The Code of Handsome Lake, the Seneca Prophet

by Arthur C. Parker



Introduction 5
Handsome Lake 9
Effects of Handsome Lake's teaching 14
How the white race came to America 16
The Gaiwiio code 20
Sections 1 to 130: The Great Message 27
Part 2. Field notes on rites and ceremonies 81
White dog sacrifice 85
Ganeowo 94
Cornplanting and maple thanksgiving 101
Legend of the coming Death 105
The funeral address 107
The death feast 110
Medicine societies 113
Dark dance or pygmy ceremony 119
Society of otters 121
Society of mystic animals 122
The eagle society 124
The bear society 125
The buffalo society 125
Chanters for the dead 126
Woman's society 126
Sisters of the Dio`he:'ko 126
False Face company 127
Husk faces 129
Iroquois sun myths 131
Anecdotes of Cornplanter 136
Key to pronunciation 139
Index 145

The Code of Handsome Lake, the Seneca Prophet




The Gai'wiio` is the record of the teachings of Handsome Lake, the Seneca prophet, and purports to be an exact exposition of the precepts that he taught during a term of sixteen years, ending with his death in 1815. It is the basis of the so-called "new religion" of the Six Nations and is preached or recited at all the annual midwinter festivals on the various Iroquois reservations in New York and Ontario that have adherents. These reservations are Onondaga, Tonawanda, Cattaraugus and Allegany in New York and Grand River and Muncytown in Ontario.

There are six authorized "holders" of the Gai'wiio` among whom are John Gibson (Ganio`dai'io`) and Edward Cornplanter (Soson'dow), Senecas, and Frank Logan (Adoda:r'ho), Onondaga. Chief Cornplanter is by far the most conservative though Chief Gibson seems to have the greater store of explanatory matter, often interpolating it during his exposition. Chief Logan is a devout adherent of his religion and watches the waning of his prophet's teachings with grave concern. His grief is like that of Hiawatha (Haiyon'wntha) and inclines him to leave Onondaga for a region where the prophet will not be jeered.

[1. Key to pronunciation of Indian words on page 139. See also Glossary, page 140.]

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The stated times for the proclaiming of the Gai'wiio` are at the Six Nations' meeting in September and at the midwinter thanksgiving in the moon Nsko'wkni:, between January 15th and February 15th. At such times the Ogwe?'oweka: or "faithful Indians" send for an expounder paying his traveling expenses and entertaining him during his stay. Usually reservations "exchange" preachers, Cornplanter going to Grand River or Onondaga and Chief Gibson to Cattaraugus or Allegany.

The time consumed in reciting the Gai'wiio` is always three days. At noon each day the expositor stops, for the sun is in midheaven and ready to descend. All sacred things must be done sde:'tcia:, early in the morning. Before sunrise each morning of the preaching the preacher stands at the fireplace in the long house and sings a song known as the Sun Song. This is an obedience to a command of the prophet who promised that it should insure good weather for the day. "The wind always dies down when I sing that song," affirms Chief Cornplanter.

During the recital of the Gai'wiio` the preacher stands at the fireplace which serves as the altar. Sitting beside him is an assistant or some officer of the rites who holds a white wampum strand.[1] A select congregation sits on benches placed across the long house but the majority use the double row of seats around the walls. The women wear shawls over their heads and during affecting parts of the story hide their faces to conceal the tears. Some of the men, stirred to emotion, likewise are moved to tears but are unable to hide them. Such emotion once detected by the auditors sometimes becomes contagious and serves as the means of scores repledging their allegiance to the old religion. In 1909, for example, 136 Allegany Senecas promised Chief Cornplanter that they would stop drinking liquor and obey the commands of Handsome Lake. Visiting Canadian Oneida Indians at the Grand River ceremonies, as a result of such a "revival," petitioned for a visit of the Gai'wiio` preachers several years ago, saying that a portion of the Oneida of the Thames wished to return to the "old way." This some of them have done but they complain of the persecution of their Christian tribesmen who threatened to burn their council house. In other places the case seems different and the "prophet's cause" is not espoused with much enthusiasm by the younger element to whom the white man's world and thought present a greater appeal.

[1. The original Handsome Lake belt is still displayed at the religious council at Tonawanda. (See plate 15.)]

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Those who live in communities in which the prophet's word is still strong are drawn to the ceremonies and to the recitals because it is a part of their social system.

Its great appeal to the older people is that it presents in their own language a system of moral precepts and exhortations that they can readily understand. The prophet, who is called "our great teacher" (sedwa'gowa:'n?), was a man of their own blood, and the ground that he traversed was their ancestral domain. Patriotism and religious emotion mingle, and, when the story of the "great wrongs" is remembered, spur on a ready acceptance. The fraudulent treaty of Buffalo of 1838, for example, caused many of the Buffalo Senecas to move to the Cattaraugus reservation. Here they settled at Gann'dase:` or Newtown, then a desolate wilderness. Their bitter wrongs made them hate white men and to resist all missionary efforts. Today there is no mission chapel at Newtown. All attempts have failed.[1] Whether future ones will readily succeed is conjectural. The Indian there clings to his prophet and heeds the word of his teacher. At Cold Spring on the Allegany is another center of the "old time people." On the Tonawanda reservation this element is chiefly centered "down below" at the long house. On the Onondaga reservation the long house stands in the middle of the Onondaga village and the Ganug'ssne:'ha (long house people) are distributed all over the reservation but perhaps chiefly on Hemlock road. It is an odd sight, provoking strange thoughts, to stand at the tomb of the prophet near the council house and watch each day the hundreds of automobiles that fly by over the State road. The Tuscarora and St Regis Indians are all nominally Christians and they have no long houses.

The present form of the Gai'wiio` was determined by a council of its preachers some fifty years ago. They met at Cold Spring, the old home of Handsome Lake, and compared their versions. Several differences were found and each preacher thought his version the correct one. At length Chief John jacket, a Cattaraugus Seneca, and a man well versed in the lore of his people, was chosen to settle forever the words and the form of the Gai'wiio`. This he did by writing it out in the Seneca language by the method taught by Rev. Asher Wright, the Presbyterian missionary. The preachers assembled again, this time, according to Cornplanter, at Cattaraugus where they memorized the parts in which they were faulty. The original text was written on letter paper and now is entirely destroyed.

[1. See Caswell, Our Life Among the Iroquois. Boston, 1808.]

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Chief jacket gave it to Henry Stevens and Chief Stevens passed it on to Chief Cornplanter who after he had memorized the teachings became careless and lost the papers sheet by sheet. Fearing that the true form might become lost Chief Cornplanter in 1903 began to rewrite the Gai'wiio` in an old minute book of the Seneca Lacrosse Club. He had finished the historical introduction when the writer discovered what he had done. He was implored to finish it and give it to the State of New York for preservation. He was at first reluctant, fearing criticism, but after a council with the leading men he consented to do so. He became greatly interested in the progress of the translation and is eager for the time to arrive when all white men may have the privilege of reading the "wonderful message" of the great prophet.

The translation was made chiefly by William Bluesky, the native lay preacher of the Baptist church. It was a lesson in religious toleration to see the Christian preacher and the "Instructor of the Gai'wiio`" side by side working over the sections of the code, for beyond a few smiles at certain passages, in which Chief Cornplanter himself shared, Mr Bluesky never showed but that he reverenced every message and revelation of the four messengers.

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Handsome Lake, the Seneca prophet, was born in 1735 in the Seneca village of Conawagas (Ga:non'wags) on the Genesee river opposite the present town of Avon, Livingston county.. He is described by Buffalo Tom Jemison as a middle-sized man, slim and unhealthy looking. He was a member of one of the noble (hoya'n`) families in which the title of Ganio`dai'io` or Ska'niadar'io` is vested, thus holding the most honored Seneca title. What his warrior name was is not known and neither is it known just when he received the name and title by which he later became known. It is known, however, that he belonged to the Turtle clan. Later he was "borrowed" by the Wolves and reared by them. His half brother was the celebrated Cornplanter.

The general story of his life may be gleaned from a perusal of his code, there being nothing of any consequence known of his life up to the time of his "vision." In 1794 his name appears on a treaty but whether he took active part in the debates that led up to it is not known. It is known from tradition and from his own story that he was a dissolute person and a miserable victim of the drink habit. The loss of the Genesee country caused him to go with his tribesmen to the Allegany river settlements; Here he became afflicted with a wasting disease that was aggravated by his continued use of the white man's fire water. For four years he lay a helpless invalid. His bare cabin scarcely afforded him shelter but later he was nursed by his married daughter who seems to have treated him with affection. His sickness afforded him much time for serious meditation and it is quite possible that some of his precepts are the result of this opportunity. His own condition could not fail to impress him with the folly of using alcoholic drink and the wild whoops of the drunken raftsmen continually reminded him of the "demon's" power over thought and action. In the foreword of his revelation he tells how he became as dead, and of the visitation of the "four beings" who revealed the will of the Creator.

After this first revelation he seemed to recover and immediately began to tell the story of his visions. His first efforts were to condemn the use of the "first word" or the white man's "one:'g." He became a temperance reformer but his success came not from an appeal to reason but to religious instinct. The ravages of

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intemperance for a century had made serious inroads on the domestic and social life of his people. It had demoralized their national life and caused his brother chiefs to barter land for the means of a debauch. It threatened the extinction of his people. Such were the factors that induced the revelation.

He was a man past the prime of life, a man weakened by disease and drunkenness. Yet he assumed the rle of teacher and prophet. In two years' time his efforts were conducive of so much reform that they attracted the attention of President Jefferson who caused Secretary of War Dearborn to write a letter commending the teachings of Handsome Lake. The Seneca construed this as a recognition of the prophet's right to teach and prophesy. The nature of the document is revealed in the following letter, a copy of which is in the possession of every religious chief of the Six Nations:

Brothers--The President is pleased with seeing you all in good health, after so long a journey, and he rejoices in his heart that one of your own people has been employed to make yon sober, good and happy; and that he is so well disposed to give you good advice, and to set before you so good examples.

Brothers--If all the red people follow the advice of your friend and teacher, the Handsome Lake, and in future will be sober, honest, industrious and good, there can be no doubt but the Great Spirit will take care of you and make you happy.

This letter came as one of the results of Handsome Lake's visit in 1802, to Washington with a delegation of Seneca and Onondaga chiefs. The successful results of his two years' ministry became more fruitful as time went on. In 1809 a number of members of the Society of Friends visiting Onondaga left the following record of the effects of the prophet's teachings: "We were informed, not only by themselves, but by the interpreter, that they totally refrained from the use of ardent spirits for about nine years, and that none of the natives will touch it."

The success of Handsome Lake's teachings did much to crystallize the Iroquois as a distinct social group. The encroachments of civilization had demoralized the old order of things. The old beliefs, though still held, had no coherence. The ancient system had no longer definite organization and thus no specific hold.

The frauds which the Six Nations had suffered, the loss of land and of ancient seats had reduced them to poverty and disheartened them. The crushing blow of Sullivan's campaign was yet felt and the wounds then inflicted were fresh. The national order of the Confederacy was destroyed. Poverty, the sting of defeat, the loss of ancestral homes, the memory of broken promises and the hostility

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of the white settlers all conspired to bring despair. There is not much energy in a despairing nation who see themselves hopeless and alone, the greedy eyes of their conquerors fastened on the few acres that remain to them. It was little wonder that the Indian sought forgetfulness in the trader's rum.

As a victim of such conditions, Handsome Lake stalked from the gloom holding up as a beacon of hope his divine message, the Gai'wiio`. He became in spite of his detractors a commanding figure. He created a new system, a thing to think about, a thing to discuss, a thing to believe. His message, whether false or true, was a creation of their own and afforded a nucleus about which they could cluster themselves and fasten their hopes. A few great leaders such as Red jacket denounced him as an imposter but this only afforded the necessary resistant element. The angels then conveniently revealed that Red jacket was a schemer and a seller of land and an unhappy wretch doomed to carry burdens of soil through eternity as a punishment for perfidy. This was enough to create a prejudice among the Indians and one that lasts to this day among all classes of the reservation Iroquois. A few others endeavored to expose the prophet but this action only created a large faction that stood strongly for him.

Whatever may be the merits of the prophet's teachings, they created a revolution in Iroquois religious life. With the spread of his doctrines the older religious system was overturned until today it is to be doubted that a single adherent remains. Handsome Lake's followers were few at first. He was despised, ridiculed and subject to bodily insults. Certain failures to live up to a preconceived idea of what a prophet should be caused a continual persecution. Cornplanter, his half brother, continually harassed him, as may be seen in the relation. Some of his failures, real or fancied, caused calumny to be heaped upon him and they are current today among those inclined to scoff. It is said that he learned his ideas of morality from his nephew, Henry Obail (Abeal), who had been at school in Philadelphia. Henry, it is said, took him up in the mountains and explained the Christian Bible to him, thus giving him the idea of devising the Gai'wiio`. Other tales are that he failed to find the great serpent in the bed of the Allegany river though he pretended to locate it and charge it with having spread disease among the people, and that he erected an idol on an island in the river, a thing which from more authentic accounts he did not do.

Previous to his residence at Tonawanda he had lived ten years

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at Cornplanter's town and two years at Cold Spring. At the latter place he made so many enemies that he resolved to leave with his followers. This was in about 1812. With him went his chief followers and his family, among them his grandson Sos'he:ow who later became his successor.

Sos'he:ow was born in 1774 in the old town of Ganowa'gs, the home of both Cornplanter and Handsome Lake. Lewis H. Morgan, who knew him well, describes him as "an eminently pure and virtuous man . . . devoted . . . to the duties of his office, as the spiritual guide and teacher of the Iroquois."

Morgan gives a full account of the recitation of Sosehawa at the mourning council at Tonawanda in 1848[1] and credits the translation to Sosehawa's grandson, Ely S. Parker (Ha-sa-no-an-da).[2]

During the prophet's four years' stay at Tonawanda he became many times discouraged, "reluctant to tell," and though the people gradually became more friendly, he seemed loath at times to proclaim his revelations. Some Christian Indians have explained this as caused by an uneasy conscience that came with greater knowledge of the white man's religion but there is no evidence of this. During this stay he was invited to visit the Onondaga and this he did, though according to his visions it necessitated the singing of his "third song," which meant that he should die. In a vision which he related he saw the four messengers who said "They have stretched out their hands pleading for you to come and they are your own people at Onondaga" (section 122).

When the word was given, Handsome Lake with a few chosen followers started to walk to Onondaga. His prediction of his own death, however, caused many more to join the party when it became definitely known he had started. The first camping spot mentioned is at the old village, Ganon'wa'gs. Here upon retiring he commanded the company to assemble "early in the morning." At the morning gathering he announced a vision. It had been of a pathway covered with grass. At the next camp, at Ganundasa'ga, his vision was of a woman speaking. On the borders of Onondaga he discovered that he had lost a favorite knife and went back to find it. He was evidently much depressed and approached Onondaga with a reluctance that almost betokened fear. Upon his arrival he

[l. Morgan, League, p. 233, Rochester, 1851.

2. Later known as Dion'hog'w, Door Keeper, a sachem of the Seneca. Parker was Morgan's collaborator in writing the League of the Iroquois.]

