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Neil Patterson Sr., left, presents the Wampum Belt to ECU Provost Marilyn Sheerer before the Voyages of Discovery lecture Thursday night on campus at East Carolina University. Photos by Cliff Hollis ECU News Bureau
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Neil Patterson Sr., left, presents the Wampum Belt to ECU Provost Marilyn Sheerer before the Voyages of Discovery lecture Thursday night on campus at East Carolina University. Photos by Cliff Hollis ECU News Bureau

Grand gesture centuries in making

“The last person who had this done was a guy by the name of George Washington.”


Neil Patterson Sr.
speaking about Wampum belt

By Jeannine 
Manning Hutson

ECU News Services

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Neil Patterson Sr. of the Tuscarora Nation walked to the stage in Hendrix Theatre on East Carolina University’s campus Thursday night and announced to the audience that they were about to witness “something that hasn’t been done in a couple hundred years.”

With three chiefs, clan mothers and others representing the Tuscarora Nation on the stage with him, Patterson presented Provost Marilyn Sheerer a wampum belt for the people of the state. Wampum belts have varicolored beads arranged in patterns and used as a history record or for ceremony such as the ratification of a treaty.


The Tuscarora delegates made the presentation during one of the first sessions of the Nooherooka 300 commemoration, which will conclude today with events near Snow Hill at the site of the 1713 battle at Fort Nooherooka.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart