jim taylor

ELNU ABENAKI TRIBE

Jim Taylor

 

Artist Bio

Jim Taylor is a talented graphic artist who works in many traditional and contemporary media forms, including quillwork, carving and wampum.  He also teaches both Eastern Style Quillworking and Wampum bead making.

Jim has been doing traditional porcupine quillwork for over two decades.  He uses natural and dyed porcupine quills, braintanned deer hide, linen. imitation sinew, trade beads, tin cones dyed Deer and moose hair.  He makes quilled bags, knife sheaths, leg ties and moccasins.

Nothing matches the beauty of his individually handmade wampum beads.  Jim makes beads and pendents from both quahog and welk shells.  He demonstrates wampum bead making in the summer at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

In addition to being a talented decorative artist, Jim does Story Telling and is a talented Wabanaki singer & drummer.  He performs individually and with the Elnu Abenaki Singers.

 Artist Statement

Artist, Eastern Quillworker, & Wampum, I have been involved with various art forms since I was a small child, with the help from my recently deceased maternal Aunt she fostered the talent the Creator blessed us both with.

I am currently employed as a Graphic Designer designing Police, Fire, Federal, & International Law Enforcement badges; for past 28 years.

I am a member and Tribal Councilman of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Southern Vermont which recently was granted State Recognition after years of battling with both the State & Federal Governments. I also descend from the Eastern Cherokee my Fathers people who reside in Kentucky.

I currently reside in Rhode Island with my wife Claudine and two daughters, Ashley age 22 and Jillian age 16 along with our Golden Retriever Abby. My Tribal duties in Vermont do take me away from home many weekends throughout the year which my wife is very understanding. The many reasons are is it’s what’s needed to build a better future for the next 7 generations of my people; I thank her and my 2 girls for their patience and understanding.

I have been doing Eastern style quillwork for the past 26 years along with other various native related beadwork and crafts and most recently learning how to create wampum beads from quahog & whelk shells. My quill work began when I became more involved with Living History/ Native Interpreting at French & Indian Living History events. The Abenaki played an important role as Allies with the French during that period. As I became more proficient, my quillwork became more sought after by other Living History people as well as other Native people.

My quillwork has been featured in numerous articles and magazines & books; also my work has been displayed in the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art in San Diego, CA, and currently I have an Underwater Panther bag on permanent display in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, NY. My work has also have been in various local Art shows in RI as well.

I hope to continue doing quill work and to become more proficient in the wampum bead work as well, my hope is to pass this onto future generations of youth within my tribe along with possibly getting future grants to allow me to travel west to Washington State to share how to do quillwork and wampum making with Native Artists in the Communities there with the hope of learning some of their traditional crafts like Cedar Hat making and Cedar carving to share with my tribe Elnu and others here on the East Coast.

Future work:

I am currently trying to organize a Multi-Eastern Tribal Canoe Journey on the Connecticut River beginning at its head waters in Canada to where it spills out into Long Island Sound. This Journey will be mirrored to the same one held annually out west in Washington by the Salish Coastal peoples. My hope is that this will be a Journey to inspire our youth to make them stronger physically, mentally as well as spiritually; this will be a journey for ALL ages. We along with others here in New England hope to have a smaller version to start with by sometime next year; I urge all eastern peoples / Tribes to contact us if they are interested in being part of this hopefully Annual event. We can be reached via Facebook at Kwinitekw Canoe Journey https://www.facebook.com/groups/248209231873305/ or my Email at jtaylor@elnuabenakitribe.org

Contact

Phone: (401) 749-5342  

Email: swiftfox1@yahoo.com

Website: Quillwork by Swift Fox

Image of Quilled Bag with Finger Woven Strap,
Quilled Bag with Finger Woven Strap

 

Image of Wampum Necklace and Pendant.
Wampum Necklace and Pendant

Image of Quilled Knife Sheath and Bag.
Quilled Knife Sheath and Bag

Image of Quilled  Moccasins, Gustowah and Bag,
Quilled  Moccasins, Gustowah and Bag

Image of wampum necklace.
Wampum necklace

Image of Carved  Bone Combs.
Carved  Bone Combs

Image of  Detail of Quilled Underwater Panther Bag, in the permanent  collection of the American Museum of Natural History..
 Detail of Quilled Underwater Panther Bag, in the permanent  collection of the American Museum of Natural History.

Exhibits

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. 

2016

Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Dipolomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2015

Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Dipolomacy Past and Present. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.

2014     

First Light: Native American Artists from New England, The Flanigan Campus Art Gallery, RI

Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

All My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2013      

Like Breathing: Native American Beading and Quillwork.  Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum,  Warner, NH

2012     

Quilled Underwater Panther Bag.  American Museum of Natural History, NYC, NY  

2000      

Arrrow of the Spirit. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA

Publications

Jones, Paul R.  “Quillworkers 2: The Tradition Continues.” Muzzleloader, Nov/Dec 1999, 40.

Dubin, Lois Sherr.  North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to Present Concise Edition, Harry N Abrams Incorporated, NYC, NY. 2003. 71

Affiliations

Woodland Confederacy

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Juried Artist since 2013

Woodland Confederacy