Constitution Articles 35 - 54

Iroquois Warriors - Beaver Wars

Iroquois Warriors

Read the 117 Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. This page contains Articles 35 - 54.

The Iroquois Confederacy was a powerful confederation of Native American Indians which was originally composed of 5 tribes consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca people. The Great Law of Peace was the basis of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution which was brought to the tribes by the prophet Deganawida and his spokesman, Hiawatha. 

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Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Articles 35 - 54

Articles 35 - 54 of the original Iroquois Confederacy Constitution are detailed on this page.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
The Constitution Of The Iroquois Nations
The Great Binding Law, Gayanashagowa

Articles 35 - 54

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 35
Election of Pine Tree Chiefs

35. Should any man of the Nation assist with special ability or show great interest in the affairs of the Nation, if he proves himself wise, honest and worthy of confidence, the Confederate Lords may elect him to a seat with them and he may sit in the Confederate Council. He shall be proclaimed a 'Pine Tree sprung up for the Nation' and shall be installed as such at the next assembly for the installation of Lords. Should he ever do anything contrary to the rules of the Great Peace, he may not be deposed from office -- no one shall cut him down -- but thereafter everyone shall be deaf to his voice and his advice. Should he resign his seat and title no one shall prevent him. A Pine Tree chief has no authority to name a successor nor is his title hereditary.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 36
Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs


36. The title names of the Chief Confederate Lords' War Chiefs shall be:


Ayonwaehs, War Chief under Lord Takarihoken (Mohawk) Kahonwahdironh, War Chief under Lord Odatshedeh (Oneida) Ayendes, War Chief under Lord Adodarhoh (Onondaga) Wenenhs, War Chief under Lord Dekaenyonh (Cayuga) Shoneradowaneh, War Chief under Lord Skanyadariyo (Seneca)


The women heirs of each head Lord's title shall be the heirs of the War Chief's title of their respective Lord. The War Chiefs shall be selected from the eligible sons of the female families holding the head Lordship titles.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 37
37. There shall be one War Chief for each Nation and their duties shall be to carry messages for their Lords and to take up the arms of war in case of emergency. They shall not participate in the proceedings of the Confederate Council but shall watch its progress and in case of an erroneous action by a Lord they shall receive the complaints of the people and convey the warnings of the women to him. The people who wish to convey messages to the Lords in the Confederate Council shall do so through the War Chief of their Nation. It shall ever be his duty to lay the cases, questions and propositions of the people before the Confederate Council.

 

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 38
38. When a War Chief dies another shall be installed by the same rite as that by which a Lord is installed.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 39
39. If a War Chief acts contrary to instructions or against the provisions of the Laws of the Great Peace, doing so in the capacity of his office, he shall be deposed by his women relatives and by his men relatives. Either the women or the men alone or jointly may act in such a case. The women title holders shall then choose another candidate.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 40
40. When the Lords of the Confederacy take occasion to dispatch a messenger in behalf of the Confederate Council, they shall wrap up any matter they may send and instruct the messenger to remember his errand, to turn not aside but to proceed faithfully to his destination and deliver his message according to every instruction.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 41
41. If a message borne by a runner is the warning of an invasion he shall whoop, "Kwa-ah, Kwa-ah," twice and repeat at short intervals; then again at a longer interval. If a human being is found dead, the finder shall not touch the body but return home immediately shouting at short intervals, "Koo-weh!"

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 42
Clans and Consanguinity (descended from the same ancestor)

