s    
My Bio View the Art Store Events Exhibits  
Creation Peacemaker
Jikohnsaseh
Hayenwentha
The Confederacy Prophecies


stories on this page
forward
Epoch of Othe Peacemakers
Field of Plenty
Sky World
Creation Story
Sky Woman 
The Courting of Lynx 
The Earth is Organized:

The Contest

FORWARD

When I first met Jack King in 1988, Spirit told me that he walked in the footsteps of Hiawatha. I thought Hiawatha was this guy in a poem but it was from Jack that I learned Hiawatha was a real person from out of Iroquoian history. I began a study of the Iroquois legend of Hiawatha, or Hayenwentha. I found he was a man who was at one time a cannibal, but through the hand of Creator God, became known as the Prophet of Peace. This began a search for me to learn all I could about this story. I have since come to understand that Hiawatha’s footsteps means to follow the Long House Ways of the Great Law. Jack is Oneida and raised with the Seneca Cayuga of Oklahoma and these are his ways.

 In 1998, Jack and I established a museum of our Indian stuff in Wyandotte, Oklahoma.  Soon after opening, we received a stick that we were told was very old but no one seemed to remember  what it was for. A little after that, we were visited by a psychic. I let her hold it and she told me that “it was the way. It would show us the way. It would guide us, it would lead us.” Jack surmised that it was a condolence cane but in about six weeks, we were visited by Jake Thomas. Jake was the last of the Condoled Hereditary Sachems of the Six Nations and one of the last to know all of the ceremonies. Why he was led to our Museum and gave us a 2 hour dissertation on the message of the condolence cane, I do not know. Strange circumstances. But now, I had the desire to know even more, like somehow this story still was not complete. I understand that the condolence cane story takes some 6 hours in ceremony to recite.

As time went on, I worked on paintings that went into the museum. I thought one day, I would like to do a series of paintings on the Great Law. In the story was a woman that was barely mentioned in the books I read. The story usually mentioned that a woman lived in the wilderness and gave lodging to the warriors and she was the first person to accept the Great Peace. My curiosity of such a woman…. Was she bigger and hairier than the guys… or was she just lucky?  or what???? In February of 2001, I learned she had a name….. Jikohnsaseh.  Shortly there after, the Miami Tribal Library received the books I had asked for and the journey became even more fascinating. A discussion with Wyandotte Medicine person gave me a name at Wendake. She gave me another name and to my surprise, I was answered my many questions. My trip to NY found Faithkeepers willing to share more stories, and at Six Nations my art was featured front page on the Newspaper.

The little known story became my obsession and still has not been completed. I hope to share this story with the world and especially with women. This is an incredible journey into the past…. some 2000 years, to a civilization that puts our present day “humanity” to shame. A civilization where there were no orphans, there were no jails, there were no poor, AND WOMEN AND MEN GOVERNED TOGETHER with benevolence, fairness, love and righteousness.

There is an incredible lesson to learn here, facets of which can be contemplated for years to come. The Great Law formed the foundation of a perfect democracy that has yet to be exceeded by any civilization.

I got the opportunity to paint my paintings and take them to the Olympics and shared them with the world there, but I still am not satisfied. There is more to the story. I know there is. But we shall have to let it unfold.

All paintings Copyrighted 2002-2005

Note: This presentation is not to be represented as the official story according to oral history but is a compilation of information. Paul Wallace wrote "The White Roots of Peace" in 1946. This is the only attempt that I am aware of that tries to put all the little stories together in English in some linear order. Ironically, both of the two other major writings that I worked from, "Iroquoian Women:The Gantowisas" by Barbara Mann and "The Life of Ely Parker: The Last Grand Sachem of the Iroquois"  written by Ely's grandson Arthur James Napoleon Parker, were also authored in 1948, the year of my birth and at the close of WWII. From time to time, I encountered stories written better in my estimation, and borrowed from them to enhance my rendition. I am not a writer. I am a painter. But I found that the story was not well known and if I wanted people to understand what I was painting, I had to come up with a story..... and since I could not find one, I had to put my own together. I took what I did know, created an outline, and then stuck to the original intent ..........

There are many different versions out there in the world.... some that smack against reason, some obviously garbled.. and others pure fantasy. Some that are just different... like whether Hiawatha had 3 or 7 daughters...   that changed the story considerably but in the advent, the teaching behind the story is the same. I wanted my version rooted firmly in possibilities of what could happen, in the reality..... for instance, in the story of Haiwatha, he comes to Lake Tully and the water birds empty the lake so he can walk across on dry land... I encountered two versions, one where the birds drank it and another where the wind from their wings lifted it up. Quite frankly, a bunch of fat birds filled with water that probably could not get off the ground did not make much of a picture where lifting the water with their wings made it possible to do a Moses walking through the Red Sea type of painting. This is the only "super natural" event associated with Hiawatha but if there were enough birds, maybe it could happen. Accounts of a scribbler in the first winter at Yellowstone described the darkening of the sky, and the hordes of animals coming to water..... animals in such number that our eyes will never behold such sights. So enough birds, startled, just might splash, and whip the water out of the lake. In the far reaches of my mind, that became a remote miraculous possibility.

