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

Wampum Belt Archive


Women Nomination Belt

Original (Clarke, 1931)

Reproduction: R. D. Hamell

July 13 2003


Original Size:

Length: 24.25 inches. Width: 3.0 inches. Rows: 9 wide.


Beaded length: 28.75 inches. Width: 4.0 inches. Total length with fringe: 41.0 inches.


Rows: 154 by 9 beads wide. Total 1,386 beads.


Warp: Leather. Weave: Artificial Sinew.


It is a pictographic Seneca National Belt woven with a white beaded background on buckskin thongs. Six purple beaded human figures, joined by extended arms, are distributed along its length. Between the two central figures is a purple square, to denote the council fire.

This Nomination Belt (Ka’shastensera Kontiha:wa’ne Iotiianeh:shon: Clan Matron’s) is so called because it was the document of authorization to Iroquois women 'giving them the right to choose, nominate and confirm the "raising up" of the 50 sachems, or civil chiefs (Ho-di-ya-ne-sho-onh) of the Confederacy.

Stolle, Nickolaus (2016): Purchased from Harriet M. Converse in 1903, obtained by her from Martha Hemlock, a Cattaraugus Seneca in 1882.


Clarke, Noah T. 1931. New York State Museum Bulletin No. 288, Fig. 42.