Wampum Jewelry by Dr. Takeshi Yamada

Wampum Jewelry by Dr. Takeshi Yamada

This photograph shows a variety of fancy "black eye" wampum jewelry and "mermaid’s eye" (named by Takeshi Yamada) wampum jewelry created by Takeshi Yamada and displayed for sale at a fancy art gallery/giftshop in Pier17 near Wall Street financial district in Manhattan, New York.

These gorgeous wampum jewelry were created by Takeshi Yamada, based on the 4,000 years old tradition of local (the area he lives and works) Native Americans in the United States. Wampum is the most important and valued jewelry, trade item, religious item, social protocol item, and tribes’ political protocol item among Native Americans traditionally, and later became the first official currency (money) of the United States of America.

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ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Mercenaria mercenaria – quahogs are found in estuaries along the Atlantic Coast, from Canada to Texas. The quahog shell is harder than gems like lapis lazuli and malachite, thus, it takes a high polish to turn into a first class gem. The name “quahog” is from a corruption of the Native American word for the clam, “poquauhock”. However, only the “Northern Quahog”, which is native to New England (the region comprising six states of the NE United States – Main, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Conneticut), has rich deep purple coloration in its shell. The purple color growth ring of the quahog (“Black Eye”; a form of Worry Stone) was used as an amulet, and found at the burial ground of the Native Americans 4,000 years old. And purple is what makes the most-desirable wampum among Native Americans. “Wampum” is a contraction of the Algonquian word “wampumpeage” or “white shell beads strung on a cord.” Wampum was the material object absolutely necessary for the successful functioning of political (diplomacy and diplomatic protocol), social, and religious life among Native Americans. They wore single strands of wampum as ornament. They also wore belts on which purple and white beads were woven into pictorial messages (sophisticated icons). Because purple shell was harder to find, and harder to work, purple wampum was worth twice as much as white. The Ayonwata Wampum Treaty Belt of the Haudonoshaunee (Hiawatha Iroquois Wampum Belt) is the most famous of the wampum belts, joining the Haudonoshaunee (People of the Longhouse) possibly over 1000 years ago. Among Native Americans, the Quahog has been considered as a beautiful and sacred clam as one of the main “passport” to the spirit world.

This clam, which could live 40 years or more, is known to feed Founding Fathers from starvation. In the seafood business today, small quahogs are known as “littlenecks”, larger ones are called “cherrystones” and quahogs over four inches wide are called “chowders.” After contacting North American natives in the early 1600s, European traders and settlers used wampum beads as money. In the 17th Century, wampum was the official currency of the New Amsterdam (now, New York) and other states, and you could even use wampum to pay your taxes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and pay your tuition at Harvard College then. With this in mind, in 1758, Linneaus himself gave the scientific name in Latin to the quahog meaning “money/wage”. Today, an extract from the quahog called mercenine is discovered as a strong growth inhibitor of cancers in mice, and researchers are investigating its power to be used as the next generation of penicillin.

With these unique and distinctive historical and cultural background of quahog in this region of the United States, and with Japanese medieval day’s game called Kaiawase (Clamshell Matching) among high society of Samurai and nobles, I created a series of artworks such as sculptures, jewelry, paintings, prints, drawings, and computer graphics since 2002, when I moved to Coney Island area of Brooklyn, NY, and started harvesting this beautiful marine creature here.

It is my hope that my artworks are the vehicles to please the eyes, uplift the spirit, stir the imagination and express conviction. It is my desire to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of the global nature of the world, its people and the bonds that mutually bind them. It is my sincere wish that my creativity and its products contribute to the advancement of the glorious culture based on the sanctity of life and true humanism.

About Wampum:
In a broader sense, Wampum is an English word for gems from the shell of the quahog clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), which Native Americans called ‘poquauhock’. The quahog shell is harder than gems like lapis lazuli and malachite. It also takes a high polish; it is truly a first class gem. “Wampum” is a contraction of the Algonquian word “wampumpeage” or “white shell beads strung on a cord.” Wampum was the material object absolutely necessary for the successful functioning of political (diplomacy and diplomatic protocol), social, and religious life among Native Americans. Not only did they wear single strands of wampum as ornaments but they also wore belts on which purple and white beads were woven into pictorial messages (sophisticated icons). Because purple shell was harder to find, and harder to work, purple wampum was worth twice as much as white among Native Americans. The Ayonwata Wampum Treaty Belt of the Haudonoshaunee (Hiawatha Iroquois Wampum Belt) is the most famous of the wampum belts, commemorating the joining the Haudonoshaunee (People of the Longhouse) possibly over 1000 years ago. Among Native Americans, the Quahog has been considered as a beautiful and sacred clam as one of the main “passports” to the world of ether or spirit world. The wampum belt was also used as a formal wedding proposal gift from a man to his potential wife and a proof of marriage just like engagement and wedding rings used today. After contacting North American natives in the early 1600s, European traders and settlers used wampum beads as money. In the 17th Century, wampum was the official currency of the New Amsterdam (now, New York) and other states, and you could even use wampum to pay your taxes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and pay your tuition at Harvard College then.