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was unable to address the people because of his distress, so that it was said, "Our meeting is only a gathering about the fireplace." A game of lacrosse was played to cheer him but he could only respond to the honor by saying: "I will soon go to my new home. Soon will I step into the new world for there is a plain pathway before me leading there." He repaired to his cabin at the foot of the hill, in sight of the council house and there after a most distressing illness "commenced his walk" over the path that had appeared before him. He was buried under the council house with impressive ceremonies and his tomb may still be seen though the house has been removed. A granite monument, erected by the Six Nations, marks his resting place.

Handsome Lake lived to see his people divided into two factions, one that clung to the old order and one that followed him. After his death the older order gradually faded out of existence, either coming over to the New Religion or embracing Christianity. Thus by the time of the Civil War in 1861 there were only the two elements, the Christians and the followers of Handsome Lake. They stand so arrayed today but with the "new religionists" gradually diminishing in number. The force of Handsome Lake's teaching, however, is still felt and affects in some way all the New York reservations, except perhaps St Regis.

Handsome Lake as the founder of a religious system occupied such a position that his followers place implicit confidence in that system whatever his personal weaknesses and failures may have been.

"He made mistakes," said Chief Cornplanter, "many mistakes, so it is reported, but he was only a man and men are liable to commit errors. Whatever he did and said of himself is of no consequence. What he did and said by the direction of the four messengers is everything--it is our religion. Ganiodaiio was weak in many points and sometimes afraid to do as the messengers told him, He was almost an unwilling servant. He made no divine claims, he did not pose as infallible nor even truly virtuous. He merely proclaimed the Gai'wiio` and that is what we follow, not him. We do not worship him, we worship one great Creator. We honor and revere our prophet and leader, we revere the four messengers who watch over us--but the Creator alone do we worship." Such is the argument of his followers.

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There is no record of Handsome Lake's visiting Tuscarora, Oneida or St Regis. The result is that these reservations contain only Indians who are nominally Christian. The Oneida are virtually citizens, the Tuscarora as capable of being so as any community of whites, and the St Regis progressive enough not only to use all their own lands but to rent from the whites. Their "Indianess" is largely gone. They have no Indian customs though they are affected by Indian folk-thought and exist as Indian communities, governing themselves and receiving annuities. Their material culture is now largely that of the whites about them and they are Indians only because they dwell in an Indian reservation, possess Indian blood and speak an Iroquois dialect.

In contrast to these reservations where the Indian has become "whitemanized" stand out the reservations of the Seneca and Onondaga. On the latter the folk-ways and the "Indian way of thinking" struggle with the white man's civilization for supremacy. The Indian of the old way is arrayed against the Indian of the new way. The conservative Indian calls his Christian brother a traitor to his race, a man ashamed of his ancestors, a man who condones all the wrongs the white man has done his people, and a man who is at best an imitator and a poor one. On the other hand the Christian Indian calls his "feather wearing" (Adstowe') brother, "a blind man in the wilderness," a nonprogressive, behind the times, a man hopelessly struggling against fate, a heathen and a pagan. Even so, the followers of Handsome Lake constitute an influential element and the other Indians are affected by their beliefs whether they are willing or not. As was remarked in the beginning, Handsome Lake crystallized as a social unit the people whom he taught and those who follow him today constitute a unit that holds itself at variance with the social and accepted economic systems of the white communities about them. They assert that they have a perfect right to use their own system. They argue that the white man's teachings are not consistent with his practice and thus only one of their schemes for deceiving them. They assert that they wish to remain Indians and have a right to be so and to believe their own prophet. They are largely instrumental in conserving the systems peculiarly Indian and though they are a minority they control a majority of the offices in the nations to which they belong. Among the Onondaga and Tonawanda Seneca

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they hold most of the offices. In connection with the Allegany and Cattaraugus Seneca I use the word control, advisedly, since there may be times when the majority of councilors may be of the Christian party. Even so, the "conservative" party controls enough to maintain the system that they deem right.

When their poverty is urged as an argument against their religion and social system they assert that the true follower of the prophet will be poor and suffer much in this world but that his condition in the "new world above the sky" will be in direct contrast. They therefore esteem poverty, lowly surroundings and sickness as a sure indication of a rich heavenly reward and point to the better material surroundings and wealth of their brethren of the white man's way as an evidence that the devil has bought them.

The writer of this sketch has no complaint against the simple folk who have long been his friends. For a greater portion of his lifetime he has mingled with them, lived in their homes and received many honors from them. He has attended their ceremonies, heard their instructors and learned much of the old-time lore. Never has he been more royally entertained than by them, never was hospitality so genuine, never was gratitude more earnest, never were friends more sincere. There is virtue in their hearts and a sincerity and frankness that is refreshing. If only there were no engulfing "new way" and no modern rush, no need for progress, there could scarcely be a better devised system than theirs. It was almost perfectly fitted for the conditions which it was designed to meet, but now the new way has surrounded them, everything which they have and use in the line of material things, save a few simple maize foods and their ceremonial paraphernalia, is the product of the white man's hand and brain. The social and economic and moral order all about them is the white man's, not theirs. How long can they oppose their way to the overwhelming forces of the modem world and exist? How long will they seek to meet these overwhelming forces with those their ancestors devised but devised not with a knowledge of what the future would require? My Indian friends will answer, "Of these things we know nothing; we know only that the Great Ruler will care for us as long as we are faithful." Asked about the clothes they wear, the houses they live in, the long house they worship in, they reply, "All these things may be made of the white man's material but they are outside things. Our religion is not one of paint or feathers; it is a thing of the heart." That is the answer; it is a thing of the heart--who can change it?

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Now this happened a long time ago and across the great salt sea, odji'ke?da:gi'ga, that stretches east. There is, so it seems, a world there and soil like ours. There in the great queen's country where swarmed many people--so many that they crowded upon one another and had no place for hunting--there lived a great queen. Among her servants was a young preacher of the queen's religion, so, it is said.

Now this happened. The great queen requested the preacher to clean some old volumes which she had concealed in a hidden chest. So he obeyed and when he had cleaned the last book, which was at the bottom of the chest, he opened it and looked about and listened, for truly he had no right to read the book and wanted no one to detect him. He read. It was a great book and told him many things which he never knew before. Therefore he was greatly worried. He read of a great man who had been a prophet and the son of the Great Ruler. He had been born on the earth and the white men to whom he preached killed him. Now moreover the prophet had promised to return and become the King. In three days he was to come and then in forty to start his kingdom. This did not happen as his followers had expected and so they despaired. Then said one chief follower, "Surely he will come again sometime, we must watch for him."

Then the young preacher became worried for he had discovered that his god was not on earth to see. He was angry moreover because his teachers had deceived him. So then he went to the chief of preachers and asked him how it was that he had deceived him. Then the chief preacher said, "Seek him out and you will find him for indeed we think he does live on earth." Even so, his heart was angry but he resolved to seek.

On the morning of the next day he looked out from the opening of his room and saw out in the river a beautiful island and he marveled that he had never seen it before. He continued to gaze and as he did he saw among the trees a castle of gold and he traveled that he had not seen the castle of gold before. Then he said, "So beautiful a castle on so beautiful an isle must indeed be the

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abode of him whom I seek." Immediately he put on his clothes and went to the men who had taught him and they wondered and said, "Indeed it must be as you say." So then together they went to the river and when they came to the shore they saw that it was spanned by a bridge of shining gold. Then one of the great preachers fell down and read from his book a long prayer and arising he turned his back upon the island and fled for he was afraid to meet the lord. Then with the young man the other crossed the bridge and he knelt on the grass and he cried loud and groaned his prayer but when he arose to his feet he too fled and would not look again at the house-the castle of gold.

Then was the young man disgusted, and boldly he strode toward the house to attend to the business which he had in mind. He did not cry or pray and neither did he fall to his knees for he was not afraid. He knocked at the door and a handsome smiling man welcomed him in and said, "Do not be afraid of me." Then the smiling man in the castle of gold said, "I have wanted a young man such as you for some time. You are wise and afraid of nobody. Those older men were fools and would not have listened to me (direct) though they might listen to some one whom I had instructed. Listen to me and most truly you shall be rich. Across the ocean that lies toward the sunset is another world and a great country and a people whom you have never seen. Those people are virtuous, they have no unnatural evil habits and they are honest. A great reward is yours if you will help me. Here are five things that men and women enjoy; take them to these people and make them as white men are. Then shall you be rich and powerful and you may become the chief of all great preachers here."

So then the young man took the bundle containing the five things and made the bargain. He left the island and looking back saw that the bridge had disappeared and before he had turned his head the castle had gone and then as he looked the island itself vanished.

Now then the young man wondered if indeed he had seen his lord for his mind had been so full of business that he had forgotten to ask. So he opened his bundle of five things and found a flask of rum, a pack of playing cards, a handful of coins, a violin and a decayed leg bone. Then be thought the things very strange and he wondered if indeed his lord would send such gifts to the people across the water of the salt lake; but he remembered his promise,

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The young man looked about for a suitable man in whom to confide his secret and after some searching he found a man named Columbus and to him he confided the story. Then did Columbus secure some big canoes and raise up wings and he sailed away. He sailed many days and his warriors became angry and cried that the chief who led them was a deceiver. They planned to behead him but he heard of the plan and promised that on the next day he would discover the new country. The next morning came and then did Columbus discover America. Then the boats turned back and reported their find to the whole world. Then did great ships come, a good many. Then did they bring many bundles of the five things and spread the gifts to all the men of the great earth island.

Then did the invisible man of the river island laugh and then did he say, "These cards will make them gamble away their wealth and idle their time; this money wilt make them dishonest and covetous and they will forget their old laws; this fiddle will make them dance with their arms about their wives and bring about a time of tattling and idle gossip; this rum will turn their minds to foolishness and they will barter their country for baubles; then will this secret poison eat the life from their blood and crumble their bones." So said the invisible man and be was Hansse'ono, the evil one.

Now all this was done and when afterward he saw the havoc and the misery his work had done he said, "I think I have made an enormous mistake for I did not dream that these people would suffer so." Then did even the devil himself lament that his evil had been so great.

So after the swarms of white men came and misery was thrust upon the Ongwe-oweh the Creator was sorry for his own people whom he had molded from the soil of the earth of this Great Island, and he spoke to his four messengers and many times they tried to tell right men the revelations of the Creator but none would listen. Then they found our bead man sick. Then they heard him speak to the sun and to the moon and they saw his sickness. Then they knew that he suffered because of the cunning evils that Hansse'ono had given the Ongwe-oweh. So then they knew that he was the one. He was the one who should bear and tell Gai'wiio`. But when Ganio`dai'io` spoke the evil being ceased his lament and sought to obstruct Gai'wiio`, for he claimed to be master.

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The Gai'wiio` came from Hodinok'doon Hd'iohe?, the Great Ruler, to the Hadiy?'geonon, the four messengers. From them it was transmitted to Ganio`dai'io`, Handsome Lake who taught it to Skandyon?'gwad (Owen Blacksnake) and to his own grandson, Sos'heow (James Johnson). Blacksnake taught it to Henry Stevens (Ganishando), who taught it to Soson'dowa, Edward Cornplanter. "So I know that I have the true words and I preach them," adds Cornplanter.

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The beginning was in Yai?'kni [May], early in the moon, in the year 1800.

It commences now.


The place is[1] Ohi'o` [on the Allegany river], in Diono?sade'g [Cornplanter village].

Now it is the harvest time, so he[2] said.

Now a party of people move. They go down in canoes the Allegany river. They plan to hunt throughout the autumn and the winter seasons.

Now they land at Ganowo'gon [Warren, Pa.] and set up camp.

The weather changes and they move again. They go farther down the river. The ice melts opening up the stream and so they go still farther down. They land at Dione:g [Pittsburgh]. It is a little village of white people [literally, "our younger brethren"[3]]. Here they barter their skins, dried meat and fresh game for strong drink. They put a barrel of it in their canoes. Now all the canoes are lashed together like a raft.

Now all the men become filled with strong drink (gonig'nongi). They yell and sing like demented people. Those who are in the middle canoes do this.[4]

Now they are homeward bound.

Now when they come to where they had left their wives and children these embark to return home. They go up Cornplanter creek, Awe'gon.

Now that the party is home the men revel in strong drink and are very quarrelsome. Because of this the families become frightened and move away for safety. So from many places in the bushlands camp fires send up their smoke.

Now the drunken men run yelling through the village and there is no one there except the drunken men. Now they are beastlike

[1. The present tense is always used by Chief Cornplanter.

2. The narrator, Handsome Lake.

3. The Seneca term is Honio?'on`, meaning "our younger brother."

4. The intoxicated men were put in the middle canoes to prevent their jumping into the water. The more sober men paddled from the outer canoes. This debauchery was common among the Six Nations at the beginning of the 19th century.]

{p. 21}

and run about without clothing and all have weapons to injure those whom they meet.

Now there are no doors left in the houses for they have all been kicked off. So, also, there are no fires in the village and have not been for many days. Now the men full of strong drink have trodden in the fireplaces. They alone track there and there are no fires and their footprints are in all the fireplaces.

Now the dogs yelp and cry in all the houses for they are hungry.

So this is what happens.[1]


And now furthermore a man becomes sick. Some strong power holds him.

Now as he lies in sickness he meditates and longs that he might rise again and walk upon the earth. So he implores the Great Ruler to give him strength that he may walk upon this earth again. And then he thinks how evil and loathsome he is before the Great Ruler. He thinks how he has been evil ever since he had strength in this world and done evil ever since he had been able to work. But notwithstanding, he asks that he may again walk.

So now this is what he sang: O?gi'we,[2] Ye'ond'th,[3] and Gone'owon.[4] Now while he sings he has strong drink with him.

Now it comes to his mind that perchance evil has arisen because of strong drink and he resolves to use it nevermore. Now he continually thinks of this every day and every hour. Yea, he continually thinks of this. Then a time comes and he craves drink again for he thinks that he can not recover his strength without it.

Now two ways he thinks: what once he did and whether he will ever recover.


Now he thinks of the things he sees in the daylight.

The sunlight comes in and he sees it and he says, "The Creator made this sunshine." So he thinks. Now when he thinks of the sunshine and of the Creator who made it he feels a new hope within him and he feels that he may again be on his feet in this world.

Now he had previously given up hope of life but now he begs to see the light of another day. He' thinks thus for night is coming.

[1. See plate 10.

2. The Death chant.

3. The Women's song.

4. The Harvest song, see p. 95.]

{p. 22}

So now he makes an invocation that he may be able to endure the night.

Now he lives through the night and sees another day. So then he prays that he may see the night and it is so. Because of these things he now believes that the Great Ruler has heard him and he gives him thanks.

Now the sick man's bed is beside the fire. At night he looks up through the chimney hole and sees the stars and he thanks the Great Ruler that he can see them for he knows that he, the Creator, has made them.[1]

Now it comes to him that because of these new thoughts he may obtain help to arise from his bed and walk again in this world. Then again he despairs that he will ever see the new day because of his great weakness. Then again he has confidence that he will see the new day, and so he lives and sees it.

For everything he sees he is thankful. He thinks of the Creator and thanks him for the things he sees. Now he hears the birds singing and he thanks the Great Ruler for their music.

So then he thinks that a thankful heart will help him.

Now this man has been sick four years but he feels that he will now recover.

And the name of the sick man is Ganio`dai'io`[2] a council chief [Hoya'ne].


