The Sacred Wampum Belts

The Sacred Wampum Belts

In 1970, Elder William Commanda became Keeper of three sacred wampum belts of historical and spiritual importance. These belts, together with another one which disappeared many decades ago, were held by his great great grandfather, Pakinawatik, and they carry testimony of significant prophecies, agreements and understandings which have guided the Anicinabe peoples for centuries. They have inspired the Elderšs work over the past thirty years. In 1987, he began sharing the messages of the Wampum Belts publicly during the constitutional debates, and he has continued to do so since. Elder Commanda notes that the three belts he carries are living belts, since they are not housed in museums, and of late he has shared their messages with increasing urgency. This is consistent with the prophecy that speaks of the return of the voice of indigenous peoples.

The core messages of the three Wampum Belts is shared here. Additional information will eventually be included in the Wisdom Page.

The Seven Fires Prophecy Belt

Elder Commanda is believed to be the keeper of this ancient sacred belt dating back to the late 1400s at the time of the unfolding of its final message ­ the message of CHOICE about our relationships with each other and with all creations of Mother Earth. Will we be guided by values of sharing, balance and harmonious co-existence?

The 1700's Belt

In this three figure belt about equitable SHARING, William Commandašs ancestors inscribed their understanding about sharing the resources of their native land and their values and ideology with the newcomers, the French and the English, in the spirit of a confederacy, in sacred wampum shell. The inherent value of sharing remains the elusive quest of our times.

The Jay Treaty Border Crossing Belt

This belt underscores the fundamental spiritual message of indigenous peoples about BORDERLESSNESS: the Elderšs people, the Mamuwinini, the nomads, belong to North America, and as such they retain a sacred connection and responsibility to the land they are born to. As Elder Commanda puts it, "My territory is as the river flows, as the bird flies and as the wind blows."