Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wampum and Beads Event August 23rd ~~ An Update!

Saturday August 23, 2008, 1 – 4pm
at SRAC – 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY

In June of 2007, Dr. Marshall Becker, Senior Fellow of Anthropology at the University of PA and I embarked on a journey into the Oneida Nation near Syracuse, NY.

We were doing so because he had requested to view the wampum that they had on display on a website. After several months of discussions on this, he was allowed to come and view the wampum which was under lock and key in their police station for the day while the chief of police stood and watched our every move.

This was no everyday experience let me just say, and I was honored to make this historic trip since I am told we are the only two "outsiders" that were allowed to come and see these incredible pieces ... ever.

These pictures are from that very special day that you see below...In all there were two "cuffs" and two belts, and to me the shell beads looked brand new.

Marshall measuring one of the cuffs

close up of the end of one of the belts

the other cuff

Marshall later published an article in our SRAC Journal in September of 2007. you can read it by clicking here now.

As I have said, to see any wampum these days let alone in this kind of shape is pretty much reserved for a small group of the elite in our region of the world...but out of my friendship with the good doctor, I actually saw all of this...and after my trip, I started thinking that it was an experience that SRAC just might be able to try to put together by asking our collectors to ROUNDUP their items out of their collections for the day.

On August 23rd, you are invited to not only learn more about wampum from Marshall Becker, PhD, but we will also have Dr. Kurt Jordan from Cornell speaking about historic and glass beads, and ALSO the well known specialist in Iroquoian beadwork, Dolores Elliot, MA will be presenting "The History of Iroquois Beadwork."

But on top of the incredible speakers we have for the day, we have invited ALL collectors to bring their beadwork and yes ---- even wampum---- to display for the day and have these specialists tell them more about them. We already have been notified to expect some incredible pieces from collectors from three different states!

If you are a collector that has any beadwork in your collection, you too can bring your items to be securely displayed for the day by contacting me and arriving an hour before the event begins (at noon.)

We hope that you will mark your calendar and make your way to Waverly, NY for this unprecedented event, that only a unique organization such as SRAC is willing or able to host. While I cannot promise that you will see what we did at the Onieda nation last year, I do believe that you will experience an incredible collage of wampum and beadwork that you will never get the opportunity to see again.

Hope to see you there.

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