Photographs (left to right): Columbus Zoo, Ohio; Letchworth State Park, New York; Columbus Zoo, Ohio

Wampum Belt Archive


Onondaga Alliance Belt

(also referred to as the Tuscaroras Taken In Belt

Photo Courtesy NYSM

Reproduction R. D. Hamell April 24 2014


Original Size:

Length: 28.4 inches. Width 3.4 inches. Rows: 12.


32.0 inches by 5.5 inches. Length with fringe: 56 inches


12 Rows by 189. Total beads: 2,268.


Warp: Leather. Weave: Artificial sinew.

Description (Clarke, 1931)

A white beaded national belt of the Onondagas, containing six purple diagonal bars, or braces, along its length. It is somewhat mutilated and when first seen by General John S. Clark of Auburn, N. Y., it contained seven of these diagonal bars, and it may have contained a greater number once, for General Clark's photograph of it then showed it to have been mutilated at both ends. It has been incorrectly explained as commemorating the entrance of the Tuscarora Nation into the League of the Iroquois in 1714. As the belt once bore seven bars, this interpretation may be eliminated for the reason that the Tuscarora were the sixth nation to enter the League. The use of diagonal bars on a belt signified support to the Long House, the symbol of the League.

According to Printup and Patterson, Jr. (2007) this belt was delivered to the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in 1714 by the Tuscarora Nation who sought admission to the League through their brothers, the Oneida Nation, based on the grounds of a common ancestry.

St. Regis: NYSM 374229 Beauchamp 1901 #240

NYSM E-37322, purchased by the institution in 1898, collected by Paige Richmond from the Onondaga, the same year earlier. Repatriated to the Haudenosaunee Council 1989.


Bardeau, Phyllis Eileen Wms. 2011. Definitive Seneca: It's In The Word. Jaré Cardinal, editor. Seneca-Iroquois Museum Publisher, Salamanca, New York, 443pp.

Clarke, Noah, 1931. The Wampum Belt Collection of the New York State Museum. Bulletin 288.

Printup, Bryan and Neil Patterson Jr. 2007. Tuscarora Nation, NY (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing, 128 pp.