Two Row Wampum Treaty
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The Two Row Wampum Treaty, also known as Guswhenta or Kaswhenta, is an agreement made between representatives of the Five Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and representatives of the Dutch government in 1613 in what is now upstate New York. The treaty is considered by the Haudenosaunee to be the basis of all of their subsequent treaties with European and North American governments, including the Covenant Chain treaty with the British in 1677 and the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States in 1794.
The existence of the pact, also referred to as Tawagonshi Agreement of 1613, is a source of debate with some scholarly sources maintaining that a treaty between the Dutch and Kanienkeh (Mohawk Nation) did not take place until a later date. The authenticity of the only existing copy of a Dutch language document which first appeared in 1968 and was presented as the text of the agreement has been dismissed. It contains ca. 40 grammatical anachronisms. On grammatical grounds it is likely that the text was written in the 20th century. The wampum of the pact is stored in Canada and will presented in festivities planned along the Hudson River celebrating the 400th anniversary.
Soon after Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River and its estuary in 1609 traders from the United Provinces of the Netherlands set up factorijs (trading posts) to engage in the fur trade. At the time the Iroquois Mohawk and the Mahican territory abutted in the mid-Hudson Valley. The Dutch traded with the indigenous population to supply fur pelts, particularly from beaver, which were abundant in the region. By 1614, the New Netherland Company was established and Fort Nassau was built, setting the stage for the development of the colony of New Netherland.
The 1613 treaty was recorded by the Haudenosaunee in a wampum belt known as the Two Row Wampum. The pattern of the belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads against a background of white beads. The purple beads signify the courses of two vessels -- a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship -- traveling down the river of life together, parallel but never touching. The three white stripes denote peace and friendship. This wampum records the meaning of the agreement, which declared peaceful coexistence between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers in the area.
Haudenosaunee tradition also records the specific meaning of the belt as follows, in the form of a Haudenosaunee reply to the initial Dutch treaty proposal:
You say that you are our Father and I am your Son We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. This wampum belt confirms our words. '. Neither of us will make compulsory laws or interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other's vessel. The agreement has been kept by the Iroquois to this date.
The treaty is considered by Haudenosaunee people to still be in effect. Further Haudenosaunee tradition states the duration of the Two Row Wampum agreement:
As long as the Sun shines upon this Earth, that is how long OUR Agreement will stand; Second, as long as the Water still flows; and Third, as long as the Grass Grows Green at a certain time of the year. Now we have Symbolized this Agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.
Interpretations of the treaty 
The Netherlands have been called upon as allies by Haudenosaunee in international affairs, notaby at the League of Nations in 1923 in a conflict with Canada over membership and at the United Nations in 1977, requesting the Haudenosaunee passport to be honored internationally.The Dutch government honored the passport until 2010. It remains unclear if the policy will be changed in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the treaty.
The Two Row Wampum continues to play a role in defining the relationship between citizens of New York State and Haudenosaunee residents of the region. In 2006, a dispute over whether Onondaga Nation students could be permitted to wear native regalia at their graduation ceremony at Lafayette High School in LaFayette, New York, was resolved in part through the school board's consideration and application of the principles of the Two Row Wampum. 
Larger disputes concerning extant treaties based on the Two Row Wampum, such as the Treaty of Canandaigua, remain unresolved through litigation and pending land claims.
- Jennings, Frnacis (1995), The History And Culture Of Iroquois Diplomacy An Interdisciplinary Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and Their League, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 9780815626503
- Venables, Robert ((undated)). "The 1613 Treaty". www.peacecouncil.net. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Fenton, William Nelson (1998), The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy, University of Oklahoma Press, p. 269, ISBN 0-8061-3003-2
- Benjamin, Vernon (2000). "The Tawagonshi Agreement of 1613 A Chain of Friendship in the Dutch Hudson Valley". www.mindserpent.com. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Venables, Robert W. (September 2012). "An Analysis of the 1613 Tawagonshi Treaty". Onondaga Nation. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Coin, Glenn (August 09, 2012). "400 years later, a legendary Iroquois treaty comes under attack". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Van der Sijs, Nicoline (August 2012), "‘De laatste spreker van Low Dutch’ L.G. van Loon vervalste de geschiedenis van het Nederlands in Amerika (The last speaker of Low Dutch LG van Loon LG falsified the history of the Dutch in America)", Onze Taal
- Gehring, Charles T.; Starna, William A. (2012). Revisiting the Fake Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613 (PDF). New York State Historial Society. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- Hermkens, Harrie; Sijs, Nicolien van der (2013). Tawagonshi-verdrag is vervalst (Tawagonshi-treaty has been forged) (PDF). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "NY scholars claim Indian treaty document is fake". The Wall Street Journal. January 1, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Koch, Ingmar (August 23, 2012). "Vals of echt? De wampum bewijst het. (Fake or real? The wampum proves it.)". Ingmar bladert en schrijft. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Gehring, Charles T.; Starna, William A. (2009), "Dutch and Indians in the Hudson Valley: The Early Period", America's First River The History and Culture of the Hudson River Valley (SUNY Press), ISBN 978-0-615-30829-6
- Wiemers, Serv (January 3, 2013). "De Indianen rekenen terecht op Nederland (The Indians rightly count on the Netherlands)". De Volkskrant (Amsterdam).
- Syracuse Post-Standard, May 18, 2006
See also 
|New Netherland series|
|The Patroon System|
|Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions|
|Directors of New Netherland:|
|People of New Netherland|
- Hendrick Christiaensen
- Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
- Covenant Chain
- Kanienkeh (Mohawk Nation)
- Mohawk Dutch
- Normans Kill
- Romanus Pontifex