which he with
Ayonhwatha had devised for the establishment of the Great Peace.
Then in the councils of all the Fiv^ Nations he repeated them
and the Confederacy was established.
30 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
THE COUNCIL OF THE GREAT PEACE
THE GREAT BINDING LAW, GAYANASHAGOWA
I I am Dekanawidah and with the Five Nations' Confederate
Lords^ I plant the Tree of the Great Peace. I plant it in your
territory, Adodarhoh, and the Onondaga Nation, in the territory
of you who are Firekeepers.
1 name the tree the Tree of the Great Long Leaves. Under the
shade of this Tree of the Great Peace we spread the soft white
feathery down of the globe thistle as seats for you, Adodarhoh,
and your cousin Lords.
We place you upon those seats, spread soft with the feathery
down of the globe thistle, there beneath the shade of the spreading
branches of the Tree of Peace. There shall you sit and watch
the Council Fire of the Confederacy of the Five Nations, and all
the affairs of the Five Nations shall be transacted at this place
before you, Adodarhoh, and your cousin Lords, by the Confederate
Lords of the Five Nations. (i-I, TLL).^
2 Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace, one
to the north, one to the east, one to the south and one to the west.
The name of these roots is The Great White Roots and their nature
is Peace and Strength.
If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall obey the
laws of the Great Peace and make known their disposition to the
Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the Roots to the Tree
and if their minds are clean and they are obedient and promise to
obey the wishes of the Confederate Council, they shall be welcomed
to take shelter beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves.
We place at the top of the Tree of the Long Leaves an Eagle
who is able to see afar. If he sees in the distance any evil ap-
proaching or any danger threatening he will at once warn the people
of the Confederacy. (2-II, TLL).
3 To you Adodarhoh, the Onondaga cousin Lords, I and the
other Confederate Lords have entrusted the caretaking and the
watching of the Five Nations Council Fire.
When there is any business to be transacted and the Confederate
Council is not in session, a messenger shall be dispatched either to
1 Royaneh is always translated " lord."
2 The abbreviations after each law refer to the sections in the orig:inal
code and their numbers. TLL, means Tree of the Long Leaves; EUC,
Emblematical Union Compact, and LPW, Skanawita's Laws of Peace and
War. The first number in Roman numerals refers to the original number
of the law, the second number, in Arabic numerals, to the section number
in the division of the law named by the abbreviation following.
Belt of the covenant. Displayed by the speaker of the con-
federate council. %
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 3I
Adodarhoh, Hononwirehtonh or Skanawatih, Fire Keepers, or to
their War Chiefs with a full statement of the case desired to be con-
sidered. Then shall Adodarho call his cousin (associate) Lords
together and consider whether or not the case is of sufficient im-
portance to demand the attention of the Confederate Council. If
so, Adodarhoh shall dispatch messengers to summon all the Con-
federate Lords to assemble beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves.
When the Lords are assembled the Council Fire shall be kindled,
but not with chestnut wood,^ and Adodarhoh shall formally open
Then shall Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords, the Fire Keepers,
announce the subject for discussion.
The Smoke of the Confederate Council Fire shall ever ascend
and pierce the sky so that other nations who may be allies may see
the Council Fire of the Great Peace.
Adodarho and his cousin Lords are entrusted with the Keeping
of the Council Fire. (4-IV, TLL).
4 You, Adodarho, and your thirteen cousin Lords, shall faith-
fully keep the space about the Council Fire clean and you shall
allow neither dust nor dirt to accumulate. I lay a Long Wing be-
fore you as a broom. As a weapon against a crawling creature I
lay a staff with you so that you may thrust it away from the Coun-
cil Fire. If you fail to cast it out then call the rest of the United
Lords to your aid. (3-III, TLL)
5 The Council of the Mohawk shall be divided into three parties
as follows : Tekarihoken, Ayonhwhathah and Shadekariwade are
the first party; Sharenhowaneh, Deyoenhegwenh and Oghrengh-
rehgowah are the second party, and Dehennakrineh, Aghstawen-
serenthah and Shoskoharowaneh are the third party. The third
party is to listen only to the discussion of the first and second par-
ties and if an error is made or the proceeding is irregular they are
to call attention to it, and when the case. is right and properly de-
cided by the two parties they shall confirm the decision of the two
parties and refer the case to the Seneca Lords for their decision.
When the Seneca Lords have decided in accord with the Mohawk
Lords, the case or question shall be referred to the Cayuga and
Oneida Lords on the opposite side of the house. (5-V, TLL).
6 I, Dekanawidah, appoint the Mohawk Lords the heads and the
leaders of the Five Nations Confederacv. The Mohawk Lords are
1 Because chestnut wood in burning throws out sparks, thereby creating
a disturbance in the council.
32 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
the foundation of the Great Peace and it shall, therefore, be against
the Great Binding Law to pass measures in the Confederate Council
after the Mohawk Lords have protested against them. (6-VI,
No council of the Confederate Lords shall be legal unless all the
Mohawk Lords are present. (13-XIII, TLL).
7 Whenever the Confederate Lords shall assemble for the pur-
pose of holding a council, the Onondaga Lords shall open it by
expressing their gratitude to their cousin Lords and greeting them,
and they shall make an address and offer thanks to the earth where
men dwell, to the streams of water, the pools, the springs and the
lakes, to the maize and the fruits, to the medicinal herbs and trees,
to the forest trees for their usefulness, to the animals that serve
as food and give their pelts for clothing, to the great winds and the
lesser winds, to the Thunderers, to the Sun, the mighty warrior,
to the moon, to the messengers of the Creator who reveal his wishes
and to the Great Creator^ who dwells in the heavens above, who
gives all the things useful to men, and who is the source and the
ruler of health and life.
Then shall the Onondaga Lords declare the council open.
The council shall not sit after darkness has set in. (7-VII,
8 The Firekeepers shall formally open and close all councils of
the Confederate Lords, they shall pass upon all matters deliberated
upon by the two sides and render their decision.
Every Onondaga Lord (or his deputy) must be present at every
Confederate Council and must agree with the majority without un-
warrantable dissent, so that a unanimous decision may be rendered,.
If Adodarho or any of his cousin Lords are absent from a Con-
federate Council, any other Firekeeper may open and close the
Council, but the Firekeepers present may not give any decisions,
unless the matter is of small importance. (9-IX, TLL).
9 All the business of the Five Nations Confederate Council shall
be conducted by the two combined bodies of Confederate Lords.
First the question shall be passed upon by the Mohawk and Seneca
Lords, then it shall be discussed and passed by the Oneida and
Cayuga Lords. Their decisions shall then be referred to the Onon-
daga Lords, (Fire Keepers) for final judgment. (lO-X, TLL).
The same process shall obtain when a question is brought before
the council by an individual or a War Chief. (ii-XI, TLL).
1 Hodianok'doo" Hediohe' (Seneca).
THE CONSTITUTION GF THE FIVE NATIONS 33
10 In all cases the procedure must be as follows : when the Mo-
hawk and Seneca Lords have unanimously agreed upon a question,
they shall report their decision to the Cayuga and Oneida Lords
who shall deliberate upon the question and report a unanimous de-
cision to the Mohawk Lords. The Mohawk Lords will then report
the standing of the case to the Firekeepers, who shaH render a de-
cision (17-XVII, TLL) as they see fit in case of a disagreement
by the two bodies, or confirm the decisions of the two bodies if
they are identical. The Fire Keepers shall then report their de-
cision to the Mohawk Lords who shall announce it to the open
council. (12-XII, TLL).
11 If through any misunderstanding or obstinacy on the part
of the Fire Keepers, they render a decision at variance with that of
the Two Sides, the Two Sides shall reconsider the matter and if
their decisions are jointly the same as before they shall report to
the Fire Keepers who are then compelled to confirm their joint
decision. (18-XVIII, TLL).
12 When a case comes before the Onondaga Lords (Fire Keep-
ers) for discussion and decision, Adodarho shall introduce the mat-
ter to his comrade Lords who shall then discuss it in their two
bodies. Every Onondaga Lord except Hononwiretonh shall de-
liberate and he shall listen only. When a unanimous decision shall
have been reached by the two bodies of Fire Keepers, Adodarho
shall notify Hononwiretonh of the fact when he shall confirm it.
He shall refuse to confirm a decision if it is not unanimously agreed
upon by both sides of the Fire Keepers. (19-XIX, TLL).
13 No Lord shall ask a question of the body of Confederate
Lords when they are discussing a case, question or proposition.
He may only deliberate in a low tone with the separate body of
which he is a member. (21-XXI, TLL).
14 When the Council of the Five Nation Lords shall convene
they shall appoint a speaker for the day. He shall be a Lord of
either the Mohawk, Onondaga or Seneca Nation.
The next day the Council shall appoint another speaker, but the
first speaker may be reappointed if there is no objection, but a
speaker's term shall not be regarded more than for the day. (35-
15 No individual or foreign nation interested in a case, question
or proposition shall have any voice in the Confederate Council ex-
cept to answer a question put to him or them by the speaker for
the Lords. (41-XLI, TLL).
34 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
1 6 If the conditions which shall arise at any future time call for
an addition to or change of this law, the case shall be" carefully
considered and if a new beam seems necessary or beneficial, the
proposed change shall be voted upon and if adopted it shall be
called, "Added to the Rafters." (48-XLVII, TLL).
Rights, duties and qualifications of Lords
17 A bunch of a certain number of shell (wampum) strings each
two spans in length shall be given to each of the female families
in which the Lordship titles are vested. The right of bestowing
the title shall be hereditary in the family of females legally possess-
ing the bunch of shell strings and the strings shall be the token
that the females of the family have the proprietary right to the
Lordship title for all time to come, subject to certain restrictions
hereinafter mentioned. (59-LIX, TLL).
18 If any Confederate Lord neglects or refuses to attend the
Confederate Council, the other Lords of the Nation of which he
is a member shall require their War Chief to request the female
sponsors of the Lord so guilty of defection to demand his attend-
ance of the Council. If he refuses, the women holding the title
shall immediately select another candidate for the title.
No Lord shall be asked more than once to attend the Confederate
Council. (30-XXX, TLL).
19 If at any time it shall be manifest that a Confederate Lord
has not in mind the welfare of the people or disobeys the rules of
this Great Law, the men or the women of the Confederacy, or both
jointly,^ shall come to the Council and upbraid the erring Lord
through his War Chief. If the complaint of the people through
the War Chief is not heeded the first time it shall be uttered again
and then if no attention is given a third complaint and warning
shall be given. If the Lord is still contumacious the matter shall
go to the council of War Chiefs. (66-LXVI, TLL). The War
Chiefs shall then divest the erring Lord of his title by order of
the women in whom the titleship is vested. When the Lord is de-
posed the women shall notify the Confederate Lords through their
War Chief, and the Confederate Lords shall sanction the act. The
women will then select another of their sons as a candidate and the
Lords shall elect him. Then shall the chosen one be installed by
the Installation Ceremony. (123-XLI, EUC), (Cf. 42-XLII).
1 See sections 94 and 95 for right of popular councils.
1 Nomination belt used to confirm the nomination of the civil chiefs
2 Welcome belt used in welcoming delegates ^
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 35
When a Lord is to be deposed, his War Chief shall address him
" So you, , disregard and set at naught the warn-
ings of your women relatives. So you fling the warnings over
your shoulder to cast them behind you.
" Behold the brightness of the Sun and in the brightness of the
Sun's light I depose you of your title and remove the sacred emblem
of your Lordship title. I remove from your brow the deer's ant-
lers, which was the emblem of your position and token of your
nobility. I now depose you and return the antlers to the women
whose heritage they are."
The War Chief shall now address the women of the deposed
Lord and say:
" Mothers, as I have now deposed your Lord, I now return to
you the emblem and the title of Lordship, therefore repossess
Again addressing himself to the deposed Lord he shall say :
" As I have now deposed and discharged you so you are now no
longer Lord. You shall now go your way alone, the rest of the
people of the Confederacy will not go with you, for we know not
the kind of mind that possesses you. As the Creator has nothing
to do with wrong so he will not come to rescue you from the preci-
pice of destruction in which you have cast yourself. You shall
never be restored to the position which you once occupied."
Then shall the War Chief address himself to the Lords of the
Nation to which the deposed Lord belongs and say :
" Know you, my Lords, that I have taken the deer's antlers from
the brow of , the emblem of his position and token of
his greatness." t^ ' ;>
The Lords of the Confederacy shall then havccno, other alter-
native than to sanction the discharge of the oflfendin|[T^ord. (42-
20 If a Lord of the Confederacy of the Five Nations should
commit murder the other Lords of the Nation shall assemble at the
place where the corpse lies and prepare to depose the criminal Lord.
If it is impossible to meet at the scene of the crime the Lords
shall discuss the matter at the next Council of their nation and re-
quest their War Chief to depose the Lord guilty of crime, to
" bury " his women relatives and to transfer the Lordship title to
a sister family. >Tl^
36 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
The War Chief shall address the Lord guilty of murder and say :
** So you, (giving his name) did kill
(naming the slain man), with your own hands ! You have committed
a grave sin in the eyes of the Creator. Behold the bright light of
the Sun, and in the brightness of the Sun's light I depose you of
your title and remove the horns, the sacred emblems of your Lord-
ship title. I remove from your brow the deer's antlers, which was
the emblem of your position and token of your nobility. I now
depose you and expel you and you shall depart at once from the
territory of the Five Nations Confederacy and nevermore return
again. We, the Five Nations Confederacy, moreover, bury your
women relatives because the ancient Lordship title was never in-
tended to have any union with bloodshed. Henceforth it shall not
be their heritage. By the evil deed that you have done they have
forfeited it forever."
The War Chief shall then hand the title to a sister family and he
shall address it and say :
" Our mothers, , listen attentively while I address
you on a solemn and important subject. I hereby transfer to you
an ancient Lordship title for a great calamity has befallen it in
the hands of the family of a former Lord. We trust that you, our
mothers, will always guard it, and that you will warn your Lord
always to be dutiful and to advise his people to ever live in love,
peace and harmony that a great calamity may never happen again."
21 Certain physical defects in a Confederate Lord make him in-
eligible to sit in the Confederate Council. Such defects are in-
fancy, idiocy, blindness, deafness, dumbness and impotency. When
a Confederate Lord is restricted by any of these conditions, a
deputy shall be appointed by his sponsors to act for him, but in
case of extreme necessity the restricted Lord may exercise his
rights. (29-XXIX, TLL).
22 If a Confederate Lord desires to resign his title he shall
notify the Lords of the Nation of which he is a member of his in-
tention. If his coactive Lords refuse to accept his resignation he
may not resign his title.
A Lord in proposing to resign may recommend any proper candi-
date which recommendation shall be received by the Lords, but
unless confirmed and nominated by the women who hold the title
the candidate so named shall not be considered. (31-XXXI,
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 37
23 Any Lord of the Five Nations Confederacy may construct
shell strings (or wampum belts) of any size or length as pledges
or records of matters of national or international importance.
When it is necessary to dispatch a shell string by a War Chief
or other messenger as the token of a summons, the messenger shall
recite the contents of the string to the party to whom it is sent.
That party shall repeat the message and return the shell string and
if there has been a summons he shall make ready for the journey.
Any of the people of the Five Nations may use shells (or wam-
pum) as the record of a pledge, contract or an agreement entered
into and the same shall be binding as soon as shell strings shall have
been exchanged by both parties. (32-XXXII, TLL).
24 The Lords of the Confederacy of the Five Nations shall be
mentors of the people for all time. The thickness of their skin
shall be seven spans — which is to say that they shall be proof
against anger, offensive actions and criticism. Their hearts shall be
full of peace and good will and their minds filled with a yearning
for the welfare of the people of the Confederacy. With endless
patience they shall carry out their duty and their firmness shall be
tempered with a tenderness for their people. Neither anger nor
fury shall find lodgement in their minds and all their words and
actions shall be marked by calm deliberation. (33-XXXIII, TLL).
25 If a Lord of the Confederacy should seek to establish any
authority independent of the jurisdiction of the Confederacy of the
Great Peace, which is the Five Nations, he shall be warned three
times in open council, first by the women relatives, second by the
men relatives and finally by the Lords of the Confederacy of the
Nation to which he belongs. If the offending Lord is still obdurate
he shall be dismissed by the War Chief of his nation for refusing
to conform to the laws of the Great Peace. His nation shall then
install the candidate nominated by the female name holders of his
family. (34-XXXIV, TLL).
26 It shall be the duty of all of the Five Nations Confederate
Lords, from time to time as occasion demands, to act as mentors
and spiritual guides of their people and remind them of their
Creator's will and words. They shall say:
" Hearken, that peace may continue unto future days !
"Always listen to the words of the Great Creator, for he has
" United People, let not evil find lodging in your minds
" For the Great Creator has spoken and the cause of Peace' shall
not become old.
38 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
" The cause of peace shall not die if you remember the Great
Every Confederate Lord shall speak words such as these to pro-
mote peace. (37-XXXVII, TLL).
27 All Lords of the Five Nations Confederacy must be honest
in all things. They must not idle or gossip, but be men possessing
those honorable qualities that make true royaneh. It shall be a
serious wrong for anyone to lead a Lord into trivial affairs, for the
people must ever hold their Lords high in estimation out of respect
to their honorable positions. (45-XLV, TLL).
28 When a candidate Lord is to be installed he shall furnish
four strings of shells (or wampum) one span in length bound to-
gether at one end. Such will constitute the evidence of his pledge
to the Confederate Lords that he will live according to the consti-
tution of the Great Peace and exercise justice in all affairs.
When the pledge is furnished the Speaker of the Council must
hold the shell strings in his hand and address the opposite side of
the Council Fire and he shall commence his address saying : " Now
behold him. He has now become a Confederate Lord. See how
splendid he looks." An address may then follow. At the end of it
he shall send the bunch of shell strings to the opposite side and they
shall be received as evidence of the pledge. Then shall the opposite
*' We now do crown you with the sacred emblem of the deer's
antlers, the emblem of your Lordship. You shall now become a
mentor of the people of the Five Nations. The thickness of your
skin shall be seven spans — which is to say that you shall be proof
against anger, oflfensive actions and criticism. Your heart shall be
filled with peace and good will and your mind filled with a yearning
for the welfare of the people of the Confederacy. With endless
patience you shall carry out your duty and your firmness shall be
tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury
shall find lodgement in your mind and all your words and actions
shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all of your delibera-
tions in the' Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making,
in all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast
not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews
and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may
do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right.
Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always
in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 39
those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the
unborn of the future Nation." (51-LI, TLL).
29 When a Lordship title is to be conferred, the candidate Lord
shall furnish the cooked venison, the corn bread and the com soup,
together with other necessary things and the labor for the Con-
ferring of Titles Festival. (50-L, TLL).
30 The Lords of the Confederacy may confer the Lordship title
upon a candidate whenever the Great Law is recited, if there be
a candidate, for the Great Law speaks all the rules. (XLIV-44,
31 If a lord of the Confederacy should become seriously ill and
be thought near death, the women who are heirs of his title shall
go to his house and lift his crown of deer antlers, the emblem of his
Lordship, and place them at one side. If the Creator spares him
and he rises from his bed of sickness he may rise with the antlers
on his brow.
The following words shall be used to temporarily remove the
" Now our comrade Lord (or our relative Lord) the time has
come when we must approach you in your illness. We remove for
a time the deer's antlers from your brow, we remove the emblem
of your Lordship title. The Great Law has decreed that no Lord
should end his life with the antlers on his brow. We therefore lay
them aside in the room. If the Creator spares you and you recover
from your illness you shall rise from your bed with the antlers on
your brow as before and you shall resume your duties as Lord of
the Confederacy and you may labor again for the Confederate
people." (XXVII-27, TLL).
32 If a Lord of the Confederacy should die while the Council
of the Five Nations is in session the Council shall adjourn for ten
days. No Confederate Council shall sit within ten days of the death
of a Lord of the Confederacy.
If the Three Brothers (the Mohawk, the Onondaga and the
Seneca) should lose one of their Lords by death, the Younger
Brothers (the Oneida and the Cayuga) shall come to the surviving
Lords of the Three Brothers on the tenth day and console them.
If the Younger Brothers lose one of their Lords then the Three
Brothers shall come to them and console them. And the consola-
tion shall be the reading of the contents of the thirteen shell
(wampum) strings of Ayonhwhathah. At the termination of this
rite a successor shall be appointed, to be appointed by the women
40 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
heirs of the Lordship title. If the women are not yet ready to place
their nominee before the Lords the Speaker shall say, " Come let
us go out." All shall then leave the Council or the place of gather-
ing. The installation shall then wait until such a time as the
women are ready. The Speaker shall lead the way from the house
by saying, '' Let us depart to the edge of the woods and lie in wait-
ing on our bellies."
When the women title holders shall have chosen one of their sons
the Confederate Lords will assemble in two places, the Younger
Brothers in one place and the Three Older Brothers in another.
The Lords who are to console the mourning Lords shall choose one
of their number to sing the Pacification Hymn as they journey to
the sorrowing Lords. The singer shall lead the way and the Lords
and the people shall follow. When they reach the sorrowing Lords
they shall hail the candidate Lord and perform the rite of Con-
ferring the Lordship Title. (22-XXII, TLL).
33 When a Confederate Lord dies, the surviving relatives shall
immediately dispatch a messenger, a member of another clan, to the
Lords in another locality. When the runner comes within hailing
distance of the locality he shall utter a sad wail, thus : " Kwa-ah,
Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah ! " The sound shall be repeated three times and
then again and again at intervals as many times as the distance may
require. When the runner arrives at the settlement the people shall
assemble and one must ask him the nature of his sad message. He
shall then say, " Let us consider." Then he shall tell them of the
death of the Lord. He shall deliver to them a string of shells
(wampum) and say "Here is the testimony, you have heard the
message." He may then return home.
It now becomes the duty of the Lords of the locality to send
runners to other localities and each locality shall send other mes-
sengers until all Lords are notified. Runners shall travel day and
night. (23-XXIII, TLL).
34 If a Lord dies and there is no candidate qualified for the office
in the family of the women title holders, the Lords of the Nation
shall give the title into the hands of a sister family in the clan
until such a time as the original family produces a candidate, when
the title shall be restored to the rightful owners.
No Lordship title may be carried into the grave. The Lords of
the Confederacy may dispossess a dead Lord of his title even at
the grave. (24-XXIV, TLL) .
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 4I
Election of Pine Tree chiefs
35 Should any man of the Nation assist with special ability or
show great interest in the affairs of the Nation, if he proves him-
self wise, honest and worthy of confidence, the Confederate Lords
may elect him to a seat with them and he may sit in the Confed-
erate Council. He shall be proclaimed a Pine Tree sprung up for
the Nation and be installed as such at the next assembly for the
installation of Lords. Should he ever do anything contrary to
the rules of the Great Peace, he may not be deposed from office —
no one shall cut him down^ — but thereafter everyone shall be deaf
to his voice and his advice. Should he resign his seat and title
no one shall prevent him. A Pine Tree chief has no authority to
name a successor nor is his title hereditary. (LXVIlI-68, TLL).
Names, duties and rights of war chiefs
2,6 The title names of the Chief Confederate Lords' War Chiefs
Ayonwaehs, War Chief under Lord Takarihoken (Mohawk)
Kahonwahdironh, War Chief under Lord Odatshedeh (Oneida)
Ayendes, War Chief under Lord Adodarhoh (Onondaga)
Wenenhs, War Chief under Lord Dekaenyonh (Cayuga)
Shoneradowaneh, War Chief under Lord Skanyadariyo (Seneca)
The women heirs of each head Lord's title shall be the heirs of
the War Chief's title of their respective Lord. (52-LII, TLL).
The War Chiefs shall be selected from the eligible sons of 'the
female families holding the head Lordship titles. (53-LIII, TLL).
37 There shall be one War Chief for each Nation and their
duties shall be to carry messages for their Lords and to take up
the arms of war in case of emergency. They shall not participate
in the proceedings of the Confederate Council but shall watch its
progress and in case of an erroneous action by a Lord they shall
receive the complaints of the people and convey the warnings of
the women to him. The people who wish to convey messages to
the Lords in the Confederate Council shall do so through the War
Chief of their Nation. It shall ever be his duty to lay the cases,
questions and propositions of the people before the Confederate
Council. (54-LIV, TLL).
38 When a War Chief dies another shall be installed by the same
rite as that by which a Lord is installed. (56-LVI, TLL).
1 Because, " his top branches pierce the sky and if his roots are cut he will
not fall but hang upright before the people."
42 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
39 If a War Chief acts contrary to instructions or against the
provisions of the Laws of the Great Peace, doing so in the capacity
of his office, he shall be deposed by his women relatives and by his
men relatives. Either the women or the men alone or jointly may
act in such case. The women title holders shall then choose an-
other candidate. (55-LV, TLL).
40 When the Lords of the Confederacy take occasion to dis-
patch a messenger in behalf of the Confederate Council, they shall
wrap up any matter they may send and instruct the messenger to
remember his errand, to turn not aside but to proceed faithfully
Co his destination and deliver his message according to every in-
struction. (57-XLVII, TLL).
41 If a message borne by a runner is the warning of an invasion
he shall whoop, " Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah," twice and repeat at short
intervals ; then again at a longer interval.
If a human being is found dead, the finder shall not touch the
body but return home immediately shouting at short intervals,
" Koo-weh ! " (23-XXIII, TLL) .
Clans and consanguinity
42 Among the Five Nations and their posterity there shall be
the following original clans: Great Name Bearer, Ancient Name
Bearer, Great Bear, Ancient Bear, Turtle, Painted Turtle, Standing
Rock, Large Plover, Little Plover, Deer, Pigeon Hawk, Eel, Ball,
Opposite-Side-of-the-Hand, and Wild Potatoes. These clans dis-
tributed through their respective Nations, shall be the sole owners
and holders of the soil of the country and in them is it vested as
a birthright. (94-XI, EUC).
43 People of the Five Nations members of a certain clan shall
recognize every other member of that clan, irrespective of the Na-
tion, as relatives. Men and women, therefore, members of the
same clan are forbidden to marry. (98-XV, EUC).
44 The lineal descent of the people of the Five Nations shall
run in the female line. Women shall be considered the progenitors
of the Nation. They shall own the land and the soil. Men and
women shall follow the status of the mother. (60-LX, TLL).
45 The women heirs of the Confederate Lordship titles shall be
called Royaneh (Noble) for all time to come. (61-LXI, TLL).
46 The women of the Forty Eight (now fifty) Royaneh fam-
ilies shall be the heirs of the Authorized Names for all time to
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 43
When an infant of the Five Nations is given an Authorized Name
at the Midwinter Festival or at the Ripe Corn Festival, one in the
cousinhood of which the infant is a member shall be appointed a
speaker. He shall then announce to the opposite cousinhood the
names of the father and the mother of the child together with the
clan of the mother. Then the speaker shall announce the child's
name twice. The uncle of the child shall then take the child in
his arms and walking up and down the room shall sing : " My
head is firm, I am of the Confederacy." As he sings the opposite
cousinhood shall respond by chanting, " Hyenh, Hyenh, Hyenh,
Hyenh," until the song is ended. (95-XII, EUC).
47 If the female heirs of a Confederate Lord's title become ex-
tinct, the title right shall be given by the Lords of the Confederacy
to the sister family whom they shall elect and that family shall hold
the name and transmit it to their (female) heirs, but they shall not
appoint any of their sons as a candidate for a title until all the
eligible men of the former family shall have died or otherwise have
become ineligible. (25-XXV, TLL).
48 If all the heirs of a Lordship title become extinct, and all
the families in the clan, then the title shall be given by the Lords
of the Confederacy to the family in a sister clan whom they shall
elect. (26-XXVI, TLL).
49 If any of the Royaneh women, heirs of a titleship, shall wil-
fully withhold a Lordship or other title and refuse to bestow it, or
if such heirs abandon, forsake or despise their heritage, then shall
such women be deemed buried and their family extinct. The title-
ship shall then revert to a sister family or clan upon application and
complaint. The Lords of the Confederacy shall elect the family or
clan which shall in future hold the title. (2&-XXVIII, TLL).
50 The Royaneh women of the Confederacy heirs of the Lord-
ship titles shall elect two women of their family as cooks for the
Lord when the people shall assemble at his house for business or
It is not good nor honorable for a Confederate Lord to allow
his people whom he has called to go hungry. (62-LXII, TLL).
51 When a Lord holds a conference in his home, his wife, if
she wishes, may prepare the food for the Union Lords who
assemble with him. This is an honorable right which she may ex-
ercise and an expression of her esteem. (38-XXXVIII, TLL).
52 The Royaneh women, heirs ^ the Lordship titles, shall,
should it be necessary, correct and admonish the holders of their
titles. Those only who attend the Council may do this and those
44 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
who do not shall not object to what has been said nor strfve to
undo the action. (63-LXIII, TLL).
53 When the Royaneh women, holders of a Lordship title, select
one of their sons as a candidate, they shall select one who is trust-
worthy, of good character, of honest disposition, one who manages
his own affairs, supports his own family, if any, and who has
proven a faithful man to his Nation. (64-LXIV, TLL).
54 When a Lordship title becomes vacant through death or
other cause, the Royaneh women of the clan in which the title is
hereditary shall hold a council and shall choose one from among
their sons to fill the office made vacant. Such a candidate shall not
be the father of any Confederate Lord. If the choice is unanimous
the name is referred to the men relatives of the clan. If they
should disapprove it shall be their duty to select a candidate from
among their own number. . If then the men and women are unable
to decide which of the two candidates shall be named, then the
matter shall be referred to the Confederate Lords in the Clan.
They shall decide which candidate shall be named. If the men and
the women agree to a candidate his name shall be referred to the
sister clans for confirmation. If the sister clans confirm the choice,
they shall refer their action to their Confederate Lords who shall
ratify the choice and present it to their cousin Lords, and if the
cousin Lords confirm the name then the candidate shall be installed
by the proper ceremony for the conferring of Lordship titles. (65-
55 A large bunch of shell strings, in the making of which the
Five Nations Confederate Lords have equally contributed, shall
symbolize the completeness of the union and certify the pledge of
the nations represented by the Confederate Lords of the Mohawk,
the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga and the Seneca, that all are
united and formed into one body or union called the Union of the
Great Law, which they have established.
A bunch of shell strings is to be the symbol of the council fire of
the Five Nations Confederacy. And the Lord whom the Council
of Fire Keepers shall appoint to speak for them in opening the
council shall hold the strands of shells in his hands when speaking.
When he finishes speaking he shall deposit the strings on an ele-
vated place (or pole) so that all the assembled Lords and the
people may see it and know that the council is open and in progress.
When the council adjourns the Lord who has been appointed by
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 45
his comrade Lords to close it shall take the strands of shells in his
hands and address the assembled Lords. Thus will the council
adjourn until such a time and place as appointed by the council.
Then shall the shell strings be placed in a place for safekeeping. •
Every five years the Five Nations Confederate Lords and the
people shall assemble together and shall ask one another if their
minds are still in the same spirit of unity for the Great Binding
Law and if any of the Five Nations shall not pledge continuance
and steadfastness to the pledge of unity then the Great Binding
Law shall dissolve. (14-XIV, TLL).
56 Five strings of shell tied together as one shall represent the
Five Nations. Each string shall represent one territory and the
whole a completely united territory known as the Five Nations
Confederate territory. (108-XXV, EUC).
57 Five arrows shall be bound together very strong and each
arrow shall represent one nation. As the five arrows are strongly
Ijound this shall symbolize the complete union of the nations. Thus
are the Five Nations united completely and enfolded together,
united into one head, one body and one mind. Therefore they shall
labor, legislate and council together for the interest of future
The Lords of the Confederacy shall eat together from one bowl
the feast of cooked beaver's tail. While they are eating they are
to use no sharp utensils for if they should they might accidentally
cut one another and bloodshed would follow. All measures must
be taken to prevent the spilling of blood in any way. (15-XV,
58 There are now the Five Nations Confederate Lords standing
with joined hands in a circle. This signifies and provides that
should any one of the Confederate Lords leave the council and
this Confederacy his crown of deer's horns, the emblem of his
Lordship title, together with his birthright, shall lodge on the arms
of the Union Lords whose hands are so joined. He forfeits his
title and the crown falls from his brow but it shall remain in the
A further meaning of this is that if any time any one of the
Confederate Lords choose to submit to the law of a foreign peo-
ple he is no longer in but out of the Confederacy, and persons of
this class shall be called " They have alienated themselves." Like-
wise such persons who submit to law* of foreign nations shall for-
feit all birthrights and claims on the Five Nations Confederacy and
46 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
You, the Five Nations Confederate Lords, be firm so that if a
tree falls upon your joined arms it shall not separate you or weaken
your hold. So shall the strength of the union be preserved. (i6-
59 A bunch of wampum shells on strings, three spans of the hand
in length, the upper half of the bunch being white and the lower
half black, and formed from equal contributions of the men of the
Five Nations, shall be a token that the men have combined them-
selves into one head, one body and one thought, and it shall also
symbolize their ratification of the peace pact of the Confederacy,
whereby the Lords of the Five Nations have established the Great
The white portion of the shell strings represent the women and
the black portion the men. The black portion, furthermore, is
a token of power and authority vested in the men of the Five
This string of wampum vests the people with the right to correct
their erring Lords. In case a part or all the Lords pursue a course
not vouched for by the people and heed not the third warning of
their women relatives, then the matter shall be taken to the Gen-
eral Council of the women of the Five Nations. If the Lords
notified and warned three times fail to heed, then the case falls into
the hands of the men of the Five Nations. The War Chiefs shall
then, by right of such power and authority, enter the open council
to warn the Lord or Lords to return from their wrong course. If
the Lords heed the warning they shall say, " we will reply to-
morrow." If then an answer is returned in favor of justice and
in accord with this Great Law, then the Lords shall individually
pledge themselves again by again furnishing the necessary shells
for the pledge. Then shall the War Chief or Chiefs exhort the
Lords urging them to be just and true.
