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This story was retold from Hiawatha and the Peacemaker from Robbie Robertson.

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Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

Retold By Katia N.

Fire burned and lightning blazed. The smell of burning pottery and trees filled the woodlands. I gazed down at everything I had ever known and sought revenge on the one and only man who could have done this: The Evil Chief Tadodaho.

As I walked down to the beach, all I could think of was revenge. I pressed fig leaves on my wounds and made a fire. Then it was morning.

As the first rays of sunlight started to light up the world, a miraculous light appeared. A man walked out of the midst.



The strange man introduced himself as the Peacemaker. He told me to come with him to unite all the tribes and cure Tadodaho. The Peacemaker told me the Great Law and I wasn’t scared anymore. And so we traveled off.


As I paddled the boat, I saw views of tiny fish and plants along the river. The fish’s scales gleamed as sunlight shone on them. A curious feeling welled up inside me. I felt uneasy but strangely a bit calm. The spirits of my wife and three daughters who had been killed suddenly came to my head. A comforting sense finished the feeling off. My vision was interrupted by the Peacemaker, who had just said that we had arrived at the Mohawk tribe.


The Mohawk people greeted us like we were family. We sat down in a circle and The Chief spoke: “Why have you come here?” he said.  The Peacemaker then started explaining the Great Law. I noticed that he had his hand on my shoulder and was speaking fluently.


The Chief nodded and asked, “Why should we trust you?” I started to worry that everything was not going well as I planned. Next, the Peacemaker said, “The Great law is more powerful than any man. Please trust us with our word.” “Agreed,” said the Mohawk Chief. And we were off.


We traveled to the land of the Cayuga Tribe and for each tribe, we picked up the chief and traveled away.

 It was time to go back to the Mohawk. Some chiefs wrestled with others and the Peacemaker calmed them down. He asked the people to cut down a tall tree that towered over the teepees. The river would drift him to safety.


The next morning, we found him on the shore of the riverbank. A young girl draped a blanket on him and then we traveled to Tadodaho ’s tribe.

Tadodaho was horrendous, snakes in his hair, scales on his skin, and a forked twisty tongue. I gazed at him one last time and went off to pick herbs for his medicine. The herbs that I had to pick were basil, parsley, rosemary, and green onion. I also wrote down instructions for Tadodaho on a big leaf. Then we traveled to the tribes and got them to come to Tadodaho.


The tribes all gathered around Tadodaho and the Peacemaker to see how he would cure Tadodaho. Since Tadodaho had taken the medicine, his scales and strange tongue shape had disappeared.

The Peacemaker began to chant a hymn. The snakes disappeared from Tadodaho ‘s head. Now everybody was chanting. All the warriors buried their weapons under a tree. I looked back to see Tadodaho ‘s reaction, but he wasn’t there. On top of the Tree of Peace landed Tadodaho, now a majestic eagle. And I knew that nothing would be bad for me again.