A major departure from oral history is the story of the Jikohnsaseh. Ely Parker was a descendant of the Jikohnsaseh and his sister was the last Jikohnsaseh of the Seneca. In only a few words he paints a woman of power, with enough detail to assume this sage who lived in the 1800's knew what he was talking about. Some have made light of this man but I would think to bear the title of Grand Sachem as well his lineage,, he would know his stuff.  Without his narrative, scarcely anything at all would be reported as no one wrote down the stories of the women's oral keepings. Therefore, I based my story of the Jikohnsaseh upon his narrative and what I learned from the Hurons in Canada.

Imagine my surprise, having been steeped in the power of Iroquoian women, to find that in 1880 she was a sacred woman of honored lineage and in 2004, she is a witch. Some have said that it offered more power to the Peacemaker to have healed Hiawatha, Adodarhohn, and the Jikohnsaseh.  "The man had to come along and heal the poor wretched woman, she couldn't be good of her own accord" (Eve?).....  at the expense of half of the most powerful story told...... If she is reduced to witch, then you lose her lineage, you lose that she is cosmic mother, you lose that she took the young Peacemaker under her wing to teach the path of Peace..... you loose important parts of the story in order to give more power to the Peacemaker.....and less power to the Clan Mothers. Throughout the story, he relies on her wisdom..... the Peacemaker honored her. Every story of their encounters speak of love and respect. Having been raised by Grandmother and mother, two women, perhaps the Peacemaker was more sensitive to respect for the feminine gender. But there is no great tale of healing such as with Hiawatha or Adodarhohn. Only that she accepted the word when she heard it. Is that really sufficient healing for a wicked heart, mind and soul? There is only a hint that she reveled in the war stories which encouraged the young men to be fierce which she obligingly changes to exhort the ways of Peace. There is nothing in any of the recorded versions that I have found to date, to suggest she was a witch and did evil.... so just where does this oral tradition in 2004 come from?

I think there is only one possibility why this has happened. 

The most likely to me is the advent of White thinking which seems to seep into everything sooner or later. After centuries of persecution of talented and gifted medicine women as witches, where the Church burned some 70,000,000 in the name of witchcraft, the Church forced spiritual gifts underground. This was a mentality brought with the boat people from the Old World, Salem being a perfect example. As they infiltrated the native peoples convincing half the Haudenosaunee to forsake their traditional ways, it would make sense that the powerful women of the Clan were made into witches in order to break them and their power..... in an effort to reduce them to the white man's vision of "Women's Place". The Yagowaneh Jikohnsaseh has fallen victim also just as surely as the  Royal woman, Mary Magdalene, also lineage of David, and Abraham, was turned into a prostitute. 

And this Euro way of thinking has invaded our Haudenosaunee men's perception of women. More than once, I was told by my Haudenosaunee husband that women were evil, they were trouble, they could not be trusted. Today we deal with many things the old Ongwehowe did not..... spousal abuse, rape, child abuse...... no Haudenosaunee man would have thought to do that 100 years ago. So like it or not.... it is true.... the white way has infected like a deadly virus,  the traditional thinking and many of our Haudenosaunee have forgotten who they are....... and lay as if in a coma to the incredible heritage they have,.... the truth, the honor, the respect, they once commanded.

 I know first hand of the struggles to keep what the Haudenosaunee have. I know how quickly the elder goes to the ground with the knowledge. My husband will take all that he knows with him and who can replace him? Grandma Mandy, do none care what this eldest Elder can share and  teach? Grandmother Twila, and others, that in time will have their voice sent back to the earth.  We may never know the whole story.... we may never know the true story..... but we have a lot of clues.... and I am not bound by any Faithkeeper duty but only to tell the truth as I found it.

In all of this, I have tried to use the good mind. I did not have access to original manuscripts and so had to rely on others interpretations.... and reason. I DO believe that Ely Parker,  who lived 100 years ago with his credentials, portrayed a more accurate rendition than  what has arrived as gospel in the year 2004 and so my story of the Jikohnsaseh reflects this.

(This project is not finished and new pieces will be added as well as rewrites)

THE EPOCH OF THE PEACEMAKERS

One little known secret of America’s Founding Fathers is that they did not borrow a democratic model from the so-called “cradles of civilization” of the old known world. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and others found the oldest participatory democracies on earth among Native Americans.

The Haudenosaunee Rotinonshon:ni)—known by the French and English as “Iroquois League,” more commonly known today as “Six Nations Confederacy”—means “People of the Longhouse.”  The five original nations were Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca.  They lived in territories along the eastern Great Lakes in what is today Ontario, Canada and the Mohawk Valley in the United States.  The five nations were later joined in the 1700s by a sixth, the Tuscaroras, a branch of the Huron and Cherokee Nations.

***This Haudenosaunee confederacy of five nations dates at least three centuries before the arrival of Columbus. Historians using family lineage, and an average tenure for 145 Adodarhonh’s (Head Faithkeepers), this calculates a date which coincides with a total eclipse of the sun on August 31, 1142.  This time also coincides with archeological evidence of the rising interpersonal violence of a cannibal cult and the spreading adoption of corn as a dietary staple.  

However, Faithkeeper Jake Thomas says, “I don’t agree.  I believe according to oral traditions that our Confederacy existed for thousands of years even prior to the Birth of Christ.”

The Confederacy was established through the efforts of three individuals.  Most published accounts of the League’s founding stress roles played by a Huron who is  referred to only as “The Peacemaker”—and Hayenwentha, an Onondaga who joined the Peacemaker’s quest to quell the murder, violence and blood feuds and establish Peace. 

