The Code of Handsome Lake, The Seneca Prophet

SKU: 0919645011

Arthur Caswell Parker
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Iroquois, Seneca, Woodland
Book Type:

Sale price$9.50


The Code of Handsome Lake The Seneca Prophet is a reprint of Arthur C. Parker's original text published as New York State Museum Bulletin no. 163 in 1913. The Code of Handsome Lake was the first English translation of the Gaiwiio published. Parker's text is based on Edward Cornplanter's version of Handsome Lake's teachings, which was translated by William Bluesky. Handsome Lake's (1735-1815) divinely inspired visions and messages received in 1799 served to help the Iroquois to return to their ceremonies of thanksgiving. The moral and ethical code provided teachings that assist the people to return to the Good Mind. Handsome Lake provided a blueprint through his teachings, which helped the people to deal with the overwhelming change of the 19th century. The code provides practical ways for the people to deal with their family relationships as well as giving spiritual guidance. Anthropologists call this cultural revitalization, and many referred to Handsome Lake as a prophet. The Good Message of Handsome Lake is still being preached today in Iroquois Longhouses in Canada and the United States. The text includes an article by Seneca preacher Edward Cornplanter that explains why the Gaiwiio became necessary after Europeans came to North America. The second half of the book contains field notes prepared by Arthur Parker on the rites and ceremonies of the Longhouse religion he observed at Newtown in 1905, as well as brief descriptions of medicine societies. Throughout the text, drawings by Jesse Cornplanter illustrate Longhouse ceremonies. This is an important text that remains a classic of Iroquois literature.

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