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Preamble to the Republic: Condolence, Wampum, and the Language of Peace

When the United States was founded in 1789, American Indians had nearly 200 years of experience dealing with Europeans. During those years, Native people offered distinct protocols of diplomacy—ceremonies, forms of address, and material culture—that governed relations with the colonial powers. Benjamin Franklin published the record of treaties where these protocols formed the primary construct of negotiation. The oral traditions surrounding and informing the early protocols continue in living memory through elders and ceremonial cycles of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) longhouses. Their material legacy is found in the record of wampum and wampum belts of archeological, cultural and historical value.At Preamble to the Republic, three representatives from a distinguished traditional family spoke on the history, culture, and meaning of the Great Law of Peace, the clanmother system, and the symbology of the longhouse leadership culture as represented in wampum and other materials.A venerated elder of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, Chief Jake Swamp is an internationally recognized spokesperson for the traditions of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) longhouse. Ceremonially released from duties as a chief of the Wolf Clan after nearly forty years, he continues his activism as president of the Tree of Peace Society, a global peace and environment initiative. His wife, Judy Swamp, is a traditional elder of the Mohawk Nation, and his son, Skahendowaneh Swamp, is an installed speaker of the longhouse, educator, and traditional artist.From July 1, 2010
Length: 01:20:22

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