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Pacific Northwest Native Americans

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Presentation on theme: "Pacific Northwest Native Americans"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pacific Northwest Native Americans

2 Oregon, Washington and Alaska
Environment Oregon, Washington and Alaska

3 Environment Tribes of the Northwest were provided natural resources such as cedar and salmon. Cedar canoes were used to fish for salmon and whale. Northwest Coast Natives were considered rich compared to other tribes due to this abundance of resources.

4 Social Organization -what factors do you think would affect the type of home a tribe built? Types of homes -different tribes require different types of homes

5 Environment and lifestyle
Some Native American tribes were agricultural meaning they stayed in one place and farmed the land, growing corn and other vegetables. Other tribes were nomadic, moving from place to place as they hunted and gathered food and other resources.

6 Wigwams used by Algonquian Indians in woodland regions were stable homes made from bark, ropes and strips of wood. Earthen houses used by such tribes as the Navajo and Siouz were made by digging out spaces from the earth and then mounding a domed shape over the top. Longhouses used by the Iroquois and Algonquian were similar to the wigwams with bole frames and elm bark to cover. However, the longhouses were much larger, often consisted of a second story and could house up to 60 people. Tepees, used by Plains tribes, were tent-like structures built from wooden frames and covered with buffalo hide.

7 Longhouses The Pacific Northwest tribes constructed longhouses from cedar planks. These houses were up to 100 feet long and 25 feet wide. Layers of wood made up roofs to keep out the rain. The only openings were doors and small holes to let out smoke. Families would have assigned areas but lived together in these homes.

8 language Languages and dialects vary from tribe to tribe. Many of the original languages have died. Many tribes all over the United States are losing their language as most young people are disinterested in learning and/or maintaining the language of their tribe.

9 Values and religion Beliefs and lessons were passed down orally from generation to generation. Like any other culture there are stories to explain the creation of the world and people to basic rules of right and wrong. Like many other tribes, Northwest Coast tribes believed they were surrounded and connect to spirits and the supernatural. A Shaman was an individual who had a direct connection with the spirits. The Shaman treated the ill, ensured adequate food supplies and could influence the weather. If a person became ill it was believed to be an intervention from the spirit world. The Shaman was most often a man but could be a woman. A Shaman’s power was summoned by the use of a rattle.

10 Government and Law Exchanging of gifts proved wealth/power to others. Clans with the most wealth had the most power. Clans vs. Tribes?

11 Clans All tribes of the Northwest Coast are divided into two or more clans. Babies belonged to the mother’s clan. Marriage In order to marry a woman a man has to pay her father an agreed amount before the ceremony.

12 Economics Tribes were able to easily attain furs and then trade to the white man. The Blanket The blanket was a basic unit of trade amongst tribes. Trades between clans were arranged in advanced and were almost a rehearsed act.

13 Daily jobs Basket making was another important trade object. Women would try to outdo each other with the complexity and aesthetics of their design. Baskets were also made to store belongings and food. Designs and techniques were passed from mother to daughter. Tribes of the Northwest didn’t need to develop agricultural systems as their environment provided an abundance of natural resources. Easy fishing and advanced storage methods allowed tribes to profit economically. A method of drying food for safe and prolonged storage allowed an easier life for these tribes.

14 Technology?

15 Customs Celebrations/Ceremonies - A potlatch is an event or ceremony to commemorate a specific event such as raising a totem pole or appointing a new chief. Music - Used in largely associated with potlatches. Whistles and rattles were used to represent the presence of spirit beings. Drums were also utilized. Drummers would play individual hand drums together. Dance - Important part of ceremonies. Utilizes masks, headdress, and clothing.

16 Buffalo horn headdress of the Plains Indians.
Headdresses Buffalo horn headdress of the Plains Indians. Tsimshian bear headdress

17 Masks Native American masks were handcrafted and were often created to represent images of animals. Materials for masks included wood, feathers, hair, straw and other materials from their environment. Masks were also modeled after specific people and used to portray the status of the person. These masks are known as portrait masks. Masks could be simple or complex with moving parts such as eyes that open and shut.

18 The most complex type of mask is the transformation mask in which an outer mask opens to reveal an second or third mask.


20 Art and Design Native Americans utilized the natural materials around them to decorate their clothing, homes, and to make art. Such materials included bone, teeth, stone and natural paints/dyes. They used human and animal figures as subjects. Realism was not a concern for Native American artists as many designs were meant to represent the mystical or spiritual world. Apache painting on hide

21 Art made by women was usually a very balanced and controlled geometric design. Men were responsible for depicting human and animal figures. Both styles were considered sacred art and were important to daily life. Art of Men and Women

22 Chilkat blanket - Alaska
Functional Pieces Nuu-chach-nulth cedar bark hat of a chef whaler Chilkat blanket - Alaska

23 Animal Symbols Hummingbird – messenger of joy; represents friendship and good luck Whale/orca – associated with beauty and power, traveler and guardian Bear – known as the protector of the animal kingdom, powerful, respected Eagle – power and prestige; strong connection to peace

24 Color Color was a very important element of Native American art. Different colors represented different means depending on the group. Use of color depended on the natural resources available to a tribe Color Meaning for Native American Art Black night, underworld, male, cold, disease, death Blue sky, water, female, clouds, lightning, moon, thunder, sadness Green plant life, earth, summer, rain Red wounds, sunset, thunder, blood, earth, war, day White winter, death, snow Yellow sunshine, day, dawn

25 Natural Dyes Native Americans used wool, cotton and other natural fibers for clothing, Art and other household objects. Plants were used to dye materials.

26 Design

27 In 2010 Brian Jungen became the first living Native American artist to have a solo show at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. In his exhibit, “Strange Comfort”, he uses everyday, recognizable objects to create art pieces.

28 Prototype for New Understanding #23, 2005. Nike Air Jordans


30 "Pro­to­type for New Under­stand­ing #5" by Brian Jungen, 1999 Nike Air Jor­dans, human hair
Prototype for New Understanding #4  © Brian Jungen Click on the image to view a larger version of the work. Date made: 1998 Materials: Nike Air Jordans, hair




34 Comic Book Heroes As Native American Traditional Art Posted by Paul Caridad “Native American artist Jeffrey Veregge, a member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe who is also of Suquamish and Duwamish tribal ancestry, puts a modern twist on traditional art by creating this series of comic book heroes. Veregge grew up on a reservation near Kingston, Washington called Little Boston where he, like most boys, developed a love for superheroes and toys, but also for traditional art. Combining his passions for comic books, TV, and film with his artistic talents (an honors graduate from the Art Institute of Seattle) and Native perspective, Veregge’s minimalist designs perfectly represent each character.”




38 Native American Drawing
Make a drawing using elements of Native American design, specifically of the Northwest. Your subject can be traditional or modern. You should have no more than 4 colors for your final piece. You will need to make at least one sketch of your design in your sketchbook before you start on your final piece.

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