The third person—a woman, Jikohnsaseh, the “Great Peace Woman” and “Mother of Nations”— a Cultivator Huron is greatly understated.  Because her story is a woman’s story, and nineteenth century male ethnographers simply failed to ask women about women’s history in the League.  Before the Peacemaker’s journey had begun, Jikohnsaseh was already widely accepted as a woman of peace.  She acted in the capacity of a judge and councilor to people of many nations.  Upon accepting The Great Peace, she was acknowledged as a leader, representing women as birth givers, proprietors and caretakers of Mother Earth.  She was an invaluable ally, and The Peacemaker and Hayenwentha needed her support.

The story of how Jikohnsaseh joined with the Peacemaker and Hayenwentha is a Native American epic. These three individuals were real, and not myths although their story has reached mythical proportions. They established the Five Nations Confederacy—a government that in it’s day ruled half of North America.  This government was based on “The Good Message of the Good Mind,”  whose goal is to establish universal peace and to make the Iroquois the arbiters of the Great Turtle Island (North America).

The Haudenosaunee established the first United Nations, and only true democracy, and in so doing created a society with no poor, no orphans, no jails—an achievement that has yet to be equaled by any civilization.  

The story of The Peacemaker, with its many epoch teachings, is the heart of Haudenosaunee culture.  

It is this story that I desire to share at this time.

***A recent archeological find now dates the Confederacy back to at least Aug 18, 909.

The Field of Plenty
From Jamie Sams,  Seneca
   

In the beginning, Great Mystery created everything that would ever be need by man upon this earth.  In our Seneca Tradition, the Field of Plenty is seen as a spiral that has its smallest revolution out in space and its' largest revolution near the Earth. This shape could be likened to an upside-down tornado.

The Old Ones knew that the way to manifest this abundance was a thankful heart. To give gratitude for all that we have. They would pray, “Thank you for our good crop”, “Thank you for my wonderful children and their good health”,  “Thank you for whatever they desired”. They would pray as though they already had received it, knowing that it was already created, and they only had to be thankful for it. This belief of always giving thanks, and blessings, is called the Red Road of goodness and balance.

Today, we have come a long way from these practices. Today, we pray, “I need, I need”, “I want, I want” . We forget to be grateful for all that we do have. Our Creator is most benevolent wanting us his children to have what we desire. It is as tho he always says, “Yes”.  So if we pray, I need, I want,,, and he answers “Yes”, we get more of the same…. But if we say “Thank you, Thank you” and he says yes, we get more of what we are thankful for. Today, this “ I need, I need”, I want I want” is called the Black Road of greed, and disharmony.

We will once again be able to manifest the abundance that already is there, when we once again remember to be thankful for what we have

 The Field of Plenty is an Iroquois Teaching that has to do with the understanding of Creation. When Great Mystery created our world everything that would ever exist was created as ideas in the Thought or Spirit World. This nonphysical plane of awareness is eternal and can be drawn upon anytime there is a need. The thought-forms that provide all that is ever needed on the Good Red Road of physical life exist in eternal readiness inside the Field of Plenty. To call these ideas into manifestation, one need only come to Great Mystery with a grateful heart which will bring the needed ideas into physical reality.

     In our Seneca Tradition, the Field of Plenty is seen as a spiral that has its smallest revolution out in space and its' largest revolution near the Earth. This shape could be likened to an upside-down tornado. When our Ancestors assisted the Pilgrims in planting Corn and raising crops so they would not starve, we taught them the understanding of the Field of Plenty by bringing the cornucopia baskets full of vegetables. The Iroquois women wove these baskets as a physical reminder that Great Mystery provides through the Field of Plenty. The Pilgrims were taught that giving prayers of gratitude was not just a Christian concept. The Red Race understood thanksgiving on a daily basis.

      The Field of Plenty is always full of abundance.  The gratitude we show as Children of Earth allows the ideas within the Field of Plenty to manifest on the Good Red Road so we may enjoy these fruits in a physical manner. When the cornucopia was brought to the Pilgrims, the Iroquois People sought to assist these Boat People in destroying their fear of scarcity. The Native understanding is that there is always enough for everyone when abundance is shared and when gratitude is given back to the Original Source. The trick was to explain the concept of the Field of Plenty with few mutually understood words or signs. The misunderstanding that sprang from this lack of common language robbed those who came to Turtle Island of a beautiful teaching. Our "land of the free, home of the brave" has fallen into taking much more than is given back in gratitude by its citizens. Turtle Island has provided for the needs of millions who came from lands that were ruled by the greedy. In our present state of abundance, many of our inhabitants have forgotten that Thanksgiving is a daily way of living, not a holiday that comes once a year.

Since the Vibral Alignment or Harmonic Convergence, in August of 1987, our Elders have seen the Field of Plenty actually touch the Earth Mother and come to rest like a blanket over her body. In so doing, the Field of Plenty is now able to provide instant manifestation for all Earth’s Children who call for their needs with gratitude prior to receiving those blessings.

The Field of Plenty houses all thought forms that supply abundant creativity to the Children of Earth These new ideas are available to every Two legged and can be made manifest through acknowledging the ideas, then acting on them. When there is a need, it is sent by the Field of Plenty, in idea form, to the consciousness of all life-forms. These ideas begin to manifest as they enter the physical realm and are acted upon by humans. Every need in our world can be met when we act upon any good idea that comes into our minds. Every talent and every role in physical life plays a part that assists the whole in manifesting abundant life.

