wampum


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wam·pum

 (wŏm′pəm, wôm′-)
n.
1. Small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts, formerly used by certain Native American peoples as currency and jewelry or for ceremonial exchanges between groups. Also called peag.
2. Informal Money.

[Short for wampumpeag.]

wampum

(ˈwɒmpəm)
n
1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) (formerly) money used by North American Indians, made of cylindrical shells strung or woven together, esp white shells rather than the more valuable black or purple ones
2. (Currencies) (formerly) money used by North American Indians, made of cylindrical shells strung or woven together, esp white shells rather than the more valuable black or purple ones
3. (Banking & Finance) informal US and Canadian money or wealth
Also called: wampumpeag, peag or peage
[C17: short for wampumpeag, from Narraganset wampompeag, from wampan light + api string + -ag plural suffix]

wam•pum

(ˈwɒm pəm, ˈwɔm-)

n.
1. cylindrical beads made from shells, pierced and strung, used by North American Indians as a medium of exchange, for ornaments, and for ceremonial and spiritual purposes.
2. Informal. money.
[1630–40; short for wampumpeag]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.wampum - informal terms for moneywampum - informal terms for money    
money - the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender; "we tried to collect the money he owed us"
2.wampum - small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or beltswampum - small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts; used by certain Native American peoples as jewelry or currency
beads, string of beads - several beads threaded together on a string

wampum

noun
Informal. Something, such as coins or printed bills, used as a medium of exchange:
Chiefly British: brass.
References in classic literature ?
He also bore a knife in a girdle of wampum, like that which confined the scanty garments of the Indian, but no tomahawk.
Now, Uncas," he continued, in a half whisper, and laughing with a kind of inward sound, like one who had learned to be watchful, "I will bet my charger three times full of powder, against a foot of wampum, that I take him atwixt the eyes, and nearer to the right than to the left.
By his side a noble figure, but still a counterfeit, appeared an Indian hunter, with feathery crest and wampum belt.
The Indians had a sort of money, called wampum, which was made of clam-shells; and this strange sort of specie was likewise taken in payment of debts by the English settlers.
Let the bow, and tomahawk, and pipe, and the wampum of Mohegan he laid in his grave; for when he starts 'twil be in the night, like a warrior on a war-party, and he can not stop to seek them.
The men, especially, who in savage life carry a passion for personal decoration further than the females, did not think their gala equipments complete unless they had a jewel of hiaqua, or wampum, dangling at the nose.
The chief value of the new fact is to enhance the great and constant fact of Life, which can dwarf any and every circumstance, and to which the belt of wampum and the commerce of America are alike.
Mahtoree assured himself of the right position of his tomahawk, felt that his knife was secure in its sheath of skin, tightened his girdle of wampum and saw that the lacing of his fringed and ornamental leggings was secure, and likely to offer no impediment to his exertions.
Created from the quahog clam, wampum came to be an invaluable currency that conveyed history, status and economic messages among Cherokee people.
Wampum, a surf-and-skate shop, will be opening its third location at the 1232 Surf Avenue property.
But Jim Callus, the manager of dear old Camp Sokum Wampum (not its real name, but the inference is sound), knocked that idea in the head via the telephone on the eve of their departure.
About 60 people gathered to learn about wampum from historians, curators and artists.