Should it happen that the Lords refuse to heed the third warn-
ing, then two courses are open : either the men may decide in their
council to depose the Lord or Lords or to club them to death with
war clubs. Should they in their council decide to take the first
course the War Chief shall address the Lord or Lords, saying:
" Since you the Lords of the Five Nations have refused to return
to the procedure of the Constitution, we now declare your seats
vacant, we take off your horns, the token of your Lordship, and
others shall be chosen and installed in your seats, therefore vacate
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 47
Should the men in their council adopt the second course, the
War Chief shall order his men to enter the council, to take positions
beside the Lords, sitting between them wherever possible. When
this is accomplished the War Chief holding in his outstretched hand
a bunch of black wampum strings' shall say to the erring Lords :
** So now, Lords of the Five United Nations, harken to these last
words from your men. You have not heeded the warnings of the
women relatives, you have not heeded the warnings of the General
Council of women and you have not heeded the warnings of the
men of the nations, all urging you to return to the right course of
action. Since you are determined to resist and to withhold justice
from your people there is only one course for us to adopt." At
this point the War Chief shall let drop the bunch of black wampum
and the men sha^l spring to their feet and club the erring Lords
to death. Any erring Lord may submit before the War Chief
lets fall the black wampum. Then his execution is withheld.
The black wampum here used symbolizes that the power to exe-
cute is buried but that it may be raised up again by the men. It is
buried but when occasion arises they may pull it up and derive
their power and authority to act as here described. (SPW 8i XII).
60 A broad dark belt of wampum of thirty-eigt^t rows, having a
white heart in the center, on either side of which are two white
squares all connected with the heart by white rows of beads shall
be the emblem of the unity of the Five Nations.^
The first of the squares on the left represents the Mohawk nation
and its territory; the second square on the left and the one near
the heart, represents the Oneida nation and its territory ; the white
heart in the middle represents the Onondaga nation and its terri-
tory, and it also means that the heart of the Five Nations is single
in its loyalty to the Great Peace, that the Great Peace is lodged in
the heart (meaning with Onondaga Confederate Lords), and that
the Council Fire is to burn there for the Five Nations, and further,
it means that the authority is given to advance the cause of peace
whereby hostile nations out of the Confederacy shall cease warfare;
the white square to the right of the heart represents the Cayuga
nation and its territory and the fourth and last white square repre-
sents the Seneca nation and its territory.
White shall here symbolize that no evil or jealous thoughts shall
creep into the minds of the Lords while in council under the Great
iThis is the "Hiawatha Belt" purchased by John Boyd Thatcher of
Albany and now in the Congressional Library.
48 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Peace. White, the emblem of peace, love, charity and equity sur-
rounds and guards the Five Nations. (84-EUC, i).
61 Should a great calamity threaten the generations rising and
living of the Five United Nations, then he who is able to climb to
the top of the Tree of- the Great Long Leaves may do so. When,
then, he reaches the top of the Tree he shall look about in all
directions, and, should he see that evil things indeed are approach-
ing, then he shall call to the people of the Five United Nations
assembled beneath the Tree of the Great Long Leaves and say:
"A calamity threatens your happiness."
Then shall the Lords convene in council and discuss the impending
When all the truths relating to the trouble shall be fully known
and found to be truths, then shall the people seek out a Tree of
Ka-hon-ka-ah-go-nah,i and when they shall find it they shall assem-
ble their heads together and lodge for a time between its roots.
Then, their labors being finished, they may hope for happiness for
many days after. (II-85, EUC).
62 When the Confederate Council of the Five Nations declares
for a reading of the belts of shell calling to mind these laws, they
shall provide for the reader a specially made mat woven of the
fibers of wild hemp. The mat shall not be used again, for such
formality is called the honoring of the importance of the law.
63 Should two sons of opposite sides of the council fire agree
in a desire to hear the reciting of the laws of the Great Peace and
so refresh their memories in the way ordained by the founder of
the Confederacy, they shall notify Adodarho. He then shall con-
sult with five of his coactive Lords and they in turn shall consult
their eight brethren. Then should they decide to accede to the
request of the two sons from opposite sides of the Council Fire,
Adodarhoh shall send messengers to notify the Chief Lords of each
of the Five Nations. Then they shall despatch their War Chiefs
to notify their brother and cousin Lords of the meeting and its
time and place.
When all have come and have assembled, Adodarhoh,- in con-
junction with his cousin Lords, shall appoint one Lord who shall
repeat the laws of the Great Peace. Then shall they announce who
they have chosen to repeat the laws of the Great Peace to the two
sons. Then shall the chosen one repeat the laws of the Great
Peace. (XLIII-43, TLL).
1 A great swamp Elm.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 49
64 At the ceremony of the installation of Lords if there is only
one expert speaker and singer of the law and the Pacification Hymn
to stand at the council fire, then when this speaker and singer has
finished addressing one side of the fire he shall go to the opposite
side and reply to his own speech and song. He shall thus act for
both sides of the fire until the entire ceremony has been completed.
Such a speaker and singer shall be termed the " Two Faced "
because he speaks and sings for both sides of the fire. (XLIX-49,
65 I, Dekanawida, and the Union Lords, now uproot the tallest
pine tree and into the cavity thereby made we cast all weapons of
war. Into the depths of the earth, down into the deep underearth
currents of water flowing to unknown regions we cast all the
weapons of strife. We bury them from sight and we plant again
the tree. Thus shall the Great Peace be established and hostilities
shall no longer be known between the Five Nations but peace to
the United People.
Laws of adoption
66 The father of a child of great comliness, learning, ability or
specially loved because of some circumstance may, at the will of
the child's clan, select a name from his own (the father's) clan
and bestow it by ceremony, such as is provided. This naming
shall be only temporary and shall be called, "A name hung about
the neck." (Xn-96, EUC).
67 Should any person, a member of the Five Nations' Confed-
eracy, specially esteem a man or a woman of another clan or of a
foreign nation, he may choose a name and bestow it upon that
person so esteemed. The naming shall be in accord with the cere-
mony of bestowing names. Such a name is only a temporary one
and shall be called "A name hung about the neck." A short string
of shells shall be delivered with the name as a record and a pledge.
68 Should any member of the Five Nations, a family or person
belonging to a foreign nation submit a proposal for adoption into
a clan of one of the Five Nations, he or they shall furnish a string
of shells, a span in length, as a pledge to the clan into which he or
they wish to be adopted. The Lords of the nation shall then con-
sider the proposal and submit a decision. (XXI-104, EUC).
69 Any member of the Five Nat^ns who through esteem or
other feeling wishes to adopt an individual, a family or number of
families may offer adoption to him or them and if accepted the
50 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
matter shall be brought to the attention of the Lords for confirma-
tion and the Lords must confirm the adoption. (XXII-105, EUC).
70 When the adoption of anyone shall have been confirmed by
the Lords of the Nation, the Lords shall address the people of their
nation and say : " Now you of our nation, be informed that such a
person, such a family or such families have ceased forever to bear
their birth nation's name and have buried it in the depths of the
earth. Henceforth let no one of our nation ever mention the
original name or nation of their birth. To do so will be to hasten
the end of our peace. (XXIII-106, EUC).
Laws of emigration
71 When any person or family belonging to the Five Nations
desires to abandon their birth nation and the territory of the Five
Nations, they shall inform the Lords of their nation and the Con-
federate Council of the Five Nations shall take cognizance of it.
72 When any person or any of the people of the Five Nations
emigrate and reside in a region distant from the territory of the
Five Nations Confederacy, the Lords of the Five Nations at will
may send a messenger carrying a broad belt of black shells and
when the messenger arrives he shall call the people together or
address them personally displaying the belt of shells and they shall
know that this is an order for them to return to their original
homes and to their council fires. (XL-40, TLL).
Rights of foreign nations
73 The soil of the earth from one end of the land to the other
is the property of the people who inhabit it. By birthright the
Ongwehonweh (Original beings) are the owners of the soil which
they own and occupy and none other may hold it. The same law has
been held from the oldest times.
The Great Creator has made us of the one blood and of the same
soil he made us and as only different tongues constitute different
nations he established different hunting grounds and territories and
made boundary lines between them. (LXIX-69, TLL).
74 When any alien nation or individual is admitted into the Five
Nations the admission shall be understood only to be a temporary
one. Should the person or nation create loss, do wrong or cause
suffering of any kind to endanger the peace of the Confederacy,
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 5I
the Confederate Lords shall order one of their war chiefs to repri-
mand him or them and if a similar offence is again committed the
offending party or parties shall be expelled from the territory of
the Five United Nations. (XXVI-119, EUC).
75 When a member of an alien nation comes to the territory
of the Five Nations and seeks refuge and permanent residence, the
Lords of the Nation to which he comes shall extend hospitality and
make him a member of the nation. Then shall he be accorded equal
rights and privileges in all matters except as after mentioned.
76 No body of alien people who have been adopted temporarily
shall have a vote in the council of the Lords of the Confederacy,
for only they who have been invested with Lordship titles may
vote in the Council. Aliens have nothing by blood to make claim
to a vote and should they have it, not knowing all the traditions
of the Confederacy, might go against its Great Peace. In this
manner the Great Peace would be endangered and perhaps be
destroyed. (XXXVIII-121, EUC).
"jy When the Lords of the Confederacy decide to admit a foreign
nation and an adoption is made, the Lords shall inform the adopted
nation that its admission is only temporary. They shall also say
to the nation that it must never try to control, to interfere with
or to injure the Five Nations nor disregard the Great Peace or
any of its rules or customs. That in no way should they cause
disturbance or injury. Then should the adopted nation disregard
these injunctions, their adoption shall be annulled and they shall
The expulsion shall be in the following manner: The council
shall appoint one of their War Chiefs to convey the message of
annulment and he shall say, '' You (naming the nation) listen to
me while 1 speak. I am here to inform you again of the will of the
Five Nations' Council. It was clearly made known to you at a
former time. Now the Lords of the Five Nations have decided
to expel you and cast you out. We disown you now and annul
your adoption. Therefore you must look for a path in which to
go and lead away all your people. It was you, not we, who com-
mitted wrong and caused this sentence of annulment. So then
go your way and depart from the territory of' the Five Nations
and from the Confederacy." (XXXIX-i^, EUC).
78 Whenever a foreign nation enters the Confederacy or accepts
the Great Peace, the Five Nations and the foreign nation shall
52 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
enter into an agreement and compact by which the foreign nation
shall endeavor to pursuade other nations to accept the Great
Peace. (XLVI-46, TLL).
Rights and powers of war
79 Skanawatih shall be vested with a double office, duty and
with double authority. One-half of his being shall hold the Lord-
ship title and the other half shall hold the title of War Chief.
In the event of war he shall notify the five War Chiefs of the
Confederacy and command them to prepare for war and have their
men ready at the appointed time and place for engagement with
the enemy of the Great Peace. (I-70, SPW).
80 When the Confederate Council of the Five Nations has for
its object the establishment of the Great Peace among the people
of an outside nation and that nation refuses to accept the Great
Peace, then by such refusal they bring a declaration of war upon
themselves from the Five Nations. Then shall the Five Nations
seek to establish the Great Peace by a conquest of the rebellious
nation. (II-71, SPW).
81 When the men of the Five Nations, now called forth to be-
come warriors, are ready for battle with an obstinate opposing
nation that has refused to accept the Great Peace, then one of the
five War Chiefs shall be chosen by the warriors of the Five
Nations to lead the army into battle. It shall be the duty of the
War Chief so chosen to come before his warriors and address
them. His aim shall be to impress upon them the necessity of good
behavior and strict obedience to all the commands of the War
Chiefs. He shall deliver an oration exhorting them with great
zeal to be brave and courageous and never to be guilty of
cowardice. At the conclusion of his oration he shall march for-
ward and commence the War Song and he shall sing:
Now I am greatly surprised
And, therefore, I shall use it, —
The power of my War Song.
I am of the Five Nations
And I shall make supplication
To the Almighty Creator.
He has furnished this army.
My warriors shall be mighty
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 53
In the strength of the Creator.^
Between him and my song they are
For it was he who gave the song
This war song that I sing!
82 When the warriors of the Five Nations are on an expedition
against an enemy, the War Chief shall sing the War Song as he
approaches the country of the enemy and not cease until his scouts
have reported that the army is near the enemies' lines when the
War Chief shall approach with great caution and prepare for the
attack. (IV-73, SPW).
83 When peace shall have been established by the termination
of the war against a foreign nation, then the War Chief shall cause
all the weapons of war to be taken from the nation. Then shall the
Great Peace be established and that nation shall observe all the
rules of the Great Peace for all time to come. (V-74, SPW).
84 Whenever a foreign nation is conquered or has by their own
will accepted the Great Peace their own system of internal govern-
ment may continue, but they must cease all warfare against other
nations. (VT-75, SPW).
85 Whenever a war against a foreign nation is pushed until that
nation is about exterminated because of its refusal to accept the
Great Peace and if that nation shall by its obstinacy become ex-
terminated, all their rights, property and territory shall become the
property of the Five Nations. (VH-76, SPW).
86 Whenever a foreign nation is conquered and the survivors
are brought into the territory of the Five Nations' Confederacy
and placed under the Great Peace the two shall be known as the
Conqueror and the Conquered. A symbolic relationship shall be
devised and be placed in some symbolic position. The conquered
nation shall have no voice in the councils of the Confederacy in
the body of the Lords. (VIII-77, SPW).
87 When the War of the Five Nations on a foreign rebellious
nation is ended, peace shall be restored to that nation by a with-
drawal of all their weapons of war by the War Chief of the Five
Nations. When all the terms of peace shall have been agreed upon
a state of friendship shall be established. (IX-78, SPW).
1 It will be recalled that when the Eries deuianded by what oower the Five
Nations demanded their surrender, the Iroquois replied " The Master of Life
fights for us!" v'^"''''>
54 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
88 When the proposition to estabHsh the Great Peace is made
to a foreign nation it shall be done in mutual council. The foreign
nation is to be persuaded by reason and urged to come into the
Great Peace. If the Five Nations fail to obtain the consent of the
nation at the first council a second council shall be held and upon
a second failure a third council shall be held and this third council
shall end the peaceful methods of persuasion. At the third council
the War Chief of the Five Nations shall address the Chief of the
foreign nation and request him three times to accept the Great
Peace. If refusal steadfastly follows the War Chief shall let the
bunch of white lake shells drop from his outstretched hand to the
ground and shall bound quickly forward and club the offending
chief to death. War shall thereby be declared and the War Chief
shall have his warriors at his back to meet any emergency. War
must continue until the contest is won by the Five Nations (X-79,
89 When the Lords of the Five Nations propose to meet in con-
ference with a foreign nation with proposals for an acceptance of
the Great Peace, a large band of warriors shall conceal themselves
in a secure place safe from the espionage of the foreign nation but
as near at hand as possible. Two warriors shall accompany the
Union Lord who carries the proposals and these warriors shall be
especially cunning. Should the Lord be attacked, these warriors
shall hasten back to the army of warriors with the news of the
calamity which fell through the treachery of the foreign nation.
90 When the Five Nations' Council declares war any Lord of
the Confederacy may enlist with the warriors by temporarily re-
nouncing his sacred Lordship title which he holds through the elec-
tion of his women relatives. The title then reverts to them and
they may bestow it upon another temporarily until the war is over
when the Lord, if living, may resume his title and seat in the
Council. (XII-82, SPW).
91 A certain wampum belt of black beads shall be the emblem of
the authority of the Five War Chiefs to take up the weapons of
war and with their men to resist invasion. This shall be called a
war in defense of the territory. (XIV-83, SPW).
Treason or secession of a nation
92 If a nation, part of a nation, or more than one nation within
the Five Nations should in any way endeavor to destroy the Great
Peace by neglect or violating its laws and resolve to dissolve the
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 55
Confederacy, such a nation or such nations shall be deemed guilty
of treason and called enemies of the Confederacy and the Great
It shall then be the duty of the Lords of the Confederacy who
remain faithful to resolve to warn the offending people. They shall
be warned once and if a second warning is necessary they shall be
driven from the territory of the Confederacy by the War Chiefs
and his men. (III-86, EUC).
Rights of the people of the Five Nations
93 Whenever a specially important matter or a great emergency
is presented before the Confederate Council and the nature of the
matter affects the entire body of Five Nations, threatening their
utter ruin, then the Lords of the Confederacy must submit the
matter to the decision of their people and the decision of the people
shall affect the decision of the Confederate Council. This decision
shall be a confirmation of the voice of the people. (XV-84, SPW).
94 The men of every clan of the Five Nations shall have a Coun-
cil Fire ever burning in readiness for a council of the clan. When
it seems necessary for a council to be held to discuss the welfare
of the clans, then the men may gather about the fire. This council
shall have the same rights as the council of the women. (V-88,
95 The women of every clan of the Five Nations shall have a
Council Fire ever burning in readiness for a council of the clan.
When in their opinion it seems necessary for the interest of the
people they shall hold a council and their decision and recommenda-
tion shall be introduced before the Council of Lords by the War
Chief for its consideration. (IV-87, EUC).
96 All the Clan council fires of a nation or of the Five Nations
may unite into one general council fire, or delegates from all the
council fires may be appointed to unite in a general council for
discussing the interests of the people. The people shall have the
right to make appointments and to delegate their power to others
•of their number. When their council shall have come to a con-
clusion on any matter, their decision shall be reported to the Coun-
cil of the Nation or to the Confederate Council (as the case may
require) by the War Chief or the War Chiefs. (VI-89, EUC).
97 Before the real people united their nations, each nation had
its council fires. Before the Great Peace their councils were held.
The five Council Fires shall continue to burn as before and they
56 * NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
are not quenched. The Lords of each nation in future shall settle
their nation's affairs at this council fire governed always by the
laws and rules of the council of the Confederacy and by the Great
Peace. (VII-90, EUC).
98 If either a nephew or a niece see an irregularity in the per-
formance of the functions of the Great Peace and its laws, in the
Confederate Council or in the conferring of Lordship titles in an
improper way, through their War Chief they may demand that
such actions become subject to correction and that the matter con-
form to the ways prescribed by the laws of the Great Peace.
Religious ceremonies protected
99 The rites and festivals of each nation shall remain undis-
turbed and shall continue as before because they were given by
the people of old times as useful and necessary for the good of
men. (XVI^99, EUC).
100 It shall be the duty of the Lords of each brotherhood to con-
fer at the approach of the time of the Midwinter Thanksgiving and
to notify their people of the approaching festival. They shall hold
a council over the matter and arrange its details and begin the
Thanksgiving five days after the moon of Dis-ko-nah is new. The
people shall assemble at the appointed place and the nephews shall
notify the people of the time and the place. From the beginning
to the end the Lords shall preside over the Thanksgiving and
address the people from time to time. (XVII-ioo, EUC).
loi It shall be the duty of the appointed managers of the Thanks-
giving festivals to do all that is needful for carrying out the duties
of the occasions.
The recognized festivals of Thanksgiving shall be the Midwinter
Thanksgiving, the Maple or Sugar-making Thanksgiving, the
Raspberry Thanksgiving, the Strawberry Thanksgiving, the Corn-
planting Thanksgiving, the Corn Hoeing Thanksgiving, the Little
Festival of Green Corn, the Great Festival of Ripe Corn and the
complete Thanksgiving for the Harvest.
Each nation's festivals shall be held in their Long Houses.
102 When the Thanksgiving for the Green Corn comes the
special managers, both the men and women, shall give it careful
attention and do their duties properly. (XIX-102, EUC).
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 57
103 When the Ripe Corn Thanksgiving is celebrated the Lords
of the Nation must give it the same attention as they give to the
Midwinter Thanksgiving. (XX-103, EUC).
104 Whenever any man proves himself by his good life and his
knowledge of good things, naturally fitted as a teacher of good
things, he shall be recognized by the Lords as a teacher of peace and
religion and the people shall hear him. (X-93, EUC).
The installation song
105 The song used in installing the new Lord of the Confederacy
shall be sung by Adodarhoh and it shall be:
'' Haii, haii Agwah wi-yoh
" '' A-kon-he-watha,
" " Ska-we-ye-se-go-wah
" " Yon-gwa-wih
" " Ya-kon-he-wa-tha
Haii, haii, It is good indeed
" " (That) a broom, —
" " A great wing,
" " It is given me
" " For a sweeping
106 Whenever a person properly entitled desires to learn the
Pacification Song he is privileged to do so but he must prepare a
feast at which his teachers may sit with him and sing. The feast
is provided that no misfortune may befall them for singing the
song on an occasion when no chief is installed. (XXIV-107,
Protection of the house .
107 A certain sign shall be known to all the people of the Five
Nations which shall denote that the owner or occupant of a house
is absent. A stick or pole in a slanting or leaning position shall
indicate this and be the sign. Every person not entitled to enter
the house by right of living within it upon seeing such a sign shall
not approach the house either by day or by night but shall keep as
far away as his business will permit. ^ ( IX-92, EUC).
58 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
108 At the funeral of a Lord of the Confederacy, say : '' Nowl
we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a Lore
of the Five Nations' Confederacy and the United People trusted
you. Now we release you for it is true that it is no longer possible
for us to walk about together on the earth. Now, therefore, we
lay it (the body) here. Here we lay it away. Now then we say
to you, * Persevere onward to the place where the Creator dwells
in peace. Let not the things of the earth hinder you. Let nothing
that transpired while yet you lived hinder you". In hunting you once
took delight ; in the game of Lacrosse you once took delight and in
the feasts and pleasant occasions your mind was amused, but now
do not allow thoughts of these things to give you trouble. Let not
your relatives hinder you and also let not your friends and asso-
ciates trouble your mind. Regard none of these things.'
" Now then, in turn, you here present who were related to this
man and you who were his friends and associates, behold the path
that is yours also! Soon we ourselves will be left in that place.
For this reason hold yourselves in restraint as you go from place to
place. In your actions and in your conversation do no idle thing.
Speak not idle talk neither gossip. Be careful of this and speak
not and do not give way to evil behavior. One year is the time
that you must abstain from unseemly levity but if you can not do
this for ceremony, ten days is the time to regard these things for
109 At the funeral of a War Chief, say:
*' Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once
a war chief of the Five Nations' Confederacy and the United
People trusted you as their guard from the enemy. (The remainder
is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). (XXVII-iio,
no At the funeral of a Warrior say:
" Now we become reconciled as you start away. Once you were
a devoted provider and protector of your family and you were ever
ready to take part in battles for the Five Nations' Confederacy.
The United People trusted you. (The remainder is the same as
the address at the funeral of a Lord). (XXVIII-iii, EUC).
Ill At the funeral of a young man, say:
" Now we become reconciled as you start away. In the beginning
of your career you are taken away and the flower of your life is
withered away. (The rem.ainder is the same as the address at the
funeral of a Lord). (XXIX-112, EUC).
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 59
112 At the funeral of a chief woman say:
*' Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once
t- a chief woman in the Five Nations' Confederacy. You once were
i a mother of the nations. Now we release you for it is true that it
is no longer possible for us to walk about together on the earth.
Now, therefore, we lay it (the body) here' Here we lay it away.
Now then we say to you, * Persevere onward to the place where
the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things of the earth hinder
you. Let nothing that transpired while you lived hinder you.
Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were
faithful. You were one of the many joint heirs of the Lordship
titles. Feastings were yours and you had pleasant occasions. . . .'
(The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a
Lord). (XXX-113, EUC).
113 At the funeral of a woman of the people, say:
" Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once
a woman in the flower of life and the bloom is now withered away.
You once held a sacred position as a mother of the nation. (Etc.)
Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were faith-
ful. Feastings . . . (Etc.) (The remainder is the same as
the address at the funeral of a Lord.) (XXXI-114, EUC).
114 At the funeral of an infant or young woman say:
*' Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were a
tender bud and gladdened our hearts for only a few days. Now
the bloom has withered away . . . (Etc.) Let none of the things
that transpired on earth hinder you. Let nothing that happened
while you lived hinder you. (The remainder is the same as the
address at the funeral of a Lord). (XXXII-115, EUC).
115 When an infant dies within three days, mourning shall con-
tinue only five days. Then shall you gather the little boys and
girls at the house of mourning and at the funeral feast a speaker
shall address the children and bid them be happy once more, though
by a death, gloom has been cast over them. Then shall the black
clouds roll away and the sky shall show blue once more. Then
shall the children be again in sunshine. (XXXIII-116, EUC).
116 When a dead person is brought to the burial place, the
speaker on the opposite side of the Council Fire shall bid the
bereaved family cheer their minds once again and rekindle their
hearth fires in peace, to put their house in order and once again be
in brightness for darkness has covered then^ He shall say that
the black clouds shall roll away and that the bright blue skv is
6o NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
visible once more. Therefore shall they be in peace in the sunshine
again. (XXXIV-117, EUC).
117 Three strings of shell one span in length shall be employed
in addressing the assemblage at the burial of the dead. The
speaker shall say:
" Hearken you who are here, this body is to be covered. As-
semble in this place again ten days hence for it is the decree of the
Creator that mourning shall cease when ten days have expired.
Then shall a feast be made."
Then at the expiration of ten days the Speaker shall say : " Con-
tinue to listen you who are here. The ten days of mourning have
expired and your minds must now be freed of sorrow as before
the loss of the relative. The relatives have decided to make a
little compensation to those who have assisted at the funeral. It
is a mere expression of thanks. This is to the one who did the
cooking while the body was lying in the house. Let her come for-
ward and receive this gift and be dismissed from the task. In
substance this shall be repeated for every one who assisted in any
way until all have been remembered. (XXXV-118, EUC).
THE CODE OF DEKANAHWIDEH
THE TRADITION OF THE ORIGIN OF THE FIVE
Prepared by the committee of chiefs appointed by the Six
Nations' Council of Grand River, Canada, and adopted by Council
of Chiefs, July 3, 1900.
The committee was as follows:
Chief Peter Powless Mohawk
Chief J. W. M. Elliott Mohawk
Chief Nicodemus Porter Oneida
Chief Thomas William Echo Onondaga
Chief William Wage Cayuga
Chief Abram Charles Cayuga
Chief John A. Gibson Seneca
Chief Josiah Hill Tuscarora
Chief John Danford Oneida of the Thames
Chief Isiah Sickles Oneida of the Thames
For several hundred years the Five Nations (since 171 5 the Six
Nations) have existed without a written history chronicled by them-
selves, of their ancient customs, rites and ceremonies, and of the
formation of the Iroquois League. Books have been written by
white men in the past, but these have been found to be too volumin-
ous and inaccurate in some instances.
Of the existence of the Five Nations therefore, before the forma-
tion of the League of Great Peace by Dekanahwideh, living as they
did apart from one another as separate nations and having nothing
in comrron, much might be written, but at this juncture our object
will only admit of the relation of the formation of the League of
the Five Nations, which as far as can be ascertained took place
about the year 1390.
The purpose for which this league or confederation of the Five
Nations was organized was to enable them to protect themselves
against the invasion of their vast do«iains by other nations who
62 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
were hostile to them, and also the formation of a form of govern-
ment among themselves. Ever since the birth of the league this
government has existed with but very slight modifications.
The student of ethnology may find something which may be of
interest to him in this record, compiled as it is by the elder cere-
monial chiefs who are now among those who are ruling the people
of the Six Nations as chiefs or lords, under the old regime of
dynastical lords in perpetuation of that system of government by
hereditary succession as it was constituted by Dekanahwideh and
his associates at the time of the formation of the League of the
This account is not intended to be a concise history of this inter-
esting people, but simply a record of those interesting traditions
which have been for centuries handed down from father to son in
connection with the formation of the league.
There is no doubt in the minds of the writers of this preface
that many of the ancient traditions of the Six Nations have become
much modified, and some have been long relegated to oblivion owing
to the fact that in the earlier history of these peoples there were for
a long time no members of the various nations capable of rendering
these traditions in writing and thus preserving them intact to their
It is a noteworthy fact that the League of the Five Nations (now
known as the Six Nations) as constituted centuries ago by De-
kanahwideh and his associates, has been followed in accordance
with the rules of the confederacy as laid down by this founder of
the league, and that the installation of the lords (chiefs) as rulers
of the people as laid down in these unwritten rules hundreds of
years ago is still strictly observed and adhered to by the chiefs of
the Six Nations and their people.
With reference to the origin or birth, character and doings of
Dekanahwideh as herein chronicled, it will be observed that they
present an analogy or similarity to Hebrew biblical history and
teachings. This is portrayed strongly in the narration of the
birth of Dekanahwideh and also in certain extraordinary powers
which he is attributed to have possessed.
There is little doubt that, some of this influence was brought
about as a result of the labors and teachings of the Jesuit fathers
among them. In the early discovery of the Five Nations the
Jesuit fathers made an efifort to christianize them.
These precepts as taught and inculcated in the minds of the peo-
ple by these missionaries have been assimilated to some extent and
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 63
wrought into their own religious belief, as well perhaps as into the
story of the traditional nativity of this founder of the Iroquois
It was in recognition of the fact that all nations have a traditional
history similar to this one (and some of them have long since be-
come enlightened and educated to better things) which originated
with these people while they were yet in a crude state (notably, for
example, may be cited the English, Irish and Scotch legends and tra-
ditions) that this small fragment of Iroquois traditional history was
written by the chiefs, so that they might preserve it as other na-
tions have done.
It is only natural for a people undergoing a transition from a
state of barbarism to that of civilization and Christianity to evince
a desire to have their past mythological legends and crude history
It was therefore at the request of, and by the authority of the
Six Nations' Council, that that portion of the traditional history of
this people relating to the formation of the League of the Five
Nations, together with the condolen:e ceremonies, now used in the
creation and induction into office of new chiefs as successors to
deceased members of the council, was written from dictation by the
ceremonial chiefs as follows : Chiefs Peter Powless, Mohawk; Nico-
demus Porter, Oneida ; William Wage and Abram Charles, Cayuga ;
John A. Gibson, Seneca; Thomas William Echo, Onondaga; and
Josiah Hill, Tuscarora. Chiefs Josiah Hill and J. W. M. Elliott
were appointed to act as secretaries, with the express purpose of
having it published by the Department of Indian Affairs, so that
the future generations of the people of the Six Nations may have
preserved to them these traditions of their forefathers which other-
wise in time would become lost.
Signed at Ohsweken Council House, Six Nations Reserve, On-
tario, Canada, August 17, 1900.
Josiah Hill, Secretary Six Nations' Council.
J. W. M. Elliott, Mohawk Chief, Secretary of the ceremonial
committee of Indian rites and customs.
The meanings of some of the more difficult Indian words to be
found in this work are as follows:
1 A-ka-rah-ji-ko-wah — A great swafhp elm
2 Ska-reh-heh-se-go-wah — The great tall tree
64 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
3 Jo-neh-rah-de-se-go-wah — The great long leaves
4 Djok-de-he-sko-na — The great white roots
5 Ka-ya-neh-renh-ko-wah — The great peace
6 Karihwiyoh — Good tidings of peace and power
7 Rodiyanesho'o — Lords or chiefs
8 Hoyane (Royaneh) — Lord or chief
9 Ehkanehdodeh — A pine tree, applied to earned or self-made
lo Kwa-ah — The mourning cry used by a chief warrior to con-
vey the news of the death of a lord or head chief
1 1 Kanekonketshwaserah — The condolence ceremony used upon
the death of a lord or chief
THE TRADITIONAL NARRATIVE
ORIGIN OF THE CONFEDERATION OF THE FIVE
COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE IROQUOIS
Together with an account of the ancient customs, usages and ceremonies
in use by these nations in the choice and installation into office of their
Ro-de-ya-ner-shoh (lords or chiefs), including traditions relating to the lives
and characters of Dekanahwideh, the framer of the league, Hay-yonh-wa-tha
(Hiawatha), the lawgiver, Tha-do-da-ho and other leaders.
The peculiar beginning of the Great Peace/ or the Great League
of the Five Nations at a time most ancient, is here told.
The name of the place mentioned as the birthplace of Dekanah-
wideh^ was called Kah-ha-nah-yenh,^ somewhere in the neighbor-
hood of the Bay of Quinte.
According to tradition, a woman'* was living in that neighborhood
who had one daughter of stainless character who did not travel
away from home, but remained with her mother constantly, and
when she had attained the age of womanhood she had held no
manner of intercourse with any man. In the course of time, not-
withstanding, she showed signs of conception and her mother was
very much aggrieved. The mother, therefore, spoke to her daughter
and said : '' I am going to ask you a question and I want you to tell
me the truth. What has happened to you and how is it that you are
going to bear a child?" Then the daughter replied and said,
'' Mother I will tell you the truth, I do not know how I became with
Then the mother said : " The reply you give me is not sufficient
to remove my grief. I am sure that you did not tell me the full
truth concerning what I asked you." Then the daughter replied:
" I have indeed told you the whole truth concerning what you asked
me." Then the sorrowing mother said : " Of a truth, my daughter,
you have no love for me."
