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2282005_111305_0.jpgQuahogs are not only an important food to Wampanoag people, but also the principal material for making shell wampum. The Wampanoag are known historically for the manufacture and use of wampum as a trade item. Wampum belts were sacred and an important cultural property. Intricate trade patterns are documented through Wampum found great distances inland, as evidence of trading. This course will survey the historical uses of wampum and traditional ways of making wampum and changes in use to the current time. Photographs of wampum documentation will be provided for student use. Today, many tribal members are adept in the making of wampum replicas, generally as jewelry that is traded or sold.

Sixteen students completed the introductory wampum course in 1998-99 and are now ready to take an advanced course. If three courses are funded, this group will be able to complete their training and sixteen more students will complete beginning and advanced courses. Contemporary styles and methods will be reviewed and students will learn a broad range of techniques.

Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546
Phone: (508) 645 9265    Fax: (508) 645-3790    Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
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