Each piece of handcrafted Wampum is a prime symbol within North American Eastern Indigenous Heritage and more specifically Eastern Woodlands Culture. The Wampum we offer you here originates from its indigenous roots in Unkechaug Nation on Poospatuck Reservation. They are also known as the 'Sewanaug' or 'People of the Purple Shell'. The vision is to restore the ancient art of wampum making, whilst reestablishing ancient trading relations with friends and allies in and around Turtle Island.
Wampum is made from Quahog shell or whelk shell that originates along the North Atlantic coast. It was once considered a form of currency between Eastern Woodlands people and Dutch Colonists. It is most popularly recognized as the purple and white hand-cut beads that form North American Indigenous Treaty Belts in the North Eastern Territories. Treaty Belts in indigenous politics are a symbol of diplomacy, record, contracts, ceremonies, and agreements. A couple of the more significant treaty belts are known as the 'Kaswentha' or 'Two-Row Wampum Belt' and the 'Hiawatha Belt' also known as the Nation belt of the Haudenosaunee.
In today's world, it is important to respect nature and culture through sustainable trade. Wampum is a modern and historical symbol of respect, honor, and preservation of our natural environment and the aboriginal people and resources rooted within it.
At MohawkCoterie we hasten in offering the finest quality Native-made merchandise such as Wampum in an effort to connect Indigenous trade to mainstream society. We strive to always reflect proper representations of Native Appropriation by also offering sacred and meaningful materials for artisans to create in the same manner.
We believe respect and meaningfulness should be prime qualities created in every form of art you do. Here at MohawkCoterie we encourage you in doing so by offering earthly entities such as our individually handcrafted Wampum made just for you.
- Recorded in wampum on a belt 'The Great Law of Peace' or 'Kayanerehkowa' bounded the Iroquois Confederacy (Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, the Oneida, and the Tuscarora) uniting the Haudenosaunee people whom you may also know as the Iroquois people. This constitution was spearheaded by Deganawida (The Great Peacemaker) and Hiawatha the co-founder (leader of the Mohawk and Onondaga).
- The Kayanerehkowa or Iroquois Confederation provided significant inspiration and democratic ideals to James Madison and Benjamin Franklin amongst other while forming the United States Constitution.
- Haudenosaunee people used Wampum as a symbol of a person’s credentials or a certificate of authority. Wampum was also used as a way to bind peace.
- Chiefs and Clan mothers had a string of Wampum that certifies their position or authority and is passed down to their successors.
To learn more about the Great Law of Peace < click here.
Top wampum belt is the 'Canandaigua Treaty', the middle belt is the 'Two Row' and the bottom is the 'Iroquois Confederacy'.