Traditional Native Art From Around the Globe

Finding out more information on the artwork of different cultures is like running a background check. Each culture has its own beliefs and ideas that shape the art created by groups and artists. The following resources cover some of the more important areas and the pieces coming out of those areas.

Sub Saharan Africa

Artwork created in this region is marked by a reverence for history. Artists often used drawings of friends and family members when working on their pieces.

North African Tribes

North African artwork differs because the tribes often use gold and other types of metal in their pieces. They also place a lot emphasis on the female form because females are so highly regarded.

Northwestern North America

These groups often created art out of the products they had on hand such as wood and wool. Baskets, totem poles and blankets are examples of this type of artwork.

Early China

Early Chinese artists learned their skills from others working in their village. The pieces were highly detailed and intricate, often carved from pieces of jade or wood.


This artwork often took the form of tools because everything needed a dual function. Something as simple as a mortar and pestle was viewed as a piece of art because of the time that went into carving the piece.

New Guinea

Art from New Guinea often took the form of masks, both ceremonial and tribal. These people also created artwork in the form of figures, often depicting creatures, animals and the human form.

  • New Guinea Art : provides examples of art from this region including masks and figures.
  • Oceanic Art : focuses on artwork created by New Guinea artist Michael Hamson.
  • New Guinea Artifacts : offers resources and examples of artwork from New Guinea.

Australian Aboriginals

Aboriginal art focuses on the connection between the human and their dreams. The artwork also depends upon the connection that modern day people have with their ancestors.


Traditional native art covers a lot of different areas. The research of each one is like a background check because it involves investigating the thoughts and beliefs of each culture, which shows why and how the work was created. These resources provide a better understanding of each culture.