The best-known shell bead was wampum: small, cylindrical, centrally drilled white and purple beads made primarily of the quahog clamshell. We often think of wampum as "Indian money," but it most emphatically was not. Wampum was sacred to northeastern Indians before the Europeans arrived. Since the mother countries did not want to lose coins in the colonies, Europeans adapted wampum as currency. It was legal tender in all thirteen original states up to the mid-18th century.
North American Indians had no written languages, therefore messages were transmitted through symbolic designs. Woven wampum belts developed as a device for recording important events. Signaling peaceful, warlike, or other intentions between tribes (or tribes and colonists), the belts were manufactured using beads of one color, with symbolic designs in another color.
White represented peace, promise, and good intention, whereas purple conveyed hostility, sadness or death. Red painted wampum was sent to other villages to indicate war. Councils could not meet without the proper searing arrangements embedded in a wampum string. Adoptions, mourning, speaking at council meetings, treaties and contracts all called for wampum.
As explorers began to come to North American, one of the significant items brought for gifts were glass beads from Europe. Using glass beads to win Indian friendship was a prevalent custom in the days when England, France, Sweden, Holland and Spain all vied for control of North American territories. These beads became very popular with the Indians, and later became important in the fur trade.
One beaver skin was worth a six-foot string of small beads in Sault Sainte Marie in 1860 and the red bead known as cornaline d'Aleppo or "Hudson Bay beads" carried an exchange value of six beads to one beaver skin. Lewis and Clark found the so-called Russian (a smooth or faceted blue glass) bead to be especially valued by the Indians on the Columbia River in Pacific Northwest. In the western Great Lakes region about 1675, the French introduced smaller "pony beads," thus named because they were transported by traders on ponies.
Beginning about 1840, colorful, tiny seed beads, usually two millimeters or less in diameter, were traded in bulk. With the introduction of seed beads with their uniform color and size, the ways of decorating clothing and objects changed dramatically. By 1800, glass beadwork appeared to have replaced quillwork as the means of ornamentation and has continued to be an integral part of Native American artwork.
Contributed by Jeanette Welch, Houston Bead Society
Sources: Beads of the World by Peter Francis, Jr., and The History of Beads
by Lois Sherr Dubin.
Sources: Beads of the World by Peter Francis, Jr., and The History of Beads by Lois Sherr Dubin.
Pecans were gathered, cracked, dried and stored to be used in a number of dishes, including a kind of pecan pie. Pecans in soup may sound far-fetched, but they are very good.
4 pounds of cut-up chicken parts
3 quarts of spring water
1/2 cup chopped shallots
6 springs of parsley
1/2 cup of pecans, coarsely chopped
Bring water and chicken parts to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, Remove any scum and add shallots and parsley. Simmer stock for another 1 1.2 hours Cool until grease forms and can be removed. Remove any bones as well. Return to heat. Bring to a boil and simmer, adding pecans. Cook 20 minutes and serve.
The titles of her books are:
The Beginner's Book on Indian Herbs and Plants ($8)
Nature's Grocery Store ($15)
Indian Dyes and Paints ($15)
Indian Herbs and Plants ($15)
(One of the best guides for identifying herbs is the Audobon guide on herbs.)
The Dallas Public Library has recently acquired the records from the North Carolina Archives pertaining to them. Among this is the controversial roll created by Frank C. Churchill in 1908. The final roll, known as the Baker Roll, dates from 1924.
If a person applied after 1963, he or she had to have one-sixteenth Eastern Cherokee Blood.
Many thanks to the Girl Scout Troup led my member Pam Morse for their
efforts in helping us illustrate the "real" life of Pocohantas. Thanks also
to additional artists, Nicole and Joe Bradshaw.