The Story of Indigenous Art

The indigenous art of America is expressive of the native American’s creativity and love of nature. Baskets, pottery, oil as well as sand paintings, and the various articles made of wood and leather are the best examples of Native American traditions in creative art. Environmental protection became a necessity to the present world due to the advancement of pollution and its threat to the survival of humanity. Yet the ancient American Indians were always very much aware of the importance of ecology. They used art, as well as creativity, to express their respect for nature as well as using their artistic creations to worship their Gods. The artist of the Native American traditions believed that his artistic talent and creativity were sacred gifts delivered upon him by the Gods.

Art with a Purpose

The American Indians firmly believed that the Universe was created by God and all of the living, as well as the inanimate, were also God’s creations so that neither is superior nor inferior to the other. In the indigenous art, creation was not just for the sake of creation; each creation upheld the importance of beauty and charm; each creation of native art held a specific purpose. When the American Indians wanted to produce clothes or to prepare food they killed animals however, they never killed them for entertainment or for sport.

The various products of South American art are beautiful and illustrate the Native American traditions. The Native American artisans were experts in making numerous designs and shapes, and when the shapes and designs were repeatedly used to make various creations they became common symbols for the people of the numerous tribes, whose languages differed. Thus creations of the native art became a way of communication among the people. The artists were able to promote harmony and the spirit of oneness through their creations, and against all odds, the Native American art continued to thrive for centuries. According to their environment, as well as basic needs, each tribe of the American Indians promoted different forms of art such as sand painting, water painting, pottery making, cloth sewing, basket-weaving and carving. 

Native Americans in the Southwest

The most beautiful pottery, blankets, rugs and baskets were products of the South American art, and gave demonstration to how the environment of the people greatly influenced indigenous art. The Native Americans of the southwest used to inhabit a particular area and lived among permanent homes. Here, they cultivated the lands and raised live-stock, hence they did not want to shift from place to place giving them time for creative art. They produced beautiful pottery items, blankets with eye-catching designs, and more. Moreover, the southwestern native artists were very broad-minded and did not hesitate to accept any designs or cultural activities of the Native American traditions. The Native American artists made the red and black pots, and various other clay ceramics, by only their hands, and were not used to spinning wheels or ceramic wheels to make their pottery.

Lakota Sioux

The history of South American art is, in fact, the history in the art of making baskets as well as beautiful pottery. Aside from developing various designs and shapes, they developed advanced methods for firing and finishing, and were also able to create colorful, as well as durable, jars of the indigenous art. The Native Americans of the Lakota Sioux tribe were initially taken to creating art products such as pottery, wood carvings and baskets, yet by 18th century Lakota Sioux became a Nomadic tribe and started moving from place to place along with herds of their buffalo. They prepared food using the meat of the buffalos, made tools using the buffalo bones and painted beautiful native designs on the buffalo skin. They developed a new form of native American art suitable to their changing life-style.