The Iroquois Confederacy's system of democracy begins with a legend. In the distant past, five nations were at war with one another. With the help of the warrior Hiawatha -- also called Ayonwatha -- a leader known as the Peacemaker united all five: the Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca and Cayuga. (Today, there are six nations -- the Tuscarora became part of the confederacy around 1720.) Central to the Peacemaker's plan was the creation of a body of leaders entrusted to govern the nations as a whole while preserving the rights of each tribe.