The Iroquois Book of Rites

SKU: 0919645178

Horatio Hale
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Cayuga, Iroquois, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, Woodland
Book Type:

Sale price$17.95


The Iroquois Book of Rites and Hale on the Iroquois is a reprint collection of the some of the work of ethnologist Horatio Hale (1817-1896). Hale, a lawyer living in Clinton, Ontario, is known as a pioneer linguist and ethnologist. His classic work, The Iroquois Book of Rites, first published in 1883, is reproduced in this edition together with 9 scholarly articles, and a biographical note by William N. Fenton (which appeared in the 1963 University of Toronto Press edition). The Book of Rites recounts the history of the Six Nations Iroquois and the formation of the Confederacy. Hale was fortunate in discovering two manuscripts at Six Nations, which detailed the Condolence Council that installed a new Chief. Hale's friendship with John Smoke Johnson and his son George (father of Pauline Johnson) allowed the scholar access to the Mohawk manuscript held by Smoke Johnson. Onondaga wampum keeper John Buck held the Onondaga manuscript. The Johnsons and Rev. Isaac Bearfoot provided translation for the manuscripts. Hale reproduced both manuscripts in the language and in English translation. Unfortunately, the publication of The Iroquois Book of Rites preceded Hale's attendance at a Condolence at Onondaga Longhouse, Six Nations of the Grand River. Nevertheless, this text remains an important work for both scholars and the Iroquois. Additional published articles cover a biographical sketch of George Henry Martin Johnson, a description of the White Dog Ceremony, a retelling of the founding of The Great Law of Peace in Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation, and a description of an actual Condolence Ceremony. Another important facet of Hale's research was his abilities as a linguistic. In The Iroquois Book of Rites he includes a Mohawk vocabulary. The editor includes several photographs from 1900 - 1989, several taken during "At the Wood's Edge" ceremonies held during the 1960s. The original pagination for the text and articles are maintained, and an additional system is added for the complete monograph. Hale's work has been acknowledged as a major contribution to the fields of ethnology, ethnohistory and linguistics. This collection about Iroquois/Haudenosaunee cultural history brings the work to a wider audience.

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