Art as National Literature: The Cherokee Wampum Belt. The color white and the Cherokee. White is a universal symbol of peace The traditional peace-pipe was made of white stone The word for white is often found in sacred formulas to mean peace and happiness
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“In towns of the Cherokee confederacy people gathered annually to hear the tribal orator, a priest who was sometimes called "the beloved man" recite the common law of the confederacy. "When the orator spoke the law, he was reading the meaning of history and tradition contained in the tribal wampum. He held the ancient and sacred wampum belts in his hand" (Strickland, 11).
Keetoowah (Nighthawk) Society members with the historic wampum of the Cherokees near Gore, Oklahoma, in 1916. Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society