Background image: Constitution of the United States
Foreground photo: White Deer, a proud Mohawk
1901 at the Indian Congress, Pan-American Exposition
She was described as an ‘equestrienne wonder’.
Mohawks were members of the powerful Iroquois League.

Iroquois Confederacy’s
Law of the Great Peace
Muses to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin
History You Probably Did Not Learn In School…
The Iroquois are five Iroquoian-speaking tribes: The Mohawks, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. (The Cherokee also belong to the Iroquois language family of eastern North America.). They controlled a large territory east of Lakes Ontario and Erie in the north-east woodlands and were sophisticated horticulturalists that raised maize (corn), squash and beans; supplementing their diet by gathering and hunting in the woodlands of the region. They lived in distinctive communal longhouses, made of bent saplings covered with bark; some of these structures extended to 300 feet in length.

At least 300 years prior to the passage of the United States Constitution; North American democracy began with the Iroquois Confederacy’s Law of the Great Peace. This representative democracy of the Iroquois was extensively studied and praised by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin who proposed it as the basis for the United States Constitution.

In a back-handed compliment at the Albany Congress in 1754, Franklin said he found it hard to believe that the 13 colonies could not agree to a political union when,

Six Nations of ignorant savages had formed one.”

It begs the question: Who were the 'ignorant savages'?

Unwittingly, the Iroquois Confederacy served as the most influential of Muses...in this case affecting the course of history. We must never underestimate the power of anyone we meet; no matter what 'label' we give them, they may inspire us to magnificence.


Anonymous said...

You are right! I never learned about this in school. Thanks for sharing this trivia morsel. I like the juxtaposition of this collage. The young girl, looking so proud, next to "We The People"...WOW!

tj said...

Such a mixture of emotion...
powerful yet sad.

megan said...

she is SO comfortable in her skin...grateful for the model!

Anonymous said...

The indian nation had it right, and we took without asking. Their land, their children, their women, horses,and spirit. "We the people". Aren't we just something. They were proud people who cared about family and the earth they lived on being careful to take only what they needed to survive, with no greed. I honor these people. I would love to have a print of this!