Authentically Handcrafted Buckskin Clothing & Wampum Weaving
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Wampum Design Elements

Methods Used To Weave Wampum Previous Page in Article Series How We Weave Wampum How We Make Our Wampum Products

On This Page:

You Cain't Squeeze 'em

They're Only Reminders

eagle feather You Cain't Squeeze 'em
As a hard, inflexible medium wampum beads cannot be squeezed, bent, stretched or twisted to make different shapes.  Wampum beads are much more elongated compared to seed beads, so the wampum weaver is much more limited than other bead workers as to how many design elements can be made with wampum beads.  The same design element, therefore, may be used on different projects to convey entirely different meanings.

A square or rectangle, for example, may signify a union of families or nations on one belt. On another it may be symbolic of the Great Spirit.  It is nearly impossible to accurately read someone else's belt without their input.     [Top of Page]

eagle feather They're Only Reminders
Each element in an overall design only serves as a reminder - an individual step within the entire story.  Many smaller belts were often used to tell the full story of an alliance or a family's history.  On many occasions, instead of belts, long strands of beads were strung in a certain color sequence and presented in a certain order to convey the message.     [Top of Page]

Methods Used To Weave Wampum Previous Page in Article Series How We Weave Wampum How We Make Our Wampum Products

Copyright Jan 1999, 2015, Gary A. Reneker. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, programming, and coding are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission from Gary A. Reneker.