Native American art was not created solely for its aesthetics, it was integrated into other aspects of culture, it represented the values and events of the tribe, while providing basic needs such as shelter. One example of this is Pueblo pottery used as containers for water was decorated and painted to tell stories about the history or rituals of the tribe. Zuni craved fetishes, or stones that resembled animals, and it was believed these carvings embodied the creature’s spirit. Depending on the creature they resembled, fetishes were believed to give hunters power, provide protectio...
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... tribe’s traditional crafts.
European encounter and settlement not only changed native American art in technique and appearance but transformed the art’s connection to the culture of the tribe. Native Americans no longer relied on the materials produced by the land they lived on, but instead the manufactured goods from Europe. European contact sparked trade relations, that benefited the Native American economy, but devalued the sacredness of certain objects and crafts. White settlers eventually tried to destroy all aspects of Native culture, including art by mass genocide as well as attempted assimilation into white mainstream culture. Fortunately, modern day Native American tribes have invested time and interest into traditional crafts and culture, with the assistance from the government through legislation such as the “Indian Arts and Crafts” act of 1990. Nagpra
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