"Okwaho" watercolor by Kanatiyosh 1999©

The Importance of Narratives in Understanding:
The Passions & Law

Narrative and story are not extrinsic niceties but are
Basic life forces needed to establish and to preserve communities and
'develop a common culture of shared understandings, and deeper, more vital ethics.'



    Narratives are important, for they allow one to view the passions and teaches one the values, mores, laws, and acceptable moral behavior of the community.(2) The narrative whether it is in the form of legends, stories, or literature allow one to see how the passions are checked or controlled by different cultures and the emergence of moral principles and laws. The following Haudenosaunee(3) story is a good example of the importance of narratives in the understanding of passions and the law. The story is titled, Why Cornhusk Dolls Have No Eyes:

    Long ago a young child found that she could see herself in a reflection in a lake. Everyday this young girl would sit by the lake admiring her self. The other children would be busy doing their chores, but this one girl became obsessed with admiring her own beauty. Many times she was warned by the elders of the community to stop. She was told that if she did not stop admiring herself and get back to living her life and doing chores like the other children, something bad would happen. It got so bad the girl slept by the lake every night because she could not bear to leave the beautiful image of herself that she saw in the lake. Sometime later after several warnings from the elders, the little girl awoke one morning and tried to look at herself in the lake. But she could not see because she no longer had eyes! She no longer had any features on her face. She had been warned and because she did not listen, she would never have a face again.(4)

    This cornhusk story teaches that if you allow the emotions, here the emotion of self-love, to run rampant and out of control, then one will have to face harsh consequences. In the story the girl's punishment for disobeying the elders is that she no longer has any eyes or facial features.

    While this punishment may seem overly harsh, one needs to understand that there is no Haudenosaunee law that punishes a person by blinding them for admiring themselves in a lake, or for any other offense. However, the punishment does plant in the minds of the listener an understanding of retribution for one's actions, for the core idea of retributivism is that those being punished should be punished only because they deserve it.(5) In this culture, the girl's unchecked or punished actions, her obsession with self-love and disobeying her elders, could jeopardize the survival of the entire community.

    This narrative appears to plant in the mind of the listener the seed of fear, guilt, shame, and the realization that when rules are broken, then some form of retribution will take place. Today Haudenosaunee children are told the story and are given cornhusk dolls to play with that have no face or eyes to remember the lesson, which plants the seeds of acceptable behavior, moral duty, guilt, and shame are planted in the minds of those who hear the story.(6)

    What I find interesting is that prior to taking Professor Jeffrie G. Murphy's Passions and the Law seminar,(7) I had never thought of the girl's blindness and loss of facial features as an act of revenge. Thinking back to all the times I have heard the legend, no one ever talked about the aspect of vengeance that is unmistakably in the cornhusk legend. I would surmise that the vengeance would be from the Creator, who was doling out punishment because the little girl broke the laws of the community.

    On one hand, I am uncomfortable about thinking of the Creator as a vengeful God, I would rather think of him/her as being a loving entity who makes people act correctly without having to use harsh punishments. Although I do find solace in the thought, that one can prevent revenge, as here the child could have heeded the warnings of the elders. On the other hand, I believe that revenge and other emotions that have negative connotations are needed in order to retain harmony within the community and within the law. For example, if one fears the revenge of the victim's family, one may not commit the misdeed in the first place and that would be good for the entire community, for it would be a better deterrence punishment.

    Perhaps the need for maintaining a balance explains why Athena incorporates and controls the Furies, who represent, I believe unbridled passion, especially revenge, until Athena allows them to become a part of the newly created system of justice.(9)

    Interestingly, as I read Aeschlus' The Oresteia, I began to draw parallels between the Peacemaker's message of the Kaianeraserakowa (the Great Law of Peace),(10) which is the emergence of law amongst my ancestors, the Haudenosaunee, and the Oresteia, which is said to be the emergence of western law.

    In this paper, I will examine how narratives provide cultures with a medium in which to teach the values, mores, and laws of acceptable behavior to the community. Since narratives are important in allowing one to understand the passions and the law, literature, stories, myths, and legends should be explored to ascertain how passions are controlled and how law emerges within cultures. I will discuss the importance of narratives in understanding passions and the law within cultures. I will do so by examining and comparing The Oresteia, a Greek drama from antiquity, with the Great Law of Peace, a founding narrative of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy that dates back to 1142 AD.(11)

    It is my hope that I can compare and contrast the western philosophical concepts of law with the Haudenosaunee concepts in order to have a better understanding of the emergence of law that these two narratives offer cross culturally. In understanding how each culture portrays and controls passions, one can develop a deeper and well-developed understanding of how morality and the law is shaped, and can be reshaped to form a just system of justice.


