from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A belt or girdle made of wampum by the Indians of the North Atlantic region, the purple and white beads being generally so arranged as to form designs. These belts were exhibited at times when important tribal events took place and thus became mnemonic records of the events.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Garanga resistance was not attempted, but it was made with all the spirit of a warrior by young Louis, who snatched a knife from the girdle of one of the Indians, and attempted to plunge it into the bosom of Mecumeh, as he was roughly attempting to bind his wampum-belt over Garanga's mouth to deaden her screams.

    Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 3 (of 3)

  • Indian, arranged by the Hudson's Bay Company, which is, like the wampum-belt, a common tongue for tribes and peoples not speaking any language but their own.

    Mrs. Falchion, Complete

  • Rigaud gave them a wampum-belt, and told them that he meant to attack Corlaer, -- that is, Schenectady; at which they seemed well pleased, and sang war-songs all night.

    A Half-Century of Conflict - Volume II

  • The name would then mean "He who makes the wampum-belt," and would account for the story which ascribes to

    The Iroquois Book of Rites

  • The root-word of this name is _oyonwa_, wampum-belt, the same that appears in

    The Iroquois Book of Rites

  • By his side -- a nobler figure, but still a counterfeit -- appeared an Indian hunter with feathery crest and wampum-belt.

    Twice Told Tales

  • I would wager, with the Sergeant's daughter here, a horn of powder against a wampum-belt for her girdle, that her father's rijiment should march by this embankment of ours and never find out the fraud!

    Pathfinder; or, the inland sea

  • _oyonwa_, wampum-belt, and _ratiehwatha_, to look for something, or, rather, to seem to seek something which we know where to find.

    The Iroquois Book of Rites


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  • Graduation Day

    Like cavemen paraded the tiger pelt

    And Mohawks flaunted the wampum-belt,

    Today scholars pose

    In fanciful clothes

    To boast of the blows they have dealt.

    March 14, 2014