THE GREAT LAW OF THE IROQUOIS
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE IROQUOIS NATIONS
THE GREAT BINDING LAW, GAYANASHAGOWA
Laws of Adoption
66. The father of a child of great comliness, learning,
ability or specially loved because of some circumstance may,
at the will of the child's clan, select a name from his own
(the father's) clan and bestow it by ceremony, such as is
provided. This naming shall be only temporary and shall be
called, "A name hung about the neck."
67. Should any person, a member of the Five Nations' Confederacy,
specially esteem a man or woman of another clan or of a foreign
nation, he may choose a name and bestow it upon that person
so esteemed. The naming shall be in accord with the ceremony
of bestowing names. Such a name is only a temporary one and
shall be called "A name hung about the neck." A
short string of shells shall be delivered with the name as
a record and a pledge.
68. Should any member of the Five Nations, a family or person
belonging to a foreign nation submit a proposal for adoption
into a clan of one of the Five Nations, he or they shall furnish
a string of shells, a span in length, as a pledge to the clan
into which he or they wish to be adopted. The Lords of the
nation shall then consider the proposal and submit a decision.
69. Any member of the Five Nations who through esteem or
other feeling wishes to adopt an individual, a family or number
of families may offer adoption to him or them and if accepted
the matter shall be brought to the attention of the Lords
for confirmation and the Lords must confirm adoption.
70. When the adoption of anyone shall have been confirmed
by the Lords of the Nation, the Lords shall address the people
of their nation and say: "Now you of our nation, be informed
that such a person, such a family or such families have ceased
forever to bear their birth nation's name and have buried
it in the depths of the earth. Henceforth let no one of our
nation ever mention the original name or nation of their birth.
To do so will be to hasten the end of our peace.
Laws of Emigration
71. When any person or family belonging to the Five Nations
desires to abandon their birth nation and the territory of
the Five Nations, they shall inform the Lords of their nation
and the Confederate Council of the Five Nations shall take
cognizance of it.
72. When any person or any of the people of the Five Nations
emigrate and reside in a region distant from the territory
of the Five Nations Confederacy, the Lords of the Five
Nations at will may send a messenger carrying a broad
belt of black shells and when the messenger arrives
he shall call the people together or address them personally
displaying the belt of shells and they shall know that
this is an order for them to return to their original
homes and to their council fires.