1 Gaya"nasshago, in Onondaga ; Gayanes'sha"gowa, in Seneca. Derived
from Gayanes'sha, A compelling rule of virtue, and gowa, great, exalted.
2 Dekanawi'da, Two water currents flozving together.
3Kanyen'ge (Onon.), Among the flints, Flinty peace, cf. Hadineye"ge'ga,
They are Hint people.
*No father or husband; that is, no nftle is mentioned in this family
until Dekanahwideh appears.
^ A virgin (female) is called deyen'nowadon' ; (masc.) deha^nowa'do^'
meaning. He is hidden; from nowa'do"', hidden. Ye'wayei' is the word for
66 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then she began to ill-treat her daughter, and then the daughter
also began to feel aggrieved because of this ill-treatment from her
It so happened that as the time approached when the daughter
would deliver the child, that the mother dreamed^ that she saAv a
man whom she did not know, and that he said that he appeared as
a messenger to her on account of her troubled mind, caused by the
condition of her daughter who had in so mysterious a manner con-
ceived a child.
" I am here to deliver to you a message and now I will ask you
to cease your grieving and trouble of mind, and the ill-treatment
of your daughter from day to day because it is indeed a fact that
your daughter does not know how she became with child. I will
tell you what has happened. It is the wish of the Creator that she
should bear a child, and when you will see the male child you shall
call him Dekanahwideh. The reason you shall give him that name
is because this child will reveal to men-beings (Ong'weo"we'), the
Good Tidings of Peace and Power ^ from Heaven, and the Great
Peace shall rule and govern on earth, and I will charge you that you
and your daughter should be kind to him becauses he has an im-
portant mission to perform in the world, and when he grows up to
be a man do not prevent him from leaving home."
Then the old woman, (lagen'tci) asked the messenger, what of-
fice the child should hold.
The messenger answered and said : " His mission is for peace
and life to the people both on earth and in heaven."
When the old woman woke up the next morning she spoke to
her daughter and said : " My daughter, I ask you to pardon me for
all the ill-treatment I have given you because I have now been satis-
fied that you told me the truth when you told me that you did not
know how you got the child which you are about to deliver."
Then the daughter also was made glad, and when she was de-
livered of the child, it was as had been predicted; the child was a
male child, and the grandmother called him Dekanahwideh.
The child grew up rapidly, and when he had become a young
man he said : " The time has come when 1 should begin to perform
my duty in this world. I will therefore begin to build my canoe
and by tomorrow I must have it completed because there is work
for me to do tomorrow when I go away to the eastward."
^ She dreamed, waagoi'she"dukse°a. To guess the meaning of a dream,
third person, plural, present, Hodinowaiya'ha.
2 Ne"ga'ihwiio'ne"skan'no'^'khu (Seneca), literally, The good message (or
edict), the power.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 67
Then he began to build his canoe out of a white rock, and when
he had completed it, Dekanahwideh said : " I am ready now to go
away from home and I will tell you that there is a tree^ on top of
the hill and you shall have that for a sign whenever you wish to find
out whether I shall be living or dead. ' You will take an axe and
chop the tree and if the tree flows blood^ from the cut, you will
thereby know that I am beheaded and killed, but if you find no
blood running from this tree after you have chopped a chip from
it, then you may know that my mission was successful. The reason
that this will happen is because I came to stop forever the wanton
shedding of blood among human beings."
Then Dekanahwideh also said : " Come to the shore of the lake
and see me start away."
So his mother and his grandmother went together with him and
helped to pull the boat to the lake and as they stood at the lake,
Dekanahwideh said : '' Good bye, my mothers, for I am about to
leave you for I am to go for a long time. When I return I will
not come this way."
Then the grandmother said '* How are you going to travel since
your canoe is made out of stone. It will not float."
Then Dekanahwideh said, " This will be the first sign of wonder
that man will behold ; a canoe made out of stone will float."
Then he bade them farewell, put his canoe in the lake and got
in. Then he paddled away to the eastward and the grandmother
and his mother with wonder beheld him and saw that his canoe
was going swiftly. In a few moments he disappeared out of their
It happened at that time a party of hunters had a camp on the
south side of the lake now known as Ontario and one of the party
went toward the lake and stood on the bank of the lake, and be-
held the object coming toward him at a distance, and the man could
not understand what it was that was approaching him ; shortly
afterwards he understood that it was a canoe, and saw a man in
it, and the moving object was coming directly toward where he
stood, and when the 'man (it was Dekanahwideh) reached the
shore he came out of his boat and climbed up the bank.
Then Dekanahwideh asked the man what had caused them to be
where they were, and the man answered and said : " We are here
2 That men enter into or become trees is an old Iroquois conception. The
•ap of the tree becomes blood that flows when the tree is injured.
68 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
for a double object. We are here hunting game for our Hving and
also because there is a great strife in our settlement."
Then Dekanahwideh said, " You will now return to the place
from whence you came. The reason that this occurs is because
the Good Tidings of Peace and Friendship have come to the people,
and you will find all strife removed from your settlement when you
go back to your home. And I want you to tell your chief that the
Ka-rih-wi-yoh^ (Good Tidings of Peace and Power) have come
and if he asks you from whence came the Good Tidings of Peace
and Power, you will say that the Messenger of the Good Tidings
of Peace and Power will come in a few days.
Then the man said : " Who are you now speaking to me ? "
Dekanahwideh answered : " It is I who came from the west and
am going eastward and am called Dekanahwideh in the world."
Then the man wondered and beheld his canoe and saw that his
canoe was made out of white stone.
Then Dekanahwideh said, '' I will go and visit Tyo-den-he deh ^
first." Dekanahwideh then went down the bank and got into his
boat, and passed on. Then the man also turned away and went
home, and when he came back to the camp he said : " I saw a strange
man coming from the lake with a canoe made out of white stone
and when he landed he came up the bank and I had a conversation
with him. First, he asked me where I came from and when I told
him he understood everything.^ Then he said : " You will all go
home for there is now peace, and all strife has been removed from
Then the party went home and as soon as they reached home,
they went and told the Royaner * (lord) and said that the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power had come. Then the lord asked the
speaker who told him the message and then he said that he saw a
man who was called Dekanahwideh in the world. Then the lord
asked him from whence the Good Tidings of Peace and Strength
1 Karhihwiio, or in Seneca, Ne"Ga'ihwiio, meanihg a proclamation of good
. . • ;terally the word is interpreted, A good message. The rnis-
-•■r^'^-^-r'nc ncp t^p word f^n-i-hwi-io for Gospel. The power of the new civil
government is called skefi'no^', meaning inherent potence.
2 Tiodenhe'de, meaning He (havin'g died) lives again, cf. Siga'hedus, He
resurrects, used as a name for Christ.
3 Dekanawida is reputed to have been a clairvoyant.
* Royaner is hoya'ne in Seneca. The Mohawk root-equivalent is Ya"nerhe.
Royaner means excellent, noble, good, exalted, pure. Thus as a title the
name is translated Lord. Missionaries so use the name, cf. Hale Book of
Rites, p. 65.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 69
Then the man said : " It is coming and will come soon."
Then the lord said : " Where did you see the man ?" He replied,
" I saw him in the lake with his canoe ; he came from the west and
he is going eastward."
Then the lord began to wonder and said that he thought the
settlement should remain in silence, for all would be glad and satis-
Dekanahwideh continued his journey and came to where the
great wizard Toh-do-dah-ho^ lived. This man was possessed with
great power as a wizard and no man could come to him without
endangering his life and it is related that even the fowls of the air
whenever they flew directly over his place of abode would die and
fall down on his premises, and that if he saw a man approaching
him he was sure to destroy him or kill him. This man was a
cannibal, and had left the settlement to which he belonged for a
long time and lived by himself in an isolated place.
Dekanahwideh came^ and approached the abode of the cannibal
and saw him carrying a human body into his house and shortly
he saw him come out again and go down to the river and draw
some water. Dekanahwideh went closer and when he had come to
the house he went up onto the roof and from the chimney opening^
he looked in and saw the owner come back with a pail of water,
put up a kettle on the fireplace to cook his meal and after it was
cooked he saw him take the kettle from the fire and place it at the
end of the fireplace and say to himself, " I suppose it is now time
for me to have my meal and after I am finished I will go where I
am required on business."
Dekanahwideh moved still closer over the smoke hole and looked
straight down into the kettle. The man Tah-do-dfih-ho was then
moving around the house and when he came back to take some of
the meat from the kettle he looked into it and saw that a man was
looking at him from out of the kettle. This was the reflection of
Dekanahwideh. Then the man Tah-do-dah-ho moved back and
sat down near the corner of the house and began to think seriously
and he thought that it was a most wonderful thing which had hap-
pened. He said to himself that such a thing had never occurred
before as long as he had been living in the house. " I did not
2 He came on a tour of inspection. The jDnondaga version says it was
3 Albert Cusick, the Onondaga informant, says this incident is an interpola-
70 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
know that I was so strange a man," he said. " My mode of living
must be wrong." Then he said : *' Let me look again and be sure
that what I have seen is true." Then he arose, went to the kettle
and looked into it again, and he saw the same object — the face
of a great man and it was looking at him. Then he took the kettle
and went out and went toward the hillside and he emptied it there.
Then Dekanahwideh came down from the roof and made great
haste toward the hillside, and when Tha-do-dah-ho came up the
hill he met Dekanahwideh.
Dekanahwideh asked Tah-do-dah-ho where he came from and he
said, " I had cooked my meal and I took the kettle from the fire
and placed it on the floor. I thought that I would take some of the
meat out of the kettle and then I saw a man's face looking at me
from the kettle. I. do not know what had happened; I only know
such a thing never occurred to me before as long as I have been
living in this house. Now I have come to the conclusion that I
must be wrong in the way I am and the way I have been living.
That is why I carried the kettle out of my house and emptied it
over there by the stump. I was returning when I met you." Then
he said, '* From whence did you come ?"
Dekanahwideh answered, 'T came from the west and am going
Then the man said, " Who are you that is thus speaking to me ? "
Then Dekanahwideh said, '* It is he who is called Dekanahwideh
in this world." Dekanahwideh then asked : " From whence have
you come ? "
The man then said : " There is a settlement to which I belong
but I left that settlement a long time ago."
Then Dekanahwideh said, " You will now return, for peace and
friendship have come to you and your settlement and you have now
repented the course of wrong doing which you pursued in times
past. It shall now also occur that when you return to your settle-
ment you, yourself, shall promote peace and friendship for it is a
fact that peace is now ruling in your settlement and I want you to
arrange and settle all matters." Then Dekanahwideh also said :
*' I shall arrive there early tomorrow morning. I shall visit the
west first. I shall visit there the house of the woman, Ji-kon-
sah-seh. The reason why I shall do this (go and visit this woman
first) is because the path passes there which runs from the east to
Then after saying these words Dekanahwideh went on his way
and arrived at the house of Ji-kon-sah-seh and said to her that he
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 7I
had come on this path which passed her home and which led from
the east to the west, and on which traveled the men of blood-thirsty
and destructive nature.
Then he said unto her, " It is your custom to feed these men
when they are traveling on this . path on their war expeditions."
He then told her that she must desist from practising this custom.
He then told her that the reason she was to stop this custom was
that the Karihwiyoh^ or Good Tidings of Peace and Power had
come. He then said : " I shall, therefore, now change your dis-
position and practice." Then also, 'T now charge you that you
shall be the custodian of the Good Tidings of Peace and Power,
so that the human race may live in peace in the future." Then
Dekanahwideh also said, '' You shall therefore now go east where
I shall meet you at the place of danger (to Onondaga), where all
matters shall be finally settled and you must not fail to be there on
the third day. I shall now pass on in my journey."
Then he journeyed on a great way and went to another settle-
ment. Here he inquired who their Royaner was and after he had
ascertained his abode he went to his home and found him, and when
they met, Dekanahwideh said, " Have you heard that the Good Tid-
ings of Peace and Power are coming?" The lord then said: "I
truly have heard of it."
Then Dekanahwideh asked him what he thought about it.
Then the' lord said, " Since I have heard of the good news I
have been thinking about it and since then I have not slept." Then
Dekanhwideh said, *' It is now at hand — that which has been the
cause of your sleeplessness."
Then Dekanahwideh said, " You shall hereafter be called Hay-
yonh-wa-tha 2 (Hiawatha)."
Then the lord said, " To whom am I speaking? " Dekanahwideh
answered and said : '' I am the man who is called on earth by the
name of Dekanahwideh, and I have just come from the west and
am now going east for the purpose of propagating peace, so that
the shedding of human blood might cease among you."
Then the Lord Hahyonhwatha asked, " Will you wait until I go
and announce -the news to my colleagues ? " Dekanahwideh then
iD.iikonsa'se', The wild cat (fat faced), known as the "mother of na-
tions." This was the most honored female title among the Huron Iroquois.
She is sometimes call the Peace Queen. She was of the Neuter Nation and
her lodge was on the east side of the Niagmra, at Kai-a-meu-ka. Often she
was termed Ye-go-wa-neh, the great woman.
2 Haiyo"hwat'ha, meaning He has misplaced something but knows where to
72 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
said that he could wait as he was on this good mission. Then the
Lord Hahyonhwatha announced to his colleagues and people that
they assemble to hear Dekanahwideh, and when they were assembled
Rahyonhwatha asked Dekanahwideh what news he had for the
people. Dekanahwideh answered that the proclamation of the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power had arrived and that he had come on a
mission to proclaim the Good News of Peace and Power that blood-
shed might cease in the land, as the Creator, he had learned, never
intended that such should ever be practised by human beings.
Lord Hahyonhwatha answered the people : " We have now heard
the Good News of Peace and Power from this man Dekanahwideh."
He then turned and asked his colleagues and all the people what
answer they should give. Then one of the chief warriors asked:
" What shall we do with the powerful tribes on the east and on the
west^ of our villages who are always hostile to us ? "
Then Dekanahwideh answered and said that the hostile nations
referred to had already accepted the Good News of Peace and
Then the chief warrior answered and said : " I am still in doubt
and I would propose (as a test of power) that this man (Dekan-
ahwideh) climb up a big tree by the edge of a high cliff and that
we then cut the tree down and let it fall with him over the cliff,^
and then if he does not die I shall truly believe the message which
he has brought us."
Then the deputy chief warrior said : " I also am of the same
opinion and I approve of the suggestion of the chief warrior."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " I am ready and most willingly
accede to your request, because the Good News of Peace and Power
has come unto us, I now confidently place myself in your hands."
Then the lord said : " It has now been decided. We will there-
fore all go to where the tree stands." They then started to go
there and when they arrived where the tree stood, the lord said:
" We have now arrived where the tree that we have decided upon
Then the chief warrior said to Dekanahwideh : " I made this
proposal and therefore you will now climb this tree* so that it will
1 To the west of the Onondagas were the Seneca and Cayuga nations ; to
the east the Oneida and Mohawk. It is possible, however, that the New
England Indians on the east and the Neuters on the west were meant by this
paragraph. Consult J. D. Prince. Wampum Records of the Passamaquoddy
Documents, Annals N. Y. Acad. Sci. No. 15, p. 2J^77' 1898.
2 The Newhouse version (q.v.) gives more details of this incident.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVIC NATIONS 73
be a sign of proof, and the people may see your power. If you
live to see tomorrow's sunrise then I will accept your message."
Then Dekanahwideh said, " This shall tru^y be done and carried
out." He then climbed the tree and when he had reached the
top of the tree^ he sat down on a branch, after which the tree was
cut down, and it fell over the cliff' with him.
Then the people kept vigilant watch so that they might see him,
but they failed to see any sign? of him. Then the chief warrior
said, " Now my proposition has been carried out and Dekenahwideh
has disappeared and so now we will vigilantly watch at sunrise
tomorrow morning. Ther the Lord Hahyonhwatha said, " We
shall now return home."
Now when the new aay dawned one of the warriors arose before
sunrise and at once went to the place where the tree had been cut
and when he had arrived there he saw at a short distance a field
of corn, and near by the smoke from a fire^ toward which the
warrior went. When he arrived there he saw a man sitting by
the fire and after seeing the man he at once returned to the Lord
Hahyonhwatha and when he arrived there he said that he had
seen the man sitting by the fire, and that it was he who was on the
tree whicli was cut the evening before.
Then Hahyonhwatha charged him to convey these tidings to his
colleagues and all the people and in a short time all the people had
assembled. Then the Lord Hahyonhwatha said, '' We will now
call Dekanahwideh," and he then commissioned the chief warrior
and the.' deputy chief warrior to go after him and they went to
where ]3ekanahwideh had his fire and when they arrived they told
him that the Lord Hahyonhwatha had sent them to bring him and
that thfy would escort him to the home of Hahyonhwatha.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " It is right. I shall go with you."
They then returned and when they arrived back at the abode of
Hahyonhwatha, the chief warrior spoke and said, '* We have re-
turned with Dekanahwideh, and he is now in your charge." Lord
Hahyonhwatha then said : ** I am now surely ready to fully accept
the Good News of Peace and Power, and it now rests with you as
your opinion in this matter."
1 This event took place on the cliff overlooking the lower falls of the
Mohawk. The tree was a bitter hickory, (gus'thik), which stood at the door-
way of a woman named De'siio'. When Dekanawida climbed the tree he
sang the air of " the six songs of the pacification hymn."
2 The column of smoke from Dekanawida's fire is said always to have
" pierced the sky." The term is, Wagaye"gwa'i*de'iwagaiyaesta', It forms
smoke, smoke pierces the sky.
74 ^'EVV YORK STATE MUSEUM
The chief warrior then said: "I was in ^reat doubt, but have
now truly concluded to accept the Good News of Peace and Power."
Then Royaner (Lord) Hahyonhwatha said: *' Now faithfully see
these matters are settled and finished.''
Then he further said : *' Dekanahwideh, you may now listen to
the answer we have concluded to give you. We have received the
message which you brought us, and we have jointly concluded to
accept the message of Good News of Peace and Power and we
have now concluded all we have to say, and the matter shall now
rest with you entirely."
Dekanahwideh then said : '' This day is early and yet young, so
is the new mind also tender and young, so also is the Good Tidings
of Peace and Power, and as the new sun of Good Tidings of
Peace and Power arose, so it will proceed on its course and prosper ;
so also will the young mind, and the Good Tidings of Peace and
Power shall prevail and prosper. Therefore in the future your
grandchildren forever shall live in peace."
Then Dekanahwideh answered again : " You, chief warrior, you
have had power in warfare, but now this is all changed. I now
proclaim that since you had doubts, you shall be hereafter known
in the land by the name of Tha-ha-rih-ho-ken (De-ka-ri-ho-ken),^
which means doubting or hesitating over two things as to which
course to adopt."
And Dekanahwideh said : " You, the deputy chief warrior, I
charge you that you shall be called and known hereafter in the
land by the name of Sa-de-ga-rih-wa-den^ (one-who-respects-all-
matters-as-important-equally) because you truly have concurred
in and justly confirmed all that you have heard."
Then Dekanahwideh also said : " I shall now pass on and go
east, and we shall meet again tomorrow^ to add to what we have
Then Dekanahwideh passed on in his journey.
Then in Lord Hahyonhwatha's family composed of three *
daughters, the eldest was taken ill and in a little time she died.^
iln Onondaga, Degaiho'ke"'. His name appears first on the roll of
2 Tca'dekaiiwat'de, sometimes translated, Tzvo stories diverging in con-
3 " Tomorrow," or " on another day " frequently means the next year.
Dekanawida in going east possibly went to the Abenaki or other New Eng-
land Indians. See Prince, op. cit.
* Newhouse says seven.
5 A Mohawk account. Cf. Newhouse. who says the daughters all perished
through the witchcraft of Osi'no'. One account says that he took the form
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 75
The mind of Hahyonhwatha was troubled. His colleagues and the
people assembled at his home and condoled with him and admon-
ished him to forget his sorrow, and he acceded to their desire.
Shortly afterwards the second daughter took sick and in a short
time died. Then the sorrow and trouble of the Lord Hahyonhwatha
was greatly increased, and again his colleagues and people assembled
at his abode and again they tried to induce him to forget his sorrow
•and trouble, but he could not answer them. So Deharihoken said:
" I will not tell you my mind (my purpose). I think that we should
look for something which -would console the mind of our lord in
his trouble and bereavement." Then he also said : " I would lay
before you warriors, for your consideration, that you cheer him by
playing a game of lacrosse." ^
Then Sadekarihwadeh said : '' I will now tell you my mind, first
let the people all assemble to console him. This shall be done as
alas our lord has now only one daughter left alive."
Then Dekarihoken confirmed all that Sadekarihwadeh had said.
Then the people assembled at the home of the Lord Hahyonh-
watha and they spoke unto him words of condolence that he might
forget his grief and bereavement.
But the lord did not answer them. So then the warriors decided
that they would play a game of lacrosse in order to cheer him and
during the time that they were playing, the last daughter of
Hahyonhwatha came out of the family abode to go after some
water and when she had gone half way to the spring she saw flying
high up in the air above a beautiful bird.^ She paused in her
journey and the bird flew downwards' toward her. She cried out
aloud, being frightened, and said, '' O, see this bird ! " after which
she ran away.
Then the warriors saw it and as it was then flying low, the
warriors followed it, and as they were looking at the bird they did
not notice, the daughter of Hahyonhwatha before them and in
their haste they ran over and trampled her to death, and it tran-
spired that the daughter of Hahyonhwatha was with child.
Then Sadekarihwadeh went and told Hahyonhwatha that a
strange bird called Teh-yoh-ronh-yoh-ron (a high flying bird which
of a screech owl and conjured from a tree overlooking the daughters' lodge;
another that he became a poison shadow at the bottom of a spring.
1 Each game had a reputed medicinal effect.
2 This was the magic Ha'goks, sometimes called " the wampum eagle." An-
other descriptive name is given later in the Tfext.
76 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
pierces the skies) had come amongest them and that it was due to
the visit of the bird that his daughter was killed.
Then Hahyonhwatha answered sadly and said : "I have now
lost all my daughters and in the death of this, my last daughter,
you have accidently and unwittingly killed two beings." ^
And Hahyonhwatha further said: " I must now go away to the
west," and he started immediately on his way. He met Dekanah-
wideh on the trail and Dekanahwideh warned him of the danger on
his way, especially with reference to a certain man who was watch-
ing, saying as follows :
'* There is danger in front of you, there is a man watching your
way in front of you. It is necessary for you to approach him
without his becoming aware of your coming until you get to him.
If you can get up to him while he is unaware of your approach
then we shall surely prosper in our mission. You will then speak
to him and ask him what thing he is watching for. He will answer
you and say that he is watching to protect the fields of corn as the
people of other nations and also animals destroy the crops and he
is watching therefore that the crops might be preserved, so that the
children might live from the harvest."
Then Hahyonhwatha proceeded on his journey and when he
arrived where the man was sitting beside a fire near a big tree and
watching; he quickly spoke, asking, "What are you doing?" And
the man answered and said : " I am watching the fields of corn
to protect them from other nations and also from animals that our
children might live from the harvest."
Hahyonhwatha then said to the man : " Return home now and
tell your lord that the Good News of Peace and Power has come."
So he returned and told his , Lord the message given to him by
Hahyonhwatha. Then the lord said : " Who is it who told you
this strange news ? " Then the man who had been watching said :
"A man suddenly appeared to me when I was watching the fields
of corn and he told me the news."
Hahyonhwatha went to the other end of the corn field and there
met Dekanahwideh. Dekanahwideh said : *' We have now an-
nounced the (Ka-ya-ne-reh) Good Tidings of Peace and Power,
therefore you shall abide in this hut near these corn fields, which
you will only leave w^hen you receive an invitation from the people.
1 Other versions say that this event took place before Hiawatha met
Dekanawida. his grief over his losses, driving him into a self-imposed exile,
during which he lamented all evil conditions. Later he met Dekanawida. A.
Cusick, and Baptist Thomas, New York Onondagas, berth concurred in this.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 'J']
You must not go unless the invitation is official. A woman shall
first come to you early tomorrow morning who will be the first to
see you, then you shall cut and prepare some elderberry twigs.^
You shall cut them into pieces and remove the heart pulp and
then you shall string them up." '* Then the lord (Royaner) shall
send a messenger to you to invite you, but you must not accept
the invitation until he shall send to you a string of twigs similar
to your own."
Then Hahyonhwatha went on his journey and found the hut
beside the cornfield and built a fire, and in the morning a woman
came to the cornfield and saw the smoke from the fire at the end
of the cornfield and when she arrived there she saw a man sitting
with his head hanging down. Then the woman hurried home and
went straightway to where the lord (Royaner) lived and when she
arrived she told him that she had seen a strange man sitting beside
a fire in the cornfield.
Then the lord asked her : " What thing was this man doing
there ? " And the woman answered and said that the man was
sitting there quietly looking on the ground.^
Then the lord said : *' This must be the man who sent the mes-
sage of the Good Tidings of Peace and Power. I shall therefore
now send a messenger to bring him hither."
He then summoned the chief warrior and the deputy chief war-
rior to come to him and when the two had come, the lord said to
them : '' You shall go after the man who is at the fire in the corn-
field and bring him to me. The lord then said to the deputy chief
warrior: "I send you to go after him," and the deputy chief
warrior went to bring this man, and when he arrived at the place
where the man had built the fire, he saw a man sitting there and
he was looking at a string of elderberry twigs which was hanging
on a pole horizontally placed in front of him.
Then the deputy chief warrior said : '' I am sent after you by
the lord (Royaner)."
The man did not answer and so the deputy chief warrior repeated
the message of the lord three times, but the man did not give any
1 Wampum at first seems to have been any kind of cylindrical bead, large
or small. The Mohawk name is o'tgo'rha ; Seneca, o'tko'a'. The quills of
feathers and porcupines were used as wampum (o'tgo'rha). Indeed Baptist
Thomas, an Onondaga informant, says porcupine quills were used and not
elderberry twigs as stated in this version.
2 Hiawatha kept repeating the phrase, asa«atcik, meaning, they should give
me a wampum token.
78 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
reply. Then the deputy chief warrior turned and returned to the
lord, and when he arrived, he said to the lord : '* He did not reply."
The lord then asked : '' What did you see ? " Then the deputy
chief warrior answered and said, " I saw a string of elderberry
twigs hanging on a pole in front of him and he was looking at it."
Then the lord answered and said : " I now understand ; I shall
therefore make a similar string out of quills which will cause him
to come." The lord then made two strings of quills and put them
on a thong.
The lord then said : " I have now completed the strings and you
shall both go after him. and bring him here. You shall therefore
take these strings of quills with you to him and they shall become
words and that will induce him to come. They then went on their
errand and when they had arrived at the fire the chief warrior said :
" The lord has again sent us after you, and this string of quills are
his words which are to bring you to him."
Then Hahyonhwatha answered and said : " This is what should
have been done." He then took the string of quills and said:
"After I get through smoking^ I shall go to the lord."
They then returned to the lord and when they had arrived they
said that the man had now answered and that when he had finished
smoking his pipe he would come.
The lord then told them to tell the people so that they would
all assemble when the man should arrive.
The chief warrior and the deputy chief warrior then went to
tell the people to assemble as soon as possible to the abode of the
The people had therefore all assembled when Hahyonhwatha
arrived. The lord said to him : *^ You have come amongst us and
doubtless you have some important matter to convey to us. The
people have already assembled and are prepared to listen to the
matter which you may have to communicate to us."
Then Hahyonhwatha answered : " I have come here to deliver
to you the message of Good Tidings of Peace and Power so that
our children in the future may live in peace."
Then the lord said : " We shall defer answering, you until the
return of a certain man for whom we are waiting, but in the mean-
time we desire that you shall remain in our village with us."
Then Hahyonhwatha answered and said : " This can be safely
1 To have gone in haste without a semblance of deHberation would have
been considered insulting.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 79
done as I came to you with the message of Good Tidings of Peace
Then the lord said : " I shall therefore entertain you myself.
This will be done because the message which you have brought to
us may be the same as the other rnan's for which we are waiting,
and he has sent word that he is coming." Then Hahyonhwatha
said : " I approve of all this."
The assembled people then dispersed and when night came the
lord told Hahyonhwatha that he could sleep in the inner room.
Then he (Hahyonhwatha) went in and retired. Shortly after he
heard a voice outside which said : "Are you stopping here ? " and
Hahyonhwatha replied, '' Yes." Now the voice from outside said
that it was very urgent for him to come out.
So Hahyonwatha went out and he saw Dakanahwideh standing
outside. Dekanahwideh then said : *' It is now urgent that we
proceed directly on our journey.^ You have now accomplished all
that is necessary to be done here at present ; we can go to another
settlement now and afterwards return. The man you are now
waiting for will likely have returned by that time."
" There is one settlement left to be visited, although I have been
there before and had conversation with the man. I have promised
him that I will visit him again and for that reason when you left
home you heard a loud toned voice in front of you saying, *A-son-
kek-ne-eh.'2 We will now proceed on our journey."
They then went and while they were on their way Dekanahwideh
said, " Let us stop here and wait a while, and you will look toward
the southeast. So they stood still and Hahyonhwatha looked toward
the southeast and saw the smoke arising and reaching to the sky.
Then Dekanahwideh asked : '' What do you see ? "
Hahyonhwatha said : " I see smoke piercing the sky."
Then Dekanahwideh answered : '* That smoke which you saw is
where the abode of Dyon-yon-ko is. The reason you see the smoke
piercing the sky is because the Good Tidings of Peace and Power
have come to the people of that settlement but unfortunately, owing
to the selfishness and lack of energy of these people, the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power have not prospered and have not
extended to other settlements.^ It is thus good that these people
1 Baptist Thomas says Hiawatha left this council because of a dispute on
the part of the people, who forgot him in their effort to honor another man.
2 " It has not yet occurred," asoiVde'nei'. •
3 It is said that the New England Indians (Adirhon'daks), the Cherokee
(Oya'de), the Wyandott (Thastahetci), the Tionante (Tyonontate'ka*), the
8o NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
have received the Good Tidings of Peace and Power. We shall
therefore take power from them which will enable us to complete
the work we have undertaken to accomplish."
They then heard the loud toned voice saying: "A-soh-kek-ne
eh " (it is not yet ; which means, impatiently waiting). Then
Dekanahwideh said : " It is now very urgent for us to proceed on
our journey to the place from whence this voice proceeds." They
then went and they had not gone far when they came to a lake.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " It is now left with you to decide
what we shall do; you have seen the lake and it is beside this lake
that the man lives whose loud voice you have heard saying:
'Asohkene eh.' "
Dekanahwideh then also said : " There are two ways which we
can pursue to get across the lake, and you can have your choice.
We can take the boat which you see lying flat on the ground and
paddle over or we can magically pass above the lake, and so get
over it." Dekanahwideh also said : " That man whom you heard
calling in a loud voice is able to cause the boat to upset if he sees
it and the people within it to become drowned; he has ended the
lives of many people in this way in the lake." ^
Then Hahyonhwatha said : " My choice is that we pass over
above the lake." Then Dekanahwideh said : " It is best to ap-
proach this man from behind ; the reason we should do this is that
he has been so long impatiently waiting that it would not be wise
to approach him from the front and it might cause trouble." Then
Dekanahwideh also said: "We shall now therefore proceed on
Then they went on their journey and arrived at the other side
of the lake. They had not gone far when Hahyonhwatha saw the
man sitting on a high knoll where it was his custom to sit. When
silently they arrived where he was sitting, Dekanahwideh stood on
the right side and Hahyonhwatha on the left. The man had not yet
seen them when he called again : "A-soh-kek-ne eh ! "
Then Hahyonhwatha saw what this man was doing and as soon
as the man called out in the loud voice the lake became very rough
and troubled and great billows formed on its surface.
Then Dekanahwideh spoke and said : " I have now returned
Neuter Nation (Atirhagenrat), the Erie (Djikon'saseoano*) and others,
including the Delaware and some southern tribes, were invited into the
1 Onondaga lake at a point near the present village of Liverpool.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 8l
and according to my promise. I promised to bring some one with
me and I have now fulfilled this promise."
Then the man who was sitting down turned around and saw
Dekanahwideh and said : " Who is the man that has come with
Dekanahwideh then said : " Look to your left and you will see."
Then he looked to his left and saw the man standing there; then
he said to the man (Hahyonhwatha) : *' What are you doing
Hahyonhwatha answered and said : " I am standing here beside
you because our minds are with you and are turned toward you,
for the Good Tidings of Peace and Power have now arrived. You
will therefore now see as you turn around in every direction the
columns of smoke arising." ^
Then the man raised his head and carefully looked around and
he asked : '' Who will accomplish this, that the Good Tidings of
Peace and Power be propagated?"
Dekanahwideh said : " Tomorrow in the day time the delegates
will come and approach you; then all things will be completed."
Then the man said : " I shall wait until all the delegates shall
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We must now return but we must
all meet again tomorrow."
So Dekanahwideh and Hahyonhwatha went away and returned
again to the abode of the lord where Hahyonhwatha had been
lodging when Dekanahwideh called him out and when they had
arrived there the lord found out that Hahyonhwatha had returned.
