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Grant number like: FT-58325-10

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Paul Otto
George Fox University (Newberg, OR 97132-2697)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

Beads of Power: Wampum and the Making of Early America

My project is to undertake primary-source research on the history of wampum, the strings of shell beads originally used by northeastern Native Americans for ceremonial purposes. Wampum also played a profound role in European-Native American relations, European and Native American economies, and in the evolution of early American society--yet its importance in early America is often overlooked. The long-term result of this project is a book-length study surveying the development of wampum from its origins through the colonial American period as it was created, used, and modified by both Native Americans and Europeans. During the stipend period I will give particular focus to the various names under which wampum was known, exploring the different meanings and uses of the terms, investigating what they reveal about relationships between people who made and used wampum, and considering how the diverse terminology related to wampum's evolution. I will also visit the Huntington Library.