Indigenous Arts & Stories - The League

The League

2006 - Writing Winner

That night Kahehtakwas couldn’t sleep for she couldn’t stop wondering about why people always have to kill, and then she felt it; it was as if a piece of her heart was missing, and then it happened again, a warm tear fell from her beautiful brown eyes, making them sparkle a bit in the moonlight, which snuck in through the smoke hole on the longhouse ceiling.

Read Tehoneratathe Nelson's The League

Tehoneratathe Nelson

Kanehsatake, QC
Age 16

Author's Statement

My story is about a young 18 winters-old girl who witnessed the coming of the peace maker, and the rising of the Five Nations. Many parts of my story come from stories my mother told me, and the rest of the story I just got out of my head. The peace maker was dressed fairly fancy in my story because the way I imagined him to be is exactly the way I wrote it. Though in reality he could have been all tired, and his clothes could have been all torn up. All of the people that I asked about the peace maker told me that after he finished his work here with the Five Nations he went to Europe, and became Jesus Christ. They also told me that after he died in Europe he came back, and he showed the boys that he was born with the holes in his hands, and feet, even the wreath of thorns around his head.

The significance of my story is about how one guy can unite, and make stronger the Five Nations that were warring against each other, and he should convince us that while we are united we are a stronger nation than while we are just separated. I got the name which I used for the main character from a girl that I like in my school. I was thinking more about the story, and how now-a-days it would be great if the Peace Maker came back to help us, because our nations are so lost today, and we will need help in bringing ourselves to have one mind, and agree on the things that are important.


The League

As she lay on the ground drying her beautiful dark brown skin in the sun, Kahehtakwas, a young 18 winter’s old Mohawk girl, was so beautiful you’d think that when the creator crafted her, he tried to recreate his mother, and his wife (If he had, or has one), but remembered she was human. After her daily bath in the lake she laid there, covered only by the long, green grass of summer; there was no sound, nor was there any movement around her. Her brown eyes glistened with the reflection of the sun, as she tried to absorb all the wonderful things that the creator had created for her, and her people to use.

Finally a gust of wind disturbed the calmness, to her it was as if spirits of the old hunters were nearing their prey as they ran by, but yet there was also softness in the wind. To Kahehtakwas, it was like a great big eagle feather was tickling her naked body covering her from head to toe; that’s when she realized that there was trouble. She got up from her resting area leaving a patch in the grass showing where she had laid; she quickly got dressed into the buckskin dress that her mother had given to her, and then she hurried back to her village.

“Oh! Good you’re alright, come here,” Kahehtakwas’s mother said in a worried tone.

“Yes! Of course I’m alright. What’s happening Ista (Mom)?” Kahehtakwas asked her mom with a confused look on her face.

“A group of hunters were murdered on the way home, by a small Seneca war party,” this time a sad tone had crept into her voice as she continued. “Your Uncle and your Dad were part of the hunters that were murdered today.”

As she said this, Kahehtakwas felt the tears beginning to flow from her gorgeous brown eyes, and she also felt like throwing up.

“Don’t worry, a small war party is going out to track them, and we will get our blood vengeance,” her mother said with a little comfort.

“That won’t change anything!” Kahehtakwas snapped.

That night Kahehtakwas couldn’t sleep for she couldn’t stop wondering about why people always have to kill, and then she felt it; it was as if a piece of her heart was missing, and then it happened again, a warm tear fell from her beautiful brown eyes, making them sparkle a bit in the moonlight, which snuck in through the smoke hole on the longhouse ceiling.

The following morning came, and went just like the gust of wind that she was tickled by yesterday.

“She:kon Ista (Hi Mom),” she said.

“She:kon Kahehtakwas,” her mother repeated after her daughter.

“What’s happening today Ista?” Kahehtakwas asked.

“Oh! Nothing much, but we are going to war with the Senecas.” She said in an uncaring tone.

