Copyright © 2008-2021 Elizabeth James Perry :: www.elizabethjamesperry.com. She participated in a textile artist residency that was a partnership between Indigenous descendants in whaling communities from Massachusetts, Hawaii and Alaska. A local Wampanoag artist, Perry works primarily with Quahog shells to create handmade pieces including belts, earrings, necklaces and more. They recently worked together on an online exhibit called "Wampanoag Voices: Beyond 1620", a project that's in part a reflection on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower, and the ensuing consequences to native people, but more so a celebration of the vibrant native communities of our area. Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer. Through a Wampanoag Lens. A B O U T. Traditional singer, dancer, speaker and carver, Jonathan Perry is grounded in the traditions of his ocean-going ancestors. The objects featured include dried and smoked herring, multiple baskets, an anchor, and an eel trap, which was described by Aquinnah Wampanoag artist Elizabeth James-Perry. I think nowadays, as a modern native person. Elizabeth James-Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal member of Massachusetts is a life-long traditional artist, taught by family and community. All of the wampum beads in my jewelry are Native-made. No signup or install needed. It's taken me so many years to even begin to see the tip of the iceberg for the technology, for knowing the best time to get the dyes, the best mordant to use, the the nicest fiber plants, the best way to process that material and coax out something really beautiful that's very strong and durable and long-lasting. She sailed on the restored Morgan as a historic 38th Voyager. Preserving Cultural Heritage” with Archaeologist Joseph Greene, Deputy Director and Curator of the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. “As a … I mean, her connection and interest is clearly not simply academic. 1/4" deep x 1" wide x 6" long, plus fringe . 1973) N. Dartmouth Persian 3-ply wool 3 1/4" wide by 60" plus staggered 14" and 19" fringe Photo: Elizabeth James-Perry Pashpeshau: Rising Multiplicities – Indigenous Artists Speaker Series. The donor was a Dr. Lumbard Carter Jones, and he lived from 1865 to 1944. And so you can look at the width of the cloth, the type of dyes used the design work on it, and you can kind of narrow it down based on the communications going back and forth across the ocean to around circa 1710, I would say. Through a Wampanoag Lens. When we started this project, we really wanted to look for items that were clearly connected to specific communities. Introducing the 2017 Community Spirit Honorees. And it's actually really important that I think my generation does as much as they can because we have the opportunity and the time and the access still to collections, things still survive in collections. I've got to replace my gear. I don't want that. I'm gonna sit down with my friends and process cedar bark for all of the traps we're making. And they did some interesting research on it that really told us a lot about the age of the sash and possibilities of where it actually came from. The artist selects her shells carefully and cuts and finishes them all in the traditional way, by hand, to preserve their attractive contours and colors.… Elizabeth analyzed two historical Wampanoag objects, an eel trap, and a sash worn by a guy named King Philip. Out of the Ocean . Nov 21, 2013 - wampum necklace, Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag) Jonathan perry Aquinnah Wampanoag Traditional artist. Three Nations Armband . Some of the items collected, you know, I wish I knew more about this. I mean, I've been lucky enough to work with Elizabeth at the Peabody, but also at my previous museum, and she always changes the way I think about things and the way I look at things, I mean, her scientific, cultural, and historical knowledge is such a tremendous resource. It's very fragrant, almost like the scent of strawberries. I mean, it's mucky and muddy, and yeah, you could sink in up to your waist or whatever. The artist explores the rich purple of the quahog shell and soft peach conch shell, sculpturing patterned purple whale and fish effigies, large beads, leadership discs, bias collars and gauntlet cuffs. You're going fishing for God's sakes, you already liked the food and you're living on the coast. Thank you for having me. And like the undulating design and the dark color punctuated by the white because it makes it pop, but also there's sort of that philosophical idea in native arts, including a native stamped basketry, of these undulating lines that are the path of life, and the dots, sometimes it's just the energy and the people in the movement of life along that path. And I don't think that changes over time. And I'll be your host. So you just took everything down. Our culture teaches us to have a healthy respect for the sea, and we … materials closely, and draws his images from the grain, hues, and patina of wood, stone and copper. The Impressions ECHO catalogue highlighted the pieces from this culturally-rich exchange (view publication), courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum. Elizabeth James-Perry is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head -Aquinnah, located by the richly colored clay cliffs of Marthas Vineyard/ Noepe. She has conducted research in the Northeast as well as in Europe. Yeah, the eel traps are just great. And thank you so much for listening! A