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.
2. Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace,
one to the north, one to the east, one to the south and one to
the west. The name of these roots is The Great White Roots and
their nature is Peace and Strength.
If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall
obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their
disposition to the Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the
Roots to the Tree and if their minds are clean and they are
obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Confederate
Council, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the
Tree of the Long Leaves.
We place at the top of the Tree of the Long Leaves an
Eagle who is able to see afar. If he sees in the distance any
evil approaching or any danger threatening he will at once warn
the people of the Confederacy.
3. To you Adodarhoh, the Onondaga cousin Lords, I and the
other Confederate Lords have entrusted the caretaking and the
watching of the Five Nations Council Fire.
When there is any business to be transacted and the
Confederate Council is not in session, a messenger shall be
dispatched either to Adodarhoh, Hononwirehtonh or Skanawatih,
Fire Keepers, or to their War Chiefs with a full statement of
the case desired to be considered. Then shall Adodarhoh call
his cousin (associate) Lords together and consider whether or
not the case is of sufficient importance to demand the
attention of the Confederate Council. If so, Adodarhoh shall
dispatch messengers to summon all the Confederate Lords to
assemble beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves.
When the Lords are assembled the Council Fire shall be
kindled, but not with chestnut wood, and Adodarhoh shall
formally open the Council.
[ed note: chestnut wood throws out sparks in burning,
thereby creating a disturbance in the council]
Then shall Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords, the Fire
Keepers, announce the subject for discussion.
The Smoke of the Confederate Council Fire shall ever
ascend and pierce the sky so that other nations who may be
allies may see the Council Fire of the Great Peace.
Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords are entrusted with the
Keeping of the Council Fire.
4. You, Adodarhoh, and your thirteen cousin Lords, shall
faithfully keep the space about the Council Fire clean and you
shall allow neither dust nor dirt to accumulate. I lay a Long
Wing before you as a broom. As a weapon against a crawling
creature I lay a staff with you so that you may thrust it away
from the Council Fire. If you fail to cast it out then call
the rest of the United Lords to your aid.
5. The Council of the Mohawk shall be divided into three
parties as follows: Tekarihoken, Ayonhwhathah and Shadekariwade
are the first party; Sharenhowaneh, Deyoenhegwenh and
Oghrenghrehgowah are the second party, and Dehennakrineh,
Aghstawenserenthah and Shoskoharowaneh are the third party.
The third party is to listen only to the discussion of the
first and second parties and if an error is made or the
proceeding is irregular they are to call attention to it, and
when the case is right and properly decided by the two parties
they shall confirm the decision of the two parties and refer
the case to the Seneca Lords for their decision. When the
Seneca Lords have decided in accord with the Mohawk Lords, the
case or question shall be referred to the Cayuga and Oneida
Lords on the opposite side of the house.
6. I, Dekanawidah, appoint the Mohawk Lords the heads and the
leaders of the Five Nations Confederacy. The Mohawk Lords are
the foundation of the Great Peace and it shall, therefore, be
against the Great Binding Law to pass measures in the
Confederate Council after the Mohawk Lords have protested
No council of the Confederate Lords shall be legal unless
all the Mohawk Lords are present.
7. Whenever the Confederate Lords shall assemble for the
purpose of holding a council, the Onondaga Lords shall open it
by expressing their gratitude to their cousin Lords and
greeting them, and they shall make an address and offer thanks
to the earth where men dwell, to the streams of water, the
pools, the springs and the lakes, to the maize and the fruits,
to the medicinal herbs and trees, to the forest trees for their
usefulness, to the animals that serve as food and give their
pelts for clothing, to the great winds and the lesser winds, to
the Thunderers, to the Sun, the mighty warrior, to the moon, to
the messengers of the Creator who reveal his wishes and to the
Great Creator who dwells in the heavens above, who gives all
the things useful to men, and who is the source and the ruler
of health and life.
Then shall the Onondaga Lords declare the council open.
The council shall not sit after darkness has set in.
8. The Firekeepers shall formally open and close all councils
of the Confederate Lords, and they shall pass upon all matters
deliberated upon by the two sides and render their decision.