  3. The Oresteia and the Kaianeraserakowa


 In This section, I will discuss the Oresteia and the Kaianeraserakowa (The Great Law of Peace). These two narratives represent two distinct cultures, and they illustrates how each society goes from unbridled passions to control and order through the creation of law.

The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek dramas. In the first two narratives, Agamemnon and The Liberation Bearers, there is war, murder, vengeance, guilt, and jealousy that perpetuate a vicious cycle of violence and lawlessness.(12) The Great Law of Peace narrative begins in a similar way, for there is much unrest and violence before the Peacemaker unifies the people under the Great Law of Peace.

The Peacemaker, who was sent by the Creator, carries with him a message from the Creator. The Peacemaker came to the people carrying the message of the Great Law of Peace during a time when the people were warring amongst themselves. The people, like those in the Oresteia seek revenge and were filled with hate, greed, revenge, and jealousy.(13)

The image of the passions that is painted at the beginning of each of these narratives can be described as Platonic, in that the passions are running rampant and in need of control, like Plato's Reason who is "a charioteer attempting to control the unresponsive horse of dangerous emotions."(14) Interestingly, in some strange way, one might suggest that in these narratives Athena, the goddess of wisdom, justice, and government, and the Peacemaker, a prophet sent by the Creator to secure Peace, are Reason personified, who see law as a way to control the passions.

Although Plato's conception of the passions paints passions as being irrational and unresponsive to Reason, the Oresteia and the Great Law of Peace do not hold such a pessimistic view of the emotions. I find the Platonic view to be troublesome because it suggests that the passions are 100% irrational and incapable of being controlled by reason, but if that is true, then what would be the purpose of creating a justice system if man has no free will against the passions?

I do not think passions are overwhelming to the point that man is just a mere victim of Passion's whims.(16) Instead, I would rather believe that the emotions are more than just mere sensations, that they are not purely irrational, and that they can be controlled or healed, which is also the message that is conveyed by the Oresteia and the Great Law of Peace.

In summary, the beginning of these narratives portray passions as the forces that are driving the people to act in inappropriate ways; however, these stories are not teaching the people that passion are so irrational that they cannot be controlled. Instead, there is hope that social order, balance, and harmony can be had through law.


A. The Role of Women: Greek Society & Athena

If literature can help us to better understand different cultures and the emergence and morality of law, then I think examining how societies portray women in literature will speak volumes on how passions are interpreted and laws are shaped.(17) The Oresteia, and the Great Law of Peace present women and their role in the emergence of law very differently.

In Greek literature the Furies are referred to as women, and the women gods, goddesses, are secondary to the power of the male gods, which is illustrative of the role women play in society, and reveals how the law will emerge.(18) This secondary treatment is evidenced by numerous passages within the Orestia, but is best illustrated when Apollo says:

The woman you call the mother of the child is not the parent, just a nurse to the seed, the new-sown seed that grows and swells inside her. The man is the source of life - the one who mounts. She like a stranger for a stranger, keeps the shoo [sic] alive unless god hurts the roots. I give you proof that all I say is true. The father can father forth without a mother.(19)

Apollo then points to Athena, to demonstrate that she sprang from the head of Zeus without having to be in the darkness of a womb. This proclamation by Apollo plainly illustrates that women are secondary to men and are not equals, it also suggests that women are so insignificant that they may not be needed at all. However, what I find confusing is why Greek society has goddesses and Athena playing an important part in their literature and in the emerging justice system, if their view of women is so bleak? I am confused and concerned about the message that is sent to society by portraying women as unequal to men and insignificant.

The message that society is sent concerns me, for they are sent the message that the loss of a man is a great tragedy, but the loss of a woman is a minor inconvenience. As can be seen when Apollo defends Orestes and asks that he be spared for killing a mere woman.

Another message is that even though Orestes has committed matricide, Apollo seems to say that the law should forgive the murder because it was a just killing, for he sought to avenge his father's death. The society is taught through this literature that women are not equal to men, and that Greek society is patrilineal.

