The Iroquois Book of Rites, the most noteworthy of Hale's studies of the Iroquois, was translated and edited by him from two Indian manuscripts found at Grand River, with the help of informants and interpreters. The various parts of the Book of Rites throw valuable light on the political and social life, as well as the character and capacity, of the Iroquois. A long introduction by Hale contains essays on the League, on the Book of Rites, on the Condoling Council, and on the historical traditions, character, policy and language of the Iroquois.
Hale's important book has long been out of print and in demand. It is reprinted here with a valuable introduction on Hale and the significance of his work by William N. Fenton of the New York State Museum and Science Service, University of the State of New York.
About the authors
Horatio Hale, F.R.S.C. (1817-1896), a lawyer and resident of Clinton, Ontario, was a distinguished contributor to American ethnology and linguistics, one of his special fields of interest being the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
William N. Fenton (1908 – 2005) was an American scholar and writer known for his extensive studies of Iroquois history and culture.