Every Onondaga Lord (or his deputy) must be present at
every Confederate Council and must agree with the majority
without unwarrantable dissent, so that a unanimous decision may
If Adodarhoh or any of his cousin Lords are absent from a
Confederate Council, any other Firekeeper may open and close
the Council, but the Firekeepers present may not give any
decisions, unless the matter is of small importance.
9. All the business of the Five Nations Confederate Council
shall be conducted by the two combined bodies of Confederate
Lords. First the question shall be passed upon by the Mohawk
and Seneca Lords, then it shall be discussed and passed by the
Oneida and Cayuga Lords. Their decisions shall then be
referred to the Onondaga Lords, (Fire Keepers) for final
The same process shall obtain when a question is brought
before the council by an individual or a War Chief.
10. In all cases the procedure must be as follows: when the
Mohawk and Seneca Lords have unanimously agreed upon a
question, they shall report their decision to the Cayuga and
Oneida Lords who shall deliberate upon the question and report
a unanimous decision to the Mohawk Lords. The Mohawk Lords
will then report the standing of the case to the Firekeepers,
who shall render a decision as they see fit in case of a
disagreement by the two bodies, or confirm the decisions of the
two bodies if they are identical. The Fire Keepers shall then
report their decision to the Mohawk Lords who shall announce it
to the open council.
11. If through any misunderstanding or obstinacy on the part
of the Fire Keepers, they render a decision at variance with
that of the Two Sides, the Two Sides shall reconsider the
matter and if their decisions are jointly the same as before
they shall report to the Fire Keepers who are then compelled to
confirm their joint decision.
12. When a case comes before the Onondaga Lords (Fire Keepers)
for discussion and decsion, Adodarho shall introduce the matter
to his comrade Lords who shall then discuss it in their two
bodies. Every Onondaga Lord except Hononwiretonh shall
deliberate and he shall listen only. When a unanimous decision
shall have been reached by the two bodies of Fire Keepers,
Adodarho shall notify Hononwiretonh of the fact when he shall
confirm it. He shall refuse to confirm a decision if it is not
unanimously agreed upon by both sides of the Fire Keepers.
13. No Lord shall ask a question of the body of Confederate
Lords when they are discussing a case, question or
proposition. He may only deliberate in a low tone with the
separate body of which he is a member.
14. When the Council of the Five Nation Lords shall convene
they shall appoint a speaker for the day. He shall be a Lord
of either the Mohawk, Onondaga or Seneca Nation.
The next day the Council shall appoint another speaker,
but the first speaker may be reappointed if there is no
objection, but a speaker's term shall not be regarded more
than for the day.
15. No individual or foreign nation interested in a case,
question or proposition shall have any voice in the Confederate
Council except to answer a question put to him or them by the
speaker for the Lords.
16. If the conditions which shall arise at any future time
call for an addition to or change of this law, the case shall
be carefully considered and if a new beam seems necessary or
beneficial, the proposed change shall be voted upon and if
adopted it shall be called, "Added to the Rafters".
Rights, Duties and Qualifications of Lords
17. A bunch of a certain number of shell (wampum) strings
each two spans in length shall be given to each of the female
families in which the Lordship titles are vested. The right
of bestowing the title shall be hereditary in the family of
the females legally possessing the bunch of shell strings and
the strings shall be the token that the females of the family
have the proprietary right to the Lordship title for all time
to come, subject to certain restrictions hereinafter mentioned.
18. If any Confederate Lord neglects or refuses to attend the
Confederate Council, the other Lords of the Nation of which he
is a member shall require their War Chief to request the female
sponsors of the Lord so guilty of defection to demand his
attendance of the Council. If he refuses, the women holding
the title shall immediately select another candidate for the
No Lord shall be asked more than once to attend the
19. If at any time it shall be manifest that a Confederate
Lord has not in mind the welfare of the people or disobeys the
rules of this Great Law, the men or women of the Confederacy,
or both jointly, shall come to the Council and upbraid the
erring Lord through his War Chief. If the complaint of the
people through the War Chief is not heeded the first time it
shall be uttered again and then if no attention is given a
third complaint and warning shall be given. If the Lord is
contumacious the matter shall go to the council of War Chiefs.
