We are pleased to announce our upcoming winter lecture by
Dr. Elizabeth S. Peña
Interim Director, Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE) at the GTU
Adjunct Faculty, University of San Francisco
Transaction and Transformation: The Archaeological Story of Wampum
March 10th at 5:30pm, Badè Museum Foyer (reception to follow)
Since shell has been a sought-after material throughout human history, it is no surprise that tubular shell beads, or wampum, were valued by Native Americans in what is now Northeastern North America. European colonists and traders were quick to capitalize on this new “money,” and use it in diplomatic relationships with Native Americans in addition to circulating it within their own transplanted European communities. This presentation will use a biographical approach to examine this transformational process, in which a symbolic material became a means of exchange and acquired new meanings while retaining and reshaping old ones. Using archaeological and documentary evidence, this presentation traces the production and trade of wampum from Long Island “mints” to Fort Niagara, a strategically important colonial frontier post.
Dr. Elizabeth S. Peña is an archaeologist, museum professional, and academic and arts administrator. She served as Director of the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College, Curator of Anthropology at the Buffalo Museum of Science, Co-director of Archaeology at Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site, and Interim Chair of the Museum Studies Program at John F. Kennedy University. In addition to serving as Interim Director of CARE, Dr. Peña is teaching Museums & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.