- from Native America
What could you create from a lump of clay or a buffalo hide?
What could you make from a handful of porcupine quills? For centuries, Native Americans have turned such ordinary materials into beautiful—and useful—works of art. Native American art also expresses the artists’ belief in the spiritual connection between human beings and the natural world. Artists often offer a prayer of thanks to the animal, plant, or rock that gave them the raw material for their art.
Native American art goes back thousands of years, yet it’s also as fresh as tomorrow. Native American artists have always incorporated new ideas and materials into their works. Long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, different groups of Native Americans influenced one another’s art. Shells, feathers, copper, and paint were widely traded. When Europeans introduced them to beads, silversmithing, and ribbons, Native Americans used these new materials in their own unique ways, blending the old and the new.