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Hiawatha And The Peacemaker

By: Robbie Robertson

Retold By: Birupaksha Paul


The fires were burning, swords were clashing against each other and me and my family were terrorized with the thought of death. My name is Hiawatha and I am a brave warrior from the Mohawk tribe. “Everybody we need to go, we can come back when the fighting is over,” I said to my family.


We rushed out the door and ran through our sage farm then we ran into the woods. We were almost through when I saw arrows that were on fire charging at us. The woods were burning down, I was happy none of us got hit with the arrows but then “ahhhhhhh!!!!!!” I heard my wife scream. An arrow had pierced into her then in a blast of flames she was gone. With the of rest of my strength, I kept running. I knew I had just lost my wife but now after that, I knew I just could not lose my three daughters.

We kept running in despair until we saw some soldiers dashing through the woods. We were about to turn when the burning leftovers of a tree fell behind me. I turned to see that all three of my daughters had disappeared. I fell and anger dwelled in my heart for the only man I knew who could do this, Tadodaho. “I promise vengeance Tadodaho!” I yelled as loud as I could.


I sat there crying and crying. I was lost, I didn’t know what to do. In the distance, I saw a boat. It was a beautiful white boat carved out of stone. The man inside paddled to shore and came to me. I said, “My name is.”

“Hiawatha.” interrupted the man.

I was amazed to know he knew my name then he continued and said,“I-I-I have-e come to-o-o tell all the tribes in this nation a message-e-e of peace-e-e that an ancient god has told me to convey. As you can see I am not a very gifted speaker but you are.”

“What do you want?” I said.

“I see you are wise too, I want you to speak for me when I convey my message of peace to the tribes.” The man said.

“I would happily but why should I be at peace with the person that killed my family?” I replied.

“You will find out along the journey,” he said back to me.

“Sure I think I am fine with that,” I replied.

“Wait,” I said, “In all that I completely forgot to ask your name.”

“Call me The Peacemaker.”

With that, we got on the boat to go to my tribe (Mohawk) to convey the message of peace to them. As we traveled, I fell asleep. I dreamed of a person just like me who lost his family in war then a few year later he met the man who killed his family and said “I forgive you. Do not worry everybody deserves a second chance.”

Later on, he seemed to be feeling freer and with that, my dream ended. I thought, should I forgive Tadodaho? Will I feel free and then I knew that I should give him a second chance. I went to The Peacemaker and said: “I have found the true meaning of peace.” He just smiled.

We arrived at my tribe and went over to the elders to say our message of peace. We said our message of peace but the elders automatically rejected us and our message. After that, they said, “We will accept peace but only with proof, get at least two tribes to accept.”

So, me and The Peacemaker went to unite the nation and make them see that peace is the greatest power of all.

We were headed to the Cayuga tribe first. I was wondering about whether they would agree or not. Suddenly The Peacemaker said, “We are here, in the land of the Cayuga.” The Peacemaker went and told them “I see a passage of peace and victory with it. Peace is the greatest power of all.”

All the elders seemed impressed and so the chief agreed to join us and our peace treaty. We went together as one nation to the Seneca tribe. There we were met by many warriors, all pointing their weapons at us. For the first time, the peacemaker looked worried. Then the Seneca tribe’s chief came and with a wave of his hand all the warriors lower their weapons. The chief said, “The wind has carried your message to us and we would like to learn more about this great law of peace.”

The peacemaker replied, “We will only perish if we follow this path of violence, so I say we unite and follow a path of peace.”

It chimed in and said, “Peace and unity together are stronger than any warrior that has ever lived.”

They all liked our speech and so they joined us on our journey.


Together as two nations now we traveled to the land of the Oneida people. We were almost there but then the ground gave away and we were caught in a huge net. The Oneida Chief said, “I have spared you but are you people really that foolish to have come here at night.” The peacemaker explained why we had come there then he told me to speak of my great loss. I told the Oneida people what happened to my family because of the violent atmosphere that we had created. I was able to forgive myself! The Oneida people understood our message and joined us as we went back to our people.


When we got there with the 3 chiefs, the clan mothers instantly agreed. Though the chief said that information about our journey had gotten to Tadodaho and that joining together and forming a peace treaty with us would just bring harm to us and them. The Peacemaker said, “ I will climb this tree and your men shall cut it down. I will not die and you will find me the next sunrise. Then you shall know that my words are true.”So it happened and we waited for the impossible to happen. The clan mothers argued with the chief about this drastic step that he had made someone take. Then in the morning, a miracle happened! We saw smoke in the distance and sure enough, it was the Peacemaker. He had lived and true to his word the Mohawk chief came along with us as we went to Tadodaho’s lair.


Tadodaho’s guards greeted us with their spear tips but we still pushed through to Tadodaho. He was hunched over and he looked withered, old and scary. Scales were growing on him and snakes slithered around on his body. Then I realized he was poisoned and that’s when I felt really guilty for accusing him of killing my family. Then suddenly the guards started to push us harder and harder, then the violence started up again. Then the Peacemaker started to sing. Spellbound we dropped our weapons and watched as a solar eclipse happened before our eyes. Once he stopped the moon passed over revealing the sun again.

After everything went back to normal I started to make medicine for Tadodaho. When I was done I gave the medicine to him, told him how to use it and said, “I forgive you. I know you did not do it on purpose.” He gave me what seemed like a smile. In three days we came back to check on him and found that he had gone back to normal. Then the Peacemaker said, “That white pine there shall be uprooted and we shall put all our weapons under it then the tree will be replanted. It will symbolize that we will stay at peace and never wage war again.”

So we all agreed and did as he told. Then he said “ At the top of this pine tree Tadodaho will stay as an eagle and guard the peace of the 5 nations.With a blink of an eye, Tadodaho was at the top of the tree as a beautiful eagle.