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TRIBAL GOVERNMENT

Only a few tribes had formal governments or written laws. There were exceptions, such as the Iroquios Confederacy... But most Indian societies were oral cultures, a tradition that has by no means disappeared. This does not mean that "law" was absent...

Clearly understood rules developed by consensus and were strengthened by the tribes' pantheism which blended religion into all aspects of Indian life. The result was a "complex and smooth-working social organization of the tribes which functioned without need for written laws or the paraphernalia of European Civilization"

W. Washburn,
The Indian in America



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