Wilma (Kawennaronnion) Cook Zumpano

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  Wilma (Kawennaronnion) Cook Zumpano

Nation/Clan: Akwesasne Mohawk/Wolf Clan
Media: Glass seed beads, gems, natural stones, wood, cotton, velvet, leather, quills, bone

Artist Statement:

I thoroughly enjoy bonding with beautiful bountiful beads, through beadwork and sharing my native experiences with others. I have worked with beads on and off since I was a teenager. I learned mainly because I wanted to adorn my native dress that I wore when I used to dance (traditional-style) with a group from Akwesasne. It was at a time too, that I really began to sew and take that task more seriously so, quite naturally, the two activities have crossed again and filled my world with beautiful keepsakes.

I get inspired by the spirit and natural world. I enjoy floral designs and designs that have movement, as with butterflies and fringe. I make use of porcupine quills that I usually find during my travels through the Adirondacks. Natural leather is used quite often too. Occasionally I use silver in some designs. Some designs are replicas or reminders of stories past, including the “Creator’s game”. So you see, when strategically placed, the beads tell many stories from the heart and mind.

I volunteer to teach/assist/support beading classes and quilting classes where I work with the Native elders and with people I know. I also help displaced women who temporarily relocate to this area and we get together to bead. And now I drive a little distance in order to bead with other guild members who take the craft over the top…to the art world.

I have visited many local schools, historical societies and libraries in the area to do storytelling, beading, cornhusk doll-making, making dream catchers and discussions on our histories. I also attend the beading conferences when I can and occasionally take a workshop of interest in order to learn more.



First Name - Wilma (Kawennaronnion) Cook
Last Name - Zumpano
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