Now at this time the daughter of the sick man and her husband are sitting outside the house in the shed and the sick man is within alone. The door is ajar. Now the daughter and her husband are cleaning beans for the planting. Suddenly they hear the sick man exclaim, "Niio?!"[3] Then they hear him rising in his bed and they think how he is but yellow skin and dried bones from four years of sickness in bed. Now they hear him walking over the floor toward the door. Then the daughter looks up and sees her father coming out of doors. He totters and she rises quickly to catch him but he falls dying. Now they lift him up and carry him back within the house and dress him for burial.

Now he is dead.

[1. See plate 11.

2. Handsome Lake, one of the fifty hereditary sachems, or lords. Hoya'ne means, perfect one or noble, and is translated lord by the Canadian Six Nations. See Hale, Book of Rites, p. 31, footnote.

3 Meaning, So be it.]

{p. 23}


Then the daughter says to her husband, "Run quickly and notify his nephew, T'wnys,[l] that he who has lain so many years in bed has gone. Bid him come immediately."

So the husband runs to carry the message to T'wnys. And T'wnys says, "Truly so. Now hasten to Gaint'wak,[2] the brother of the dead man and say that he who lay sick for so many years is dead. So now go and say this."

So the husband goes alone to where Gaint'wak lives and when he' has spoken the wife says, "Gaint'wak is at the island planting." So he goes there and says, "Gaint'wak your brother is dead. He who was sick for so many years is dead. Go at once to his bed."

Then Gaint'wak answers, "Truly, but first I must finish covering this small patch of seed. Then when I hoe it over I will come.

Now he who notifies is Htgwi'yot, the husband of the daughter of Ganio`dai'io`. So now he returns home.

Now everyone hearing of the death of the sick man goes to where he lies.

Now first comes T'wnys. He touches the dead man on every part of his body. Now he feels a warm spot on his chest and then T'wnys says, "Hold back your sadness, friends," for he had discovered the warm spot and because of this he tells the people that perhaps the dead man may revive. Now many people are weeping and the speaker sits down by his head.

Now after some time Gaint'wak comes in and feels over the body of the dead and he too discovers the warm spot but says nothing but sits silently down at the feet of the dead man.

And for many hours no one speaks.

Now it is the early morning and the dew is drying. This is a time of trouble for he lies dead.

Now continually T'wnys feels over the body of the dead man. He notices that the warm spot is spreading. Now the time is noon and he feels the warm blood pulsing in his veins. Now his breath comes and now he opens his eyes.

[1. Meaning, Needle or Awl Breaker, one of the fifty sachems.

2. Meaning, Planter, commonly called Cornplanter, the half brother of Handsome Lake. See p. 136.]

{p. 24}


Now T'wnys is speaking. "Are you well? What think you? (Isegen' onnt'gayei` hnesni'go`)?"

Now the people notice that the man is moving his lips as if speaking but no words come. Now this is near the noon hour. Now all are silent while T'wnys asks again, "My uncle, are you feeling well? (onignt'gaiye`)."

Then comes the answer, "Yes I believe myself well." So these are the first words Ganio`dai'io` spoke ("Iwi`' nai' o'n't?gai'ye h?' nekni'gon").

Now then he speaks again saying, "Never have I seen such wondrous visions! Now at first I heard some one speaking. Some one spoke and said, 'Come out awhile' and said this three times. Now since I saw no one speaking I thought that in my sickness I myself was speaking but I thought again and found that it was not my voice. So I called out boldly, 'Niio?!' and arose and went out and there standing in the clear swept space I saw three men clothed in fine clean raiment. Their cheeks were painted red and it seemed that they had been painted the day before. Only a few feathers were in their bonnets. All three were alike and all seemed middle aged. Never before have I seen such handsome commanding men and they had in one hand bows and arrows as canes. Now in their other hands were huckleberry bushes and the berries were of every color.

"Then said the beings, addressing me, 'He who created the world at the beginning employed us to come to earth. Our visit now is not the only one we have made. He commanded us saying "Go once more down upon the earth and [this time] visit him who thinks of me. He is grateful for my creations, moreover he wishes to rise from sickness and walk'[in health] upon the earth. Go you and help him to recover."' Then said the messengers, 'Take these berries and eat of every color. They will give you strength and your people with us will help you rise.' So I took and ate the berries. Then said the beings, 'On the morrow we will have it that a fire will be in the bushes and a medicine steeped to give you strength. We will appoint Odjis'kwthn[1] and Gaynt`gogws,[2] a man and his wife, to make the medicine. Now they are the best of all the medicine people. Early in the morning we will see them and at that time you will have the medicine for your use, and before noon the unused medicine will be cast away because you will

[1. Dry Pudding.

2. Dipped Tobacco.]

{p. 25}

have recovered. Now moreover before noon many people will gather at the council house. These people will be your relatives and will see you. They will have gathered the early strawberries[1] and made a strawberry feast, and moreover will have strawberry wine sweetened with sugar. Then will all drink the juice of the berry and thank the Creator for your recovery and moreover they severally will call upon you by your name as a relative according as you are.'

"Now when the day came I went as appointed and all the people saw me coming and it was as predicted."


"Now the messengers spoke to me and said that they would now tell me how things ought to be upon the earth. They said: 'Do not allow any one to say that you have had great fortune in being able to rise again. The favor of the four beings is not alone for you and the Creator is willing to help all mankind.'

"Now on that same day the Great Feather[2] and the Harvest dances were to be celebrated and at this time the beings told me that my relatives would restore me. 'Your feelings and spirits are low,' they said, 'and must be aroused. Then will you obtain power to recover.' Verily the servants of the Creator (Hadiony?'geonon) said this. Now moreover they commanded that henceforth dances of this same kind should be held and thanksgiving offered whenever the strawberries were ripe. Furthermore they said that the juice of the berry must be drunk by the children and the aged and all the people. Truly all must drink of the berry juice, for they said that the sweet water of the berries was a medicine and that the early strawberries were a great medicine. So they bade me tell this story to my people when I move upon the earth again. Now they said, 'We shall continually reveal things unto you. We, the servants of him who made us, say that as he employed us to cure unto you to reveal his will, so you must carry it to your people. Now we are they whom he created when he made the world and our duty is to watch over and care for mankind. Now there are four of us but the fourth is not here present. When we called you by name and you heard, he returned to tell the news.

[1. The earliest of the wild strawberries are thought to be of great medicinal value and are eagerly eaten as soon as ripe. So sacred a plant is the strawberry that it is thought to grow along the "heaven road." A person recovering from a severe illness says, "I almost ate strawberries."

2. The Osto'w'go:'wa:, the chief religious dance. See Morgan, p. 279.]

{p. 26}

This will bring joy into the heaven-world of our Creator. So it is that the fourth is not with us but you shall see him at another time and when that time is at hand you shall know. Now furthermore we must remind you of the evil things that you have done and you must repent of all things that you believe to have been evil. You think that you have done wrong because of O?gi'we:, Ye'ond'th and Gone'owon[1] and because you partook of strong drink. Verily you must do as you think for whatsoever you think is evil is evil.'"


"'And now behold! Look through the valley between two hills. Look between the sunrise and the noon!'

"So I looked, and in the valley there was a deeper hollow from which smoke was arising and steam as if a hot place were beneath.

Then spoke the messengers saying, 'What do. you see?'

I answered, 'I see a place in the valley from which smoke is arising and it is also steaming as a hot place were beneath.'

"Then said the beings, 'Truly you have spoken. It is the truth. In that place a man is buried. He lies between the two hills in the hollow in the valley and a great message is buried with him. Once we commanded that man to proclaim that message to the world but he refused to obey. So now he will never rise from that spot for he refused to obey. So now to you, therefore, we say, proclaim the message that we give you and tell it truly before all people.'

"'Now the first thing has been finished and it remains for us to uncover all wickedness before you.' So they said."

[1. See notes, p. 21.]

{p. 27}



"Now the beings spoke saying, 'We must now relate our message. We will uncover the evil upon the earth and show how men spoil the laws the Great Ruler has made and thereby made him angry.'

"'The Creator made man a living creature.'

"'Four words tell a great story of wrong and the Creator is sad because of the trouble they bring, so go and tell your people.'

"'The first word is One'ga?.[1] It seems that you never have known that this word stands for a great and monstrous evil and has reared a high mound of bones. Ga?'nigontdon'tha, you lose your minds and one'ga? causes it all. Alas, many are fond of it and are too fond of it. So now all must now say, "I will use it nevermore. As long as I live, as long as the number of my days is I will never use it again. I now stop." So must all say when they hear this message.' Now the beings, the servants of the Great Ruler, the messengers of him who created us, said this. Furthermore they said that the Creator made one'ga? and gave it to our younger brethren, the white man, as a medicine but they use it for evil for they drink it for other purposes than medicine and drink instead of work and idlers drink one'ga?. No, the Creator did not make it for you."

So they said and he said. Enia:'iehk![2]


"Now spoke the beings and said, 'We now speak of the second word. This makes the Creator angry. The word is Got'gon?.[3]

[1. Whiskey or Rum.

2 Enia:'iehk meaning, It was that way.

3 A certain number of the Seneca Iroquois still cling to the belief in witchcraft although they are loath to admit it to any one in whom they have not implicit confidence. While they assert that witchcraft was introduced among them by some Algonquin tribe which they had adopted, their early legends and traditions contain many allusions to witches and witchcraft. There are at least two distinct methods employed by witches to accomplish their ends. The first, it is claimed, is the older way and is the employment {footnote p. 28} of what is described by informants as analogous to "malific mental suggestion," either verbal or telepathic. Such witches were able to assume the form of ancient monsters, the nia?'gwahe: or mammoth bear being the favorite form. They had power of transforming people into beasts, of imprisoning them within trees without destroying the human nature or sensibilities of their victims. Many stories are related of how chivalrous young men fresh from the dream fast were able to release the unhappy prisoners from the spells that bound them.

The second and modern class of witches work their evil spells by introducing into the bodies of their victims by supernatural means a small needlelike splinter pointed on either end and having a central eye to which was tied the hair of the witch, a splinter of bone from the fibula of a deer, a worm or some like object. Instances where such things have been drawn from bewitched persons are commonly reported.

A witch can work fearlessly and successfully as long as she remains unknown to the victim and under some circumstances even when known. A "witched" person is often able to see as in a vision the witch wherever she goes and is likewise able to tell when she is about to approach the house. Witches fear the threat of an angry person to kill them. Such a threat if an earnest one is an effectual charm against further annoyance. To burn the object that a witch has introduced into one's body will torture the witch and kill her. Such objects are not often burned. If revenge is desired the victim, if sufficiently angry, can throw the object through space and injure the witch wherever he wishes. A person who successfully resists and destroys another witch's power may become a witch if so desired.

To torture a witch, force a confession and exact a promise of repentance, take a living bird, black in color (a hen is now usually employed) and carry it into the woods at midnight. Here build a fire and then split open the bird's body, extract its beating heart and hang it by its chords over a small fire to roast slowly. The witch will then exert every possible means to reach the spot and beg that the heart be taken from the fire before it is consumed. At such a time any promise may be exacted, for the witch is powerless. If the heart is consumed the witch will die of a "burnt heart." Witch poison may be extracted by putting fine sifted ashes on the afflicted part and {footnote p. 29} staying in bed until the poison comes out. The charm will then be found in the ashes. The spirits of great witches are able to return and possess another witch. A witch who has such a "friend" is especially favored, for in time of need the spirit-witch will direct her to money, goods or food. Witches do not always injure people who have offended them but more often their children or other near relatives. This is done that the person they desire to punish may see an innocent person suffer for their offense and so be tortured the more.

"Witch doctors" are of two classes: witches who are willing to pit their powers against other witches; and medicine men who have made a special study of the charms that will offset witch spells. This class may also be divided into two divisions, those who make a regular profession of dispelling witch influences, of discovering the cause of mysterious ailments, of extracting the object that causes the trouble and of identifying witches, and those who by reason of some special service they have rendered some spirit of nature have been rewarded with magical powers, great wisdom and immunity from malific influences. This class renders its services gratuitously. Small false faces worn on the person and frequent invocations of the Thunder spirit with liberal offerings of sacred tobacco are potent charms against witches. The False Face company has an annual ceremony in which witch spirits are expelled from the community. The I?'dos company (q. v.) is said to be the survival of the older witch society introduced among the Seneca by the Nanticoke. Its members are reputed to possess magic powers.]

{p. 28}

Witches are people without their right minds. They make disease and spread sickness to make the living die. They cut short the numbered days, for the Creator has given each person a certain number of days in which to live in this world.

"'Now this must you do: When you have told this message and the witches hear it they will confess before all the people and will say, "I am doing this evil thing but now I cease it. forever, as long as I live." Some witches are more evil and can not speak in public so these must come privately and confess to you, Handsome Lake, or a preacher of this Gai'wiio`. Now some are most evil and they must go far out upon an abandoned trail and there they must

{p. 29}

confess before the Creator alone. This course may be taken by witches of whom no one knows.

Now when they go they must say:

"Our Creator, O listen to me!
I am a miserable creature.
I think that way
So now I cease.
Now this is appointed
For all of my days,
As long as I live here
In this earth-world.
I have spoken."

"'In this manner all must say and say truly, then the prayer will be sufficient.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now the beings spoke again saying, 'This is the third word. It is a sad one and the Creator is very sad because of this third word. It seems that you have never known that a great pile of human bodies lies dead because of this word, Ono'ityi'yende, the nig'hos's`, the secret poisons in little bundles named Gawnnods'h

{p. 30}

(compelling charms[1]). Now the Creator who made us commands that they who do this evil, when they hear this message, must stop it immediately and do it nevermore while they live upon this earth-world. It matters not how much destruction they have wrought--let them repent and not fail for fear the Creator will not accept them as his own.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another word. It is sad. It is the fourth word. It is the way Yondwi'nias swa'yas.[1]

Now the Creator ordained that women should bear children.

Now a certain young married woman had children and suffered much. Now she is with child again and her mother wishing to prevent further sufferings designs to administer a medicine to cut off the child and to prevent forever other children from coming.[3] So the mother makes the medicine and gives it. Now when she does this she forever cuts away her daughter's string of children. Now it is because of such things that the Creator is sad. He created life to live and he wishes such evils to cease. He wishes those who employ such medicines to cease such practices forevermore. Now they must stop when they hear this message. Go and tell your people.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. Charms. Should a person die holding a secret, one may discover it by sleeping upon the ground with a handful of the grave dirt beneath his head. Then, if all conditions are perfect, the dead person will appear in three successive visions and reveal its mystery.

A young man, wishing to become a swift runner, may add to his powers by concealing in his belt a bone from the grave of some celebrated runner of the past. It is said that most famous runners of the League carried these charms.

A warrior who wishes to guard against sudden attack from behind may make an unfailing charm by cutting three slits in the back of his neck and rubbing into the wounds the oil extracted from the scalps of enemies. A peculiar soft white flesh will fill up the cuts and when completely healed will protrude. Should an enemy then approach these protruding scars will quiver and warn the warrior of danger.

The most effective charm for drawing riches is the tooth of a nia?gwahe:.

2. Meaning "she cuts it off by abortion."

3. The Iroquois knew of such an herb. I find it mentioned by Dr Peter Wilson, the Cayuga, and it was pointed out to me at Onondaga in 1911. The Seneca and Onondaga belief is that every woman has a certain number of children predestined to them and that they are fastened on a stringlike runner like tubers, or like eggs within a bird.]

{p. 31}


"'Now another message.

"'Go tell your people that the Great Ruler is sad because of what people do.

"'The Creator has made it so that the married should live together and that children should grow from them.