The War Chiefs shall then divest the erring Lord of his title
by order of the women in whom the titleship is vested. When
the Lord is deposed the women shall notify the Confederate
Lords through their War Chief, and the Confederate Lords shall
sanction the act. The women will then select another of their
sons as a candidate and the Lords shall elect him. Then shall
the chosen one be installed by the Installation Ceremony.
When a Lord is to be deposed, his War Chief shall address
him as follows:
"So you, __________, disregard and set at naught the
warnings of your women relatives. So you fling the warnings
over your shoulder to cast them behind you.
"Behold the brightness of the Sun and in the brightness of
the Sun's light I depose you of your title and remove the
sacred emblem of your Lordship title. I remove from your brow
the deer's antlers, which was the emblem of your position and
token of your nobility. I now depose you and return the
antlers to the women whose heritage they are."
The War Chief shall now address the women of the deposed
Lord and say:
"Mothers, as I have now deposed your Lord, I now return to
you the emblem and the title of Lordship, therefore repossess
Again addressing himself to the deposed Lord he shall say:
"As I have now deposed and discharged you so you are now
no longer Lord. You shall now go your way alone, the rest of
the people of the Confederacy will not go with you, for we know
not the kind of mind that possesses you. As the Creator has
nothing to do with wrong so he will not come to rescue you from
the precipice of destruction in which you have cast yourself.
You shall never be restored to the position which you once
Then shall the War Chief address himself to the Lords of
the Nation to which the deposed Lord belongs and say:
"Know you, my Lords, that I have taken the deer's antlers
from the brow of ___________, the emblem of his position and
token of his greatness."
The Lords of the Confederacy shall then have no other
alternative than to sanction the discharge of the offending
20. If a Lord of the Confederacy of the Five Nations should
commit murder the other Lords of the Nation shall assemble at
the place where the corpse lies and prepare to depose the
criminal Lord. If it is impossible to meet at the scene of the
crime the Lords shall discuss the matter at the next Council of
their Nation and request their War Chief to depose the Lord
guilty of crime, to "bury" his women relatives and to transfer
the Lordship title to a sister family.
The War Chief shall address the Lord guilty of murder and
"So you, __________ (giving his name) did kill __________
(naming the slain man), with your own hands! You have comitted
a grave sin in the eyes of the Creator. Behold the bright
light of the Sun, and in the brightness of the Sun's light I
depose you of your title and remove the horns, the sacred
emblems of your Lordship title. I remove from your brow the
deer's antlers, which was the emblem of your position and token
of your nobility. I now depose you and expel you and you shall
depart at once from the territory of the Five Nations
Confederacy and nevermore return again. We, the Five Nations
Confederacy, moreover, bury your women relatives because the
ancient Lordship title was never intended to have any union
with bloodshed. Henceforth it shall not be their heritage.
By the evil deed that you have done they have forfeited it
The War Chief shall then hand the title to a sister
family and he shall address it and say:
"Our mothers, ____________, listen attentively while I
address you on a solemn and important subject. I hereby
transfer to you an ancient Lordship title for a great calamity
has befallen it in the hands of the family of a former Lord.
We trust that you, our mothers, will always guard it, and that
you will warn your Lord always to be dutiful and to advise his
people to ever live in love, poeace and harmony that a great
calamity may never happen again."
21. Certain physical defects in a Confederate Lord make him
ineligible to sit in the Confederate Council. Such defects are
infancy, idiocy, blindness, deafness, dumbness and impotency.
When a Confederate Lord is restricted by any of these
condition, a deputy shall be appointed by his sponsors to act
for him, but in case of extreme necessity the restricted Lord
may exercise his rights.
22. If a Confederate Lord desires to resign his title he shall
notify the Lords of the Nation of which he is a member of his
intention. If his coactive Lords refuse to accept his
resignation he may not resign his title.
A Lord in proposing to resign may recommend any proper
candidate which recommendation shall be received by the Lords,
but unless confirmed and nominated by the women who hold the
title the candidate so named shall not be considered.
