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The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the "League of Peace and Power".  Founded hundreds of years ago, the Confederacy initially consisted of five tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca, which were known as the Five Nations.  A Sixth Nation, the Tuscarora, was added in 1722. The Peacemaker, who brought The Great Law of Peace, united these warring nations to form the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Longhouse.

Under the Great Law of Peace, women held the ultimate political power, with the ability to appoint or remove male leaders. The responsibilities and conduct of the Haudenosaunee were prescribed in detail, as was the process to set policy for the confederated tribes. 

The Great Law of Peace may have inspired the US Constitution and our national symbolism.  Still active among the Haudenosaunee today, it is the oldest democracy in the world, and still a source of inspiration.

Learn about the Peacemaker and the Great Law of Peace in this presentation by the Museum of Indian Culture, Allentown, PA

 

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