      The Field of Plenty always has a way putting the needed item into the hands of the person who needs it. The keys to manifesting what is needed are gratitude and trust, balanced with action. There is no need for scarcity in the Fifth World. Abundance for all the Children of Earth is manifesting Thought always precedes form. If ideas of sharing and equality precede that reality in the hearts of Two-leggeds, the manifestation of physical needs being met will follow.

This is Great Mystery's promise in creating the Field of Plenty

 CREATION STORY
Red Jacket / Seneca

To fully appreciate the narrative of the Great Laws, one must first hear and understand the origin story of the Haudenosaunee, these People of the Long House.  According to these origin stories, the first person on the earth was a woman. Her name was Sky-Woman. There are variations of this story, but many are similar to the following:

There is a Celestial world above where man-beings dwell—where even animals and all living things today were all once man-beings.  There was no sun, but this world was lit by white blossoms on the great Celestial Tree standing in front of the lodge of the presiding chief.

In this world was a young girl who had lost her father. She so grieved for him that they took her to his burial place. Here she was content to stay and visit. Her father began speaking to her from the other side. He taught her many things. When she became of age, he told her that she should marry the Sky Chief and directed her as to how this should happen. She followed her fathers instructions so as not to talk to anyone but the Sky Chief.

 This chief had a dream, and according this, he took a young wife.  It is said that in time this young wife was soon to become a mother from inhaling the breath of her husband, but this was unknown to him.  That from this, he doubted her honesty to him, so much that it caused him so much distress in his mind, that he became ill from his jealousy.  He had another dream which called for the Tree of Light to be uprooted creating a great hole in sky world. Into this hole he could push his young and unsuspecting wife..

In olden times, dreams were held in high regard in everyday life, so much that destiny was controlled by dreams to a great degree.  So, accordingly, in the morning he called his wife to him. He had her get her burden basket and he began to fill it with nut tree roots and berry bushed and many other things. Then he had this Tree of Light  uprooted.  The opening made by uprooting the Tree allowed light to shine through the opening.  Thus, today, comes the light of the Sun.

This chief managed to deceive his unsuspecting wife to look down through the new opening. In so doing, while she was looking down, he pushed her down into the opening.  It is said that in his anger, he also cast down through the opening all man-beings, such as the Deer, the Wolf, the Bear, the Beaver, and all animals and growing things such as the sunflower and red willow. He transformed them into their forms and size as they now appear.  And when his anger had cooled down, he had the Tree of Light replaced.

Thus, the great change was brought about.  It was the beginning of the present world, and all the living things as they are now.

Sky-Woman—then falling through the hole of the upper world—was seen by the water animals and water fowl of the great sea. These beings are like man-beings who at once took up the task of making ready a place for her to live. All the larger birds flew up to meet her and with their wings interlaced received her and brought her down.

While this was being done, the best divers among the water animals tried to get some earth that had fallen from the Sky World.  One animal would swim down but it was so far that its lifeless body floated to the top. Others tried but never came back up. After a while the animals became reluctant to try to get some soil    At last, the Muskrat succeeded to bring up a scoop of wet earth from the bottom,. However it was so far and she had exerted herself so that now her  lifeless body floated up. The other animals rushed out to help her and discovered the soil on her paws. They took it  and they placed on the back of Great Snapping Turtle’s shell, who volunteered to hold up the earth, and who at the time was also a man-being like the rest of them. This wet earth placed on the shell soon expanded in size in all directions, and Sky-Woman was gently placed on it.

At once, the Sky-Woman began to walk about this tiny earth, which by her action began to grow in size.  She even took handfuls of earth and cast it in all directions, which also caused it to continue to grow, until she could not see the boundary

Thus, this is how North America became known as Turtle Island.

 

SKY WORLD

To fully appreciate the narrative of the Great Laws, one must first hear and understand the origin story of the Haudenosaunee, People of the Long House.  According to these origin stories, the first person on the Earth was a woman. Her name was Sky-Woman. There are variations of this story, but many are similar to the following retold from an Onondaga version;

There is a Celestial world above where man-beings dwell—where animals and all living things today were all once man-beings.  There was no sun, but this world was lit by white blossoms on the great Celestial Tree standing in front of the lodge of the presiding chief.

Here the Elder Spirits of the Water World held council with the man beings of Sky World. They asked for a way in which to bring mankind to the Earth. So the Council of Earth Spirits and Sky Beings laid out a plan. A young girl would be born. She would grow fast, and have a great understanding beyond her years. She should be called Iotsitsisonh or Mature Flower.

It came to pass in this Sky World that this female child lost her father before her birth so that she never knew him. At this time, there had been no death in this world and her father was the first. She so grieved for him that they took her to his burial place. Here she was content to stay. Before long she began to hear her father speaking to her from the other side. He taught her many things about Medicines and how to get along in the World. This continued for some time until when she became of age, he told her that she should marry the Sky Chief and directed her as to how this should happen. The Sky Chief would have a dream, and she would be given the interpretation to the first part and would become the solution to his dream. And so it came to pass, that Sky Chief did have a dream and it went out to all the people to come to repast that all should hear the dream and guess its interpretation. Mature Flower followed her father’s instructions completely. Sky Chief was surprised as no other maiden had been able to do what this young Mature Flower was able to do. Because of her strength of character Sky Chief asked her to marry him. Then he placed a mat at the foot of her bed for her to sleep upon.

