Kwe kwe! She:kon! Wa’tkwanonhwerá:ton!
My name is Darren Bonaparte and I am from the Mohawk community of Ahkwesáhsne on the St. Lawrence River. I’m not so much a historian as a historical journalist—someone trying to get to the truth about history rather than bore you to tears with the trivia of it. Mohawk history is an awesome subject, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Mohawk, or because I flunked Mohawk math and science.
I created the Wampum Chronicles website in 1999 as a way of promoting my research into the history and culture of the Rotinonhsión:ni—the People of the Longhouse. Around this time I began to make wampum belt reproductions and used them in presentations I gave at schools, colleges, conferences and festivals throughout the US and Canada. I must have done a half decent job of it, because in 2003 I was asked to serve as a historical advisor for a PBS documentary about the French and Indian War. I have been involved with several other TV projects since then.
In 2006, I published my first solo book project, Creation & Confederation: The Living History of the Iroquois, which was the result of my research into the many published versions of the traditional creation story and the Peacemaker legend, the two “epics” of Rotinonhsión:ni culture. In 2009, I published the follow-up, A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha. This was a study of European contact and colonization at the Eastern Door of the Longhouse that culminated with the life of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha, the Lily of the Mohawks.
Lately, I’ve been burning up the roads doing wampum belt presentations and book signings in New York, Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec, but hopefully I will get back to writing again and finish the next two books in the series.
To celebrate the Wampum Chronicles’ tenth year online, I thought I would strip it down and give it a new coat of paint. I’ve created a few new pages to promote some of my projects, and have revamped a few of the existing pages so that they’re a little easier on the eyes. The old homepage and its Atari Space Invaders look is history!Darren Bonaparte