"'Now it often happens that it is only a little while when people are married that the husband speaks evil of his wife because he does not wish to care for her children. Now a man who does that stirs up trouble with his wife and soon deserts her and his children. Then he searches for another woman and when he has found her he marries her. Then when he finds her with child he goes away from her and leaves her alone. Again he looks for another woman and when he has lived with her for a time and sees her growing large, he deserts her, the third woman.

"'Now this is true. We, the messengers, saw him leave the two women and the Creator himself saw him desert the third and punished him. Now a sure torment in the after life is for him who leaves two women with child but the Creator alone knows what the punishment is for the man who leaves the third.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'The Creator has ordered that man and wife should rear their children well, love them and keep them in health. This is the Creator's rule. We, the messengers, have seen both men and women desert each other when children come. The woman discovers that the man, her husband, loves his child and she is very jealous and spreads evil reports of him. She does this for an excuse before the world to leave him. Thus the messengers say that the Creator desires men and women to cease such mischief.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Tell your people that the Creator has ordered regular marriage customs. When the young people are old enough to marry, tell them so. When they marry they will live pleasantly. Now it may happen that the girl's mother discovers that she is very happy

{p. 32}

with her husband. Then she endeavors to. make her daughter angry with her husband when he returns from a journey. But when the husband returns the young wife forgets the evil advice and greets him lovingly. Now the older woman, the mother, seeing this, speaks again hoping to stir up an ill feeling. Says the old woman, "My daughter, your spirits are dull, you are not bright. When I was young I was not so agreeable. I was harsh with my husband." Now the Creator is sad because of the tendency of old women to breed mischief. Such work must stop. Tell your people it must stop.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'The married often live well together for a while. Then a man becomes ugly in temper and abuses his wife. It seems to afford him pleasure. Now because of such things the Creator is very sad. So he bids us to tell you that such evils must stop. Neither man nor woman must strike each other.' So they said.

"Now furthermore they said, 'We will tell you what people must do. It is the way he calls best. Love one another and do not strive for another's undoing. Even as you desire good treatment, so render it. Treat your wife well and she will treat you well.'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'This concerns short marriages.

"'Now some live together peaceably and keep the family as should be. Then after a time the man resolves to go off on a hunting excursion in the woods for a certain number of days. So he goes, having agreed with his wife about it. All is well and he returns with a load of game. He feels well and thinks he is doing well in thus providing for his family. On his way homeward he meets some one who tells him that in his absence his wife has been living with another man. When he hears this report he feels sad and angry. He refuses to go to his home and turns from his path and goes to his relatives. Now whoever makes mischief of this kind does a great wrong before the Creator. So he bids his people to forever stop such evil practices.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

{p. 33}


"'Now another message.

"'Now this concerns both husband and wife. Now it may happen that a man and wife live together happily. At length the man thinks that he will go to another settlement to visit relatives there. His wife agrees and he goes. Now when he gets to the village he induces some agreeable woman to live with him saying he is single. Then after some time the man goes back to his own family. His wife treats him cordially as if no trouble had occurred. Now we, the messengers, say that the woman is good in the eyes of her Creator and has a place reserved for her in the heaven-world. Now the woman knew all that had been done in the other settlement but she thought it best to be peaceful and remain silent. And the Creator says that she is right and has her path toward the heaven-world, but he, the man, is on his way to the house of the Wicked One.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'This concerns a certain thing that human creatures follow. It is concerning gakno`we'haat. Some men desire constant new experience, that is some men are always following ye:'on?. Now it is a great evil for men to have such desires. This is a thing that the so sinful must confess. A man who desires to know gagwe:gon ye:'on?sho' will never be satisfied, for ye:'on?, will arise whom he can not know and he will fall flat. Now we, the messengers, say that all this is sinful and men must not follow such desires.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'This is what your people do.

"'An old woman punished her children[1] unjustly. The Creator is sad because of such things and bids us tell you that such practices must cease.' So they said.

[1. Handsome Lake was ever the lover and champion of children. There are many instances in the Gaiwiio relating to the care and rearing of children. The mode of punishment here referred to was one of long usage. Sometimes the mother would fill her mouth with water and blow it into the face of the little offender, repeating until obedience was enforced. Punishment by violence as by whipping or striking was discountenanced. The mother {footnote p. 34} who was intrusted with the care of children was accustomed to tell her children what was wrong and allow them by experience to know that her word was to be relied upon. A boy remained under the discipline of his mother until the age of sixteen when be was turned over to the training of his father. If the boy was unruly and without ambition the mother received the blame and was sometimes punished.]

{p. 34}

"'Now this is the way ordained by the Creator: Talk slowly and kindly to children and never punish them unjustly. When a child will not obey let the mother say, "Come to the water and I will immerse you." If after this warning the child is still obstinate she must take it to the water's edge and say, "Do you now obey?" and she must say so again and if at the third time there is no obedience then the child must be thrust in the water. But if the child cries for mercy it must have it and the woman must not throw it into the water. If she does she does evil.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message of things not right.

"'Parents disregard the warnings of their children. When a child says, "Mother, I want you to stop wrongdoing," the child speaks straight words and the Creator says that the child speaks right and the mother must obey. Furthermore the Creator proclaims that such words from a child are wonderful and that the mother who disregards then takes the wicked part. The mother may reply, "Daughter, stop your noise. I know better than you. I am the older and you are but a child. Think not that you can influence me by your speaking." Now when you tell this message to your people say that it is wrong to speak to children in such words.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Tell your people that the Creator is sad because of what they are doing.

"'Some people live together well as man and wife and family, but the man of the family uses strong drink. Then when he comes home he lifts up his child to fondle it and he is drunk. Now we, the messengers of the Creator, say that this is not right for if a man filled with strong drink touches his child he burns its blood. Tell your people to heed this warning.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

{p. 35}


"'Now another message.

"'Some people live together righteously as man and wife according as the Creator ordained, but they have no child. When this is so let this be the way: If the wife's sister has children, of these let the wife without issue take from one to three and rear them and thereby fulfil her duty to the Creator. Moreover when a woman takes children she must rear them well as if born of herself. We, the messengers, say that you must tell this to your people.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Tell your people that ofttimes when a woman hears that a child is born and goes to see it, she returns and says in many houses where she stops that its mother's husband is not its father. Now we say that it is exceedingly wrong to speak such evil of children. The Creator formed the children as they are; therefore, let the people stop their evil sayings.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now the Creator of mankind ordained that people should live to an old age. He appointed that when a woman becomes old she should be without strength and unable to work.[1] Now the Creator says that it is a great wrong to be unkind to our grandmothers. The Creator forbids unkindness to the old. We, the messengers, say it. The Creator appointed this way: he designed that an old woman should be as a child again and when she becomes so the Creator wishes the grandchildren to help her, for only because she is, they are. Whosoever does right to the aged does right in the sight of the Creator.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

(So many words, Odi'waga?'de, end of first day's preaching)

Recitation of the second day


"'Now another message.

"'A way that was followed.

[1. The wisdom of the aged, especially upon ceremonial matters, was never questioned.]

{p. 36}

"'Sometimes a mother is ready to feed her family. When she is ready to bid them sit down, she glances out and sees some one coming and straightway hides the food. A woman visitor comes in. Now after some conversation the visitor says she is unwell and goes out. Then the family commences to eat. And the Creator says that who follow such tricks must repent as soon as they hear this message, for such practices are most wicked.'

"Now the messengers said this."

"'Now the Creator made food for all creatures and it must be free for all. He ordained that people should live in communities. Now when visitors enter a lodge the woman must always say, "Sede'kon?'"," come eat. Now it is not right to refuse what is offered. The visitor must take two or three bites at least and say, "Niawn'." Tell this to all your people.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now this is right.

"'When a woman hears children playing near her lodge she must call them in and ask them to eat. The Creator says that this is right for some children are of poor parents and have little to eat. The Creator loves poor children and whosoever feeds the poor and unfortunate does right before him.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'When a woman sees an unfortunate girl who has neither parents nor settled home and calls her in and helps her repair her clothing, cleanse herself and comb her hair, she does right and has favor in the sight of her Creator. He loves the poor and the woman does right before him. So we, the messengers, say that you must tell your people to continue to do this good thing.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'The Creator is sad because of the sins of the beings that he created.

"'He ordained that mankind should live as social beings in communities.

{p. 37}

Now it may happen that a woman sets out to destroy good feelings between neighbors by telling go`diodia'se (stories that augment by repetition). Now this woman goes to a house and says, "I love you and because I do I will tell you a secret. The woman in the next house speaks evil of you." Now heretofore the two women had been friends but upon hearing this story the woman becomes an enemy of her former friend. Then the evil story-teller goes to the woman whom she lied about and tells her the hard words that the other woman has spoken. Then is the liar happy having started a feud, and she hastens from house to house to tell of it. Now great troubles arise and soon a fight, and one woman causes it all. Therefore the Creator is very sad. Tell your people that such things must stop the moment this message is told.

"'Now the Creator has ordained another way. He has ordained that human creatures should be kind one to the other and help each other. When a woman visits another house she must help at the work in progress and talk pleasantly. If she relates jokes they must always be upon herself. If she speaks harshly of others the woman of the house must say, "I remember the desires of our Creator. I can not hear what you say. I can not take that evil story." So the trouble is ended there. Now the Creator says that the woman is true who refuses to hear evil reports. She cuts off the evil at its beginning and it does not go from her. So she has won favor before the Creator.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'The Creator who made you is sad.

"'The Creator made every person with a different face.

"'Now a man talks saying that he is far more handsome than other men. He boasts that he is exceedingly handsome and grand. But the Creator says all this is very wrong. The vain must repent and never boast again.' So they said.

"'Now animals seem alike to you. A wild animal that you have once seen you can not easily say you have seen again. But people are different before you. Now when a man is handsome let him thank his Creator for his comliness.' So they said.

"'Now furthermore a man says "I am the strongest man of all. There is no one who can throw me to the ground." A man who talks thus is a boaster before the people. Now the Creator says

{p. 38}

that such boasting is evil. The Creator endowed the man with strength and therefore he should not boast but thank the giver who is the Creator. So tell your people these things.' So they said.

"'Now furthermore a man says, "I am the swiftest runner of the world. No one can outrun me." Now he regards himself as a mighty man and boasts before his people. Now the Creator says that such boasting is evil. The Creator endowed the man with his speed and he should offer thanks and not boast. So we, the messengers, say your people must cease their boasting.'"[1]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Three things that our younger brethren (the white people) do are right to follow.

"'Now, the first. The white man works on a tract of cultivated ground and harvests food for his family. So if he should die they still have the ground for help. If any of your people have cultivated ground let them not be proud on that account. If one is proud there is sin within him but if there be no pride there is no sin.

"'Now, the second thing. It is the way a white man builds a house. He builds one warm and fine appearing so if he dies the family has the house for help. Whoso among you does this does right, always providing there is no pride. If there is pride it is evil but if there is none, it is well.

"'Now the third. The white man keeps horses and cattle. Now there is no evil in this for they are a help to his family. So if he dies his family has the stock for help. Now all this is right if there is no pride. No evil will follow this practice if the animals are well fed, treated kindly and not overworked. Tell this to your people.'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your relatives.

"'This concerns education. It is concerning studying in English schools.

"'Now let the Council appoint twelve people to study, two from each nation of the six. So many white people are about you that you must study to know their ways.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. A more complete catalog of the besetting sins of the Iroquois than set forth in the foregoing sections can not be found nor are they elsewhere more graphically described.]

{p. 39}


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'Now some men have much work and invite all their friends to come and aid them and they do so. Now this is a good plan and the Creator designed it. He ordained that men should help one another[1] (a:danid'osh`).'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message of things not right.

"'People do wrong in the world and the Creator looks at all things.

"'A woman sees some green vegetables and they are not hers. She takes them wrongly. Now she is yenon'skwaswa'don?, a thieving woman. Tell your people that petty thieving must cease.' So they said.

"'Now the Creator gave Diohe?'kon[2] for a living. When a woman sees a new crop and wishes to eat of it in her own house, she must ask the owner for a portion and offer payment. Then may the owner use her judgment and accept recompense or give the request freely.'"[3]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message for you to tell your people.

"'It is not right for you to have so many dances[4] and dance songs.

"'A man calls a dance in honor of some totem animal from which he desires favor or power. This is very wrong, for you do not know what injury it may work upon other people.

[1. The bee is a very popular institution among the Iroquois. See Museum Bulletin 144, p. 31.

2. Meaning, "our life givers," the corn, beans and squashes. See Iroquois Uses of Maize, p. 36.]

3. One of the old methods of gardening was to clear a small patch in the woods by girdling the trees and planting in the mellow forest mold. The name and totem of the owner of the garden was painted on a post, signifying that the ground was private property. The clan totem gave permission to any hard-pressed clansman to take what he wished in emergency but only in such a case. These isolated gardens in the forests were objects of temptation sometimes, as the prophet intimates.

4. The Seneca had thirty-three dances, ten of which were acquired from other tribes. See p. 81.]

{p. 40}

"'Tell your people that these things must cease. Tell them to repent and cease.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

"'Now this shall be the way: They who belong to these totem animal societies[1] must throw tobacco and disband.' So they said." "Now in those days when the head men heard this message they said at once, in anger, 'We disband,' and they said this without holding a ceremony as the messenger had directed."[2]



"'Now another message to tell your people.

Four words the Creator has given for bringing happiness. They

[1. Animal Societies and Totems. The Seneca firmly believe that by using the proper formula the favor of various animals can be purchased. The animal petitioned it is believed will make the person successful in any pursuit in which itself is proficient. The charm-animal was sometimes revealed in a dream, sometimes by a diviner of mysteries and was often sought directly. A warrior wishing to become a successful fisherman, for instance, might do any one of three things. He might seek for a dream that would show him what animal would make him an expert fisher, he might consult a "clairvoyant" or he might go directly to a stream of water and selecting some animal petition its favor.

The patron of the fisheries was the otter and there is a special society of those who have the otter for a "friend." The Society of Otters preserves the rites of invocation and the method of propitiation and also the method of healing afflicted members.

Other animals which are thought to be "great medicine" are the eagle, the bear, the buffalo and the mythical nia?gwahe: or mammoth bear that was alternately a man and a beast. To be ungrateful to these givers of luck is a sin that arouses the ire of the animal who will punish the offender by inflicting him with some strange sickness. The offense may be one of neglect or altogether unintentional and unknown. It is then the duty of the society to appease the offended animal by performing the rites on a grand scale that the individual has failed to do in the ordinary way. The ordinary individual ceremony consisted simply of going to the bank of some clear stream, in the case of the Otters for instance, and after smoking sacred tobacco, casting the pulverized tobacco into the water at intervals during a thanksgiving and praise chant. Then will the otters know that their human brothers are not ungrateful for the fortune they are receiving.

There were four societies, having as their genii the spirits of the bear, the birds (eagle), the buffalo and the otter, respectively, and taking their names from their guardian animal (Secret Medicine Societies of the Seneca, p. 113).

2. This was done at the suggestion of Cornplanter who is accused of endeavoring to upset the plans and prophecies of Handsome Lake in many sly ways.]

{p. 41}

are amusements devised in the heaven world, the Osto'wgo'wa,[1] Gone:'owon?, Adon'wn and Ganwn'gowa.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'The Creator has sanctioned four dances for producing a joyful spirit and he has placed them in the keeping of Honon'diont[2] who have authority over them. The Creator has ordered that on certain times and occasions there should be thanksgiving ceremonies. At such times all must thank the Creator that they live. After that, let the chiefs thank him for the ground and the things on the ground and then upward to the sky and the heaven-world where he is. Let the children and old folk come and give thanks. Let the old women who can scarcely walk come. They may lean against the middle benches and after listening to three or four songs must say, "I thank the Great Ruler that I have seen this day." Then will the Creator call them right before him.