Then the lord called him in and told him that the man for whom
they ha^ been waiting had returned and said : " We are now ready
to anbwer your message."
Then Hahyonhwatha said : " I am also now ready and I am
accompanied by my coworker."
Then the lord answered and said : " You will now bring him in."
Then Hahyonhwatha called Dekanahwideh and he came in.
Then the lord said : " The man for whom we have been waiting
has now returned and he has delivered his message fully and accord-
ing to our understanding it is the same as your message. We now
understand and we therefore have now decided to accept your
1 Smoke arises from settlements of peopTe at peace with each other. The
tall column of smoke symbolized the establishment of the Gayanessha"gowa.
82 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Dekanahwideh said: "We shall now conclude the object
of this message." He then asked the question : " To whom among
us did the message of the Good Tidings of Peace and Power first
come ? "
The lord answered and said : " It is to the man who was guard-
ing the cornfield."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Where is the man ? You shall now
bring him here." So the lord called him in and when he had come
the lord said : " This is the man who guarded the fields of corn
so that our children might live on the harvest."
Dekanahwideh said : " I now ask you if you are indeed the man
who guards the cornfields and what your magical power is when
you are so guarding the cornfields."
Then the man answered and said : " I rely entirely on my bow
and arrows and when I go to the cornfields I take all my arrows
Then Dekanahwideh asked the question : " How or in what
manner do you carry your power?" (meaning his bows and
The man then answered and said : ''. I place them- in a quiver
and place the quiver on my back."
Then Dekanahwideh said : '[ You shall now therefore be called
'* Oh-dah-tshe-deh " ^ (meaning, the quiver bearer), as your duty
as a guardian of the cornfields is now changed because the Good
News of Peace and Power has now come. Your duty hereafter
shall now be to see that your children (instead of fields) shall live
Then Dekanahwideh again asked the lord: '* In the past (dur-
ing the long time he had been guarding the cornfields), .^hat did
you do with reference to that part of the crops which- were
damaged ? "
Then the lord answered and said : *' I used to send the war-
riors to gather the damaged crops and they brought them to me
and I would divide the corn in equal shares among the people."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You shall now therefore hereafter
be called Ka-non-kwe-yo-da.^ It shall therefore now be your duty
to propagate the Good Tidings of Peace and Power so that your
children may live in peace."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Where is the man for whom you
have been waiting?" The lord then called this man and when
1 Odatce"te', quiver bearer, principal Oneida chief.
2 Kano°kwe"y6'doi»', A row of ears of corn standing upright.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 83
he had arrived, Dekanahwideh said : "Are you the man for whom
this people have been waiting so long to return?" Then the man
answered, " I am that man." Then Dekanahwideh said : *' What
was the cause of your long delay in coming?" The man answered
and said, " I was waiting for that other man who passed here, and
who promised to return but who did not return, and while I was
vigilantly watching and waiting for him I could not see him and
he failed to return as promised, and when I was on the point of
returning I tore down my hut which I had built, then I looked
back to my home for the path by which I had come. It had been
plainly open before me but now on each side of the path was the
forest. I then left and came home here and then I found that
already the people had all heard of the Good News which I wished
to bring them, so I simply corroborate what they have already
heard (from Hahyonhwatha)."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Everything is now completed, and
as you have now torn down your hut, your duty is now changed.
You looked back and saw plainly the path through the forest. You
shall therefore be known in the land by the name of De-yo-ha'-
kwe-de.^ Your duty shall therefore be to propagate the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power so that your children in the future
may live in peace." Then Dekanahwideh also said : " I will now
tell you that the people through whose settlements I have passed
have all accepted the Good Tidings of Peace and Power. Hahyonh-
watha shall therefore now go after his colleagues and I shall now
visit the settlement at the big mountain ^ and see what is happening
there. I have been there before but I have not yet received an
answer and what I think now is that we ought to join together in
this great work for it is now urgent that it would be done for our
time is getting shortened and we have only until tomorrow ^ to
complete the whole compact." Then he, Dekanahwideh, also said:
" It would be best to appoint two delegates to go and find the
Then Hahyonhwatha said : " Where shall we meet again ? "
Dekanahwideh answered and said : " We shall meet again by the
lake shore where my boat lies." *
Then Ohdahtshedeh spoke and said : " I shall lie across the
pathway like a log and when you come to me you will come in
1 Teyoha'gweiite', Hollow voice in the throat.
2 Ganundawao, Bare Hill, the Seneca capita*.
3 The term ** tomorrow " means a year hence.
*At the mouth of the Oswego river; Oswe'ge"', meaning, the place of the
84 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
contact with a log and I shall then join with you" (meaning that
he, Ohdahtshedeh, would be lying in wait for them and when they
should come to the log, which means his settlement, he could ac-
company them). Then Ohdahtshedeh further said that he would
agree to appoint two delegates to go and look for smoke (smoke
Then Ohdahtshedeh said : '* It is now left with you, the war-
riors, as to which of you will volunteer to go."
Then the chief warrior said : '' I shall be one of those who
volunteer to go." Then Ohdahtshedeh also said : '* There is one
more required to go; who will therefore volunteer?"
For a long time no one gave answer. Then Ohdahtshedeh asked
the question anew and still again no one answered. Then
Ohdahtshedeh said : '' I shall ask the question once again, for the
last time, and if any one desires to volunteer let him speak at
once ", and from the outside of the gathering a man spoke out and
said that he would be one of the volunteers.
Then Dekanahwideh said, " Go and call that man who is speak-
ing from the outside." The man was called in and he was asked
to stand by the chief warrior in the meeting. Then Dekanahwideh
said to the chief warrior : " You are the first to accede to the
request of the lord to volunteer, therefore, your duty shall be to
obey orders whenever the (lord) has any duties to give you." Then
Dekanahwideh said to the warrior who was the second to volunteer :
"As you came from the outside of the meeting, you shall therefore
in the future be an assistant to the chief warrior in his duties, and
whenever the chief warrior assigns his duties to you, you shall
perform his duties and carry out his instructions." Then Dekanah-
wideh said : '' It is now completed ; you have all been assigned
your duties. You will now go and search for the smoke and
wherever you see smoke you shall go there and when you arrive
there you shall see the lord of the settlement, then you shall tell
him your message. You will say we were sent here by the lords
(Ro-de-ya-ners-onh) who take you by the hand and invite you to
the place of meeting. You will say to the lord you will send dele-
gates and on their way to the conference to pass where the lord
lives at the big mountain and you shall invite him to accompany
you. Then if the lord asks you the place of meeting you shall
say, ' by the lake where lives the Great Wizard who calls out in
the loud-toned voice.' "
They then separated, the chief warrior and his assistant going
on their mission, and Dekanahwideh and Hahyonhwatha going to
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 8$
their own home settlements, and when Hahyonhwatha had arrived
home he said, '* Everything is now completed and we shall (all
colleagues) now all go to the conference. You shall therefore all
The people watched the two volunteer delegates start on their
mission and saw them become transformed into high-flyers (a
species of hawk)^ and they arose high in the air and soared south-
ward and when they descended and alighted near the settlement
they were retransformed and proceeded to the village.^ Here
they inquired the abode of the lord, and they were conducted to
him and when they had arrived they saw a man. Then the chief
warrior asked: "Are you the lord?''
And he answered and said: " I am. Are you seeking for me? "
The chief warrior then said : " Yes, truly we are looking for
Then the lord said : " I will now ask you upon what mission
have you come here."
Then the chief warrior said : " We are sent by the lords
(Rodeyanersonh) who invite you to go to the meeting place of
the conference, and you are to take your power with you " (mean-
ing peaceful intent). ''You shall therefore invite the lord who
lives on the great mountain to accompany you."
Then the lord spoke and said, " Where shall we meet in confer-
ence," and the chief warrior answered and said, *' By the lake."
Then the lord said : " I have known about this for a long time.
I shall therefore now accept your message." Then he took his pipe
and said : '' When I finish smoking I shall attend the conference "
and the chief warrior and his assistant saw the pipe which was an
exceedingly large one and larger than any pipe which they had
ever seen before. They then returned to their own settlement and
when they had returned Ohdahtshedeh asked, " Did you discover
the smoke? " Then the chief warrior answered and said : " Every-
thing is right, all is well, and we have discovered the object which
you desired ; when we saw the smoke we went there and when we
arrived we found the lord and we repeated to him fully all our
message, and when he had heard all, he answered and said, * I had
known about this for a long time, and knew that I was required
to attend the great conference and I now therefore accept and
1 The two birds into which the messengers were transformed were Ha'goks'
2 To the Cayuga capitol town. The Caytlga have the council name of
Sononawe"do'na, Great Pipe People.
86 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
approve the message.' He promised to pass on his way to the
conference, the settlement at the great mountain/ and the people
there are to accompany him to the conference."
Then Ohdahtshedeh said : '' It is now time that Hahyonhwatha
should return, and as soon as he returns we shall at once go to the
Dekanahwideh himself had also gone to the settlement of the
great mountain and when he had arrived at the abode of the lord
of the settlement he said : " It is now very urgent that you should
reply to the message which I have left here before."
The lord answered and said : '' The chief warrior and his
deputy have failed to unanimously agree with me to accept the
message of Good Tidings of Peace and Power, and I am now
bewildered and I am at loss to discover any course which might
lead me to overcome this difficulty. The reason why we are thus
placed is that the chief warrior and his deputy, who have the power
and the control of the people, have disagreed with us to accept the
Then Dekanahwideh said : *' That which has occurred with you
will not make a difference. The reason why it will not make any
difference is that you, being the lord, have accepted the message.
You are not alone, for they are many who have now accepted the
message and they will assist you to successfully consider the diffi-
culty in which you are placed."
Then moreover Dekanahwideh said : " You will now notify the
brother lord whose abode is on the other side of the river ^ that it
is now urgent for him to come over the river, so that we might
meet together here." Then the lord sent a messenger to notify the
lord, whose abode was on the other side of the river, and shortly
after the lord arrived at the appointed place.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We have now all met together. I
will therefore ask your mind."
Then the lord who had come from over the river spoke and
said : '' We lords on either side of the river have decided to accept
your message which you left. The only difficulty which we have
now to contend with is that our chief warrior and his deputy have
failed to agree with us to accept the message, and they have the
power to control the people, and we lords on either side of the
1 The Seneca capitol. The Senecas were divided into two bands, one of
which seems to have been allied with the Erie.
2 Probably the Genesee river. " The other lord " means the chief of the
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 87
river are totally bewildered and fail to see a way out of the
Then Dekanahwideh said : " I now fully understand everything
and I will encourage you with reference to this matter which has
occurred to you. You are not alone for many have accepted the
message of Good Tidings of Peace and Power. Therefore, owing
to that which has occurred to you, you (the lord) whose abode is
on this east side of the river and to whom the message first came
shall be known in the land by the name of Ska-nya-dah-ri-yoh,^ and
you, the lord who came from over the river who has agreed in mind
with your colleague on this side of the river, shall be called in the
land by the name of Sa-denka-ronh-yes." ^
Then Dekanahwideh also said: '*This is now completer^ Now
it is for you to make ready, for in a little while a man will come
whom you will accompany to the conference." They then in the
distance heard the man call, *'A-soh-kek-ne eh," meaning
" It is not yet."
Then Hahyonhwatha distinctly heard where he was. Then
Hahyonhwatha said to his colleague : " The time is now come
when we should go to the conference." They then started to go
to the place appointed for the conference and they arrived at the
place where the log (the Lord Ohdahtshedeh) was lying across
Ohdahtshedeh said: "We have been impatiently waiting for
we have heard the man calling with a loud voice now for a long
time. It is at the place appointed for the meeting of the
Then Hahyonhwatha said : " Let us now proceed to the con-
ference." They then went to the conference. Then Dekanahwideh
said, " I shall now return to my abode and we shall all meet at
the place appointed for the conference." Then the Lords Deh-ka-
eh-yonh, Ji-non-dah-weh-hon * and Dyon-yonh-koh came from their
settlement and when they arrived at the abode of Skanyadahriyoh,
they said that the lords had decided and arranged that all should
call here on their way to the conference and that they were to
invite all to accompany them.
1 The difficulties of the Senecas are related in all versions of this tradition.
Two separate bodies of the Senecas are described in nearly all stories of the
origin of the league. *
2 Ganiodai'io* (Seneca), Handsome Lake.
3 Sadegai'yes (Onondaga), or Dyadegaihyes.
88 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Skanyadariyoh said : '' We are ready now and we have
been waiting for a long time."
They then journeyed on their way to the conference. Dekanah-
wideh had arrived at the place of meeting first, and after him
arrived Hahyonhwatha, Ohdahtshedeh and their colleagues and
shortly afterwards Skanyadariyoh, Dehkaehyonh and their col-
After they had all assembled in conference, Dekanahwideh stood
up and said:
" This conference met here composed of four nations being now
assembled, you will therefore now first consider what we shall do
with reference to a certain woman, our mother, who has not yet
arrived." They then considered the matter and they decided that
they would proceed with the business on hand and the matter would
be in progress when she arrived.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " The first thing we shall do will be
to cross over the lake and it shall be Hahyonhwatha and Ohdaht-
shedeh and Dehkaehyonh and Skanyadariyoh and Sadehkaronhyes,
who are the rulers with power who shall cross first. If these lords
can safely get across the lake and make peace, then you, the whole
delegation, can cross. Therefore you shall now watch and you
shall see a display of power when they leave the shore in their boat.
I shall therefore appoint Hahyonhwatha to guide the boat."
They then entered the boat and he (Dekanahwideh) stood in
front of the boat and Hahyonhwatha sat in the stern and the rest
of the lords then noticed that the boat was made of white marble.
Then they embarked in this boat from the shore and they had not
proceeded far on their journey when they heard a voice calling
out, "A-soh-kek-ne eh," and as soon as this voice had called
out a strong wind arose and caused the lake to become very rough
and troubled and great billows^ formed upon its surface and more
especially around the boat. Then those in the boat became fright-
ened and said : " We are now going to die," but Dekanahwideh
spoke and said : " There is no danger because Peace has prevailed."
Then Dekanahwideh further said to the wind and lake, " Be thou
quiet, Ga-ha",2 ^j^^j rest." Then the wind and the roughness of
the lake ceased. They had not gone much farther when the man
across the lake called out ''Asohkekne eh," and then the wind
and roughness of the lake became still more violent. Then again
1 The lake was troubled because certain ceremonial words were spoken,
making it become alive.
2 The Wind God.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 89
Dekanahwideh said : " You, the wind and the lake, be still, for
we have not crossed the water yet." Then again the lake became
calm. Then Hahyonhwatha began to paddle hard and the boat
went 90 swiftly that when they reached the shore, the boat plowed
deeply into the dry land on the shore bank.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We will now get out of the boat
for we have now arrived at the place where we desire to go."
Then he got out and the other lords followed him and they con-
tinued on their journey and they had only gone a short distance
when they beheld a man sitting on a high, round knoll and when
they arrived where he was sitting they stood all around him and
Dekanahwideh stood directly in front of him, then he spoke and
said : " We have now arrived, we representing the four nations.
You will therefore now answer the message which we have left
here with you. These lords who now stand all around you have
now accepted the Good Tidings of Peace and Power, which signi-
fies that hereafter the shedding of human blood shall cease, for
our Creator the Great Ruler never intended that man should engage
in any such work as the destruction of human life. There are
many who have perished in the direction you are now facing, and
these lords have come to induce you to join them so that the shed-
ding of human blood might cease and the Good Tidings of Peace
and Power might prevail."
Then the man looked around and saw these men (the lords)
standing all around him, but he did not answer but kept silent.
Then these lords looked at his head while he was sitting on the
ground and they saw his hair moving as if it were all alive and
they saw that the movements of the hair greatly resembled that of
serpents, and they looked at his hands and saw that his fingers were
twisting and contorting continually in all directions and in all man-
ner of shapes, and they became impatient because he would not
answer the message.
Then Dekanahwideh said to Hahyonhwatha : " You shall now
recross the lake and the chief warrior and De-ha-rih-ho-ken and
Dyon-yonh-koh and our mother Ji-kon-sah-seh, shall accompany
you back in the boat (when you return here)."
Then the man who was sitting on the ground smiled a little.
Then Hahyonhwatha hurriedly went back and reembarked in the
boat and recrossed the lake and whei^he had come to shore on the
other side of the lake, they asked what had occurred.
Hahyonhwatha answered and said : " It is not yet complete, I
have therefore come after the chief warrior, De-ha-rih-ho-ken and
90 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Dyon-yonh-koh and our mother Ji-kon-sah-seh," ^ and they
answered him and said : " She has now arrived."
Then all those whom he had named got into the boat. Then
Hahyonhwatha said : " You will take as a sign that if we can get
across the lake in safety and the lake remains calm all the way
across then our message of peace will be accepted." They then
embarked on the lake - and the boat was rapidly propelled and as
they looked at the lake they saw that it was calm all the way across
and they arrived on to the shore in safety, and when they had
returned to where the man was sitting, Hahyonhwatha said,
" Everything is completed, we are now all assembled here."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We shall now first give thanks to
the Great Ruler. We will do this iDCcause our power is now com-
pleted." He also said : " It shall be that each nation shall now
have a voice in the thanksgiving and I shall therefore be the first
to lead. He then exclaimed " Yo hen ! "
Then Ohdahtshedeh also repeated " Yo^ hen " and after
him followed Dehkaehyonh who also repeated " Yo hen."
The next in order was Skanyadahriyoh who also repeated '* Yo
hen " and after him Hahyonhwatha repeated " Yo hen."
When Dekanahwideh started to address this man, the man
became troubled and after all of the lords finished addressing the
man his sympathy was afifected and he shed tears. Then Dekanah-
wideh said : " We, the delegates of all the nations who have
accepted the Good Tidings of Peace and Power, are now assembled
" The course, therefore, that we shall now pursue is that of the
representatives of each nation giving utterance to their opinion
upon this matter."
Ohdahtshedeh was the first to address the assembly and he said :
" I shall be the first to give utterance to my opinion upon this
matter. In my opinion this man may approve of our mission if
we all lay our heads before him." (This means that the nations
here represented would be submissive to this man Tha-do-dah-ho).
Then Dekanahwideh and Skanyadahriyoh spoke and said : " We
acquiesce to all that Ohdahtshedeh has said."
Then Dekanahwideh said to Thadodahho : " Now you will
answer and state if you are satisfied with the submission of these
1 Djikon'sase is a character who should be better known in Iroquois mythol-
ogy. There are several traditions about her, in the various events of Iroquois
tradition. The name passed as a title from one generation to another.
2 Mud Lake, or Diok'to, Otisco Lake.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS QI
lords who have laid their heads before you," but even then
Thadodah-ho did not answer.
Then Dekanahwideh said : '' You Dyon-yonh-koh will now give
utterance and express your opinion on this matter, as you now
have the authority."
Then Dyon-yonh-koh spoke and said to Thadodah-ho : " The
Creator, the Great Ruler, created this day which is now shedding
its light upon us ; he also created man and he also created the earth
and all things upon it. Now look up and see the delegates of the
Four Nations sitting around you, also see the chief warrior and
this great woman our mother (Jiknosahseh), standing before you,
all of whom have approved of this message. The lords and all the
chief warriors and this great woman, our mother, have all agreed
to submit the Good Tidings of Peace and Power to you, and thus
if you approve and confirm the message, you will have the power
and be the Fire-Keeper of our Confederate Council, and the smoke
from it will arise and pierce the sky, and all the nations shall be
subject to you."
Then the twisting movements of the fingers and the snakelike
movements of the hair of Thadodahho ceased.
Then he spoke and said : " It is well. I will now answer the
mission which brought you here. I now truly confirm and accept
your message, the object of which brought you here."
THE DEER'S HORNS THE EMBLEM OF POWER
Then Dakanahwideh said : " We have now accomplished our
work and completed everything that was required with the excep-
tion of shaping and transforming him (by rubbing him down),
removing the snake-like hair from him and circumcising him."
The lords therefore all took part in doing this and Ohdahtshedeh
was the first to rub down Thadodahho and the others followed
his example so that the appearance of Thaddodahho might be like
that of other men.
When this had been done then Dekanahwideh again said : " You,
the chief warrior, and you, our mother, you have the control of the
power (the authority), and we will now put upon him a sign, by
placing upon his head the horns of a buck deer. The reason why
we do this is because all people live upon the flesh of the deer, and
the reason that we take the emblenf of the deer horns is that
this institution, the Great Peace, shall be the means of protecting
our ' children hereafter."
92 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Dekanahwideh also said : " We shall now use these sym-
bolic deer's horns by placing them upon the heads of each other.
It shall be thus then that these horns shall be placed upon the head
of a man who shall be called a lord by his people — he shall have
the power to rule his people." Then Dekanahwideh further said:
"And now you, the chief warrior and our mother, shall place these
horns upon the head of him, Thadodahho."
Then they looked and saw antlers lying on the ground in the
midst of them, and Dekanahwideh said : " Pick these horns up and
put them upon him." Then the mother went forward and picked
them up. Then the chief warrior and the woman each grasped the
horns and placed them on his head.
Then Dekanahwideh said to the man who was still sitting on the
ground : " Now arise," and the man stood up.
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You, the nations who are assembled
here, behold this man who stands up before us. We have now
placed the deer's horns upon his head as an emblem of authority.
The people shall now call him Lord Tha-do-dah-ho, in the land."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " It shall now, in the future among us,
the United Nations, thus be a custom that whenever a lord is to be
created we shall all unite in a ceremony (such as this)."
POSITIONS OF THE CONFEDERATE LORDS
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkarohyhes
shall be the uncles of Dehkaehyonh. We have now formed the
confederacy, and we shall now have two sets of lords, one on each
side of the council fire.
" Then also Hahyonhwatha and Ohdahtshedeh, father and son,
shall sit and face each other, one on each side of the council fire.
" Then Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkaronhyes shall sit on one
side of the council fire and their nephew Dehkaehyonh shall sit on
the opposite side.
" On one side of the council fire shall then be seated Hayonh-
watha, Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkaronhyes and on the opposite
side shall sit Ohdahtshedeh and Dehkaehyonh and it shall be that
we shall place Thadodahho in the center between the two sets of
lords in the council.
We shall establish this relationship as follows: You, Thado-
dahho, shall be the father of Ohdahtshedeh and Dehkaehyonh and
Hahyonhwatha, Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkaronhyes shall be your
brothers and you shall be the principals of the confederation which
we have just made and completed.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 93
" The first matter which I shall lay before you for your con-
sideration is that as clans ^ are already established among the
people, that the several clans form relations as brothers and
So the lords answered and said : " We have decided to adopt
Then he, Dekanahwideh said : " You, Hahyonhwatha, shall be
the first to come and appoint your colleagues ; you are of the Turtle
Clan and shall therefore appoint your colleagues of the same clan."
Then when this was done Hahyonhwatha said : " This is now
all ready, they have accepted and they are as follows: De-ha-rih-
Then Dekanahwideh said : " These shall therefore be your
brother colleagues, you of the Turtle Clan. The brethern of the
Wolf Clan shall be Sa-renh-ho-wa-neh,^ De-yon-heh-kon ^ and On-
renh-reh-ko-wah * and our cousins of the Bear Clan^ shall be
De-hen-nah-ke-re-neh,^ Ah-stah-weh-seh-ron-ron-tha "^ and Soh-
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You, Hahyonhwatha, have now
completed appointing your colleagues of your nation, as the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power first originated at Kan-yen-geh, you
shall be called Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah ® (Mohawk)."
Then Dekanahwideh said to Hahyonhwatha : " Now it shall fall
upon your son Ohdahtshedeh who sits upon the opposite side of
the council fire to appoint his brother colleagues." Then Ohdaht-
shedeh appointed his brother colleagues of the Turtle Clan as
follows: So-non-sehs ^^ (Long House), Tho-nahonh-ken-ah ^^ and
A-tye-donj-eneh-tha.^2 And then he, Ta-na-o-ge-a, appointed his
cousins of the Bear Clan as follows : Deh-ha-da-weh-de-yons,^^ Deh-
ha-nyen-da-sah-deh ^* and Roh-wa-tsha-don-hon.^''. These being the
1 In some traditions the origin of the clans is stated as coeval with the
beginning of the Confederacy; the more accurate view is that clans had long
6 Dehenagai'ne', Dragging horns.
" Hastame'se^ta', Dropped rattle.
9 Kanyengeha'ka, Flint people ; cf. kanyenge', flinty place.
10 Sono"s'es. *
^2 Hadya'donent'ha, Swallows his own body.
1* Dehanye'dasayefi', Two legs together.
94 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
second nation who accepted the message of Peace and Power and as
their settlement (from whence they came) was where the great
historic stone was situated, O-neh-yont, they were called O-neh-yo-
Then Dekanahwideh said : " It shall now rest with you, the
uncles, Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkaronhyes, to appoint your
colleagues." Then Skanyadahriyoh said: "I (myself) shall ap-
point two of my brothers and my cousin, Sa-deh-ka-ronh-yes, shall
appoint two of his brethern." Then Skanyadahriyoh of the Turtle
Clan also said : " I therefore now appoint Ka-no-kye ^ of the Turtle
Clan and Sa-tye-na-wat ^ of the Bear Clan as my colleagues."
Then Sa-deh-ka-ronh-yes of the Snipe clan said : '*' I now appoint
Sa-ken-j.o-wah-neh * of the Pigeon Hawk Clan and Nis-ha-yeh-
nehs ^ of the Snipe Clan as my colleagues."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You have all appointed your col-
leagues and Kanokye ^ and Sakenhiwahneh '' shall be cousins, and
Nishayehnehs and Satyenawat ^ shall be cousins." He then said,
" You, Skanyadahriyoh and Sadehkaronhyes of the Seneca Nation,
have now completed appointing your colleagues. Your settlement
is at the big mountain and you shall therefore be called O-neh-do-
wah-ka ^ (people of the big mountain) Senecas."
Then Dekanahwideh also said: "And now your son Deh-ka-eh-
yonh,^^ who sits on the opposite side of the council fire, shall name
and appoint his colleagues."
Then Dehkaehyonh of the Big Bear Clan appointed his colleagues,
saying as follows : " I shall now appoint my son Ji-non-dah-weh-
honh ^^ of the Ball Clan and my mother Ka-da-gwa-seh ^^ ^of the
Bear Clan and my brother Sho-yonh-wehs ^^ of the Young Bear
Clan and Hathatrohneh ^^ of the Turtle Clan, Dyon-yonh-koh ^" of
the Hand Clan, and Deh-yoh-doh-weh-kon ^^ of the Wolf Clan, and
1 Onayont, or Hadiniyutga".
9 Onundawaga, Nundawa'g'g, The hill people.
13 Sho'yoiiwes, Long wind.
16 Diotowe"kon, Two colds.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 95
Dyon-weh-thoh ^ of the Snipe Clan. These are the brother
Then Deh-ka-eh-yonh appointed the cousin of the chief so named
as follows: Nah-don-dah-heh-ha - of the Plover Clan and Des-
da-heh^ of the Young Bear Clan.
Then Dekanahwideh said : ** You, Deh-ka-eh-yonh * of the Cayuga
Nation, have now finished appointing your colleagues and you
shall therefore be called Queh-you-gwe-hah-ka ^ (Cayuga) from
your custom of portaging your canoe at a certain point in your
Then Dekanahwideh also said : "I shall now leave it to you,
Tha-do-dah-ho, to appoint your colleagues."
Then Thadodahho of the Bear Clan said : *' The first I shall
appoint will be Onh-neh-sah-heh,^ my cousin of the Beaver Clan,
and Ska-nya-da-ge-wak '^ of the Snipe Clan and Ah-weh-ken-yath ^
of the Ball Clan and Deh-ha-yat-kwa-eh ^ of the Turtle Qan, and
these are all brothers."
Then Thadodahho appointed their son, Ho-noh-we-yeh-deh ^^
of the Wolf Clan, and then Thadodahho appointed his (Ho-noh-
we-yeh-dehs) uncles as follows: Kon-weh-neh-senh-don of the
Deer Clan and Ha-he-honk also of the Deer Clan and then their
brothers as follows: Ho-yonh-nye-neh ^^ of the Eel Clan and So-
deh-kwa-seh ^^ also of the Eel Clan and Sa-ko-ken-o-heh ^'^ of the
Pigeon Hawk Clan, and then he (Thadodahha) appointed the sons
of the latter as follows : Ho-sah-ha-wa ^* of the Deer Clan and
Ska-nah-o-wa-da ^^ of the Small Turtle Clan.
Then Dekanahwideh spoke and said : " We have now come to
appointing the lords of the Five Nations hereby represented. These
lords have now all been crowned with deer's horns in conformity
and in a similar manner to Thadodahho who was first crowned.
Therefore we have now accomplished and completed the work of
laying the foundation of the confederation."
•'• Gwno"gweha'ka, drawn up fro-n the water people.
■^ Skanya'dadji'wak, Bitter throat.
8 Aweken"yat, Near the shore.
^ Dehayatgwa'ie". Red spots on wings.
11 Hoyo"nyen"ni*. ^
12 Sode'gwase"', Bruised all over.
13 Sagoge^"he*, I shall see them again."
96 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
PACIFICATION OF THE SENECA CHIEFS
Then Dekanahwideh spoke again and said : " I will now lay
before your confederate council for your consideration one matter,
and that is with reference to the conduct of the chief warriors of
O-non-do-wa-ka (Senecas) who have refused to act in conjunction
(or accord) with the lords in accepting the message of Good Tid-
ings of Peace and Power."
Then the lords sent messengers for these two chief warriors of
the Onondowaka (Senecas) to appear. And when they had come
to the council, Lord Hahyonhwatha addressed these two chief
warriors and said : '* This Confederate Council now in session, to-
gether with their warriors, have unanimously accepted the message
of Peace and Power and only you two chief warriors have not yet
accepted and neither have expressed yourselves on this matter."
Then Hayonhwatha further said : '* This Confederate Council and
their chief warriors have unanimously decided to leave all the war
power and mihtary control of the people in your hands providing
you accept the message so that in case of war with other nations
you shall be the leaders of the people of the Confederate Nations
in defense of their confederacy." Then one of these two warriors
spoke and said : *' We are agreed to accept the message."
Then Dekanahwideh continued his address and said : " Now our
power is full and complete and the two chief warriors of the
Onondowaka (Senecas) have agreed to accept the message of Good
Tidings ; therefore we shall now add to the number of the lords of
the confederacy (Eh-ji-twa-nah-stah-soh-de-renh),^ we shall call it
Ka-na-stah-ge-ko-wah ^ and these two chief warriors shall repre-
sent the door of the long house. Ka-noh-hah-ge-ko-wah,^ meaning
the great black door through which all good and evil messages must
come to reach the confederate house of lords or council, shall be
the name of the door, and if any person or nation has any news,
message or business matter to lay before the Confederate Council,
he or they must come through this door."
Then Dekanahwideh again further said, *' We shall now crown
these two chief warriors with deer's horns ^ and make them lords
also. We shall now first crown with deer's horns Deyohneohkaweh ^
of the Wolf Clan and then we shall also crown Kanonkedahwe ^
2 Kana'stadjigo'wa,"" Black timbers.
* Skano^donona"ga, Deer horns.
^ Deyonenhoga"we*, Open door.
6 Kano^'gida'hwi', Hair burn-ed off.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 97
of the Snipe Clan and these two shall be cousins and they shall
guard the door of the long house. ^ And we shall now floor the
doorway with slippery elm bark, and it shall be that whenever we
have visitors from other nations who will have any message or any
business to lay before the Confederate Council, these two door-
keepers shall escort and convey them before the council, but when-
ever the visitor or visitors have come for evil purposes, then
Kanonkedahwe shall take them by the hand and lead them in and
they shall slip on the slippery elm bark and fall down and they
shall be reduced to a heap of bones (He-yoh-so-jo-de-hah - in
Onondaga language; Ehyohdonyohdaneh in Mohawk), and the
bones of the enemy shall fall into a heap before the lords of the
confederacy." (A heap of bones here signifies a conquered nation
to be dealt with by the lords of the confederacy who shall decide
as to what manner they will be allowed to exist in the future.)
LAWS OF THE CONFEDERACY
Then Dekanahwideh again said : " We have completed the Con-
federation of the Five Nations, now therefore it shall be that here-
after the lords who shall be appointed in the future to fill vacancies
caused by death or removals shall be appointed from the same
families and clans from whidh the first lords were created, and
from which families the hereditary title of lordships shall descend."
Then Dekanahwideh further said : " I now transfer and set over
to the women who have the lordships' title vested in them, that they
shall in tihe future have the power to appoint the successors from
time to time to fill vacancies caused by death or removals from
Then Dekanahwideh continued and said : " We shall now build
a confederate council fire ^ from which the smoke shall arise and
pierce the skies and all nations and people shall see this smoke.
And now to you, Thadodahho, your brother and cousin colleagues
shall be left the care and protection of the confederate council fire,
by the Confederate Nations."
2 The term " long house " as applied to the confederacy is not generally
used by the Canadian Iroquois in their manuscript copies of the confederate
laws and legends. A mistaken notion that the long house idea originated with
Handsome Lake accounts for it. Newhouse used the term " long house " in
his earlier manuscripts but later erased it supplying the word " confederacy."
