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When I was young, every day was as a beginning of some new thing, and every evening ended with the glow of the next day's dawn.

Eskimo (Arctic)

Ritual dances and singing of Navajo Indians performing at UNESCO
UNESCO photo: Marcel Salvaro



Navajo Art

Art Exhibition

overview Overview

Yesterday and Today
Music, dance, ceremony, storytelling and art-making express the richness of the world's indigenous cultures.

Expressing beliefs and conveying meaning through movement, sound and symbols, the art of many indigenous peoples connects the present with the past and the future. Consider this poem by an Aboriginal artist in Australia:

The Dreamtime
They say we have been here for 40,000 years, but it is much longer
We have been here since time began
We have come directly out of the Dreamtime of our creative ancestors
We have kept the earth as it was on the first day.
Our culture is focused on recording the origins of life.
We refer to forces and powers that created the world as creative ancestors.
Our beautiful world has been created only in accordance with the power, wisdom and intentions of our ancestral beings.

From the Aboriginal Art and Culture Center outside link in Alice Springs, Australia.

In The Dreamtime, spirituality, life and culture are all united.

Examples of the art and culture of the world's Indigenous Peoples are as rich and diverse as the peoples themselves. From ancient cultures such as the Mayan Indians through present day Native American, Aboriginal, and other Indigenous Peoples, traditional and contemporary art forms such as music, dance, poetry, painting, pottery and mask-making are being recognized and celebrated.

For a more in-depth perspective on indigenous art and culture, visit the case study on Navajo art.

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Navajo Art

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