The Constitution of the Five Nations

The Constitution of the Five Nations – or – The Iroquois Book of the Great Law … survives after some 500 or 600 years, and was originated by people that our ancestors … considered  “savages”. Some sources place the origin of the Five Nation Confederacy as early as 1390, … others insist it was prepared about 1450-1500; in any case, it was well before any possible contamination by European invaders. Early explorers and colonists found the Iroquois well established, as they had been for many generations: with a democratic government;  a religion that acknowledged a Creator in heaven;  a strong sense of family based on, and controlled by, their women; and many other surprises.
From the inception, there were the Five Nations discussed in this Constitution. In about 1715, the Tuscarora Nation, once part of the Iroquois peoples in a much earlier period of their history, moved up from North Carolina to avoid warfare with the invading white settlers, and were adopted into the Confederacy. … the Iroquois controlled many parts of our now eastern states from their homelands in what is now New York state. The original Five Nations were:
People Possessors of the Flint
People on the Hills
Great Hill People
Granite People
People at the Mucky Land
Shirt Wearing People became the Sixth Nation.
The founder of the Confederacy of the Five Nations is generally acknowledged to be Dekanawida, born near the Bay of Quinte, in southeastern Ontario, Canada. During his travels, he associated himself with a Mohawk tribal lord in what is now New York, and named him Hahyonhwatha. Hiawatha left his family and friends, and joined Dekanawida in his travels, becoming his chief spokesman. One legend has it that Dekanawida, while brilliant, had a speech impediment, and depended on Hiawatha to do his public speaking for him. Together, they traveled the length and breadth of the lands on the south shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario, as well as the river to the sea, now known as the St. Lawrence. These were the homelands of tribes with a common heritage, but who had been warring with one another for many years. Dekanawida united them into a League of Nations that we now call the Iroquois League.