Reflecting the traditions and cultures of the tribes in which they were born and raised, Native American Artists and their work have become sought after and more recognized within the arts communities for not only the quality of their work, but the feelings, emotions and images Native American artists convey with their art.
Though there are a variety of artists who create works of art based on Native American cultures, traditions, rituals and history, only federally or state recognized artists can count themselves among a group of true Native American Artists. Under the Indian Art and Crafts Act, passed by the federal government in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 1990s, persons claiming to be Native American Artists must be a part of one of the more than 500 federally recognized tribes or a legal member of a state recognized tribe within the United States.
This ensures that all Native American artists are working to preserve their heritage and cultural traditions that have made Native American arts and crafts some of the most culturally significant forms of art today.
A Variety Of Art Forms
From the ancient pottery of Nampeyo, who created brilliant pottery from clay and earth in the late 19th to mid 20th century to the modern works of Native American artists such as Urshel Taylor and Dana Tiger, Native American Artists capture the conflicts of the past, the realities of the present, and work to preserve the cultural traditions of spirituality, harmony with nature and loyalty to tribe and family.
Using rich colors, Native American artists dabble in all art forms, from pottery to paintings, beads and leather working, sand paintings, textiles and blanket weaving, and more.
Many Native American artists displays are now touring the country or being exhibited at museums around the world, and are heralded for the emotion they evoke from a people who have a long and sometimes trying history.
Today, Native American artists are working to ensure their legacy lives on, and their history and role in shaping American is never forgotten.