The Mystery of The Royal Wampum Belt of the Wampanoag




When the colonists explored the area south and west of Plimouth Colony, they found many abandoned Wampanoag villages. Much of the land around these ghostly vacant villages was littered with the skulls and bones of Wampanoag people who died from a devastating smallpox invasion brought to New England in 1617 by Captain John Smith. By the time the mayflower landed, the numbers of natives had been reduced to a "manageable" number.
A treaty of peace between the survivors of the Wampanoag tribe and Plimouth Colony lasted forty years. During that time, the innocence of the Wampanoag was lost when their land was taken from them under the guise of lies and misconception on the colonists' part. The first example of this, was the deed to Bridgewater, signed by Massasoit in 1649 for the equivalent of $35 in today's standards. The great chief thought he was merely granting permission for the colonists to use the very fertile 70 square miles sold under the terms of a treaty unfathomable for a native American to understand.
For four decades, relations were peaceful. But after the death of Massasoit and the alleged murder of his son, Alexander, at the hands of Major Josiah Winslow of the Plimouth colony Militia, that era was over. A new one was brewing. Alexander's younger brother, "King Philip" was now chief. And decisions needed to be made. The plan of the colonists was clear now. All pretense gone.
The course of events that followed would be the most brutal, inhumane, horrific war ever to be fought on American soil...and even ever fought by a man born in America. Skinnings and corpal mutilation. Bodies chopped with axes and hung in trees. Heads chopped and spiked for display. The 100% true events of King Philip's War are far more horrific than anything anyone in Hollywood could possibly dream up.




A very unlikely scenerio of how Church gained control of the belt in his narrative:
 "Entertaining passages from King Philip's War".
At the end of the war, the royal belongings of the Wampanoag Tribe were taken by Captain Benjamin Church in Rehoboth, MA upon the capture of Chief Annawon. Those belongings included six feet of beads "curiously wrought with wompom, being nine inches broad, wrought with black and white in various figures and flower, and pictures of many birds and beasts".  The sacred royal wampum belt was believed to be very powerful. It had belonged to King Philip. This victory of capturing the most single most sacred item to the Wampanoags was a source of great pride for Plimouth Colony. Now Church had King Philip's head the royal tribal belt. TWO trophies to present to Plimouth. Church must have been proud, indeed.

Benjamin Church claimed that Annawon simply passed over the royal items of King Philip. This is highly unlikely. However Church came to possess them, where they ended up in a 300-year old mystery. Where the belts were stored for the next nine months or so is unknown. Possibly they were kept at a private residence in Swansea. But we do know that in the spring of 1677, the belts were supposedly sent to the King of England. But yet the royal tribal items were never received.

In the 1990s, members of The Rehoboth Historical Society wrote a letter to Prince Charles asking for a search of England's archives and museums for the missing Wampum Belt. According to Charles Turek Robinson in his book, True New England Mysteries, Ghosts, Crimes and Oddities, what resulted was "what might become the most thorough and comprehensive search to date in England." But the belt was never found.

​The theory of the missing belt is a very popular one as to why the Bridgewater Triangle is tainted with so many instances of depression, insanity, suicide, tragic car accidents and drownings and murders. To this day, all of this strange phenomenon is still occurring. And it will continue.