He explained this by saying that he had heard an old man say that long
house meant Handsome Lake's new religion, the thing that destroyed the
knowledge of the old ways. Thus the term was tabooed in connection with
98 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Dekanahwideh further said : '' The lords have unanimously
decided to spread before you on the ground this great white wam-
pum belt Ska-no-dah-ken-rah-ko-wah ^ and Ka-yah-ne-renh-ko-
wah,2 which respectfully signify purity and great peace, and the
lords have also laid before you this great wing, Ska-weh-yeh-seh-
ko-wah,^ and whenever any dust or stain of any description falls
upon the great belt of white wampum, then you shall take tihis
great wing and. sweep it clean," (Dust or stain means evil of any
description which might have a tendency to cause trouble in the
Then Dekanahwideh said : " The lords of this confederacy have
unanimously decided to lay by you this rod (Ska-nah-ka-res)^ and
whenever you see any creeping thing which might have a tendency
to harm our grandchildren or see a thing creeping toward the great
white wampum belt (meaning the Great Peace), then you shall
take this rod and pry it away with it, and if you and your colleagues
fail to pry the creeping, evil thing out, you shall then call out loudly
that all the Confederate Nations may hear and they will come
immediately to your assistance."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Now you, the lords of the several
Confederate Nations, shall divide yourselves and sit on opposite
sides of the council fire as follows : " You and your brother col-
leagues shall sit on one side of the council fire (this was said to
the Mohawks and the Senecas), and your sons, the Oneidas and
Cayugas, shall sit on the opposite side of the council fire. Thus
you will begin to work and carry out the principles of the Great
Peace (Ka-yah-ne-renh-ko-wah) and you will be guided in this by
the great white wampum belt (Ska-no-dah-ke-rah-ko-wah) which
signifies Great Peace."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You, Thadodahho, shall be the fire
keeper, and your duty shall be to open the Confederate Council
with praise and thanksgiving to the Great Ruler and close the
Then Dekanaihwideh also said : " When the council is opened,
Hayonhwatha and his colleagues shall be the first to consider and
give their opinion upon any subject which may come before the
council for consideration, and when they have arrived at a decision,
then shall they transfer the matter to their brethren, the Senecas,
for their consideration, and when they, the Senecas, shall have
2 Gayanasshagona (Onon.).
3 Another belt known as the great wing, Dega'yado"wa'ne (Onon.).
Commemoration (belts of the Five Nations recording events and alliances
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 99
arrived at a decision on the matter then they shall refer it back to
Hahyonhwatha and his colleagues. Then Hahyonhwatha will an-
nounce the decision to the opposite side of the council fire.
" Then Ohdahtshedeh and his colleagues will consider the matter
in question and when they have arrived at a decision they will refer
the matter to their brethren, the CayUgas, for their consideration
and after they have arrived at a decision, they will refer the matter
back to Ohdahtshedeh and his colleagues. Then Ohdahtshedeh
will announce their decision to the opposite side of the council fire.
Then Hahyonhwatha will refer the matter to Thadodahho and his
colleagues for their careful consideration and opinion of the matter
in question and if Thadodahho and his colleagues find that the
matter has not been well considered or decided, then they shall
refer the matter back again to the two sides of the council fire,
and they shall point out where, in their estimation, the decision
was faulty and the question not fully considered, and then the
two sides of the council will take up the question again and recon-
sider the matter, and after the two sides of the council have fully
reconsidered the question, then Hahyonhwatha will again refer it
to Thadohahho and his colleagues, then they will again consider
the matter and if they see that the decision of the two sides of the
council is correct, then Thadodahho and his colleagues will confirm
Then Dekanahwideh further said : *' If the brethren of the
Mohawks and the Senecas are divided in their opinion and can not
agree on any matter which they may have for their consideration,
then Hahyonhwatha shall announce the two decisions to the oppo-
site of the council fire. Then Ohdahtshedeh and his brother col-
leagues, after they have considered the matter, and if they also are
divided in their decision, shall so report, but if the divided factions
each agree with the decision announced from the opposite side of
the council, then Ohdahtshedeh shall also announce their two de-
cisions to the other side of the council fire; then Hahyonhwatha
shall refer the matter to Thadodahho and his colleagues who are
the fire keepers. They will fully consider the matter and whiqhever
decision they consider correct they will confirm."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " If it should so happen that the lords
of the Mohawks and the lords of the Senecas disagree on any
matter and also on the opposite side of the council fire, the lords of
the Oneidas and the lords of the Cayug^s disagree among them-
selves and do not agree with either of the two decisions of the
lOO NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Opposite side of the council fire but of themselves give two deci-
sions which are diverse from each other, then Hahyonhwatha shall
refer the four decisions to Thadodahho and his colleagues who
shall consider the matter and give their decision and their decision
shall be final."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We have now completed the system
for our Confederate Council."
Then Dekanahwideh further said : " We now, each nation, shall
adopt all the rules and regulations governing the Confederate
Council which we have here made and we shall apply them to all
our respective settlements and thereby we shall carry out the prin-
ciples set forth in the message of Good Tidings of Peace and
Power, and in dealing with the affairs of our people of the various
dominions, thus we shall secure to them contentment and happiness."
Then he, Dekanahwideh, said: "You, Ka-nyen-ke-ha-ka (Mo-
hawk), you, Dekarihoken, Hahyonhwatha and Sadekarihwadeh,
you shall sit in the middle between your brother lords of the Mo-
hawks, and your cousin lords of the Mohawks, and all matters
under discussion shall be referred to you by your brother lords and
your cousin lords for your approval or disapproval.
"You, O-nen-do-wa-ka (Senecas), you, Skanyhadahriyoh and
Sadeh-ka-ronh-yes, you shall sit in the middle or between your
brother lords and your cousin lords of the Senecas and all matters
under discussion shall be referred to you by them for your approval
"You, Ohnenyohdehaka (Oneidas), you, Ohdahtshedeh, Kanon-
kweyoudoh and Deyouhahkwedeh, you shall sit in the middle be-
tween your brother lords and your cousin lords of the Oneidas and
all matters under discussion shall be referred to you by them for
your approval or disapproval.
"You, the Que-yenh-kwe-ha-ka (Cayugas), you, Dekaehyonh
and Jinondahwehonh, you shall sit in the middle between your
lords and your cousin lords of the Cayugas and all matters under
discussion shall be referred to you by them for your approval or
Then Dekanahwideh said : " We have now completed arranging
the system of our local councils and we shall hold our annual Con-
federate Council at the settlement of Thadodahho, the capitol
or seat of government of the Five Nations' Confederacy."
Dekanahwideh said : " Now I and you lords of the Confederate
Nations shall plant a tree Ska-renj-heh-se-go-wah^ (meaning a tall
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS lOI
and mighty tree) and we shall call it Jo-ne-rak-deh-ke-wah ^ (the
tree of the great long leaves).
" Now this tree which we have planted shall shoot forth four
great, long, white roots (Jo-doh-ra-ken-rah-ko-wah).^ These great,
long, white roots shall shoot forth one to the north and one to the
south and one to the east and one to the west, and we shall place
on the top of it Oh-don-yonh ^ (an eagle) which has great power
of long vision, and we shall transact all our business beneath the
shade of this great tree. The meaning of planting this great tree,
Skarehhehsegowah, is to symbolize Ka-yah-ne-renh-ko-wa, which
means Great Peace, and Jo-deh-ra-ken-rah-ke-wah, meaning Good
Tidings of Peace and Power. The nations of the earth shall see
it and shall accept and f<!)llow the roots and shall follow them to
the tree and when they -arrive here you shall receive them and shall
seat them in the midst of your confederacy. The object of placing
an eagle, Skadji'ena', on the top of the great, tall tree is that it may
watch the roots which extend to the north and" to the south and to
the east and to the west, and whose duty shall be to discover if any
evil is approaching your confederacy, and he shall scream loudly
and give the alarm and all the nations of the confederacy at once
shall heed the alarm and come to the rescue."
Then Dekanahwideh again said : " We shall now combine our
individual power into one great power which is this confederacy
and we shall therefore symbolize the union of these powers by each
nation contributing one arrow, which we shall tie up together in a
bundle which, when it is made and completely tied together, no one
can bend or break."
Then Dekanahwideh further said : " We have now completed
this union by securing one arrow from each nation. It is not good
that one should be lacking or taken from the bundle, for it would
weaken our power and it would be still worse if two arrows were
taken from the bundle. And if three arrows were taken any one
could break the remaining arrows in the bundle."
Then Dekanahwideh continued his address and said : " We shall
tie this bundle of arrows together with deer sinew which is strong,
durable and lasting and then also this institution shall be sUong
and unchangeable. This bundle of arrows signifies that all the lords
and all the warriors and all the women of the Confederacy have
become united as one person."
^ Ona"dedjisko'na skaskohai'na*, Big long leaves, big limber tree.
»The "upper world eagle" is called skadji'ena'.
I02 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Dekanahwideh again said : " We have now completed
binding this bundle of arrows and we shall leave it beside the great
tree (Skarehhehsegowah) and beside the Confederate Council fire
Then Dekanahwideh said : ** We have now completed our power
so that we the Five Nations' Confederacy shall in the future have
one body, one head and one heart."
Then he (Dekanahwideh) further said: "If any evil should
befall us in the future, we shall stand or fall united as one man."
Then Dekanahwideh said : " You lords shall be symbolized as
trees of the Five Confederate Nations. We therefore bind our-
selves together by taking hold of each other's hands firmly and
forming a circle so strong that if a tree shall fall prostrate upon it,
it could neither shake nor break it, and thus our people and our
grandchildren shall remain in the circle in security, peace and happi-
ness. And if any lord who is crowned with the emblem of deer's
horns shall break through this circle of unity, his horns shall become
fastened in the circle, and if he persists after warning from the
chief matron, he shall go through it without his horns and the horns
shall remain in the circle, and when he has passed through the
circle, he shall no longer be lord, but shall be as an ordinary war-
rior and shall not be further qualified to fill any office."
Then Dekanahwideh further said : " We have now completed
everything in connection with the matter of Peace and Power, and
it remains only for us to consider and adopt some measure as to
what we shall do with reference to the disposal of the weapons
of war which we have taken from our people."
Then the lords considered the latter and decided that the best
way which they could adopt with reference to the disposal of the
weapons would be to uproot the great tall tree which they had
planted and in uprooting the tree a chasm would form so deep that
it would come or reach the swift current of the waters under it,
into which the weapons of war would be thrown, and they would
be borne and swept away forever by the current so that their grand-
children would never see them again. And they then uprooted the
great tree and they cast into the chasm all manner of weapons of
war which their people had been in the custom of using, and thc^
then replaced the tree in its original position.
Then Dekanahwideh further continued and said : " We have
completed clearing away all manner of weapons from the paths of
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS IO3
Then Dekanahwideh continued and said: "We have still one
matter left to be considered and that is with reference to the hunt-
ing grounds of our people from which they derive their living."
They, the lords, said with reference to this matter : " We shall
now do this: We shall only have one dish (or bowl) in which
will be placed one beaver's tail and we shall all have coequal right
to it, and there shall be no knife in it, for if there be a knife in it,
there would be danger that it might cut some one and blood would
thereby be shed." (This one dish or bowl signifies that they will
make their hunting grounds one common tract and all have a co-
equal right to hunt within it.^ The knife being prohibited from
being placed into the dish or bowl signifies that all danger would
be removed from shedding blood by the people of these different
nations of the confederacy caused by differences of the right of
the hunting grounds.)
Then Dekanahwideh continued and said : " We have now accom-
plished and completed forming the great Confederacy of the Five
Nations together with adopting rules and regulations in connection
Then he, Dekanahwideh, continued and said : '* I will now leave
all matters in the hands of your lords and you are to work and
carry out the principles of all that I have just laid before you for
the welfare of your people and others, and I now place the power
in your hands and to add to the rules and regulations whenever
necessary and I now charge each of you lords that you must never
seriously disagree among yourselves. You are all of equal standing
and of equal power, and if you seriously disagree the consequences
will be most serious and this disagreement will cause you to disre-
gard each other, and while you are quarreling with each other, the
white panther ^ (the fire dragon of discord) ^ will come and take
your rights and privileges away. Then your grandchildren will
suffer and be reduced to poverty and disgrace."
Then he, Dekanahwideh, continued and said : " If this should
ever occur, whoever can climb a great tree (Skarehhehsegowah)
and ascend to the top, may look around over the landscape and will
see if there is any way or place to escape to from the calamity of
the threatening poverty slnd disgrace, so that our children may have
a home where they may have peace and happiness in their day.
1 Diondowes'ta', hunting ground.
2 Usually translated lion.
104 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
And if it so occurs that he can not see any way or place to escape
the calamity, he will then descend the tree. You will then look
for a great swamp elm tree (Aka-rah-ji-ko-wah) ^ and when you
have found one with great large roots extending outwards and
bracing outwards from the trunk, there you will gather your heads
Then Dekanahwideh continued and said : " It will be hard and
your grandchildren will suffer hardship. And if it may so occur
that the heads of the people of the confederacy shall roll and
wander away westward, if such thing should come to pass, other
nations shall see your heads rolling and wandering away and
they shall say to you, ' You belong to the confederacy, you were a
proud and haughty people once,* and they shall kick the heads with
scorn, and they shall go on their way, but before they shall have
gone far they shall vomit up blood." (Meaning that the confed-
eracy shall still have power enough to avenge their people.)
Then Dekanahwideh further said : " There may be another seri-
ous trouble. Other nations may cut or hack these four great roots
which grow from the great tree which we have planted and one of
the roots shoots to the north and one to the south and one to the
east and one to the west. Whenever such thing happens, then
shall great trouble come into the seat of your lords of the con-
Then Dekanahwideh said : " I shall now therefore charge each
of your lords, that your skin be of the thickness of seven spreads
of the hands ^ (from end of thumb to the end of the great finger)
so that no matter how sharp a cutting instrument may be used it
will not penetrate the thickness of your skin. (The meaning of the
great thickness of your skins is patience and forbearance, so that
no matter what nature of question or business may come before
you, no matter how sharp or aggravating it may be, it will not
penetrate to your skins, but you will forbear with great patience
and good will in all your deliberations and never disgrace your-
selves by becoming angry.) You lords shall always be guided in
all your councils and deliberations by the Good Tidings of Peace
Then Dekanahwideh said : " Now, you lords of the different
nations of the confederacy, I charge you to cultivate the good feel-
ing of friendship, love and honor amongst yourselves. I have now
1 Gain'dadj ikgo'na.
2 Djaduk'nioyionk'gage', seven fingers.
Council pipe used in the ceremonies of raising a civil chief. This pipe
was last owned by Albert Cusick, who presented it to the State Museum
in 1911. •
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS IO5
fulfilled my duty in assisting you in the establishment and organi-
zation of this great confederacy, and if this confederation is care-
fully guarded it shall continue and endure from generation to gen-
eration and as long as the sun shines. I shall now, therefore, go
home, conceal and cover myself with bark and there shall none
other be called by my name."
Then Dekanahwideh further continued and said : " If at any
time through the negligence and carelessness of the lords, they fail
to carry out the principles of the Good Tidings of Peace and Power
and the rules and regulations of the confederacy and the people are
reduced to poverty and great suffering, I will return."
Then Dekanahwideh said: *'And it shall so happen that when
yoti hear my name mentioned disrespectfully without reason or
just cause, but spoken in levity, you ; shall then "know that you are
on the verge of trouble and sorrow.^'' Adut^' shall be that the only
time when it shall be proper for my'hanrc^toj-He hientioned is when
the condolence ceremonies are being -perfbrfhed'or when the Good
Tidings of Peace and Power which I have established and organized
are being discussed or rehearsed."
Then the lords (Ro-de-ya-ner-shoh) said: '*We shall begin to
work and carry out the instructions which you, Dekanahwideh,
have laid before us."
Then they said : '* We shall therefore begin first with the Con-
federate Council of the Five Nations and other nations who shall
accept and come under the Great Law of the confederacy will
become as props, supports of the long house.
" The pure white wampum strings shall be the token or emblem
of the council fire, and it shall be that when the fire keepers shall
open the council, he shall pick up this string of wampum and hold
it on his hand while he is offering thanksgiving to the Great Ruler
and opening the council." And then they also said: "That while,
the council is in session the strings of the white wampum should
be placed conspicuously in their midst and when they should
adjourn then, the fire keepers should pick up these strings of wam-
pum again, offer thanksgiving, close the council and all business
in connection with the council should then be adjourned."
Then they said : " We shall now establish as a custom that when
our annual Confederate Council shall meet we shall smoke the pipe
of peace." ^
1 Swe°no"andwahe''i'. _.
I06 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
And they, the lords, then said : " We shall now proceed to de-
fine the obligations and position of the lords of the Confederacy
" If a lord is found guilty of wilful murder, he shall be deposed
without the warning (as shall be provided for later on) by the lords
of the confederacy, and his horns (emblem of power) shall be
handed back to the chief matron of his family and clan.
" If a lord is guilty of rape he shall be deposed without the usual
warning by the lords of the confederacy, and his horns (the em-
blem of power) shall be handed back to the chief matron of his
family and clan.
" If a lord is found guilty of theft, he shall be deposed without
the usual warning by the lords of the confederacy and his horns
(the emblem of power) shall be handed back to the chief matron
of his family and clan.
" If a lord is guilty of unwarrantably opposing the object of
decisions of the council and in that his own erroneous will in
these matters be carried out, he shall be approached and admonished
by the chief matron of his family and clan to desist from such evil
practices and she shall urge him to come back and act. in harmony
with his brother lords.
" If the lord refuses to comply with the request of the chief
matron of his family and clan and still persists in his evil prac-
tices of unwarrantably opposing his brother lords, then a warrior
of his family and clan will also approach him and admonish him
to desist from pursuing his evil course.
" If the lord still refuses to listen and obey, then the chief matron
and warrior shall go together to the warrior and they shall inform
him that they have admonished their lord and he refused to obey.
Then the chief warrior will arise and go there to the lord and will
say to him : ' Your nephew and niece have admonished you to desist
from your evil course, and you have refused to obey.' Then the
chief warrior will say : ' I will now admonish you for the last time
and if you continue to resist, refuse to accede and disobey this
request, then your duties as lord of our family and clan will cease,
and I shall take the deer's horns from off your head, and with a
broad edged stone axe I shall cut down the tree ' (meaning that
he shall be deposed from his position as lord or chief of the con-
federacy). Then, if the lord merits dismissal, the chief warrior
shall hand back the deer's horns (the emblem of power) of the
deposed lord to the chief matron of the family or clan."
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS IO7
Whenever it occurs that a lord is thus deposed, then the chief
matron shall select and appoint another warrior of her family or
clan and crown him with the deer's horns and thus a new lord
shall be created in the place of the one deposed.
The lords of each of the confederate nations shall have one
assistant and their duty, each of them, shall be to carry messages
through the forests between our settlements and also in the absence
of the lord through illness or any other impediment he shall be
deputed by him (his lord) to act in his place in council.
The lords then said: "We have now completed defining the
obligations and positions of a lord (Royaner) and therefore in
accordance with the custom which we now have established, it
shall be that when a lord is deposed and the deer's horns (emblem
of power) are taken from him, he shall no longer be allowed
to sit in council or even hold an office again."
Then the lords continued and said : " What shall we do in case
some of us lords are removed by sudden death and in whom so
much dependence is placed?"
" In such case (this shall be done) , the chief matron and the
warriors of the family and clan of the deceased lord, shall nominate
another lord from the warriors of the family and clan of the dead
lord to succeed him, then the matter will be submitted to the brother
lords and if they (the brother lords) confirm the nomination, then
the matter will be further submitted to their cousin lords and if
they also confirm the nomination, then the candidate shall be quali-
fied to be raised by the condolence ceremony (Honda nas)."
Then the lords continued and said : " In case the family and
clan in which a lordship title^ is vested shall become extinct, this
shall be done : It shall then be transferred and vested in the hands
of the confederate lords and they will consider the matter and nomi-
nate and appoint^ a successor from any family of the brother lords
of the deceased lord, and the lords may in their discretion vest the
said lordship title in some family, and such title will remain in
that family so long as the lords are satisfied.
"If ever it should occur that the chief matron in a family or
clan in which a lordship title is vested should be removed by death"
and leave female infants who, owing to their infancy can not
nominate a candidate to bear their lordship title, then the lords
(of the same nation) at their pleasure may appoint an adult female
of a sister family who shall make a temporary appointment, shall
1 Nihosennode', the title.
2 The term is Naho'iyawadaga ya'de*^.
I08 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
come before the lords and request that the lordship title be restored
to them, then the lords must obtain the title and restore it
Then the lords continued and said : *' We now have completed
laying the foundation of our rules and methods (Kayanehrenokowa)
and we will now proceed to follow and carry out the working of
these rules and methods of the confederacy, and the local affairs
of our respective settlements, and whenever we discover a warrior
who is wise and trustworthy and who will render his services for
the benefit of the people and thus aid the lords of the confederacy,
we will claim him into our midst and confer upon him the title of
* He has sprung up as a Pine Tree ^ ' (Eh-ka-neh-do-deh) and his
title shall only last during his lifetime^ and shall not be hereditary
and at his death it shall die with him."
Then the lords (Rodiyaner) again considered and said: "We
have now completed the appointment of our lords. It may so occur
that before we may be quietly reseated in our respective places,
we may sustain another loss by death (of a lord) and in that case
we shall do this: While yet the dying lord is suffering in the
agonies of death, his brother lords will come and remove his deer's
horns from his head and place them beside the wall and if by the
will of the Great Ruler he recovers from his illness, he shall then
reclaim his crown of deer's horns and resume the duties of a lord.
They further considered this matter and said : " While the lord
is ill we will place a string of black wampum at the head of his
bed and if he dies anyone belonging to his clan may take this string
of black wampum and announce his death to the whole circle of
the confederacy as follows :
" If a Lord among the three brothers,^ Mohawk, Seneca and
Onondaga, dies, the chief warrior or a warrior will convey the
string of black wampum to their son, Ohdahtshedeh or Dehkaeh-
yonh, or their colleagues, and he will leave it there, and while on
his way from the home of the dead lord he will repeat at regular
intervals the mourning cry, three times thus — * Kwa ah ;
Kwa ah; Kwa ah.'
" Then Ohdahtshedeh or Dehkaehyonh or their colleagues will
convey the string of black wampum to their four brothers, and so
2 Enkanedode", the pine tree shall grow.
3 A'se'nihondade°"gen, three brothers.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS lOQ
on until the whole circle of the confederacy shall become aware of
the death of the lord. And if a lord among the two (now four)
brothers (the Oneida and Cayuga) dies, then the chief warrior or
any warrior deputed will carry and convey the string of black
wampum to Dekarihoken or Skanyadahriyoh or Thadodahho, or
their brother colleagues, and the chief warrior or any warrior so
deputed will, while on his way, repeat the mourning cry three times
at regular intervals as follows : * Kwa ah ; Kwa ah ;
Kwa ah ; ' ^ and if a chief warrior on either side of the council
dies (or now if a chief of Tuscarora, Delaware, Nanticoke or
Tuteli member 2 of the council dies), then the mourning messenger
will, while on his way to announce the death of either of these,
repeat the mourning cry twice only as follows : ' Kwa ah ;
Kwa ah.' In case of the sudden death of a lord, then his
colleagues will remove his crown of deer's horns and will put it to
one side where the chief matron of the family or clan to which he
belonged will find and take it up again.
"If from whatever cause the crown of deer's horns are not
removed from the head of the lord at the time of his death, then
his colleagues will remove the same at the time of his burial and
will place it beside the grave where the chief matron will find and
pick it up again."
Then the lords said: "If a lord dies we will do this: we will
put up a pole horizontally, and we will hang a pouch upon it,
and we will put into the pouch a short string of wampum, and the
side of the council fire which has sustained the loss by death shall
do it and the side which has not sustained the loss will depute one
of their lords to take the pouch off the pole, then he shall follow
the path and go to the opposite side of the council fire where the
loss has been sustained, and when he arrives at the house where
the lord died he will stand at one end of the hearth and he will
speak consoling words to the bereaved, and he will cheer them up,
and this will be our mode of condolence, and these shall consist of
eleven passages to be expressed in this condolence (Ka-ne-kon-
kets-kwa-se-rah)^ and eleven wampum strings shall be used in
1 Kwa a".
2 Captive or adopted tribes having a seat and a voice in their own national
affairs but no voice in the confederate coimcil.
3 Ganigohagetc'gwe'i', Their spirits are litted up.
no NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
THE CONDOLENCE CEREMONY
The beginning of the condolence ceremony used immediately
after the death of a chief (or lord) and which is subsequently fol-
lowed by the preliminary ceremony called, "At the wood's edge."
1 Now hear us our uncles, we have come to condole with you
in your great bereavement.
We have now met in dark sorrow to lament together over the
death of our brother lord. For such has been your loss. We will
sit together in our grief and mingle our tears together, and we four
brothers will wipe off the tear from your eyes, so that for a day
period you might have peace of mind. This we say and do, we
2 Now hear us again, for when a person is in great grief
caused by death, his ears are closed up and he can not hear and
such is your condition now.
We will therefore remove the obstruction (grief) from your
ears, so that for a day period you may have perfect hearing again.
This we say and do, we four brothers.
3 Continue to hear the expression of us four brothers, for
when a person is in great sorrow his throat is stopped with grief
and such is your case; now, we will therefore remove the obstruc-
tion (grief) so that for a day period you may enjoy perfect breath-
ing and speech; this we say and do, we four brothers.
The foregoing part of the condolence ceremony is to be per-
formed outside of the place of meeting.
Then the bereaved will appoint two of their chief warriors to
conduct the four brothers into the place of meeting.
4 Continue to hear the expression of us four brothers, for when
a person is in great grief caused by death, he appears to be de-
formed, so that our forefathers have made a form which their
children may use in condoling with each other ( Ja-wek-ka-ho-denh)
which is that they will treat him a dose of soft drink (medicine)
and which when it is taken and settled down in the stomach it
will pervade the whole body and strengthen him and restore him
to a perfect form of man. This we say and do, we four brothers.
5 Continue to hear the expression of us four brothers. Now
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS
""iii^ f ^t i
PiCTOGRAPHS ON ReCORD StAFF
(i) The seven parallel lines represent the four elder brothers and the
three younger brothers of the eight clans who are mourning. (2) The
prostrate figure is that of the dead chief of the eighth clan. (3) A chanter
of condolence appears to comfort the sorrowing friends and relatives,
(4) he lifts one hand to say, " we are mourning," (5) then both arms are
raised to the heavens and he asks the people to look to the sun and be
gladdened, and (6) then he points to the earth where sorrow shall be buried.
(7) " Behold the sun in its brightness shining (8) for there sits the new
chief (royaneh) on a bench with four legs, like the roots of the great tree."
(9) Now the chief is in a bower of pine boughs where his enemies cannot
discover him, there he sits and thinks of his duties. (10) Night covers him
and he still meditates, (11) but the morning sun comes again* like a circle
of horns over his head and he approaches like the new sun. It shines over
the new chief and (12) it shines over the grave of the chief who died.
(13) Then shall the clans come in council and the new chief appears before
them on a new mat, but the path is not yet clear or straight, until the
(14) mourning clans arise and take their minds from (15) the dead chief
whose spirit has gone after ten days fro© his body. Then (16) the new
chief takes his staff and (17) goes forward with his sun before him, as a light
to his mind and that people may see he is royaneh. Then (18) is his
-^or open and his path made clear.
NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
when a person is brought to grief by death, such person's seat or
bed seems stained with human blood ; such is now your case.
We therefore wipe off those stains with soft linen so that your
seat and bed may be clean and so that you may enjoy peace for a
day, for we may scarcely have taken our seats before we shall be
surprised to hear of another death. This we say and do, we four
6 Continue to hear the expression of us four brothers. When
a person is brought to grief through death, he is confined in the
darkness of deep sorrow, and such is now the case of your three
brothers. This we say, we four brothers.
7 When a person is brought to grief by death, he seems to lose
sight of the sky (blinded with grief) and he is crushed with sorrow.
We therefore remove the mist from your eyes, so that the sky may
be clear to you. This we say and do, we four brothers.
8 When a person is brought to grief by death he seems to lose
the sight of the sun ; this is now your case. We therefore remove
the mist so that you may see the sun rising over the trees or forest
in the east, and watch its course and when it arrives in midsky, it
will shed forth its rays around you, and you shall begin to see
your duties and perform the same as usual. This we say and do,
we four brothers.
9 Now when the remains are laid and cause the mound of clay
(grave), we till the ground and place some nice grass over it
and place a nice slab over it, so that his body (that of the dead
lord) may quietly lay in his resting place, and be protected from
the heavy wind and great rain storms. This we say and do, we
10 Now continue to listen, for when a person is brought to
grief, and such is your condition, the sticks of wood from your
fire are scattered caused by death, so we the four brothers, will
gather up the sticks of wood and rekindle the fire, and the smoke
shall rise and pierce the sky, so that all the nations of the con-
federacy may see the smoke, and when a person is in great grief
caused by the death of some of our rulers, the head is bowed down
in deep sorrow. We therefore cause you to stand up again, our
uncles and surround the council fire again and resume your duties.
This we say and do, we four brothers.
11 Continue to listen for when the Great Spirit created us, he
created a woman as the helpmate of man, and when she is called
Record staff containing the history of a condolence and raising ceremony
of a royaneh or councellor.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS II3
away by death, it is grievously hard for had she been allowed to
live she may have raised a family to inhabit the earth, and so we
four brothers raise the woman again (to encourage and cheer up
their downcast spirits) so that you may cheerfully enjoy peace
and happiness for a day. This we say and do, we four brothers.
12 Now my uncle lords, you have two relations, a nephew and
a niece. They are watching your course. Your niece may see
that you are making a misstep and taking a course whereby your
children may suffer ruin or a calamity, or it may be your nephew
who will see your evil course and never bear to listen when the
woman or warrior approach you and remind you of your duties,
and ask you to come back and carry out your obligations as a
Royaner or lord of the band. This we say and do, we four
13 They say it is hard for any one tc allow his mind to be
troubled too greatly with sorrow. Never allow yourself to be led
to think of destroying yourself by committing suicide for all things
in this world is only vanity. Now we place in your midst a torch.
We all have an equal share in the said light, and would now call
all the Rodhanersonh (lords) to their places and each perform the
duties conferred upon each of them. This we say and do, we four
Now we return to you the wampum which we received from you
when you suffered the loss by death. We will therefore now con-
clude our discourse. Now point out to me the man whom I am to
proclaim as chief in place of the deceased.
THE HIAWATHA TRADITION
Related by Baptist Thomas (Sa ha whi) an Onondaga (Turtle Clan) as
he had it from Thomas Commissary (Ostowagd'na* Big Feather).
When a man's heart is heavy with sorrow because of death he
wanders aimlessly (wa-he-des-yas-sha-da'^-na').^ That is why
Ha-yent-watha went away from the Mohawks. His only sister — he
had only one sister — died. She was Da-si-yu* and she died. She
was not a comely woman but her brother loved her and so Ha-yent-
watha mourned and no one came to comfort him. Not one person
came to him in his grief to comfort him, therefore his mind was
clouded in darkness. His throat was dry and heavy and bitter.
So he went away for he did not wish to stay among a people who
had no hearts of sympathy for sorrow. The Mohawks had grown
callous and so accustomed to troubled times that they did not
care for the sorrows of others and even despised the tears of
mourners. They were always fighting. Even they sent out war
parties among their own relatives in other towns. Hayentwatha
often said this was wrong but no one listened to him. So when
his great sorrow came he went away. He took a canoe and went
upstream. He paddled up the Mohawk river and when he landed
to camp he talked to himself about his sorrow. *' I would com-
fort others in sorrow," he said, " but no one comforts me."
After a long time he reached the portage and carried his canoe
to Wood creek.2 Here he camped three days. He took up his
journey again and camped at one of two islands and went through
Oneida lake. Then he went up the river and came to Three River
point. Here he heard a broken branch creaking against a tree. It
cried giis, giis, giis, so he named this spot Dyo-neda-tonk. So then
he went up the river into Onondaga lake. He landed on the north
side, (near the present site of Liverpool),* and built a hut. Here
he made a camp fire and stayed for three days. Then he saw the
monster. He was a long way off and he was looking at Hayent-
watha. So Hayentwatha moved his camp but the next morning
the monster came nearer. This being was Tha-do-da'-ho'. So
the next evening Hayentwatha moved his camp again and in the
1 Onondaga vocabulary.
2 This portage is called De-hon-yugwha-tha.
3 Odi-nes'-shi-yu, People of the sand and they shall be of the Snipe Clan.
* This spot he named Ga'skwasoetge'.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS II5
morning again he saw the monster before his camp fire. It seems
that he had snakes in his hair and covering his shoulders and one
great one came up from his thighs and went over his shoulders.
Hayentwatha looked at Thadodaho and said " Shon-nis'?" (who are
you?) The monstrous being did not reply but his face looked
Again Hayentwatha changed his camp and built a shelter on
one of the two islands in the lake. This spot he named Si-ye-ge. As
before, the monster camped silently near him. He was nearer
than ever before and seemed watching him from the corner of his
So then again Hayentwatha moved his camping place. He
crossed the lake and camped at the point on the south shore. As
he built his lodge he looked inland and saw seated on a knoll, the
monster Thadoda'ho'. He then observed that what ever move he
made the snake-bearing monster was ever before him. He seemed
to anticipate his movements. This fact frightened Hayentwatha
and he prepared to take up his journey again.