Within time, the young Mature Flower wanted to visit her mother and her family. She made preparations and departed the lodge of the Sky Chief, and she remembered her father’s admonition not to talk to any strangers. The journey to her village was quite far but the young woman traveled quickly. Before long she heard a voice crying out to her, “Wait, I would like to speak with you.” It was the Great Fire Dragon but she did not pause in her journey.  After a while, she was again hailed, “Please stay with me, I am so lonely. I would like someone to talk to.” That was Aurora Borealis. She did not speak to him but hurried on her journey. At last she came to the stream not far from her village but here was a Chief standing with a gourd of water. “Here wouldn’t you like a drink of cool water. You have journeyed far and must be thirsty.” But again, she hurried on her way not speaking to him.

When she arrived at her village, she told the People that the Sky Chief was so pleased with her, his young wife, that he would send a special gift to the People so that they would never be hungry. She instructed them to take the roofs off their houses and so by night fall, it was accomplished that no lodge had a roof. In the morning when they awoke, each lodge was filled to brim with a yellow kernel. The People were told they could eat all they wanted but they must always keep a portion for planting the next year. If they would do this, they would never be hungry and always have enough to eat.

The time came when, Mature Flower must return to the lodge of her husband. Again she made preparations and departed on the long journey home. On the way, she again met the Chief at the stream, ”wouldn’t you like a cool drink,” he asked but she kept right on her journey. She did not pause or say a word to him.  Before long, Aurora borealis lamented to her, how lonely he was, but there she did not pause or say a word, continuing her journey. As she neared her destination, she heard the Great Fire Dragon hailed her, “Wait, Wait, I want to talk to you.”

She kept to her journey and arrived at her husband’ lodge. It was evident that her life had changed while she was gone for she was with child. Sky Woman did not understand the change in her body nor the change in her husband’s attitude toward her, for he no longer seemed please with her.

 

CREATION STORY

Mature Flower gave birth to a little girl named Zephyr. But Sky Chief could not get over his feelings.  Sky Chief had a taken a young wife.  Now this young wife was to become a mother from inhaling the breath of her husband, but this was unknown to him. Instead he doubted her faithfulness to him, so much that it caused him much distress in his mind and he became ill from his jealousy.  He had a dream which called for the Tree of Light to be uprooted creating a great hole in Sky World. Into this hole he could push his young and unsuspecting wife.

In olden times, dreams were held in such high regard in everyday life, that destiny was controlled by them to a great degree.  So, accordingly, in the morning he called his wife to him. He had her get her burden basket and he began to fill it with nut and fruit tree roots and berry bush roots and many other things to sustain her. Then he had this Tree of Light uprooted by the men of the village.

 

            This chief managed to deceive his unsuspecting wife in looking down through the new opening. While she was looking down, he pushed her into the opening. The child Zephyr was once again reunited with her mother and become one with her. It is said that in his anger, he also cast down through the opening all man-beings, such as the Deer, the Wolf, the Bear, the Beaver, and all animals. It is said these animal man-beings could talk and understand each other at that time. Then the Sky Chief threw down other growing things such as the Sunflower and Red Willow. He transformed them into their forms and size as they now appear. When his anger subsided, he had the Tree of Light replaced.

 

Thus, the great change was brought about.  It was the Beginning of the Present World, and all the living things as they are now all according to the plan of the Earth Spirit Council held at the lodge of Sky Chief.  

 

A sudden light in the sky of the Blazing White Body of Meteor caught the woman in her decent as he had found compassion for her, going with her half way and giving to her 3 faggots of his fire in her basket. It was because of Sky Chief’s jealousy of Aurora Borealis and of Meteor himself, that her former husband had committed this wrong of casting an innocent Sky-Woman out of Sky World, so that she was then falling through the hole of the upper world—to be seen falling, falling, by the water animals and water fowl of the Great Sea. They feared it would be a bad omen for the Earth  were she to drown if she fell into the water, so these beings, who are like man-beings, at once took up the task of making ready a place for her to live.

 

All the larger birds flew up to meet her and with their wings interlaced received her and began to fly around with her. When they tired, others would exchange places to keep Sky Woman safe from a sure watery death. The Water Animals held a council.  They tried to decide what should be done about the woman. The birds could not fly forever with the woman on their backs, and were becoming weary. It was thought there should be some land for her to live upon. It was decided they would get the soil that fell from Sky World but they would need a place to put it. Several animals tried but proved too weak to hold much weight until at last, Great Snapping Turtle offered his back as a place to put the soil. He was big enough and strong enough to carry the woman and for her to make a home on his back.

 

The task now became to get some of the earth that had fallen from Sky World to place on the Carapace of the Great Turtle. The best divers among the water animals tried to get some earth that had fallen from the Sky World.  One animal would swim down but it was so far that it’s lifeless body floated to the top. Then another would try, only for its lifeless body to float to the top. It was so far that some of the others tried but never came back up. After a while the animals became reluctant to try to get some soil. It was surely a futile attempt. At last, the Muskrat said she would try. She swam and she swam and she swam and she swam. Finally she succeeded in getting a scoop of wet earth from the bottom on her tiny little paws.  However, it was so far back to the surface and she had exerted herself so much, that now her lifeless body floated up.

