The Iroquois Constitution
Table of Contents: Rights, Duties and Qualifications of Lords, Election
of Pine Tree Chiefs, Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs, Clans and
Consanguinity, Official Symbolism, Laws of Adoption, Laws of Emigration,
Rights of Foreign Nations, Rights and Powers of War, Treason or Secession of
a Nation, Rights of the People of the Five Nations, Religious Ceremonies
Protected, The Installation Song, Protection of the House, Funeral Addresses
THE GREAT BINDING LAW, GAYANASHAGOWA
1. I am Dekanawidah and with the Five Nations' Confederate Lords I
plant the Tree of Great Peace. I plant it in your territory, Adodarhoh, and
the Onondaga Nation, in the territory of you who are Firekeepers.
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.
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.
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
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 approaching or any
danger threatening he will at once warn the people of the Confederacy.
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
Adodarhoh, Hononwirehtonh or Skanawatih, Fire Keepers, or to their War
Chiefs with a full statement of the case desired to be considered. Then
shall Adodarhoh call his cousin (associate) Lords together and consider
whether or not the case is of sufficient importance to demand the attention
of the Confederate Council. If so, Adodarhoh shall dispatch messengers to
summon all the Confederate Lords to assemble beneath the Tree of the Long
When the Lords are assembled the Council Fire shall be kindled,
but not with chestnut wood, and Adodarhoh shall formally open the Council.
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.
Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords are entrusted with the Keeping of
the Council Fire.
4. You, Adodarhoh, and your thirteen cousin Lords, shall faithfully keep the space about the Council Fire clean and you shall allow neither dust nor dirt to accumulate. I lay a Long Wing before 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 Council Fire. If you fail to cast it
out then call the rest of the United Lords to your aid.
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 Oghrenghrehgowah are the second party, and
Dehennakrineh, Aghstawenserenthah and Shoskoharowaneh are the third party.
The third party is to listen only to the discussion of the first and second
parties 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 decided 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.
6. I, Dekanawidah, appoint the Mohawk Lords the heads and the
leaders of the Five Nations Confederacy. The Mohawk Lords are 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.
No council of the Confederate Lords shall be legal unless all the
Mohawk Lords are present.
7. Whenever the Confederate Lords shall assemble for the purpose
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
Then shall the Onondaga Lords declare the council open.
The council shall not sit after darkness has set in.
8. The Firekeepers shall formally open and close all councils of
the Confederate Lords, and 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 unwarrantable dissent, so that a unanimous decision may be rendered.
If Adodarhoh or any of his cousin Lords are absent from a Confederate 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. 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 Onondaga Lords, (Fire Keepers) for final
The same process shall obtain when a question is brought before
the council by an individual or a War Chief.
10. In all cases the procedure must be as follows: when the Mohawk
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 decision to the Mohawk Lords. The Mohawk
Lords will then report the standing of the case to the Firekeepers, who
shall render a decision 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 decision to the Mohawk Lords who
shall announce it to the open council.
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.
12. When a case comes before the Onondaga Lords (Fire Keepers) for
discussion and decsion, Adodarho shall introduce the matter to his comrade
Lords who shall then discuss it in their two bodies. Every Onondaga Lord
except Hononwiretonh shall deliberate 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.
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.
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.
15. No individual or foreign nation interested in a case, question
or proposition shall have any voice in the Confederate Council except to
answer a question put to him or them by the speaker for the Lords.
16. 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
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 the females legally possessing 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.
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 attendance of the Council. If he refuses,
the women holding the title shall immediately select another candidate for
No Lord shall be asked more than once to attend the Confederate
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 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 contumacious the matter
shall go to the council of War Chiefs. 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 deposed 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. When a Lord is to be deposed, his War Chief shall
address him as follows:
"So you, __________, disregard and set at naught the warnings 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 antlers, 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 them."
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 precipice of destruction in which you have cast
yourself. You shall never be restored to the position which you once
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."
The Lords of the Confederacy shall then have no other alternative than to
sanction the discharge of the offending Lord.
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 request 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.
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 comitted 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 Lordship 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 intended 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, poeace and harmony that a great calamity may never happen
21. Certain physical defects in a Confederate Lord make him
ineligible to sit in the Confederate Council. Such defects are infancy,
idiocy, blindness, deafness, dumbness and impotency. When a Confederate Lord
is restricted by any of these condition, 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.
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 intention. If
his coactive Lords refuse to accept his resignation he may not resign his
A Lord in proposing to resign may recommend any proper candidate
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.
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 sumons he shall
make ready for the journey.
Any of the people of the Five Nations may use shells (or wampum) 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
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.
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.
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 spoken.
"United people, let not evil find lodging in your minds.
"For the Great Creator has spoken and the cause of Peace shall not become
"The cause of peace shall not die if you remember the Great Creator."
Every Confederate Lord shall speak words such as these to promote peace.
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.
28. When a candidate Lord is to be installed he shall furnish four
strings of shells (or wampum) one span in length bound together at one end.
Such will constitute the evidence of his pledge to the Confederate Lords
that he will live according to the constitution 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 oposite side
and they shall be received as evidence of the pledge. Then shall the
opposite side say:
"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, offensive 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 deliberations 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 those
whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground -- the unborn of the
29. When a Lordship title is to be conferred, the candidate Lord
shall furnish the cooked venison, the corn bread and the corn soup, together
with other necessary things and the labor for the Conferring of Titles
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.
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 antlers:
"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."
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
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 consolation
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 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 leave the Council or the place of
gathering. 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 waiting 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
Conferring the Lordship Title.
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 messengers
until all Lords are notified. Runners shall travel day and night.
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.
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 himself wise,
honest and worthy of confidence, the Confederate Lords may elect him to a
seat with them and he may sit in the Confederate Council. He shall be
proclaimed a 'Pine Tree sprung up for the Nation' and shall 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.
Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs
36. 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.
The War Chiefs shall be selected from the eligible sons of the female
families holding the head Lordship titles.
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.
38. When a War Chief dies another shall be installed by the same
rite as that by which a Lord is installed.
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 a case. The
women title holders shall then choose another candidate.
40. When the Lords of the Confederacy take occasion to dispatch 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 to his destination and deliver his
message according to every instruction.
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!"
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,
Deer, Pigeon Hawk, Eel, Ball, Opposite-Side-of-the-Hand, and Wild Potatoes.
These clans distributed 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
43. People of the Five Nations members of a certain clan shall
recognize every other member of that clan, irrespective of the Nation, as
relatives. Men and women, therefore, members of the same clan are forbidden
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.
45. The women heirs of the Confederated Lordship titles shall be
called Royaneh (Noble) for all time to come.
46. The women of the Forty Eight (now fifty) Royaneh families
shall be the heirs of the Authorized Names for all time to come.
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.
47. If the female heirs of a Confederate Lord's title become
extinct, 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.
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.
49. If any of the Royaneh women, heirs of a titleship, shall
wilfully 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 titleship 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
50. The Royaneh women of the Confederacy heirs of the Lordship
titles shall elect two women of their family as cooks for the Lord when the
people shall assemble at his house for business or other purposes.
It is not good nor honorable for a Confederate Lord to allow his
people whom he has called to go hungry.
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 exercise and an expression of her
52. The Royaneh women, heirs of 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 who do not shall not
object to what has been said nor strive to undo the action.
53. When the Royaneh women, holders of a Lordship title, select
one of their sons as a candidate, they shall select one who is trustworthy,
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
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.
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 Senecca, 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 elevated 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 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 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.
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.
57. Five arrows shall be bound together very strong and each arrow
shall represent one nation. As the five arrows are strongly bound 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 generations.
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.
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 Confederacy.
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 people he is no
longer in but out of the Confederacy, and persons of this class shall be
called "They have alienated themselves." Likewise such persons who submit to
laws of foreign nations shall forfeit all birthrights and claims on the Five
Nations Confederacy and territory.
You, the Five Nations Confederate Lords, be firm so that if a tree
falls on your joined arms it shall not separate or weaken your hold. So
shall the strength of the union be preserved.
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 themselves 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 Peace.
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 Nations.
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 General 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 concil to warn the Lord or Lords to return from the wrong course. If
the Lords heed the warning they shall say, "we will reply tomorrow." If then
an answer is returned in favor of justice and in accord with this Great Law,
then the Lords shall individualy 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 warning,
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 your
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 bewteen 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 shall 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 execute 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.