42. Among the Five Nations and their posterity there shall be the following original clans: Great Name Bearer, Ancient Name Bearer, Great Bear, Ancient Bear, Turtle, Painted Turtle, Standing Rock, Large Plover, Deer, Pigeon Hawk, Eel, Ball, Opposite-Side-of-the-Hand, and Wild Potatoes. These clans distributed through their respective Nations, shall be the sole owners and holders of the soil of the country and in them is it vested as a birthright.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 43
43. People of the Five Nations members of a certain clan shall recognize every other member of that clan, irrespective of the Nation, as relatives. Men and women, therefore, members of the same clan are forbidden to marry.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 44
44. The lineal descent of the people of the Five Nations shall run in the female line. Women shall be considered the progenitors of the Nation. They shall own the land and the soil. Men and women shall follow the status of the mother.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 45
45. The women heirs of the Confederated Lordship titles shall be called Royaneh (Noble) for all time to come.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 46
46. The women of the Forty Eight (now fifty) Royaneh families shall be the heirs of the Authorized Names for all time to come. When an infant of the Five Nations is given an Authorized Name at the Midwinter Festival or at the Ripe Corn Festival, one in the cousinhood of which the infant is a member shall be appointed a speaker. He shall then announce to the opposite cousinhood the names of the father and the mother of the child together with the clan of the mother. Then the speaker shall announce the child's name twice. The uncle of the child shall then take the child in his arms and walking up and down the room shall sing: "My head is firm, I am of the Confederacy." As he sings the opposite cousinhood shall respond by chanting, "Hyenh, Hyenh, Hyenh, Hyenh," until the song is ended.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 47
47. If the female heirs of a Confederate Lord's title become extinct, the title right shall be given by the Lords of the Confederacy to the sister family whom they shall elect and that family shall hold the name and transmit it to their (female) heirs, but they shall not appoint any of their sons as a candidate for a title until all the eligible men of the former family shall have died or otherwise have become ineligible.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 48
48. If all the heirs of a Lordship title become extinct, and all the families in the clan, then the title shall be given by the Lords of the Confederacy to the family in a sister clan whom they shall elect.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 49
49. If any of the Royaneh women, heirs of a titleship, shall wilfully withhold a Lordship or other title and refuse to bestow it, or if such heirs abandon, forsake or despise their heritage, then shall such women be deemed buried and their family extinct. The titleship shall then revert to a sister family or clan upon application and complaint. The Lords of the Confederacy shall elect the family or clan which shall in future hold the title.

 

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 50
50. The Royaneh women of the Confederacy heirs of the Lordship titles shall elect two women of their family as cooks for the Lord when the people shall assemble at his house for business or other purposes. It is not good nor honorable for a Confederate Lord to allow his people whom he has called to go hungry.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 51
51. When a Lord holds a conference in his home, his wife, if she wishes, may prepare the food for the Union Lords who assemble with him. This is an honorable right which she may exercise and an expression of her esteem.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 52
52. The Royaneh women, heirs of the Lordship titles, shall, should it be necessary, correct and admonish the holders of their titles. Those only who attend the Council may do this and those who do not shall not object to what has been said nor strive to undo the action.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 53
53. When the Royaneh women, holders of a Lordship title, select one of their sons as a candidate, they shall select one who is trustworthy, of good character, of honest disposition, one who manages his own affairs, su35orts his own family, if any, and who has proven a faithful man to his Nation.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 54
54. When a Lordship title becomes vacant through death or other cause, the Royaneh women of the clan in which the title is hereditary shall hold a council and shall choose one from among their sons to fill the office made vacant. Such a candidate shall not be the father of any Confederate Lord. If the choice is unanimous the name is referred to the men relatives of the clan. If they should disapprove it shall be their duty to select a candidate from among their own number. If then the men and women are unable to decide which of the two candidates shall be named, then the matter shall be referred to the Confederate Lords in the Clan.

They shall decide which candidate shall be named. If the men and the women agree to a candidate his name shall be referred to the sister clans for confirmation. If the sister clans confirm the choice, they shall refer their action to their Confederate Lords who shall ratify the choice and present it to their cousin Lords, and if the cousin Lords confirm the name then the candidate shall be installed by the proper ceremony for the conferring of Lordship titles.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Articles 35 - 54
Read about the History and founding of the Iroquois Confederacy. The full text of the 117 Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution can be accessed via the following links:

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 01 - 12 : Role of the Great Council

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 13 - 19 : Council membership, Wampum

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 20 - 26 : Eligibility and Resignation

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 27 - 34 : Candidates

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 35 - 54 : Election of Pine Tree Chiefs,
Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs, Women, Clans and Consanguinity


Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 55 - 65 : Official Symbolism and Wampum

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 66 - 78 : Laws of Adoption, Laws of Emigration
and Rights of Foreign Nations


Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 79 - 91 : Rights and Powers of War

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 92 - 106 : Treason or Secession of a Nation,
Rights of the People of the Five Nations, Religious Ceremonies Protected


Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 107 - 117 : Protection of the House, Funeral Addresses

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
The 117 articles of the original Iroquois Confederacy Constitution are detailed in this section of the website. The words and text were prepared by Gerald Murphy and distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the National Public Telecomputing Network.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution

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The Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Articles 35 - 54. Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to the History of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes that can be used as a really useful educational history resource for kids and children of all ages. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic of this section - Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with information and many historical facts. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Native Indian Tribes Index - a great educational resource for kids.

 

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