Talk:Wampum

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Tori... huh?[edit]

"Musician Tori Amos composed a short Prayer on her Scarlet's Walk album, which is thematically very Native-oriented. The song briefly addresses the Trail of Tears, as well as the importance of prayer to the Aboriginal American peoples"

What does this have to do with Wampum? --babbage 19:37, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, it's Wampum Prayer. Fair enough, and fixed. --babbage 19:40, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Energies?[edit]

Can anyone explain exactly how wampum is related to these vague mystical energies? Is this a historical fact, or a modern use of wampum? What groups or individuals use or view it that way?

Wampum represents something, a memory, an agreement, etc. Perhaps it was more like a contract than money, since it was more specific. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.191.8.192 (talk) 05:56:47, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

William Sidis said that these were traditionally used as documentation, going so far as saying they used a language where beads represented definite ideas which was known among all the tribal nations so treaties could be formed between people who could not communicate otherwise. He heavily researched this leading to his 10000 year history of America "The Tribes and the States", available online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.135.244.44 (talk) 18:28, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Chiming in many years later... I believe that perhaps the reason you are confused is that not mentioned in this article is that there are feelings similar to the Roman gravitas and auctorictas that walk with wampum. You do not just pick it up and hold wampum; you EARN wampum from saying the hard thing instead of the easy thing. So some people that tend to do this are authority and spiritual figures. So perhaps this is what was meant by "mystical." Abesottedphoenix (talk) 03:57, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Comment culled from article[edit]

Please note: This illustration differs from the photo at The National Museum of the American Indian, NYC: http://americanindian.si.edu/searchcollections/item.aspx?irn=57011&&objmatbroad=Beads&objmatspec=Whelk%20shell%20beads%20(white%20wampum)

Before or after European contact?[edit]

The article says "... it is the belts in total that are wampum. Belts of wampum were not produced until after European contact," but it also says "When Europeans came to the Americas, they realized the importance of wampum to Native people." Those two statements seem contradictory to me. If wampum was important before the Europeans arrived, then it must have been produced before the Europeans arrived. I'm not seeing a citation for the "not produced until" sentence, which seems oddly out of place in its section, and the rest of the article seems to me to imply in various ways that wampum was part of a long-established tradition before the Europeans arrived. So I kinda suspect that the "not produced until" sentence isn't true. I've marked it as "citation needed," but figured I'd also post here to see if anyone had sources or info. --Elysdir (talk) 18:03, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Ooooh this is hard. My inclination is not to agree, too. Perhaps this might help: before there were loom woven belts, there were individual beads. Before there were individual beads, there were simple drilled shells. All of these are wampum. (If they're white, technically. Though that term was expanded in meaning over time to mean both white and all shell colours.) The simplest form certainly predated Colonisation. I am not sure I believe that belts were not produced before Europeans. There would be no technical reason they could not have predated Colonials. I say this because the technology one needed for production of the belts already existed before the Colonists. Think about it. You need: shells, sinew, leather, and summat to drill the shells (Usually bone, mebbe quartz, unusually metal, hard wood in a pinch {not very effective}.) to produce a belt. We are not known for being reserved in our arts: we are known for being ornate. That said, I think that it is very safe to say that the drill technology and availability DID change with Colonisation. The introduction of metals into the trade routes would have made for easier construction of drills. It's not that there *wasn't* metal before the Colonists, there was just much less uncovered. Does this make more sense to you? (Whoops, not logged in. XD) Abesottedphoenix (talk) 03:56, 21 September 2012 (UTC)