From a safe distance Kahehtakwas watched as the Senecas were about to get ambushed by the Mohawk warriors. She looked as if she was worried, but yet a grin had snuck onto her beautiful face scarring it with hate, but as she watched she noticed that the Senecas never came. Instead there was a handsome young man with dark skin, much like her own, and long impressive, gorgeous black hair that reminded her of a black bear cub; this young man was wearing a rarely seen white buckskin shirt, leggings, and a white loin cloth. He was walking towards the Mohawk warriors with his head held down, as if he was ashamed of something. It was as if the young man had a death wish, or something, but it seemed as if he had no fear in him whatsoever. The Mohawk warriors had their bows, and arrows aimed at this young man, but as he lifted his head, they started to see kindness, and purity in this young man, and slowly they started falling with their weapons as they all hit the ground like they’ve just been defeated, and they just started crying, as if they were newborn babies, or something.

Kahehtakwas was examining the young man that stood before her and the warriors for a fairly long time until she realized that she, herself, was tearing up. The young man knew exactly why, and so he just stood there for awhile with a smile on his face, as if he himself had just defeated both sides. Before Kahehtakwas started crying, she thought that he was gorgeous standing there in his white buckskin clothing, which actually made him shine as if he was a supernatural spirit that stole the brightness out of the stars, the moon, but left the sun shining brightly. That was also when Kahehtakwas realized that the gust of wind, and the softness that tickled her ravishing body was actually a warning about the war, and the young man, and this too, was when she was struck with the idea that the young man was there for a very good reason. After a couple of moments, the young man started to speak.

“Kà ts kén:en, (Come here!)” He commanded, and it was as if he had strings attached to each of us like we were dolls; we were all moving towards him.

“You all shall go home to your Mohawk village, and you will invite your brothers, the Seneca, to your village, and you shall treat them as if they were your own people. Also from now on the will of the creator will be carried out, and there will be no more bloodshed on this land between these two powerful nations.”

They all noticed what he was talking about as they drew nearer to him, over the hill the Senecas were drawing near him too.

They did as we were told, still like having strings on, and as they returned to the village the people looked at them weirdly, and curiously about why the Seneca war party was following them. Despite the weird looks, they fed them and gave them all places to sleep for the night. As for the young man, last anybody had seen of him, he magically became an eagle, and flew away, with the light still on him.

In the morning Kahehtakwas woke up, and she noticed that the air was quite chilly, but she didn’t really care much because the sun was rising. To her surprise the Senecas were gone.

Two days, and two nights later the young man that stopped the war the other day, came to the village, so they fed him, and after he ate two to three bowls of corn soup, he started to tell us that he was a messenger from the creator; he was the Peacemaker who would unite the five nations that were at war with each other for years. He told Kahehtakwas, and her people that he was the one to stop the wars, and make the peace grow so strong that the sharpest of all the weapons in the world would not be able to break it. He explained to Kahehtakwas, and her people, the reason the warriors cried, but when the warriors heard this, it was as if they had no memory of it, and so they just laughed, and in doing so the rest of the village just laughed with them. Kahehtakwas saw the young man’s face, and she read a type of discouragement coming from him, but yet the light around him shown brighter, and so he spoke again.

“So you don’t believe me?” he said with discouragement in his voice. “Well then, I guess I have to show you then.”

At that moment Kahehtakwas found her, and her people following him to the great falls, and once they got there, she saw the young man climb the tallest pine tree, and she heard him command the warriors to cut the tree down. Before he told them to do this his voice became loud, as if the creator was talking to them himself.

“If I survive this then I speak the truth, and if I die then I am a fool,” he said putting laughter in everybody’s hearts, and making it as if this was the sure outcome. So the warriors did what they were told. The tree fell as he sat on it firmly. Kahehtakwas, and her people saw that there was no fear in his face. It looked as if a giant sea creature swallowed the tree with the young man still sitting on it; Kahehtakwas, and her people waited, but he never came back up. Two sunrises after Kahehtakwas woke up to the smell of smoke, as did the rest of the village, and she looked towards the direction in which the sun would sink under the earth, and they all saw smoke rising high. Kahehtakwas asked a couple of warriors to take her across the river to see, and so they did, and once they got there, they followed the smell, but as they got nearer the smell changed to smoke mixed with fish. They seen a camp, and found the young man sitting there smiling, and eating away.

Since then Kahehtakwas watched as the young man did what he said he was going to do.

He united the five nations, which still to this day consists of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneidas, and of the Mohawk, and later on sometime in the 1700′s, our brothers the Tuscaroras joined the mighty confederacy, and we formed the League of Six Nations. Since then the Six Nations have never fought each other; in fact we buried our tools of war under the great tree of peace.