Photographs (left to right): Burgess Falls, Tennessee; Seneca Rocks, West Virginia; Burgess Falls, Tennessee

Wampum Belt Archive

Hudson Bay Belt

Photo Courtesy:

Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Reproduction: R. D. Hamell 05/24/2011

Original Size:

Rows 13.


Bead Length: 21.4 inches. Width: 5.75 inches. Total w/Fringe: 42.4 inches.


Beaded Length: 129 Rows. Width: 13 Beads Wide. Total Beads: 1,677 Beads.


Warp: Leather. Weave: Artificial Sinew


Tehanetorens described it as an unknown belt (p.126). Norman Hill of the Tonawanda Reservation identified it as the Hudson Bay Belt.

Chief Clinton Rickard (1973) in his book had also named the belt as the Hudson Bay Belt with three figures holding hands in friendship. It symbolized the trust of the White man and Hudson Bay Company with the indians by allowing a trading post in their territory. The cross of the "new" Whiteman's religion is set at a distance signifying that the Indians "did not immediately accept this new religion because they did not know if it would do good to their people. They said they would just watch this religion for a while and see what it was like."

Jonathan Lainey (2011) stated the Hudson Bay Belt is "currently in Maniwaki in the hands of William Commanda" Lainey supports Einhorn's (1974) interpretation that the "belt concerned Kanesatake, BEFORE (Lainey's emphasis) the Algonquins moved north to Kitigan Zibi (Maniwaki) in the 1850's. The three people holding hands would be in this case the Mohawk, the Algonquins and the Nepissing, the three Aboriginal peoples that used to leave in Kanesatake. The cross ("T") is the Church.

Partially restored since ca 1950. William Commanda Collection/Chief Clinton Rickard, Tuscarora.


Einhorn, Arthur. 1974. Iroquois-Algonquin Wampum Exchanges and Preservation in the 20th Century: a Case for in-situ Preservation. Man in the Northeast, 7, (Spring 1974) : 71-86.

Hill, Norman. 2008. Personal Communications. Tonawanda Reservation, NY.

Lainey, Jonathan C. 2011. Personal Communications. Aboriginal Archives, Gatineau, Quebec. K1A ON4

Laramee, Dianne.

Rickard, Chief Clinton. 1973. Fighting Tuscarora: the autobiography of Chief Clinton Rickard. Syracuse University Press, 182 pp.

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