On the other hand, the Greek's have Athena, a woman, who is responsible for setting up the justice system so this indicates she has a role in the society, but is her role as a woman, or is it as a goddess? Apollo, the male, is the god of law and Athena is the goddess of law, which appears to be secondary to the male because of her sex. Perhaps Athena, even though she is a woman in the physical sense, since she sprang from the head of Zeus, came from his mind, she thinks like a man, with reason, and is Reason personified trapped in the body of a woman.

Perhaps Athena's role as creator of the justice system is based on the passions, and Apollo's role as the god of law is based on Reason, and it is here we seen the marriage of passions and the law to create a justice system. In other words, in Greek society, justice and emotions are womanly traits, whereas, Reason, law, and order are manly traits, and together the merging of both is needed to control the passions and to have a civilized society.

  1. Role of Women: Haudenosaunee & Jikonsahseh

The narrative of the Peacemaker teaches of the esteemed role that women play in the founding and the continuation of the Haudenosaunee.(20) However, before men and women accepted the Great Law of Peace the passions ran rampant causing the people great havoc.

As a young child the Peacemaker was special, for he would talk about how when he grew up he would convey to people the message of the Great Law of Peace that was given to him by the Creator to end the strife that was plaguing the people.(21) The Peacemaker said that if people would accept the message, it would smooth the people's minds by replacing the evil thoughts that were making people behave improperly, for they were engaging in revenge, murder, greed, anger, and cannibalism.

Interestingly, the Haudenosaunee and the Greeks share the idea that the passions invade the mind and affect behavior. The Greeks personify the passions in the form of the Furies that represent women.(22) Whereas, the Haudenosaunee do not personify, nor do they give them gender identification, which offers insight into how the law will eventually emerge and how the two cultures treat their women.

The first person to accept the message of the Great Law of Peace was a woman named Jikonsahseh. The Peacemaker, because she was the first, rewarded Jikonsahseh by giving her the title of Mother of Nations and gave women an important role in the continuance of the Law, which is peace.(23)

  1. The Peacemaker's Message & Jikonsahseh

Before the role of women can be discussed, a basic understanding of the Peacemaker's message of the Great Law of Peace needs to be laid out. The Peacemaker's message rests on three basic philosophical concepts, Peace, Power/Health, and Righteousness, which forms the foundation of the Great Law of Peace.(24)

These concepts are hard to express in English because Haudenosaunee thinking and language is very descriptive in that it paints a picture in one's mind.(25) For example, The Haudenosaunee word for cow is tio-hons-kwa-ron, pronounced joe hoon sqawh loon, which actually describes the action of the cow as always chewing. The word might have different meanings depending on the context; thus, someone who chews at his bottom lip or chews gum often might also be called tio-hons-kwa-ron, but not in a derogatory way, rather, the word just represents his actions of always chewing.

Therefore, the reader has to understand that the English words being used to express these concepts may not do the ideas full justice. Also, one should keep in mind that the concepts have multiple meanings that are very dependent on the context in which they are used. With that said, I will explain the basic concepts found within the Great Law of Peace, which possess multiple layered meanings.

For Example, peace to the non-Haudenosaunee might mean absence of war, or an inner tranquillity, and power may mean something acquired that sets one above another. However, when the Peacemaker spoke of the concepts of Peace and Power, he meant that when man understands that his life is delicately woven into the Great Web of Life this strength and unity creates a spiritual peace and power. Peace also means law and Power also refers to energies that are generated when the chiefs, clan mothers, faith keepers, the people, and the natural would unite in harmony.

Health refers to the balance and harmony that is created when man realizes that he is just one strand in the delicate Web of Life. The Haudenosaunee believe that human beings are not the most important things on earth, instead, they are just mere caretakers whose duty it is to protect Mother Earth and all her inhabitants for the generations yet born.

