Oklahoma Contemporary

Elisa Harkins, Wampum

A woman in a black and gold dress spins with a microphone in her hand

Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ

Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ

May 24 | 7 p.m.
Te Ata Theater

Purchase tickets here

Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ is an ongoing project in which Elisa Harkins sings in a combination of Cherokee, English and Muscogee (Creek) to electronic dance music, some of which is inspired by sheet music of Indigenous music notated by Daniel Chazanoff during the 20th century. As an act of Indigenous Futurism, it combines disco and Indigenous language in an effort to alter the fate of these endangered languages through active use, preservation on pressed vinyl and radio play.

The performance of Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ is referring to the wampum belts and Indigenous peacekeeping, as well as the Cherokee use of wampum beads as currency. ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ, pronounced a-de-la di-ga-gu-di, can be translated to “money on a string.”

The intention of Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ performance is to create a metaphorical peacekeeping agreement that is between the people watching the piece, regardless of tribe or race.


For box office support, email boxoffice@okcontemp.org or call 405 951 0000 during business hours.


About the Creator

A woman dressed in black and gold Indigenous regalia with a long braid and red lip sits against a black background looking at the camera

Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture and the body as her tools. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, The Heard Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. Harkins is also the DJ of Mvhayv Radio, an Indigenous radio show on 91.1FM in Tulsa, Oklahoma and 99.1FM in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Images:

Promotional photo for Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ. Photo by Ian Byers Gambler.

Elisa Harkins. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003
info@okcontemp.org

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Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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