The Separation Of Native American Art

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The circulation of Native American Art has always had controversial origins. Many questions arise of whether society is persisting the appropriation of Native Art or whether certain pieces were unrightfully sold into circulation. However, the transformation of what Native American Art is and how Native American Art is viewed is directly related to the controversial cultural intermixing that came with the European settlement of the West.
The audience and consumers of Native American art has transformed significantly throughout history. The general trend in regard to consumers and Native American Art seems positive in regards to the increasing knowledge of Native American culture and respect towards their creations. However, this was not always
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With the incorporation of Western civilization, much Native art methods have been lost or muddled. A significant impact for the Native community and their production of art was the Potlatch ban beginning in 1855. This provided such an impact due to the importance within Native American tribes to properly initiate art pieces to the community. For example, totems were required to be initiated through a potlatch, but without an outlet to do so they were sold off. However, it is after the end of the potlatch ban that a rebirth of Native American art reached a peak. With the allowance of potlatches, Native art could be reintroduced and appropriately initiated into the community. At this time, there is a rise of Native American artists claiming back items, but“…it was being made clear to the Tsimshian that they would have to buy the objects back if they really wanted them returned” (White 131). Such protests eventually led to the Repatriation act in which Native objects would be rightfully returned without profit. Furthermore, modern Native American art came to rise at this time to revive, not only the art traditions, but also spread the awareness of Native culture and history. People like Dion Kaszas brought back awareness to a long lost tattoo tradition that used to be common among Native people which was lost due to the income of Christian missionaries. Other modern Native art can be seen with clothing renditions such as Grant’s bridal gown or Telford’s clothing made of traditional Native materials. (Review Slid 7). The influence of Western settlers in regard to Native art was not all negative though. When Western settlers came, they brought with them metal through the passage of coins that was unseen before. During the 19th century, with the rise of trade, these coins eventually became use for Native American jewelry, most popularly bracelets. The bracelets gave example to the skill of Native Americans as well as some