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The Iroquois League

The Iroquois League

The Constitution of the Five Nations of the Iroquois League is also known as the Great Binding Law. In the middle of the fifteenth century, five tribes in what is now the American Northeast—the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca—formed the Iroquois confederation. (A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined in 1724.) For hundreds of years the Iroquois transmitted their laws orally from generation to generation. In the late nineteenth century, attempts were made to preserve their constitution in writing. Arthur C. Parker (1881–1955), distinguished ethnologist, archeologist, historian, and Iroquois Indian on his father's side, was entrusted by the Iroquois and commissioned by the State of New York in the first two decades of the twentieth century to write an English-language translation of the Iroquois constitution.

Related Sites

Iroquois League
An essay on the history and nature of the Iroquois League.

The Iroquois Confederacy
A website that provides numerous links to information about the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy.

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