"'It seems that you have never known that when Osto'wgo'wa was being celebrated that one of the four beings was in the midst of it, but it is so. Now when the time for dancing comes you must wash your faces and comb your hair, paint your face with red spots on either cheek, and with a thankful heart go to the ceremony. This preparation will be sufficient, therefore, do not let your style of dress hold you back.

"'You have not previously been aware that when a Godi'ont is appointed that you have not appointed her. No, for the Great Ruler has chosen her. A road leads from the feet of every godi'ont and hodi'ont toward heaven. Truly this is so only of they who do right before the Creator.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


Now another message for your people.

He who created us appointed that there should be chiefs, (hodi'ion?), and that they should do good for the people.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. The Great Feather dance, the Harvest dance, the Sacred Song and the Peach Stone game.

2. Honon'diont, overseers or keepers of ceremonies, more often women than men. The word means They are mountains. (Hodi'ont is mas. sing.; Godi'ont, fem. sing.).]

{p. 42}


"'So now another.

"'Tell your relations this. The Creator has sanctioned a feast to a medicine animal on a great day."'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'Now the messengers said that this thing was beyond the control of Indians.

"'At some future day the wild animals will become extinct. Now when that day comes the people will raise cattle and swine for feast food at the thanksgivings.'"[1]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'You have been ignorant of this thing.

When the Honondi'ont go about to notify the community of a meeting for the celebration of Osto'wgo'wa, or for hearing the Great Ruler's message, the evil spirit at the same time appoints and sends another man, an invisible one, in his tracks saying, "Do not go. It is of no use, no benefit comes to you; rather do your own work at home and stay away." Now it is the messenger of the evil spirit that argues thus. Now know you that the evil spirit will hinder you in all good things but you can outwit him by doing the things that he does not wish you to do. Go then to the meetings. Then will the evil messenger follow you to the Long House and when from the outside you have heard the songs he will say that such is sufficient and that you may now return. Do not heed him but enter and take your seat. Then will he argue again saying that it is sufficient to listen and not take a part because you would not appear well in shabby clothing. Heed him not. Now this spirit speaks to your minds and his face is between you all.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'This will happen.

"'We have told you to watch.

[1. Pork is now the principal ceremonial food.]

{p. 43}

"'The Honon'diont will go out in fours for game for the feasts. You may think that they are fulfilling their duty to Gai'wiio`.

"'The animals that fall must be thirty.

"'But this will happen when Gai'wiio` is new. The Honon'diont will kill twenty-nine and the twenty-ninth will be a cub bear. So there will not be thirty.

"'So this will be done when Gai'wiio` is new. It will be done at Adekwe'onge, the Green Corn thanksgiving ceremony."'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'Now this is a thing to happen.

"'Hereafter we shall have a new species of deer.[1] The Creator will create somewhere a pair, male and female. The male deer will be spotted with white and the female striped with white over her back. This will be done and we say it.

"'Now moreover the messengers command that these animals shall never be killed."'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message for your people.

"'If all the world would repent the earth would become as new again. Because of sin the under-world[2] is crumbling with decay. The world is full of sin. Truly, this is so.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. These deer are the sacred creations of the Great Ruler and as such no "pale invader" is permitted to see them, though a few of the faithful have at certain seasons seen them in the darkness fleeing from discovery. Cornplanter says these deer were killed by a jealous rival of the prophet while he yet lived, so defying the new command.

2. The under-world was thought to be a dark region beneath the surface of the earth where were confined the creations of the evil-minded spirit. It was a vast cave full of winding chambers, dark turbid rivers, bottomless sloughs, hot springs and fetid odors, rapacious beasts, venomous serpents, Poisonous insects and noxious weeds. The door of the under-world was guarded by the under-earth elves who had great difficulty in preventing the white buffaloes from escaping. Frequently they did and then began a great pursuit to kill or bring back the white buffaloes. At such a time the elves would tell the sun of the calamity and he would paint his face red as a sign to all the elves the world over that the chase was on. See Legend, Origin of Death Dance.]

{p. 44}


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'We, the messengers of the Creator, are of the opinion that the world will continue for three generations longer (or three hundred years).[1] Then will Gai'wiio` be fulfilled.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'The religious leaders and the chiefs must enforce obedience to the teachings of Gai'wiio`.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'This thing will happen when it is new.

"'Truly men will repent and reform but it will happen that three certain ones will neither confess nor reform. Nothing will induce them to confess.

"'There are grades of sin:[2] the sins of Hasan'owa:n'?, the sins of Honon'diont and the sins of the ordinary people.

"'Now when you are preaching repentance, Gaint'wak will say that these men when they pass from this world are most vile. He will say, "Let us cast them into the water for they are not worthy to be dressed for the grave. The Creator will not receive them." Now no one will object to what Gaint'wak says."'

Now this thing did happen as predicted and when the messenger arose the first thing that he did was to spread the news and give the command that it must not be done.

"Now they said, 'The Creator will not give up hope of them until they pass from the earth. It is only then that they can lose their souls if they have not repented. So the Creator always hopes for repentance.'"[3]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

[1. Handsome Lake taught that the world would end in the year 2100.

2. The higher the position the greater the sin, is the prophet's rule.

3. See p. 61, Idea of soul.]

{p. 45}

"'Chiefs and high officers have spoken derisively of each other and quarreled.[1] What they have done must not be done again.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'Good food is turned into evil drink. Now some have said that there is no harm in partaking of fermented liquids.

"'Then let this plan be followed: let men gather in two parties, one having a feast of food, apples and corn, and the other have cider and whiskey. Let the parties be equally divided and matched and let them commence their feasting at the same time. When the feast is finished you will see those who drank the fermented juices murder one of their own party but not so with those who ate food only.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message for your people.

"'You have had the constant fear that the white race would exterminate you.[2] The Creator will care for his Ogwe'onwe (real people).'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message for your people.

"'Some of your relatives and descendants will say, "We lack an understanding of this religion," and this will be the cry of the

[1. Jealousy was the principal cause of the dissension that led to the decay of the League of the Iroquois.

2. The Iroquois saw that the white race had encircled them and were drawing the lines ever tighter. They saw that they were in a position of great disadvantage, living as they did in the midst of a people against whom they had fought not only in their own wars but also as allies of the British. They saw how all other native tribes had been swept away with the advance of the invading race and thus no wonder they feared. Yet today (1912) they still exist unabsorbed and as a distinct people in the midst of the civilization of the Empire State under their own tribal laws and recognized nominally as nations. The story of how they have preserved themselves through three centuries of contact with an invading race that had little love for them and whose policy like their own in ancient times, is to absorb or exterminate, to accomplish a thing that no other aboriginal race has done, is well worth a place in history as one of its marvels. "Truly the Creator has cared for his red children!"]

{p. 46}

people. But even we, the servants of the Creator, do not understand all things. Now some when they are turned to the right way will say, "I will continue so for all of my days," but this will not be so for they surely will fall short in some things. This is why even we can not understand all things.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"At the time of this prophecy I was in the Cold Spring village. It occurred at this time. The prophecy was then new.

"At that time a woman and her daughter administered a witch-powder[1] to a man and he lost his mind. He wandered off alone and died and thus a great crime was committed.

"Now at that time it was said among the head men, 'We will punish the women.' So it was the plan that each chief give the women one lash.

"Now I, Ganiodai'io` heard the resolution of the chiefs and was of the opinion that the women would easily survive such punishment, so, also, the chiefs believed it.

"Now all this happened when the head men sat in council, the four messengers being present.

"Now this thing must never happen again. Such councils never accomplish good. It is natural that foolish women should have done what these did.

"Now at the time of the lashing it was in my mind that they would surely live.

"So this must never happen again because the Creator has not privileged men to punish each other." Eniaiehuk. [See plate 12.]


"So now another story.

"It happened that at a certain time a certain person did not honor Gai'wiio`. At a gathering where Gai'wiio` was being told this was done. It was at Cold Spring village.

"A man was standing in the doorway showing disrespect to the proceedings within. The prophet was speaking and as he said in closing 'It is finished,' the man in the doorway dain?'ddi. Now that was the last. The man did not go home to his dwelling and

[1. Witch-powders were used for various purposes but generally as poisons or love charms. Their use is condemned in section 3 and the punishment of those who use them in section 104.]

{p. 47}

the next day it was rumored that he was missing. A search was made and on the other side of the Allegany in a swamp two days later the man was found. He was sitting above it. He had broken branches and arranged them in the form of a nest upon which he sat devouring snakes. He was not in his right mind. They took him from his nest (ho?non'gwae?) and soon he died." Eniaiehuk.


"Now another story.

1 "Now it was that when the people reviled me, the proclaimer of the prophecy, the impression came to me that it would be well to depart and go to Tonawanda. In that place I had relatives and friends and thought that my bones might find a resting place there. Thus I thought through the day.

"Then the messengers came to me and said 'We understand your thoughts. We will visit you more frequently and converse with you. Wherever you go take care not to be alone. Be cautious and move secretly.'

"Then the messengers told me that my life journey would be in three stages and when I entered the third I would enter into the eternity of the New World,[1] the land of our Creator. So they said." Eniaiehuk.

2 "The day was bright when I went into the planted field and alone I wandered in the planted field and it was the time of the second hoeing. Suddenly a damsel[2] appeared and threw her arms about my neck and as she clasped me she spoke saying, 'When you leave this earth for the new world above, it is our wish to follow you.' I looked for the damsel but saw only the long leaves of corn twining round my shoulders. And then I understood that it was the spirit of the corn who had spoken, she the sustainer of life. So I replied, 'O spirit of the corn, follow not me but abide still upon the earth and be strong and be faithful to your purpose. Ever endure and do not fail the children of women. It is not time for you to follow for Gai'wiio` is only in its beginning.'" Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

[1. The heaven described by Ganiodai'io` was called the New World because it had not been previously known. The generations before had not gone there, not having known the will of the Creator as revealed by the prophet,

2. See plate 13, the Spirit of the Corn.]

{p. 48}

"'There is a dispute in the heaven-world between two parties. It is a controversy about you, the children of earth. Two great beings are disputing--one is the Great Ruler, the Creator, and the other is the evil-minded spirit.

"'You who are on earth do not know the things of heaven.

"'Now the evil one said, "I am the ruler of the earth because when I command I speak but once and man obeys."

"'Then answered the Great Ruler, "The earth is mine for I have created it and you have helped me in no part."

"'Now the evil one answered, "I do not acknowledge that you have created the earth and that I helped in no part, but I say that when I say to men, 'Obey me,' they straightway obey, but they do not hear your voice."

"'Then the Great Ruler replied, "Truly the children are my own for they have never done evil."

"'And the evil one answering said, "Nay, the children are mine for when I bid one saying, 'Pick up that stick and strike your fellow,' they obey me quickly. Aye, the children are mine."

"'Then was the Great Ruler very sad and he said, "Once more will I send my messengers and tell them my heart and they will tell my people and thus I will redeem my own."

"'Then the evil one replied, "Even so it will not be long before men transgress your commands. I can destroy it with a word for they will do my bidding. Verily I delight in the name Hansse:'ono. It is very true that they who love my name, though they be on the other side of the earth, will find me at their backs the moment they pronounce my name."

"'Now at that time the Great Ruler spoke to the four messengers saying, "Go tell mankind that at present they must not call me Hawi'n'io`, the Great Ruler, until a later time, for the Evil One calls himself the Ruler of Mankind. So now whosoever is turned into my way must say when he calls upon my name, Hodinok'doon Hd'iohe? our Creator. So also whosoever speaks the name of the evil one must say, Segoewa'tha, The Tormentor. Then will the evil one know that you have discovered who he is, for it is he who will punish the wicked when they depart from this world.'"[1]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. A typical example of Iroquois philosophy. The Iroquois were fond of devising stories of this character and many of them reveal the subtle reasoning powers of the Indian in a striking manner.]

{p. 49}


"'Now another message to tell your people.

1 "'Now we are of the mind that the cold of winter will take life away. Many will be taken away because of the changing cold. Moreover some will freeze because they are filled with strong drink. Then again when the earth grows warm and the warm changes come, many will perish because of strong drink. Now the Creator never intended that variations of weather and season, warm and cold, should cause death.'"

2 "'The Creator made the waters of the earth, the rivers and lakes. These too will cause death and some filled with strong drink will be swallowed up by the waters.'"

3 "'And now more. The Creator made fire and this will also cause death and some filled with strong drink will be destroyed by the flames.'"

"'Verily he has said and ordained that they who disobey Gai'wiio` should fall into hardships.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'The messengers have given the promise to the prophet that he will be able to judge diseases and prescribe remedies.[1] So also he will be able to see far down into the earth as far as runs the elm's root. Then if any trouble comes and anyone asks the help of the prophet, he must give it freely, but they who ask must give an offering of tobacco. Now there will be some in your care who will be taken from your hands for other treatment. No wrong will be done and you must bear no ill will. It is said that the events of all our days are foreknown, so when the time comes for you to exercise your power we will tell you and then you may judge the earth and cure diseases.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message for your people.

"'Now when my relatives heard all this they said, 'This man must be a clairvoyant (hnne'yon?)."

[1. See p. 113, medicine men.

2. Diviners of mysteries have always been prominent characters among the Indians. Their office was to tell their clients the proper medicine society {footnote p. 50} that would be most efficacious in curing the sick, to discover the whereabouts of lost children or articles, to discover what witch was working her spells, and to tell fortunes, as well as to interpret dreams.]

{p. 50}

"The news spread and Gaint'wak came as a messenger.[1] Now he came to Ganiodai'io` and said, 'Why, having the assurance of powers, do you not commence now. Come prophesy!' Now he had tobacco for an offering. Then he said, 'My daughter is very sick.'

"Now the diviner of mysteries did not respond to his entreaty and so Gaint'wak went out but soon came running back. This second time he had the same request and plead more earnestly, but without avail.

"Then it was said that he would not respond to the cry of a brother and had no hearing for the voice of a brother.

"Again Gaint'wak returned and urged his brother.

"Now the people said, 'Have we not something to say to you as well as the messengers of the Creator?'

"Then he answered and said, 'Truly the people say that I will not reason. Verily I am true to my words. Now I can do nothing but try but I have not yet the permission of the messengers.'

"Now he went into a deep sleep and when he awoke he told his vision. Now he said that O?gi'we[2] should be sung for the sick woman.

"Now it is said that at that time the first song was in order but every part of the song was silent.

"Now a rumor spread that after all it was not wrong to continue the ceremonial dances once forbidden. So many were sick because they had not observed the commanded method of closing the societies."

This was so when Gai'wiio` was new. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"The four messengers arose from a sitting of the prophecy.

"Now he said that certain songs and parts of songs are not known and some societies are new and their powers untried. So

[1. Cornplanter again endeavored to get his brother into disfavor with the four messengers by forcing him to exercise his powers prematurely. For this reason the followers of Handsome Lake to this day regard Cornplanter as a malicious character who ever tried to upset the Gai'wiio`.

2. The death chant, a ceremony belonging to the O?gi?weono? or Society of Chanters. See the legend Origin of the Death Dance.]

