All Photographs: Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, Ontario, Canada

Wampum Belt Archive


Iroquois Sun Belt

Hypothetical Reproduction R. D. Hamell

Sept 05 2013

Original Size:

Belt no longer exist


Beaded Length: 41.2 inches long by 10.5 inches wide. Length w/fringe: 65.2.0 inches.


Beaded Length: 254 row by 24 rows. Total 6,096 beads


Warp: Leather. Weft: Artificial Sinew.


The design of the belt reproduction was based on the description given in the Johnson Papers (1756).

On February 23, 1756, at a Six Nations meeting at Fort Johnson, Sir William presented a pipe described as “the largest pipe in America, made on purpose.” He instructed the Six Nations to take the pipe to their “great council-chamber at Onondago” and hang it in view “and should you be wavering in your minds” about their loyalty to the British interest “at any time, take and smoke out of it, and think of my advice given with it, and you will recover and think properly.” Given to Sir William in return in this same meeting was a belt described as the “largest ever given! Upon it was wrought the sun, by way of the emblem of light, and some figures representing the six nations; it was intended to signify, that they now saw objects in their proper light, and that they were fully convinced of the truth of everything proposed.” Three interpreters attended Johnson and Capt. Butler, and this particular belt probably hung at Fort Johnson and later at Johnson Hall.

A Meeting of the Six Nations, February 23, 1756, Johnson Papers 9:373.

Information received from Wanda Burch, Sept. 1, 2013.


Johnson Papers. 1759. A Meeting of the Six Nations, February 23, 1756. 9:373.

Wanda Burch. 2013. Personal Communications.