60. A broad dark belt of wampum of thirty-eight 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 territory, 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 the Onondaga
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 represents 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 Peace.
White, the emblem of peace, love, charity and equity surrounds and guards
the Five Nations.
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 approaching, 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, [ a great swamp Elm ], and when they shall find it they
shall assemble their heads together and lodge for a time between its roots.
Then, their labors being finished, they may hope for happiness for many days
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 consult with five of his coactive Lords
and they in turn shall consult with their eight brethern. Then should they
decide to accede to the request of the two sons from opposite sides of the
Council Fire, Adodarho 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 conjunction
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.
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 oposite side and reply to
his own speech and song. He shall thus act for both sidesa 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
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."
67. Should any person, a member of the Five Nations' Confederacy,
specially esteem a man or 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 ceremony 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 consider the proposal and submit a
69. Any member of the Five Nations 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 matter shall be brought to
the attention of the Lords for confirmation and the Lords must confirm
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.
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 Confederate 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.
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.
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 Confederate Lords shall order one
of their war chiefs to reprimand 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.
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
77. 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 annuled and they
shall be expelled.
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 I 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 committed 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."
78. Whenever a foreign nation enters the Confederacy or accepts
the Great Peace, the Five Nations and the foreign nation shall enter into an
agreement and compact by which the foreign nation shall endeavor to pursuade
other nations to accept the Great Peace.
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 Lordship 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.
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.
81. When the men of the Five Nations, now called forth to become
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 forward and commence the War Song and he shall sing:
Now I am greatly surprised
And, therefore I shall use it --
The powerr 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
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.
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.
84. Whenever a foreign nation is conquered or has by their own
will accepted the Great Peace their own system of internal government may
continue, but they must cease all warfare against other nations.
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 exterminated, all
their rights, property and territory shall become the property of the Five
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.
87. When the War of the Five Nations on a foreign rebellious
nation is ended, peace shall be restored to that nation by a withdrawal 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
88. When the proposition to establish 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
89. When the Lords of the Five Nations propose to meet in
conference 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 renouncing his
sacred Lordship title which he holds through the election 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.
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
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 Confederacy, such
a nation or such nations shall be deemed guilty of treason and called
enemies of the Confederacy and the Great Peace.
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.
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 the 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
94. The men of every clan of the Five Nations shall have a Council
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.
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 decisions and recommendations shall be introduced
before the Council of the Lords by the War Chief for its consideration.
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 appointeed 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 conclusion on any matter, their decision
shall be reported to the Council of the Nation or to the Confederate Council
(as the case may require) by the War Chief or the War Chiefs.
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 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.
98. If either a nephew or a niece see an irregularity in the
performance 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 conform to the ways prescribed by
the laws of the Great Peace.
Religious Ceremonies Protected
99. The rites and festivals of each nation shall remain
undisturbed and shall continue as before because they were given by the
people of old times as useful and necessary for the good of men.
100. It shall be the duty of the Lords of each brotherhood to
confer 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
place. From the beginning to the end the Lords shall preside over the
Thanksgiving and address the people from time to time.
101. It shall be the duty of the appointed managers of the
Thanksgiving festivals to do all that is needed 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 Cornplanting 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 Thansgiving for the Green Corn comes the special
managers, both the men and women, shall give it careful attention and do
their duties properly.
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
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.
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 instrument."
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
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.
108. At the funeral of a Lord of the Confederacy, say: Now we
become reconciled as you start away. You were once a Lord 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 associates 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).
110. 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
111. 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 remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).
112. At the funeral of a chief woman, say:
"Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a chief
woman in the Five Nations' Confederacy. You once were 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).
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 faithful. Feastings . . . (etc.)" (The
remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).
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).
115. When an infant dies within three days, mourning shall
continue 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.
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 them. He shall say that the black clouds shall roll
away and that the bright blue sky is visible once more. Therefore shall they
be in peace in the sunshine again.
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
"Hearken you who are here, this body is to be covered. Assemble 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
Then at the expiration of ten days the speaker shall say:
"Continue 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 a 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
forward 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