Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation

Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation
A Study in Anthropology.

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Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation by Horatio Hale

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1881

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Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation
A Study in Anthropology.

By

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(0 Reviews)
A Paper Read at the Cincinnati Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in August, 1881, under the Title of ''A Lawgiver of the Stone Age.''

Book Excerpt

hawk river in a canoe. Many incidents of his journey are told, and in this part of the narrative alone some occurrences of a marvellous cast are related even by the official historians. Indeed, the flight of Hiawatha from Onondaga to the country of the Mohawks is to the Five Nations what the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina is to the votaries of Islam. It is the turning point of their history. In embellishing the narrative at this point, their imagination has been allowed a free course. Leaving aside these marvels, however, we need only refer here to a single incident which may well enough have been of actual occurrence. A lake which Hiawatha crossed had shores abounding in small white shells. These he gathered and strung upon strings, which he disposed upon his breast, as a token to all whom he should meet that he came as a messenger of peace. And this, according to one authority, was the origin of wampum, of which Hiawatha was the inventor. That honor, however, is one which must be denied to him. The