War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week - July 20, 2012

Wampum Beads, 25 strands

These Wampum beads are believed to have belonged to Shawnee War Chief Tecumseh during the War of 1812. This item is very rare, and is comprised of twenty-five single strands of white Wampum beads, containing a little over 1250 beads. Wampum are traditional sacred beads fashioned from North Atlantic coast seashells, were white or purple in color, and were very valuable to First Nations in Eastern Canada for ceremonial and ornamental purposes. These strands of wampum were presented to the Matthew Elliott Family by Tecumseh prior to his death at the Battle of Moraviantown in present-day Thamesville, Ontario, on 5 October 1813.

For more information about Tecumseh and his role in the War of 1812, read A Warrior’s Death in the This Week in History archives.

Wampum Beads, 25 strands Wampum Beads, 25 strands
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