23. Any Lord of the Five Nations Confederacy may construct
shell strings (or wampum belts) of any size or length as
pledges or records of matters of national or international
When it is necessary to dispatch a shell string by a War
Chief or other messenger as the token of a summons, the
messenger shall recite the contents of the string to the party
to whom it is sent. That party shall repeat the message and
return the shell string and if there has been a sumons he shall
make ready for the journey.
Any of the people of the Five Nations may use shells (or
wampum) as the record of a pledge, contract or an agreement
entered into and the same shall be binding as soon as shell
strings shall have been exchanged by both parties.
24. The Lords of the Confederacy of the Five Nations shall be
mentors of the people for all time. The thickness of their
skin shall be seven spans -- which is to say that they shall
be proof against anger, offensive actions and criticism. Their
hearts shall be full of peace and good will and their minds
filled with a yearning for the welfare of the people of the
Confederacy. With endless patience they shall carry out their
duty and their firmness shall be tempered with a tenderness for
their people. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodgement in
their minds and all their words and actions shall be marked by
25. If a Lord of the Confederacy should seek to establish any
authority independent of the jurisdiction of the Confederacy of
the Great Peace, which is the Five Nations, he shall be warned
three times in open council, first by the women relatives,
second by the men relatives and finally by the Lords of the
Confederacy of the Nation to which he belongs. If the
offending Lord is still obdurate he shall be dismissed by the
War Chief of his nation for refusing to conform to the laws of
the Great Peace. His nation shall then install the candidate
nominated by the female name holders of his family.
26. It shall be the duty of all of the Five Nations
Confederate Lords, from time to time as occasion demands, to
act as mentors and spiritual guides of their people and remind
them of their Creator's will and words. They shall say:
"Hearken, that peace may continue unto future days!
"Always listen to the words of the Great Creator, for he
"United people, let not evil find lodging in your minds.
"For the Great Creator has spoken and the cause of Peace
shall not become old.
"The cause of peace shall not die if you remember the
Every Confederate Lord shall speak words such as these to
27. All Lords of the Five Nations Confederacy must be honest
in all things. They must not idle or gossip, but be men
possessing those honorable qualities that make true royaneh.
It shall be a serious wrong for anyone to lead a Lord into
trivial affairs, for the people must ever hold their Lords high
in estimation out of respect to their honorable positions.
28. When a candidate Lord is to be installed he shall furnish
four strings of shells (or wampum) one span in length bound
together at one end. Such will constitute the evidence of his
pledge to the Confederate Lords that he will live according to
the constitution of the Great Peace and exercise justice in all
When the pledge is furnished the Speaker of the Council
must hold the shell strings in his hand and address the
opposite side of the Council Fire and he shall commence his
address saying: "Now behold him. He has now become a
Confederate Lord. See how splendid he looks." An address may
then follow. At the end of it he shall send the bunch of shell
strings to the oposite side and they shall be received as
evidence of the pledge. Then shall the opposite side say:
"We now do crown you with the sacred emblem of the deer's
antlers, the emblem of your Lordship. You shall now become a
mentor of the people of the Five Nations. The thickness of
your skin shall be seven spans -- which is to say that you
shall be proof against anger, offensive actions and criticism.
Your heart shall be filled with peace and good will and your
mind filled with a yearning for the welfare of the people of
the Confederacy. With endless patience you shall carry out
your duty and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness
for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodgement
in your mind and all your words and actions shall be marked
with calm deliberation. In all of your deliberations in the
Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your
official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast
not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews
and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may
do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and
right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and
have always in view not only the present but also the coming
generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface
of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation."
29. When a Lordship title is to be conferred, the candidate
Lord shall furnish the cooked venison, the corn bread and the
corn soup, together with other necessary things and the labor
for the Conferring of Titles Festival.
30. The Lords of the Confederacy may confer the Lordship title
upon a candidate whenever the Great Law is recited, if there be
a candidate, for the Great Law speaks all the rules.
31. If a Lord of the Confederacy should become seriously ill
and be thought near death, the women who are heirs of his title
shall go to his house and lift his crown of deer antlers, the
emblem of his Lordship, and place them at one side. If the
Creator spares him and he rises from his bed of sickness he may
rise with the antlers on his brow.
