Artist Statement

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Wampum comes from the quahog shell, renowned for its deep purple coloring. It is found mostly in the northeast, from Long Island, New York to New England.Wampum has been used in my culture  in ceremonies, regalia, trade agreements, and treaties to connect our people and remind them of their connection to the water and earth, which gives us life and food.  We as eastern woodland natives treasure wampum; its beautiful colors allow us to wear it with pride and know that our ancestors have been working with it for thousands of years. My art work allows me to connect with my ancestors by carrying on their traditions and also saying to the world we are still here and we are still connected with our genealogical ties to the land. In my work, I transform the shells into something that is familiar to the viewer. It is my way of communicating that to Natives, the shells are more than just what they appear to be at face value and provide the viewer with a glimpse of the spiritual connection that we have with the shells and mother earth.