About Wampum Black Eye:
In Algonquin languages, Suckauaskeequash meant ‘black eye’. The Black Eyes are the earliest known talisman form of wampum. The Black Eyes are America’s oldest amulets and good-luck-charms, found by archaeologists in Native American graves over 4000 years old. Wampum Black Eyes were believed to be beautiful, mythical and lucky because they were part of ‘the face in the clam-shell’; a face of the sea goddess with deep purple eyes. They are spoon-shaped, a naturally-shaped ‘Worry Stone’ into which one’s thumb fits as if it were made for it. Each Wampum Black Eye of Takeshi Yamada is hand crafted and unique, one of a kind, and first class jewelry.

About Worry Stone, Wampum Black Eye Necklace and Earrings:
The Worry Stone is one of the most popular and powerful Good Luck Charms found in numerous ancient civilizations world-wide. When you feel physical or emotional pain, anxiety, or stress of any kind, rub the Worry Stone between your thumb and forefinger and experience its magical calming affect enter your body. The gentle pressure of the stone on your thumb is said to release endorphins, your body’s natural painkiller. Carry the Worry Stone with you always in your pocket or wallet. Yamada’s hand-crafted one of a kind necklace and earrings utilize the Wampum Black Eye with its 4000-year-old unique and distinctive proud history, and dignified culture of America and its people. These are truly America’s original and proud first-class timeless jewelry to own and wear.

Takeshi Yamada

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Reference: about wampum
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum

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Reference: Dr. Takeshi Yamada as “Immortalizer” of the AMC cable television competitive fine art reality show, “Immortalized”, season 1, aired in 2013:
www.amctv.com/shows/immortalized
www.facebook.com/ImmortalizedAMC?filter=1
www.amctv.com/shows/immortalized/cast/takeshi-yamada
blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/immortalized-cast-photos/…
blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/immortalized-season-1-cas…
www.imdb.com/media/rm471641344/tt2631416
blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/immortalized-season-1-cas…
www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/nyc-taxidermy…
blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2013/02/immortalized-takeshi-y…
www.amctv.com/immortalized/videos/spoilers-the-final-reve…
blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/immortalized-season-1-epi…
amusingthezillion.com/2012/11/29/coney-island-taxidermist…
amusingthezillion.com/2013/01/30/video-of-the-day-meet-ta…
www.ign.com/videos/2013/01/29/immortalized-meet-takeshi-y…
www.amctv.com/immortalized/videos/on-air-trailer-wood-duc…
www.amctv.com/immortalized/videos/on-air-trailer-real-ori…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0i6KqUN22E
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iLUTs-KSXI
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdxsl1HI5a4
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwsz0nRnWJg
www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8SrTXdjikw
mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/gyipa_public?nav=pr181713719
www.amctv.com/real-original-thursdays
www.hollywood.com/photos/tv/55000551/amc-s-immortalized-t…
www.hollywood.com/photos/tv/55000551/amc-s-immortalized-t…
www.poptower.com/news-52146/freakshow-immortalized-tv-sho…
iamturbo.com/new-taxidermy-reality-show-to-star-coney-isl…
tv.yahoo.com/news/amc-pits-taxidermists-against-each-othe…
animalnewyork.com/2013/new-taxidermy-reality-show-to-star…
www.sheepsheadbites.com/2013/02/takeshi-yamada-immortalized/
blogs.smithsonianmag.com/artscience/2013/02/outrageous-ta…
tv.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/arts/television/immortalized-an…
www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/freakshow-immortalized-t…
www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/news/article_17114…
www.rlslog.net/immortalized-s01e01-hdtv-x264-bajskorv/
trailerrss.com/immortalized-amc-series-premiere-promo
thegame4.com/immortalized-clip-meet-takeshi-yamada/
www.outdoorhub.com/news/man-vs-fur-amcs-new-competitive-t…
www.avclub.com/articles/freakshowimmortalized,92526/
blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2013/02/freakshow-immortalized…
www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/02/amcs-immortalized/
blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/02/immortalized-tax…
www.factpile.com/8874-watch-immortalized-on-amc/
www.hollywood.com/photos/tv/55000551/amc-s-immortalized-t…
twitpic.com/c1q9rx
www.michigandaily.com/blog/wire/alumni-profile-takeshi-ya…
art-design.umich.edu/news/takeshi_yamada_featured_on_amcs…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FoD-OptXgk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9aROKs_iSQ
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4msQyZqOrOY&NR=1&feature=…
www.gothic.net/immortalized-amc-taxidermy/immortalizer-ta…
www.gothic.net/immortalized-amc-taxidermy/immortalized-co…
www.gothic.net/immortalized-amc-taxidermy/
www.gothic.net/immortalized-amc-taxidermy/immortalized-co…
www.gothic.net/immortalized-episode-3-the-odyssey/
www.dragonblogger.com/about-immortalized-amcs-new-unscrip…
idownloadg.eu/tag/size-matters/
horrorboom.com/tag/takeshi-yamada/

