Home   •   Information  •   2019 Catalog  •  Wholesale   •  Orderform  •  Contact Us

  Costume
     Pendants
     Earrings
     Clip Earrings
     Rings
     Pins
     Bracelets
     Accessories
     Bolos
Sterling
     Pendants
     Necklaces
     Earrings
     Bracelets
     Pins & Cuff Links
     Rings
Natural
     Earrings
     Pendants
Gold
     Pendants
     Earrings
     Rings
     Bracelets
Beads, Cabs, Shapes
     Drilled-through
     Face-drilled
     Cabochons
LAF Designs
     Bracelets/Necks with knots
     Bracelets/Necks w/o knots
     Traditional Designs
     LAF Earrings
     LAF Slides/Pendants

wampumbook.jpg (63849 bytes)Information

    All purple shell jewelry that you will see is "Wampum".  This word is derived from the word "wampumpeag" of the Algonquian Native American Indian language meaning "white shell strung on a chord" taken and altered by the English in the early 1600's.  Wampum makers create these jewelry and bead pieces from the quahog Shell, or hard shell clam with the scientific name of Mercenaria Mercenaria.  Quahog diggers find the quahog in the shoreline ocean waters along Northeastern USA.  Some quahog shells have enough purple in them to be made into jewelry, beads, parts, and cabs.

 

     For thousands of years before the English, Dutch, and French traders settled the northeastern section of North America and used Wampum as money, the American Indians use the quahog as a symbol of status, as a memory aid, as ornamentation, for marriage and other ceremonies, and as a spiritual object.

 

     The Sachem, his family, and the wampum makers drape "suckauhok", or dark purple beads and parts of the quahog, and "wampumpeage", or white beads and parts, on their body as status and for beauty.  Often, the bead weavers in a village make magnificent belts with over 8,000 tubular beads and had intricate purple and white color patterns to serve as memory aids to pass messages and stories to neighboring villages and tribes.  According to Native American oral tradition, the possession of wampum aids in the successful passage into our afterlife with the Great Spirit and brings us to the Happy Hunting Grounds.

 

    We now extend the privilege for you to partake in the history of Wampum.

 

Wampum

Cape Cod Jewelry

Jade

Mammoth

Ishi