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Pure Words from the Water: Haudenosaunee Uses of Wampum

Flyer for Dr. Arnold's talk

Flyer for Dr. Arnold's talk

October 25, 2017

Associate Professor and Chair Philip P. Arnold recently delivered a lecture entitled “Pure Words from the Water:  Haudenosaunee Uses of Wampum” for the Boston University Program in Scripture and the Arts. Dr. Arnold’s talk is described in the flyer with the following:

The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) have used wampum for millennia. It is
connected with the founding events of the “Great Law of Peace,” which took
place in what is now known as Central New York. This epic story depicts how
the 5 warring nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca)
came together in peace at Onondaga Lake (near Syracuse) through the use
of wampum in condolence ceremonies established by the Peacemaker for
Hiawatha and the Tadodaho. Wampum is used in strings and belts from the
time of the Peacemaker until today and is understood to denote a purity of
intention in speech, because of its relationship with water. It has been an
important feature of the Haudenosaunee treaty relationships with European and American governments.