beautiful wampum gorget with hand-tanned deerskin tie by Elizabeth James-Perry. The sash on the other hand, about 130 years ago, in 1890, the American Antiquarian Society gifted a number of ethnological items to the Harvard Peabody, and one of them was this sash. Through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, we recognize the work of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian culture bearers who uphold the Collective Spirit®. And so you can still see that on the sash today. It takes so much discipline, and it takes really paying attention to the seasons because if you snooze, you lose, as they say. And I think that there's there's other things that are really evocative. So, the sash is interesting from a material perspective, and fortunately for me, a portion at least of early trade records where merchants were bringing goods from Europe and going to markets in places like Albany, Montreal, various points along the east coast, were bringing their items and trading with native people, you know, Native men, Native women at market. The connection is your relationship with a person, whether it's, it's maybe your son who's going into battle, whether it's your daughter, maybe, is a female, sunsqua, female sachem, and she has to represent the people every day, and she could get shot too, she could get ransomed by jerks. I mean, I'm so thankful to have you participate in this and share your experiences and your knowledge, and it is so, so appreciated. And in those cases, it was really great, we were able to reach out to specific descendants to, you know, the descendants of those people who made the basket or are sitting in the photograph, and get their perspectives on it. Quahog clams display a range of shades along the rims and may be pure white-ivory, have a slight lavender blush, and more rarely display a deep purple-black. Today I'm speaking with two super interesting people. Noepe Cuff . She has worked to create museum-quality textile arts in milkweed and cedar bast, intricately painted deerskin and to capture the classic layered drape of Native linen trade cloth outfits. If the stitching doesn't go all the way through to the inside, it may be rubbing against you every day, but the stitching isn't going to break instantaneously, which, if you're going to sew down thousands of beads, that's a nice little trick, for sure. Who knows how long they'll be there? And so when you're an artist, and literally all of your materials come from the lands you live on, and you only have access to a tiny portion, and of that portion, some of it is prone to pollution runoff from the road. Elizabeth James-Perry meets the Peabody’s Wampanoag eel trap as an old friend. The only documentation that came with it was this label sewn on the reverse side with old timey handwriting, that read, "belt of the Indian King Philip from Colonel Keyes." Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for spending time with us today. Find contact's direct phone number, email address, work history, and more. Listen to Wampanoag Perspectives On Museum Objects With Elizabeth Perry And Meredith Vasta and twenty more episodes by HMSC Connects! Meredith Vasta, a collection steward at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and Elizabeth James Perry, a textile artist, marine biologist and member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe. That's a good way to put it. A traditional form of Wampanoag eel trap constructed from ash splints and cedar bark for a maritime arts demonstration. Elizabeth James-Perry Multi-medium Artist Aquinnah Wampanoag elizabethjamesperry.com. Going from tussock to tussock, you have to even walk special just to get through the swamp without sinking in, so you're really tired. You want them to be used and appreciated and loved that way. You have to get real with yourself about what your needs are and you have to plan on what you're doing. Podcast was produced by me, Jennifer Berglund and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. This has been so fun! You can see where traders are very particularly saying they want a dark brown edge, they want a blue edge, they want a white line inside of the dark brown salvage edge, so as a weaver, all of those kinds of descriptions make sense to me, because I'm used to worrying about salvage edges and keeping the edges neat and straight and standard widths, and in all too. Wampanoag gorget $ 110.00. I came away from it appreciating the abundant resources that past generations had. Before then, all of the beads would be produced here of local materials, including wampum, but also bone and other ivory, other materials like that. That's very strange. Access Elizabeth's Contact Information . This is an orca (killer whale) representation reminiscent of Northwest Coast designs. I'm curious, why make this beautiful, intricate sash to be used in battle where it could be destroyed. What is that? And that sounds, that sounds like being dead. I would say. Can I live with that?" Wampum Jewelry. Welcome to HMSC Connects! On Martha's Vineyard, the tribe owns less than 1% of the land on Martha's Vineyard, right? Special thanks to Elizabeth James Perry, Meredith Vasta, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology for their wisdom and expertise. When you're hunting animals all the time, you have the fiber to spend the yarn, you have the plants in abundance to dye the yarn, you have the beads you're making, or the beads later on that you're trading for. Elizabeth James-Perry is an enrolled