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) (He who has misplaced something, but knows where to find it). 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. Centuries later, Longfellow “borrowed” the name of Hiawatha to be his hero in a fictional legend; there is no other connection between the two Hiawathas nor their stories.Here is their original Constitution, as best it can be reconstructed from legend and spoken history. Read it and be amazed…keep in mind it is over 500 years old!
Source: Modern History Sourcebook: The Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy. ABOUT THE IROQUOIS CONSTITUTION: by Gerald Murphy.
See Johansen on date estimate. (June 13, 1451)
[In Unix, dates prior to 1969 cause difficulty. There is a hack. . . ; however, at this point, I am trying to avoid base code issues.]