Photographs (left to right): Paynes Prairie, Florida; Suwannee River Park Live Oaks, Florida; Paynes Prairie, Florida

Wampum Belt Archive



Huron or Wyandot Belt

NMAI Cat. #1855


Original Size:

Length: 26.0 inches. Width: 2.5 inches.






Deer Hide. Cordage.


Labeled as: A-to-wa To-ho-nad-he-to as the possible owner. Purchased from that individual by Mrs. H. M. Converse in 1903.

Wendat (Huron) belt ca. 1612, Quebec, Canada. Materials: Whelk shell, quahog shell, quahog shell, hide, basswood fiber yarn.

The square represents the Huron Nations. The purple stripes designates the people, while the white background shows the people of both nations walk in peace.

A second belt of similar style was said to be in the possession of the Huron chief. It too, represents a peace treaty but is depicted to have seven crosses of purple beads which signify villages.

This belt may be a condolence belt. This is likely erroneously mistakened the meaning of the crosses.


See NMAI Cat. #117512.000 W_Huron or Wyandot Condolence Belt NMAI 117512.html

A wampum belt given to the Iroquois Nation by the Huron to commemorate the signing of a peace treaty in 1612. This was one of the many unsuccessful attempts in the early 17th century to end the fighting between the confederacies. The dark square in the center represents the Huron; the dark stripes, people; and the whites strips, peace. The message contained in the belt is "The people of both nations walk in peace together."

Examination of the the latter belt show traces it once was smeared with red paint; the reason is unknown. Below is a Huron chief wearing the belt next to his son.

The 1612 date suggested for this belt is questionable and needs to be verified by the examination of the beads.

Other References:

American Anthropologist. 1911.

Lainey, Jonathan. 2004. The Indian Currency: La Monnaie des Sauvages. Spetentrion Publ., 296 pp.

Speck, F. G. 1911. Notes on the Material Culture of the Huron. National Museum of the American Indian, Vol. 13.


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