SYMBOLS

Five arrows

A cluster of arrows
Recognized from the creation story the cluster of arrows is a symbol of unity for the Haudenosaunee. The Peacemaker used this symbol to point out how if the nations joined together they could not be broken. This symbol represents the strength that results from the joining of the nations.

Eagle
Said to be a messenger to the Creator the eagle is the protector of peace. Placed atop the Tree of Peace it alerts members of the confederacy if danger approaches.

White Pine Tree/ Great Tree of Peace
The white pine tree was the tree chosen by the Peacemaker as a symbol of the unity of the nations of the Haudenosaunee confederacy. Its needles which always grow in clusters of five are symbolic of the uniting of the nations. The white pine also has broad branches that can provide shelter and it is beneath the tree that the Peacemaker asked the Chiefs to join him.

Four White Roots
The roots at the base of the Great Tree of Peace are said to be the four white roots which represent the points north, south, east and west. Following these roots other nations can find the Great Tree of Peace and seek to join the nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The number four is also significant as there are four winds that blow and the four sacred medicines.

Long house
The long house is symbolic of the traditional territories held by the Haudenosaunee. Within a long house families all live together in harmony. With the nations united they are all one family living territorially in one long house.

Circle
The circle is a widely used symbol in many cultures and nations. For the Haudenosaunee it represents unity, strength and the cycles of life. Gathering the original Chiefs in a circle around the Tree of Peace the Peacemaker had them hold hands to make their circle strong. He showed them that if they kept their circle united, they would always be able to keep the Tree of Peace standing. If they let go of their grip to each other and broke the circle the Tree could fall to the ground and then so too would the peace.

Sky World
A pattern of a semi-circle is often seen in many beaded designs or quill work and represents a huge overhead dome to recognize the Sky World from where life came.  

Turtle
Aside from being one of the clan animals the turtle is a symbol for North America as it is said that the turtle carries it on its back. From the creation story it was the turtle who carried sky woman on his back.