North American Native art
North American Native art, diverse traditional arts of Native North Americans. In recent years Native American arts have become commodities collected and marketed by nonindigenous Americans and Europeans. Originally, these objects were produced in different cultural contexts and for altogether different purposes. In many cases native peoples endowed utilitarian objects with aesthetic qualities not strictly related to the objects' primary function. In addition, some groups produced articles symbolizing status positions or items of religious significance.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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