The Roll Call of the Iroquois Chiefs

SKU: 0919645054

William N. Fenton
Grade Levels:
Ten, Eleven, Twelve, College, University
Cayuga, Iroquois, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, Woodland
Book Type:

Sale price$11.95


The Roll Call of the Iroquois Chiefs is a reprint of the 1950 monograph issued by the Smithsonian Institution. Anthropologist William N Fenton reports on the provenance and cultural history of a condolence cane collected about 1920 from Six Nations of the Grand River and deposited with the Cranbrook Institute of Science. A condolence cane is used as an aid to memory or mnemonic device in the Six Nations/Haudenosaunee Condolence Ceremony (Hai Hai). The particular cane in this study was collected from Andrew Spragg, a Cayuga ritualist at Six Nations. The author sets the historical and cultural context for canes used in Iroquois ceremonies; describes its function; and provides an interpretation of the pictographs on the cane. The cane presents a record of the fifty Chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy Council, and the symbols and the bass wood pegs represent the fifty Chiefs at the time of the founding of The Great Peace. Today the cane is used by the official speaker during the Condolence Council ceremony to help him recall the names and how they are grouped by Nation. The text includes a list of the Confederacy Chiefs' titles and the various translations from a variety of sources. A foldout diagram of the cane is provided. This is an important text that presents the list of Six Nations Chiefs as recorded on the condolence cane.

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