Friday, November 30, 2012

Handsome Lake's Obituary

I came across this recently and thought some of you might find it of interest. To the best of my knowledge, it's the first published report of the death of Handsome Lake, a great leader and prophet, who played a major role in reviving traditional religion among the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), or Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. He preached a message that combined traditional Haudenosaunee religious beliefs with a revised code meant to revive traditional consciousness to the Haudenosaunee after a long period of cultural disintegration following colonization. This message was eventually published as the "Code of Handsome Lake" and is still practiced today. This obituary was published just a few weeks after his death in August of 1815 in the Niles' Weekly Register, a publication from Baltimore, Maryland.