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Meaning of WAMPUM

Pronunciation:  'wâmpum

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and used by certain Native American peoples as jewelry
  2. [n]  small beads made from polished shells and formerly used as money by native Americans

WAMPUM is a 6 letter word that starts with W.


 Synonyms: peag
 See Also: beads, medium of exchange, monetary system, string of beads, wampumpeag



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Wam"pum\, n. [North American Indian wampum, wompam, from
the Mass. w['o]mpi, Del. w[=a]pe, white.]
Beads made of shells, used by the North American Indians as
money, and also wrought into belts, etc., as an ornament.

      Round his waist his belt of wampum.      --Longfellow.

      Girded with his wampum braid.            --Whittier.

Note: These beads were of two kinds, one white, and the other
      black or dark purple. The term wampum is properly
      applied only to the white; the dark purple ones are
      called suckanhock. See {Seawan}. ``It [wampum]
      consisted of cylindrical pieces of the shells of
      testaceous fishes, a quarter of an inch long, and in
      diameter less than a pipestem, drilled . . . so as to
      be strung upon a thread. The beads of a white color,
      rated at half the value of the black or violet, passed
      each as the equivalent of a farthing in transactions
      between the natives and the planters.'' --Palfrey.