Is it Kitsch? Camp? or Fine Art?
Glimpses of Indian Life
Making it Local
Authenticating the Inauthentic
Secularizing the Sacred
Mixing High and Low
Yearning for the Past

Authenticating the Inauthentic
Native artists incorporated new materials into the popular arts.

For example, some potters decorated their pottery with fugitive poster paint, instead of permanent, fired-on mineral pigments. Tourists who considered that they had Rain God sophisticated tastes rejected such alterations of traditional pottery. Still, masses of buyers were not concerned with tradition and simply bought brightly colored mementos of Indian culture.

Native artists sometimes borrowed icons and religious ideas from other Native groups. Navajos carved sculptures that look like Hopi Kachina dolls, or incorporate Pueblo Kachina images in their weavings. Pueblo potters borrowed prehistoric Hohokam and Mimbres designs for their made-for-sale pottery. Traders often encouraged Native artists to work in cross-cultural styles in trader-run workshops that mass-produced items for tourist markets.

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