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Wampumpeag

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Wampumpeag

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:53 pm

• wampumpeag •


Pronunciation: wahm-pêm-peeg • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: Beads made from shells and used by the Algonquian tribes as money for trade at the time the first Europeans arrived in Massachusetts; usually shortened to wampum in English.

Notes: Today's word was used widely by early settlers in New England but later it was cut into wampum and peag, which were used with the same meaning as the original. A similar currency of less value, called roanoke, was used by the Native Americans in Virginia. Roanoke today is a lovely city of about 92,000 people located in central Virginia.

In Play: It is difficult to believe that the first settlers in the North American colonies used the monetary system of the Native Americans. The early colonists traded a lot with Native Americans, but initially had no means of securing printed money. So article 154 of the General Laws of Massachusetts of 1643 reads as follows: "Wampampeag shall pass currant [sic] in the payment of Debts, to the payment of forty shillings, the white at eight a penny, the black at four, so as they be entire without breaches or deforming spots."

Word History: Wampumpeag came from one of the Algonquian languages, probably Abnaki. The original was probably wampampiak "white beads". This supposition is based on the existence of related words such as Abnaki wambambiar "string of beads" and Delaware wapapi "white wampum". The word is a compound of two elements, wamp- "white" + "ampi "bead" + the Algonquin plural ending -ag. The division of the word into wampum and peag resulted from Europeans misanalyzing the compound under the influence of English syllable structure.
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:21 pm

Here is a link to a news article about wampum for those who wish to know more. The doc's piece is already an education.
http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo08017.html
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:39 pm

Quite extensive, thanks.
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby MTC » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:55 pm

You're welcome, Luke. In the spirit of Thanksgiving here's another rich helping from a site on The History of Money:

At about 1200 B.C. in China, cowry shells became the first medium of exchange, or money. The cowry has served as money throughout history even to the middle of this century.

First Metal Money
China, in 1,000 B.C., produced mock cowry shells at the end of the Stone Age. They can be thought of as the original development of metal currency.

(http://library.thinkquest.org/28718/history.html)

Not to leave North American indigenous people out of the picture, the site also mentions wampum:

In 1535, though likely well before this earliest recorded date, strings of beads made from clam shells, called wampum, are used by North American Indians as money. Wampum means white, the color of the clam shells and the beads.

Careering back to the Chinese,

The largest foreign holder of U.S. debt* is China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds, according to the Treasury.

(http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatt ... na-Own.htm)

*Payable in cowries, wampum, or US dollars.
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:13 pm

"Come, they told me wam pam peag pam."
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby Slava » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:23 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:"Come, they told me wam pam peag pam."
Ow.
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby gailr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:19 pm

An excellent hymn for passing the collection plate. :wink:
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Whence the Greenback

Postby Slava » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:22 pm

A rather nice piece from the Beeb on the US dollar:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25119865

I wonder why most sources ignore the -peag part.
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Re: Wampumpeag

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:35 pm

It's on another page?
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