I've been making my unique simulated wampum beads, since 1993.
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|W0||Simulated Wampum Beads
I manufacture my own affordable individually-made simulated wampum beads that actually -look- like the Native-made wampum beads of the 1600's. Other types of imitation glass or shell wampum beads available today can lead to frustrating attempts to reproduce durable realistic looking wampum belts. I've found the translucent white and blue glass beads are too skinny; their sharp edges cut even the strongest of threads. The iridescent soft-shell beads, made in Asia and dyed to a purple far too light for quahog, fade after exposure to sun or water to their original white color.
My beads (1cm long x .5 cm diameter), made from hand-mixed acrylic, are sturdy and have the same color, stripes and variation as real quahog and whelk beads, resulting in beads perfect for custom work and museum quality repairs.
In northeastern North America, woven belts of tubular shell beads were traditionally made by Native Americans from the 16th through the 18th century. Wampum beads were made in two colors, white from the whelk shell and purple from the growth rings of the quahog shell. Prehistoric shell beads were large and barrel shaped, usually made from the whelk's spiraling inner columnela. Prehistoric shell beads were scarce because drilling the material was difficult with wide stone drill bits. This proto-wampum would have been traded in ceremonial contexts because of the peoples' connections of shell with water and life giving properties. European traders and politicians, using beads and trinkets, often exploited the traditional system's of gift-exchange to gain Native American favor or territory. Wampum, though taking the form of a longer and more slender bead, was eventually mass produced by the Dutch and other Europeans. As it became more recognized as a formal currency, wampum continued in use until the American Revolution.
Please specify amout of White & Purple beads in even lots of 100.
|$ 0.06 ea.
$0.04 ea. if you order 1000 beads or more.
Genuine quahog shells collected from New England beachs. The shells range in shape, condition, and size (from 2 inches to 5 inches) but each shell has some amount of purple on it. The price is for each individual half shell.
|WS2||Elk Hide Lace - variable Length
My hand cut elk hide lacing is the perfect leather to use as warp for your wampum weaving projects. Cut from heavy weight (4-6 oz) commercially tanned 'natural smoke' colored elk hide, each piece of lace measures six feet in length (2 yds.), and about a 1/2 cm wide (just less than 1/4 inch wide).
|WS3||Imitation Sinew - 60 Foot Spool (20 yds.)
Made to mimic deer or elk backstrap sinew. Waxed Nylon string that splits into five separate lengths. The thinner lengths are perfect for use in weaving wampum belts. That's 300 feet of split sinew!
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 564
Vernon, CT 06066
Waaban Aki Crafting