Photographs (left to right): Cyanobacteria, Seattle, Washington; Spanish Moss, Florida; Columnar Basalts, Frenchman's Coulee. Washington

Wampum Belt Archive


First William Penn Belt

Original Wm Penn First Belt (Courtesy Rick Hill, 2013)

Reproduction: Richard D Hamell (Oct. 09 2013)

Original Size:

approx. Length 28.0 inches. Width: 17.5 inches. Rows: 10.


Beaded Length: 33.0 inches. Width: 4.75 inches. Length w/fringe: 57.0 inches


Length: 167 rows. Width: 10/ Total Beads: 1,670.


Warp: Leather. Weft: Artificial Sinew.


This undated belt was reported to have been given to the Haudenosaunee before they entered into a Council House where a treaty council was about to take place with William Penn, the governor of the colony of Pennsylvania. The symbols are said to represent “amity” and “good faith.” The two human figures represent a white man and a Haudenosaunee man. The white man is marked by the white heart. After the council was held, the Haudenosaunee delegates emerged from the Council House and reportedly gave Penn a wampum belt as evidence of their good faith. (Rick Hill, 2013)

Quote Bardeau (2011)
Oral Tradition: This belt is said to have been given by William Penn to Shackamaxon in 1673. At about this time, Penn also purchased 4 tracks of land from Chief Tamaned, leader of the Lenape Nation (Delawares), prior to a treaty council in 1683. The figure with the white heart signifies the peace and sincerity of Penn and his followers. The other figure represents the Lenape Chief and his people. The inner square represents the thought was guided by love and peace, and the outer square represents truth by the Great Spirit. The two diagonal lines indicate that the two groups will live side by side in harmony and they will support each other to protect the friendship.


Bardeau, Phyllis Eileen Wms. 2011. Definitive Seneca: It's In The Word. Jaré Cardinal, editor. Seneca-Iroquois Museum Publisher, Salamanca, New York, 443pp.

Hill, Rick. 1989. Council Fire. Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario, 51pp.

Hill, Rick. 2013. Personal Communications.

Tehanetorens. 1999. Wampum Belts of the Iroquois. Book Publishing Company, Summertown, TN.