TITLE

RE-VISITING WAMPUM AND OTHER SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY SHELL GAMES

AUTHOR(S)
Bradley, James W.
PUB. DATE
November 2011
SOURCE
Archaeology of Eastern North America;2011, Vol. 39, p25
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Wampum is something we take for granted. Those small, tubular, white and purple marine shell beads, so important during the seventeenth century and after, seem to be a story already well told. Indeed, there is a vast literature on wampum, its origins and uses'. Yet the more closely one looks, the less clear the answers become. What exactly is wampum? Where did it originate? Did it exist prior to European Contact? And perhaps most interesting, why was wampum so successful? A review of the documentary sources and archaeological evidence from Algonquian and Iroquoian sites in northeastern North America provides some new and surprising answers. Nor was wampum the only important shell form that emergedfrom the cross-cultural interactions of the seventeenth century. Other marine shell forms, such as effigy pendants, are also discussed briefly.
ACCESSION #
70080561

 

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