Hacking History: People of the Longhouses

March 13, 2018 - 1:09pm -- Toby
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

Musician Robbie Robertson began his musical career early touring with headliners like Bob Dylan before he was 22 years old. Robbie credits summers spent with his Mohawk and Cayuga relatives for nurturing his love of music and stories, especially Hiawatha and the Peacemaker.

Robbie’s retelling of his favorite story begins with Deganawida, the Great Peacemaker, who needs a voice to bring all the warring nations together under the league of Iroquois or Haudenosaunee. Deganawida recruits the magnificent orator, Hiawatha, who is intent on seeking revenge for the loss of his own family. Hiawatha ultimately chooses peace instead of self-destruction and joins Deganawida. Together, they help unify the Haudenosaunee with an oral constitution, the Great Law of Peace

Capturing the spirit of an oral agreement is difficult; The Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy is just one example. Historians also continue to research the Great Law of Peace and how it influenced the drafting of the Constitution of the United States and the suffragette movement

To learn more about Robbie’s music, listen to the CD accompanying his book and check out the documentary Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World


Submitted by a fan on

Thanks for the interesting read. You might like a few of our films being screened at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. We're partnering with the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management and the Denver American Indian Commission to present Indigenous Film, a monthly indigenous film series

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • To post pieces of code, surround them with <code>...</code> tags. For PHP code, you can use <?php ... ?>, which will also colour it based on syntax.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <p> <br /> <br> <em> <h3> <strong> <ul> <ol> <li> <embed> <img> <object> <i> <b> <iframe> <iFrame> <div> <h2>

Plain text

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <iframe>