Marc Leon

Musician and Artist

My Art: Native American Themes

Jikonsahseh And The Peacemaker

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Jikonsahseh And The Peacemaker
The origin of this story comes from the Great Lakes area and possibly goes back as far as the 11th Century AD, to a time when tribes of the Iroquois nation were in a constant state of war with each other to the point of self-destruction. During these times, the Peacemaker was born to a virgin mother from the Huron tribe of the northern shores of Lake Ontario. The girl's grandmother, fearing that great shame would come upon her family, tried to kill the baby first by drowning it, then by throwing it into the fire and finally by burying it alive, but each time the child emerged unscathed in his mother's arms. It was then the grandmother realised that the boy was a gift from the Spirit who moves through All things. As a young man, the Peacemaker had a vision where he was instructed to carve a canoe out of white stone and travel across the waters of Lake Ontario to spread the message of peace to the warring Iroquois tribes. He soon met up with Jikonsahseh, a powerful female warrior of the Seneca tribe and succeeded in persuading her to embrace 'The Great Law of Peace'. In return for her conversion, the Peacemaker bestowed the role of 'Clan Mother' upon Jikonsahseh, which eventually gave Iroquois women political and social status without parallel in the world. The Peacemaker's next convert was Aiionwatha (Hiawatha), a leader of the Onondaga tribe. At the time, Aiionwatha was still mourning the loss of his wife and children, who were slain by the sorcerer Tadodaho, a monstrous, deformed man with snakes in his hair. Aiionwatha and the Peacemaker set out to persuade the Mohawk, Oneidas and Cayugas to join together in a League of Peace and finally tried to convert Tadodaho and the Onondagas under the Great Law. The sorcerer used all his powers to try and destroy the peace delegation, but eventually the Peacemaker, Aiionwatha and Jikonsahseh managed to win him over by straightening his deformed body and combing the snakes from his hair, thereby converting him from evil to good. After this, Tadodaho became the 'Central Speaker' for the Grand Council of the League of Five nations. They planted a 'Tree of Peace', a white pine, beneath which the warring nations buried their weapons.
Posted on June 22, 2010 Slideshow

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