Righteousness is a hard concept to put into English, for it represents being of the good mind and of having respect, love, generosity, and compassion, for all the natural world. Righteousness also represents the political and spiritual authority and duty of the chiefs, clan mothers, faith keepers, and other societies that comprise the infrastructure of the Great Law of Peace. It is these philosophical concepts that the Peacemaker brought to the warring people. (26)

The Peacemaker first attempted to convey the Great Law of Peace to the people of his own nation, but the Huron rejected the Creator's message. The Peacemaker was saddened by his tribe's refusal to listen to him, so he ventured out toward the Mohawk settlements to tell the people of his message in hopes of stopping the abuse, revenge, warring, and the cannibalism that was destroying the people. On his journey to the Mohawk, the Peacemaker heard of a Seneca woman who was engaged in some very vile activities. (27)

The Peacemaker sought out this woman because of her intellect, and he knew that he needed to win her over in order to accomplish the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy under the Great Law of Peace. This woman's name was Jikonsahseh (Gi-gon-saw-say), which means the Lynx.(28) When the Peacemaker meet Jikonsahseh she was a very evil person, for she had built her home on neutral land and would lure the men into her house with her wily ways. She would provide sexual favors, shelter, and food to the men, and when the men were at ease she would learn their secrets and gather information that she could use later for her own power, greed, and profit. Although Jikonsahseh was not actually warring she enjoyed breaking up marriages and families, and "she was just as much a part of the evil that was happening as the ones who were carrying it out because she fed on the stories."(29)

Here, Jikonsahseh is behaving like the Furies. While the Furies haunt the mind of Orestes after he killed his mother, Clytaemnestra, Jikonsahseh would get into the heads of the men, and then she would cause them to do wicked things to each other that would cause more bloodshed and revenge. (30)

When the Peacemaker came upon Jikonsahseh he sang to her and told her that he was sent by the Creator to bring people back to the path of peace. He was to form a world union of nations, all bound by a set of rules he called the Great Law of Peace. Jikonsahseh saw that the message was good, and she began to see that she was part of the evil that was destroying the people, but she did not know of a way to control herself prior to the Peacemaker's message.

Jikonsahseh wept in happiness, for the Peacemaker had shown her an alternative to the way she was acting, so she accepted the Great Law of Peace and agreed to give-up her wicked ways and to help the Peacemaker to promote the message. Since Jikonsahseh was the first person to accept the Great Law of Peace, the Peacemaker gave her the title of Mother of Nations and she was told that women would always have a very important role within Haudenosaunee society. Jikonsahseh was made the first clan mother and the Peacemaker said that the family names (clans) would be passed from mother to child; thus, the society became matrilineal.

The Peacemaker also told Jikonsahseh of the spiritual and political duties of women in maintaining the Great Law of Peace. For example, Jikonsahseh was told that women have the duty of selecting, nominating, raising, and removing ("dehorning") from office chiefs.(31) It is also the duty of the clan mothers to maintain the ceremonies, which are a part of the Great Law of Peace. As one can see, in the Haudenosaunee culture women play an active and an esteemed role in society and in the emergence and preservation of law.

The Peacemaker took Jikonsahseh, who was being destroyed by passion and he healed (controlled) her mind through the message of the Great Law of Peace, which is similar to Athena's incorporation of the Furies into her justice system. However, Jikonsahseh being the first person to accept the Great Law of Peace gives all women an important role in Haudenosaunee society. Furthermore, not only are women portrayed as being important in the narrative, they are equal to man, for the Peacemaker needs Jikonsahseh to spread the Great Law of Peace to the people.

In summary, although the Oresteia and Great Law of Peace portrays women very differently, both incorporate women into their justice systems. The Haudenosaunee do so with the principle of equality, but the Greek culture does so with the principle that women are not equals to men.

What does one learn from how women are portrayed by the Oresteia and the Great Law of Peace? I think one can see how the basic structure of law begins to take shape. As evidenced by the Greeks treatment of their women, western law emerges with a structure based on hierarchy, which I believe is attributed, to their treatment of women as secondary citizens. Whereas, Haudenosaunee law emerges with a democratic structure based on equality and goodwill for all. (32)

 C: The Peacemaker's Journey Continues: Tadodaho & Serpents

After Jikonsahseh accepted the good message, the Peacemaker continued his journey to each of the Five Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca) in hope of persuading the warring people to accept the Great Law of Peace. The Peacemaker sought out the people that were most adversely affected by anger, greed, hatred, and cannibalism to tell his message to in hopes of healing their minds and incorporating them into the structure of the Great Law of Peace. The Peacemaker told these war leaders that if they accepted the principles of the Great Law of Peace that, like Jikonsahseh, they would be given important roles in the newly formed law.