{p. 51}

make a feast and throw tobacco instead of singing. But the chiefs said that that plan should be laid aside and notwithstanding, the songs should be sung as far as possible.

"Now the messengers said that they should secure provisions enough for the feast and be sure. Some have planned to have strong drink used at the feast but this must not be tolerated. Only food must be used.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now I will relate another.

"There is a certain ceremony in the midwinter.[2] It is said that it is most important to uphold the customs of midwinter and that any one having a part should fulfil it. It is said that to fulfil the customs they must go about the neighborhood holding dances. It is said that the Creator has sanctioned certain dances for thanksgiving."

"Now the messengers said that Ganio`dai'io` must sing[3] early in the morning on three mornings and give the cheer-cries of the Gai'wiio`."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message. It is said that all your relatives and friends must be told.

"'It is said that when these rites are performed one person is to be selected to offer thanks[4] to the Creator. Now when thanks are rendered begin with the things upon the ground and thank upward to the things in the new world above. Afterward any one so inclined may arise and thank the Creator in the manner he thinks best.'"

So it is said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. It is related that at one period whiskey had so far debauched the Indians that their once sacred ceremonies, like those of the early Christians at Corinth, were made the excuses of the grossest licentiousness and drunken revelry. Whiskey had entirely supplanted the feast foods.

2. See the Burning of the White Dog, p. 85.

3. This song is still sung by the preacher of the Gai'wiio`. The preacher stands at the door of the Long House on three successive mornings of the new year's season and greets the sunrise with his song. It is said to be a charm against high winds and the faithful claim that Gao?, the spirit of the wind, holds back his fury when the song floats over the settlement.

4. See The Goneowo ceremony, p. 95.]

{p. 52}


"'Now another message.

"This happened when Gai'wiio` was new. It was the time when he dwelt at Dionon?'sodeg`.[1]

"A father and son appeared in Dionon?'sodeg`. Now the name of the son was Gani'seo. They were on a hunting journey and came from Gadges'kon[2] with a horse and cart. Now they tarried in Dionon?'sodeg` for several nights before again taking up their journey.

"It was during the hunting season that the news spread that some one had returned from the hunting grounds without a companion. It was the young man who had returned. So they questioned him and asked where his father was. He answered, 'My father is lost. I went about searching for my father a number of days. I walked and searched and signalled with gun discharges hoping to find him. I could not find him and became weary waiting for his return.' So he said."

"Now Gaint'wak when he heard this said, 'It is apparent to me that the young man has spoken the untruth.' So then they all went to the diviner of mysteries and Gaint'wak spoke to him saying, 'It is my opinion that the boy has murdered his own father.' And the prophet answering said, 'They have not yet given me the power to see things but this will I do. Bring a bullet, a knife, and a hatchet that the boy may look upon these things when I speak and perhaps the truth will come (see plate 14). One of these things will move though not touched and he shall be the witness.' So the head men did as bidden and placed the objects as directed. In the middle of the floor they spread a blanket and put the articles upon it. Then they gathered around it and watched, and as they watched he spoke and the bullet moved. Thus it happened. Then spoke Ganio`dai'io`, 'This brings the confirmation of the rumor. Truly the youth has murdered his father, and furthermore I say that the crime was committed between Ga:nos'[3] and Hannk'gaek.[4] On the south side of a mountain, where half way up an elm is broken, leaning over on the downhill side to the west lies the body buried in the leaves of the top branches. He, the father, is buried in the leaves.' So he said when he spoke. The

[1. Cornplanter village.

2. Cattaraugus village, the principal town of the Cattaraugus region.

3. Franklin, Pa.

4. Oil City, Pa.]

{p. 53}

chiefs and head-men appointed a delegation to see if all he had said were true. So they went as they had been told and found the body of the father and brought it back with them." Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message to tell your people.

"'You may ask three questions concerning three privileges when you go among your relatives at the ceremony of Nsko'wkn[1] and ask what one is fitted for them.

"'Who among you likes best to call upon the afflicted? Who among you loves to commune alone in the forests? Who among you is most anxious concerning religious conditions?''

So they asked him. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now this matter will devolve upon you.

"'The people will assemble in council and ask, "Who among us is able to say, 'I compel you to assemble?'"

"'Now when the question is set forth each person must make reply. The chiefs must demand it.'

"'Now it happened that he fulfilled the requirements and all the people assembled and with one accord acclaimed that Ganio`dai'io` should lead them and that they should never murmur.

"'Now that the people had done, he was patient to learn the result.

"'The council adjourned and the messengers came and questioned him saying, 'How did you understand your people? '

"'He answered, 'The majority consented that I should lead them.'[2]

"'Then the messengers replied, 'Truly the greater number will follow you."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'It is this: We, the messengers of our Creator, see strong drink used during the season when corn is planted. Now let those

[1. February, the moon of the midwinter, the time of thanksgiving.

2. Because the people of this council elected that Handsome Lake should have authority over them he is ever after called Se:dwa:go'wa:n, or chief leader, or our great teacher.]

{p. 54}

who use this evil drink know that it consumes the elements of life They must repent.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'It is a custom for thanksgiving to be made over the hills of planted corn.[1] Let the head one of the family make an invocation over the planted hills that the corn may continue to support life. Now this will be a right thing and whosoever asks the help of the Creator will receive it.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'So now another.

"'Now it is understood that Dio`he?'kon (the corn, bean and squash spirits), have a secret medicine, o`sagan'd? and o`sds'dani. So soak your seed corn in these two medicines before you plant your fields. The medicines grow on the flat lands near streams.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now there are some who have boasted that they could drink all the strong drink in the world. Now we, the messengers, say that they who thus idly boast will never live to accomplish what they boast. White men will ever distil the evil liquor.'"[2]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Tell your friends and relatives that there will be two divisions

[1. The ceremony of invoking the Creator over the hills of corn was an old one and like many other old customs was indorsed by the prophet. This custom is still continued among some of the Iroquois. "When the leaf of the dogwood is the size of a squirrel's ear, the planting season has come. Before the dawn of the first day of the planting a virgin girl is sent to the fields where she scatters a few grains of corn to the earth as she invokes the assistance of the spirit of the corn for the harvest."

2 This section with others of similar import brings out the prophet's intense dislike of idle boasting.]

{p. 55}

of mind[1] among the chiefs and head-men and among the people. Nevermore will your race be united.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"Now the messengers commanded him to give attention and he did. Then he saw a great assembly and the assembly was singing:

'The whole earth is here assembled,
The whole world may come to us.
We are ready.'

"Then said the messengers, 'What did you see when you gave attention?'

"He answered, 'I saw a great gathering of beings and the gathering was singing and the words of the song were:

'The whole earth is here assembled,
The whole world may come to us.
We are ready.'

Then said the messengers, 'It is very true. The beings that you saw resemble human creatures. It is true that they are singing. Now the assembly is a gathered host of medicines for healing. Now let this be your ceremony when you wish to employ the medicine in a plant: First offer tobacco. Then tell the plant in gentle words what you desire of it and pluck it from the roots. It is said in the upper world that it is not right to take a plant for medicine without first talking to it. Let not one ever be taken without first speaking.'"[2]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. This seemingly obscure section is cleared of its mystery when the preacher explains that the divisions of mind refer to the Gaiwios'tk or Christian and Ogwe?onweka' or Indian parties. "Dewadia'ke? gani'go?, broken in twain, the unity of purpose," is Chief Cornplanter's term.

2. The ceremony of gathering herbs. When a Seneca wishes to gather medicinal herbs, he goes into the woods where they grow and builds a small fire. When there is a quantity of glowing embers he stands before it and as he speaks at intervals casts a pinch of tobacco on the coals. He speaks to the spirits of the medicines telling them that he desires their healing virtues to cure his people of their afflictions.

"You have said that you are ready to heal the earth," chants the gatherer of herbs, "so now I claim you for my medicine. Give me of your healing virtues to purge and cleanse and cure. I will not destroy you but plant your seed that you may come again and yield fourfold more. Spirits of the herbs, I do not take your lives without purpose but to make you the agent of healing, {footnote p. 56} for we are very sick. You have said that all the world might come to you, so I have come. I give you thanks for your benefits and thank the Creator for your gift."

When the last puff of tobacco smoke had arisen the gatherer of herbs begins his work. He digs the plant from the roots and breaking off the seed stalks drops the pods into the hole and gently covers them over with fertile leaf mold.

"The plant will come again," he says, "and I have not destroyed life but helped increase it. So the plant is willing to lend me of its virtue." Gahadondeh, (Woodland Border), Seneca.]

{p. 56}


"'Now another message.

"'It has been a custom when a person knows of a healing herb to ask payment for giving it to a patient. Now we say that this is not right. It is not right to demand compensation for treating the sick. If such is done it adds greater afflictions to the sick one. The Creator has given different people knowledge of different things and it is the Creator's desire that men should employ their knowledge to help one another, especially those who are afflicted. Now moreover the person helped out ought only to give tobacco for an offering.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now it is said that your fathers of old never reached the true lands of our Creator nor did they ever enter the house of the tormentor, Ganos'ge?.[1] It is said that in some matters they did the will of the Creator and that in others they did not. They did both good and bad and none was either good or bad. They are therefore in a place separate and unknown to us, we think, enjoying themselves.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"'Now it is said that your people must change certain customs. It has been the custom to mourn at each recurring anniversary of the death of a friend or relative.[2] It is said that while you are

[1. The evil spirit has no domain except his house. A land in which the condemned spirit might roam would not be so terrible but eternal confinement within a house was considered a horrible fate by the liberty-loving Iroquois.

2. See Funeral and Mourning Customs, p. 107.]

{p. 57}

upon the earth you do not realize the harm that this works upon the departed.

"'Now moreover it is said that when an infant is born upon the earth with which the parents are dissatisfied, it knows and says, "I will return to my home above the earth.'"

"Now it is said that our grief adds to the sorrows of the dead. It is said that it is not possible to grieve always. Ten days shall be the time for mourning and when our friends depart we must lay grief aside. When you, the beings of earth, lose one of your number you must bury your grief in their grave. Some will die today and some tomorrow for the number of our days is known in the sky-world. So hereafter do not grieve. Now it is said that when the ten days have elapsed to prepare a feast and the soul of the dead will return and partake of it with you. It is said moreover that you can journey with the dead only as far as the grave. It is said that when you follow a body to the grave you must have prepared for that journey as if to travel afar. Put on your finest clothing for every human creature is on its journey graveward. It is said that the bodies of the dead have intelligence and know what transpires about them.[1] It is true.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now it is said that when Ganio`dai'io` was at Tonawanda spreading Gai'wiio` it happened that a certain man named Segwai?'dongwi said, 'I will also send a message to the four messengers and ask whether I am right in my belief in repentance and right doing.' So he sent his message upward in tobacco smoke."

Now when the messengers arose from a council with Ganio`dai'io` he reported what they had told him. "It is a hard matter for he, the questioner, is two-minded." So he said.

Then Segwai?'dongwi said, "Now this will I do: I will give a string of wampum, ot?go', to the chiefs for a proof of my repentance, for though I have been thinking, yet I can not discover that I am two-minded."

Now when Gai'wiiostk (the Christian religion) came this man was the first to accept its teaching. When the chiefs heard of it they went to him and offered to return his wampum.

Then said the man, "I will not turn back because it is for the good of all that I have this religion."

[1. See, The death feast, p.110.]

{p. 58}

Now all the chiefs and head-men could not persuade him to return to the right way.

So it is said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now it is said that you must relate what the messengers say about the coming end of the earth. Relate how all those who refuse to believe in Gai'wiio` will suffer hardships.[1] Now when the earth is about to end the chiefs and head-men will disagree and that will be a sign. So also, the Honon'diont will disagree. Then will the relations know the truth."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now we say that you must tell your friends and relatives that there will be a time when all the earth will withhold its sustaining foods. Then will come the end of the world and those who refuse to believe in Gai'wiio` will suffer great hardships."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now we think that a time will come when a great plague will kill man people and no one will know its cause. Then will you know that the end is near and those who do not believe will suffer great hardships."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now we think that a time will come when a woman will be seen performing her witch spells in the daylight. Then will you know that the end is near. She will run through the neighborhood boasting how many she has slain by her sorcery. Then will you see how she who refused to believe in Gai'wiio` will suffer punishment."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"In that time you will hear many rumors of men who say, 'I have spoken with the Creator.' So also will you see many wonders

[1. See Introduction, p. 26.]

{p. 59}

but they will not endure for they will be the work of the evil spirit.

"Verily we say that there will be none other than you who will receive a message from the Creator through us. This truth will be proclaimed when the end comes."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"In that time every poisonous creature will appear. These creatures the Creator has imprisoned in the underworld and they are the creations of the evil-minded spirit. Now it is our opinion that when they are released many people will be captured and poisoned by them. Men will see these hardships when they fail to believe in Gai'wiio`."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now there will be some who will enter into a sleep. When they lie down they will be in health and as they sleep the Creator will withdraw their lives for they are true. To the faithful this will happen."'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now we think that the Creator will stop the earth and heavens. All the powers of nature will he suspend. Now they will see this who refuse to believe in Gai'wiio`."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now we think that when the end comes the earth will be destroyed by fire and not one upon it will escape for all the earth will be enveloped in flames and all those who refuse to believe in Gai'wiio` will be in it."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. Because Handsome Lake did not die in this manner some of his half believing followers at Onondaga repudiated his teaching.]

{p. 60}

Recitation of the third day



"Now another message. Tell it to those at Tonawanda.

"Now they said to him, 'Watch a certain place.' So he did and he saw a certain person holding meat in his hands. The man was rejoicing and was well clothed and fed and his name was T?dond'ieha?, and he recognized him."

"Then said they to him, 'How is it?'

"He answered, 'I recognized T?dond'ieha? and he held meat in his hands.' So answered he who talked religiously."

"Then the messengers answered, 'Truly you saw a man with meat enjoying himself. He was joyous because he was a prosperous and successful hunter and gave game as presents to his neighbors. So his neighbors were grateful and thanked him. Now the man you saw has departed from the earth. In his earth-life he cleansed himself each day, visited and enjoyed himself in his best clothing. He was ever good to his fellow-beings and so he is blessed and will receive the reward reserved for him by his Creator."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"This will happen.

"You will sing three times and the third time you sing you will step into oy?dedion'diade?, the other world.[1] That you go there will be the earnest wish of all who have heard your message."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Every person has a song to sing when the time comes to leave the earth. When a person is departing he must sing that song

[1. It was customary for the friends and relatives to address the body of the dead and give expression to one's desires, etc. The soul when it reached the heaven-world would then tell the Great Ruler who would attend to the wishes expressed.]

{p. 61}

and continue to sing on his journey to the other world.[1] They will do this who have repented and who believe in Gai'wiio`."

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now another message.

"Now the messengers said, 'Look you back in a vision to Cornplanter village and the place where the creek empties into the river.' So he looked and saw a large number of canoes gathered there. Many people were assembled and there were barrels of strong drink at the place. The people were making much noise. Now moreover there was a man there, hopping from canoe to canoe and singing Dji'haya:, the song of the evil-minded spirit. Now the words that he sang were these:

'More happy am I in my own house,
Far more happy there than here.'

Yet the man seemed to be greatly enjoying himself.

"Then said the messengers, 'You have been observing, now what did you see?'

He answered, 'I saw a man hopping from canoe to canoe singing the song of the evil-minded one. He said that his house was more happy a place than that where he was. The people about I should judge were filled with strong drink.' So he said in answer to the messengers.

