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AP Art History

Unit 5: 1000 BCE - 1980 CE

Indigenous Americas

Images 153-166

Main Ideas:

  • Before 1492, the Indigenous Americans were disconnected from Afro-Eurasia and developed their own lifestyle. This Unit's artwork showcases that unique lifestyle

  • Indigenous Americans often had much more extreme & personal relations with their Gods, and a lot of their artwork incorporates spiritual imagery to activate their Gods & natural/ancestral spirits

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Ancient Art from Present-day US: Often contains earthworks and other buildings that are designed around ceremonial purposes

  • Ancient Mesoamerican Art: Uses religious imagery (such as human sacrifices, bloodletting, wings, serpents, etc.) to emphasize the power of the Mesoamerican Rulers and to please the gods so that the Mesoamerican people can move to the afterlife after their death

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Pre-Incan Art: Its buildings and artworks depict religious and spiritual objects to emphasize the spiritual power over their daily lives

  • Incan Art: Commissions grand, well-organized artworks to emphasize the sense of wealth, control, harmony, and order within the Incan empire

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Often depicts natural objects (such as bison, clouds, etc.) and ancestors because Native Americans (of present-day US & Canada) believed that the nature around them and their ancestors had spiritual power
  • As Europeans were colonizing and forcibly destroying indigenous culture, the Natives promoted different aspects of their culture in an attempt to save it from colonization
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