Elizabeth James-Perry is enrolled with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head -Aquinnah in Massachusetts. An educator, exhibit designer and owner of Original Wampum Art, Elizabeth makes distinctive northeast wampum shell jewelry, porcupine quillwork, and northeastern twined textiles. She creates substantial heirloom quality adornment items reflecting Algonquian regional diplomatic heritage. She cultivates many of the plants used in natural dyes at her home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts; the rest are wild harvested in a sustainable way. As a member of a Nation that has long lived on, and harvested the sea, Elizabeth’s is a perspective that combines Algonquian traditional ecological knowledge, genealogy, art, and science in her ways of relating to life on the North Atlantic.
Museums that have commissioned Elizabeth’s artwork include Fruitlands Museum, Concord Museum, the New England Museum, Heritage Plantation and Gardens, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Boston Children’s Museum, Haffenreffer Museum, and the Wallraf-Richartz in Cologne Germany. Her new recording about King Philips Sash, linking the rare textile into the story of colonization of Wampanoag and Wabanaki territory will be in the upcoming Hoist/Acknowledge + Listen exhibit as part of the initiative to replace the Massachusetts state seal. Film credits include producing the background scenery photography in Dartmouth for As Nutayunean, the Wampanoag Language Reclamation film. Among the tribal mentor’s she counts her mother Patricia James-Perry, a scrimshaw artist, illustrator, and educator, along with the educators Nanepashemut Tony Pollard and Helen Attaquin, who are her cousins. She was honored to be a 38th Voyager onboard the historic Charles W. Morgan whaling vessel, as a descendant of the Gay Head crewmembers. Elizabeth continues to shore up oral traditions, additionally conducting research in local and European museums and archival collections. The artist holds a degree in Marine Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.