Wampum is a type of traditional Native American currency that consists of small cylindrical or tubular beads made from quahog shells. These shells are commonly found along the eastern coast of North America and were used by many different tribes as a form of exchange for goods and services. Wampum was an important aspect of Native American culture and played a significant role in trade and diplomacy among tribes.

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looking for sea glass and wampum

Wampum beads were often strung together into belts or strings and were used in ceremonial and diplomatic contexts. The patterns and colors of the beads were often symbolic and represented different concepts such as peace, unity, and friendship. These belts were used in important ceremonies such as peace negotiations and the establishment of alliances between tribes.

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A “sea” of shells, stones, wampum, sea glass, and pottery shards on a Delaware beach

Wampum was also used as a means of recording important events and agreements. Wampum belts were often inscribed with pictographic symbols that represented different concepts and ideas. These belts were carefully crafted and were considered to be sacred objects that held great spiritual power. Today, wampum belts continue to be an important symbol of Native American culture and heritage and are treasured as works of art and historical artifacts.


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