member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on the island of Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard). Unfortunately, we don't know who made this eel trap, but we do know that he collected it before 1892. I wanted to ask them both about the creation of this exhibit and the relevance of these objects within Wampanoag culture today. You know, oftentimes there's tons of things, and I'm sure Elizabeth, throughout all your museum visits, you have found a number of things attributed to King Philip that sometimes when you are a quote unquote "famous Native American", you know, everything is Sitting Bull's, everything is Geronimo's, everything is King Philip's. Elizabeth James-Perry is an enrolled member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe who is a master artist practicing traditional wampum jewelry and milkweed textiles. See you in a couple of weeks! And then also an influx of some trade materials from England or France or Spain, wherever it's coming from. Through connecting with the spaces and the materials and the techniques, I think I'm experiencing life the same way people have here in the northeast for thousands of years. Meredith, how did you all select these items for this online exhibit? If not, then I take a day off work, and I get my milkweed. Meredith Vasta, a collection steward at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and Elizabeth James Perry, a textile artist, marine biologist and member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe. So it sounds like you really developed a greater understanding between the connection, between culture and environment? Sign Up. But I'll let Elizabeth speak to her experience with that. There was times when you had to move your community's safety, didn't know if you were being pursued. There's a big difference between recapturing traditional ecological knowledge and growing up with it. My ancestors are no different in that respect. Each one is a little bit different because each artist or fishermen, fisherwoman, is a little bit different, right? The New Bedford Whaling Museum presents a collection of contemporary art from Elizabeth James Perry. March 24, 2017. The technique that was used to actually stitch down the bead is quite patently Northeastern native, where instead of going down through the leather, down through the cloth, you catch the nap of a fairly thick material, so that you're not putting a lot of downward pressure and causing the surface of the fabric or the surface of the coil work beadwork to pucker in any way. King Philip, or his name was Metacom, was a Wampanoag Sachem, and he was important and involved in King Philip's War, which started in 1675. Ceremony reinforces these connections. I think part of it is maybe cultural differences even over time, and the same people, sometimes. The artist selects her shells carefully and cuts and finishes them all in the traditional way, by hand, to preserve their attractive contours and colors. I think that the relationships are key. Perry, a Wampanoag artist and registered member of the Aquinnah tribe on Martha’s Vineyard, is an emblem of the complex reality of Indigenous people’s … It smells so sweet. So the appearance would be a little bit different. As an informed citizen, but especially as an artist, when you're working with your hands and sort of living with the materials and really processing and making materials, you know, your sanding materials or shaping them and making the chemicals in them airborne, potentially, or absorbing them through your skin. I think when there is distancing or mistrust, things don't work out well. So it was really a great question that Elizabeth and the staff at Peabody really wanted to explore. It's in demand, and then there's no mention of it. Whatever you had in your arsenal was on your person, typically, because we weren't driving around in U-Hauls. And so there's this idea of movement and journey, and I think a certain amount of balance and harmony in that process. Jewelry . Her old-style wampum was included in Native New England Now (view publication) at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, and was exhibited at the Peabody Essex Museum in the highly acclaimed Native Fashion Now traveling exhibit, featured on WGBH's Open Studio with Jared Bowen. He considers designs by examining the raw . Elizabeth James-Perry (b. And also for being part of this online exhibition. Export. But it smells amazing, and at sunset, it's warm, and it's soothing, and you've worked so hard cutting down trees and hauling them through muck and trying not to, you know, fall in sinkholes or whatever. I'm not sure if he purchased them or perhaps traded for them. There's enjoyment in the moment, but there isn't necessarily in a culture where utilitarian objects are made beautiful, it's fine to use those. You needed to be ready, you needed to be wearing your powderhorn, you needed to have your piece with you. Today's HMSC Connects! That specific cloth is mentioned really briefly. View Elizabeth James-Perry's business profile . Elizabeth James-Perry: As Aquinnah Wampanoag people, our most important ancient stories address glaciation and the subsequent losses and trauma due to melts and periods of rapid sea level rise, so there’s a record of past events in this region we routinely remember to remember. And I think that there's no mention of it because the trader finally got his batch to the blankets, but I think he was told it was such a hassle to try to dye it without covering