HIAWATHA (" he makes rivers "), a legendary chief (c. 1450) of the Onondaga tribe of North American Indians. The formation of the League of Six Nations, known as the Iroquois, is attributed to him by Indian tradition. In his miraculous character Hiawatha is the incarnation of human progress and civilization. He teaches agriculture, navigation, medicine and the arts, conquering by his magic all the powers of nature which war against man.
See J. N. B. Hewitt, in Amer. Anthrop. for April 1892.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)