This is an authentic wampum bracelet, made with hand-drilled beads, shaped from Martha's Vineyard purple quahog shell.
The flat bead bracelet is 6-7mm by 11-13mm rectangular hand made beads strung side by side. Each bracelet is made to order and is priced by the inch at $70 USD per inch. The average bracelet is 7 inches long and $490. Please contact me for assistance ordering or measuring for the best fit.
As a third generation wampum artist and Aquinah Wampanoag Indian, I pride myself on completing every piece of the wampum process myself. From fishing for the quahogs in the waters of Martha's Vineyard, to shaping, drilling and polishing every bead by hand. Everything in my shop is authentic hand-made native jewelry that I create myself.
What is Wampum?
The Algonquin word for beads made from the hard shell clam(quahog) and whelk.When used as tribute by Southeast New England tribes the beads were considered a sign of respect and honor. Used as currency in lieu of scarce silver coinage, mostly for prized beaver and other fur pelts, the purple beads brought twice the value as the white in trade. Predominant in the coastal regions of southern New England, wampum enriched the tribes of this area during the early contact trading period. Wampum beads originally served as decoration and ornamentation, the individual beads painstakingly hand crafted by native artisans. A select group of contemporary Algonquin artists have reintroduced this craft as a tribute to the cultural and artistic contributions of algonquian people, and by doing so provide a tangible link to traditions of the past and the history of the region.
For more information about me or my art, visit http://home.earthlink.net/~strongdeer/index.html