Photographs (left to right): Morel Mushroom, Rush, New York; Toad, Adirondacks, New York; Indigo Butterfly, Rush, New York

The Wampum Belt Archive

Wampum Belts in Paintings and other Art Media


Mohawk Wampum Belt and Cuffs


Engraving published by Bacqueville (1723, Vol. 4: 90), providing the clearest iconographic image of a Wampum cuff. The design on the cuff appears to be a “V” formed by five diamonds.
Original Size:


From Becker (2007; p. 66-67):"First, the early illustrations depicting cuffs appear to come from the area of the Huron, although Bacqueville had lived for a few years among Iroquoians at Sault St. Louis (Kahnawake). On the right wrist of the person illustrated in figure 4 we see the only indisputable representation of a wampum cuff that is known before 1898. The cuff is depicted as a dark wampum band with three small diamonds aligned to form one arm of a V-shaped pattern (five diamonds). The other “arm” of the V is not shown. Two surviving examples of cuffs bear such “V” shaped designs formed by five diamonds. It is notable, however, that both surviving cuffs (listed as number 1 and number 10 in Fig. 1) with this decorative design are not among those known to be held in European collections, suggesting that the depicted cuff was seen in North America or that a similar example reached Europe but remains unknown, if it survives at all."See Huron Wampum Cuffs 1 and Huron Wampum Cuffs 2.


Bacqueville, de la Potherie, M. de. 1723. Voyage de l’Amerique : contenant ce qui s’est passe de plus remarquable dans l’Amerique septentrionale depuis 1534 a jusqu’à present. Amsterdam: Chez Henry des Bordes.

Becker, M. J. 2007. Unique Huron Ornamental Bands: Wampum Cuffs. Material Culture Review, 66 (Fall).