The Jud Hartmann Gallery Atotarho, a bronze sculpture by Jud Hartmann

Atotarho   (First Among Equals)

Atotarho
(First Among Equals)

Chief of the Onondagas

A reknowned warrior and a mighty magician stands with his hair of writhing snakes, grotesquesly conspicuous through the dim light of tradition at this birth of Iroquois nationality. This was Atotarho (aka Tadodaho), chief of the Onondagas; to this day, his name has been passed down through numberless generations to the present bearer of that name and title: Atotarho - first among equals). "With earthly and celestial aid, the league of the Iroquois was consummated and through all the land, the forests trembled at the name of the Iroquois!"

Francis Parkman, c. 1870

It will never be known with certainty when the League of the Iroquois was founded but it is likely that it was established between 1400 - 1550. From oral tradition we learn that the period preceding the league's formation was an endless cycle of blood feuds which threatened the very survival of the five nations. "At length, says tradition, a celestial being incarnate on earth (Deganawidah and his spokesman Hiawatha), counseled them to compose their strife and unite in a league of defense and aggression. Another personage wholly mortal, yet wonderfully endowed, a reknowned warrior and a mighty magician stands with his hair of writhing snakes, grotesquesly conspicuous through the dim light of tradition at this birth of Iroquois nationality. This was Atotharo (aka Tadodaho), chief of the Onondagas; and from this honored source has sprung a long line of chieftans. (Preeminint among the 50 Sachems - the 'Confederate Lords' - who comprised The Grand Council, to this day, his name has been passed down through numberless generations to the present bearer of that name and title: Atotharo - first among equals). "With earthly and celestial aid, the league was consummated and through all the land, the forests trembled at the name of the Iroquois!"

Bronze edition: 8     Height: 20"