Handsome Lake
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Ganijahdiyah/Handsome Lake was a Pacificist Prophet who wanted his followers to renounce alcohol, witchcraft, promiscuity, quarrelling, and gambling, all of which he believed had contributed so much to his people's decline.

The Code of Handsome Lake:

Handsome Lake claimed that the Creator had revealed to him the "Four Great Offenses" that caused the Indian misery:

  1. Strong drink.

  2. Witchcraft.

  3. Gambling.

  4. Secret poisoning.

Other Evils Were:

... Of all the sins drunkenness was the worst, but trying to live a prideful existence, like white people, was also denounced. Within five years, Handsome Lake had revived the older religion of the Seneca, and Christian missionaries said that he had created a "new paganism."

Red Jacket openly denounced Handsome Lake as an imposter.

Handsome Lake died in 1815.


Related Links:

Arthur C. Parker's Writing (1913)
The Code of Handsome Lake

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