American Indian & Tribal Art
Visual arts by native peoples of the Americas touches upon the aesthetic practices of these indigenous peoples from early days to the modern day.
Visual arts by native peoples of the Americas touches upon the aesthetic practices of these indigenous peoples from early days to the modern day. These include paintings from South America and North America, that include Central America and Greenland. Art is an important part of native cultures that has been developed through the years and it is also used in rituals, spiritual beliefs, medicine and as a way of coping with the daily lives. Inuit art is unique because of their large scale paintings.
A number of paintings from the Northwest Indian tribes can be found in museums all over the United States. Two paintings from the Navajo Indians that are common place in cultural centers and homes are " Lakota Thunderbird Hunting II" and "itars of the Navajo Indians." The former is a three panel painting that depicts a white buffalo with a large herd of buffalo heads gathered around him. The second is a five panel painting that depicts the traditional dress of the Navajo.
An example of very outstanding American Indian Art is the creation called "Camel Dance of San Crazy," by Navajo artist Waring Tatum. This famous work of art is considered to be one of the masterpieces of American Indian art. Waring Tatum's work is also available from other artists of Native American descent such as Brenda Ekwurth. It is not unusual for a Native American artist to take a piece of their own personal experience and relate it to their own spiritual tradition. Some examples of this would be pieces such as "Three Leaves of Paradise" and "Dancing Wolf."
A significant part of Native American art history is their use of totem poles. There are two types of totems used by the Navajos. One type is called the bear or narwhal. These are known as the "lions of the woods." Another type is the bear or narwhale, which is shaped like a narwhal. When a Navajo sees a bear or narwhale, it usually signifies that some type of ceremony has happened.
American Indian art history has another significant component that is often not represented in a museum setting. This is oral tradition. Within the framework of American Indian art history, an associate curator will have the responsibility of maintaining the oral tradition. This means that they will interview their clients and ask questions about their life, what their culture was like, and what their spiritual beliefs were. An assistant curator will then follow up with the individuals in order to preserve their information and knowledge.
While working as an associate curator for the Navajo Nation, I was given the task of preserving the information and knowledge of our clients. One particular individual, a Navajo woman, told me that her father had passed away when she was very young. She was able to talk about him in great detail and when she grew up, she wanted to pass on the traditions of her family to her children. She wanted them to keep this information about their father, so that their children would be able to follow his steps when they married. She wanted them to be prepared for when he passed on.
Her desire to pass on these cherished memories to her children brought me to the point where I needed to preserve this important information for them. I contacted two of our tribal art historians and asked them if I could speak with them one on one to help preserve their information. The results of our first meeting was very promising, as both of them were able to preserve the information. After our initial contact, we were able to sit down and plan the perfect project, incorporating the images from the totems along with the information that the deceased had provided us with.
It is my hope that you are able to see the passion that the Navajo and other native american artists have put into preserving the American Indian culture. In the past, their artwork has been lost. But, thanks to these individuals and the organizations that assist them, we are able to enjoy it again. You will be able to find many pieces on the internet, but for those that cannot, the Native American art community is making sure that these items are shared. As a result, the beautiful art and knowledge of our indigenous brothers and sisters will never be lost. If you have American Indian art and you want to sell, then you can go for American Indian art appraisals to know the market value of the art.