[1. Ideas of the soul. The following ideas of the human soul were anciently held by the Iroquois and their influence on the teachings of Handsome Lake's teachings will be noted upon reading the Gai'wiio`:

Every soul has a path to its destiny after death.

Every soul retains its personal identity whatever form it may inhabit.

Soul differs from life.

When the soul leaves the body life does not necessarily.

When life leaves the body the soul generally does, though not always immediately but may linger for ten days.

The soul may pass from a living body and enter any object or go to any place to acquire wisdom and returning reveal it to the person in dreams or visions.

Should a person refuse persistently to heed these warning visions the soul is liable to desert him, leaving the person simply a creature without power to resist or understand the influence of the various spirits good or bad.

Thinking that by some oversight or evil doing that be may lose his soul the Indian often offers sacrifice to his evil spirit. This is to satisfy his evil spirit with other things than wrong doing and thereby not offend his good spirit.]

{p. 62}

"Then answered the messengers, 'What you say is true. The man was the punisher and his delight is to see people filled with strong drink.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.



"'Now another message.

"'Now it is the time for our departure. We shall now go on a journey and then you shall see the coming of the fourth messenger, the journey of our friends and the works of the living of earth. More, you will see the house of the punisher and the lands of our Creator.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now another message.

"Suddenly as they looked, a road slowly descended from the south sky[1] and came to where they were standing. Now thereon he saw the four tracks of the human race going in one direction. The footprints were all of different sizes from small to great. Now moreover a more brilliant light than the light of earth appeared.

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"'Now, they said unto him, 'We will tarry here a while in order that you may see.'

"Now as he watched and believed, he saw a large woman sitting there. Now the woman was grasping frantically at all things within her reach, and it seemed that she could not stand because of her great size. That was what he saw.

"Then they said to him, 'What did you see?

"He answered, 'It is hard to say. I saw a woman sitting and she was large of size and snatching at everything about her. I am of the opinion that she can not rise.' So he answered when he spoke.

"Then the messengers answered, 'It is true. That which you saw was the evil of stinginess. She can not stand and thus she will

[1. The great sky-road of the Gai'wiio` is the milky way. The souls of the dead are supposed to journey over the broad band and divide at the forks. The multitude of stars are thought to be the footprints of the dead.]

{p. 63}

remain forever. Thus it will be with those who forsake religious teachings and think more of the things of earth than of the new world above. (Having glutted themselves with the things of earth they are unable to stand upon the heaven road.)'"[1]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they said, 'We shall proceed.' Now the farther they went the more brilliant the light became. They had not gone far when the four messengers said, 'Now we will stop again. Look attentively at what you see.'

"So he looked and saw three groups of people and each group was of a different size. The first was large, the second small and the third still smaller.

"Then the messengers asked him, 'What do you see?'

"He answered, 'I saw three groups, the first a large group, the second half as large as the first and the third still smaller.' That is what he said when he answered.

"Then they replied, 'Truly you have seen. The groups represent the people of earth. The first group you saw was composed of those who have not repented; the second group was inclined half way, and the third group, the smallest one, was composed of those who have repented. They are protected by the true belief in Gai'wiio`.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded a short distance and again came to a halt. Then the messengers pointed out a spot and bade him watch attentively. Then he saw a house strongly built and within it he saw three different things. The first was a pair of handcuffs, the second a whip and the third a hang-rope."

"Then asked the messengers, 'What did you see?

"He answered, 'The house I saw was strongly built and within the house I saw three different things. The first was a pair of handcuffs, the second a whip and the third a hangman's rope.' So he answered.

[1. Those who gain great riches and lack humility can not stand upon the sky-road nor can they walk. The poor and meek only can travel skyward and not even the poor unless their ways have been humble and marked with virtue. Thus it is said, "It is better to be poor on earth and rich in the sky-world than to have earth riches and no heaven."]

{p. 64}

"Then they replied, 'Truly it is a strongly built house. It is a prison. Now it is true that three things are there for punishment. How hard it is for a transgressor to see that he should be punished; yet it is the cry of the people that the laws of the white man are better than the teachings of Gai'wiio`. This frightens even the Great Spirit for he knows the punishment of those who say such things.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded and it was not long before they said, 'We must stop here.' Then they pointed in a certain direction and commanded him to watch. So he watched and as he did he saw a house with a spire and a path leading into the house and none out. There was no door, neither were there any windows in the house. Within was a great noise, wailing and crying, and the house was hot.

Then the messengers asked him what he saw.

He answered, 'I saw a house with a spire and a path leading to the house. There was no door, neither were there any windows in the house. Within was a great noise, wailing and crying, and the house was hot.'

"Then they replied, 'You have truly seen. It is a hard matter for Indians to embrace these conditions, that is, to embrace the belief of Bible believers.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded and had not gone far when the messengers said, 'Look downward upon the Buffalo Creek reservation.'

"Se he looked and the place seemed honeycombed and covered with a net.

Then the messengers asked him what he saw.

He answered, 'I saw the Buffalo Creek reservation and it seemed honeycombed like ice and covered with a net.' So he replied.

"Then the messengers said, 'Truly! We think that this reservation will fall.' Now they said moreover that it was the duty of the chiefs to preserve it but it should be hard for some should take an upper hand.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded a little ways farther and soon they said, 'We will stop here.' Then they pointed out a certain spot and said, 'Watch! Look upon the eastern heavens and observe!'

{p. 65}

So he looked and saw two immense drops (or balls of liquid) hanging, one red and one yellow. It seemed that they were suspended only for an instant and would momentarily fall.

"Then the messengers asked, 'What did you see there?'

"He answered, 'I saw two drops, one red and one yellow, suspended as if about to fall.'

"Then the messengers replied, 'Truly you have spoken. It is so. Should one of those drops fall it would bring great calamity upon the earth. Many people would leave the earth should one drop but we are doing our utmost to prevent such an event.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded but had not gone a long distance before they said, 'We will stop and watch a certain place. Now listen to the earth.'

"So he listened and as well as he could understand he thought that he heard wailing and mourning. The sounds seemed to be the crying of children.

"Then the messengers asked, 'What did you observe?'

"He answered, 'I thought that I heard the wailing of the aged and the crying of children.'

"Then the messengers replied, 'It is true. What you have heard is the substance of life going back to the Creator. When this time comes there will be great misery upon the earth.'

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded a little ways farther and in a short time they reached a certain spot and stopped.

"Then said the messengers, 'Look toward the setting sun.'

"So he looked and saw. Now as he looked he seemed to see a man pacing to and fro. He seemed to be a white man and in his hand he seemed to have a bayonet with which he prodded the ground. Now moreover he seemed very angry.

"Then said the messengers, 'What did you see?'

"He answered, 'I saw what seemed to be a man pacing to and fro. He seemed to be a white man and in his hand he seemed to have a bayonet with which he prodded the ground, and, moreover, it seemed that he was angry.' So he said when he answered.

"Then the messengers said, 'It is true. He is a white man and in a temper. It is true. Indians must not help him and the head

{p. 66}

men must honestly strive to prevent their followers from helping him.'"[1]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded on their journey and had not gone far when they stopped.

"Then the messengers said, 'Watch attentively.' Then they pointed out to him a certain spot midway between the earth and the clouds. So he watched there. Now this is true. He saw a house suspended there and on the veranda with a railing about it, a man walked and with him was a penny dog (kwn'ns dji`'y). Now moreover the man was rejoicing and he was a white man.

"Then said the messengers, 'What did you see?'

"He answered, 'I saw a house suspended in the air and on the porch with a railing about it a man was walking and with him was a penny dog. Now moreover the man was a white man.'

"Then the messengers said, 'Truly you have seen. It is said that the man is the first and oldest president of the United States. Now he enjoys himself and he is the only white man so near the new world of our Creator. Now it is said that there was once a time when the Thirteen Fires and the King[2] were in trouble. The Thirteen Fires were victorious and this man won the victory from the king. Said the king, "You have overpowered me, so now I release everything that was in my control, even these Iroquois who were my helpers. It rests with you what shall be done with them. Let them be to you a thing for a sacrifice." Then said the president, "I shall let them live and go back to the places that are theirs for they are an independent people." So it is said. Now this man did a great work. He has ordered things that we may enjoy ourselves, as long as the sun shines and waters run. This is the doing of our Great Creator.'"[3]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. This section refers to the "war in the west," probably General Harrison's campaign against Tecumseh in 1811. Red jacket and all the principal chiefs were anxious to preserve peace and did all within their power to prevent their young warriors from enlisting on either side but were not entirely successful. The issue was of such moment that the prophet deemed it wise to reveal the will of the four messengers in the matter.

2. The word here is feminine and should be translated queen but this would manifestly not be in accord with truth. The error was made by Chief John jacket who wrote out the Gai'wiio` in Seneca in 1860, during the reign of Queen Victoria.

3 See Washington and the Iroquois, p. 137.]

{p. 67}


"So then they proceeded on their journey but had not gone far when they stopped.

Then the messengers said, 'Watch,' and pointed to a certain spot toward the setting sun.

"So he watched and saw a large object revolving. It was white and moving slowly.

"Then said the four messengers, 'What did you see?'

"He answered, 'I saw a large object revolving. It was white and moving slowly.'

"Then said the messengers, 'It is true. The thing is that which regulates the air over the earth. It is that which we call the Od'eo (the veil over all). It is said that it would bring great calamity should it revolve too fast. Should it turn faster it would injure mankind. Now we are the regulators and watchers of the veil over all.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded on their journey and it happened that a vision appeared unto them. They seemed to be advancing toward an approaching man. Soon they met him and passed. Now when they were a distance apart they turned and he was facing them. So they greeted each other. Then said the man, 'Sedwa:go'wan, I must ask you a question. Did you never hear your grandfathers say that once there was a certain man upon the earth across the great waters who was slain by his own people?' That was what he said when he spoke.

"Then answered Sedwa:go'wan, 'It is true. I have heard my grandparents say this.'

"Then answered the man, 'I am he.' (Segan'heds He who resurrects). And he turned his palms upward and they were scarred and his feet were likewise and his breast was pierced by a spear wound. It appeared that his hands and his feet were torn by iron nails.

"All this was true. It could be seen and blood was fresh upon him.

"Then said the man, 'They slew me because of their independence and unbelief. So I have gone home to shut the doors of heaven that they may not see me again until the earth passes away. Then

{p. 68}

will all the people cry to me for succor, and when I come it will be in this wise: my face will be sober and I shall turn it to my people. Now let me ask how your people receive your teachings.'

"He answered, 'It is my opinion that half my people are inclined to believe in me.'

"Then answered he, 'You are more successful than I for some believe in you but none in me. I am inclined to believe that in the end it will also be so with you. Now it is rumored that you are but a talker with spirits (djs'gndtha`[1]). Now it is true that I am a spirit and the one of him who was murdered. Now tell your people that they will become lost when they follow the ways of the white man.'"

So that is what he said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded on their journey and had not gone far when they came to a halt.

"Then the messengers pointed out a certain spot and said, 'Watch attentively,' and beheld a man carrying loads of dirt and depositing them in a certain spot. He carried the earth in' a wheelbarrow and his task was a hard one. Then he knew that the name of the man was Sagoyewat'ha, a chief.

"Then asked the messengers, 'What did you see?

"He answered, 'I beheld a man carrying dirt in a wheelbarrow and that man had a laborious task. His name was Sagoyewat'ha, a chief.'

"Then answered the messengers, 'You have spoken truly. Sagoyewat'ha is the name of the man who carries the dirt. It is true that his work is laborious and this is for a punishment for he was the one who first gave his consent to the sale of Indian reservations. It is said that there is hardship for those who part with their lands for money or trade. So now you have seen the doom of those who repent not. Their eternity will be one of punishment.'"[2]

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. See Spiritism, p. 126.

2. The followers of the Gai'wiio` to this day mention the name of Red Jacket with contempt. While they acknowledge his mental superiority they have no other admiration for him. He was ever the enemy of Cornplanter and Ganiodaiio with whom he had frequent collision and recognized the sachem prophet only as an impostor. The teachings of Ganiodaiio have done much to prejudice the Iroquois against Red Jacket.]

{p. 69}


"Now again they took up their journey and had not traveled far when they saw a crowd on both sides of the road. And when they came to where it was they saw that they were at the forks of the road. One road, on the right, was a narrow one and the tracks upon it were mostly those of children and all were pointed in one direction. Few adults had their tracks on this road, the road rough and wide. Now as they watched they saw a woman approaching the forks of the road from behind them. She came to where the road divided and as she halted before the roads a man who stood to the left shouted, 'To this side.' (Now the road of the wicked is owa'tgn, a rough road.) Then the man on the right said, 'Not so. This woman has done her whole duty. She has truly repented;' Then answered the man on the left, 'You are wrong, for her repentance has been of short duration and so of slight effect. But the man on the right replied, 'Truly in her earth-life she repented and was faithful to her promises. This is all that is required and she will walk upon the narrow road.'

"Now one of the messengers turned to him and said, 'The woman has lived a repented life for three days and has entered into the happy eternity. It was not an easy matter for her to do so of herself, but we, the messengers, have plead before the Creator and he has heard us. Three times we assist every one who believes to continue in the faith of the Gai'wiio`. At this division in the great road we guide the spirits of the earth into Tain'tciad (heaven land). At the forks of the road the spirits of the dead are divided. The narrow road leads to the pleasant lands of the Creator and the wide and rough road leads to the great lodge of the punisher.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


So now another.

"'Verily you have seen the breast of a man hanging here by the road and in the center of that breast you saw a bullet hole.[1] Now we have caused this thing to be placed there. All will see it and he will see it who did the wrong when he comes upon the great road and know that he must turn aside and enter upon a journey over the wide and rough road.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

[1. See section 56.]

{p. 70}


"Now again they told him that they would take up their journey and as they went they drew near to the house of the punisher. As they went over the broad road they walked well on the sides for the path was very stony. Now, strange, this was true; some great force seemed pushing them onward toward the house of the punisher.[1] Soon they began to inhale heated air and soon they heard the far away echoes of mournful cries borne on the blasts of the hot wind. At times the air was suffocating and the cries of the doomed were distressing."

So he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they approached a great lodge. It seemed constructed of iron that had been highly heated and allowed to cool. Within the building hot vapor was rising from the fire pits.

"Now the messengers spoke saying, 'Let us tarry here a while.' Then one of the beings took from his bosom a crystal and pointed it at the lodge. He approached holding the glass at arm's length and as he came near the lodge arose to the height of the man so powerful was the crystal." Eniaiehuk.


"Now they saw and then everyone knew that the house was very long and extended far out of the eye's reach. Now this is true. When a certain woman within saw the four and him drawing near she stretched out her arms and cried for help. Then answered the four, 'It is beyond our power to alter your condition now. Our work was with you on earth. Too late.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now as they looked they saw a being walking about as if he were the master of the lodge. He seemed continually distorting himself. At times horns shot out from his forehead, at times a cloven foot appeared and at times a tail was visible.[2]

[1. The prophet here alludes to the ease with which one may glide over the broad road. "it is no work to sin," says the preacher, "or the devil furnishes the legs for you."