His sorrow was not diminished but hung like a black cloud over
him. His heart was very heavy and there was no clear sky for
him. He carried no war weapons and the monster frightened him.
So Hayentwatha journeyed in his canoe up Onondaga creek. So
in this manner he came to the Onondaga village. How long he
stayed at the Onondaga town, my grandfather, Tom Commissary,
did not say. Some say he stayed there and married. Some say
he enjoined the Onondaga towns to be at peace and stop their
quarreling. After a time when another great sorrow came, some
say it was because his daughters died, he again continued his
journey but Thadoda'ho' went before him and Hayentwatha saw
So Hayentwatha went south up Onondaga creek and he came to
a certain spot where a brook enters the creek^ and he saw there a
pond and a grassy place. There it is said he saw a very large
turtle and some women playing ball. Some say boys were playing
ball but I say that women were playing ball because my grand-
father said so. So Hayentwatha called this place Dwe"-the''-ga^, and
said from this spot comes the Ball Clan (DweMhe-ga^ Hadi-
nya'-te"0 of the Great Turtle.
Hayentwatha continued his journey and went over Bear moun-
taln.2 First he camped at night at the fo^t of the high hill. Here
1 A brook running through Cardiff, N. Y.
2 Southwest of Cardiff, Lafayette township, Onondaga county.
Il6 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
he built a shelter. That night he heard a song and its words were
what he believed and had spoken many times to the Onondaga
chiefs and to the Mohawks.
In the morning he ascended the mountain and there he found
five stalks of corn springing from four roots and there was only-
one large stalk at the root from which the five stalks grew. On
each stalk were three large ears of ripe corn. Near the com he
saw a large turtle with a red and yellow belly and it was the turtle
that danced. He danced the Ostowago'na, the great feather dance.
So then Hayentwatha said " Did you sing last night ? I heard
singing." Then the turtle replied, " I sang. Now this is the great
corn and you will make the nations like it. Three ears represent
the three nations^ and the five stalks from a single stalk represent
the five nations and the four roots go to the north and west the
south and the east."
Hayentwatha proceeded on his journey and after a time he came
to a group of lakes. He called it Tga-ni-ya-da-ha-nion (the lake
group on hill) (the present Tully group of lakes). On one of
these lakes were many ducks swimming very closely together. The
ducks covered the lake. So Hayentwatha stopped to look at so
strange a sight. " What are you doing there, so many of you ?"
he said all to himself. The ducks heard him and at the same
moment, whoo! every one of them flew into the air and lifted up
the water, so quickly did they fly up. The bottom of the lake was
left dry and Hayentwatha walked across it. As he walked he saw
many small shells and he gathered a deer skin full of shells so
many were there. When he reached the opposite shore he saw a
man limping toward him. He was dragging a large snapping
turtle. " What troubles your walk ?" asked Hayentwatha. " I
have a blister on my crotch " answered the man.
Then said Hayentwatha to himself, " In the future this man and
his brothers with all his female relations shall be known as Hodi-
ho'o'en'h. They have blisters on their crotches and they shall be of
the Small Turtle Clan."
Then again he proceeded on his journey and after a time he
saw an old corn field and a field shelter house with a roof of
stalks. So he went there for a camp.
The great sorrow had not left him so he sat by his campfire and
talked to himself. Then he strung up the shells and placed three
strings on a pole laid across two upright poles. He continued to
1 The original confederates were the Mohawk, Oneida and Onondaga.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS II/
A little girl saw the smoke of the campfire and went out into
the field. She went close to the shelter house and listened to what
Hayentwatha said. Then she returned and told her father what
she had seen. He then sent two men to invite Hayentwatha to the
Hayentwatha did not reply to them but with his head bowed
before his fire he said aloud to himself, " These people should know
that every invitation should be confirmed by a string of shells such
as hang before me; they should give me a strand (a-sa-na-tcik')."
The men returned to their chief and told what they had heard.
Then he ordered them to string up some beads of large porcupine
quills and carry them to the stranger to become words of invitation.
This they did and Hayentwatha said, " It is now right."
The warriors who came with the two messengers returned to
the village and after smoking his pipe Hayentwatha went to the
village with the two guides. At the settlement the council was in
session and Hayentwatha was invited to sit on one side of the
fire. The discussion was a spirited one and none of the head men
could agree on any question. During the debate a great man came
in. The room was crowded and the head man who had invited
Hayentwatha arose and gave his place to the great man. The de-
bate continued and Hayentwatha silently departed, angry at the
slight he had received. In the council room the debate was as de-
void of result as before when the head man arose and said, " I have
staying with me a friend. He is a stranger and I do not know from
whence he came. Perhaps he can settle our dispute."
Then everyone looked for the stranger but Hayentwatha was not
there. The head man could not find him. So then the head man
said, " I think I have made a great mistake. He must have been a
great man and I have offended him. He has magically disap-
So the man who was able to settle the quarrel of the people was
When Hayentwatha left the council he journeyed on to the out-
skirts of another settlement and made a camp. Here he com-
manded his two guardian birds to come to him. Their names were
Ha'-goks' and Skadjie'na.^ He said, *' Go and see if smoke arises
from any settlement."
Then the birds arose and when they returned they said, " Smoke
arises from the Oneida villages."
1 Said by some informants to have been two human messengers bearing
these names and not actually birds.
Il8 NEW YORK STATE lylUSEUM
So then Hayentwatha went eastward and in all the Oneida towns
he heard the people talking about the Great Law and about the
Great Peace. Dekanavv^ida had told of it but the people failed to
understand it. So then Hayentwatha said, " I must meet that man
for my mind is not yet unburdened." So he continued on his jour-
ney down the river, toward the Mohawk country, for he greatly
wished to see Dekanawida.
THE PASSAMAQUODDY WAMPUM RECORDS
RECORDED BY J. D. PRINCE^
Many bloody fights had been fought, many men, women and
children had been tortured by constant and cruel wars until some
of the wise men among the Indians began to think that something
must be done, and that whatever was to be done should be done
quickly. They accordingly sent messengers to all parts of the
country, some going to the south, others to the east, and others to
the west and northwest. Some even went as far as the Wabanaki.^
It was many months before the messengers reached the farthest
tribes. When they arrived at each nation, they notified the people
that the great Indian nations of the Iroquois, Mohawks and others
had sent them to announce the tidings of a great Lagootwagon or
general council for a treaty of peace. Every Indian who heard
the news rejoiced, because they were all tired of the never-ending
wars. Every tribe, therefore, sent two or more of their cleverest
men as representatives to the great council.
When all the delegates were assembled they began to deliberate
concerning what was best to do, as they all seemed tired of their
evil lives. The leading chief then spoke as follows: "As we look
back upon our blood-stained trail we see that many wrongs have
been done by all of our people. Our gory tomahawks, clubs, bows
and arrows must undoubtedly be buried for ever." It was de-
cided, therefore, by all concerned to make a general Lagootwagon
or treaty of peace, and a day was appointed when they should
begin the rites.
For seven days, from morning till night, a strict silence was ob-
served, during which each representative deliberated on the speech
1 See " Klooskape, The Master." Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1899.
2 According to Indian tradition, six Iroquoian tribes united in confedera-
tion in the interests of peace. This was the famous League of the Six
Nations: Onondagas, Mohawks, Oneidas. Senecas, Cayugas and Tuscaroras.
The first five of these completed their league as early as the middle of the
fifteenth century under the Onondaga chief* Hiawatha. The object of the
federation was to abolish war altogether (see Brinton, The American Race,
p.82,83). It is evident that the Passamaquoddy tradition embodied in this
part of the Wampum Records refers to these proposals made by their
I20 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
he should make and tried to discover the best means for checking
the war. This was called the " Wigwam of silence."
After this, they held another wigwam called m'sittakw-wen tle-
westoo, or " Wigwam of oratory." The ceremonies then began.
Each representative recited the history of his nation, telling all the
cruelties, tortures and hardships they had suffered during their
wars and stating that the time had now come to think of and take
pity on their women and children, their lame and old, all of whom
had suffered equally with the strongest and bravest warriors.
When all the speeches had been delivered, it was decided to erect
an extensive fence and within it to build a large wigwam. In this
wigwam they were to make a big fire and, having made a switch or
whip, to place " their father " as a guard over the wigwam with
the whip in his hand. If any of his children did wrong he was to
punish them with the whip. Every child of his within the in-
closure must therefore obey his orders implicitly. His duty also
was to keep replenishing the fire in the wigwam so that it should
not go out. This is the origin of the Wampum laws.
The fence typified a treaty of peace for all the Indian nations
who took part in the council, fourteen in number, of which there
are many tribes. All these were to go within the fence and dwell
there, and if any should do wrong they would be liable to punish-
ment with the whip at the hands of " their father." The wigwam
within the fence represented a universal house for all the tribes, in
which they might live in peace, without disputes and quarrels, like
members of one family. The big fire (ktchi squt) in the wigwam
denoted the warmth of the brotherly love engendered in the
Indians by their treaty. The father ruling the wigwam was the
great chief who lived at Caughnawaga. The whip in his hand was
the type of the Wampum laws, disobedience to which was punish-
able by consent of all the tribes mentioned in the treaty.
After this, they proceeded to make lesser laws, all of which were
to be recorded by means of wampum, in order that they could be
read to the Indians from time to time. Every feast, every cere-
mony, therefore, has its own ritual in the wampum; such as the
burial and mourning rites after the death of a chief, the installa-
tion of a chief, marriage etc. There were also salutation and
CEREMONIES CUSTOMARY AT THE DEATH OF A CHIEF
When the chief of the tribe died, his flag pole was cut down
and burnt, and his warlike appurtenances, bows and arrows,
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 121
tomahawk and flag were buried with him. The Indians mourned
for him one year, after which the Pwutwusimwuk or leading men
were summoned by the tribe to elect a new chief. The members
of one tribe alone could not elect their own chief; according to
the common laws of the allied nations, he had to be chosen bv a
general wigwam. Accordingly, after the council of the leading
men had assembled, four or six canoes were dispatched to the
Micmac, Penobscot and Maliseet tribes if a Passamaquoddy chief
had died.^ These canoes bore each a little flag in the bow as a
sign that the mission on which the messengers came was important.
On the arrival of the messengers at their destination, the chief of
the tribe to which they came called all his people, children, women
and men, to meet the approaching boats. The herald springing to
land first sang his salutation song (n'skawewintuagunul), walking
back and forth before the ranks of the other tribe. When he had
finished his chant the other Indians sang their welcoming song in
As soon as the singing was over they marched to some imwewig-
wam or meeting house to. pray together. The visiting Indians were
then taken to a special wigwam allotted to their use over which a
flag was set. Here they were greeted informally by the members
of the tribe with hand-shaking etc. The evening of the first day
was spent in entertaining the visitors.
On the next day the messengers sent to the chief desiring to see
all the tribe assembled in a gwandowanek or dance hall. When
the tribe had congregated there, the strangers were sent for, who,
producing their strings of wampum to be read according to the
law of the big wampum, announced the death of the chief of their
tribe, "their eldest boy" (ktchi w'skinosismowal), and asked that
the tribe should aid them to elect a new chief. The chief of the
stranger tribe then arose and formally announced to his people
the desire of the envoys, stating his willingness to go to aid them,
his fatherless brothers, in choosing a new father. The messengers,
arising once more, thanked the chief for his kindness and appointed
a day to return to their own people.
The ceremony known as kelhoochun then took place. The chief
notified his men that his brothers were ready to go, but that they
1 From here on the recorder mentions only the neighboring Algonkin tribes
as belonging to the federation which he ha%in mind. The northern Algonkin
tribes were very probably in a loose federation with the Iroquois merely for
purposes of intertribal arbitration. These Algonkin clans themselves, however,
seern to have been politically interdependent, as one clan could not elect
a chief without the consent of all the others.
122 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
should not be allowed to go so soon. The small wampum string
called kellhoweyi or prolongation of the stay was produced at this
point, which read that the whole tribe, men, women and children,
were glad to see their brothers with them and begged them to re-
main a day or two longer; that " our mothers" (kigwusin), that is,
all the tribal women, would keep their paddles yet a little while.
This meant that the messengers were not to be allowed to depart
Here followed the ceremony called N'skahudin. A great hunt
was ordered by the chief and the game brought to the meeting hall
and cooked there. The noochila-kalwet or herald went about the
village crying wikw-poosaltin, which was intelligible to all. Men,
women and children immediately came to the hall with their birch-
bark dishes and sat about the game in a circle, while four or five
men with long-handled dishes distributed the food, of which every
person had a share. The feast vras called kelhootwi-wikw-
poosaltiu. When it was all over the Indians dispersed, but re-
turned later to the hall when the messengers sang again their
salutation songs in honor of their forefathers, in reply to which
the chief of the tribe sang his song of greeting.
When the singing was over the chief seated himself in the midst
of the hall with a small drum in one hand and a stick in the other.
To the accompaniment of his drum he sang his k'tumasooi-
n'tawagunul or dance songs, which was the signal for a general
dance, followed by another feast.
The envoys again appointed a day to return, but were deterred
in the same manner. As these feasts often lasted three weeks or a
month, a dance being held every night, it was frequently a long
time before they could go back to their own tribe, because the chief
would detain them whenever they wished to return. Such was the
THE CEREMONY OF INSTALLATION
When they reached home, however, and the embassies from the
other Wabanaki tribes had also returned, the people of the be-
reaved tribe were summoned to assemble before the messengers, who
informed them of the success of their mission. When the delegates
from the other tribes, who had been appointed to elect the chief, had
arrived and the salutation and welcome ceremonies had been per-
formed, an assembly was called to elect the chief.
This took place about the second day after the arrival of the
other Wabanaki representatives. A suitable person, a member of
the bereaved tribe, was chosen by acclamation for the office of chief.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I23
If there was no objection to him a new flag pole was made and
prepared for raising, and a chief from one of the kindred tribes
put a medal of wampum on the chief-elect who was always clothed
in new garments. The installing chief then addressed the people,
telling them that another " eldest boy " had been chosen, to whom
they owed implicit obedience. Turning to the new chief, he in-
formed him that he must act in accordance with the wishes of his
people. The main duties of a chief were to act as arbiter in all
matters of dispute, and to act as commander in chief in case of
war, being ready to sacrifice himself for the people's good if
After this ceremony they marched to the hall, where another
dance took place, the new chief singing and beating the drtun. A
wife of one of the other chiefs then placed a new deer skin or
bear skin on the shoulders of the new chief as a symbol of his
authority, after which the dance continued the whole night.
The officers of the new chief (geptins) were still to be chosen.
These were seven in number and were appointed in the same man-
ner and with the same ceremonies as the chief. Their duties, which
were much more severe, were told them by the installing chief. The
flag pole, which was the symbol of the chief, was first raised. The
geptins stood around it, each with a brush in his hand, with which
they were instructed to brush off any particle of dust that might
come upon it. This signified that it was their duty to defend and
guard their chief and that they should be obliged to spill their blood
for him, in case of need and in defense of the tribe. All the women
and children and disabled persons in the tribe were under the care
of the geptins. The chief himself was not allowed to go into battle,
but was expected to stay with his people and to give orders in time
After the tribal officers had been appointed, the greatest festivi-
ties were carried on; during the day they had canoe races, foot
races and ball playing, and during the night, feasting and dancing.
The Indians would bet on the various sports, hanging the prizes
for each game on a pole. It was understood that the winner of
the game was entitled to all the valuables hung on this pole. The
festivities often lasted an entire month.
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY: THE ANCIENT RITE
It was the duty of the young Indiaa man who wished to marry
to inform his parents of his desire, stating the name of the maiden.
The young man's father then notified all the relatives and friends
124 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
of the family that his son wished to marry such and such a girl.
If the friends and relations were willing, the son was permitted
to offer his suit. The father of the youth prepared a clean skin
of the bear, beaver or deer, which he presented to his son. Pro-
vided with this, the suitor went to the wigwam of his prospective
bride's father and placed the hide at the back of the wigwam or
nowteh. The girl's father then notified his relations and friends,
and if there was no objection, he ordered his daughter to seat her-
self on the skin, as a sign that the young man's suit was acceptable.
The usual wedding ceremonies were then held, namely, a public
feast, followed by dancing and singing, which always lasted at least
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN LATER DAYS
After the adoption of the Wampum laws the marriage ceremony
was much more complicated.^
When the young man had informed his parents of his desire to
marry and the father had secured the consent of the relations and
friends, an Indian was appointed to be the Keloolwett or marriage
herald, who, taking the string of wampum called the Kelolwawei,
went to the wigwam of the girl's father, generally accompanied
by as many witnesses as cared to attend. The herald read the
marriage wampum in the presence of the girl and her father,
formally stating that such and such a suitor sought his daughter's
hand in marriage. The herald, accompanied by his party, then
returned to the young man's wigwam to await the reply. After the
girl's father had notified his relatives and friends and they had
given their consent, the wedding was permitted to go on.
The usual ceremonies then followed. The young man first pre-
sented the bride-elect with a new dress. She, after putting it on,
went to her suitor's wigwam with her female friends, where she
and her company formally saluted him by shaking hands. This was
called wulisakowdowagon or salutation. She then returned to her
father's house, where she seated herself with her following of old
women and girls. The groom then assembled a company of his
friends, old and young men, and went with them to the bride's wig-
wam to salute her in the same manner. When these salutations
were over a great feast was prepared by the bride, enough for all
the people, men, women and children. The bridegroom also pre-
pared a similar feast. Both of these dinners were cooked in the
1 Mitchell interpolated this remark.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I25
Open air and when the food was ready they cried out k'waltewall
" your dishes." Every one understood this, which was the signal
for the merry-makers to approach and fall to.
The marriage ceremonies, however, were not over yet. The
wedding party arrayed themselves in their best attire and formed
two processions, that of the bride entering the assembly wigwam
first. In later times it was customary to fire a gun at this point
as a signal that the bride was in the hall, whereupon the groom's
procession entered the hall in the same manner, when a second
gun was fired. The geptins of the tribe and one of the friends of
the bride then conducted the girl to the bridegroom to dance with
him. At midnight after the dancing a supper was served, to which
the bride and groom went together and where she ate with him
for the first time. The couple were then addressed by an aged
man (noiimikokemit) on the duties of marriage.
Finally, a number of old women accompanied the newly made
wife to her husband's wigwam, carrying with them her bed clothes.
This final ceremony was called natboonan, taking or carrying
SKETCHES OF AN INDIAN COUNCIL, 1846
(From Schoolcraft's Census of 1845)
A grand council of the confederate Iroquois was held last week,
at the Indian council house on the Tonawanda Reservation, in the
county of Genesee. Its proceedings occupied three days, closing
on the third instant. It embraced representatives from all the Six
Nations — the Mohawk, the Onondaga, the Seneca ; and the Oneida,
the Cayuga and the Tuscarora. It is the only one of the kind which
has been held for a number of years, and is the last which will ever
be assembled with a full representation of all the confederate
With the expectation that the council would commence on Tues-
day, two or three of us had left Rochester so as to arrive at the
council house Monday evening; but owing to some unsettled pre-
liminaries, it had been postponed till Wednesday. The Indians from
abroad, however, arrived at the council grounds, or in their immedi-
ate vicinity, on Monday ; and one of the most inte* esting spectacles
of the occasion, was the entry of the different nations upon the
domain and hospitality of the Senecas, on whose ground the coun-
cil was to be held. The representation of Mohawks, coming as they
did from Canada, was necessarily small. The Onondagas, with the
acting Tod-o-dah-hoh of the confederacy, and his two counsellors,
made an exceedingly creditable appearance. Nor was the array of
Tuscaroras, in point of numbers at least, deficient in attractive and
Monday evening we called upon, and were presented to, Black-
smith, the most influential and authoritative of the Seneca sachems.
He is about 60 years old, is somewhat portly, is easy enough in his
manners, and is well disposed and even kindly towards all who
convince him that they have no sinister designs in coming among
Jemmy Johnson is the great high priest of the confederacy.
Though now 69 years old, he is yet an erect, fine looking, and ener-
getic Indian, and is both hospitable and intelligent. He is in pos-
session of the medal presented by Washington to Red Jacket in
1792 which among other things of interest, he showed us.
1 Wolf clan belt said to represent a pact of the Mohawk with the French
2 Tuscarora entrance belt ^
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 12/
It would be incompatible with the present purpose to describe all
the interesting men who there assembled, among whom were Cap-
tain Frost, Messrs Le Fort, Hill, John Jacket, Doctor Wilson and
others. We spent most of Tuesday, and indeed much of the time
during the other days of the week in conversation with the chiefs
and most intellig-ent Indians of the different nations, and gleaned
from them much information of the highest interest in relation to
the organization, government and laws, religion, customs of the
people, and characteristics of the great men, of the old and once
powerful confederacy. It is a singular fact, that the peculiar gov-
ernment and national characteristics of the Iroquois is a most inter-
esting field for research and inquiry, which has never been very
thoroughly, if at all, investigated, although the historic events which
marked the proud career of the confederacy, have been persever-
ingly sought and treasured up in the writings of Stone, Schoolcraft,
Hosmer, Yates and others.
Many of the Indians speak English readily; but with the aid
and interpretations of Mr Ely S. Parker, a young Seneca of no
ordinary degree of attainment, in both scholarship and general in-
telligence, and who with Le Fort, the Onondaga, is well versed in
old Iroquois matters, we had no difficulty in conversing with any
and all we chose to.
About midday on Wednesday, the council commenced. The
ceremonies with which it was opened and conducted were certainly
unique, almost indescribable; and as its proceedings were in the
Seneca tongue, they were in a great measure unintelligible, and in
fact profoundly mysterious to the pale faces. One of the chief
objects for which the council had been convoked, as has been
heretofore editorially stated in the American, was to fill two vacant
sachemships of the Senecas, which had been made by the death of
the former incumbents ; and preceding the installation of the can-
didates for the succession, there was a general and dolorous lament
for the deceased sachems, the utterance of which, together with
the repetition of the laws of the confederacy — the installation of
the new sachems — the impeachment and deposition of three un-
faithful sachems — the elevation of others in their stead, and the
performance of the various ceremonies attended upon these pro-
ceedings, consumed the principal part of the afternoon.
At the setting of the sun, a beautiful repast, consisting of an
innumerable number of rather formidable looking chunks of boiled
fresh beef, and an abundance of bread and succotash, was brought
into the council house. The manner of saying grace on this
128 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
occasion was indeed peculiar. A kettle being brought, hot and
smoking from the fire, and placed in the center of the council
house, there proceeded from a single person, in a high shrill key,
a prolonged and monotonous sound, resembling that of the syllable
zvah or yah. This was immediately followed by a response from
the whole multitude, uttering in a low and profoundly guttural but
protracted tone, the syllable whe or swe, and this concluded grace.
It was impossible not to be somewhat mirthfully effected at the
first hearing of grace said in this novel manner. It is, however,
pleasurable to reflect that the Indians recognize the duty of ren-
dering thanks to the Divine Being in some formal way, for the
bounties and enjoyments which he bestows; and were an Indian to
attend a public feast among his pale faced brethern he would be
effected, perhaps to a greater degree of marvel, at witnessing a
total neglect of this ceremony, than we were at his singular way
of performing it.
After supper commenced the dances. All day Tuesday, and on
Wednesday, up to the time that the places of the deceased sachems
had been filled, everything like undue joy fulness had been restrained.
This was required by the respect customarily due to the distin-
guished dead. But now, the bereaved sachemships being again filled,
all were to give utterance to gladness and joy. A short speech
from Captain Frost, introductory to the employments of the evening,
was received with acclamatory approbation; and soon eighty or
ninety of these sons and daughters of the forest — the old men
and the young, the maidens and matrons — were engaged in the
dance. It was indeed a rare sight.
Only two varieties of dancing were introduced the first evening —
the trotting dance and the fish dance. The figures of either are
exceedingly simple, and but slightly different from each other. In
the first named, the dancers all move round a circle, in a single
file, and keeping time in a sort of trotting step to an Indian song
of Yo-ho-ha, or yo-ho-ha-ha-ho, as sung by the leaders, or occa-
sionally by all conjoined. In the other, there is the same movement
file round a circle, but every two persons, a man and a woman, or
two men, face each other, the one moving forward and the other
backward, and all keeping step to the music of the singers, who
are now, however, aided by a couple of tortoise or turtle shell
rattles or an aboriginal drum. At regular intervals there is a sort
of cadence in the music, during which a change of position by all
the couples take place, the one who had been moving backward
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I29
taking the place of the one moving forward, when all again move
onward, one-half of the whole, of course, being obliged to follow
on by advancing backward.
One peculiarity in Indian dancing would probably strongly com-
mend itself to that class among pale-faced beaux and belles de-
nominated the bashful ; though perhaps it would not suit others as
well. The men, or a number of them, usually begin the dance and
the women, or each of them, selecting the one with whom she
would like to dance, presents herself at his side as he approaches,
and is immediately received into the circle. Consequently, the
young Indian beau knows nothing of the tact required to hand-
somely invite and gallantly lead a lady to the dance ; and the young
Indian maiden presents her personage to the one she designs to
favor, and thus quietly engage herself in the dance. And, more-
over, while an Indian beau is not necessarily obliged to exhibit any
gallantry as toward a belle, till she has herself manifested her own
pleasure in the matter, so therefore the belle can not indulge her-
self in vacillant flirtations with any considerable number of beaux,
without being at once detected.
On Tuesday the religious ceremonies commenced, and the council
from the time it assembled, which was about ii o'clock a. m., till
3 or 4 o'clock p. m., gave the most serious attention to the preach-
ing of Jemmy Johnson, the great high priest, and the second in
the succession under the new revelation. Though there are some
evangelical believers among the Indians, the greater portion of them
cherish the religion of their fathers. This, as they say, has been
somewhat changed by the new revelation, which the Great Spirit
made to one of their prophets about 47 years ago, and which, as
they also believe, was approved by Washington. The profound
regard and veneration which the Indian has ever retained toward
the name and memory of Washington is most interesting evidence
of his universally appreciated worth; and the fact that the red
men regard him not merely as one of the best, but as the very best
man that ever has existed, or that will ever exist, is beautifully
illustrated in a single credence which they maintain even to this
day, namely, that Washington is the only white man that has ever
entered heaven, and is the only one who will enter there, till the
end of the world.
Among the Senecas, public religious exercises take place but once
a year. At these times Jemmy Johnsoi* preaches hour after hour,
for three days ; and then rests from any public discharge of ecclesi-
astical offices the remaining 362 days of the year. On this, an
130 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
unusual occasion, he restricted himself to a few hours in each of
the last two days of the council. We were told by young Parker,
who took notes of his preaching, that his subject matter on Tuesday
abounded with good teachings, enforced by appropriate and happy
illustrations and striking imagery. After he had finished, the coun-
cil took a short respite. Soon, however, a company of warriors
ready and eager to engage in the celebrated " corn dance," made
their appearance. They were differently attired; while some were
completely enveloped in a closely fitting and gaudy colored garb,
others, though perhaps without intending it, had made wonderfully
close approaches to an imitation of the costume said to have been
so fashionable in many parts of the state of Georgia during the last
hot summer, and which is also said to have consisted simply of a
shirt collar and a pair of spurs. But in truth, these warriors, with
shoulders and limbs in a state of fiudity, with faces bestreaked with
paints, with jingling trinkets dangling at their knees, and with
feather war-caps waving above them, presented a truly picturesque
and romantic appearance. When the center of the council house
had been cleared, and the musicians with the shell rattles had taken
their places, the dance commenced; and for an hour and a half,
perhaps two hours, it proceeded with surprising spirit and energy.
Almost every posture of which the hiunan frame is susceptible,
without absolutely making the feet to be uppermost, and the head
for once to assume the place of the understanding, was exhibited.
Some of the attitudes of the dancers were really imposing, and the
dance as a whole could be got up and conducted only by Indians.
The women in the performance of the corn dance,' are quite by
themselves, keeping time to the beat of the shells, and gliding along
sideways, scarcely lifting their feet from the floor.
It would probably be well if the Indians everywhere could be
inclined to refrain at least from the more grotesque and boisterous
peculiarities of this dance. The influence of these can not be pro-
ductive of any good; and it is questionable whether it would be
possible, so long as they are retained, to assimilate them to any
greater degree of civilization or to more refined methods of living
and enjoyment, than they now possess. The same may be said of
certain characteristics of the still more vandalic war dance. This,
however, was not introduced at the council.
A part of the proceedings of Friday, the last day of the council,
bore resemblance to those of the preceding day. Jemmy Johnson
resumed his preaching, at the close of which the corn dance was
again performed, though with far more spirit and enthusiasm than
The: eoNSTitutio]^ oi? fut five NAfioNS 13 X
at the 'first. Double the number that then appeared — all hardy and
sinewy men, attired in original and fantastic style, among whom
was one of the chiefs of the confederacy, together with forty or
fifty women of the different nations — now engaged and for two
hours persevered in the performance. of the various complicated and
fatiguing movements of this dance. The appearance of the dusky
throng, with its increased numbers and, of course, apportionably
increased resources for the production of shrill whoops and noisy
stamping, and for the exhibition of striking attitudes and rampant
motions, was altogether strange, wonderful and seemingly super-
After the dance had ceased another kind of " sport," a well-
contested foot race, claimed attention. In the evening after another
supper in the council house, the more social dances — the trotting,
the fish, and one in which the women alone participated — were
resumed. The fish dance seemed to be the favorite; and being
invited to join it by one of the chiefs, we at once accepted the
invitation, and followed in mirthful chase of pleasure, with a hun-
dred forest children. Occasionally the dances are characterized
by ebulHtions of merriment and flashes of real fun; but generally
a singular sobriety and decorum are observed. Frequently, when
gazing at a throng of sixty or perhaps a hundred dancers, we have
been scarcely able to decide which was the most remarkable, the
staid and imperturbable gravity of the old men and women, or the
complete absence of levity and frolicsomeness in the young.
The social dances of the evening, with occasional speeches from
the sachems and chiefs, were the final and concluding ceremonies of
this singular but interesting afifair. Saturday morning witnesses
the separation of the various nations, and the departure of each
to their respective homes.
The writer would like to have said a word or two in relation to
the present condition and prospects of the Indians, but the original
design in regard to both the topics and brevity of this writing having
been already greatly transcended, it must be deferred. The once
powerful confederacy of the Six Nations, occupying in its palmy
days the greater portion of New York State, now number only a
little over 3000. Even this remnant will soon be gone. In view of
this, as well as of the known fact that the Indian race is everywhere
gradually diminishing in number, the writer can not close without
invoking for this unfortunate people, • renewed kindliness and
sympathy and benevolent attention. It is true that, with some few
132 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
exceptions, they possess habits and characteristics which render
them difficult to approach ; but still they are only what the Creator
of us all has made them. And let it be remembered, it must be a
large measure of kindliness and benevolence, that will repay the
injustice and wrong that have been inflicted upon them,
R. S. G.
Rochester, October y, 184^
MINUTES OF THE SIX NATIONS COUNCIL OF 1839^
LIST OF CHIEFS
Selected and inaugurated at the Six Nations' Council at
the Six Nations Onondaga Council House, July 17, 1839
Of the Chicken Hawk Tribe
1 Shagehjowa, Joseph Silverheels of
Cattaraugus Reservation a Sachem of the
Long House of the Six nations
(Capt. Jones of Allegany, Gan'nage).
2 Sgandiuhgwadi, Owen Blacksnake
James Robinson (Shaweeget) of Allegany
abdicated in favor of Blacksnake
A War Chief.
Of the Snipe tribe
1 Hah-jih-nya-was, Jacob Johnson
Walter Thomson (Honondahes) of Cattaraugus
Sachem of the Senecas
2 Degas swen'gaent, Davis Isaac
(English name not known) (Othowa) of Cattaraugus
Of the Swan tribe —
1 Deyugahasha, John Mitten
(Old Greenblanket, Don dae han) of Buffalo reservation.
Sachem or as we might say sub-sachem for the Senecas, but
not entitled to a seat in the Six Nations' Council
2 Ga'nayuehse. James Pierce
English name not known (Toa'wihdoh)
Of the Deer Tribe :
1 Swaowaeh, Jonah
White Chief Deganohsoga of Buffalo reservation
2 Dohsihdasgowa, John Baldwin ^
(George White Sa'gonondano of Buffalo.)
1 From the original manuscript.
134 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
3 Haondyeyah, Lewis Kennedy
(Capt. M'Gee Thoiwae) of Tonawanda
Sachem of the Senecas.
These four clans are brethren
Of the Wolf tribe
1 Deonihhoga'hwa, Blacksmith
Little Johnson of Buffalo (Ja-oyah-geah) deposed
of Tonawanda —
Sachem of the Six Nations
2 Ganiyas, John Dickie
(No English name) (Dijihhnak) of Cattaraugus
War chief and runner under the preceding.
3 Degaaont, John Kennedy jr
(No English name) (Gagoh) of Buffalo
4 Gasgaodoh, John Joshua Bluesky
(Two Guns) Gihdoondoh of Buffalo
Killed in battle of Chippeway
Sachem of the Senecas
5 Hayahsajih, Peter Johnson
(Old Two Guns, brother
of the preceding.) (Degeyahgoh)
6 Gayahsodoh George Green Blanket
(No English name)
Sachem of the
Of the Turtle tribe.