 

 The other animal man-beings rushed out to help her and discovered the soil on her paws. They took it  and they placed it on the back of Great Snapping Turtle’s shell, who had volunteered to hold up the earth, and who at the time was also a man-being like the rest of them. This wet earth placed on the shell of the turtle, began to expand. .It grew and grew and grew, until at last there was enough for the Sky Woman to be gently placed upon the Turtle’s back. At once, the Sky-Woman began to walk about this tiny earth, which by her action began to grow in size.  She even took handfuls of earth and cast it in all directions, which also caused it to continue to grow, until she could not see the boundary of the new land

Thus, this is how North America became known as Turtle Island.

 

SKY WOMAN

Sky Woman having been provided for by the animal man-beings and placed upon the carapace of the Great Snapping Turtle, found a deer lying there, which she broke into pieces and roasted upon a fire made with three faggots which were in her burden basket a gift of the White Fire Dragon. Sky Woman was with child and here she remained three days, until it was time the first real being should be born upon this new place.  The girl child Zephyr of Sky World was to be reborn upon the earth as Sky Woman’s beautiful baby daughter. It was here that Sky Woman made a hut of grass which became her home.

Sky Woman soon gave birth to the first of the real human being.  She named the girl child, Fat Face Lynx and being of Sky lineage the child grew rapidly. Before long, Little Lynx was able to accompany her mother Sky Woman on journeys about the New Earth. The two of them, Mother and Daughter, became very close. Sky Woman missed the Sky World and her family. Here on Turtle Island, she had only her daughter for company and what man-beings were here. The bond between Mother and Daughter became very strong.

As Lynx continued to grow, mother and daughter traveled all over the earth organizing it and giving names to all the creations. They planted the seeds and the roots that were in Sky Woman’s burden basket when she fell from Sky World. Mother and Daughter worked and played together. The Lynx was Sky Woman’s world and she doted on the female child.

This relationship of mother and daughter became the most important relationship among the children of Lynx, setting the format for families. The lineage of the children would always follow the mother. And having been raised and nurtured by woman, would always respect and honor her, for Creation and the Continuation of the People was with the Woman.

This organizing and planting roots and seeds on the world continued until Sky Woman became very old and no longer could go on such journeys. So it came to be, that the Old Woman would wait at home for her precious beautiful Lynx to return each day. The Lynx traveled by herself in the World but she would hurry home to share with her Mother, Sky Woman, the things that she had seen and done that day.  However, she encountered problems in trying to tell her mother about the animals. Try as she could, Mother Sky Woman had difficulty envisioning the sights that Lynx spoke of and so Sky Woman told Lynx to give the animals names according to their mode of movement.  Here after, Lynx began to give names to all that she beheld.

It became easier for Sky Woman and Lynx to share the adventures across the New Earth. The roots and seeds they planted flourished and they had plenty to eat and to care for.Lynx ran races with the wolf, whistled with the Robin, and swam with the trout. Days were filled with endless hours of companionship save for one like herself. Lynx grew into a young woman, lonely for the company of others like herself, People of her own age. She desired to have a family of her own. Here upon this home, the only one she had ever known, Lynx had not met one similar to herself. She had many forest friends, and serenaded by many birds, but no where had she met anyone like her mother Sky Woman and herself.

Mother Sky Woman watched her beautiful daughter grow and mature into a young woman. She knew that Lynx would be filled with desires to have her own child, and establish a home. Mother Sky Woman wanted a Sky-being for her beautiful daughter. But there were no Sky People here, only the Earth Spirits and man-beings that her Mother disdained. None in this New World were suitable for the beautiful and loved Sky daughter. Having taken all into consideration, Sky Woman spoke to her daughter, and obtained a promise from Lynx that she would not marry at all without getting her Mother’s permission. Sky Woman hoped to avoid situations her lonely young daughter might find herself in. Having secured this promise from Lynx, gave Sky Woman the security she sought.

Lynx was pleased to do as her mother asked. But at the same time wondered who might be asking for her to marry as there were no two-leggeds she had met upon this New Earth

THE COURTING OF LYNX

An Earth Spirit, North Wind had noticed the beautiful young woman. He was filled with desire for her. Silently he watched her, becoming more and more enamored with her. He watched her graceful movements whirling in the tender breezes he sent to her. He watched her delight at each new thing she encountered. He heard her melodious voice as whispers among the pines. Her presence was as a warm embrace that touched his northern heart. Such was his enchantment that his longing grew until he had to possess her as she unknowingly possessed him.

 

Being a powerful Earth Elder, he wondered how he might approach the beautiful young woman. So one day he decided he should take the form of a squirrel. He scurried before her, taking her a gift of nuts. He asked her to marry him.  The Lynx looked at him. He was so cute. Lynx did not really know just what or who she wanted to marry but somehow, this squirrel did not seem right. Lynx thought quickly, and told the squirrel the she must ask her Mother first. Lynx hurried home excitedly to tell her Mother all the details but in the end, Sky Woman told her she could not marry the squirrel. Lynx returned to the squirrel and told him that her mother would not consider him to be her husband.