I have always been troubled by the idea that the Peacemaker sought out the evil people and gave them important roles in the continuation of the Great Law of Peace. I have always wondered why the good people did not get these important roles and what message is sent to the society by such action. Perhaps one logical reason to incorporate the warring people is to show the followers of the Great Law of Peace that if the worse people's minds can be healed and passions controlled, then peace can become a reality.

I think Professor Anthony E. Cook, although he is speaking of the resurrection of Christian values, would agree. He would see the Peacemaker's incorporation as an ultimate act of love, for the resurrection of love in these warriors minds that are so filled with hate would be the "greatest service to God," and to ourselves.(33)

Perhaps the practical reason for the Peacemaker to seek out the warring people was because they stood as the greatest obstacle against the establishment of the Great Law of Peace and founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. This may also explain why Athena had to incorporate the Furies, for with out them having an important role in the justice system, justice would never be able to be established because the Furies would run rampant with vengeance instead of being under control.(34)  

  1. Tadodaho, Serpents, & The Establishment of Peace

  There was one very wicked and vile man who stood in the way of the Peacemaker's attempt to unite the Five Nations under the Great Law of Peace. This man's name was Tadodaho (Tah do dah ho) and he was a sorcerer from the Onondaga Nation who practiced bad medicine.

The Peacemaker journeyed to find Tadodaho who lived in the dark and dirty swamps around Onondaga. When the Peacemaker found Tadodaho, he saw before him a person whose body was muddied, gnarled and deformed. Tadodaho had snakes woven into his hair, and on his face he wore a cruel wicked smile that reflected his evil mind.

Here, the snakes in Tadodaho's hair represents an outward expression of the passions that have consumed his mind so that he is unable to hear the Peacemaker's message, or to be of the good mind, which is required for the foundation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to take place. Interestingly, the same idea of the passions being represented as snakes is found trough out the Liberation Bearers, for the Furies, who represent the passions, are referred to as being snake like.

As evidenced by Orestes when he says: "No, no! Women - look - like Gorgons, shrouded in black, their heads wreathed, swarming serpents!"(35) While the imagery of snakes affecting the mind is similar, the Haudenosaunee do not assign them a particular gender, as do the Greeks.

The Peacemaker tried to talk to Tadodaho but he would not listen to him. The Peacemaker turned to Jikonsahseh to advise him on how to proceed because she had once been consumed by the passions and as such, she would understand Tadodaho's mind the best.

Jikonsahseh taught the Peacemaker words and a song to sing to Tadodaho. Jikonsahseh told the Peacemaker that after the song was sung and the words spoken, the snakes could be combed from the Tadodaho's hair and that he would then be able to hear the good message.(36) She also told the Peacemaker that the Tadodaho would have an important role in the Great Law as the leader of the Grand Council. In the Great Law of Peace, is a structure for an overall government, which will be called the Grand Council and will be composed of all the leaders of the Five Nations.

Here Jikonsahseh is determining the role that Tadodaho will have in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, instead, of the Peacemaker defining the role, as he did with all the other people who accepted the Great Law of Peace. This turning around of responsibility illustrates how the emergence of law for the Haudenosaunee is based on equal respect for the authority of both men and women.

The combing of the snakes from Tadodaho's hair represents the transformation of a sick mind to a healthy and loving mind. The transformation of the Tadodaho took place after he was sung to and the snakes were combed from his hair. At this time, the Tadodaho's ears become opened so that he could hear the Peacemaker's message. The Peacemaker told him:

The words we bring constitute the New Mind, which is the will of Tarachiawagon, the Holder of the Heavens [Creator]. There shall be Righteousness when men desire justice, Health when men obey reason, Power when men accept the Great Law. These things shall be given form in the Longhouse, Kanonsionni, where five nations shall live quiet as one family. At this very place, Tadodaho, where the chiefs of the five nations will assemble, I shall plant the chiefs of the five nations will assemble. I shall plant the Great Tree of Peace, and its roots shall extend to far places of the earth so that all mankind may have the shelter of the Great Law.(37)

After hearing the Peacemaker's message, Tadodaho realized that love, compassion, and respect were the best way to unite the Five Nations under the Great Law of Peace, so he accepted of the good message and the responsibility as fire keeper of the Grand Council. Fire keeper of the Grand Council is a very important role and duty, which still exists today.

In summary, the Peacemaker's narrative teaches Haudenosaunee society that men and women are equals in the founding and maintenance of the Great Law of Peace. The Peacemaker could not have transformed the Tadodaho's sick mind without the help and wisdom of Jikonsahseh.