Reference (newspaper articles and reviews):
www.cvltnation.com/god-of-freakstakeshi-yamada/
online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704828104576021750…
www.villagevoice.com/2006-11-07/nyc-life/the-stuffing-dre…
karlshuker.blogspot.com/2011/06/giant-sea-serpents-and-ch…
amusingthezillion.com/2011/12/08/takeshi-yamadas-jersey-d…
amusingthezillion.com/2010/12/07/art-of-the-day-freak-tax…
amusingthezillion.com/2010/10/27/oct-29-at-coney-island-l…
amusingthezillion.com/2010/09/18/photo-of-the-day-takeshi…
amusingthezillion.com/2009/11/07/thru-dec-31-at-coney-isl…
4strange.blogspot.com/2009/02/ten-of-takeshi-yamada-colle…
www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders/5440224421/siz…
www.gobrooklynart.org/studio/takeshiyamada
spexyandheknowsit.tumblr.com/post/42840993672/spexy-guy-d…
www.teoti.com/art-comics/15119-takeshi-yamada-s-creative-…
pinterest.com/lmartin84/taxidermy-i-know-it-s-weird/
secretscienceclub.blogspot.com/2007/11/long-live-taxiderm…
www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/34/48/24_taxidermycontest_2…
boingboing.net/2006/11/21/takeshi-yamadas-curi.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeshi_Yamada
www.digplanet.com/wiki/Takeshi_Yamada

Reference (fine art websites):
www.roguetaxidermy.com/members_detail.php?id=528
www.brooklynartproject.com/photo/photo/listForContributor…
www.bsagarts.org/member-listing/takeshi-yamada/
www.horseshoecrab.org/poem/feature/takeshi.html
www.artfagcity.com/2012/09/06/recommended-go-brooklyn-stu…

Reference (flickr):
www.flickr.com/photos/takeshiyamadaimmortalized/
www.flickr.com/people/searabbit16/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit15/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit14/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit13
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit12
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit11
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit10
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit9/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit8/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit7
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit6
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit5/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit4/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit2/
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit1/
www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders3/
www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders2
www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders/
www.flickr.com/photos/takeshiyamadapaintings/

Reference (other videos):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=otSh91iC3C4
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhIR-lz1Mrs
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BttREu63Ksg

Reference (videos featuring sea rabbits and Dr. Takeshi Yamada):
www.amctv.com/immortalized/videos/who-is-takeshi-yamada-i…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ek-GsW9ay0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJK04yQUX2o&feature=related
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrCCxV5S-EE
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0QnW26dQKg&feature=related
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpVCqEjFXk0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NlcIZTFIj8&feature=fvw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UPzGvwq57g
s87.beta.photobucket.com/user/katiecavell/media/NYC%2008/…
www.animalnewyork.com/2012/what-are-you-doing-tonight-con…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeAdsChmSR8
www.ign.com/videos/2013/01/29/immortalized-meet-takeshi-y…
superforest.org/2010/11/takeshi-yamada-rogue-taxidermist/

Reference (sea rabbit artifacts)
www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/06/coney-island-sea-rabbit…
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417188428/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417189548/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5416579163/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417191794/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417192426/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417192938/in/photostream
www.thewheelhousereview.com/2012/07/18/person-of-interest…
crappytaxidermy.com/page/25

(updated March 4, 2013)

takeshiyamada.weebly.com

For any questions, please contact Dr. Takeshi Yamada via his official art website and his email there. See the first page and/or the last page of this website for details.

Posted by Dr. Takeshi Yamada on 2011-06-12 18:36:11

Tagged: , mermaid , chupacabra , mummy , wildlife , art , sideshow , gaff , ecology , environment , painting , sculpture , anthropology , famous , animal , zoology , cryptozoology , cryptid , cryptozoologist , freak , oddity , mythology , artist , fashion , entertainment , entertainer , wonders , strange , weird , beetle , dragon , samurai , oopart , alien , skull , witch , Brooklyn , Kunstkammer , Wunderkammer , dinosaur , snake , poison , trilobite , sexy , museum of world wonders , Takeshi Yamada , Fiji mermaid , shrunken human head , sea rabbit , rogue taxidermy , insect , fish , horseshoe crab , coney island , new york , taxidermy , sea serpent , cabinet of curiosities , Mongolian death worm , wampum , jewelry , native American , beauty , Barack Obama , Ronald Reagan , Bill Clinton , Rush Limbaugh , George Bush , Michael Savage , Pablo Picasso , Leonardo da Vinci , Salvador Dali , Albert Einstein

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