 

North Wind was not to be discouraged. This beautiful lithe being had captured his imagination and he must have her but this was not as easy has he had thought. He watched as Lynx quickly sprang through the forest of growing things, when he saw her play by the waters edge. Now North Wind did shape shift to Joeagah, the Raccoon, and crept beside the young maiden. Here he tenderly offered to her a shiny rock he had washed in the waves and asked Lynx to marry him. Lynx looked him over carefully. She noticed his clothes of soft grey and the black paint across his eyes. She remembered her promise and replied that she must first ask her mother. Upon arriving home, Lynx excitedly told her mother of the new proposal of marriage. After hearing all about it, Sky Woman paced up and down the lodge and after some consideration, announced that Lynx could not marry this suitor. So Lynx returned and once again delivered the news that she could not marry the Raccoon.

 

But still North Wind was not discouraged. He continued to watch the young woman until next he decided that he would take the form of a fox and ask the beautiful girl to marry him. The North Wind arrived as Nongwatgwa, the Fox. Lynx looked at him. The Fox was so beautiful with his black tipped ears, white tuft tail, and luxuriant red coat. He was debonair, and such a sly wit. But again Lynx remembered that she must obey the promise she had made to her mother and requested that she have time to get her mother’s permission. Upon arriving home, Lynx excitedly told her mother of the newest proposal of marriage. After hearing all about it, Sky Woman paced up and down the lodge and after some consideration, announced that Lynx could not marry this suitor. So Lynx returned delivering the news that she could not marry the Fox.

 

Now North Wind, still not to be discouraged, took the physical form of himself, a young brave. He combed and plaited his long black hair, then decorated his hair with feathers. He painted his body and wore his finest clothes. And he went to see Lynx.  As soon as Lynx saw him she was overcome by the sight of such a handsome being.  She forgot to get permission from her mother, and invited North Wind to her lodge. North Wind accepted the invitation stating that first he must go home but he would arrive that night. It was growing dark when they could see him entering the clearing clutching a lynx skin and wild roses. They welcomed him to their lodge and offered him a place to sleep. Before retiring, he removed from the lynx skin two arrows, one with a flint tip and the other without. After instructing the young woman to lie on her mat, he placed the arrows side by side on her body, with the lynx skin at her head, and the roses at her feet. And told her he would come in the morning to retrieve them before he returned to his home.

The mother said to her daughter, “I see good things ahead for you, soon there will be a child”. Lynx became with child, in fact two sets of twins. When it came time for the sons to be born, the good son came into the world in the right way and become known as Rawenio or Sapling. The other twin, always impatient and never thinking about the consequences of his actions, decided to take the shortest way out, which was near his mother’s underarm, and this killed his mother.  He became known as Tawiskaroo or Flint— for he had a sharp edge on his head, and was notorious for always bringing a hard time and sharp edge to the People. The twin girls followed on the heels of the boys. Sweet Blossom followed Sapling, and Ohe-eihn Jiggon Sassee or Blue Lynx followed Flint to the outside world.

 

These children were the first of the Sky and Earth coming together the first Onkwehowe or Real People on Turtle Island.

Lynx was buried and became the Mother Earth.

From her body came the corn, squash and beans the sustenance of life. From her head came the tobacco plant.

The Earth is Organized: The Four Directions

            The Old Woman, Grandmother Sky Woman was left to raise the children. Her sadness of losing her beloved Lynx had little time to mourn as running after quickly growing children taxed her greatly. Now creation on the Earth fell to the children. When they got old enough they began to travel over the earth. The Twin Boys created many things of the forest. Where Sapling would create beautiful meadows, Flint would push up Mighty Mountains. Then Sapling, thinking these too difficult for mankind to travel over, would then create passes through the mountains. Sapling would create beautiful reflective placid ponds. And Flint would throw rocks into them, making rushing waters and letting them fall over high cliffs. At first Sapling created water in the rivers to flow both ways so that it would be easy for mankind to travel the waterways. However Flint thought that man should struggle a bit so he made water to only flow down hill.

            The Twin girls would create things of the food variety. They invented many berry and flowering roots. Sweet Blossom created the beautiful wild rose. Then Blue Lynx would create the thorns. Sweet Blossom created many different varieties of vines and gave to many of Saplings animals the instinct to care for their young so that the species may grow. But Blue Lynx often times, let the iciness in her blue veins be pragmatic bringing a hardness to life lessons and earthly existence. Sweet Blossom was nurturing and caring while Blue Lynx was often harsh and preoccupied with her own desires.   And so these children complemented each other in their endeavors. Sweet Blossom saw only beauty around her, while Blue Lynx saw reality.

 

Sapling and Sweet Blossom created many beautiful things, while most of Flint’s and Blue Lynx’s creations came out strange. One day, as Flint and Blue Lynx arrived at their brother’s lodge, they noticed many fluffy new animals. Their arms were covered with feathers. They were small and brightly colored. And they could make the most beautiful sounds an added derivative from Sweet Blossom, whom herself had a beautiful voice. Inspired, Flint and Blue Lynx decided that they should try to make a song bird. They worked on it and worked on it. Somehow this bird did not come out looking anything like Sapling’s birds. Flint’s bird was small but it squeaked instead of warbling. Blue Lynx tried to make the bird soft but instead this bird had no covering on it’s arms with it’s body, entirely of fur. Still they were proud of their bird and could not wait to show it off.

