Trade silver armbands, worn only by men, were also referred to as arm plates, spangles, bracelets and clasps. They were usually worn just above the elbow, but were made large enough so they could also be worn on the leg.

Portraits of18th century Native Americans show that armbands were often adorned with fox tails, strips of fur and wampum or feathers.

Unlike armbands,wristbands were worn by men, women and children. Sometimes as many as five wristbands were worn on one wrist.

An early American silver trader once observed that to Indians, "all silver ornaments were regarded as amulets and functioned in the same manner as a prayer. Bracelets were reffered to as sacred or holy bands, and were the most important form in this regard."
A Huron Indian Chief holding a wampum belt. He is wearing trade silver armbands and wristbands on each arm, as well as medals and earhweels.