navigation bar Houghton Mifflin Social Studies United States History: Early Years
Biographies Unit Biographies

Deganawida 1550?–1600?
A Man Who Believed in Peace

His name was Deganawida (duh gah nuh WEE duh). His people, the Haudenosaunee (haw deh noh SAW nee), called him the Peacemaker. He lived at a time when the Haudenosaunee nations fought among themselves. This troubled Deganawida, and he dedicated himself to helping them unite in peace.

A leader named Hiawatha (hy uh WAHTH uh) helped the Peacemaker. Together, they traveled and talked to the nations about living in peace. Five Haudenosaunee nations decided to stop fighting and join together. The Peacemaker and Hiawatha helped them form a new government called the Iroquois League. (Iroquois was another name for the Haudenosaunee.) A league is a group with a common cause. The Iroquois League was a strong force for peace. Today, it continues to work together and protect the Haudenosaunee peoples.

Comprehension Check

Why was Deganawida called the Peacemaker?

Critical Thinking

Why do you think working together helped the five nations?