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Hiawatha wampum belt?

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January 20, 2009 2:22AM

Many small beads are sewn together to form a belt. Wampum belts are used to commemorate great events, treaties, and laws. It is the beads, purple and white in color, made from the Cohag shell that gives us the color of our flag. The Hiawatha wampum belt is comprised of thirty-eight rows, with a heart represented by a great tree in the center. On either side there are two squares, all are connected with the heart by white rows of wampum. The belt is the symbol of unity among the five original Nations. The first square on the right represents the Mohawk Nation, Keeper of the Eastern Door. The inner square on the right represents the Oneida Nation. The white tree of peace in the middle represents the Onondaga Nation. The Great Peace is lodged in the heart, meaning that the Haudenosaunee council fire is to burn at Onondaga, serving as the capitol of the Haudenosaunee. The inner square to the left of the heart represents the Cayuga Nation. The last square, the one furthest to the left represents the Seneca Nation, known as the Keepers of the Western Door. The two lines extending from each side of the squares of the belt, from the Mohawk and Seneca Nations, represent a path of peace that other Nations are welcome to travel in order to take shelter beneath the Great Tree of Peace.