The Circle of the Fifty Sachems of the Covenant of the League of the Five Nations The original of this wampum record was made at the time of the Founding of the League and has been handed down through a line of Wampum Keepers until the present time. This circle of white wampum represents the seating plan of the fifty sachems of the Iroquois Confederate Council. Each strand stands for a Confederate Lords name. They are bound together by intertwined strands representing the Unity of the Great Law of Peace, Kaianerenkó:wa, The circle of white wampum is very sacred.
Wampum Strings play a very important role in council proceedings, condolence ceremony, and any matters of importance.
Here is a list of just a few of the many Wampum Strings.
15 Strings of Condolence - When a chief dies a condolence ceremony is held and the 15 strings of condolence is read. If the 3 elder brothers, Mohawk, Onondagas, or Senecas should lose one of their chiefs the younger brothers, Cayuga, Oneida, and Tuscarora shall console them. If the chief that dies is from any of the younger brother's nations then the elder brothers shall console them. At the end of this day long Condolence Ceremony a sucessor shall be appointed by the clan mother to take the place of the departed chief.
Council Fire - Eight strings of Wampum tied togther by buckskin stand for the original five nations and the three adopted nations, Tuscarora, Tutelo, and Nanticoke. This Wampum is used at the opening and closing of council meetings
Confessional Wampum of Handsome Lake - This Wampum is ten strings, all white, all pure and sacred. This Wampum is held by followers of Handsome Lake while confessing sins and pledging to lead a better and more pure life in the future.
Chief's Pledge Wampum - When a new chief is installed he shall furnish four strings of shell wampum on span length bound together at one end. He will hold the wampum and pledge to the chiefs of the league that he will live according to the Great Law and will exercise justice in all affairs.
Invitation Wampum - A runner is sent among all the nations to let them know when an important event is coming the requires the attandance of all the nations.