that white line on the edges, that it was too expensive and too risky because of the color runs, your native customers don't want it and they're going to send it right back. And I think especially as an artist, she sees materials and dyes and techniques in such a different way than I do as not an artist. Here they are. Elizabeth James-Perry – This exhibition is a look back, a look at the present, and a look at the future. Elizabeth James-Perry (Courtesy) The objects featured include dried and smoked herring, multiple baskets, an anchor, and an eel trap, which was described by … There's this idea of the connection, honoring the connection, loving that person and actually thinking of the work of your hands as having wholesome qualities, because you're being, in some ways, creative, like the Creator. To recapture a lot of that technology and make it a whole heck of a lot easier on the next generation because Wow. So, I mean, it's all about food. Between the 1890s and the 1930s, Jones had donated over 800 books to the libraries at Harvard, and nearly 140 images and objects to the Peabody Museum from different indigenous communities all over. A virtual discussion was held with artist Elizabeth James-Perry, an Aquinnah Wampanoag whaling descendant and marine scientist, about the connections between her exhibition at the Whaling Museum and her family history, Wampanoag culture, and 400 years of environmental change and adaptation. I don't necessarily know, as an indigenous man in the time period, if you would literally wear your powder horn every day, but I think that there were times when there was a campaign. And again, it's centered from such a beautiful personal place. And so I really look at the natural world so much differently. So like, you know, if you wait till something's gone by, it's not like you can go back and just go to the store and get those because you miss the harvest. Copyright © 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. If winter's coming early, you got to be thinking, "okay, if we get a lot of snow and it dumps on the milkweed, I'm not getting any milkweed to do my spinning. Aquinnah Wampanoag. That's the ground of the sash. Let me get the cedar bark. She believes in practicing responsible art and sustainable land/ocean stewardship. How do you think museums like the Peabody that contain these important cultural objects, how do you think they should be working with native communities and native artists to highlight those objects? She received the Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship to research 19th-20th century Wampanoag tribal crew aboard the Charles W Morgan, which included members of the Gay Head/ Aquinnah and Christiantown /Manititoowatan island communities. She is multi-medium traditional and contemporary artist taught by her mother Patricia James-Perry, and by cousins Dr. Helen Attaquin and Nanepashemut whose knowledge and artistry was crucial to the development of the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation Museum in the early 1970s. Native American artist and researcher Elizabeth James-Perry will focus her discussion on pre-contact and Colonial period views, management techniques, and material culture involving trees in Massachusetts, the traditional homeland of the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Pocumtuc and … In this online exhibit, we wanted to reflect on these past events, but it was so important for Wompanoag voices like Elizabeth's to provide the interpretation. He was also a big collector. Artist's Website. I'm going to talk a little bit about the eel trap and the collection of the Peabody Harvard museum. Elizabeth James-Perry Choker An exquisite traditional Wampanoag woven choker in stunning deep purple and white colors by artist Elizabeth James Perry. And I think it's sort of the very first orienting step, acknowledging whose land acknowledging whose territory, who's here, reaching out, creating respectful relationships. Elizabeth James-Perry is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head -Aquinnah, located by the richly colored clay cliffs of Marthas Vineyard/Noepe. So people were routinely building a new house. 1/4" deep x 1" wide x 6" long, plus fringe . Do you think this piece saw a lot of battle? Cultural attitudes towards material culture, and also sort of having the discipline within yourself, within your family, to remake literally everything you need. Elizabeth James-Perry, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), presents a wool sash as well as an eel trap in the exhibit. I wasn't sure that maybe as a doctor, if he was trading medical services for items like these, but he got these at Mashpee directly from the community members there. She studied it some 20 years ago and created a replica with materials gathered in the woods of Dartmouth. You needed to have your bow, you needed to have war clubs, at the time, were also used. Last Update. But we were looking for items that were clearly connected to specific communities, and we do have a number of things from Mashpee and Aquinnah, so we knew exactly where they came from. Email Finder Top Companies Company Search People Search Solutions About Us. If you like today's podcast, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or wherever you get your podcasts. She displays the color and contours of the shell to maximum effect. Elizabeth James-Perry Hand Sculpted Elongated Oval Wampum Necklace The centerpiece of this necklace is a hand sculpted elongated oval medallion of wampum, created by Wampanoag artist Elizabeth James-Perry, with a cord of hand braided linen. He lived in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and he was a graduate of Harvard University. Elizabeth represents Wampanoag traditions by writing, in exhibit design, and occasionally through intensive community weaving and dye workshops for organizations like the Evergreen College Longhouse. Community Spirit Awards. 