Two Row Wampum Belt Shared
in U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Representative Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) spoke in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 19 to express support for changing the name of the Washington “Redskins” football team. Rep. Maffei, who was part of greeting the Two Row flotilla in New York City on August 9, brought a replica of the Two Row Wampum belt with him to the House to share with his colleagues.
“Mr. Speaker, in my office, and with me now, I keep a replica of a belt, a two-row wampum belt called the Guswenta. It was lent to me by the Onondagas, and it symbolizes one of the first treaties between the Native Americans and the Europeans, concluded in 1613, between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee. The two rows of Wampum, which are beads made out of shells, represent Europeans and Native Americans, and they’re equal in size and travel together along a strip of white, representing peace. It was, and still is, a symbol of friendship and community.”
Rep. Maffei went on to talk about the Treaty of Canandaigua and President Washington’s role in that treaty. You can find a full report here.