Join us for a conversation with Dr. Henry Lickers

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Dr. Henry Lickers

Haudenosaunee citizen of the Seneca Nation,Turtle Clan; Canadian Commissioner for the International Joint Commission; Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

"Polishing the Belts". Translators and integrators needed:

Polishing the belts is an age-old tradition among the Haudenosaunee Peoples. The Belts refer to the Wampum Belts made by the nations to signify treaties or agreement made between these nations, communities and societies. Friendship belts were most common among allies. The Two Row wampum or Gaswenta was a friendship agreement between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch settler representing all of the North American settlers. Since the belt was constructed of shell bead, if they were put down and left, the beads would soon become tarnished and dull as would their agreement so a ceremony was started that every once and awhile the belts would be brought out and polished so that the bead would shine again. Polishing the Belts represent the renewing of old agreements and friendships. While polishing the belts, translators were needed to interpret each bead or polish its ideas. Integrators were needed to bring alive or communicate anew the belts fine agreements. 

Today let's begin "Polishing the Belts"

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