Sample first page of a â€śDramatization/Readers Theatreâ€ť of the forming of the clans.
Creation of the Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-shoh-neh) Clan System
DRAMATIZATION / READERS THEATRE
Setting: A village of the Onkwehon:we (Ong-gway-hong-gway) People on Turtle Island (North America)
Clans have existed for a long time before the Peacemaker, but they had stopped
working properly. At that time, the people were called Onkwehon:we (Ong-gway-hong-gway), which means the Original Ones. After the Peacemaker delivered his message and introduced the Great Peace, he reaffirmed the clans and told the people that they would also be known as the Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-shoh-neh) (longhouse builders).
The Original Beings lived in what is today known as North America. They lived their lives facing many hardships and many people died. This left them constantly sad and grieving. The understood that life is a cycle and that eventually everything grows old and dies.
One day a young man came before the people. He told them that he might have an answer for their grief. He shared his ideas with the people.
I have observed life in the forest for many years. I have studied it closely. I have watched the animals and saw how they worked in groups to catch food and help one another.
That may be true, but how can that help us? We are sad because of our hard times. We have lost many of our people.
I understand your grief and share your sadness. Nature is a great teacher and I have learned many lessons about courage, helping each other and most important of all, how to survive in rough days.
Sample of first page in the â€śCreation Storyâ€ť. One of three stories supported by images, DVD, CD, and Students Booklets.
Section 3 – STORIES
3.1 Creation Story
The Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-shoh-neh) story of â€śCreationâ€ť has been passed down from one generation to the next, for many hundreds of years. There are many other Creation stories from around the world â€“ each one of which is to be respected. The story being presented here is taken from the oral teachings of the Iroquois, properly known as the Haudenosaunee. They are also called Onkwehon:we (Ong-gway-hong-gway, Original Beings).
First Nations peopleÂ did not use books to keep track of their history. It was through story telling and honouring their oral tradition that the values and customs of the HaudenosauneeÂ were, and still are, passed down.
There is a place, not of this world, in the center of which stands a tree not like any other. Known as the â€śTree of Lifeâ€ť, it is considered sacred and is not to be touched. Its caretaker and his wife were expecting a child. Curious about what was under the tree, the woman asked her husband to dig at the roots. He uprooted the tree, creating a large hole. When she leaned over to see what she could see in the hole, the woman lost her footing. Grasping, she grabbed a handful of plants at the edge of the hole, but it did not stop her fall.
The woman plunged for a very, very long time into the darkness below. Finally she saw a huge body of water and a great many birds circling beneath her. The birds knew that they must help, flew up to catch her, and gently carried her down to the water, where a great sea turtle was surfacing. The birds asked the turtle if they could set her on his back, and he agreed.