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portal of the Great Lakes, and on the other the sources of the streams flowing both to the Atlantic and the Mississippi, gave the ambitious and aggressive confederates advantages which they perfectly understood, and by which they profited to the utmost. Patient and politic as they were ferocious, they were not only conquerors of their own race, but the powerful allies and the dreaded foes of the French and English colonies, flattered and caressed by both, yet too sagacious to give themselves without reserve to either. Their organization and their history evince their intrinsic superiority. Even their traditionary lore, amid its wild puerilities, shows at times the stamp of an energy and force in striking contrast with the flimsy creations of Algonquin fancy. That the Iroquois, left under their institutions to work out their destiny undisturbed, would ever have developed a civilization of their own, I do not believe. These institutions, however, are sufficiently characteristic and curious, and we shall soon have occasion to observe them.1 1 The name Iroquois is French. Charlevoix says: "II a 6\6 formé du terme Hiro, ou Hero, qui signifie J'ai dit, et par lequel ees sauvages finissent tous leur discours, eomme les Latins faisoient autrefois par leur Dixi; et de Koui, qui est un cri tantot de tristcsse, lorsqu'on le prononce en trainant, et tantot de joye, quand on le prononce plus court."— Hist, de la N. F., i. 271. Their true name is Hodewisaunee, or "People of the Long House," because their confederacy of five distinct nations, ranged in a line along central New York, was likened to one of the long bark houses already described, with five fires and five families. The name Aqonnonsionni, or Aquanuscioni, ascribed to them by Lafitau and Charlevoix, who translated it 'House-makers." Fnisenrs de Cabannes, may be a conversion of the SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATION. In Indian social organization, a problem at once suggests itself. In these communities, comparatively populous, how could spirits so fierce, and in many respects so ungoverned, live together in peace, without law and without enforced authority? Yet there were towns where savages lived together in thousands, with a harmony which civilization might envy. This was in good measure due to peculiarities of Indian character and habits. This intractable race were, in certain external respects, the most pliant and complaisant of mankind. The early missionaries were charmed by the docile acquiescence with which their dogmas were received; but they soon discovered that their facile auditors neither believed nor understood that to which they had so promptly assented. They assented from a kind of courtesy, which, while it vexed the priests, tended greatly to keep the Indians in mutual accord. That well-known selftrue name with an erroneous rendering. The following are the true names of the five nations severally, with their French and English synonymes. For other synonymes, see "History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac," chapter i., note.
Ganeagaono, Mohawk, Agnier.
Onayotekaono, Oneida, Onneyut.
Onundagaono, Onondaga, Onnontague".
Gweugwehono, Cayuga, Goyogouin.
Nundawaono, Seneca, Tsonnontouans.
The Iroquois termination in ono— or onon, as the French write it — simply means people.
control, which, originating in a form of pride, covered the savage nature of the man with a veil, opaque, though thin, contributed not a little to the same end. Though vain, arrogant, boastful, and vindictive, the Indian bore abuse and sarcasm with an astonishing patience. Though greedy and grasping, he was lavish without stint, and would give away his all to soothe the manes of a departed relative, gain influence and applause, or ingratiate himself with his neighbors. In his dread of public opinion, he rivalled some of his civilized successors. All Indians, and especially these populous and stationary tribes, had their code of courtesy, whose requirements were rigid and exact; nor might any infringe it without the ban of public censure. Indian nature, inflexible and unmalleable, was peculiarly under the control of custom. Established usage took the place of law, — was, in fact, a sort of common law, with no tribunal to expound or enforce it. In these wild democracies, — democracies in spirit, though not in form, — a respect for native superiority, and a willingness to yield to it, were always conspicuous. All were prompt to aid each other in distress, and a neighborly spirit was often exhibited among them. When a young woman was permanently married, the other women of the village supplied her with firewood for the year, each contributing an armful. When one or more families were without shelter, the men of the village joined in building them a house. In return, the recipients of the favor gave a feast, if they could; if not, then thanks were sufficient.1 Among the Iroquois and Hurons — and doubtless among the kindred tribes — there were marked distinctions of noble and base, prosperous and poor; yet while there was food in the village, the meanest and the poorest need not suffer want. He had but to enter the nearest house, and seat himself by the fire, when, without a word on either side, food was placed before him by the women.2 Contrary to the received opinion, these Indians, like others of their race, when living in communities, were of a very social disposition. Besides their incessant dances and feasts, great and small, they were continually visiting, spending most of their time in their neighbors' houses, chatting, joking, bantering 1 The following testimony concerning Indian charity and hospitality is from Hagueneau: "As often as we have seen tribes broken up, towns destroyed, and their people driven to flight, we have seen them, to the number of seven or eight hundred persons, received with open arms by charitable hosts, who gladly gave them aid, and even distributed among them a part of the lands already planted, that they might have the means of living." — Relation, 1650, 28.
2 The Jesuit BreTjeuf, than whom no one knew the Hurons better, is very emphatic in praise of their harmony and social spirit. Speaking of one of the four nations of which the Hurons were composed, he says: "lis ont vne douceur et vne affability quasi incroyable pour des Sauuages; ils ne se picquent pas aise'ment. . . . lis se maintiennent dans cette si parfaite intelligence par les frequentes visites, les secours qu'ils se donnent mutuellement dans leurs maladies, par les festins et les alliances. ... Ils sont moins en leurs Cabanes que chez leurs amis. . . . S'ils ont vn bon morceau, ils en fontfestin a leurs amis, et ne le mangent quasi iamais en leur particulier," etc. — Relation des Hurons, 1636, 118.
INDIAN RULE OF DESCENT. 41 one another with witticisms, sharp, broad, and in no sense delicate, yet always taken in good part. Every village had its adepts in these wordy tournaments, while the shrill laugh of young squaws, untaught to blush, echoed each hardy jest or rough sarcasm. In the organization of the savage communities of the continent, one feature, more or less conspicuous, continually appears. Each nation or tribe — to adopt the names by which these communities are usually known — is subdivided into several clans. These clans are not locally separate, but are mingled throughout the nation. All the members of each clan are, or are assumed to be, intimately joined in consanguinity. Hence it is held an abomination for two persons of the same clan to intermarry; and hence, again, it follows that every family must contain members of at least two clans. Each clan has its name, as the clan of the Hawk, of the Wolf, or of the Tortoise; and each has for its emblem the figure of the beast, bird, reptile, plant, or other object, from which its name is derived. This emblem, called totem by the Algonquins, is often tattooed on the clansman's body, or rudely painted over the entrance of his lodge. The child belongs, in most cases, to the clan, not of the father, but of the mother. In other words, descent, not of the totem alone, but of all rank, titles, and possessions, is through the female. The son of a chief can never be a chief by hereditary title, though he may become so by force of personal influence or achievement.