Shells Among the Pebbles. Photography and Text by Keith R Wahl

June 28, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Shells Among the Pebbles

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Shells Among the Pebbles 20220618 850_9518Shells Among the PebblesQuahog Shells among the rocks at Aguntang Brook in Narragansett, Rhode Island

Purple and Askew

Purple and Askew 20220618 850_9541Purple and AskewA Quahog shell askew in the shores of the marsh at Aguntang Brook, Narragansett, Rhode Island

Aguntang Open Shell

Aguntang Open Shell 20220618 850_9522Aguntang Open ShellA Quahog shell on the marsh alongside Aguntang Brook in Narragansett, Rhode Island

Recently we shared some photos and a discussion about wampum and quahogs (Made From RI Gallery | My Precious). I had a discussion this weekend that led to some unexpressed thoughts about the subject.

I had an extended conversation with a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). She was an artist producing exquisite wampum jewelry. As I examined the creations, I noted that much of what she did was to place the jewelry item in an actual quahog shell. The result is gorgeous and honors the art as well as the bivalve shellfish that it comes from.

Seeing the art and the shell placed together led to a personal epiphany. Wampum is perfect in its lack of waste and complete renewability. The meat of the quahog nourishes the body. The use of the shell preserves and records history. The sharing of the beauty of the shell shares the aesthetic senses. Nothing wasted and everything appreciated.


You can find the person I am speaking of and their wampum creations here: MVNativeWampum


If you might wish to collaborate on photos, we are open to commissions. Please contact us at [email protected]

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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original.