Wampum exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 14 December 2021 at 09h39
From February 8 to May 15, 2022, the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac dedicates an exhibition to Wampum, a shell bead from the Atlantic coast of North America. A bead with a lot of meaning about the Native American societies in the north-east of this region.

Have you heard about Wampum? It is a shell bead found on the Atlantic coast of North America and that the Native American societies have included into their cultures and functioning, its use being diverse. This shell bead is dedicated an exhibition from February 8 to May 15, 2022, by the musée du Quai Branly, called “Wampum. Beads of diplomacy from former Royal New France”.

The bead was originally used as an ornament or a symbol of prestige or even “exchanged and gifted”. Its use is diversified in the 17th and 18th centuries “within the context of relations between the indigenous nations and European colonies who settled in this vast territory” spanning from south Quebec to South Carolina. A genuine witness of a chapter of the Native American, North American and European history, also providing “a valuable point of entry to understanding the societies that were formed during the era of New France (1600-1763), through the exchanges, alliances and clashes between the Native Americans, French and English”.

All in all, about fifty pieces and items are displayed shining a light on “all aspects of wampum: a coveted raw material, made into beads and other objects like diplomatic belts, a tool for oral histories, a trade resource, a sign of power and prestige, and a religious object”. The exhibition also stands for the “fundamental role among Native American nations, particularly the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Huron-Wendat and the Abenaki”. Shall we discover Wampum, friends?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 8 February 2022 to 15 May 2022



    Quai Branly
    75007 Paris 7


    Métro ligne 9 station "Iéna", RER C station "Pont de l'Alma"

    Tarif réduit: €9
    Plein tarif: €12

    Official website

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    Ouvert les mardi, mercredi, vendredi, samedi et dimanche de 10h30 19h, ouvert le jeudi de 10h30 à 22h. Fermé le lundi

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