A Voice from the Eastern Door

Culture / Cultural Corner


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  • Clanology

    Jul 11, 2024

    Continued from last week. Iakoia:ne In the Mohawk Nation there are nine Kontiianehson. They are the head women of a large extended family within each clan. They are the women who are referred to as Clan Mothers. The Kotiianehson are responsible for the probes of selecting a Roia:ne (man leader) or deposing a Roia:ne, if he fails to perform his official duties. For each principle Roia:ne title there are four assistants: Iakoiane (clan mother) Roia:ne (principal man leader) Raterontanonha (man sub-leader) “He takes care of the tree” is the lit...

  • Clanology

    Jul 3, 2024

    Continued from last week. On the first day of the Satekohsehon (midwinter festival), the leader will announce that all people (women and men) from the Wolf, Turtle and Snipe Clan will enter by the men’s door (East Door) until the entire Midwinter Festival is completed. On the first day the Bear, Eel and Deer Clan will enter the Longhouse from the women’s door to the west. This practice is done only at Midwinter Ceremonies. Many times, people forget and come in the wrong door at Midwinter. The people remind them in a playful and joking way and...

  • Clanology

    Jun 27, 2024

    Continued from last week. Rotinenio’thro:non The Deer Clan The Deer Clan people are originally from the Onondaga or the Cayuga Nations. The people of the Deer Clan are generally on the timid and shy side. They tend to form an opinion quickly. They don’t always gather all the facts on which to make a decision. The Deer Clan people are easily intimidated and somewhat athletic. They are a people of good intentions as long as there are people to break the ice. They tend to be followers more than bold leaders. They are generally kindhearted but are...

  • Clanology

    Jun 13, 2024

    Continued from last week. A’no:wara Turtle Clan The turtle Clan is one of the principal clans of the Mohawks. The turtle is the symbol of the entire earth. We walk upon the turtle’s back. The people of the Turtle Clan are the foundation of our Nation. Because of this fact the Turtle Clan people are very consistent, determined and humbly stubborn. The Turtle Clan people are in most cases very shy. They tend to be somewhat middle of the road between the Wolf and Bear Clan characteristics. Whenever anything occurs that is surprising or sta...

  • Clanology

    Jun 6, 2024

    Continued from last week. Clans of the Mohawk People The clans are taken from the animal, bird, or fish life. The clans are inherited from the mothers. This type of transmission of the clans is called a matrilineal system. Spiritual, social, economic, and political life are interwoven; one without the other is not considered whole or complete. (Spiritual and political are inseparable.) Giving of a name Amongst the Rotinonhson:ni nations each of the clans have specific names that belong to each clan. A Bear Clan person must have a Bear Clan...

  • Clanology

    May 30, 2024

    Ronikonhrowa:nen told the people that when one of the parties addresses the other they will call each other cousins. If someone dies from the Wolf, Turtle, the Hawk, or the Beaver Clan, it is said that all the people on that side of the house will be in grief or mourning. It will then be the responsibility of the people on the other side of the house to aid those who are in grief. The people who did not lose anyone on their side of the house are called Roti’nikonkate (they whose minds are strong). The people who are from the clans of the R...

  • CLANOLOGY

    May 23, 2024

    Continued from last week. The people and the elders listened very closely to what the man told them. Everyone was amazed at what the man said. It seemed to make very good sense. It was at that point the elders said they would give the man a special name. The elders chose the name Ronikonhrowa:nen (He who has great ideas). Ronikonhrowa:nen gathered the people and told them that they should all be ready to travel early the next morning. The next day the people were ready, and they did travel. As the people travelled, they followed the river....

  • CLANOLOGY

    May 16, 2024

    History of the Clans Many thousands of years ago the population of the humans on the earth was very small. As years passed it increased considerably. Along with this increase many problems began to occur. Many new villages were created, and families grew further apart. There was a time when first cousins were considered like brother and sister, but now first cousins had become like strangers. The respect and love family members had for one another diminished, causing social problems in all the villages. With the larger population the number of...

