Make Your Own Wampum Belt CraftApril 10, 2020
Wampum beads — purple and white beads made from seashells or (later) glass — were woven into patterns on belts to commemorate agreements between different communities of Native Americans and Europeans. Native American nations, such as the Oneida Nation, would design these belts to document what they discussed with others.
This craft activity, developed in consultation with Native American advisors, will help you learn some wampum vocabulary while coloring in your own symbols and messages.
Wampum Belt Craft
- Markers crayons, or Colored Pencils
- PDF instruction and template (see below)
- Color the beads to design a Wampum belt using typical symbols.
- Cut the strips apart and tape them together for a longer belt.
The wampum belt craft was originally released as part of the Museum's Virtual Spring Break programming, sponsored by PECO, which ran online in April 2020, featuring do-at-home crafts and activities, virtual story time, Artisan Field Trip living history interviews, and live Q&As with Museum staff.