A string of white and black beads made from shells is an example of wampum.
Other Word Forms
Origin of wampum
- Short for wampumpeag
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From wampumpeag (from Narragansett), due to Europeans' mistaken interpretation of the term as a compound of "˜wampum' + "˜peag'; it is, in fact, a compound of wamp, wompi (“white") + umpe (“string") + -ag (plural suffix), in reference to the string of white shell-beads and not the individual beads.