THE GREAT LAW OF THE IROQUOIS
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE IROQUOIS NATIONS
THE GREAT BINDING LAW, GAYANASHAGOWA
The Installation Song
105. The song used in installing the new Lord of the Confederacy
shall be sung by Adodarhoh and it shall be:
Haii, haii A-kon-he-watha
Haii, haii Ska-we-ye-se-go-wah
Haii, haii Yon-gwa-wih
Haii, haii Ya-kon-he-wa-tha
Haii, haii It is
Haii, haii (That)
a broom, --
Haii, haii A great
Haii, haii It is
Haii, haii For
a sweeping instrument."
106. Whenever a person properly entitled desires to learn
the Pacification Song he is privileged to do so but he must
prepare a feast at which his teachers may sit with him and
sing. The feast is provided that no misfortune may befall
them for singing the song on an occasion when no chief is
Protection of the House
107. A certain sign shall be known to all the people of
the Five Nations which shall denote that the owner or occupant
of a house is absent. A stick or pole in a slanting or leaning
position shall indicate this and be the sign. Every person
not entitled to enter the house by right of living within
it upon seeing such a sign shall not approach the house either
by day or by night but shall keep as far away as his business
108. At the funeral of a Lord of the Confederacy, say: Now
we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a Lord
of the Five Nations' Confederacy and the United People trusted
you. Now we release you for it is true that it is no longer
possible for us to walk about together on the earth. Now,
therefore, we lay it (the body) here. Here we lay it away.
Now then we say to you, 'Persevere onward to the place where
the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things of the earth
hinder you. Let nothing that transpired while yet you lived
hinder you. In hunting you once took delight; in the game
of Lacrosse you once took delight and in the feasts and pleasant
occasions your mind was amused, but now do not allow thoughts
of these things to give you trouble. Let not your relatives
hinder you and also let not your friends and associates trouble
your mind. Regard none of these things.'
"Now then, in turn, you here present who were related
to this man and you who were his friends and associates, behold
the path that is yours also! Soon we ourselves will be left
in that place. For this reason hold yourselves in restraint
as you go from place to place. In your actions and in your
conversation do no idle thing. Speak not idle talk neither
gossip. Be careful of this and speak not and do not give way
to evil behavior. One year is the time that you must abstain
from unseemly levity but if you can not do this for ceremony,
ten days is the time to regard these things for respect."109.
At the funeral of a War Chief, say: "Now we become reconciled
as you start away. You were once a War Chief of the Five Nations'
Confederacy and the United People trusted you as their guard
from the enemy." (The remainder is the same as the address
at the funeral of a Lord).
110. At the funeral of a Warrior, say: "Now we become
reconciled as you start away. Once you were a devoted provider
and protector of your family and you were ever ready to take
part in battles for the Five Nations' Confederacy. The United
People trusted you." (The remainder is the same as the
address at the funeral of a Lord).
111. At the funeral of a young man, say: "Now we become
econciled as you start away. In the beginning of your career
you are taken away and the flower of your life is withered
away." (The remainder is the same as the address at the
funeral of a Lord).
112. At the funeral of a chief woman, say: "Now we
become econciled as you start away. You were once a chief
woman in the Five Nations' Confederacy. You once were a mother
of the nations. Now we release you for it is true that it
is no longer possible for us to walk about together on the
earth. Now, therefore, we lay it (the body) here. Here we
lay it away. Now then we say to you, 'Persevere onward to
the place where the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things
of the earth hinder you. Let nothing that transpired while
you lived hinder you. Looking after your family was a sacred
duty and you were faithful. You were one of the many joint
heirs of the Lordship titles. Feastings were yours and you
had pleasant occasions. . ." (The remainder is the same
as the address at the funeral of a Lord).
113. At the funeral of a woman of the people, say: "Now
we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a woman
in the flower of life and the bloom is now withered away.
You once held a sacred position as a mother of the nation.
(Etc.) Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you
were faithful. Feastings . . .(etc.)" (The remainder
is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).
114. At the funeral of an infant or young woman, say: "Now
we become reconciled as you start away. You were a tender
bud and gladdened our hearts for only a few days. Now the
bloom has withered away . . . (etc.) Let none of the things
that transpired on earth hinder you. Let nothing that happened
while you lived hinder you." (The remainder is the same
as the address at the funeral of a Lord).
[Editors note: the above ellipses and
'etc.' remarks are transcribed directly from the text I copied.]
115. When an infant dies within three days, mourning shall
continue only five days. Then shall you gather the little
boys and girls at the house of mourning and at the funeral
feast a speaker shall address the children and bid them be
happy once more, though by a death, gloom has been cast over
them. Then shall the black clouds roll away and the sky shall
show blue once more. Then shall the children be again in sunshine.
116. When a dead person is brought to the burial place,
the speaker on the opposite side of the Council Fire shall
bid the bereaved family cheer their minds once again and rekindle
their hearth fires in peace, to put their house in order and
once again be in brightness for darkness has covered them.
He shall say that the black clouds shall roll away and that
the bright blue sky is visible once more. Therefore shall
they be in peace in the sunshine again.
117. Three strings of shell one span in length shall be
employed in addressing the assemblage at the burial of the
dead. The speaker shall say:
"Hearken you who are here, this body is to be covered.
Assemble in this place again ten days hence for it is the
decree of the Creator that mourning shall cease when ten days
have expired. Then shall a feast be made."
Then at the expiration of ten days the speaker shall say:
"Continue to listen you who are here. The ten days of
mourning have expired and your minds must now be freed of
sorrow as before the loss of a relative. The relatives have
decided to make a little compensation to those who have assisted
at the funeral. It is a mere expression of thanks. This is
to the one who did the cooking while the body was lying in
the house. Let her come forward and receive this gift and
be dismissed from the task." In substance this shall
be repeated for every one who assisted in any way until all
have been remembered.
Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net - aa300)
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1996, 1997 The Singing Tuscaroras