(No English name)
Sachem of Seneca
(No English name)
Sachem of Senecas
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I35
(No English name) Danl Spring
War Chief. James, Spring
(Thomson S. Harris)
Speaker for the women.
Of the Beaver tribe
Abram Johny John
Tall Chief Howanyaondyo
of Genesee Buffalo
Sachem for the Senecas
Ohgahdont Isaac Johny John
Guardian of the preceding during his minority
(Jack Berry) (Jinohsowa)
Sachem for the Senecas
Dayagodahseh George Turkey
(Jack Snow) (Dyneah)
Joe Hemlock Peter White
Thayah'dah'ah ■ ' '' '
War Chief Cattaraugus
Of the Bear Clan
Gahgwasah Saul Logan
Aodogweh Jack Doxtator
These five Clans are brothers li^e the preceding four.
Of the Cayuga Nation
Of the Swan Tribe
136 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
1 Waowawanaok, Peter Wilson
. No English name (Dyawegaathet)
Sachem of the Cayugas
2 Ganyah'geodoh Jacob Seneca
War Chief and runner for the preceding.
Of the Snipe Clan.
I Gendaohoh' Joseph Peter
James Young Darhsas
The preceding minutes were taken at the time of the trans-
action recorded and are the original thereof.
As HER Wright
RECORD OF A CONDOLENCE COUNCIL
The Mourning Council for the raising of chiefs
See writing on letter & consult other interpreters for the full
meaning of the rest of the song.
Very mournful and solemn " There lays a number of with their
horns on!! (Emblems of power like Hebrews)
Rehearsing the ancient custom that when they come we will
give them a part of the five, (as he did in the beginning of the
ceremony) Here ends the first song.
This was sung by Hyah'dajiwak after Col. Silversmith had pre-
sented the five as above. Then Elijah Williams answered by
alluding to the loss they had & gave a string of wampum re-
counted the meanings of the several strings. Thanks them for
wiping away their tears & this day thank the Great Spirit that they
can thus cleanse away their grief and smoke the pipe of peace to-
gether, & then repHes in a simular manner. We have come and
found you also mourning and we also wipe away your tears, etc.
Then Hayahdijiwak informed them that Gov. Blacksnake would
take the lead of the Oneida party.
Then the Seneca side started —
(Dan'a says that if any portion of the Six Nations should go
off he will be the confederacy)
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I37
Soon after the other side led by Blacksnake and young Jones
repaired to the Coun il House and were received there by others
who were seated there. Then came waiting & for many minutes
one of the Oneidas second in the march walked the floor carrying
the bag of old things & sang a wailing song, being frequently
answered by the other side with a long wail & once by Elijah
Williams. (What must be the feeling of these men.) Again
Williams wails in a high tone & then others in a suppressed note
an octave below. Wms. wails again & the low note is repeated
& the bag bearer goes on singing. Now the wail and low tone are
responded from the other side of the house. (I believe in his
song he is repeating the names of the hadiyanne & then offices) of
all the Six Nations. Now he is upon the Onondagas, and now
they wail again as before. Now again. Now again. Is it re-
peated when he is coming to the names of the dead? Or is it at
the finishing of those who belong to the same tribe? The latter
I think or both.
Hai ! Hai gayahaagweniohgwe !
Now he is upon the Cayugas. The exclamation hai! hai! seems a
mourning interjection at the beginning of every sentence, between
all the simple sentences & at the close of every paragraph. (Once
Wms. made a httle mistake. & began to wail a word or two too
soon & I noticed a little smiling) Now he is upon the Senecas.
And- now done & he has sat down by the side of Elijah Williams
& now he has risen 8^ '^<=^gan to speak instead of singing & desired
them all to hear & said I have spoken the old way, continue it for
one benefit, let it be followed forever.
Then silence and something which seemed like a consultation
for several minutes followed. At length blankets were brought
and a cord stretched across the Council House so as to separate
the two parties from each other and cut off communication. Then
another long interval of waiting. Then a bench was brought in
to the Cayuga side and the wampum laid out before the masters
of ceremonies, preparatory to the songs etc. These songs are the
several articles of the ancient confederacy. Art i Hai hai! Hai
hi hi haih ne etc. closing with a semitone downward slide of the
It was so made everything was right when altogether they didit.
There a relationship was made between»them. (Song and response
regular always interspersed with hai etc.) A chief warrior i. e.
This wampum is so called, I suppose a chief or great woman. It
was by their transaction that this operation goes forwards
138 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
After singing thus far he rose and made a wonderful speech to
the dead man who invented the ceremonies, stating that, we have
heard from our forefathers that these Nations will become extinct
but we have now come to raise up chiefs and let the people hear
the laws of our forefathers. Then he sung over the same speech.
Then Elijah Williams rose & recounted what was done in an-
cient times something like a declaration of independence repeating
the names of the nations, or the others, united in one house & of
the Sachems addressing the speech to **Ak sut " i. e. the other side,
I suppose regarding them as the mother as it were of the Con-
federacy. (Here needs more inquiry)
Speaking of Ganinduiyes who used to live at Tonawanta, called
him a Long Hickory Tree. After he had finished he received four
papers of tobacco from the other side of the house & (shouted as
Then the other Oneida, Peter Williams, rose and took a string
of wampum & explained the duties of a chief warrior as agreed by
our forefathers that he must look to all the people and take care
of them all old, young, women, children, creepers & the breast etc.
So it was unanimously agreed (This was the black wampum)
2 A short wampum signifying that when a chief is buried his
grave must be leveled as soon as possible (i. e. a new chief must
3 As soon as done always gives over to the other side & Wm.
had another Comforting all who have been called to mourning
by the death of Chiefs so as not to feel their loss always.
4 Now another sun breaks through the clouds and enlightened
the faces which were sad before.
5 When the council five bands have been all scattered they
must be gathered together again, i. e. when death has scattered
the chiefs they must be collected again around the council fire and
fill their places.
6 This is to comfort and pacify & satisfy the minds of the
Chiefs, so that they can come together cheerfully to transact
7 If any of the chiefs go contrary to the law, the chiefs & chief
warriors must consult the mother and follow her advice, thus, say
we three of the children who are charging you.
8 We have poured water into the thirsty throats that they may
be able to feel comfortable and speak freely.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I39
9 He must carry his bag always whenever he goes anywhere
he must go and stand by the corner of the fire and draw out his
speech from the bag and if need be draw out his arrows also and
10 Requesting them to appoint men to fill the places of the dead
and tell us that we may know who they are — (And then he
joked a little and said we three brothers have got through, it is
time to adjourn & we can get to the tavern.)
Then Hayahdajiwak rose and requested the three brothers to
The curtain was put up in the other side of the house and
preparations made to send back another set of wampums to be
kept by this party.
(Meanwhile the four papers of tobacco had been divided among
the three brothers.)
Now the other side commence with a kind of a shout to call
attention & a repetition of the Songs nearly as before with a
wampum before them on the little bench.
(It is said the words are the same as used by the Oneidas,
although sung by an Onondaga. Probably a form either com-
pounded to suit the occasion or perhaps one of the ancient lan-
guages as it was hundreds of years ago.)
In the song on the other side they mentioned the death of the
fathers. Now these sing that the children are alive yet (of course
we are not in mourning as before). Oyehgwohdoh was the name
of the founder of the confederacy.
Sing again we must always hear what our ancestors have said
and hear the Chief Woman who can call a council of the women
and tell their voice in council among the chiefs & they are obliged
to Hsten, as to a chief (or perhaps more seriously).
Now the wampums are sent back beginning with the black one.
It is true as you have said we have experienced a great loss
etc. & we will do as well as we can etc.
(Note certain of the wampums not'brought or delayed.)
Note the peculiar manner of recitation accent on the first syll-
able spoken & then again on the last. I think these replies ac-
companying the several strings of wampum were (or mean) " Now
140 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
the word shall go forth in relation to what you have spoken."
" Our children (or younger brothers) all which you have said is
wise. It is a good matter. You are wise. Now hear, all which
you have spoken relative to this string of wampum is wise &
we will do accordingly " —
But there is some variation in the words used according to the
particular charge given by the party.
There are two sets of wampum & every time new chiefs are
elected these are exchanged and kept till the next election by the
two parties. (Did the two parties originate in the conjunction of
the two confederacies in ancient times?)
Then he proceeded to bring forward the newly elected chiefs.
I Shagehjowa- Joseph Silverheels a sachem. Degahnoge
You have requested us to tell us who we appoint to a co-worker
with the chiefs in accordance with the example of our forefathers
and now we have brought him forward, now know him, & know
that he is called such an one.
2 In the place of Robinson i. e. next to the chief warrior,
Dyandinhgwadih, Owen Black Snake, Shaweegah'.
3 Twenty Summers, John Mitten.
(It is said that they have a string of wampum for every name
and that these are kept so that the names may not be lost.)
4 A man not here, living at Alleghany in place of Ganaynihse,
dead James Pierce.
5 In the place of Gaswahgaah, Hves at Cattaraugus, Chief
6 Daandieyah, a young man at Tonawandi.
7 Sgaowai, Jonah — White Chief, Gahnyagoh.
8 Daashihdasgowa, John Baldwin.
9 Hahjihnyaway Dea. Jacob Johnson
10 In place of Little Johnson, (deposed) Dasnihogahweh, Black-
smith of Tonawandi, Gaoyah'gea.
11 Janiyahs, not present. John Dicker.
12 Degaaout, John Kennedy.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I4I
13 Gasgaa-doh' John Joshua Sachem Gih'oh, in place of Two
Guns, father of Henry Two Guns and Daniel, killed in battle of
14 Hayasajih, War Chief Gih'-oh.
(Degiyah'goh) in place of old Two Guns, brother of pre-
15 Gayahsodoh', George Green Blanket in place of his grand-
father some time since dead.
16 Waadogut, Jacob Shongo, Dep, Sachem.
17 Dagehsadeh young man from Tonawandi.
18 Gah'nase, Abram John sub Sachem.
19 Gah'neodoh' James Spring in place of T. S. Harris deposed.
20 Ganehdadihdaoh. A young man from Tonawandi.
Then Hayahdajiwak said that is all and Peter Williams begun
to speak when Col. Silversmith beckoned him down and Hayahda-
21 To put in Saul Logan Gaahgwas-Chief or head of the
22 Othaoh'dogweh. Jack Doxtader, a chief of the warriors.
23 In place of Jack Berry Doasah (Sub Sachem) lives at the
24 Ohaneshadekhah'. Johnny Johnny John's son Sub-Sachem.
25 Isaac- Johnny John. Guardian of preceding till he grew up.
26 Peter White of Cattaraugus Hayandaganyathah.
27 George Turkey, Do Da-yagodahsfh War chiefs.
Now he says we have finished for the Senecas, Doorkeepers.
142 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Then Peter Williams ansd. and charged the chiefs to take care of
the people and not do' anything contrary to the will of the people
and not to trust in their own wisdom because they are elevated not
to try to get above them but to promote their benefit and conform
to the laws of the Six Nations.
If it had not been for the wampums which have been preserved
it would have been difficult to have filled all these offices, of those
which are dead, etc. etc.
Congratulates them highly and says there is only one thing
lacking i. e. we begin to feel hungry — Then sat down but soon
after rose. Held a wampum in his hand and made a speech &
proceeded to put Peter Wilson i Waowawavaok, a Cayuga chief
in place of some old man and also Wm King resigned to him his
2 Jacob G. Seneca was put in his second Ganyahgeodoh.
3 Joseph Satourette in place of James Young, Gehdaodoh.
— and made a speech afterward and presented a wampum but I
had no interpreter at hand & could not understand whether
another chief was put in or not.
About this time the provisions were brought in.
Peter Williams sat down & soon a shout was raised or wail. I
do not know what to call it. (Elevated note drawn out & then the
low octave followed) & was soon after repeated. After some
moments repeated again and drawn out longer than before —
Then a long interval, while there were more provisions brought
in, in which the assembled seemed to get in promiscuous conversa-
tion in a low tone and many were going out and coming in as if
to relieve themselves after so long a confinement.
When Hayahdajiwak began to speak and as I supposed returned
thanks and compliments & gave some notices etc. and then invited
them according to the rule of our forefathers to take the food
before they go out that they may be strengthened & then took a
wampum and presented it to this side with an exhortation never
to flinch from duty nor fail to come when called to a council of
this kind. We exhort you and exhort ourselves.
Then Peter Williams took the same wampum and gave an answer
that we were bound together again in fellowship according to the
rules of our forefathers. We three brothers on this side of as you
on that side and all together and keep the council houses in order.
Thus we will all do according to the wishes of our forefathers.
Then Col. Silversmith sometime and exhorted them to keep the
rules and create the new tunes and alluded to the dancing of the
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I43
night and told them of strangers coming from abroad wish to have
anything to do with our young women we shall not withhold them
but shall act according to the rule and those who do not wish to
have anything to do with these things can have an opportunity to
stay away etc.
(According to the old custom of the Northern & perhaps of all
(And let them take warning, Dea. White says in a whisper to
them not to act so bad.)
Ayokhiyatgah agwus weetgat agwus weetgah agwus.
MINUTES OF THE
COUNCIL OF THE SIX NATIONS,
UPON THE CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION^
Dec. 1st, 1862
Andrew Snow made a few remarks that all the chiefs take places.
Dewathaaseh made a few congratulatory remarks of thanks.
According to Indian customs thanked the Great Spirit for having
preserved of those as were, now represented in council. He further
stated that it devolved upon the Canada Indians to proceed with the
exposition of the law.
Nowineehdoh' & Ganohgaihdawih' then opened the bag of
Nowineehdoh' arose & spake saying that we are now got to-
gether. When our forefathers finished the law they in the first
place would return thanks — that was passed.
As far as was proceeded they would go on with the exposition
of the law — In the first place think this, we are poor it will there-
fore depend our brother on the other side of the fire. That was
Seneca Johnson then arose §: spoke exhorting the people to listen.
There is a goodly number — We therefore give thanks to the
whole — It was the conclusion of my brother on the other side of
the fire to devolve upon me.
In the first place you were told the other day of how the law
came into existance, lastly the Tuscaroras came into the confed-
eracy. Our forefathers foretold of the destiny of the Indians at
the commencement of All. council. We have now come to that.
Long House used to sing when we were in power they went on
in harmony. Hense they foretold what would happen.
They have now gone to their grave.
Their footsteps are a great way off that made the law.
What I say I am responsible for
1 From the original manuscript by N. H. Parker.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I45
I will commence here, my told the truth in saying that the fire
was here — Jonodagaantyewa. He was to have a stick , y^hen he
could not do it he was to whoop and in less than na time the chief s
that is all true we could not go further than what was said by
Hohsanehdeh'. The Long House' says Six Nations — Tuscarora
came in last —
5 nations made the law so & so — they were to be united by this
law. If any one go through, his horns would fall off from his head.
Or if any should fall another should be raised.
But if any should refuse to come back by three time — they
should take them off — Thus they arranged it, as it was to last
forever (the law)
It is true in what he said by saying that they should pull the
A Brand was taken from the real fire & laid into Canada after
the expedition against the Indians. The chief went across the river.
They had a great council at Gandayeh by name. They said we
should put up a tha — so no one could not get. one (or over (?))
They went to work — the law — here it is. We do not know all
Deaiga — & sa — know it all they have it written.
Concerning the tree —
Dasdaegih to watch the west root — south root Cherochees to
charge of done by Six Nations East root 7 nations St Regis took
charge of the ocean — North root. Ojigweh nation took charge of.
Long House did this large wampum there at Canada.
When peace was declared Long House put fire there into Canada
to watch the north region — This is why they said the great white
root should grow, & we should put our heads there should anyone
strike the root &c.
This is the sum and substance of what the Canadians have.
Presented a belt with 12 black crosses, the words of Otawatgae-
noot the name where a great council was held all summer.
Gosiweh was the name of the chief dwah'gahah'
They was to kill the chief of the Six Nations Sawanoonoh took
I said just now — Canada nations presented the wampum with a.
dark spot in the middle represent a bowl or dish with beaver tail
in it — they also made a road — also presented a wampum — I say
nothing about this wampum presenting it being the british —
This belt represents the encircling of the Six Nations similar
to the one at Onondaga —
14^ NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Israel Jimeson wished the speaker to turn it to the females.
You see they the chiefs cannot get through.
Now this belt show the 12 nations said &c.
All the nations of the Six Nations were represented.
Dish represented with beaver meat in it They should eat to-
gether — use no knife for fear they should cut and draw blood.
This belt is with hearts to represent one heart. This the to
This belt Brant & Niaondahgowa throwed into the fire rep-
resenting their repentence. So all must do
I am merely what the proceedings were here and Canada 8 year
council was held or called of all the nations & 4 years ago another
was held of all the nations.
They were all united in the force of the law in Canada.
Now at this council many were present who were educated at
As we now see here many are educated writing down the pro-
ceedings for future generations as it was the plan of our fore-
At this council a vote was taken whether they should adher to
the law all rose.
This is all I can do as I fear I might injure feelings as there
those present who made the law
But the main fire is not here Still it was your minds here to
have the exposition of law again that was right. You now can
see whether you have erred from the path of this law —
The white man has found his gun — now fighting. Let it not
be so with us.
• — Speech ended —
Additional remarks — It was the intention of the Long House
wherever a council was held to bring the fires together. We heard
that you was to take from us the fire that is the reason &c.
I will explain concerning this belt encircling the reason
6 arrows in a bundle
— We are weak —
fUTt CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIOiSTS i4f
The fathers & son's repentence this belt.
The Tuscarora said I am now at ease & therefore I shall not come
to the fire.
I had a conversation with the British he asked me where I was
going. I told him he said it was not right I protect you here —
I said wonderful — your law & interest are connected by iron &c.
I said that those who erred were to be seen to &c.
S. S. D. Spoke It turned upon the Tuscaroras no -chiefs here
& it may true that he mind in peace as he is now able to take of
vSigwaih'seh is here installed at Onondaga he wishes to be in
the confederacy —
Now and then you know they are divided still he will always
be present & hopes that the other party will come to repentance —
Spoke & said he was happy to my friends — I wish to
explain — before the sale of lands I used to talk with my friends
old Canada. I thought I would try to live a different life — I
bought lands — pay taxes — White man collected taxes first it was
small 2d year I went & paid taxes again pd a little more than $20 —
Path Master came next increased a little every year — came up to
$40 — & 50 days roads Taxes, finally they petitioned for a cor-
poration about 2 year it went through — City tax came in collector
posted bills to pay on ist of Oct. quite high about $110. Taxes
must be pd or land sold — on the next Aug I pd again a little &
on 1st of Dec since 5 year for 2 years I paid $50. — then officers
changed time came. Tax fell off also on county Tax.
George Buck spoke in brief
The principal business of the day has gone by — it was con-
cluded that the exposition of the law be made —
The council was called some time since Now you this day.
You all Six Na have heard what was said by the keepers of the
Both parties were here from Canada & here, you have heard
all — adwadegonih onah
Detwathaahseh' spoke and said I will tell what happened where
we came from — It was done in council. Sanctioned by Sardoha-
hoh* Now I will tell about the chief. All claim him & for a
reason — how we are to live encircling belt. I would say this is
the same Six Nations joined in hands in the middle the house.
It is therefore important should he go through or over or go in
ground to come out & some to do for the distruction of chil —
148 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Again when he was chief he attended to interest of the land
not to sell — also the interest of women chil — not to make chil. —
or people cry — therefore his horns must fall on other nations west
did not look to us — heads will roll
Chiefs skin must be thick & have patience.
Warriors beyond the circle & women (?) next therefore 3
times &c. chiefs must consider their ( ?) warriors then women
Then all shall come together to consider.
Again how a chief shall speak chiefs shall have control of Deaths
of chiefs to sympathize with such family.
Chief shall hold office for life or good behavior.
Again we see our Canada friend. We see here the fire — the
minds seems the same concerning the law. So you ought to do.
I shall adher to it — Speech closed.
Wish to Amend
How the council should never speak of dividing land by dis-
banding the Na —
When white man became brothers they traded land. Chiefs
said All lands sold should be in common.
Nowineedoh' to speak for or in behalf, of the chiefs from abroad,
- You see us here Onondagas — All is exposed the law in full this
day & all we can do —
You see us chiefs here this all they can do —
• Their minds is, we have , all construed the law should a council
be called at some other place Then you may have the whole.
Again this thing is come to pass according to your mind- —
It now devolve upon you to consider We all see our troubles —
some day — it is therefore you should consider carefully.
How shall we do that our chil shall & have many days —
Therefore you consider carefully in regard to this matter.
This much we say in brief — I would say again you are wise
& you can see what to do.
Little Joe spoke
. We have heard all the law exposed regard to what has been
said. We have no time now tomorrow we will tell you.
Dec. 2d 1862
Council of the Six Nations resumed its deliberation by opening
remarks of John Cook according to the custom of such councils —
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I49
Thanking the Great Spirit in preserving the lives of all now
present & those who have come from abroad —
The council therefore was ready to proceed to business.
John Cook again spoke
saying his friends had now come from Canada as they were
to do by and by.
It is this, that each tribe in N. Y. speak for themselves — to com-
mune in order. When after all have spoken a certain one will be
appointed to speak for the whole —
Tonawandas to council first, then Alle. then Catt — They were
then ordered to take their accustomed seats
Jubez Ground spoke as follows :
That it was the duty in all such gatherings to exchange words of
thanks before proceeding to business.
It was announced that we were the first to explain our troubles in
council — We have divided. Some of us thought we were not going
right — Blksmith and Jemmy Johnson were strait till their death
Had they been living it would not have been so —
The other side tells us that we have erred because we would not
comply with the law. So we said to them
Hence the party thought it best to have a council called to hear the
exposition of the law-^ Our party is strong in the faith of the law.
You understand how we stand We are divided. We stand on
the Six Na law & will stand by it — This is the feeling of our party.
So you understand.
They have firm reliance on the law —
Now we tell how large our party is who will adher to the law 282.
We were told that belt was left for repentance — We have none
to leave as they not believe they have erred.
The above is the actual number who voluntarily wished to on our
side joined us without threats. Thus much we explain to you and
our position in brief
Seneca Johnson said
The No of your party as I understand is 282. Now I ask the
whole No at Ton
Isaac Doctor said that we do not know exactly but the other side
has the majority — our party was once over 300 but fell off to the
other side by threats, such as you will have no more goods & money
if you keep the other side & you go to Kansas.
Isaac Half town —
150 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
I am appointed to speak for Alle & I will be brief as respects the
condition of our people - — we have what the Ton have said
They say that the other side has the majority how they (?) will
do in that case I do not know.
The Alle would be glad to get back
They expect to take their band and explain to those left at home
Daniel Two Guns said that he speaks for the old folks — they
have not let go the law
They will in the first place have to talk with the Pres. The Pres.
have erred from the contract
In respect to our party we have a party but cannot say how many
So much in brief, Daniel 2 guns added
I said we do not know but we will go to work and see & let you
know how many wish to adher to the Six Nations Law.
Isaac Half town spoke again saying (the Alle) we will take hold
I. now ask concerning the wampum belt of repentance. You
We Catt & Alle have erred we got white man law.
Shall we put the belt there too ?
This is what I wish to know.
Little Joe said the thing today was going on what was to happen.
The Cayugas also would have the privilege to speak he has erred it
therefore may be of some help to those who have erred to hear them
Joseph Isaac explained that they were ready to speak as soon
In reference to the question, let my brothers have patience until
we answer to all that may be said.
Dr Wilson :
We will inform you how we feel we are much enlightened greatly
in the exposition of the law — we therefore thank you — Now in
reference to another matter, the white man long ago turned the In-
dians mind —
Concerning the arrows. This is to be of one mind — we come
from the west through the white man's advice we now have small
pieces of land. It now depends on you old folks to determine what
to do —
Concerning the fires &c the white man has mixed his laws in
criminal cases &c Then went on to relate the condition of Catt &
Alle Reservations from the commencement up to this time, but still
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I5I
the idea is (our idea) that the old fellows are still chiefs in Six
Nations Council —
Our idea is that there is lack in the exposition of the law. Still
we hope that at some future time the whole will come together &
still their faith remained the same relying on the law of the Six
Adjourned to eat —
John Cook spoke for women
Jisgoh'goh gave notice who was to make
Dewathaah'sech' said that our destruction is being brought about by
the white man
In regard to murder and theft the laws of the white man has
jurisdiction also in case of liquor Laws by U. S. made
Our condition is this Our old chiefs beg laws for the protection of
CERTAIN IROQUOIS TREE MYTHS AND SYMBOLSi
A student of Iroquoian folklore, ceremony, or history will note
the many striking instances in which sacred or symbolic trees are
mentioned. One finds allusions to such trees not only in the myths
and traditions that have long been known to literature, and in the
speeches of Iroquois chiefs in council with the French and English
colonists, but also in the more recently discovered wampum codes
and in the rituals of the folk-cults.
There are many references to the " tree of peace " in the colonial
documents on Indian relations. Cadwallader Golden, for example,
quotes the reply of the Mohawk chief to Lord Effingham in July
1684. The Mohawk agreed to the proposals for peace and their
spokesman said : " We now plant a Tree who's tops will reach the
sun, and its Branches spread far abroad, so that it shall be seen
afar off ; and we shall shelter ourselves under it, and live in Peace,
without molestation." (Gives two beavers. )2
In a footnote Golden says that the Five Nations always express
peace under the metaphor of a tree. Indeed, in the speech, a part of
which is quoted above, the peace tree is mentioned several times.
In Garangula's reply to De la Barre, as recorded by Lahontan,
are other references to the " tree." In his " harangue " Garangula
** We fell upon the Illinese and the Oumamis, because they cut
down the Trees of Peace. . ." " The Tsonontouans, Gayogouans,
Onnotagues, Onnoyoutes and Agnies declare that they interred the
Axe at Gataracuoy in the Presence of your Predecessor the very
Genter of the Fort; and planted the Tree of Peace in the same
place ; 'twas then stipulated that the Fort should be used as a Place
of Retreat for Merchants, and not as a Refuge for Soldiers. You
ought to take care that so great a number of Militial Men as we now
see ... do not stifle and choke the Tree of Peace ... it must
needs be of pernicious Consequences to stop its Growth and hinder
it to shade both your Country and ours with its Leaves." ^
The examples cited above are only a few of many that might be
quoted to show how commonly the Iroquois mentioned the peace
1 A. C. Parker; an extract from Amer. Anthropologist, v. 14. No. 4, 1912.
2 Colden, History of the Five Nations, reprint, p. 58, New York, 1866.
3 Lahontan, Voyages, v. i, p. 42. London, 1735.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS I
tree. There are also references to the tree that was uprooted: '* t6
afford a cavity in which to bury all weapons of war," the tree b'eirt^
replanted as a memorial. •
In the Iroquoian myth, whether Cherokee, Huron, Wyandot^
Seneca or Mohawk, the " tree of the upper world " is mentioned,
though the character of the tree differs according to the tribe and
sometimes according to the myth-teller. ...^ .'^'''
Before the formation of the lower or earth world the Wyahfioi;
tell of the upper or sky world and of the *' big chief " whose daugh-
ter became strangely ill.^ The chief instructs his daughter to " dig
up the wild apple tree ; what will cure her she can pluck from among
its roots." David Boyle ^ wondered why the apple tree was called
" wild " but that the narrator meant wild-apple and not wild apple
is shown by the fact that in some versions the Seneca call the tree
the crab-apple. The native apple tree with its small fruit was in-
tended by the Indian myth-teller, who knew also of the cultivated
apple and took the simplest way to differentiate the two.
With the Seneca this tree is described more fully. In manu-
script left by Mrs Asher Wright, the aged missionary to the Seneca,
I find the cosmologic myth as related to her by Esquire Johnson, a
Seneca, in 1870. Mrs Wright and her husband understood the
Seneca language perfectly and published a mission magazine in that
tongue as early as 1838. Her translation of Johnson's myth should
therefore be considered authentic. She wrote :
''There was a vast expanse of water. . '. . Above it was the
great blue arch of air but no signs of anything solid. ... In the
clear sky was an unseen floating island sufficiently firm to allow
trees to grow upon it, and there were men-beings there. There was
one great chief who gave the law to all the Ongweh or beings on the
island. In the center of the island there grew a tree so tall that no
one of the beings who lived there could see the top. On its branches
flowers and fruit hung all the year round. The beings who lived on
the island used to come to the tree and eat the fruit and smell the
sweet perfume of the flowers. On one occasion the chief desired
that the tree be pulled .up. The great chief was called to look at the
great pit which was to be seen where the tree had stood."
The story continues with the usual description of how the sky-
mother was pushed into the hole in the sky and fell upon the wings
of the waterfowl who placed her on the turtle's back. After this
mention of the celestial tree in the san^ manuscript is the story of
2 Connelley, W. E., Wyandot Folk Lore. Topeka, 1889.
2 Boyle, The Iroquois, in Archeological Report of Ontario for 1905, p. 147.
154 NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
the central world-tree. After the birth of the twins, Light One and
Toadlike (or dark) One, the Light One, also known as Good-
minded, noticing that there was no light, created the " tree of
light." This was a great tree having at its topmost branch a great
ball of light. At this time the sun had not been created. It is
significant, as will appear later, that the Good-minded made his tree
of light one that brought forth flowers from every branch. After
he had continued experimenting and improving the earth, " he made
a new light and hung it on the neck of a being, and he called the
new light Gaagwaa (ga gwa) and instructed its bearer to run his
course daily in the heavens." Shortly after he is said to have " dug
up the tree of light, and looking into the pool of water in which the
stump (trunk) had grown, he saw the reflection of his own face
and thereupon conceived the idea of creating Ongwe and made them
both a man and a woman."
The central world-tree is found also in Delaware mythology,
though so far as I can discover it is not called the tree of light. The
Journal of Bankers and Slyter^ records the story of creation as
heard from the Lenape of New Jersey in 1679. All things came
from a tortoise, the Indians told them. " It had brought forth the
world, and in the middle of its back had sprung a tree upon whose
branches men had grown." ^* This relation between men and the
tree is interesting in comparison with the Iroquois myth, as it is
also conceived to be the central world-tree. Both the Lenape and
the Iroquois ideas are symbolic and those who delight in flights of
imagination might draw much from both.
The Seneca world-tree is described elsewhere in my notes as a
tree whose branches pierce the sky and whose roots extend to the
waters of the underworld. This tree is mentioned in various cere-
monial rites of the Iroquois. With the False Face Company, Hadigo
sa sho o, for example, the Great Face, chief of all the False Faces,
is said to be the invisible giant that guards the world tree (gain-
dowa ne). He rubs his turtle-shell rattle upon it to obtain its power,
and this he imparts to all the visible false faces worn by the com-
pany. In visible token of this belief the members of the company
rub their turtle rattles on pine-tree trunks, believing that thereby
they become imbued with both the earth power and the sky power.
In this use of the turtle-shell rattle there is perhaps a recognition of
1 Journal of Voyage to New York in 1679-80, by Jasper Bankers and Peter
Slyter- translated in Trans. L. I. Hist. Soc, v. I. 1867.
2 With the New Enpland Indians the idea was held that men were found
by Glooskap in a hole by an arrow which he had shot into an ash tree.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIVE NATIONS 155
the connection between the turtle and the world-tree that grows
upon the primal turtle's back.
In the prologue of the Wampum Code of the Five Nations Con-
federacy we again find references to a symbolic '' great tree." In
the code of Dekanawide, the Iroquois culture hero exclaims:
"I am Dekanawide, and with the Five Nations' confederate lords
(rodiyaner) I plant the Tree of the Great Peace. I plant it in your
territory, Adodarho and the Onondaga nation, in the territory of
you who are Fire Keepers.
" I name the tree the Tree of the Great Long Leaves. Under the
shade of this Tree of Peace we spread the soft, feathery down of
the globe thistle, there beneath the spreading branches of the Tree
In the second '' law " of the code, the four roots of the " tree "
are described, and the law-giver says :
" If any individual or any nation outside of the Five Nations
shall obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their dis-
position to the lords of the confederacy, they may trace the roots of
the tree, and if their minds are clean and obedient . . . they shall
be welcome to take shelter beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves.
'' We place in the top of the Tree of the Long Leaves an Eagle
who is able to see afar; ... he will warn the people."
In another place is the following:
" I, Dekanawide, and the union lords now uproot the tallest pine
tree and into the cavity thereby made we cast all weapons of war.
Into the depths of the earth, down into the deep underearth cur-
rents of water flowing to unknown regions we cast all the weapons
of strife. We bury them from sight and we plant again the tree.
Thus shall the Great Peace, Kaye narhe ko wa, be established."
These laws and figures of speech are evidently those which the
Iroquois speakers had in mind when addressing " peace councils "
with the whites.
Symbolic trees appear not only in Iroquois history, mythology,
and folk beliefs, but also in their decorative art. The numerous
decorative forms of trees embroidered in moose hair and porcupine
quills by the eastern Algonquians, by the Hurons, and by the
Iroquois appear to be attempts to represent the world-tree and the
celestial tree, in some cases, with " all manner of fruits and flowers."
Many, if not most, of the modern descendants of the old-time In-
dians, who copy these old designs, ha\e forgotten their meanings,
and some have even invented new explanations. A few of the more
conservative, however, still remember the true meanings of their
designs and from these much of interest has been learned.
