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(1735?-1815) Seneca chief, prophet, leader, storyteller, orator. “The Code of Handsome Lake/ The Gaiwiio.” Handsome Lake was born near the Genesee river in Livingston county. He was an Iroquois chief, half-brother of Cornplanter, who fought in the Revolutionary War and who went on to express a religious and social vision known as “The Code of Handsome Lake” or “The Gaiwiio.” The Code is based on directives, a combination of Quaker influence and Iroquois beliefs, as Handsome Lake, in 1799, saw them and relayed them. At times called the “new religion” of the Six Nations, it took three days to recite and was only told in the winter months by approved holders of The Code. There are many versions, books and retellings of both “The Code of Handsome Lake” and the story of Handsome Lake himself. “The Code of Handsome Lake” by A.C. Parker is one of them. Cattaraugus Seneca Chief John Jacket settled discrepancies in its telling by various writers/orators.

Full Name

Handsome Lake



Author's Timeline



"The Code of Handsome Lake/ The Gaiwiio"



Born near the Genesee River


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