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Indigenous artist Elisa Harkins is revolutionizing the music industry with her ongoing project, Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ. The project is a fusion of electronic dance music with a combination of Cherokee, English, and Muscogee (Creek) languages. As an act of Indigenous Futurism, the project aims to preserve and revive endangered languages through active use and preservation on vinyl and radio.
The performance is named after Wampum belts and Indigenous peacekeeping, as well as the Cherokee use of wampum beads as currency. In Cherokee, ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ pronounced as a-de-la di-ga-gu-di, translates to “money on a string”.
The project exists as a live performance, a video, a vinyl LP, and an hour-long dance piece called Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ.
Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their day jobs with out-of-the-box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives. He created the Rock Star Today Music Business Jam Session for musicians. Randal is a collector of signed vinyl, cassettes and CDs.