|Motto: In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.|
|Other:||Guyasuta, Otsiningo, New Onondaga City, Losantiville|
|Official:||Koine Iroquois (creole), English|
|Others:||Brithenig, Heritage Iroquoian languages|
|Established:||15th century-17th century|
|Admission to NAL:||1803 (5th)|
Aquanishuonigy (literally "Land of the Iroquois ") is the oldest of the non-European provinces of the North American League. Depending on one's point of view, it may be said that the NAL is an expansion of Aquanishuonigy. It is also known as the Six Nations.
Aquanishuonigy is governed by a Grand Council, consisting of 50 chiefs elected from each of the six nations. Historically, the number of chiefs from each tribe was set by law. In the late 19th century, a reform was made, redistributing the 50 chiefs among the nations by population, granting the Tuscarora a position on the Council in the process.
By custom, new provinces admitted to the NAL petition to the Grand Council as well as to the Parliament of the NAL. As a formality, largely, major decisions are often brought first to the Council Fire before they are taken to the Parliament in Philadelphia, as evidenced by East and West Florida visiting the Fire as they petitioned for re-admittance to the League and Covenant in 2004.
This elder governing body serves not only as the governing body of the province, but also serves as the means by which Natives and Newcommers -- the Europeans and now also Asians, Australasians, Africans, Indians, etc. -- are welded into one nation. The Grand Council is sometimes refered to, especially in the American press, as the Council Fire.
Aquanishuonigy is divided into six nations:
This union of nations was established prior to major European contact, replete with a constitution recorded with special beads called wampum that have inherent spiritual value (wampum has been innacurately compared to money in other cultures). Most Western anthropologists speculate that this Constitution was created between the middle 1400s and early 1600s, but other scholars who account for Iroquois oral tradition argue that the event took place as early as 1100, with many arguing for August 31, 1142 based on a coinciding solar eclipse.
The two prophets, Hiawatha and "The Great Peacemaker", brought a message of peace to squabbling tribes. The tribes who joined the League were the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Mohawks. Once they ceased (most) infighting, they rapidly became one of the strongest forces in 17th and 18th century northeastern North America.
The League engaged in a series of wars against the French and their Iroquoian-speaking Wyandot ("Huron") allies. They also put great pressure on the Algonquian peoples of the Atlantic coast and what is now subarctic Canada and not infrequently fought the English and Kemrese colonies as well. During the 17th Century they are also credited with having destroyed the Neutral Indians and Erie Tribe as a way of controlling the fur trade, even though other reasons are often given for these wars. Some survivors of these tribes were absorbed into the Iroquois tribes.
According to Francis Parkman, the Iroquois were at the height of their power in the 17th century with a population of around 12,000 people. League traditions allowed for the dead to be symbolically replaced through the "Mourning War", raids intended to seize captives and take vengeance on non-members. This tradition was common to native people of the northeast and was quite different from European settlers' notions of combat.
In 1720 the Tuscarora fled north from the European colonization of northern Carolina and petitioned to become the Sixth Nation. This was originally a non-voting position, but placed them under the protection of the Confederacy, eventually becoming a full member.
The original Six Nations were located in the Finger Lakes region, the part North of the 42nd Parallel.
As one of the provisions of the Solemn League and Covenant, the Mohawk Nation traded the land west of Lake Champlain to Castreleon New in exchange for CN renouncing their claim to the land Northwest of the Ohio. The Tuscarawa tribe, being the newest of the Six Nations, had not yet fully established a homeland in the Finger Lakes area.
A Council was held in 1803 to partition the new province of a Aquanishuonigy. The land (collectively called Wyandot after the tribe that dominated the Northern portion at the time) was divided into six chunks.
- The Lake Erie watershed West of the Cuyahoga
- The Lake Erie watershed East of the Cuyahoga
- The area from the Great Miami to the Scioto.
- The area from the Scioto to the Hocking River
- The area from the Hocking to the Muskingum
- The area from the Muskingum to the 42nd Parallel.
From the maps they had at the time (see http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1755evans.jpg) this seemed fairly equitible.
The Mohawks, in compensation for their loss, were given first choice, and chose the largest section to the South West (section 3). The Tuscarawas, who had no portion in the Homeland, got second choice, and selected the Southeastern portion, section 6.
The Onandaga nation selected section 4. The Cayuga selected section 1. The Oneida took section 2, and the Seneca got section 5.
Each tribe established trading centers in Wyandot which grew into major cities. The largest came to be Cayuga City at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river. The second largest was established in between the Great Miami and the Little Miami and was named Washington after the surveyor, a Lieutenant in the Virginia Army.
The Onandaga deliberately built a large city in the center of the state, on the banks of the Scioto River, called Onandaga City. [note: I could not determine for sure whether or not the exact location of the capital of the province had been officially QSS'd, but the location of *here* Syracuse, New York has been put forwarded. It would make sense, historically, to have that be the original capital, but then it moved west to the new Onandaga City as the population moved west.] [response note: I still insist that it makes more sense for Onondaga City (=Syracuse) to remain the capital and location of the 'Council Fire', due to its spiritual-historical significance; New Onondaga City (=Columbus?), off in the Wyandot region, can be the big economic-cultural center without being the provincial capital, similar to the relationship between New York City and Albany, NY *here*]
The Tuscarawas simply moved into the abandoned Fort Pitt where the Monongahela flows into the Ohio; and the Oneida moved into a trading center established on the shores of Lake Erie, half way between Cuyoga and Buffalo.
The Seneca's land in Wyandot was the smallest, however theirs was the largest section of the Homeland North of the 42nd Parallel. They established a base half-way up the Hocking River.
A language came to be the trade language that European philologists called "Koine Iroquois" a blend of the six languages, plus the Wyandot language, along with bits of English. Although the Wyandot vs. Homeland distinction is still spoken of as geographic terms, it has no meaning to the individual Six Nations or in terms of the government of the Province.
The band Collective Arse-Biters was the province's major contribution to the music world of the 1960s and 70s.
Aquanishuonigy does not actually have an official language enshrined in law, but relies on two de facto common tongues – Koine Iroquois and English. Koine Iroquois (sometimes called just Koine or Iroquois for short) is a creole that developed from the various Iroquoian languages of the original Six Nations, combined with influences of Dutch, English, and Brithenig. While upheld as an example of a robust, living Native language culture, the development of Koine Iroquois has endangered the survival of the original Haudenoshoni languages from which it sprouted, and in recent years the provincial government has funded and created programs to encourage the learning of what they call the heritage languages among the youth, in order to ensure their survival.
Their close contact with Europeans makes investigation of their original mythology and religion extremely difficult, but core beliefs included a conception of life as a struggle between the forces of good and evil. The "All-Father," and all embracing deity, had no form and little contact of the humans. Spirits animated all of nature and controlled the changing of the season. Key festivals coincided with the major events of the agricultural calendar.
Seventh Generation is a precept of the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy), which requires that chiefs consider the impact of their decisions on the seventh generation.
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