As with so many of the greatest artistic traditions in history, Native American art is steeped in rich storytelling, and this means of expression has been a vital part of culture for centuries. This tradition still continues, and is even evidenced in the varied Native American arts and crafts that are created today.
Some items, such as buffalo skulls, may serve a more decorative and symbolic function. Other items may have more distinct everyday purposes. While Native American weapons and tools certainly fall under this latter category, there are some Native American crafts combine both aesthetic and practical values.
For example, there are hand-woven blankets, which are made from a broad palette of fabrics, patterns, and hues. Corn husks and reeds are commonly used to construct sturdy baskets that have excellent longevity.
A big part of the reason for the fusion of practicality and fine art principles is the perspective that items should not be mismanaged or wasted. An animal or other material should be used in its entirety. Along the same lines, artistic expression often involves items that are used for everyday living.
If you have questions, comments, or recommendations about particular Native American arts and crafts–from beadwork to musical instruments to buffalo skulls–feel free to share them in the forum below. Research more here: prairieedge.com