Wampum belts created to learn about American Indians


Elizabeth Mooney

Fifth grade student, Mila Bair making her Wampum Belt.

Wampum belts are woven and beaded belts put together by American Indian nations in the northeastern and central United States, and they were first made in the year 1613. 

This year Mrs. Boyd’s fifth grade social studies class created Wampum belts. In past years they have just drawn and colored them, but this year, the students have made them out of beads and string. They first draw them out, then they will put the beads on the string. This is the first year they have made Wampum belts like these and her students really enjoyed it. Mrs. Nicely has been doing this project for a while and she taught Mrs. Boyd how to do it.

“I liked when we drew them because we could go into more detail and they expressed more of what each person was, but I liked making the Wampum belts out of beads and string because it was more fun for my students,” Mrs. Boyd said.

5th grade student Austin Moreland says that he really enjoyed doing the Wampum belts. “My favorite part of doing the Wampum belts was putting the beads on,” Moreland said.

The fifth graders really enjoyed this project and it was a great experience for all of them. We can’t wait to find out if the fourth graders are going to be doing this next year, and if so, what they will look like.