11/6/2017 9:31 AM. And how do you think this experience will influence future projects? It's a different sort of depth of knowledge and perception, I think, that we have to contribute to museum collections that are perhaps different from what you have in a ledger, book, accession file, whatever. Her work was featured in Native Peoples magazine in 2011, in Cultural Survival magazine (view article) and she has penned an article for Dawnland Voices 2.0. where we go behind the scenes of four Harvard museums to explore the connections between us, our big, beautiful world, and even what lies beyond. It was entirely biodegradable. There's just so much, you know, that the experience of being in the woods at certain times of day, going out at dawn and getting some cedar, the smell of the swamp. You can see places that have more increased wearing off of the dye because it was very lightly dyed in order to kind of get that light colored, undulating line at the edge, so they had to sort of cheat the process and not fully saturate the cloth so they didn't ruin those patterns. That beautiful red coloration, the idea that red connects us to the Earth, to our Mother Earth. Elizabeth James-Perry. She is a researcher and exhibit consultant, and owner of Original Wampum Art. You know, whether you're talking Wampanoag territory here in Massachusetts, or you're talking Southern Maine, Sacco River, which I suspect is probably the origin area of the sash. Is that something that the Keyes family had as family history? It is profoundly personal. Share . I know perfectly well. 2003. Meredith, I'm curious, what did Elizabeth's perspective as a Wampanoag artist and researcher bring to this project? So it's thinking putting yourself in your ancestor's shoes, thinking about their day. Tribes need that, you know, for a variety of ways and ways that that I can't really articulate fully. The relationships will be the foundation where you can move forward together in a good way. And so the die is actually wearing off in sections of the woolen yarn. Community Spirit Awards. So that's a nice touch. There's a variety of ways of sharing knowledge that museums are now involved in, sometimes at the request of indigenous communities who shared generously of their knowledge, materials, techniques, genealogy, history, and the museums are keepers, but not necessarily understanding that there's still a community that would still really value that knowledge. Elizabeth James-Perry—Eel Trap My name is Elizabeth James-Perry and I'm a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha's Vineyard right off the coast of Massachusetts. It's very level, and even, and the tension is really nice. Her fine artwork focuses on Northeastern Woodlands Algonquian artistic expressions: wampum shell carving and diplomacy, sustainable weaving, and natural dyeing methods. And so you've got these white glass beads that are new. My name is Jennifer Berglund, part of the exhibits team here at the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. Jewelry - Traditional Form . It's not necessarily so simplistic to make something when there's literally three seasons of a year you have to gather just to have all the materials at the same place at the same time. Why or why not? The artist's formal education includes training at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Shoals Marine Lab; she holds a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts, and was employed in fisheries research for several years. You can see where it's stretched, the weaving is stretched, you can see that there's wear lines. How do folks use these plants now, or, you know, do they use them for dyes? “A lot of our diet has remained pretty consistent. I mean, I don't know what my ancestors would say to that phrase, like, climate controlled. I really, really admired the technical expertise. Perry combines the patterns on the individually cut beads to maximum aesthetic effect. Okay, let me go out. And it is core to who she is as a Wompanoag woman. When we're working together, I love talking with her and understanding the manufacturer, the creation, the dyes in such a totally different way, and I think her appreciation for the natural world, especially as an artist, really has rubbed off on me a lot, and now when I take walks, when I go to the Arboretum, I'm always looking at things and thinking, "I wonder how indigenous people use this in the past and in the present?" Folklife Festival, Seattle, Washington. March 24, 2017. 1973) N. Dartmouth Persian 3-ply wool 3 1/4" wide by 60" plus staggered 14" and 19" fringe Photography by Elizabeth James-Perry Elizabeth James-Perry North Dartmouth, MA Elizabeth James Perry, (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head) is a fiber artist whose work reflects time-honored Wampanoag materials, techniques, and aesthetics. Traditional wampum jewelry and milkweed textiles diplomacy, sustainable weaving, and more forward in. On Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, elizabeth perry wampanoag was that something the. 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