2. The prophet has very evidently borrowed his devil from transatlantic sources.]

{p. 71}

"Then said the four messengers to Ganiodai'io`, 'That being is the punisher. It is he who torments those who have refused the words of Gai'wiio` when they heard them on the earth.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"In a loud voice the punisher cried to a certain person saying, 'Come hither.' The punisher held a drinking vessel in his hand and within it was molten metal and thrusting it in the hands of the man he had called he said, 'Now warm yourself again as was your custom while on the earth for you loved hot drink.' Now the man pleaded but the punisher compelled him to swallow the molten metal. Then the man screamed in a loud voice and fell prone upon the ground with vapor steaming from his throat. Now he cried no more.

"Then said the four messengers, 'You have seen the manner of punishing those who persist in taking the fiery drink.'

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now as they looked the master of the house spoke saying, 'Come.' Now the master knew the name of every one within the house. And straightway a woman came to where he stood. Then he grabbed her and forced her body into a great cauldron filled with a boiling liquid. Frequently he looked down into the cauldron to see if the woman had come again to the top. Suddenly she shot to the surface crying in a strange voice like some unknown animal and then sank down again. Soon again she appeared and cried, 'O, it is too hot! I should have an interval in which to cool myself!' Answered the punisher, 'Thou are not one-minded,' and jerking her out he flung her on one side. But the woman screeched in agony, 'O, it is too cold!' and her complaint was continuous and she moaned, 'It is too cold!' Then the punisher thrust her back into the boiling cauldron and immediately her bones rattled to the bottom. Such was the punishment given by the keeper of the house of torment.

"Then spoke the four messengers and said, 'This is the punishment given those who practice witchcraft. The woman whom you saw will suffer two deaths in this place and when her body is reduced to dust the punisher will gather them up again and conjure the dust back into a living body and continue his sport until finally

{p. 72}

he has become weary when he will blow her ashes to destruction. Such things happen to those who will not believe in Gai'wiio`.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now he saw a certain nude woman coming out from a crowd and in all the hair of her body were writhing serpents. Her cheeks were parched to the bone where she had been wont to color them and likewise where her hair was parted there was no flesh. Now she was greatly ashamed but she could not cover her nakedness. So in this condition he saw her.

"Then said the four messengers, 'Saw thou that woman? In life she was wont to give on'oityi'ynde, [secret powders] to men to attract them to her. So you have seen the punishment meted out to those who do this and do not repent.'

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they revealed another.

"Now the master of the house looked about and saw another person. So he said, 'Come, here, my nephew, I wish to see you flog your wife as was your custom on the earth.' The punisher then pointed out the image of a woman heated hot with fire and commanded the man to beat the image. Then the man pleaded with moans to be released from the command but the punisher forced him to strike the image with his bare hands, and the man fell in agony prostrate upon the floor screaming. So he saw.

"Then said the four messengers, 'You have seen the punishment given to the man who beat his wife. Thus it will be with all who fail to repent and fail to believe in Gai'wiio`. Now such was the evil that this man did to grieve his Creator.'"

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they revealed another.

"The master of the house called out the names of two persons, saying, 'Come here, my nephews,'[1] and straightway they stood before him. Then said he, 'Commence an argument, you two, for you are the man and wife who in your earth-life were wont to

[1. The Seneca term means my sister's children," thus both nephews and nieces.]

{p. 73}

quarrel continually, so quarrel again!' Then when he saw that the people were reluctant he compelled them to argue. Then they disputed until their eyes bulged from their heads, their tongues lolled out and flames of fire shot from gan'shoo?. So this was what he saw.

"Then said the messengers, 'This is the punishment reserved for those who quarrel without ceasing and fail to repent.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they showed him another:

"Now the punisher called out a certain woman's name saying, 'Come to me, my niece,' and straightway she came. Then said he, 'It was once your delight gaknowe'haat.' As he said this he lifted up an object from a pile and thrust it within her. Now the object was like ha?ji'no? gn?', and it was red hot. Then she cried aloud in agony and she fell with steam issuing from her body. Now there were three piles of g'n?, the first white, the second red and the third black and all were g'n?.' So this was what he saw.

"Then the messengers said, 'You have seen the punishment of the immoral woman.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they showed him another.

"Now the punisher called out in a loud voice saying, 'My nephew, come hither,' and the man stood before him. 'Now, nephew, play your violin as was once your delight.' The punisher handed the man a bar of hot iron and forced him to rub it upon his arm. So he played and the cords of his arm were the strings of the instrument and made the music. So in great agony he cried and screamed until he fell.[1]

"Then said the four messengers, 'You have seen the punishment of the man who failed to repent.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now they revealed another.

"Now the punisher called out in a loud voice and commanded two persons to appear before him. Now when they stood before

[1. The pagan Indians detest the "fiddle" and "fiddle dances" as things of great evil and assert that they produce as much wickedness as drunkenness.]

{p. 74}

him he handed them what seemed a pack of red hot iron cards. Then he forced the two to sit down facing each other and compelled them to shuffle the cards and as they did flames spurted out from between them. So they cried out in great agony, sucked their fingers in their mouths, handled the cards again until their flesh was eaten away and the meat fell off. So this is what he saw.

"Then the messengers said, 'This is the punishment meted out to those who handle cards and repent not.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Verily he saw those who were upon the earth and those who were alive and he saw the wicked in the house of torment. He saw Gowonon?'gowa [she great talker], Gkon'go? [she-glutton animal], Gnonjoni'yon [hanging kettle] and Hano'e:s [head-eater]. Verily he saw these four persons.

"Then said the four messengers, 'These four have committed the great sin and can not be forgiven.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Then said the messengers, 'We will proceed on our journey. It would be a hard thing should we tarry too long and meet the Creator on the road before we reach his pleasant lands. If we should meet him you should be compelled to stay here forever.'

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Then they went out upon the narrow road and had not gone far upon it when a far more brilliant light appeared. It was then that they smelled the fragrant odors of the flowers along the road. Delicious looking fruits were growing on the wayside and every kind of bird flew in the air above them. The most marvelous and beautiful things were on every hand. And all these things were on the heaven road." Eniaiehuk.


"So they continued on their journey and after a short time they came to a halt. Then spoke the messengers, 'This place is called, "the spring" and it is a place for rest.' Then behold he saw the spring and he thought that he had never seen so beautiful and

[1. See legend, Two brothers who went to the sky, p. 132.]

{p. 75}

clear a fount of water. Then said the four, 'This is a place of refreshment.' One of the four drew a bottle from his bosom, so it seemed and it was, and dipped it in the spring. Then he said, 'You must partake first,' and so he took it, but when he looked at it he thought it was not enough. So he said, 'I think that this is not sufficient.' And when he had said this the messengers looked at one another and smiled and one said, 'Truly it is enough. If it lacks, there is still the spring and the vessel may be refilled. So all took and drank and all the drink that all wished was in the bottle. Then said the messengers, 'This is a place of meeting. Now we will go on our journey.'" [There are also said to have been two other meeting places, Dioge:?'djaie, Grassy Place, and Dion'dot, The Tree.]

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


So then they proceeded on their journey and had gone but a short way when they saw someone coming toward them and it was not long before they met. Then he saw it was a dog and when they met, the dog began to wag its tail and sprang upon him. Then he recognized the animal as his own dog and it appeared just as it had when he had decorated it for the sacrifice in the Hadidji'yontws [New Year's ceremony]. Then said the four, 'This thing attests to the value of our thankoffering to the Creator.'"[1]

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they took up their journey again and in a short time came to a halt. In the distance before them a man appeared to be coming and soon he came nearer. Then he saw that the man was guiding two others, one on either side of him. Now as he looked he saw that one was the daughter of Gaint'wak and it appeared that she was a large child. With her was his (Ganio`dai'io`) own son, an infant, and they greeted one another, the son and the daughter. Now one could see that they were not strangers for they were friendly. Now moreover a fourth person was leading them all." Eniaiehuk.


"Now that person spoke and said, 'I brought them with me to testify to the truth that those of the lower world when they pass away come hither.'

[1. See p. 85, Sacrifice of the white dog.]

{p. 76}

"Then spoke the daughter of Gain'twak, 'I send a message. It is this: It grieves me to know that my brothers on the earth disagree with my father. Bid them cease their disagreement.' So she said."



"So they took up their journey again and in a short time came to a halt. There was a more brilliant light and as they stood suddenly they heard the echo of a commanding voice calling the people together for the performance of the great feather dance.

"Then asked the four messengers, 'What think you has happened?'

"He answered, 'I heard the commanding voice of Joi'ise calling the people to celebrate the great feather dance.'

"Then replied the four messengers, 'Verily, Joi'ise, your friend is he who calls. He it was who was faithful and good and when he passed away in the lands of the Creator he continued as on the earth [to be a leader].'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"So they took up their journey again and after a ways the four messengers said, 'We have arrived at the point where you must return. Here there is a house prepared for your eternal abode but should you now enter a room you could never go back to the earth-world.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now when he arrived in Tonawanda having come from Dionon?'sdeg he was reluctant in performing his religious duties."


"Now he was at Cornplanter ten years, at Cold Spring two years and at Tonawanda four years. From there he went to Ganonktiyuk'gego, Onondaga, and there fell our head man."


"Now it happened that while he still abode at Tonawanda an invitation was extended by the people of Onondaga asking him to come and preach Gai'wiio` to the chiefs and head men there."

{p. 77}


"Now it happened that the four messengers appeared to him when the invitation was extended, they the four speakers and messengers of the Great Spirit of the worlds.

"Now the first words that they spoke were these, 'They have stretched out their hands pleading for you to come and they are your own people at Onondaga. Let this be the way, prepare yourself and cleanse your body with medicine.' It is necessary moreover for you to secrete yourself in some hidden spot and await our call to start.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.


"Now there will be another and his name will be the New Voice, Hawnose?'.

"So now it was that Ganio`dai'io` was bidden the third time to sing his song and this the messengers said would be the last.

"Now then he said, 'There is nothing to incumber me from fulfilling my call."'

So said our head man. Eniaiehuk.


"Thus it happened in the past and it is the truth.

"'I must now take up my final journey to the new world,' he thought, and be was greatly troubled and longed for the home of his childhood and pined to return.

[1. Purification. The herb used most extensively by the Iroquois for "purification" was witch hopple, the bark of which was used both as an emetic and a purgative. For an emetic the bark was peeled upward and for a purgative downward.

Early in the spring during the spell of warm days the people would take their kettles, jars of soup and deerskins and go alone into the woods for their ceremony of purification. Here they would scrape the bark, build a fire and make a strong infusion of the witch hopple bark. The drink was taken in large quantities and then the Indian would sit wrapped in his deerskin to await the results. From sunrise to sunset the drink would be taken until the alimentary tract was completely emptied. Toward sundown a little soup would be sipped to ward off excessive weakness, and give strength to return home. The next morning sweat baths were often taken, though not always, and then solid food was eaten. This process was thought to purify the body and without doubt did much to do so. Besides the customary spring purification others were sometimes ordered for disease and for preparations for ordeals, tests and ceremonial purposes. The process was again repeated in the autumn.]

{p. 78}

"Then came the four messengers to him and said, 'The children will comfort you in your distress for they are without sin. They will elect a certain one from among them to plead that you continue to abide among them.'"

So they said. Eniaiehuk.

"Now it happened that it came to pass that all the children assembled and their spokesman did his utmost to exact a promise from Ganio`dai'io`. So great was his grief that after he had spoken a short time he could no longer plead. Then another boy was appointed by the children, a boy not bashful but rough and bold. So he, too, endeavored to persuade Ganio`dai'io`, but it was a difficult task for him and he could scarcely speak, but he did. Then Ganio`dai'io` made an answer to the children. He rose and exhorted them to ever be faithful and a great multitude heard him and wept." Eniaiehuk.


"Now at this time there was a man and his name was New Voice, a chief of equal rank with Cornplanter. Now this man urged Ganio`dai'io` to accept the invitation of his friends and relatives of Onondaga. He said, 'It is as if they were stretching forth their necks to see you coming. Now I am going forth to a gathering of chiefs at Buffalo on the long strip that is the fireplace of the Six Nations,[1] the great meeting place of human creatures. I will go so that I may believe that you are. on your journey and I will ride away as fast as my horse can go.' So he said."


"Now then Ganio`dai'io` started on his journey and a large number followed him that they might hear him speak. They had no conveyances but traveled afoot.

"Now when they came to their camping spot at Ganowa'gs,[1] he said to them in a commanding voice, 'Assemble early in the morning.' Now when they did he offered thanks and afterward he said, 'I have had a dream, a wondrous vision. I seemed to see a pathway, a trail overgrown and covered With grass so that it appeared not to have been traveled in a long time.' Now no one spoke but

[1. At this time there was an Onondaga village on the Buffalo Creek tract. It became therefore a legal meeting place for the Six Nations. The Canadian refugees often returned to council there.

2. The site of the village opposite the present Avon, N. Y.]

{p. 79}

when all had heard and he had finished they dispersed and they continued on their journey."


"Now their next camping spot was near Ganndase?'ge'.[1]

"Now when they had all come up to the spot he called out in a commanding voice, 'Come hither and give thanks.' Now when the ceremony was over he said, 'I heard in a dream a certain woman speaking but I am not able to say whether she was of Onondaga or of Tonawanda from whence we came.' So this was what he said when he related his dream. Then all the company dispersed." Eniaiehuk.


"So they proceeded on their journey.

"Now it happened that when they were near the reservation line he said, 'Let us refresh ourselves before going farther.' So they sat down and ate and then they continued on their journey."

"Now it happened that when they were over the reservation line that he said, 'I have forgotten my knife. I may have left it where we stopped and ate last. I can not lose that knife for it is one that I prize above many things. Therefore I must return and find it.'

"The preacher went back alone and there was no one to go with him. Now he became very ill and it was with great difficulty that he returned. The others had all gone on to the council but he was not able to get to it for he was very sick and in great distress. So when he did not come it was said, 'Our meeting is only a gathering about the fireplace.'" Eniaiehuk.


"Now it happened that they all wished to comfort him. So for his pleasure they started a game of lacrosse[3] and played the game well. It was a bright and beautiful day and they brought him out so that he might see the play. Soon he desired to be taken back into the house." Eniaiehuk.


"Now shortly after he said a few words. To the numbers gathered about him to hear his message he said, "I will soon go to

[1. The Seneca village near the present site of Geneva, N. Y.

2. Games were often played to cheer and cure the sick. Special foods were given the players.]

{p. 80}

my new home.[1] Soon I will step into the new world for there is a plain pathway before me leading there. Whoever follows my teachings will follow in my footsteps and I will look back upon him with outstretched arms inviting him into the new world of our Creator. Alas, I fear that a pall of smoke will obscure the eyes of many from the truth of Gai'wiio` but I pray that when I am gone that all may do what I have taught.'

"This is what he said. This is what Ganio`dai'io`, our head man, said to his people." Eniaiehuk.

[Then the preacher says:] "Relatives and friends: His term of ministry was sixteen years. So preached our head man, Ganio`dai'io`.

"Let this be our thanks to you and to the four messengers also. I give thanks to them for they are the messengers of our Creator. So, also, I give thanks to him whom we call Sdwa:gowa:n, our great teacher. So, also, I give thanks to our great Creator.

So have I said, I, Sosondowa (Great Night), the preacher."

[Signed] EDWARD CORNPLANTER, Sosondowa

[1. Handsome Lake died August 10, 1815, at Onondaga. His last moments were spent in a small cabin near the creek that runs into Onondaga creek at the foot of the terrace. Three persons attended him and swore to keep all details secret. He is said to have died before his nephew, Henry Obeal, could reach him.]

{p. 81}