When was the Iroquois Confederacy?

Dating the Iroquois Confederacy (Bruce E. Johansen) was an article on the Confederacy that I found to be quite interesting.  The piece discusses how researchers Barbara Mann and Jerry Fields came to the conclusion that the Confederacy took place in 1142 AD.  They used a set of different perspectives and facts to oppose the common belief that said the Iroquois Confederacy came to be in 1451.  Unlike most other scholars, Mann and Fields took into consideration documents, eclipse data, and Iroquois oral accounts.

“Mann and Fields believe that scholars who argue the later dates dismiss the Iroquois oral history as well as solar-eclipse of data. Since such scholars use only documentary sources with dates on them, and since such documents have been left to use only by non-Indians, the Native American perspective is screened out of history, they argue. “It is capricious, and most probably racial, of scholars to continue dismissing the [Iroquois] Keepers [oral historians] as incompetent witnesses on their own behalf,” Mann and Fields argue in their paper.”

I was quite satisfied to know that the dating of the confederacy was eventually determined using a variety of sources that included the Iroquois oral history.  Now, I only wish that more researchers of history topics did the same with other Aboriginal accounts.

To read the full article, click here!

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