Sacred Texts  Native American  Iroquois  Index  Previous  Next 


"'Now another message to tell your people.

p. 48

"'There is a dispute in the heaven-world between two parties. It is a controversy about you, the children of earth. Two great beings are disputing--one is the Great Ruler, the Creator, and the other is the evil-minded spirit.

"'You who are on earth do not know the things of heaven.

"'Now the evil one said, "I am the ruler of the earth because when I command I speak but once and man obeys."

"'Then answered the Great Ruler, "The earth is mine for I have created it and you have helped me in no part."

"'Now the evil one answered, "I do not acknowledge that you have created the earth and that I helped in no part, but I say that when I say to men, 'Obey me,' they straightway obey, but they do not hear your voice."

"'Then the Great Ruler replied, "Truly the children are my own for they have never done evil."

"'And the evil one answering said, "Nay, the children are mine for when I bid one saying, 'Pick up that stick and strike your fellow,' they obey me quickly. Aye, the children are mine."

"'Then was the Great Ruler very sad and he said, "Once more will I send my messengers and tell them my heart and they will tell my people and thus I will redeem my own."

"'Then the evil one replied, "Even so it will not be long before men transgress your commands. I can destroy it with a word for they will do my bidding. Verily I delight in the name Hanîsse:'ono. It is very true that they who love my name, though they be on the other side of the earth, will find me at their backs the moment they pronounce my name."

"'Now at that time the Great Ruler spoke to the four messengers saying, "Go tell mankind that at present they must not call me Hawi'n'io`, the Great Ruler, until a later time, for the Evil One calls himself the Ruler of Mankind. So now whosoever is turned into my way must say when he calls upon my name, Hodiänok'doon Hêd'iohe? our Creator. So also whosoever speaks the name of the evil one must say, Segoewa'tha, The Tormentor. Then will the evil one know that you have discovered who he is, for it is he who will punish the wicked when they depart from this world.'" 1

So they said and he said. Eniaiehuk.

p. 49


48:1 A typical example of Iroquois philosophy. The Iroquois were fond of devising stories of this character and many of them reveal the subtle reasoning powers of the Indian in a striking manner.

Next: Section 50