SOUTHWEST INDIAN CRAFT ARTS
Clare Lee Tanner
Published by University of Arizona Press, Tucson
Hardback,slipcover, 206 pages, copyright 1968, third printing 1971
Indian craft arts, as so understandably unfolded in this volume by author Clare Lee Tanner, are “the products of these people at any time, the crafts produced by these folk called Indian . . . “
In the American Southwest live a large number of Indian tribes, some of whom, such as the Hopi, have inhabited approximately the same areas for centuries. Others are more recent arrivals, such as the Navajo and Apache. No two groups are exactly alike, yet all have inherited broadly comparable patterns of culture traits. Not only are there qualities identifying the art of the Southwest Indians as a whole, but also there are the intimacies of design and form which separate the products of these tribes, making each distinctive.
Against this background of differences and similarities of centuries-old tradition and of new ideas borrowed from others, author Tanner relates the fascinating details of recent and contemporary craft art of these tribes. The focus swings from basketmaking, the oldest utensil-producing craft in the New World, to silversmithing, a craft learned by the Navajos in the latter half of the 1800s. She touches all factors—the materials, techniques, forms, styles, designs, and design elements of the various craft arts and their makers.
Inter-tribal contacts, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American influences, and commercialization all have played a role in the changing styles, designs, and functions of each of the craft arts. These are explained in depth, and Mrs. Tanner emphasizes also the importance of the trader in preserving some traditional craft items and in modifying others.
In Southwest Indian Craft Arts, Mrs. Tanner has drawn upon her many years of research and observation to produce a volume that will be indispensable to collectors of Indian crafts, anthropologists, museums, and to all others interested in the Indians of the Southwest.
Condition: book in very good condition, slipcover has tears