People’s Spotlight: Northwest Coast Native People

NW Coast Native Fossilized Ivory Jewelry

Here at Spectrum Arts, we carry extraordinary works of native and folk art from around the world. To learn more about some of the native groups that have produced these wonderful artworks, we present the “Peoples Spotlight” blog series. Each “Peoples Spotlight” blog will take an in-depth look at one of the tribes whose art we continue to revere today. Our first “Peoples Spotlight” piece will focus on the Native Americans who inhabited the western coast of Canada and Alaska, popularly referred to as the Pacific Northwest Indians.
The Pacific Northwest Indians developed a vibrant culture because of the wealth of natural resources at their disposal. They harvested a bounty of ocean-living animals and used the rich forests to construct cedar longhouses and their iconic totem poles. Their unique ritual events, the Potlatch, incorporated gift-giving ceremonies by the tribal chiefs, elaborate feasts, and entrancing music and dancing linked to the spirit world.
Art in the eyes of the Pacific Northwest Indians was important for many reasons. It glorified the supernatural and environmental elements in their daily lives, celebrated tribal and family lineages, and in many cases, made every day items more aesthetically pleasing. The wealth of these nations allowed artisans to practice their artistic expression on a large scale, in carvings, masks, sculptures, totem poles, and longhouses.
You can own a piece of the rich history of the peoples of the Northwest Coast today. Shop our selection of Pacific Northwest Indian art to find a perfect piece for your collection today.