Dekanahwideh

Dekanahwideh, "the Heavenly Messenger," reputed founder of the Five Nations Confederacy. He was said to have been born among the Huron of a virgin mother, and destined to bring peace and power to his people. His first miracle was building a stone canoe, in which he travelled to the Onondaga, where he made his first convert - Hiawatha. He spoke his message of peace among the warring Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca. His power in defying death and darkening the sun converted sceptics; a Great Peace was achieved and the Confederacy of the Five (later Six) Nations was born. Dekanahwideh planted a great white pine, the Tree of Peace, appointed 50 chiefs and slipped into the Great Lakes in his stone canoe, promising to return if the peace were threatened. This majestic narrative fostered unity among the fiercely independent Haudenosaunee, and homage is still paid to his memory among the Six Nations people.