What the legal scholar learns from Haudenosaunee narrative is how the passions can be controlled with love, compassion, respect, and peace. Perhaps the Haudenosaunee democratic legal structure emerges because the Haudenosaunee treat men and women as equals, for they value every person's opinion in the promotion of the Great Law of Peace. For the Haudenosaunee Peace is law and one's duty is to the people, natural world, and the future generation. This type of society fosters positive behaviors and plants the seeds of respect, love, responsibility, duty, and mutual cooperation into one's moral code.

One's duty to protecting the principles of the Great Law of Peace keeps the person in check (in harmony). The community is keep in balance (order) not through the threat of imprisonment or harsh punishments, but kept in line by the person not wanting to losing the respect and love of the community. Some scholars may label Haudenosaunee society as a shame based society, and may say that shame is bad because it causes an increase of violence within the society.(38) However, I would have to argue that prior to the advent of the European, Indian Nations had no prisons and very little crime;(39) therefore, shaming does not cause an increase in violence alone. In the small Haudenosaunee society, shaming worked because it was part of an infrastructure that included spiritual and political teachings that united the people together. Unfortunately, because the Haudenosaunee community has been infiltrated by non-traditional beliefs, shaming does not work well with those assimilated people and; thus, the community has become fractionalized.

On the other hand, the Oresteia teaches that men and women are not to be treated as equals. Passion is given a gender identity as being womanish, which can only breed hatred towards women. Furthermore, this idea of disparity between the sexes creates a foundation for the emerging western legal system that is based on hierarchy. Unfortunately, hierarchy breeds competition, and competition breeds anger, resentment, hatred, and can lead to revenge, which only continues the vicious cycle of violence. Western society is dependent on imprisonment, fines and other punishments, which are supposed to keep social order.

Today the hierarchical structure of western law is proving not to be adequate, for crime is rising. Perhaps the reason is because of the absence of spirituality and compassion within western law. I am not speaking about fanatical religious belief, but I am speaking about the feeling of a shared community where people have mutual respect for the entire group rather then interested only in one's self. Perhaps a little spirituality, shame, guilt, and respect of self and community would be the best elements to include in a recipe for a true system of justice.



At the beginning of this essay, I had hopes that I would better understand the emergence of law, which I do, although I am now left with an array of new questions to ponder. One question that I was bothered by was to think of the Peacemaker founding the Haudenosaunee Confederacy with warring people. However, I have come to understand that these warring people had great energies and powers that when controlled under the Great Law of Peace would set a stronger foundation for the law to take root. Furthermore, being a chief or a clan mother is just as important as being a person without a title, for all people are held responsible for preserving and protecting the Great Law of Peace.

The narratives of the Oresteia and the Great Law of Peace are important to legal scholars, for they allow one to understand how the passions are checked, laws emerge, and morality shaped. This deeper understanding can only enrich one's ability to find solutions to some of the current problems in our justice system today.

One very important lesson that is learned by examining these narratives is that while passions are described as irrational and the law rational, these narratives teach that the passions are incorporated into a system of justice. Therefore, law is not purely rational, nor should it be. Athena wisely incorporates the Furies, which are the passions personified, into her system of justice, for she realizes, as does the Peacemaker, that the passions play an important role in the foundation and retention of law and order.

The lessons learned from these narratives in invaluable. Viewing how the law systems of different cultures emerged and how the seeds of morality are planted within different societies increases our understanding and may on day lead to a system of justice that is truly just for all people.



(1) FRANK POMMERSHIEM, BRAID OF FEATHERS 109 (1995)(quoting Richard Delgato, Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative, 87 MICH. L. Rev. 2411, 2414 (1987))[hereinafter BRAID OF FEATHERS].

(2) Kate Nace Day, Lost Innocence and the Moral Foundation of Law, 1 AM. U.J. Gender & L. 165 (1993). Day states about the importance of literature to a legal mind that "[l]iterature makes its special claims upon us precisely because it nourishes the kinds of human understanding not achievable through reason alone but involving intuition and feeling as well." Id. at 104.

(3) The Haudenosaunee (The People of the Longhouse) are also known as the Iroquois. The Haudenosaunee are composed of six Indian nations, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

(4) Interview with Joyce Mitchell, Secretary of the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, in Mohawk Nation, via N.Y. (Oct. 20, 1997).

