Photographs (left to right): Raccoon Track, Rio Grande, New Mexico; Columbus Zoo, Ohio; Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, Canada

Wampum Belt Archive


Joseph Brant Belt

Council Fires of the Six Nations

Beauchamp 1901

Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation


Original Size:

Rows: 11








This belt is a representation of friendship between the Six Nations and Great Britain. It ratifies that each nation, its people, and its government are connected in friendship.

The squares on each end symbolize the council fires of each government. They not only lost their territories, they were not told that the War of 1812 was over.

The belt was to secure peace after the War of 1812. During that war, the Three Fires Confederacy (Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi) allied with the British.

The British then ceded their allies’ lands to the Americans and their allies. This action greatly angered the  Confederacy. In 1815, British Lt. Colonel McDouall  sent Chief Assigninack to present McDouall’s own wampum to “proclaim  the peace”  to nations on the Eastern side of Lake Michigan after the War of 1812 was over (Bardeau, 2010).


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