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Hiawatha

Facts, information and articles about Hiawatha, a Native American Indian Chief from the Wild West

Hiawatha Facts

Born

1525

Died

Unknown

Tribe

Mohawk/Onondaga

Hiawatha summary: Hiawatha was a Mohawk Indian chief or the leader of the Onondaga tribe depending on the source. He is attributed with having joined together five tribes to form the Iroquois Confederacy. He is believed to have been born circa 1525, but not much is known about him prior to becoming chief. Legends state that Hiawatha had several daughters, and an enemy of Hiawatha's made advancements towards his daughters. As each refused his advances, the enemy killed them. Hiawatha was devastated by his loss and went into the forest to grieve. There he met a great prophet; the prophet, because of a speech impediment, was not able to convey his prophecies to the people.

The prophet was referred to as the Great Peacemaker. Because Hiawatha was a great speaker, the prophet enlisted Hiawatha's aid, and he healed Hiawatha of his pain. The pair was instrumental in convincing the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas to join the confederacy. It is often said that it was his great speaking abilities that helped to unite the tribes.

The two made for a strong partnership, with the prophet conveying his knowledge to Hiawatha and Hiawatha sharing it with the people. It is because of this that Hiawatha was able to join together the five tribes that would form the Confederation. The tribes shared a constitution and were a democracy, with the Onandaga, the central tribe, having the deciding vote when necessary. Each tribe lived independently, but their confederation ensured peace for all of them. This confederation, brought together by Hiawatha, still exists today.

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