International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 155-174

First online:

The Role of Wampum Production at the Albany Almshouse

  • Elizabeth S. PeñaAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

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This paper presents the archaeological and documentary evidence for wampum production at the Albany almshouse within its historical and cultural contexts and in light of Dutch notions of charity, while considering the continually shifting functions and meanings of wampum. It suggests that in the mid-eighteenth century, both the Dutch Reformed Church and private entrepreneurs were involved in producing wampum for trade on the northern and western frontiers.

wampum almshouse Albany colonial New York