Photographs (left to right): Bird of Paradise, Niagara Botanical Gardens, Ontario, Canada; Frond, Niagara Botanical Gardens, Ontario, Canada; Chuckwalla lizard, California

Wampum Belt Archive


Glass Beaded Garter

Iroquois or Algonquian

1700 - 1770

British Museum AN188370001

Original Size:
Length: 11.8 inches. Width: 2.4 inches.


Loom woven imitation-wampum glass bead garter, consisting of seventeen rows of glass beads, white ground and black figures, three plain ones separated by two with skirted costume [skirts or frock coats] indicating, perhaps, an alliance between three native units and two frock-coated European entities. The garter is edged with rows of white beads, added on as the wefts turn the corner to resume their way across the warps in the opposite decoration. Three wool twines are used; 14 warps are of two-ply 'Z' twist red twine; at the bottom and top of the garter, there are two pairs of black two-ply 'Z' twist warps. In total, therefore, there are 18 warps. The weft is of a similar light colored twined wool, whose use extends beyond the area of beadwork, presumably to give this article extra strength. The garter narrows at both ends, the number of beads being reduced by two or three at both top and bottom at both ends, no doubt to ensure that it could be more easily tied.


British Museum. For more details see -