History Who Knew?

The Beauty of Wampum Beads

True story: I actually created friendship rings from these colorful clams called wampum beads, which I also sold to classmates for lunch money.

However, my accessories never matched the talents of indigenous people and their designs. Whenever, I come across these sacred shells, I cop them right away — just like I did with this wampum-patterned belt at Goodwill for only 50 cents.

I’m fascinated by these beads, especial wampum belts. Here’s why they’re so profound and I want more of these special accessories for Christmas:

  • Wampums are greatly valued by indigenous people;
  • Wampums are used to call a council, correct order, elect/depose a chief and seat council members;
  • Wampums were once used as trade commodity between indigenous people and European settlers of America;
  • Wampums have played a significant role in ceremonies, during mourning and as records and deeds; and in particular,
  • Wampum belt designs and bead colors became key indicators about the history, laws and traditions associated with a group.

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