Photographs (left to right): Mendon Ponds Park, Mendon, New York

Wampum Belt Archive


Haudenosaunee 5 Diamonds Belt


Courtesy Six Nations Polytechic Institute

Conversation in Cultural Fluency Lecture Series



Original Size:

Rows: 15. Columns: 417




Total: 6,250




Design: purple bead background with five equally spaced lozenges outlined by double white beads across the belt from edge to edge.
Typical Iroquois group symbol and indicative of the Confederacy during the Five Nations period; possibly representative of the Montreal
Treaty of 1700 between the Mohawks and French. Constructed of fifteen rows each of about 417 beads: total- 6250 beads. Purchased
circa 1880 by Theodore Robitaille, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Quebec from the Tessier-Desrivieres family of Quebec City. On
his death, the belt was left to his brother M.P. Robitaille who donated it in 1912 to the Order of the Sisters of the Holy Cross In St. Laurent,
Quebec. They were subsequently displayed in the Indian Museum operated by this Order.

Purchased from the Order by Mr. Joseph Guindon. In 1962 Mr. Hendier later purchased the belt from Mr. Guindon.

The belt has been examined by Dr. Gordon M. Day National Museum - opinion that the beads date from the early 17th Century; genuine wampum beads made from clam shells peculiar to the Gardner and Oyster Bay areas of Long Island, New York. Two are as the only source of shells suitable forthe manufacture of this type of bead.

X-ray examination of the belts shows that they are a mixture of double and single bored beads which confirms this dallng with the possibility
that the double bored beads may pre-date this period, The combination of these two types of beads was quite normal in early belts.
Belt restrung. Later repairs evident in several places.



Conversation in Cultural Fluency Lecture Series