Tag Archives: Iroquois deities

IROQUOIS DEITY: ONHDAGWIJA THE MOOSE GODDESS

mooseONHDAGWIJA – The moose goddess. Onhdagwija wandered the forests interacting with and looking after the animals she ruled over. The most prominent myth featuring her depicts her falling in love with an Iroquois hunter. She assumes human form and begins preparing acorn bread for him in his temporary bark cabin while he is off hunting during the day. Continue reading

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GASYONDETHA: THE IROQUOIS METEOR GOD

meteor showerGASYONDETHA – The Iroquois meteor god. Like the war god Areskoi he tried to woo the goddess Iagentci when she was taking Marriage Bread to Hawenneyu, the Chief of the Iroquois deities. Gasyondetha was associated not just with meteors and comets blazing across the sky but also with ones that struck the earth in Iroquois territory. These fallen meteors were considered Gasyondetha’s teeth, which he would sometimes pluck out of his mouth as a show of fortitude and toss to the earth below.

Many unusual rock formations that were NOT really meteors were mistakenly believed to be fallen meteors by the Iroquois in ancient times. Some stones that were believed to be meteors were said to talk and were the source of ancient stories about the world and the gods in a myth about the origin of Iroquois historical and religious tales.

One of the most famous myths involving Gasyondetha involved the god visiting an Iroquois man- Svengedaigea – in a dream warning him about monsters coming to devour everyone in his village. Continue reading

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IROQUOIS DEITY: SOSONDOWAH

Iroquiois ConfederacySOSONDOWAH – The Iroquois hunting god. From a very young age Sosondowah was able to stalk and kill any game that he set his mind on. The myths depicting him as a little boy godling include the “catechism of game animals” like the tales of various other Native American tribes included about their hunting god’s younger years. These catechetical stories would feature the mother of a tribe’s hunting deity subjecting the child to a series of descriptions of game animals and taboo animals with the young god having to correctly identify each animal.

Such myths recounted aloud to younger members of a tribe seem to have served the educational purpose of Continue reading

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