The arts and crafts of the North West Native Americans took some time to get noticed. It was only in the latter half of the 1900s that Native American North West started to gain its rightful place in museums and art galleries across the United States.
The North West Native Americans were involved in creating many diverse kinds of art work. Particularly popular were their masks, bentwood boxes, totem poles and other stylized art work featuring traditional Native American symbols. You will find the art galleries to be housing some exclusive limited edition prints by contemporary North West Native American artists as well.
When we talk about the North West Native American art we are actually covering over seventy tribes. This is because the expansive coast that stretched well over two thousand miles from California to Alaska was home to so many tribes once upon a time. The various tribes belonged to four different language families and had relatively distinct religious beliefs and social customs. This naturally led to many different art cultures within the North West Natives. Each tribe had its own characteristic aesthetic sense of design. Only those familiar with North West art have the potential to judge where each work of art is coming from.
The great thing about North West Native American art is that it never became a thing of the past. The arts and crafts of this region are not confined to history books rather they have been flourishing for hundreds of years and continue to thrive even now.
Popular North West Native American Art Forms
Basketry was one of the specialties of the North West Native Americans. As it is basketry has sacred association amongst the Natives and the tribes of this region were known to have great religious fervor. Their basket weaving was not only confined to creating different kinds of baskets with diverse patterns rather they were even popular for their basket hats and capes.
The North West Natives were also known to possess a great hand at woodcarving. They are renowned for their intricate woodworks out of which ceremonial masks are highly and widely admired for their artistic value. They would also carve out truly majestic totem poles that were also used in religious ceremonies. Weaving was another one of their areas of expertise. They are renowned to have developed the famous Chilkat blanket.
With the passage of time North West art has incorporated and adapted to many new art forms and techniques. They have primarily ventured into jewelry making and painting. By utilizing these different channels North West Native Americans have been able to cater to a wider target audience.
Individuals interested in Native American North West art now have the chance to explore the extensive collections that have been gathered in museums across America. They can also purchase many different kinds of North West Native art from souvenir shops at these museums or the works of contemporary North West Native American artists.