Wampum Bead Maker Finds Quahog Pearl

by Martha
(Cape Cod)

Quahog pearl found

Quahog pearl found

Quahog pearl found
Wampum beads from Quahog
Iroquois Beauty Wearing Wampum Beads

I am a commercial shell fisher woman from Chatham Ma (Cape Cod). I have been fishing for and opening quahogs all my life. This morning I finally opened a chowder and out tumbled a perfect 10 x 10 mm cream colored with pink stripe running through it, ball shaped quahog pearl. The luster and finish is beautiful.


I have harvested and culled thousands of quahogs over the last forty two years. An interesting side to this story is that while fishing over the years, I taught myself to hand turn, hand shape, "beads" from quahog shell. I am now known for hand shaping the largest quahog, red abalone and possibly queen conch and turbo marmoratus beads ever made.

Eight years ago my daughter returned from living in CA and joined me, learning to shape our local shell. We took our middle names Lucia and Moon and became LuciaMoonDesigns.

Finally being granted this delicate perfection from the shell that I opened this morning, it really amazing to me.

This photo does not do it justice. I often have to measure my beads that I make for collectors and include their mm size. In the photo of my beads, I have used a standard size and large size marble for scale.

This is how big those chowders get. When you figure how many millimeters I have to grind off to get a ball shaped bead. Here are some of the necklaces.

They are all owned by one collector who let me re shoot and re document them last week with this 'mother of five' of Iroquois decent beauty on the National Seashore on the Cape.

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Oct 27, 2014
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Wow, congrats on finally finding a quahog pearl!
by: Kari

Hi Martha,

Thank you for sharing. Your wampum beads are just gorgeous. I can tell you put lots of time and love into making them.

Congrats on finding a quahog pearl. If anyone deserves to find a quahog pearl I think it would be you!

I hope you make something special with it and enjoy it for years to come.

All the best to you and your business!

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