Onondaga CEO Jake Edwards talks about Two Row Wampum`s contract at an event in February at Syracuse Stage. A special issue of the Journal of Early American History is devoted to the Two Row Wampum Agreement. Prior to Confederation, certain groups of indigenous peoples, particularly those in the eastern forests, agreed with some treaties by handing over long wampum belts to crown officials. Some examples are the Hiawatha Belt (the Haudenosaunee Belt), the Covenant Wampum of 1764 and the Two-Row Wampum Belt (Kaswentha). “Forever” is described by our ancestors in this agreement in these terms: “As long as the grass is green, as long as the water goes down and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.” This is the first place where these words were spoken. Then you hear them from the movies, you listen to them in different places. The United States has used these real words in some treaties, which were concluded in 19 but this is the first time they have been spoken to here by the Haudenosaunee to say that this contract would be allowed to last forever. We didn`t think your paper would survive the times. The Haudenosaunee two-hemille belt (Kaswentha) is a well-known example of a wampum belt. It symbolizes still an agreement of mutual respect and peace between the Haudenosaunee and the European newcomers (first the Dutch) in North America.
The principles have been embodied by its design in the belt: two rows of purple pumps on the background of white beads represent a canoe and a European boat. Parallel pathways are the rules governing the behaviour of indigenous and European peoples. Kaswentha stipulates that neither group will impose its laws, traditions, customs or language, but will coexist peacefully if each group follows its own path. “As long as the sun shines, as long as the water goes down and the grass turns green, it is found in many contracts according to the Treaty of 1613,” Lyons said. “It is a relationship of justice and peace. The purpose of this campaign is to remind people of the importance of agreements. “The establishment of these two realities, however, does not discredit the tradition of an agreement between the Dutch and Iroquois representatives, which should later become the basis for Anglo-British and then American negotiations with the Iroquois,” write Paul Otto and Jaap Jacobs in the introduction. The Haudenosaunee explained to the Dutch that they did not use paper to record their story. They make belts in white and purple shells. The Haudenosaunee made a belt to record this agreement. The belt has two purple rows that run side by side and represent two boats.
A boat is the canoe with the Haudenosaunee way of life, laws and people. The other is the Dutch boat, with its laws, its religion and its people. The boats will descend side by side the river of life. Each nation will respect the ways of the other and will not interfere in the other. “Together, we will travel in friendship and peace forever; As long as the grass is green, as long as the water goes down, as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and as long as our Mother Earth persists. The Haudenosaunee and the Dutch agreed on three principles to make this treaty the last. The first was friendship; The Haudenosaunee and their white brothers will live in friendship. The second principle is peace; there will be peace between their two men. The last principle is eternal; agreement will still be in place.