The Eagle's Cry
The Iroquois Confederacy was
originally composed of 5 nations - Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga,
with the Tuscarora joining later. Through this Confederacy of Nations was
their strength in unity. The Peacemaker symbolized this unity with arrows.
First, he held forth a single arrow and demonstrated how easily it was broken.
The he held forth five arrows bound tightly together. These he
demonstrated could not be broken.
The Peacemaker's messages of
peace, shared power, righteousness, compromise and unification in purpose, were
likewise received by the Six Nations as a solution to the problems of
unnecessary competition and hostility.
With that, the Peacemaker
uprooted the tallest pine tree and he cast into the cavity all weapons and clubs
of war. Into the depths of the earth down into the deep undercurrents of
water flowing to unknown regions, he cast all the weapons of strife.
Burying them from sight, he planted again the Great Tree of Peace.
From under this tree grew four
white roots. One root grew toward the east, the second root grew toward
the west, the third root grew toward the south and the fourth root grew toward
where it is cold - the north. These white roots of peace extend to all
people of the earth offering to them a path to the Great Tree of Peace, to the
law that would promote a way to respectfully settle differences.
tree would grow. The tops reach the sun and its branches spread
far abroad so it shall be seen far off. We shall all seek shelter
under this tree and live in peace. To ensure this peace would be
everlasting, the Peacemaker placed the wisest bird with the keenest
eyesight, the eagle, on top of the Great Tree of Peace to eternally
watch for approaching danger. It is the eagle that can see the
furthest and see any threat of danger and will cry out to warn if there
is any trouble coming that would harm our people.