Want to know about Native American Art? Interested in different Native American art forms? Read on to get a comprehensive overview of the various art forms practiced by the Native Americans…
The Native Americans are renowned for being great artists. Their art takes on many different flavors varying with each tribe and its traditions. In general Native American art is rich with symbolism and almost always had religious associations.
Native American Symbolism in Art
As mentioned above Native Americans were very fond of making use of symbols in their art work. They had an extensive collection of symbols which were developed through observation of nature.
Particularly popular were Native American animal symbols. Certain animals like the eagle, bear and buffalo were highly revered by the Natives. This is why they were predominantly found on religious art work like dance sticks, baskets and pottery. There were other symbols that acquired a sacred status such as the arrow and the circle of life.
Native American Basketry
This is one of the trademark art forms practiced by the Native Americans. For them, basket weaving was a spiritual affair. The women were the artists who would create all sorts of baskets using techniques that were handed down the generations. Simple baskets were created for everyday use whereas special baskets were prepared for ceremonial uses. These baskets featured unique patterns and symbols that would be used to narrate a story on their surfaces.
Native American Jewelry
Jewelry is another artistic domain which was explored to its depths by the Native Americans. Different jewelry masterpieces were developed in different tribes such as the squash blossom necklaces of the Navajo people and the unique silver inlay designs by the people of the Zuni tribe as well as the fetish necklaces of the Hopi tribe.
Native American Beaded art
Beadwork was a unique form of art that the Native Americans developed after the advent of the colonists in America. This was when the natives first became exposed to glass beads. Soon enough the natives mastered the art of producing exquisite beadwork items including clothing, medicine bags, belts and headdresses. The Navajo tribe in particular is renowned for its peyote style of stitching used in beadwork.
Native American Rock Art
It is well known that the Native Americans were very fond of nature and believed in living in harmony with their natural surroundings. This belief of theirs is clearly reflected in the unique form of art developed by them known as rock art. Rock art, much like the cave art of prehistoric times was conducted on natural canvases in the forms of rocks. The Natives would use paint, charcoal and other coloring materials to narrate legendary stories or depict other sacred themes on the surfaces of large rocks. Such work often featured elaborate scenes.
Native American Martial arts
Native American art is not all about creative design work. Rather the natives also developed their own art of fighting known as the Chukuku-Ryu. This was a very powerful and philosophical science that called upon the artist to utilize his physical, emotional and spiritual strengths together. It was based on eight outer elements and five inner elements that must be used in combination to perfect the art of fighting.