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Monday, 20 October 2014

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE IROQUOIS NATIONS:



THE CONSTITUTION OF THE IROQUOIS NATIONS:


Hi dear friends and followers.
It would be a disservice to you to share the myths and legends of any of the Native Peoples that resided in what is now New York state without mentioning the Iroquois Confederacy, also called the Five Nations of the Iroquois. Its members were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca Peoples.



Can you imagine a society in which there was not a crime problem, in which there was no poverty, no police force or jails, no need for a standing army, and no court system, yet guided by laws? How about a participatory democracy that was flourishing long before the establishment of the United States in which women were the linchpin of all of its doings; one in which its leaders were honestly interested in the welfare of the people they were serving? Can you imagine that?

That democracy was the Five (later Six) Nations of the Iroquois, a confederacy of five great peoples that eventually controlled the area from the Saint Lawrence River south into Pennsylvania, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Illinois. And they did not do that by waging war. They did it by pursuing peace.



Their Confederacy was established by the planting of the Tree of Great Peace in territory of the Onondaga People in Upstate New York. This planting is described in detail in the first article of the Iroquois Constitution. Here is an excerpt from that Constitution:

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE IROQUOIS NATIONS:
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.



And here is a link to the complete Iroquois Constitution and what I found to be a good commentary on it:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/iroquois.asp

Some scholars believe the Iroquois Constitution to date from as early as 1390 CE with many fixing its inception to about 1500 CE. Regardless of which date is correct, this democracy was here long before America.

It has been asserted that the Iroquois Constitution was a basis document for the United States Constitution. It was. Here's a link to a story about that topic that was in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/28/us/iroquois-constitution-a-forerunner-to-colonists-democratic-principles.html

The Iroquois Constitution was a wide-ranging document that dealt with many important issues in daily life, including bloodlines, land ownership, who may be a leader of the people, qualifications of leaders, duties of leaders, marriage, funerals, rituals, war, council meetings and who must attend, how to conduct business in councils, and many other areas.

Another link that you may find interesting has to do with Iroquois symbols:

Thank you for reading this Native American legend, I would appreciate knowing what your thought are on this weeks legend. Thank you and have a wonderful week.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ


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