The following words shall be used to temporarily remove
"Now our comrade Lord (or our relative Lord) the time has
come when we must approach you in your illness. We remove for
a time the deer's antlers from your brow, we remove the emblem
of your Lordship title. The Great Law has decreed that no Lord
should end his life with the antlers on his brow. We therefore
lay them aside in the room. If the Creator spares you and you
recover from your illness you shall rise from your bed with the
antlers on your brow as before and you shall resume your duties
as Lord of the Confederacy and you may labor again for the
32. If a Lord of the Confederacy should die while the Council
of the Five Nations is in session the Council shall adjourn for
ten days. No Confederate Council shall sit within ten days of
the death of a Lord of the Confederacy.
If the Three Brothers (the Mohawk, the Onondaga and the
Seneca) should lose one of their Lords by death, the Younger
Brothers (the Oneida and the Cayuga) shall come to the
surviving Lords of the Three Brothers on the tenth day and
console them. If the Younger Brothers lose one of their Lords
then the Three Brothers shall come to them and console them.
And the consolation shall be the reading of the contents of the
thirteen shell (wampum) strings of Ayonhwhathah. At the
termination of this rite a successor shall be appointed, to be
appointed by the women heirs of the Lordship title. If the
women are not yet ready to place their nominee before the Lords
the Speaker shall say, "Come let us go out." All shall leave
the Council or the place of gathering. The installation shall
then wait until such a time as the women are ready. The
Speaker shall lead the way from the house by saying, "Let us
depart to the edge of the woods and lie in waiting on our
When the women title holders shall have chosen one of
their sons the Confederate Lords will assemble in two places,
the Younger Brothers in one place and the Three Older Brothers
in another. The Lords who are to console the mourning Lords
shall choose one of their number to sing the Pacification Hymn
as they journey to the sorrowing Lords. The singer shall lead
the way and the Lords and the people shall follow. When they
reach the sorrowing Lords they shall hail the candidate Lord
and perform the rite of Conferring the Lordship Title.
33. When a Confederate Lord dies, the surviving relatives
shall immediately dispatch a messenger, a member of another
clan, to the Lords in another locality. When the runner comes
within hailing distance of the locality he shall utter a sad
wail, thus: "Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah!" The sound shall be
repeated three times and then again and again at intervals as
many times as the distance may require. When the runner
arrives at the settlement the people shall assemble and one
must ask him the nature of his sad message. He shall then say,
"Let us consider." Then he shall tell them of the death of the
Lord. He shall deliver to them a string of shells (wampum) and
say "Here is the testimony, you have heard the message." He
may then return home.
It now becomes the duty of the Lords of the locality to
send runners to other localities and each locality shall send
other messengers until all Lords are notified. Runners shall
travel day and night.
34. If a Lord dies and there is no candidate qualified for the
office in the family of the women title holders, the Lords of
the Nation shall give the title into the hands of a sister
family in the clan until such a time as the original family
produces a candidate, when the title shall be restored to the
No Lordship title may be carried into the grave. The
Lords of the Confederacy may dispossess a dead Lord of his
title even at the grave.
Election of Pine Tree Chiefs
35. Should any man of the Nation assist with special ability
or show great interest in the affairs of the Nation, if he
proves himself wise, honest and worthy of confidence, the
Confederate Lords may elect him to a seat with them and he may
sit in the Confederate Council. He shall be proclaimed a 'Pine
Tree sprung up for the Nation' and shall be installed as such
at the next assembly for the installation of Lords. Should he
ever do anything contrary to the rules of the Great Peace, he
may not be deposed from office -- no one shall cut him down --
but thereafter everyone shall be deaf to his voice and his
advice. Should he resign his seat and title no one shall
prevent him. A Pine Tree chief has no authority to name a
successor nor is his title hereditary.
Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs
36. The title names of the Chief Confederate Lords' War Chiefs
Ayonwaehs, War Chief under Lord Takarihoken (Mohawk)
Kahonwahdironh, War Chief under Lord Odatshedeh (Oneida)
Ayendes, War Chief under Lord Adodarhoh (Onondaga)
Wenenhs, War Chief under Lord Dekaenyonh (Cayuga)
Shoneradowaneh, War Chief under Lord Skanyadariyo (Seneca)
The women heirs of each head Lord's title shall be the
heirs of the War Chief's title of their respective Lord.
The War Chiefs shall be selected from the eligible sons of
the female families holding the head Lordship titles.
37. There shall be one War Chief for each Nation and their
duties shall be to carry messages for their Lords and to take
up the arms of war in case of emergency. They shall not
participate in the proceedings of the Confederate Council but
shall watch its progress and in case of an erroneous action by
a Lord they shall receive the complaints of the people and
convey the warnings of the women to him. The people who wish
to convey messages to the Lords in the Confederate Council
shall do so through the War Chief of their Nation. It shall
ever be his duty to lay the cases, questions and propositions
of the people before the Confederate Council.
38. When a War Chief dies another shall be installed by the
same rite as that by which a Lord is installed.
39. If a War Chief acts contrary to instructions or against
the provisions of the Laws of the Great Peace, doing so in the
capacity of his office, he shall be deposed by his women
relatives and by his men relatives. Either the women or the
men alone or jointly may act in such a case. The women title
holders shall then choose another candidate.
40. When the Lords of the Confederacy take occasion to
dispatch a messenger in behalf of the Confederate Council,
they shall wrap up any matter they may send and instruct the
messenger to remember his errand, to turn not aside but to
proceed faithfully to his destination and deliver his message
according to every instruction.
41. If a message borne by a runner is the warning of an
invasion he shall whoop, "Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah," twice and repeat
at short intervals; then again at a longer interval.
If a human being is found dead, the finder shall not touch
the body but return home immediately shouting at short
Clans and Consanguinity
42. Among the Five Nations and their posterity there shall be
the following original clans: Great Name Bearer, Ancient Name
Bearer, Great Bear, Ancient Bear, Turtle, Painted Turtle,
Standing Rock, Large Plover, Deer, Pigeon Hawk, Eel, Ball,
Opposite-Side-of-the-Hand, and Wild Potatoes. These clans
distributed through their respective Nations, shall be the sole
owners and holders of the soil of the country and in them is it
vested as a birthright.
43. People of the Five Nations members of a certain clan shall
recognize every other member of that clan, irrespective of the
Nation, as relatives. Men and women, therefore, members of the
same clan are forbidden to marry.
44. The lineal descent of the people of the Five Nations shall
run in the female line. Women shall be considered the
progenitors of the Nation. They shall own the land and the
soil. Men and women shall follow the status of the mother.
45. The women heirs of the Confederated Lordship titles shall
be called Royaneh (Noble) for all time to come.
46. The women of the Forty Eight (now fifty) Royaneh families
shall be the heirs of the Authorized Names for all time to come.
When an infant of the Five Nations is given an Authorized
Name at the Midwinter Festival or at the Ripe Corn Festival,
one in the cousinhood of which the infant is a member shall be
appointed a speaker. He shall then announce to the opposite
cousinhood the names of the father and the mother of the child
together with the clan of the mother. Then the speaker shall
announce the child's name twice. The uncle of the child shall
then take the child in his arms and walking up and down the
room shall sing: "My head is firm, I am of the Confederacy."
As he sings the opposite cousinhood shall respond by chanting,
"Hyenh, Hyenh, Hyenh, Hyenh," until the song is ended.
47. If the female heirs of a Confederate Lord's title become
extinct, the title right shall be given by the Lords of the
Confederacy to the sister family whom they shall elect and that
family shall hold the name and transmit it to their (female)
heirs, but they shall not appoint any of their sons as a
candidate for a title until all the eligible men of the former
family shall have died or otherwise have become ineligible.
48. If all the heirs of a Lordship title become extinct, and
all the families in the clan, then the title shall be given by
the Lords of the Confederacy to the family in a sister clan
whom they shall elect.
