Welcome to Wampum First.com, the website that celebrates the rich history and culture of the Native American wampum. Wampum are beads made from shells that were used as currency, jewelry, and ceremonial objects by the indigenous peoples of North America. Wampum have a deep symbolic meaning and a fascinating story to tell.
At wampum1st.com, you can learn more about the origins, uses, and significance of wampum in various tribes and regions. You can also explore our products and services, such as wampum jewelry, belts, bags, and art. We offer authentic and handmade wampum items that honor the traditions and craftsmanship of our ancestors.
But that’s not all. Wampum1st.com also provides historical narratives that connect wampum to current events and reveal the synchronicities that exist between the past and the present. You can discover how wampum influenced the formation of the United States, how they relate to environmental issues, how they inspire social movements, and more.
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When Europeans came to the Americas, they adopted wampum as money to trade with the native peoples of New England and New York. Wampum was legal tender in New England from 1637 to 1661. It continued as currency in New York until 1673 at the rate of eight white or four black wampum equalling one stuiver, meaning that the white had the same value as the copper duit coin. The colonial government in New Jersey issued a proclamation setting the rate at six white or three black to one penny; this proclamation also applied in Delaware. The black shells were rarer than the white shells and so were worth more, which led people to dye the white and dilute the value of black shells.
Wampum briefly became legal tender in North Carolina in 1710, but its use as common currency died out in New York by the early 18th century. Well, it’s back!
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