Interested in Native American art of nature? Want to know about nature inspired Native American art? Read on to get a comprehensive overview…
There is no such thing as art for the sake of art in Native American culture. Rather art for the Native Americans is a very real aspect of everyday life. Native American art was symbolic and drew its inspiration from nature.
As such Native American art held a sacred place amongst the tribes. For non-natives it would be rather difficult to understand exactly the place held by nature inspired art in Native American culture. With a definite religious lineage Native American art was focused on self discovery and finding the spiritual truth about life.
The objects of beauty produced by Native Americans were used in religious ceremonies, rituals and performances. Great effort was made to reflect the true nature of life in this art work. As it is the Native Americans believed in living in harmony with nature and this ideology of theirs can be seen clearly reflected in their artwork.
Native American Clothing and Accessories
There were certain tribes that made use of minimal clothing. However Native Americans had special clothing for special purposes and ceremonies. Such clothing was very decorative and each element of decoration had a symbolic meaning to it. Amongst the most decorative clothing items found in the Native American culture is the War Shirt. This was a shirt that a warrior had to earn through acts of bravery on the battle field.
These war shirts were made using natural materials such as buffalo hide. However since this material was too thick they resorted to elk and deerskin instead. It was decorated with four strips of beadwork or quill. This would often be hanging mid way down. The shirt would also feature neck tabs and facings on either front. The shirts were also decorated with rosettes. Horse hair was also incorporated into the design. Other pictorial art work and symbols were also featured on the designs.
This is another nature inspired work of art with a functional purpose developed by the Native Americans. This whistle was made out of eagle bone and was considered to be a sacred instrument. The long wing bones of the bald eagle and the gold eagle were used to create the whistle which was decorated and used in Native American religious ceremonies.
Native American Dance Sticks
Dance sticks are a unique element of Native American art found in a great number of tribes including the Sioux, Apache, Ojibwa, Shawnee, Hidatsa and Iroquois. There were many different kinds of dance sticks including thunderbird dance sticks and lion Eagle head stick.
One of the most unique varieties was that of the talking stick. This special stick was oiled and colored with natural clay earth. It also featured a Red Tail Hawk feather for aesthetic purposes and a carved and painted image of the thunderbird. Some tribes would also adorn their dancing sticks with a piece of fire opal.