Aquinnah: Wampum jewelry sale


Fynn Monahan celebrated his 14th birthday Aquinnah-style, with a low-key party on Philbin Beach. There was skimboarding, Kadima playing, sand burying, and a quest for a lighter to light the candles, because apparently not that many people smoke anymore. His mother, Anja, made a lovely strawberry shortcake–like cake (Fynn’s favorite); there was enough for everyone to have seconds. The party started in the late afternoon and ended in the early evening. Fynn and his brother Yossi had to prepare for their two-week trip to Hawaii with their dad, Mike. They left the next day.

Isaac Taylor is performing at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown this Friday. He is opening for Martin Sexton. The concert begins at 7 pm and is a benefit for WMVY radio. Isaac is also performing with his aunt, Kate Taylor, when she performs her two shows at the Aquinnah Town Hall on Monday, August 14, and Tuesday, August 15.

Joan LeLacheur is having an Open Studio and sale of her wampum jewelry in contemporary and traditional designs and mosaic tiles. Items of conch, abalone and mussel shell are also available. You can design something personal from beads and shapes that Joanie has available. There will also be beautiful art cards by Susan Shea. Come to Joanie’s studio this Saturday, August 5, from 11 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah. Call Joanie if you can’t make the open studio and would like to schedule an appointment at 508-645-9954, or email her at

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will present the exhibit, “Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History” starting on August 2. This is the third year of this exhibit at the ACC, and it has expanded to include, “Captured 1614,” “The Messenger Runner,” and the 2016 installment, “The Great Dying,” which covers the topic of the plague epidemic that swept down the coast between 1616 and 1618, wiping out up to 90 percent of the Wampanoag people in its path.

On Friday, August 4, at 5 pm there will be a special guest speaker at the ACC: Elizabeth Hoover, Mohawk, Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies, will present “Garden Warrior: Indigenous People and the Local Food Movement.” As farmers, herbalists, and keepers of the land, Native people today carry ancient sustainable food systems into the present day.

The ACC is hosting a three-part reading and discussion group around the history of the Wampanoag people that the “Our Story” exhibit tells. This is a great opportunity to learn little-known history that is not generally taught in the educational system, yet is an integral part of early American history. The dates of the discussion group are August 9, 23, and Sept. 6, from 5 to 7 pm. If you are interested in attending, call 508-645-7900 or email The ACC is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm.

The Sargent Gallery’s annual Environmental Show will open this Sunday, August 6, and run through August 17. There will be a reception on Sunday, from 6 to 8 pm. The Fund for Wild Nature, known for “investing in feisty grassroots action since 1982,” will be the featured environmental organization at the exhibit. The Fund for Wild Nature aims to fund conservation projects here on Martha’s Vineyard. Support and learn about this dynamic nonprofit, and be a part of the environmental movement through art. FWN board member Tracy Davids, who works as the southeast program coordinator for Defenders of Wildlife, will speak at the reception. The exhibit will include artists Ruth Kirchmeier, Barbara Norfleet, and Gail Boyajian. The Sargent Gallery is open Thursday through Monday from 11 am to 6 pm and by appointment. It is located at 832 State Rd.; to schedule an appointment, call 508-645-2776.

The long-awaited Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival returns to the Island this week. The opening panel in Chilmark on Friday night, August 4, “Tweets, Leaks and Turmoil: Covering the Trump White House,” is sold out. But a “Meet the Press” discussion of political journalists has been added to the schedule in Chilmark on Sunday, August 6, at 8:30 am at the Chilmark Community Center. Leading political journalists, including Mark Leibovich of the NY Times and Richard North Patterson of the Boston Globe, discuss the political malaise in Washington with Jeremy Hobson of NPR’s “Here and Now.” The book festival is at the Harbor View Hotel on Saturday. Go to for the complete lineup.

Aquinnah filmmakers Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth are very close to finishing their documentary about the history of the Gay Head Lighthouse, “Keepers of the Light.” They have started an Indiegogo campaign to procure funds to finish the film. If you would like to contribute to help them finish this important film about Aquinnah history, you can go to and make a donation.

Island Grown Initiative has a mobile market, basically a farm stand on wheels, that sells local produce at different locations around the Island. They are in Aquinnah on Sundays at the Tribe from 5:45 to 6:30 pm. For the complete location schedule, go to The mobile market will be in operation until Oct. 9.