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MessagePublié: Mer 10 Sep 2014 14:25
par admin
The Vatican Wampum Belt:
An Important American Indian Artifact and its Cultural Origins and Meaning within the Category of "Religious" or "Ecclesiastical-Convert" Belts

Marshall Joseph Becker, Ph. D. - Professor of Anthropology
West Chester University of Pennsylvania -West Chester, PA 19383 USA


The Vatican wampum belt is an interesting and late example of a sub-category of examples that I call Religious, or Ecclesiastical-Convert, wampum belts. Religious Belts are distinct from the normal Secular (Diplomatic-Political) belts in their use, but were produced by native crafters using traditional technology but incorporating religious texts and/or themes that reflect their use within the Catholic church mission system. The first known examples of Religious belts date from the 1650s. The last known example is the Vatican belt that was made at the Lac des Deux Montagnes missionary community near Montreal in 1831 and sent as a gift to Pope Gregory XVI in Rome. As the last example of the "Religious" category of wampum belts, fashioned some 30 years after the end of the secular use of wampum belts in native diplomacy, the Vatican belt is of particular interest. The Vatican wampum belt, "missing" for over 75 years, recently was identified in the Vatican Museums' Ethnographic Collections. A detailed study of the actual belt and a reconstruction of its history provide us with insights into the use of belts as presentation pieces, or items made specifically for formal gift giving in expectation of a gift exchange. The study of this belt also provides information relating to the effects of Catholicism among native converts who lived in or had migrated to Canada.

Many descendants of various Native American groups in the northeast now believe that the Vatican wampum belt had been made by a Micmac or by an Abenaki group in New England or in eastern Canada, and at a date long before 1831. These ideas reflect modern beliefs held by some contemporary "native peoples" who are seeking to reinvent their past, or to recreate "culture," without having direct access to long lost cultural traditions. This lack of concern for the historical record parallels those research methodologies that ignore native folklore and native spiritual science . Only by evaluating and considering all lines of evidence can we hope to develop an understanding of the complex cultural processes involved in the history of wampum and wampum belts use in the past present and future development and evolution.

Have a good reading.


This belt seem to have received many interpretation depending of your religious beliefs and spiritual affiliation but here another version we received in 1993 at a shaking tent ceremony not recognize by the Christian believers . This belt is also called the Vatican belt for the one who support strongly the Current Christian Sante Mawiomi Council rather than the original traditional Mawiomi Confederacy Council .


Treaty of 1693, 1713, 1726, 1717, 1750, 1752, 19.. or 20..




This belt is a warning of what did happened at one time and what will be happening soon with the Wabanaki people. The lost and the revival of their belief, and the acquisition of their spiritual knowledge. This belt is also a reminder that all treaties had a spiritual connection and where sealed with the understanding that they are under a spiritual protection. It protects the original jurisdiction of the Wabanaki People, their communities, their Nations and their Confederacy.

As told by the one who shake the tent:

“Once upon a time long before the coming of the French and the English, people with armoured clothing, they looked like soldiers, came to the shore of the ocean where the sun rises. Those people where very aggressive toward the Wabanaki people living along the shore of the ocean. For sport, they shot the Wabanaki people with long guns with a small powder string hanging from it. These long guns stood on some kind of a stand.

Later around 1755, the same situation did happen again caused by people wearing long coats. They give money for each scalp of a Wabanaki person. Other people speaking a sort of French living in the east would also be killed for the same reason.

This belt has a great importance within the history of the Wabanaki people. This belt was to remind Monkton as he travelled on Wabanaki territory during the great war that the Wabanaki people once made a treaty with the French King with the support of the people of its church leaders and the one of the Wabanaki people and also a treaty of Peace and Friendship with the King of England with the support of the people of its church, and to remind him that he should never forget the intent of the treaty and how they where made, because it could happen again. Treaties are protected by the Creator laws.

This belt was balanced in respect of each Nation way of life and spiritual believes related to what was offered in those treaties. Hand in hand, it is expected that they will live side by side in respect of each other way of life and that they will have to ask all the spiritual leaders of both side who can read and speak the Creator laws to intervene if ever treaties are broken or not respected.

It also says that along the way the Wabanaki people would start loosing their own spiritual knowledge and would become Christian. The Knowledge of the spiritual belief of the Wabanaki people near the ocean would stay with the spirit people in the sky, the Star people our older brother and sisters, until such a time that the people are ready to learn it back and empower themselves to their knowledge.

One day will come when the Wabanaki people will go and seek for a while in other western Nations communities to learn about spiritual belief and spiritual knowledge but will soon find that this knowledge is different from theirs. This would bring lots of confusion between the Wabanaki people near the ocean and raise serious internal problem in their communities. The Wabanaki Elders will soon be rejecting this knowledge coming from Nation of the far west and the knowledge of the people they make treaty with.

This Wampum belt is also warning the Wabanaki people, that over time, if they do not keep up with the spiritual knowledge of their way of life, they will loose the understanding of who they are through their spirituality, they will be overpower by the faith and the believes of whom they had make the treaty with, and everyone on both side will loose the spirit and intent of the treaties. All Treaties are protected by the Creator laws.

It also said that a time will come when the Wabanaki people near the ocean will learn back their own ceremonies and at that time they will be able to empower themselves to the understanding of their own spiritual knowledge and what this wampum belt was all about and how it represent their own survival for the future. But the Wampum belt also said that one day the Wabanaki people near the ocean will want to regain the knowledge of their spiritual belief in respect of the new knowledge of the spiritual belief of the people they make the treaty with, because both knowledge will be respected as the people will find, it is coming from the same universal sources and the same Creator.

The people will learn to accept each other and to respect one another and that both spiritual knowledge will live side by side in their communities. The people will have a choice and the people will decide which spiritual knowledge they want to live by. People of both knowledge’s will accept to live together side by side in their own communities and no one will impose or try to destroy each other spiritual knowledge and way of life. They will learn from each other.

The prophet of the fourth Fire of the prophecy of the seven Fires spoke of a time when two races will join to make a Mighty Nation. The Métis are the Children of the prophecy of the Seven Fire. The Métis are living treaties. The people of that mighty Nation of the fourth fire are the Métis. This new Nation will be joined by two more races that four will formed the Mightiest Nation of all. This Mightiest Nation will be protected under a Great Wabanaki Confederacy of all the Nations.

Only then, peace will be retained in all the communities from the east, and the treaties will be respected and understood by all. It will come, one day you will have a new treaty, lots of people, all the Wabanaki Nations will be involved around the sacred fire. People will understand eventually. This is what the belt say. It's a prophecy. It reminds people how treaty were made and kept with the support and help of higher forces as understood and perceived by both side."

P.S. It would be interesting to receive the interpretation of Rome on this Wampum belt. This text was written as it was said with one minor change. I substituted the generic word Indian to Wabanaki people with of course the permission of the one who shake the tent.