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The Iroquois Constitution - Page 7 of 22 - Incunabulibrary

The Iroquois Constitution

The War Chief shall now address the women of the deposed Lord and say:

“Mothers, as I have now deposed your Lord, I now return to you the emblem and the title of Lordship, therefore repossess them.”

Again addressing himself to the deposed Lord he shall say:

“As I have now deposed and discharged you so you are now no longer Lord. You shall now go your way alone, the rest of the people of the Confederacy will not go with you, for we know not the kind of mind that possesses you. As the Creator has nothing to do with wrong so he will not come to rescue you from the precipice of destruction in which you have cast yourself. You shall never be restored to the position which you once occupied.”

Then shall the War Chief address himself to the Lords of the Nation to which the deposed Lord belongs and say:

“Know you, my Lords, that I have taken the deer’s antlers from the brow of ___________, the emblem of his position and token of his greatness.”

The Lords of the Confederacy shall then have no other alternative than to sanction the discharge of the offending Lord.

20. If a Lord of the Confederacy of the Five Nations should commit murder the other Lords of the Nation shall assemble at the place where the corpse lies and prepare to depose the criminal Lord. If it is impossible to meet at the scene of the crime the Lords shall discuss the matter at the next Council of their Nation and request their War Chief to depose the Lord guilty of crime, to “bury” his women relatives and to transfer the Lordship title to a sister family.

The War Chief shall address the Lord guilty of murder and say:

“So you, __________ (giving his name) did kill __________ (naming the slain man), with your own hands! You have comitted a grave sin in the eyes of the Creator. Behold the bright light of the Sun, and in the brightness of the Sun’s light I depose you of your title and remove the horns, the sacred emblems of your Lordship title. I remove from your brow the deer’s antlers, which was the emblem of your position and token of your nobility. I now depose you and expel you and you shall depart at once from the territory of the Five Nations Confederacy and nevermore return again. We, the Five Nations Confederacy, moreover, bury your women relatives because the ancient Lordship title was never intended to have any union with bloodshed. Henceforth it shall not be their heritage. By the evil deed that you have done they have forfeited it forever..”

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