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Dekanawida (two river currents flowing together) (16th century) In North American Indian history and legend, hero, one of the founders of the Iroquois Confederacy with Hiawatha, credited with supernatural powers. According to legend he was born of a virgin mother. Warned before his birth that he would bring ruin upon her people, the Hurons, Dekanawida’s mother tried to drown her child. She threw the child through a hole in the ice three times, but the morning after each attempt, she found him lying next to her, safe and sound. Dekanawida grew to manhood quickly and left home. Before he left, he placed an otter skin on the wall, hanging by its tail. He told his mother that if he died a violent death the skin would vomit blood. Hiawatha enlisted Dekanawida’s help in his plan for the unity of Indian nations, known as the “League of the Long House,” and the two worked until it was achieved. In some accounts Dekanawida is credited with the idea and became the confederacy’s lawgiver.

Taken from the Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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