49. If any of the Royaneh women, heirs of a titleship, shall
wilfully withhold a Lordship or other title and refuse to
bestow it, or if such heirs abandon, forsake or despise their
heritage, then shall such women be deemed buried and their
family extinct. The titleship shall then revert to a sister
family or clan upon application and complaint. The Lords of
the Confederacy shall elect the family or clan which shall in
future hold the title.
50. The Royaneh women of the Confederacy heirs of the Lordship
titles shall elect two women of their family as cooks for the
Lord when the people shall assemble at his house for business
or other purposes.
It is not good nor honorable for a Confederate Lord to
allow his people whom he has called to go hungry.
51. When a Lord holds a conference in his home, his wife, if
she wishes, may prepare the food for the Union Lords who
assemble with him. This is an honorable right which she may
exercise and an expression of her esteem.
52. The Royaneh women, heirs of the Lordship titles, shall,
should it be necessary, correct and admonish the holders of
their titles. Those only who attend the Council may do this
and those who do not shall not object to what has been said nor
strive to undo the action.
53. When the Royaneh women, holders of a Lordship title,
select one of their sons as a candidate, they shall select one
who is trustworthy, of good character, of honest disposition,
one who manages his own affairs, supports his own family, if
any, and who has proven a faithful man to his Nation.
54. When a Lordship title becomes vacant through death or
other cause, the Royaneh women of the clan in which the title
is hereditary shall hold a council and shall choose one from
among their sons to fill the office made vacant. Such a
candidate shall not be the father of any Confederate Lord.
If the choice is unanimous the name is referred to the men
relatives of the clan. If they should disapprove it shall be
their duty to select a candidate from among their own number.
If then the men and women are unable to decide which of the two
candidates shall be named, then the matter shall be referred to
the Confederate Lords in the Clan. They shall decide which
candidate shall be named. If the men and the women agree to a
candidate his name shall be referred to the sister clans for
confirmation. If the sister clans confirm the choice, they
shall refer their action to their Confederate Lords who shall
ratify the choice and present it to their cousin Lords, and if
the cousin Lords confirm the name then the candidate shall be
installed by the proper ceremony for the conferring of Lordship
55. A large bunch of shell strings, in the making of which the
Five Nations Confederate Lords have equally contributed, shall
symbolize the completeness of the union and certify the pledge
of the nations represented by the Confederate Lords of the
Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga and the Senecca,
that all are united and formed into one body or union called
the Union of the Great Law, which they have established.
A bunch of shell strings is to be the symbol of the
council fire of the Five Nations Confederacy. And the Lord
whom the council of Fire Keepers shall appoint to speak for
them in opening the council shall hold the strands of shells
in his hands when speaking. When he finishes speaking he shall
deposit the strings on an elevated place (or pole) so that all
the assembled Lords and the people may see it and know that the
council is open and in progress.
When the council adjourns the Lord who has been appointed
by his comrade Lords to close it shall take the strands of
shells in his hands and address the assembled Lords. Thus will
the council adjourn until such time and place as appointed by
the council. Then shall the shell strings be placed in a place
Every five years the Five Nations Confederate Lords and
the people shall assemble together and shall ask one another if
their minds are still in the same spirit of unity for the Great
Binding Law and if any of the Five Nations shall not pledge
continuance and steadfastness to the pledge of unity then the
Great Binding Law shall dissolve.
56. Five strings of shell tied together as one shall represent
the Five Nations. Each string shall represent one territory
and the whole a completely united territory known as the Five
Nations Confederate territory.
57. Five arrows shall be bound together very strong and each
arrow shall represent one nation. As the five arrows are
strongly bound this shall symbolize the complete union of the
nations. Thus are the Five Nations united completely and
enfolded together, united into one head, one body and one
mind. Therefore they shall labor, legislate and council
together for the interest of future generations.
The Lords of the Confederacy shall eat together from one
bowl the feast of cooked beaver's tail. While they are eating
they are to use no sharp utensils for if they should they might
accidentally cut one another and bloodshed would follow. All
measures must be taken to prevent the spilling of blood in any
Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net - aa300)
Distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the
National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN).
Permission is hereby granted to download, reprint, and/or otherwise
redistribute this file, provided appropriate point of origin
credit is given to the preparer(s) and the National Public