Native American Artist

The Portrayal of the Wolf in Native American Art

Wolves and Contemporary American Indian Art

Native American art features a gallery of compelling, totemic animals, but perhaps no animal in this pantheon commands more respect than the wolf. This sacred animal adorns countless Native American pottery, masks, sculptures, and paintings. Wolves in Native American culture also signify powerful emotions and states of mind; they represent everything from family loyalty to intelligence, cunning, and communication.

American Indian art portrays wolves in a complex light. Some works feature other animal bodies with the head of the wolf to invoke the traits of both species and to emphasize a relevant metaphor. Other pieces depict the wolf across a nighttime landscape — an all-encompassing figure, representing deep-seated beliefs about mortality, virility and nature. The depiction may be ephemeral or might feature clear lines, surrounded by symbols like the feather, eagle, or moon.

Wolves mate for life in the wild; this “strong connection to family” also informs the symbolism. Beautiful paintings of wolves howling into the night or alongside an Indian maiden fill Native American artist galleries around the country.

Along with dreamcatchers, the complex and intelligent spirit of the wolf dominates color schemes, brush strokes, and designs. The canines, feared in other cultures for their cunning and mischief, represent positive qualities to Native American artists.

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Nieto Fine Art proudly features exquisite wolf-inspired masterpieces. Please check out our catalog online, whether you’re searching for powerful wolf art to decorate a studio space or you’re remodeling the office of your Bay Area start up, contact us with questions about the aesthetics of Native American-inspired pieces. 

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