Photographs (left to right): All Mohave Desert, California/Nevada

Wampum Belt Archive


Wolf Clan Condolence Belt

Original - NMAI Cat. #111829

Original Size:

Beaded Length: 42.25 inches. Width: 4.25 inches. Rows wide: 15.


Beaded Length: 62.0 inches. Width: 6.75 inches. Rows wide: 15. Length w/ fringe: 86.0 inches


Rows: 371 by 15: 5,565 beads/


Original: Cordage on leather. Reproduction: Artificial Sinew on Leather.


The title "wolf clan condolence belt" that the NMAI gave for the purple belt would coincide with the dark doorway because the title "Donihogeweh" which means "Open doorway" is wolf clan. And his responsibility is to guard the door way of the Haudenosaunee. So when the person who holds this title dies the wolf clan would be condoled in a condolence ceremony and a new person would be installed to hold the title. It coincides with the dark doorway in the roll call song (Jacobs, 2012).

The right-hand side of the belt indicated the belt was longer and was approximately the same distance from the end of the wolf's face as shown on the left side of the belt. It would be conjecture to assume it had the same pattern of vertical white beads and hence, the belt's length was replicated in the condition of the original belt as it is today (Hamell, R.D: 2012).

Collected by Harriet M. Converse among the Tonawanda Seneca. Repatriated in 1996.


National Museum of the American Indian.