18, Ho-Chunk and Oneida
I create traditional wampum jewelry, where I harvest quahog shells In Massachusetts, and eat or donate the meat, and then create beads from the shell pieces. I have learned this art from my dad, and Oneida history, as wampum is important to the indigenous people from out east. I used purple in this piece for a high elder, which was used as the highest sign of respect. I focus on the rings of the shell, which is much like the rings of a tree. It tells the story of each animal.