  • Tewa'a:raton ( The Creator's Game) Lacrosse

    May 9, 2024

    The Great Game Continued from last week. By happy inspiration, one bird thought of the water drum that is used in social and ceremonial gatherings. Perhaps a piece of the drums leather could be taken from the drumhead, cut and shaped and attached to legs of one of the small creatures. It was sone and thus originated the bat. The ball was now tossed into the air, the bat was told to catch it. With his skill in dodging and circling he kept the ball constantly in motion, never allowing it to hit the ground. Through his impressive performance he...

  • Tewa'a:raton (The Creator's Game) Lacrosse

    May 2, 2024

    The game of Lacrosse has been a mainstay among the Rotinonshonni. The first purpose of the game is spiritual. It is a medicine game to be played upon request of any individual, clan, nation or the Confederacy itself. Iroquois Lacrosse is a holistic process that binds communities and the nations of the Rotinonshonni together. This is the reason that we say it was a gift to our people from the Creator. Lacrosse is a “medicine” game because it promotes the health and strength of the Nation, ensuring a continuance of our tradition and an und...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Apr 11, 2024

    Given the impending world crises in the areas of food and energy, a comprehensive strategy for survival will include a concept of liberation technologies which free people from dependency on economics which are controlled by external interests. Liberation technologies have political cousins, just as colonizing technologies have, and those political cousins need careful consideration. Liberation technologies are accompanied by liberation political structures and liberation theologies. Of these two entities, colonized peoples in the West would...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Apr 4, 2024

    Continued from last week. Our Strategy for Survival The dialectical opposite of that process would be the rekindling on a planetary basis of locally based culture. Prior to the advent of colonialism, culture was defined as the way of life by which people survived within their own environment, and their own environment was defined as the area in which they lived. Thus, the process of survival involved the use of locally developed technologies which met the specific needs of the area. It was mentioned earlier that technologies have political...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Mar 28, 2024

    Our Strategy for Survival Continued from last week. The specter of regional famine, or even worldwide famines, cannot be interpreted as the simple product of a world of scarce resources overwhelmed by the needs of expanding human populations. The situation is not that simple. In the United States, for example, a simple program of energy conservation – insulation of dwellings, office and industrial buildings would cut back energy consumption by more than 25% in 10 years, and even given growth predictions in terms of populations and economy, the...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Mar 21, 2024

    Continued from last week. Our strategy for survival: The invasion of the Western hemisphere by European powers was preceded by centuries of social development which had resulted in societies in which the interests of the few had effectively become national policies, and the interests of the many were without voice in national affairs. In order that we might formulate a strategy for survival in the modern world, it had been necessary that we look at the forces and processes which threaten survival, and to begin to understand the real...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Mar 14, 2024

    Continued from last week. We, the Haudenosaunee, have clear choices about the future. One of the choices which we have faced is whether to become Westernized, or to remain true to the Way of Life our forefathers developed for us. We have stated our understanding of the history of the changes that have created the present conditions. We have chosen to remain Haudenosaunee, and within the context of our Way of Life, to set a course of liberation for ourselves and the future generations. Our liberation process is not one that is exclusive to us...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Mar 7, 2024

    Continued from last week. Although treaties may often have been bad deals for the Native nations, the United States and Canada chose not to honor those which exist because to do so would require the return of much of the economic base and sovereignty to the Haudenosaunee. The treaties contain the potential for independent survival of the Native people. The dishonoring of treaties is essential to the goal of the U.S. and Canadian vested interests which are organized to remove all obstacles to their exploitation of the Earth and her peoples. The...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Feb 22, 2024

    Continued from last week. By pretending that the Haudenosaunee government no longer exists, both the U.S. and Britain illegally took Haudenosaunee territories by simply saying the territories belong to them. To this day, Canada, the former colony of England, has never made a treaty for the lands in the St. Lawrence River Valley. But the truth continues to remain and plagued officials yet today. The Haudenosaunee territories are not and have never been part of the U. S. or Canada. The citizens of the Haudenosaunee are a separate people,...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Feb 15, 2024