Adoption, laws of, 49
Arrows bound together, 11, 45, loi
Canadian Iroquois, 12
Cayugas, younger brothers, 10
Chiefs, ceremonies at death of, 120-
22; ceremony of installation, 122-
Civil chiefs, 10; nominated by certain
noble women, 11
Clans and consanguinity, 42-44
Code of Dekanahwideh, 61-109
Confederate lords, positions of, 92-
Condolence ceremony, 1 10-13
Condolence council, record of, 136-
Council of Six Nations, 1839,
minutes of, 133-36
Council of the Six Nations upon the
Cattaraugus reservation, minutes
Cusick, Albert, correction of New-
house manuscript, 12
Deer*s horns the emblem of power,
Dekanahwideh, 8; traditional narra-
tive of birth, etc., 14-16, 65-109;
Code of, 61-109
Emigration, laws of, 50
Fire keepers, 10
Five Nations, rights of the people
Five Nations' league, tradition of
Foreign nations, rights, 50-52
Funeral addresses, 58^0 —
Gayanashagowa, great binding law,
Great peace, 12; establishment of,
26-29; council of, 30-60
Hiawatha, 8, 71
Hiawatha belt, 12, 47
Hiawatha tradition, 1 14-18
Hill, Hilton, copy of manuscript
made by, 13
House, protection of, 57
Indian council 1846, sketches of,
Indian words, meaning, 63
Installation, ceremony of, 122-23
Installation song, 57
Iroquois, racial superiority, 9; laws
of peace and war, 9; absorption of
other nations, 10; confederate
council, 10; Canadian, 12
Jesuit fathers, efforts to Christianize
the Five Nations, 62
Laws of the confederacy, 97-109
Long house, use of term, 97
Lords, rights, duties and qualifica-
tions of, 34-41
Marriage ceremony, the ancient rite,
123; in later days, 124
Mohawks, older brothers, 10
Newhouse, Seth, manuscript writ-
ten by, 12
Older brothers, 10
Oneidas, younger brothers, 10
Onondagas, fire keepers, 10
Passamaquoddy wampum records,
Pine tree chiefs, election, 41
Prince, J. D., Passamaquoddy wam-
pum records, 119-25
Protection-of the house, 57
NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Religious ceremonies protected, 56
Schoolcraft's census of 1845, extract
Secession of a nation, 54
Seneca chiefs, pacification of, 96
Senecas, older brothers, 10
Symbolism, official, 11, 44-49
Tradition of the origin of the Five
Nations' league, 61-109
Treason of a nation, 54
Tree myths and symbols, 152^55
Troubled nations, 16-26
Wampum belt, 11
Wampum keeper of the Six Na-
War, rights and powers of, 52-54
War chiefs, names, duties and rights,
Women, political powers, 11
Younger brothers, 10
The University of the State of New York
New York State Museum
John M Clarke Director
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Eckel, E. C. Serpents of Northeastern United States.
Paulmier. F. C. Lizards. Tortoises and Batrachians of New York.
60 Bean, T. H. Catalogue of the Fishes of New York. 784P. Feb. 1903
71 Kellogg, J. L. Feeding Habits and Growth of Venus mercenaria. 3op.
4pl. Sept. 1903. Free.
88 Letson, Elizabeth J. Check List of the Mollusca of New York. ii6p.
May 1905. 20c.
91 Paulmier, F. C. Higher Crustacea of New York City. ySp. il. June
130 Shufeldt, R. W. Osteology of Birds. 382P. il. 2 6pl. May 1909. 50c.
Entomology. 5 Lintner, J. A. White Grub of the May Beetle. 34p. il.
Nov. 1888. Free.
6 Cut-worms. 38p. il. Nov. 1888. Free.
13 San Jos6 Scale and Some Destructive Insects of New York State.
54p. 7pl. Apr. 1895. 15c.
20 Felt, E. P. Elm Leaf Beetle in New York State. 46p. il. 5pl. June
23 14th Report of the State Entomologist 1898. i5op. il. 9pl. Dec.
24 Memorial of the Life and Entomologic Work of J. A. Lintner, Ph.D.
State Entomologist 1874-98; Index to Entomologist's Reports 1-13. 3i6p.
ipl. Oct. 1899. 35c.
Supplement to 14th report of the State Entomologist.
26 Collection, Preservation and Distribution of New York Insects
36p. il. Apr. 1899. Out of print.
27 Shade Tree Pests in New York State. 26p. il. spl. May 1899.
31 15th Report of the State Entomologist 1899. i28p. June 1900.
36 1 6th Report of the State Entomologist 1900. ii8p. i6pl. Mar,
37 Catalogue of Some of the More Important Injurious and Beneficial
Insects of New York State. S4p. il. Sept. 1900. Free.
46 Scale Insects of Importance and a List of the Species in New York
State. 94p. il. i5pl. June 1901. 25c.
47 Needham, J. G. & Betten, Cornelius. Aquatic Insects in the Adiron-
dacks. 2 34p. il. 36pl, Sept. 1901. 45c.
S3 Felt, E. P. 17th Report of the State Entomologist 190 1. 232P. il. 6pl,
Aug. 1902. Out of print.
57 Elm Leaf Beetle in New York State. 46p. il. 8pl. Aug. 1902.
Out of print.
This is a revision of Bulletin 20 containing the more essential facts observed since that
59 Grapevine Root Worm. 4op. 6pl. Dec. 1902. Not available.
64 i8th Report of the State Entomologist 1902. nop. 6pl. May
68 Needham, J. G. & others. Aquatic Insects in. New York. 322p. 52pl.
Aug. 1903. 80c, cloth.
72 Felt, E. P. Grapevine Root Worm. 58p. i3pl. Nov. 1903. 20c.
This is a revision of Bulletin 59 containing the more essential facts observed since that
74 & Joutel, L. H. Monograph of the Genus Saperda. 88p. i4pl.
June 1904. 25c.
76 Felt, E. P. 19th Report of the State Entomologist 1903. iSop. 4pl.
79 Mosquitos or Culicidae of New York. i64p. il. 57pl. tab. Oct.
86 Needham, J. G. & others. May Flies v^d Midges of New York. 352p.
il. 37pl. June 1905, Out of print.
97 Felt, E. P. 20th Report of the State Entomologist 1904. 246P. il. i9pl.
Nov. 1905. 40c.
103 Gipsy and Brown Tail Moths. 44p. lopl. July 1906. 15c
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
I04 2ist Report of the State Entomologist 1905. i44p. lopl. Aug
109 Tussock Moth and Elm Leaf Beetle. 34P. 8pl. Mar. 1907. 20c.
no 2 2d Report of the State Entomologist 1906. 152P. 3pl. June
124 23d Report of the State Entomologist 1907. 542P. il. 44pl. Oct.
129 Control of Household Insects. 48p. il. May 1909. Out of print.
134 24th Report of the State Entomologist 1908. 2o8p. il. i7pl.
Sept. 1909. 35c.
136 Control of Flies and Other Household Insects. 56p. il. Feb.
This is a revision of Bulletin ;i29 containing the more essential facts observed since
that was prepared.
141 Felt, E. P. 25th Report of the State Entomologist 1909. i78p. il. 2 2pl.
July 19 10. Not available.
147 26th Report of the State Entomologist 1910. i82p. il 3Spl. Mar.
155 27th Report of the State Entomologist 191 1. igSp. il. 27pl. Jan.
156 Elm Leaf Beetle and White-Marked Tussock Moth. 35p. Bpl. Jan.
165 28th Report of the State Entomologist 1912. 266p. i4pl. July 1913.
175 29th Report of the State Entomologist 1913. 258 p. 16 pi. Apr.
180 30th Report of the State Entomologist 1914. 336p. il. 19 pi. Jan.
Needham, J. G. Monograph on Stone Flies. In preparation.
Botany. 2 Peck, C. H. Contributions to the Botany of the State of New
York. 72p. 2pl. May 1887. 20c.
8 Boleti of the United States. 98p. Sept. 1889. Out of print.
25 Report of the State Botanist 1898. 76p. 5pl. Oct. 1899. Out of
28 Plants of North Elba. 20 6p. map.
54 — — Report of the State Botanist 1901.
67 Report of the State Botanist 1902.
75 Report of the State Botanist 1903.
94 Report of the State Botanist 1904.
105 Report of the State Botanist 1905.
116 Report of the State Botanist 1906.
122 Report of the State Botanist 1907.
131 Report of the State Botanist 1908.
139 Report of the State Botanist 1909.
150 Report of the State Botanist 19 10.
157 Report of the State Botanist 191 1.
167 Report of the State Botanist 19 12.
176 Report of the State Botanist 1913.
179 Report of the State Botanist 19 14.
Archeology. 16 Beauchamp, W. M. Aboriginal Chipped Stone Implements
of New York. 86p. 2 3pl. Oct. 1897. Not available.
18 Polished Stone Articles Used by the New York Aborigines. io4p.
35pl. Nov. 1897. 25c.
22 Earthenware of the New York Aborigines. 78p. 33pl. Oct. 1898.
32 Aboriginal Occupation of New York. 190P. i6pl. 2 maps. Mar.
41 Wampum and Shell Articles Used by New York Indians. i66p.
2 8pl. Mar. 1901. Out of print.
50 Horn and Bone Implements of the New York Indians. ii2p. 43pl.
Mar. 1902. Out of print.
7op. 4pl. I
Mar. 19 12.
io8p. I pi.
55 Metallic Implements of the New York Indians. 94p. 38pl. June
73 Metallic Ornaments of the New York Indians. i2 2p. 37pl. Dec.
1903. Not available.
78 History of the New York Iroquois. 34op. i7pl. map. Feb. 1905.
87 Perch Lake Mounds. 84p. 12 pi. Apr. 1905. 20c.
89 Aboriginal Use of Wood in New York. 190P. 35pl. June 1905.
108 Aboriginal Place Names of New York. 336p. May 1907. 40c.
113 Civil, Rehgious and Mourning Councils and Ceremonies of Adop-
tion. ii8p. 7pl. June 1907. 25c.
117 Parker. A. C. An Erie Indian Village and Burial Site. io2p. 38pl.
Dec. 1907. 30c.
125 Converse, H. M. & Parker, A. C. Iroquois Myths and Legends. 196P.
il. iipl. Dec. 1908. 50c.
144 Parker, A. C. Iroquois Uses of Maize and Other Food Plants. i2op.
il. 3ipl. Nov. 1910. Not available.
163 The Code of Handsome Lake- I44p. 23pl. Nov. 191 2. Not available.
184 The Constitution of the Five Nations. I58p. 8pl. Apr. i, 1916. 30c.
Miscellaneous. 62 Merrill, F. J. H. Directory of Natural History Museums
in United States and Canada. 236P. Apr. 1903. 30c.
66 Ellis, Mary. Index to Publications of the New York State Natural
History Survey and New York State Museum 183 7-1 90 2. 4i8p. June
1903- 75c, cloth.
Museum memoirs 1 889-date. 4to.
1 Beecher, C. E. & Clarke, J. M. Development of Some Silurian Brachi-
opoda. 96p. 8pl. Oct. 1889. $1.
2 Hall, James & Clarke, J. M. Paleozoic Reticulate Sponges. 35op. il. 7opl.
1898. $2, doth.
3 Clarke, J. M. The Oriskany Fauna of Becraft Mountain, Columbia Co.,
N. Y. i28p. 9pl. Oct. 1900. 80c.
4 Peck, C. H. N. Y. Edible Fungi, 1895-99. io6p. 25pl. Nov. 1900. Not
This includes revised descriptions and illustrations of fungi reported in the 49th, sist and
5 2d reports of the State Botanist.
5 Clarke, J. M. & Ruedemann, Rudolf. Guelph Formation and Fauna of
New York State. 196P. 2ipl. July 1903. $1.50, cloth.
6 Clarke, J. M. Naples Fauna in Western New York. 2 68p. 2 6pl. map.
1904. $2, cloth.
7 Ruedemann, Rudolf. Graptolites of New York. Pt i Graptolites of the
I^wer Beds. 35op. i7pl. Feb. 1905. $1.50, cloth.
8 Felt, E. P. Insects Affecting Park and Woodland Trees, v.i. 4600.
il. 48pl. Feb. 1906. %2.<,o, cloth; v. 2. 548p.il.22pl. Feb. 1907. $2, cloth.
g Clarke, J. M. Early Devonic of New York and Eastern North America.
Pt I. 366p. il. 7opl. 5 maps. Mar. 1908. $2.50, cloth; Pt 2. 250P. il. 36pl.
4 maps. Sept. 1909. $2, cloth.
10 Eastman, C. R. The Devonic Fishes of the New York Formations.
236P. i5pl. 1907. $1.25, cloth.
11 Ruedemann, Rudolf. Graptolites of New York. Pt 2. Graptolites of
the Higher Beds. 584P. il. 3ipl. 2 tab. Apr. 1908. $2.50, cloth.
12 Eaton, E. H. Birds of New York. v. i. 5oip. il. 42pl. Apr. 1910.
$3, cloth; V. 2, 7i9p. il. 64 pi. July 1914. $4, cloth.
13 Whitlock, H. P. CalcitesofNewYork. 190P. il. 27pl. Oct. 1910. $1, cloth.
14 Clarke, J. M. & Ruedemann, Rudolf. The Eurypterida of New York. v. i.
Text. 44op. il. v. 2 Plates. i88p. 88pl. Dec. 191 2. $4, cloth.
Natural History of New York. 30 v. il. pi. maps. 4to. Albany 1842-94.
DIVISION I ZOOLOGY. De Kay, James E. Zoology of New York; or. The
New York Fauna; comprising detailed descriptions of all the animals
hitherto observed within the State of New York with brief notices of
those occasionally found near its borders, and accompanied by appropri-
ate illustrations. 5V. il. pi. maps. sq. 4to. Albany 1842-44. Out of print.
Historical introduction to the series by Gov. W. H. Seward. i78p.
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
V. I pti Mammalia. 131 + 46p. 33pl- T842.
300 copies with hand-colored plates
V. 2 pt2 Birds. 12 + 38op. i4ipl. 1844.
V. 3 pt3 Reptiles and Amphibia. 7 + pSp. pt 4 Fishes. 15 + 4i5P« 1842.
pt 3-4 bound together.
V. 4 Plates to accompany v. 3. Reptiles and Amphibia. 23pl. Fishes.
300 copies with hand-colored plates.
V. 5 pt5 Mollusca. 4 + 2 yip. 4opl. pt 6 Crustacea, yop. 13P1. 1843-44.
Hand-colored plates; pt S-6 bound together.
DIVISION 2 BOTANY. Torrey, John. Flora of the State of New York ; com-
prising full descriptions of all the indigenous an vl naturalized plants hith-
erto discovered in the State, with remarks on their economical and medical
properties. 2 v. il. pi. sq. 4to. Albany 1843. Out of print.
V. I Flora of the State of New York. 12 + 484?- 72pl. 1843.
300 copies with hand-colored plates.
V. 2 Flora of the State of New York. 572p. 89PI. 1843.
300 copies with hand-colored plates.
DIVISION 3 MINERALOGY. Bcck, Lcwis C. Mineralogy of New York; com-
prising detailed descriptions of the minerals hitherto found in the State
of New York, and notices of their uses in the arts and agriculture, il. pi.
sq. 4to. Albany 1842. Out of print.
V. I pti Economical Mineralogy, pt 2 Descriptive Mineralogy. 24 + 536p,
8 plates additional to those printed as part of the text.
DIVISION 4 GEOLOGY. Mather, W. W. ; Emmons, Ebenezer; Vanuxem, Lard-
ner & Hall, James. Geology of New York. 4v. il. pi. sq. 4to. Albany
1842-43. Out of print.
V. I pti Mather, W. W. First Geological District. 37 + 653P. 46pl. 1843.
V. 2 pt2 Emmons, Ebenezer. Second Geological District. 10 + 43 7p.
V. 3 pt3 Vanuxem, Lardner. Third Geological District. 3o6p. 1842.
V. 4 pt4 Hall, James. Fourth Geological District. 22 + 683P. iQpl.
DIVISION 5 AGRICULTURE. Emmons, Ebcnezer. Agriculture of New York ;
comprising an account of the classification, composition and distribution
of the soils and rocks and the natural waters of the different geological
formations, together with a condensed view of the meteorology and agri-
cultural productions of the State. 5 v. il. pi. sq. 4to. Albany 1846-54.
Out of print.
V. I Soils of the State, Their Composition and Distribution. 11 + 371P. 2ipl.
V. 2 Analysis of Soils, Plants, Cereals, etc. 8 + 343 + 46P 42pl 1849.
With hand-colored plates.
V. 3 Fruits, etc. 8 + 34op. 1851.
V. 4 Plates to accompany v. 3. 95pl. 1851.
V. 5 Insects Injurious to Agriculture. 8 + 272P. 5opl. 1854.
With hand-colored plates.
DIVISION 6 PALEONTOLOGY, Hall, James. Paleontology of New York. 8v.
il. pi. sq. 4to. Albany 1847-94. Bound in cloth.
V. I Organic Remains of the Lower Division of the New York System.
23 + 33 8p. 99pl. 1847. Out of print.
v. 2 Organic Remains of Lower Middle Division of the New York System.
8 + 362P. io4pl. 1852. Out of print.
V. 3 Organic Remains of the Lower Helderberg Group and the Oriskany
Sandstone, pt i, text. 12 + 532p. 1859. [$3.50]
pt 2. i42pl. 1861. [$2.50]
V. 4 Fossil Brachiopoda of the Upper Helderberg, Hamilton, Portage and
Chemung Groups, ii + i + 428p. 69pl. 1867. $2.50.
V. 5 pti Lamellibranchiata i. Monomyaria of the Upper Helderberg,
Hamilton and Chemung Groups. 18 + 268p. 45pl. 1884. $2.50.
Lamellibranchiata 2. Dimyaria of the Upper Helderberg, Ham-
ilton, Portage and Chemung Groups. 62 + 293P. 5ipl. 1885. $2.50.
pt2 Gasteropoda, Pteropoda and Cephalopoda of the Upper Helder-
berg, Hamilton, Portage and Chemung Groups. 2 v. 1879. v. i, text.
15 + 492P. ; V. 2. i2opl. $2.50 for 2 V.
& Simpson, George B. v. 6 Corals and Bryozoa of the Lower and Up-
per Helderberg and Hamilton Groups. 24 4- 298P. 67pl. 1887. $2.50.
& Clarke, John M. v. 7 Trilobites and Other Crustacea of the Oris-
kany. Upper Helderberg, Hamilton, Portage, Chemung and Catskill
Groups. 64 + 236P. 46pl. 1888. Cont. supplement to V. 5, pt 2. Ptero-
poda, Cephalopoda and Annelida. 42p. i8pl. 1888. $2.50.
& Clarke, John M. v. 8 pt i Introduction to the Study of the Genera
of the Paleozoic Brachiopoda. 16 + 367P. 44pl. 1892. $2.50.
& Clarke, John M. v. 8 pt 2 Paleozoic Brachiopoda. 16 + 394p. 64pl
Catalogue of the Cabinet of Natural History of the State of New York and
of the Historical and Antiquarian Collection annexed thereto. 242P. 8vo.
1853. Out of print.
Handbooks 189 3 -date.
New York State Museum. 52p. il. 1902. Free.
Outlines, history and work of the museum with list of staff 1902.
Paleontology. i2p. 1899. Out of prinu
Brief outline of State Museum work in paleontology under heads: Definition; Relation to
biology; Relation to stratigraphy; History of paleontology in New York.
Guide to Excursions in the Fossiliferous Rocks of New York. i2 4p. 1899.
Itineraries of 32 trips covering nearly the entire series of Paleozoic rocks, prepared specially
for the use of teachers and students desiring to acquaint themselves more intimately with the
classic rocks of this State.
Entomology. i6p. 1899. Out of print.
Economic Geology. 44p. 1904. Free.
Insecticides and Fungicides. 2op. 1909. Free.
Classification of New York Series of Geologic Formations. 32p. 1903. Out
of print. Revised edition. 96p. 1912. Free.
Geologic maps. Merrill, F. J. H. Economic and Geologic Map of the
State of New York; issued as part of Museum Bulletin 15 and 48th Museum
Report, V. i. 59 x 67 cm. 1894. Scale 14 miles to i inch. 15c.
Map of the State of New York Showing the Location of Quarries of
Stone Used for Building and Road Metal. 1897. Out of print.
Map of the State of New York Showing the Distribution of the Rocks
Most Useful for Road Metal. 1897. Out of print.
Geologic Map of New York. 1901. Scale 5 miles to i inch. In atlas
form $2. Lower Hudson sheet 60c.
The lower Hudson sheet, geologically colored, comprises Rockland, Orange, Dutchess,
Putnam, Westchester, New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens and Nassau counties, and parts
of Sullivan, Ulster and Suffolk counties; also northeastern New Jersey and part of western
Map of New York Showing the Surface Configuration and Water Sheds.
1 90 1. Scale 12 miles to i inch. 15c.
Map of the State of New York Showing the Location of Its Economic
Deposits. 1904. Scale 12 miles to i inch. 15c.
Geologic maps on the United States Geological Survey topographic base.
Scale I in. = I m. Those marked with an asterisk have also been pub-
lished separately. %
♦Albany county. 1898. Out of print.
Area around Lake Placid. 1898.
Vicinity of Frankfort Hill [parts of Herkimer and^Oneida counties]. 1899
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Rockland county. 1899.
Amsterdam quadrangle. 1900.
♦Parts of Albany and Rensselaer counties, njoi. Out of print.
♦Niagara river. 1901. 25c.
Part of Clinton county. 1901.
Oyster Bay and Hempstead quadrangles on Long Island. 1901
Portions of Clinton and Essex counties. 1902.
Part of town of Northumberland, Saratoga co. 1903*
Union Springs, Cayuga county and vicinity. 1903.
*01ean quadrangle. 1903. Free.
♦Becraft Mt. with 2 sheets of sections. (Scale i in. = ^ m.) 1903. 20c
♦Canandaigua-Naples quadrangles. 1904. 20c.
♦Little Falls quadrangle. 1905. Free.
♦Watkins-Elmira quadrangles. 1905. 20c.
♦Tully quadrangle. 1905. Free.
♦Salamanca quadrangle. 1905. Free.
♦Mooers quadrangle. 1905. Free.
Paradox Lake quadrangle. 1905.
♦Buffalo quadrangle. 1906. Free.
♦Penn Yan-Hammondsport quadrangles. 1906. 20c.
*Rochester and Ontario Beach quadrangles. 20c.
♦Long Lake quadrangle. Free.
♦Nunda-Portage quadrangles. 20c.
♦Remsen quadrangle. 1908. Free.
♦Geneva-Ovid quadrangles. 1909. 20c.
♦Port Ley den quadrangle. 19 10. Free.
♦Auburn-Genoa quadrangles. 19 10. 20c.
♦Elizabethtown and Port Henry quadrangles. 19 10. 15c.
♦Alexandria Bay quadrangle. 1910. Free.
♦Cape Vincent quadrangle. 1910. Free.
♦Clayton quadrangle. 19 10. Free.
♦Grindstone quadrangle. 1910. Free.
♦Theresa quadrangle. 1910. Free.
♦Poughkeepsie quadrangle. 191 1. Free.
♦Honeoye-Wayland quadrangles. 191 1. 20c.
♦Broadalbin quadrangle. 191 1. Free.
♦Schenectady qua drangle. 1 9 1 1 . Free.
♦Saratoga-Schuyleiville quadrangles. 1914. 20c.
*North Creek quadrangle. 1914- Free.
♦Syracuse quadrangle. 1914. Free.
♦Attica-Depew quadrangles. 1914. 20c.
*Lake Pleasant quadrangle. 191 6. Free.
*Saratoga quadrangle. 19 16. Free.
Bulletins are also found with the annual reports of the museum as follows:
48, V. I
57, V. I. pt 2
I I 9-2 I
61. V. I
65, V. 2
50, V. I
57. V. I, pt I
61, V. 2
65. V. 2
51, V. I
58, V. 3
6j. V. I
65. V. 2
52, V. I
58, V. I
61. V. 2
6s, V. I
S3. V. I
58, V. 2
62. V. 3
65. V. I
54. V. I
58. V. 5
62. V. 1
65, V. I
54. V. 2
58. V. 4
62, V. 2
65, V. 2
54. V. 3
58, V. 3
62. V. 3
6s, V. I
54. V. 4
58, V. 4
62, V. 2
66, V. 2
55;, V. 1
58. V. 3
62. V. I
66, V. I
56, V. 4
58, V. 2
62. V. 2
66, V. 2
56, V. I
58. V. 4
63, V. 1
66, V. I
56, V. 3
58, V. I
63, V. 2
56, V. I
58, V. 5
63. V. I
56. V. 3
59. V. 2
63, V. 1
S6, V. I
59, V. 1
63, V. 2
49. V. 3
S6, V. 4
59. V. 2
63. V. I
53, V. 2
56, V. 2
59, V. I
<>3. V. 2
57, V. 3
56, V. 3
59, V. 2
63, V. 2
5 7. V. 4
56, V. 2
59, V. I
6.^, V. 2
8, pt I
59. V. 3
56, V. 4
60, V. 2
64, V. 2
8. pt 2
59. V. 4
56. V. 3
60, V. 3
64, V. I
9, pt I
60. V. 4
56. V, 2
60, V. I
64, V. I
9, pt 2
62, V. 4
57. V, I.
60, V. 2
64, V. 2
60. V. 5
57. V. I,
60, V. I
64, V, 2
6 1 . V. 3
57. V. 2
60. V. 3
64. V. I
63 , V. 3
57. V. I,
60. V. I
64, V. 3
12, pt 2
66. V. 3
57. V. 2
60. V. 2
64, V. 2
63, V. 4
57. V. I,
60. V. I
64. V. 2
14, V. I
65. V. 3
57. V. I,
60. V, 3
64, V. 2
14. V. 2
65, V. 4
57, V. 2
60, V. I
64. V. 2
The figures at the beginning cf each entry in the following list indicate its number as a
Geology and Paleontology. 14 Kemp, J. F. Geology of Moriah and West-
port Townships, Essex Co., N. Y., with notes on the iron mines. 38p.
il. 7pl. 2 maps. Sept. 1895. Free.
.19 Merrill, F. J. H. Guide to the Study of the Geological Collections of
the New York State Museum. i64p. iigpl. map. Nov. 1898. Out of print.
21 Kemp, J. F. Geology of the Lake Placid Region. 24p. ipl. map. Sept,
34 Cumings, E. R. Lower Silurian System of Eastern Montgomery County;
Prosser, C. S. Notes on the Stratigraphy of Mohawk Valley and Sara-
toga County, N. Y. 74p. i4pl. map. May 1900. 15c.
39 Clarke, J. M.; Simpson, G. B. & Loomis, F. B. Paleontologic Papers i.
72p. il. i6pl. Oct. 1900. 15c.
Contents: Clarke, J. M. A Remarkable Occurrence of Orthoceras in the Oneonta Beds of
the Chenango Valley. N. Y.
— — Paropsonema cryptophya; a Peculiar Echinoderm from the Intumescens-zone
(Portage Beds) of Western New York.
Dictyonine Hexactinellid Spo:i(|3S from the Upper Devonic of New York.
■ The Water Biscuit of Squaw Island, Canandaigua Lake, N. Y.
Simpson, G. B. Preliminary Descriptions of New Genera of Paleozoic Rugose Corals.
Loomis, P. B. Siluric Fungi from Western New York.
42 Ruedemann, Rudolf. Hudson River Beds near Albany and their Taxo-
nomic Equivalents. ii6p. 2pl. map. Apr. 1901. 25c.
45 Grabau, A. W. Geology and Paleontology of Niagara Falls and Vicinjty.
286p. il. i8pl. map. Apr. 190 1. 65c; cloth, 90c.
48 Woodworth, J. B. Pleistocene Geology of Nassau County and Borough
of Queens. 58p. il. 8pl. map. Dec. 1901. 25c.
49 Ruedemann, Rudolf; Clarke, J. M. & Wood, Elvira. Paleontologic
Papers 2. 2 4op. i3pl. Dec. 1901. Out of print.
Contents: Ruedemann, Rudolf. Trenton Conglomerate of Rysedorph Hill.
Clarke, J. M. Limestones of Central and Western New York Interbedded with Bitumi-
nous Shales of the Marcellus Stage.
Wood, Elvira. Marcellus Limestones of Lancaster, Erie Co., N. Y.
Clarke, J. M. New Agelacrinites. *
Value of Amnigenia as an Indicator of Fresh-water Deposits during the Devonic of
New York, Ireland and the Rhineland.
52 Clarke, J. M. Report of the State Pileontologict 1901. 28op. il. lopl.
map, I tab. July 1902. 40c.
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OE NEW VORK
56 Merrill, F. J. H. Description of the State Geologic Map of 1901. 42P
2 maps, tab. Nov. 1902. Free.
63 Clarke, J. M. & Luther, D. D. Stratigraphy of Canandaigua and Naples
Quadrangles. ySp. map. June 1904. 25c.
65 Clarke, J. M. Catalogue of Type Specimens of Paleozoic Fossils in the
New York State Museum. 848P. May 1903. $1.20, cloth.
69 Report of the State Paleontologist 1902. 464P. 52pl. 7 maps. Nov.
1903. $1, cloth.
77 Cushing, H. P. Geology of the Vicinity of Little Falls, Herkimer Co.
98p. il. i5pl. 2 maps. Jan. 1905. 30c.
80 Clarke, J. M. Report of the State Paleontologist 1903. 396p. 29pl.
2 maps. Feb. 1905. 85c, cloth.
81 Clarke, J. M. & Luther, D. D. Watkins and Elmira Quadrangles. 32p.
map. Mar. 1905. 25c.
82 Geologic Map of the Tully Quadrangle. 4op. map. Apr. 1905. 20c.
83 Woodworth, J. B. Pleistocene Geology of the Mooers Quadrangle. 62p.
25pl. map. June 1905. 25c.
84 Ancient Water Levels of the Champlain and Hudson Valleys. 2o6p.
il. iipl. 18 maps. July 1905. 45c.
90 Ruedemann, Rudolf. Cephalopoda of Beekmantown and Chazy For-
mations of Champlain Basin. 224P. il. 38pl. May 1906. 75c, cloth.
92 Grabau, A. W. Guide to the Geology and Paleontology of the Schoharie
Region. 314P. il. 26pl. map. Apr. 1906. 75c, cloth.
95 Cushing, H. P. Geology of the Northern Adirondack Region. i88p.
i5pl. 3 maps. Sept. 1905. 30c.
96 Ogilvie, L H. Geology of the Paradox Lake Quadrangle. 54p. il. i7pl.
map. Dec. 1905. 30c.
99 Luther, D. D. Geology of the Buffalo Quadrangle. 32p. map. May
loi Geology of the Penn Yan-Hammondsport Quadrangles. 28p.
map. July 1906. Out of print.
106 Fairchild, H. L. Glacial Waters in the Erie Basin. 88p. i4pl. 9 maps.
Feb. 1907. Out of print.
107 Woodworth, J. B.; Hartnagel, C. A.; Whitlock, H. P.: Hudson, G. H.;
Clarke, J. M. ; White, David & Berkey, C. P. Geological Papers. 388p.
54pl. map. May 1907. 90c, cloth.
Contents: Woodworth, J. B. Postglacial Faults of Eastern New York.
Hartnagel, C. A. Stratigraphic Relations of the Oneida Conglomerate.
Upper Siluric and Lower Devonic Formations of the Skunnemunk Mountain Region.
Whitlock, H. P. Minerals from Lyon Mountain, Clinton Co.
Hudson, G. H. On Some Pelmatozoa from the Chazy Limestone of New York.
Clarke, J. M. Some New Devonic Fossils.
An Interesting Style of Sand-filled Vein.
Eurypterus Shales of the Shawan£?unk Mountains in Eastern New York.
White, David. A Remarkable Fossil Tree Trunk from the Middle Devonic of New York,
pprkey, C. P. Structural and Stratigraphic Features of the Basal Gneisses of the High-
Ill Fairchild, H. L. Drumlins of New York. 6op. 2 8pl. 19 maps. July
1907. Out of print.
114 Hartnagel, C. A. Geologic Map of the Rochester and Ontario Beach
.Quadrangles. 36p. map. Aug. 1907. 20c.
115 Cushing, H. P. Geology of the Long Lake Quadrangle. 88p. 2opl
map. Sept. 1907. 25c.
118 Clarke, J. M. & Luther, D. D. Geologic Maps and Descriptions of the
Portage and Nunda Quadrangles including a map of Letchworth Park.
5op. i6pl. 4 maps. Jan. iqo8. 35c.
126 Miller, W. J. Geology of the Remsen Quadrangle. 54p. il. iipl. map.
Jan. 1909. 25c.
127 Fairchild, H. L. Glacial Waters in Central New York. 64p. 2 7pl. 15
maps. Mar. Tqo9. Out of print.
128 Luther, D. D. Geology of the Geneva-Ovid Quadrangles. 44p. map
Apr. 1909. 20c.
135 Miller, W. J. Geology of the Port Leyden Quadrangle, Lewis County.
N. Y. 62p. il. Iipl. map. Jan. 1910. 25c.
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