Photographs (left to right): Devils Gate, Natrona County, Wyoming; Capitol Reef National Park; Devils Gate, Natrona County, Wyoming

Wampum Belt Archive

Haudenosaunee Belt


PGMAE 1901-10

Peter the Great Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, St. Petersburg, Russia


Original Size:

Length: 116.7 cm. Rows: 11








Translucent wine red glass beads with seen white glass diamonds. Vertically orientation of belt. Unknown history before 1901.

Sagoyewatha’s Peace Plan

The declaration of war by the United States “created very considerable alarm amongst the [Seneca], and to use their own expression, ‘seemed to turn the world upside down,’”according to a Society of Friends writer.

In June, 1812 Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga Chiefs living at Buffalo Creek came to a council at Grand River. Their motive was to secure a pledge of neutrality on behalf of all Hodinohson:ni. They delivered a wampum belt and a message from Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket): I hope you will not go and make your Children poor by joining the British Government in case of a dispute between them and the Americans. If you do, the Americans say, You will lose all your Land, and that it will be taken from you – that it is wisest for you to remain neutral because the promises the king may make to you, he never will perform. You may remember he did not fulfill his engagements to Captain Brant last war, and I hope you will hearken to what I now tell you.

Fishkahga (Little Billy) asked: Why should we again fight . . . Why then should we endanger the comfort, even the existence of our families, to enjoy their smiles only for the Day in which they need us?

The Grand River Chiefs agreed that there should be neutrality, however, they later made a statement that the friendship between the Hodinohson:ni had ended. Their linked arms began to separate and the Tree of Peace began to falter.

Purchased by George G. Heye in 1907, collected by Thomas R. Roddy in 1899. Repatriated to the Haudenosaunee Council in 1988.


Clarke, Noah T. 1931 New York State Museum Bulletin No. 288.

Hill, Rick. 1989. Council Fire: A Resource Guide. Woodland Cultural Centre, Brandford, Ontario, Canada.

Stolle, Nickolaus. 2016. Talking Beads: The history of wampum as a value and knowledge bearer, from its very first beginnings until today. Hamburg, Germany. ISSN 1437-7837

Six Nations.