    Policies of Oppression in the Name of “Democracy” Economic History of the Haudenosaunee Continued from last week. Throughout this period many other Native peoples had been moving into our territories to gain some respite from the colonial onslaught. Far to the South, in the colonized area known as the Carolinas, the Tuscarora were faced with imminent destruction. In their drive to gain some more land and economic advantage, English colonizers were using the same techniques which were being employed in the Northeast. In 1713 the dis...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Feb 8, 2024

    Policies of Oppression in the Name of “Democracy” Economic History of the Haudenosaunee Continued from last week. European Churches, especially in colonial practice, take on their feudal roles as economic institutions. Among natural world people, they are the most dangerous agents of destruction. They invariably seek to destroy the spiritual/economic bonds of the people to the forests, land, and animals. They spread both ideologies and technologies which make people slaves to the extractive system which defines colonialism. In 1704, the fir...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Feb 1, 2024

    Policies of Oppression in the Name of “Democracy” Continued from last week. Champlain, accompanied by his newly found business partners, marched into the center of Mohawk territory. This war party encountered about 200 Mohawks. The first volley of gunfire killed three men, and the second created such confusion that the Mohawks retreated, leaving twelve men who were taken captive. The period of warfare which follows this incident has come to be known as the “Beaver Wars.” The introduction of trade in beaver pelts inevitably triggered a long se...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Jan 25, 2024

    Continued from last week. Policies of Oppression in the name of “Democracy” Economy of the Haudenosaunee Our leaders, in fact, are leaders of categories of large extended families. Those large extended families function as economic units in a Way of Life which has as its base the Domestic Mode of Production. Before the colonists came, we had our own means of production and distribution adequate to meet all the people’s needs. We would have been unable to exist as nations were it not so. Our basic economic unit is the family. The means of distr...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Jan 18, 2024

    Continued from last issue Policies of Oppression in the Name of “Democracy” Economic History of the Haudenosaunee The Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse, who are known to many Europeans as the Six Nations, have inhabited their territories since time immemorial. During the time prior to the coming of the Europeans, it is said that ours were a happy and prosperous people. Our lands provided abundantly for our needs. Our people lived long, healthy, and productive lives. Before the Europeans came, we were an affluent people, rich in the gif...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Jan 11, 2024

    Continued from last issue. Policies of Oppression In the Name of “Democracy” Economic History of the Haudenosaunee The Haudenosaunee People of the Longhouse, who are known to many Europeans as the Six Nations Iroquois, have inhabited their territories since time immemorial. During the time prior to the coming of the Europeans, it is said that ours were a happy and prosperous people. Our lands provided abundantly for our needs. Our people lived long, healthy, and productive lives. Before the Europeans came, we were an affluent people, rich in th...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Dec 14, 2023

    Continued from last issue. Legal History of the Haudenosaunee Also in 1924, Canada military invaded our territories on the Grand River and forcibly installed a colonial government there. The episode was repeated by Canada in 1934 on our territories at the Thames River community of Oneida. In 1948 and 1950, Congress passed laws giving civil and criminal jurisdiction to New York State, although Congress was never given such jurisdiction by the Haudenosaunee. In 1958, Congress passed Public Law 88-533, the Kinzua Dam Act, which resulted in the...

  • Basic Call to Consciousness

    Dec 7, 2023

    Legal History of the Haudenosaunee Continued from last week. The United States entered into solemn treaties with the Haudenosaunee, and each time has ignored virtually each and every provision of the treaties which guarantee our rights as a separate nation. Only the sections of the treaties which refer to land cessions, sections which were fraudulently obtained, have validity in the eye of the United States courts or governments. The mechanism for the colonization of the Haudenosaunee territory is found, in legal fiction, the United States...

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