Photographs (left to right): Burgess Falls, Tennessee, White Mts. California; Pitcher Plants, Cranberry Glades, West Virginia

Wampum Belt Archive II

Peace-Path Wampum Belt


Pitt Rivers Museum 1896.7.8

Wyandot (Huron) Belt

Original Size:

Rows: 7. Length: 57.5 cm (22.6 inches) 174 columns


Beaded Length 27.6 51.6 3.5


127 White 981 Purple. 1,218 total



Description (Hale):

This name distinguishes a smaller belt, of which the only memory remains it was received at the conclusion of a treaty of peace, made in ancient times between the Tionontate nation and a people possessing three council-fires. This people can hardly have been any other than the Huron confederacy. That League did indeed include five nations, but two of them were comparatively insignificant, having each but one town, while the remaining twenty-two towns and villages of the Wendat were divided among the three larger nations. It is known from the Jesuit relations that these three nations were accustomed to act in council on behalf of the whole people. This was done in the famous nocturnal council of August, 1637, when a great assembly of the chiefs of the whole country was held to determine upon a war, and at the sample time to decide the fate of the missionaries, who were accused of causing by their sorceries the pestilence which was then ravaging the Huron nations. This council, we are told by the missionary Le Mercier, in his vivid description of it (Relation of 1638, chapter 2), "was composed of three nations, namely, that of the Bears, our first hosts, who number fourteen towns and villages, and whose chiefs held one side of the cabin, having us among them, while the opposite side was held by the two other nations, numbering each four well-peopled towns." According to the custom of the country, the missionaries presented to the council a gift of three or four hundred wampum beads, as an evidence of their concern for the general welfare. When their own case came up, they defended themselves against their accusers with a force of argument and appeal which secured them from immediate condemnation; and soon greater public dangers from the hostile Iroquois had alarmed the Hurons, and induced them to seek the advice and assistance of the missionaries in their own mortal peril. It was at this time, apparently, that the desire of resuming their ancient amity and alliance with their neighbors of the Tobacco Nation had arisen, of which the first evidences were the two belts that have now been described. The smaller belt would be first presented as an overture of lasting peace from the three leading Wendat nations, while the larger belt would follow when the alliance was completed.


The Peace Path Belt, PRMO 1896.7.8.

Gift of E. B. Taylor, purchased from Horatio Hale, who collected it from Chief Joseph White at Anderdon Reserve, Ontario, similar belt is shown by Zacharie Vincent, self portrait.


Hale, Horatio. 1897. Four Huron Wampum Records: A Study of Aboriginal American History and Mnemonic Symbols. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 26, pp. 221-247.