Monday, April 20, 2015

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

Gayanashagowa means "the Great Law of Peace," and is the name of the Constitution of the Iroquois Nations. The Iroquois Nations were a confederacy of five (later six) Native American nations in the Northeast consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and (later) Tuscarora . The Gayanashagowa was originally an oral constitution recorded as symbols on wampum belts, and was later written down and translated into English. The exact age of the Gayanashagowa is not known, but may go back as far as 1142 AD (although 1451 is more accepted by many historians). 

The Gayanashagowa was known to the Founding Fathers of the United States, and was at least somewhat influential on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  A delegate to Constitutional Convention, John Rutledge of South Carolina, is reported to have read long tracts of the Gayanashagowa to the other delegates. In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed  Resolution recognizing the influence of the Iroquois Constitution upon the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Great Binding Law

 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 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 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 Leaves.

     When the Lords are assembled the Council Fire shall be 
kindled, but not with chestnut wood, and Adodarhoh shall 
formally open the Council.  
      [ ed note: chestnut wood throws out sparks in burning, 
           thereby creating a disturbance in 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 life.

     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 Rafters".          

           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 the 

     No Lord shall be asked more than once to attend the 
Confederate Council.

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 

     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 

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 

     "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 

     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 again."

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 title.

     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 

     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 parties.

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 old.
     "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 
     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 future Nation."

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 Festival.

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 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 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 

     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 
shall be:

      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 birthright.

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 to marry.

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 title.

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 esteem.

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 Nation.

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 

                      Official Symbolism

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 

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 

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 

     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 seats."

     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 

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.

    [ ed note: This is the Hiawatha Belt, now in the 
               Congressional Library. ] 

     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 evil.

     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 after.

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 

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 

     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 fire.

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 adoption.

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 be destroyed.

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 Nations.

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 established.

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 Nations.

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 territory.                

             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 the people.

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 

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 Thanksgiving.

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 is installed.                   

                    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 

                       Funeral Addresses

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 respect."

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 Lord).

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).

[ Editors note:  the above ellipses and 'etc.' remarks are 
transcribed directly from the text I copied. ]

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 say:

      "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 made."

       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 been remembered.

Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net - aa300)
Distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the
  National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN). Reprinted 
on with permission.