Constitution Articles 79 - 91

Iroquois Warriors - Beaver Wars

Iroquois Warriors

Read the 117 Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. This page contains Articles 79 - 91.

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 79 - 91

Articles 79 - 91 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 79 - 91

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 79
1. Rights and Powers of War


79. Skanawatih shall be vested with a double office, duty and with double authority. One-half of his being shall hold the Lordship title and the other half shall hold the title of War Chief. In the event of war he shall notify the five War Chiefs of the Confederacy and command them to prepare for war and have their men ready at the appointed time and place for engagement with the enemy of the Great Peace.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 80
80. When the Confederate Council of the Five Nations has for its object the establishment of the Great Peace among the people of an outside nation and that nation refuses to accept the Great Peace, then by such refusal they bring a declaration of war upon themselves from the Five Nations. Then shall the Five Nations seek to establish the Great Peace by a conquest of the rebellious nation.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 81
81. When the men of the Five Nations, now called forth to become warriors, are ready for battle with an obstinate opposing nation that has refused to accept the Great Peace, then one of the five War Chiefs shall be chosen by the warriors of the Five Nations to lead the army into battle. It shall be the duty of the War Chief so chosen to come before his warriors and address them. His aim shall be to impress upon them the necessity of good behavior and strict obedience to all the commands of the War Chiefs. He shall deliver an oration exhorting them with great zeal to be brave and courageous and never to be guilty of cowardice. At the conclusion of his oration he shall march forward and commence the War Song and he shall sing:


Now I am greatly surprised

And, therefore I shall use it

The power of my War Song.

I am of the Five Nations

And I shall make supplication

To the Almighty Creator.

He has furnished this army.

My warriors shall be mighty

In the strength of the Creator.

Between him and my song they are

For it was he who gave the song

This war song that I sing!

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 82
82. When the warriors of the Five Nations are on an expedition against an enemy, the War Chief shall sing the War Song as he approaches the country of the enemy and not cease until his scouts have reported that the army is near the enemies' lines when the War Chief shall approach with great caution and prepare for the attack.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 83
83. When peace shall have been established by the termination of the war against a foreign nation, then the War Chief shall cause all the weapons of war to be taken from the nation. Then shall the Great Peace be established and that nation shall observe all the rules of the Great Peace for all time to come.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 84
84. Whenever a foreign nation is conquered or has by their own will accepted the Great Peace their own system of internal government may continue, but they must cease all warfare against other nations.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 85
85. Whenever a war against a foreign nation is pushed until that nation is about exterminated because of its refusal to accept the Great Peace and if that nation shall by its obstinacy become exterminated, all their rights, property and territory shall become the property of the Five Nations.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 86
86. Whenever a foreign nation is conquered and the survivors are brought into the territory of the Five Nations' Confederacy and placed under the Great Peace the two shall be known as the Conqueror and the Conquered. A symbolic relationship shall be devised and be placed in some symbolic position. The conquered nation shall have no voice in the councils of the Confederacy in the body of the Lords.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 87
87. When the War of the Five Nations on a foreign rebellious nation is ended, peace shall be restored to that nation by a withdrawal of all their weapons of war by the War Chief of the Five Nations. When all the terms of peace shall have been agreed upon a state of friendship shall be established.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 88
88. When the proposition to establish the Great Peace is made to a foreign nation it shall be done in mutual council. The foreign nation is to be persuaded by reason and urged to come into the Great Peace. If the Five Nations fail to obtain the consent of the nation at the first council a second council shall be held and upon a second failure a third council shall be held and this third council shall end the peaceful methods of persuasion. At the third council the War Chief of the Five nations shall address the Chief of the foreign nation and request him three times to accept the Great Peace. If refusal steadfastly follows the War Chief shall let the bunch of white lake shells drop from his outstretched hand to the ground and shall bound quickly forward and club the offending chief to death. War shall thereby be declared and the War Chief shall have his warriors at his back to meet any emergency. War must continue until the contest is won by the Five Nations.

 

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 89
89. When the Lords of the Five Nations propose to meet in conference with a foreign nation with proposals for an acceptance of the Great Peace, a large band of warriors shall conceal themselves in a secure place safe from the espionage of the foreign nation but as near at hand as possible. Two warriors shall accompany the Union Lord who carries the proposals and these warriors shall be especially cunning. Should the Lord be attacked, these warriors shall hasten back to the army of warriors with the news of the calamity which fell through the treachery of the foreign nation.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 90
90. When the Five Nations' Council declares war any Lord of the Confederacy may enlist with the warriors by temporarily renouncing his sacred Lordship title which he holds through the election of his women relatives. The title then reverts to them and they may bestow it upon another temporarily until the war is over when the Lord, if living, may resume his title and seat in the Council.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Article 91
91. A certain wampum belt of black beads shall be the emblem of the authority of the Five War Chiefs to take up the weapons of war and with their men to resist invasion. This shall be called a war in defense of the territory.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Articles 79 - 91
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

  • The Iroquois Confederacy Constitution of Native Americans
  • Text of the Articles 79 - 91
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  • Read the words of the Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
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Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
The Iroquois Confederacy Constitution - Articles 79 - 91. 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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