As Long as the Grass is Green: 400th Anniversary of the Two-Row Wampum Belt, 1613-2013

The Kaswentha, commonly known as the Two Row Wampum, records the first agreement between the Dutch and Lotinuhsyu•ní•.  The year 2013 will mark the 400th anniversary of this agreement, which forms the basis for all future treaties made by any Native Nations with European governments.

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The wampum belt created to mark this event, the Kaswentha, has two purple parallel lines going side by side in a field of white, which is the river of life.  One of the purple lines represents a Lotinuhsyu•ní• canoe, which contains the laws, traditions and beliefs of the Lotinuhsyu•ní•.  The other purple line represents the Dutch’s great vessel, which contains their laws, traditions and beliefs.  The two lines represent their separate but equal paths as sovereign nations, traveling through life side-by-side, in harmony.  They are to remain close allies, but are not to interfere in each other’s course.  If at any time either the Dutch or the Lotinuhsyu•ní• wants to travel in the others’ path, they will have to leave everything behind in their own vessel. Similarly, if anyone wants to have one foot in each vessel, they will fall into the dark waters as the vessels drift apart. The three white rows separating the two purple rows signify peace, trust, and respect.

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