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Thank you! Robertson, widely known for his work in the legendary group The Band, crafts a legend-based tale about the unification of warring tribes into what would become known as the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. As a boy, Robertson, of Mohawk and Cayuga heritage, heard an elder tell this story, which may date from the 14th century. It places Hiawatha, a Mohawk, into fresh cultural context and corrects Longfellow. After his family is killed in a raid by the dreaded Onodaga chief, Tadodaho, Hiawatha retreats in bereft solitude. A man in a glowing white stone canoe approaches. Stuttering softly, he shares his message of peace and reconciliation with Hiawatha, asking him to help carry and amplify this message during visits to warring tribes.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker is an outstanding picture book that explains the essential knowledge about the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace retold for readers in grade 4 and up. Six Nations musician Robbie Robertson formerly of The Band teams up with American artist David Shannon to create a richly illustrated account of the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker who brought the message of peace, power, and righteousness to five warring nations the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and the Onondaga. Bringing the message of healing, forgiveness, and peace to a distraught Hiawatha following the death of his immediate family sets up the story. Hiawatha was ready to seek revenge for his losses but the intervention by a man in a white stone canoe convinced Hiawatha to receive this great message of peace. With his slight stutter the Peacemaker clears Hiawatha's grief-filled mind with the powerful words of peace and reconciliation.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker. Robbie Robertson, illus. by David Shannon. Abrams, $ (48p) ISBN
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Common Sense says
Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U. Caldecott Honor—winning illustrator David Shannon brings the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to life with arresting oil paintings. Includes a CD featuring an original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson. Robertson, best known for his work with musical group The Band, collaborates with Shannon on a sadly relevant story about choosing peace over violence, recounting the story of how Mohawk warrior Hiawatha joined forces with a spiritual leader known as the Peacemaker to unite five warring tribes. It's no easy task, as Hiawatha must overcome his own anger and desire for revenge Tadodaho, chief of the Onondaga tribe, destroyed his home and killed his family.