Photographs (left to right): Mojave Aster, California; Cormorants, Florida; Desert Iguana, California

Wampum Belt Archive

Keetoowah's Belts

Cherokee Belts

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Picture above and following text extracted from "Myths of the Cherokee", by James Mooney's

"The Onondagas retain the custody of the wampums of the Five Nations, and the keeper of the wampums, Thomas Webster, of the Snipe tribe, a consistent through Pagan is their interpreter. Notwithstanding, the claims made that the wampums can be read as a governing code of law, it is evident that they are simply monumental reminders of preserved traditions, without any literal details whatever."

"The first of this group from left to right represents a convention of the Six Nations at the adoption of the Tuscaroras into the league; the second, the Five Nations upon seven strands, illustrated a treaty with seven Canadian tribes before the year 1600; the third signifies the guarded approach of strangers to the Council of the Five Nations ( a guarded gate, with a long, white path leading to the inner gate, where the Five Nations are grouped, with the Onondagas in the center and a safe council house behind all ); the fourth represents a treaty when but four of the Six Nations were represented and the fifth embodies the pledge of seven Canadian christianized nations to abandon their crooked ways and keep an honest peace (having a cross for each tribe, and with a zigzag line below, to indicate that their ways had been crooked but would ever after be as sacred as the cross). Above this group is another, claiming to bear date about 1608, when Champlain joined the Algonquins against the Iroquois" - Carrington, in Six Nations of New York Extra Bulletin, Eleventh Census, pp. 33-34, 1892


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