What Is A Wampum Agreement

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When a wamping cord is held in a person`s hand, they are said to speak honestly. During ceremonies, wampum strings are used to convey that the speaker`s words are true. People who listen to a speaker holding the wampum also know this and are very attentive and respectful of the speaker`s message. Wampum belts and other wam pump artifacts continue to be important to Indigenous peoples and any treaties or agreements they may represent. Well aware of the political and military strength of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (which included Kanien`kehá:ka), the Dutch accepted the principles of Two Row. As it was their habit to record important events, the Haudenosaunee created a wampum belt of purple and white quahog shells to commemorate the agreement. John Borrows, an Indigenous jurist and author of the Indigenous Constitution of Canada, describes the physical nature of the two-row Wampum as follows: The county Wampum is a very important belt for the Haudenosaunee. The same wampum strands represent the 50 chiefs. Every leader is equal and united. Due to the hardness and fragility of the natural shell materials used, the production of real shell ampum was and still is a difficult and time-consuming process. Indigenous communities on Turtle Island, from the East Coast to the Great Lakes and across the Great Plains, used wampumperlen and belts. For example, the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee exchanged wampum belts as a symbol of peace after a war. Similarly, nations at peace would attach a wampum belt to their canoe when crossing the territory of another nation, describe to them and remind them of a particular peace agreement.

Anyone who reads the Wampum would recognize the meaning and allow visitors safe passage under the Wampum Alliance (Chippewas of Rama First Nation, 2015). Wampum is an important part of the Onondaga and Haudenosaunee culture. Wampum is formed from the shell of a mold. The pearls are cut into the white and purple parts of the shell. The pieces are rounded, crushed and pierced to make a pearl. Due to the effort required to make a pearl, Wampum is highly appreciated. Chiefs of the Six Nations Reading Wampum Belts. (circa 1980). [Figure 8: Six Nations leaders reading the Wampum Belts logo]. Watrieved from commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chiefs_of_the_Six_Nations_at_Brantford,_Canada,_explaining_their_wampum_belts_to_Horatio_Hale_September_14,_1871.jpg Images on Wampum belts can be described as a Wampum script.

Traditionally, many Indigenous nations did not speak the same language, but they all had knowledge of the standard symbols, patterns, and colors of the wampum, so they could produce the same interpretation of the message presented (Johansen & Mann, 2000). .

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