preview

The Cultural Wealth Of Western Culture

Decent Essays
To many, Northwestern First Nations art appears primitive and simple, however, that understanding is narrow-minded and incorrect. In fact, First Nations art is powerful, bold, creative, and a tool to pass on the traditions, customs, legends, and histories of the First Nations people. Art is not just an abstract idea but is ingrained into their way of life.
From baskets woven so tightly that the stitches look almost invisible, to beautifully crafted carvings and totem poles, all Northwestern indigenous art shows careful attention to detail, technique, and innovative ideas. A constant flowing line carries the viewer through contours, animals, the supernatural, myths, history, and family heritage. Every piece of art is used. Blankets,
…show more content…
"Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people"
-Chief Seattle of the Squamish and Duwamish nations (1853, when asked to sell land to the United States government.)

Artists in the Northwest were middle class, and usually, art was done for an extra wage. Other middle-class jobs included craftsmen, hunters and gatherers, and cooks. The upper class was purely people whose job was to gain money, which was then given away during potlatches. The lower class were slaves captured when fighting with other nations or tribes.
Indigenous art in the Northwest was comprised of totem poles, large communal houses, masks, baskets, costume, and cutlery. Art changed from nation to nation, however, there were themes and motifs within certain regions.

“Their wealth of artistry is impressive: totem poles, large communal houses made of cedar planks, vivid dramatic masks, expertly made baskets, animal-shapes hats, clothing decorated with abstract designs, feast dishes, carved spoons, and so much more."

Their art wasn 't just for decoration, it was a part of everyday life. Their art was woven into their clothing, their dishes, even their very homes.
The architecture of the northwest is extremely distinct with amazing longhouses which are a trademark of the area. Before European contact, the Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haisla built gabled roof houses which were about sixty square feet. The Nuxalk,
Get Access