Definitions

wampum

wampum

[wom-puhm, wawm-]
wampum [New England Algonquian,=white string of beads], beads or disks made by Native Americans from the shells of mollusks found on the eastern coast or along the larger rivers of North America, used as a medium of exchange and in jewelry. Considered sacred, it was also used in a variety of rituals. In general, wampum beads were cylindrical. They were highly prized by the Native Americans, particularly by those of the Eastern Woodlands and Plains cultural areas. On the Pacific coast, shell ornaments (especially gorgets) were also used, but wampum was principally important in trade in what is now the NE United States. Wampum was passed by trade to inland tribes. Used as a currency or shell money, there were two varieties—the white, which is the only sort properly called wampum, and the more valuable purple, which went by a variety of names. Wampum was used for the ornamentation of such things as necklaces and collars. Wampum belts were of particular ceremonial importance because they were typically exchanged when a treaty of peace was signed. Frequently the belts had pictograph designs on them. Wampum was also used by white fur traders in their trade with the Native Americans in the early part of the 17th cent.

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.

Learn more about wampum with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Wampum is a borough in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 678 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Wampum is located at (40.888657, -80.339650).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (4.17%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 678 people, 290 households, and 182 families residing in the borough. The population density was 736.1 people per square mile (284.5/km²). There were 310 housing units at an average density of 336.6/sq mi (130.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.05% White, 1.77% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.44% Asian, and 0.59% from two or more races.

There were 290 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the borough the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $29,205, and the median income for a family was $36,094. Males had a median income of $31,023 versus $26,071 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,598. About 11.8% of families and 17.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable Residents

It is the birthplace of former baseball All-Star Dick Allen and his brothers Hank and Ron Allen. Also the birthplace and home of semi-professional hockey player Matthew Puntureri. [hockeydb.com]

References

Search another word or see wampumon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;