Native American Culture – Library Research

With Native American culture being of interest I decided to utilise the library and use their resources to expand my knowledge of the society. Previously I was most intrigued by the patterns, body marking and symbols of the natives and I tried to focus on this when researching so I had more of a aim for the research, ensuring the research was relevant and useful to me.


Library Scans

Searching through the library I managed to find several books about the Native American culture. Below are scans of artwork and artefacts from the books I looked in. I tried to select imagery that was of interest to me, whether that be through the colours, patterns and symbols or their connection with horses and animals.






  • Feathers
  • geometric
  • Use of repetitive patterns
  • Bright bold colours
  • Animals appeared to be very important as they were used within most designs or sculpted objects.
  • Like the colours and shapes of the head dresses, particularity the porcupine ones, as they give a far stronger and more dynamic shape, due to their rigid strength. I could see this being used to inspire a set of character designs.


Refer to Sketchbook 1

While looking through the books I felt inspired by the imagery I was collecting, so I decided to record details from the images through drawings. Therefore helping me to remember key aspects that I was interested in at the time, as well as exploring the project from a different perspective as my responses where me showing what was key to me.

Within my reflection of my Nebula research I identified that I hadn’t done enough responses to the information I was finding out about. Therefore I planned to complete more visual responses and this is me doing that.



What did i LEARN?

  • Highly patterned – Angular, geometric, contrasting colours, repetitive patterns, primitive, lines
  • Stories on bowls and other decorative items
  • Animals are a great inspiration – Materials, Shapes, Subject matter
  • Flamboyant



Looking over the research I feel most excited by the visual patterns and colours on many of the items created by the tribes, as though they are simplistic adding lots of simplistic geometric shapes together creates a highly detailed and intricate pattern.

Also I found the headdresses to be of interest, particularly the ones made from porcupine hair, as I they were very to be eye catching due to their bright colours, strikingly sharp texture, and the elegant flow about them created by the many feathers/ spins together. I feel these could be used to create imagery for environmental or character assist designs.

From the research it is clear the Native Americans have a deep connection with wildlife, not just the animals they keep, but their whole culture. With all their clothing, bowls, tools, etc all having a connection to animals, whether that be the pattern on them, the material they’re made from or the shape they are. This builds upon my previous interest of the body paint on the horses and the natives deep connection with them, as it clearly shows how much they relied on animals for their existence and it has defined their culture. Combining this with my interest in the patterns and forms within their objects, I feel it could be interesting to try to create animal characters inspired by the body art and these patterns and shapes, to produce creative and innovative creatures, which could be the start of a whole design world.



  • If I have enough time before the presentation on Friday, I plan to create some rough designs for a range of characters based off of the shapes, colours and forms from the images I have discovered today.