(5) Dan Kahan, What Do Alternative Sanctions Mean? 63 U. CHI. L. REV. 591, 602 (1996).

(6) My philosophical understanding of guilt and shame are shaped by my Haudenosaunee cultural background, and by Jeffrie G. Murphy's Passions and the Law seminar of 1999.

(7) See supra note 6. The class was held at Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, Arizona, in the spring of 1999.

(8) See 15 Jeremiah 15-18 (King James). "Oh Lord, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors." Id. This quote suggests that Jeremiah is asking for the vengeance of God to have justice prevail.

(9) See Jeffire G. Murphy, Getting Even: The Role of the Victim, in PUNISHMENT AND REHABILITATION 138-139 (J.G. Murphy & Wadsworth eds., 1995); See AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 269 (1979).

(10) JAKE THOMAS, READING OF THE GREAT LAW OF PEACE, (Iroquoian Institution, 1992)(10 Video Tape Series). There are numerous written sources of the Great Law of Peace. However, the best source is to speak the Wisdom Keepers who are responsible for orally telling of the narrative to the people.

(11) Bruce Johansen, Dating the Iroquois Confederacy, AKWESASNE NOTES Fall-Oct.-Nov.-Dec. 1995, at 62.

(12) See AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 99-226 (1979)

(13) See JAKE THOMAS, supra note 10.

(14) See Jefferie G. Murphy, The Emotions: A Philosophical Overview, 1 (1999)(unpublished article).

(15) See The Serpent and the Eagle, in AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 23 (R. Fagles & W.B. Standford trans. 1977).

(16)See Id. (discussing that viewing emotions as overwhelming powerful entities where we are victims is dangerous and that it cannot be the whole story.)

(17) See infra p.1 and note 2.

(18) See The Serpent and the Eagle, supra note 15 at 73. The Furies are "women of a sort,...". Id.

(19) See THE EUMENIDES, in AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 260-61 (R. Fagles & W.B. Standford trans. 1977).


(21) See JAKE THOMAS supra note 10.

(22) The Serpent and the Eagle, in AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 73 (R. Fagles & W.B. Standford trans. 1977).

(23) KNOWLEDGE OF THE ELDERS, supra note 20, at 22.


(25) Rokwaho, The Language of Survival, in AKWESASNE: A QUESTION OF SURVIVIAL NATION REBUILDING IN THE LAND OF THE MOHAWK 6-11 (John Mohawk ed., 1982).

(26) See JAKE THOMAS supra note 10.

(27) Leon Shenandoah, Forward to PAUL WALLACE, IROQUOIS BOOK OF LIFE: WHITE ROOTS OF PEACE 10 (1994).

(28) See KNOWLEDGE OF THE ELDERS supra note 20 at 22. It is said that her face looked like lynx, for it was round and flat like a cat.


(30) See the Serpent and the Eagle supra note 22 at 73 (discussing how Orestia is driven mad by the furies who seek to revenge the death of Clytaemnestra); see THE LIBATION BEARERS, in AESCHYLUS, THE ORESTEIA 224-225 (R. Fagles & W.B. Standford trans. 1977).

(31) When a man is raised (condoled) as a chief, deer antlers are connected to his Kastoweh (feathered hat) to show his authority. If a chief goes astray, the clan mothers warn him three times that he is not following the Great Law of Peace. If after the third time the chief does not straighten up, his deer antlers are removed, he is "dehorned", he is no longer a chief.

(32) See DONALD A. GRINDE AND BRUCE E. JOHANSEN, EXEMPLAR OF LIBETY: NATIVE AMERICA AND THE EVOLUTION OF DEMOCRACY 61-72 (1991)(discussing Haudenosaunee democracy and the influence they had on the framers of the United States Constitution. Also talks about Jean Jacques Rousseau and how he developed many of his ideas from American Indian governmental structures).

(33) See generally Anthony E. Cook, The Death of God in American Pragmatism and Realism: Resurrecting the Value of Love in Contemporary Jurisprudence, 82 GEO. L.J. 1431(1992).

(34) Id. at 1516-17.

(35) See The Serpent and the Eagle, supra note 15 at 15(discussing how the Furies went from representing primitive vendetta-law to becoming the peaceful Eumenides).

(36) See Leon Shenandoah, supra note 37 at 11.


(38) Robert Karen, Shame, ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Feb. 1992, at 40.