Southwest Art

Published on September 7, 2011 by Amy

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Artwork by Rick Timmons
Artwork by Rick Timmons

Southwest Art

Pottery, blankets, clothing and making baskets are only a portion of the many great arts and crafts associated with Southwest Native Americans. Southwest Native Americans art symbolize and indicates a representation of their ideas, beliefs, dreams and visions.

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Pottery was a form of southwest art created for everyday use such as for cooking, storing items, bathing and for religious ceremonies. These potteries were beautifully painted and intrinsically carved with various designs that always told a story.

Southwest Indian Clothing Art

The clothing that the Southwest Indians wore depended on what they did and was another form of southwest art. The Southwest Indians resided in a warm climate so they wore very little and light clothing. The Southwest Indians would dress in flowers and paint with feather headdresses. Clothing was also used and worn to denote their fighting ability.

Southwest Doll Art

Dolls referred to as Kachina dolls were carved out wood by the Zuni and Hopi tribes. They clothed the dolls in masks and costumes to look like the men who dressed up as Kachina spirits. These dolls were given to children to instruct them to recognize the different parts of Kachina dolls, and the parts they play in tribal ceremonies.

Southwest Jewelry Art

The Navajo tribe of women wore earrings before marriage. After getting married, they would attach them to bead necklaces until their own daughters are old enough to wear them before marriage.

Turquoise is a color which is mined by southwestern tribes. The turquoise stone is the stone of happiness, health, and good fortune. They use turquoise to make jewelry. In addition, the southwestern tribes also collected objects which they consider to be good luck objects referred to as fetishes. They kept these objects in bowls painted with crushed turquoise. The Navajo tribe is known for silverwork. They learned this trade from the Mexicans. The Navajo Indians developed silver working methods which they began to use for making jewelry. They also made belts from sterling silver.

Southwest Basket Art

The Southwest Indians were the most skilled and known for making baskets. They would embellish the baskets with many beautiful colors and patterns. The baskets could also be very symbolic like the art they made. The southwest Indians used a method referred to as Hopi to make baskets and the Hopi method of basket making has not changed for hundreds of years. Southwest art can be purchased in various specialty stores and from online specialty southwest art online stores. They are generally reasonable in price with many exquisite items to choose from.

The many southwest art forms were ways and methods for the Southwestern Native Americans to communicate their dreams, visions, and beliefs to one another and even to people today.

Source: indians Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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