Iroquois Oral Traditions

Story of Hiawatha

De-Ka-Nah-Wi-Da and Hiawatha
Story of Hiawatha - Complete Work
Story of Hiawatha - by Chapter

Iroquois Constitution

Oral Tradition of the Foundation of the Iroquois Confederacy

"Friends and Brothers:--You being members of many tribes, you have come from a great distance; the voice of war has aroused you up; you are afraid of your homes, your wives and your children; you tremble for your safety. Believe me, I am with you. My heart beats with your hearts. We are one. We have one common object. We come to promote our common interest, and to determine how this can be best done.

"To oppose these hordes of northern tribes, singly and alone, would prove certain destruction. We can make no progress in that way. We must unite ourselves into one common band of brothers. We must have but one voice. Many voices makes confusion. We must have one fire, one pipe, and one war club. This will give us strength. If your warriors are united they can defeat the enemy and drive them from our land; if we do this, we are safe.

"Onondaga, you are the people sitting under the shadow of the Great Tree, whose branches spread far and wide, and whose roots sink deep into the earth. You shall be the first nation, because you are warlike and mighty.

"Oneida, and you, the people who recline your bodies against the Everlasting Stone, that cannot be moved, shall be the second nation, because you always give good counsel.

"Seneca, and you, the people who have your habitation at the foot of the Great Mountain, and are overshadowed by its crags, shall be the third nation, because you are all greatly gifted in speech.

"Cayuga, you, whose dwelling is in the Dark Forest, and whose home is everywhere, shall be the fourth nation, because of your superior cunning in hunting.

"Mohawk, and you, the people who live in the open country, and posess much wisdom, shall be the fifth nation, because you understand better the art of raising corn and beans and making cabins.


Battle With the Snakes
Boy Who Lived With the Bears
Chipmunk and Bear
Dogs Who Saved their Master
Four Iroquois Hunters
Four Iroquois Animal Traditions
Gifts of the Little People
Girl Who Was not Satisfied with Simple things
Hodadenon: The Last One Left and the Chestnut Tree
How Bear Lost His Tail
How Buzzard Got His Feathers
How Fire Came to the Six Nations
Hungry Fox and the Boastful Suitor
Hunting of the Great Bear
Origin of the Iroquois Nations
Rabbit and Fox
Raccoon and the Crayfish
Skunny-Wundy and the Stone Giant
Story of Okteondon or the Workers of Evil
Three Brothers Who Followed the Sun
Turtle Makes War on Men
Turtle's Race With Bear
Two Daughters
Wampum Bird

of the Thunderer

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Copyright @ 1993-2016

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