Myths and Legends of the New York State Iroquois

by Harriet Maxwell Converse

Description: Steeped in indigenous cultures by her father and grandfather, Harriet Maxwell Converse had a longstanding interest in the natives of New York State, but her life and thought took a new direction when she met the Iroquois sachem Gen. Ely S. Parker, himself a Seneca Indian of the Wolf Clan. The experiences she had when he took her to his reservation fanned her interest into a passion. She admired their laws and customs and marveled at their wondrous national vitality and their endurance. Her untiring activity on behalf of the natives, both in Albany and Washington, D.C. won their esteem and confidence. In return one of the national Seneca sachems made arrangements to adopt her as a sister, receiving her into the Snipe Clan. This gave her access to hearing the myths and legends in various settings that are recounted in this volume.

Additional information:

Ages:  13-18
Length:  286 pages
Format:  Paperback
Illustrations:  Black and white
Year published:  2024
ISBN:  978-1-63334-241-5
Genres:  History

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Table of Contents

Part I - Creation

1. The Floating Island
2. The Council Tree
3. Hah-nu-nah, the Turtle
4. Ata-en-sic, the Sky Woman
5. The Sun, Moon and Stars
6. The Animals and Birds
7. Duel of Hah-gweh-di-yu and Hah-gweh-da-ĕt-găh
8. Ga-oh, Spirit of the Winds
9. Naming the Winds
10. He-no, the Thunderer
11. Gun-no-do-yah, the Thunder Boy, and the Human Snake
12. O-se-ha-da-gaar, the Dew Eagle
13. O-ga-nyo-da and Sais-tah-go-wa, the Rainbow and the Serpent
14. Ska-hai-we, Indian Summer
15. Sun talks to Earth
16. Deh-oh-niot, the Evil Soul Gatherer
17. Od-je-so-dah and Ji-hen-yah, the Dancing Stars and the Sky Witches
18. O-so-ah, the Tall Pine, Speaks
19. Ga-do-wăăs, his Star Belt, the Milky Way
20. Nya-gwa-ih, the Celestial Bear
21. O-je-a-neh-doh, the Sky Elk
22. O-na-tah and the Ga-gaah, Spirit of the Corn, and the Crow
23. Gus-tah-ote, Spirit of the Rock
24. Ga-do-jih and Sa-go-ba-oh, the Golden Eagle and the Hunter Vulture
25. Ga-nus-quah and Go-gon-sa, the Stone Giants and False Faces
26. Ott-wais-ha, the Soul
27. Gau-wi-di-ne and Go-hay, Winter and Spring
28. Neh Jo-ga-oh, the Myth-Dwarf People
29. Neh Oh-do-was, the Underearth Myths
30. Neh gan-da-yah of the Fruits and Grains
31. Ga-nus-quah the Depredator
32. The Go-gon-sa (Mask)
33. Ko-nea-raw-neh, the Flying Heads
34. The Face in the Water and the Death Dance
35. Ton-da-yent, the Twelve Warriors and the White Rabbit
36. The Warrior’s Story
37. Ji-jo-gweh, the Witch Water Gull
38. Sgah-ah-so-wah and Got-gont, the Witch Hawk and the Witch Bear Woman

Part II

1.Ott-wais-ha, the Soul
2. Gau-wi-di-ne and Go-hay, Winter and Spring
3. Neh Jo-ga-oh, the Myth-Dwarf People
4. Neh Oh-do-was, the Underearth Myths
5. Neh gan-da-yah of the Fruits and Grains

6. The Dream Fast, Jis-go-a, the Robin
7. The Origin of the Rattlesnake Tree
8. Ka-is-to-wan-ea and Ha-ja-noh, the Two-Headed Serpent and the Brave Boy
9. Ga-ye-was and Gi-da-no-neh, the Fish and the Indian Maiden
10. Ot-to-har-ho, the Tangled
11. How the Flying Squirrel Won his Wings, the Frog Lost its Teeth, and the Woodchuck its Appetite
12. Nya-gwa-ih, How the Bear Lost its Tail
13. The Algonquin and Wan-nut-ha

Part III

1. Iroquois Indians of the State of New York
2. Woman’s Rights among the Iroquois
3. Origin of the Wampum Belt
4. Origin of the Game of Lacrosse

5. Neh Ho-noh-tci-noh-gah, the Guardians of the Little Waters, a Seneca Medicine Society
6. Origin of the Little Water Medicine Society
7. Neh Ni-ga-ni-ga-ah
8. Method of Administering the Ni-ga-ni-ga-ah
9. The Medicine Lodge Ritual
10. The Line around the Fire Ceremony
11. Address to the Candidate
12. The Medicine Lodge Epitome of the Origin of the Medicine
13. Instructions to the Candidate
14. The Society of the Men who Move Spirits
15. Origin of the Ne-gar-na-gar-ah
16. Legend of the Chief’s Initiation
17. How the Medicine is Dispensed Today

An Inside View...