: beads of polished shells strung in strands, belts, or sashes and used by North American Indians as money, ceremonial pledges, and ornaments
Examples of WAMPUM
- <made some real wampum on that last business deal>
Origin of WAMPUM
short for wampumpeag
First Known Use: 1636
Related to WAMPUM
- bread [slang], bucks, cabbage [slang], cash, change, chips, coin, currency, dough, gold, green, jack [slang], kale [slang], legal tender, lolly [British], long green [slang], loot, lucre, moola (or moolah) [slang], needful, pelf, scratch [slang], shekels (also sheqels or shekelim or shekalim or sheqalim), tender, money
wampum noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Tubular shell beads assembled into strings or woven into belts or embroidered ornaments. The Algonquian word (short for wampumpeag) translates as string of white (shell beads). Before contact with white settlers, Indians used wampum primarily ceremonially or in gift exchanges. In the early 17th century it came to be used as money in trade with whites, because of a shortage of European currency.
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