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

Featuring Future Ancestors 2124 Mixtape Sessions

May 24, 2024 | 7 p.m.
Te Ata Theater

Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ was presented as part of an ongoing project in which Elisa Harkins sang in a combination of Cherokee, English and Muscogee (Creek) to electronic dance music, some of which was inspired by sheet music of Indigenous music notated by Daniel Chazanoff during the 20th century. As an act of Indigenous Futurism, it combined 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.

"Wampum" written in dots that mimic a synthesizer readout with "ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ" in black text underneath

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

Opening Performance of Future Ancestors 2124 Mixtape Sessions

DJ Nymasis and El La Katrina shared their new work in progress as a jump-off point for a large-scale work to be presented in 2025 as a film and art that is multimodal, multidimensional and an immersive sensory experience bridging film, performance, dance and wearable design.

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

About the Creators

A person 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.

A bearded DJ with a purple hat and shirt stands at a turntable

Tony Tee, aka Nymasis, is a Native American DJ and emcee born and raised on the west side of Oklahoma City. He has been involved in the Oklahoma music scene for over 20 years, working with almost every mainstream artist to come through Oklahoma City. As the current “King of The City,” he still competes occasionally but finds more joy working with youth of all backgrounds to help influence the artistic aspects of their lives. His goal in teaching is to provide young DJs with a personalized music arsenal to book any gig and the skillset to execute with funky percussion.

A person with long hair wearing a hat and sunglasses poses on the floor

Katrina Brook Flores, aka El La Katrina, is a Chicanx multi-practice artist born in Wisconsin with ancestral roots to South Texas, Mexico, Ireland and Senegal. Through filmmaking, installation, music, movement and wearable design, they address how colonial systems and gendered constructs have impacted Indigenous communities and natural ecosystems globally. Their work seeks to offer solutions, healing and hope toward a future rooted in joy and ancestral teachings. Flores’ directorial debut film, ASSAMAN, was finished in February 2022 as part of their Dark Matter Residency with Elastic Arts Foundation.


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

Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ promotional logo.

Elisa Harkins. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tony Tee. Photo by Berlin Green.

Katrina Brook Flores. Photo courtesy of the artist.


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Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

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

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