The two rows of purple in the Two Row Wampum belt represent two rows of people, natives and non-natives, paddling down the river of life side-by-side, with respect and friendship for each other. This August, we brought that metaphor to life. We really did paddle in two lines — native paddlers on the west and allies on the east. Sometimes we'd chant -- with one row yelling "Two Row!" and the other row responding, "Wampum!"
Sometimes our leader, Hickory, would stop paddling and signal to the rest of us by holding his paddle high in the air, horizontal. Other paddlers followed, holding up their paddles for all to see. That meant a rest break, a chance for slower paddlers to catch up. That's when we'd clump together, holding the sides of kayaks and canoes to raft together, sharing water and snacks. The safety paddlers, who wore orange bandanas so that we knew who they were, would dart about to check on everyone. "Do you have enough water? Stay hydrated!"