The Top Three Main Defining Characteristics of Native American Arts and Crafts

The Top Three Main Defining Characteristics of Native American Arts and Crafts

Buffalo skulls

Artwork can sometimes tell us more about a culture than a traditional history book. Here are three interesting things about Native American artwork that may tell you something about them:

1. Native American Arts and Crafts Generally Follow a Scheme

Native American art has a few stylistic tropes that appear in most instances of their work. They tend to be very geometric with lots of tribal patterns that can appear either as an intricate design or an elegantly simple one. This is true of most of their work, but not all of it. Some Native American art is simply of nature scenes, which is fair considering how beautiful North America is. On top of that…

2. Native American Crafts are Generally Very Functional

It is well known that Native Americans disapproved of wasting any part of an animal, from a buffalo skull to its tail, but it isn’t as well known that this extended to their art. Art in and of itself doesn’t serve a functional purpose, so it is technically a waste, and so Native American weapons and tools aren’t the only functional things in their society. Their artwork generally served a function as well; for example, they often made high quality pottery that would serve as an artistic piece as well as a functional pot!

3. All Native American Arts and Crafts Are Known, But Some Artwork is More Known Than Others

Much of Native American art is well known and very intricate. Not all of it is equal though — one type of Native American artwork stands head and shoulders above the rest, or at least head above the rest, because this artwork is the iconic totem pole! It is easily the most famous of all the Native American arts and crafts and this is not for naught. It definitely deserves that fame! What do you think about Native American arts and crafts?

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