When Sapling saw this creation, so as not to hurt his sibling’s feelings, he said that the new creation should only come out at night. But at that time there was no night so Sapling went to the brother of Sky Woman, Tehatonhwentsientons (He is all over the Sky), and asked for his help. The Uncle became the Sun. Now there was day and night. Sapling had the day from midnight to noon when the sun was bringing the light and waking all things up. Flint took the other half of the sky going into darkness. In this way they each had equal amounts of light and dark. When Grandmother Sky Woman died she returned to the Celestial World above, but to remain close to her earth children, she became Grandmother MoonIt was set with 13 moons of 28 days in a lunar year in representation of the 13 large scales on Great Turtle’s back.

 One day the twins decided to cross a river but they needed to build a bridge and so Blue Lynx and Flint made everything so cold that the air and water froze making a path for them to follow. However this cold did not do good things to all the beautiful growing things that Sapling and Sweet Blossom had made. Sapling decided that it should be that he would have first part of the year for things to be born from the earth and the light as it emerged from the East. Sweet Blossom should take the fullness of the year with the summer abundance and the warmth from the South.  Then the other half of the year, they would rest from their labors and let the earth sleep while Flint would cool things down creating the beautiful colors of the Fall as day descends into the West and night while Blue Lynx would make her chilling appearance from the North to make earth cold. And so they agreed to create the Seasons becoming the purveyors of the Four Directions.

 

It is said that Flint looked at his people and thought how funny it would be if they forgot who they were and walked around like zombies. So Flint decided to make White men. As time went on, and Flint saw the hard time that the White man gave to the Ongwehowe, Flint was sorry but he could not un make the White men. So ensued a new out of balance Epoch of Flint as his creations of the White Race took on Flint's characteristics of thinking of only of himself and what he wanted now now now, not thinking about the people nor the earth for the Seventh Generations.

 

One day an argument broke out between the two boys. Flint was jealous of what his brother created. Try and try, his creations never seemed as agile, or as beautiful, or as melodious. So in a fit of anger, Flint began to stomp around on the earth, making it colder and colder trying to freeze the entire earth. As the other siblings looked on, Grandmother Sky Woman asked them to do something before Flint froze the whole world. Sapling wrestled his brother into a cave along with many of Flint’s animal creations where the siblings then rolled a stone over the entrance.

 

Sapling became known as the Creator while Flint became the Underworld representing all selfish and earthly desires.

Now Creation was finished.

THE CONTEST
Edited from Story provided by Jake Thomas,
Last Condoled Hereditary Cayuga Chief

      When the Creator created Mother Earth, he also provided all the necessities for the livelihood of mankind. Before he created man he went on a journey to inspect and check all his creations making sure nothing would interfere with his plans for mankind. During his travel he met with an unknown being which he did not know existed.

The Creator questioned the unknown being, "Where do you come from?"

The unknown being replied, "I have been here ever since the earth was created."

The unknown being questioned the Creator, "Where do you come from?

The Creator replied, "I am traveling and examining my creations because I am about to create man to walk on earth as I wish him to be happy and content."

The unknown being explained why he thought he was the creator: "I have originated from the circulating air which surrounds the earth. Now, we both think we created Mother Earth. This is what shall happen, we shall have a contest to compare who has the most strength and power. We shall command the cliffs of the highest mountain to move up to our backs. Then, we shall know who is the creator of this earth."

The Creator agreed, "This shall happen. Now, we shall turn around with our backs toward the mountain. You shall be first."

The unknown commanded the cliffs of the highest mountain, "Move forward right against our backs.  "With a mighty roar, the earth shook. Shortly afterward, the Creator spoke again, "We shall turn ourselves around and face the mountain.” As this was done the Creator saw that the mountain had moved half the distance from where they were standing. The Creator then realized the unknown being had strength and power.

Anxiously and more determined, the unknown being spoke, "It's your turn."

The Creator commanded the mountain to return to its original place. The mountain did return to its original place. The Creator said, "We shall turn ourselves around." He commanded the cliffs of the highest mountain, "Move forward right against our backs."

The unknown being was so healthy and lively, swiftly turned around and bumped his nose against the cliff which had moved so near to their backs. The unknown being then realized the Creator had more strength and power and that the Creator was the creator of this earth.

With much pain, the unknown being spoke, "It is true that you are the 'finisher' of Mother Earth."

The unknown being begged and pleaded, "I would be very grateful if I could stay here on earth and help the people as you have witnessed my extra-ordinary power. As the people stand on earth, I shall guard and protect them with my power. I am able to stop sickness. It shall be my duty to drive away any illness which may come to the people. If a high wind, tornado, or hurricane comes to destroy the earth, I shall stand in front with my extra-ordinary strength and power to protect the people so they will be content and happy and I shall see that this lasts as long as man continues to populate the earth."

The Creator asked, "What shall the people call you?"

The unknown being spoke, "It would only seem right that the people shall call me grandfather, Hatowi` because of my extra-ordinary power.”

     The Creator spoke, "I have chosen a place for you, where you shall stay at the cliffs of the highest Mountain. You shall never be seen by the people as you are so ugly and you have such extra-ordinary power. You have mentioned certain things which your grand children shall follow and I agree it shall be that way. We shall combine our strength and power to support the people so they shall be happy and content and this is the way they shall know it for time to come. There shall be other people (not yet born). It will only be right that they cherish and fulfill these promises for time to come. Always remembering, this is the way we have promised one another from the very beginning of time.”

And this is how the Iroquois got their guardian spirit Hatowi, or Crooked Nose.

 

My Bio View the Art Store Events Exhibits  
Creation Peacemaker
Jikohnsaseh
Hayenwentha
The Confederacy Prophecies