wampum

/wom"peuhm, wawm"-/, n.
1. Also called peag, seawan, sewan. cylindrical beads made from shells, pierced and strung, used by North American Indians as a medium of exchange, for ornaments, and for ceremonial and sometimes spiritual purposes, esp. such beads when white but also including the more valuable black or dark-purple varieties.
2. Informal. money.
[1630-40; short for WAMPUMPEAG]

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Tubular shell beads assembled into strings or woven into belts or embroidered ornaments.

The Algonquian word (short for wampumpeag) translates as "string of white (shell beads)." Before contact with white settlers, Indians used wampum primarily ceremonially or in gift exchanges. In the early 17th century it came to be used as money in trade with whites, because of a shortage of European currency.

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▪ beads
 tubular shell beads that have been assembled into strings or woven into belts or embroidered ornaments, formerly used as a medium of exchange by some North American Indians (American Indian). The terms wampum and wampumpeag were initially adopted by English settlers, who derived them from one of the eastern Algonquian languages; literally translated, wampumpeag means “strings of white (shell beads).”

      Before contact with white settlers, the Indians used wampum primarily for ceremonial purposes, as a record of an important agreement or treaty, as an object of tribute given by subject tribes, or for gift exchange (q.v.). Its value derived from its ceremonial importance and the skill involved in making it. In the early 17th century wampum came to be used as money in trade between whites and Indians because of a shortage of European currency. When machines were invented in the mid-18th century for mass production of wampum, the resulting inflation stopped its use as money in the eastern United States. Western Indians, however, continued to use it commercially until the mid-19th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Wampum — is a string of creamy white colored shell beads fashioned from the North Atlantic channeled whelk ( Busycotypus canaliculatus ) shell, and is traditionally used by Indigenous Americans, First Nations peoples, Native Americans, hobbyists, business …   Wikipedia

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  • wampum — WÁMPUM s.n. Centură brodată cu perle, la indienii din America de Nord. [pr. uám păm] (din engl., fr. wampum) Trimis de tavi, 14.05.2004. Sursa: MDN  wámpum s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  WÁMPUM …   Dicționar Român

  • Wampum — Wam pum, n. [North American Indian wampum, wompam, from the Mass. w[ o]mpi, Del. w[=a]pe, white.] Beads made of shells, used by the North American Indians as money, and also wrought into belts, etc., as an ornament. [1913 Webster] Round his waist …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wampum — ist die Bezeichnung für Perlen aus Meeresschnecken und Muscheln, wie sie von den Indianern östlich der Rocky Mountains bis hinauf nach Saskatchewan allgemein als Tauschmittel benutzt wurden und so auch zu den Stämmen westlich der Rocky Mountains… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wampum — Wampum, PA U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 678 Housing Units (2000): 310 Land area (2000): 0.921043 sq. miles (2.385490 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.042833 sq. miles (0.110937 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.963876 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Wampum, PA — U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 678 Housing Units (2000): 310 Land area (2000): 0.921043 sq. miles (2.385490 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.042833 sq. miles (0.110937 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.963876 sq. miles (2.496427 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Wampum — o sewan es un cordel o cinturón de abalorios, tradicionalmente utilizado como moneda por algunos pueblos amerindios, que lo consideran como un objeto sagrado. También servía como reflejo de tratados o pactos: en 1923, Deskaheh líder de la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wampum — Wampum, Perlen aus Seekonchylien, dienen bei den Indianern östl. vom Felsengebirge als Geld, auch auf Schnüren gereiht als Gürtel (Wampumgürtel, wampum bells) getragen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • wampum — ☆ wampum [wäm′pəm ] n. [earlier wampompeag < Massachusett (cf. Abenaki wα pα pəyak, wampum strings < wα p , white + α pi, string + ak, pl.)] 1. small beads made of shells and used by North American Indians as money, for ornament, etc.: they …   English World dictionary

  • Wampum — Wampum, eine Art Schrift der nordamerikanischen Indianer, besteht in walzenförmigen Knöpfen, welche aus dem Inneren der Venus mercenaria (s.u. Venusmuschel 2) geschnitten werden u. deren verschiedene Farben u. Formen verschiedene Bedeutungen… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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