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Art Supplies

As one of the world’s earliest and most enduring cultures, Native American culture has profoundly influenced many aspects of creative arts.

Here are the top five Native American artists you need to learn about to fuel your own creative pursuits:

  1. Radmilla Cody (1975-present)

Radmilla Cody, half African-American and Miss Navajo World 1976 is famous for her recorded songs in her native Navajo language.

Cody learned a traditional Indian Native American practice, weaving. She used the process to sing Navajo chants, which influenced her haunting music.

Don’t miss Cody’s Grammy-nominated album Shi Keyah: Songs for the People.

  1. Joan Hill (1930-present)

Joan Hill is a Native American artist who has been painting for 60 years. Her work is often influenced by the Creek legends that her father told her and other cultures. 

She uses a variety of techniques and many different styles to portray her work. One thing that is always in her work is the use of negative space to define key features such as mounds or foliage.

  1. Lloyd Kiva New (1916-2002)

Lloyd K. New, born in the Cherokee Nation, began teaching art on Indian reservations and later cofounded the Institute of American Indian Arts.

A 1938 graduate of the Santa Fe Art Institute, he became a fashion designer in Los Angeles and New York. After moving back to Santa Fe, New started teaching art on Indian reservations and later cofounded the IAIA. The school remains today as the only college for Native American visual artists, sculptors, and painters.

  1. Supaman (1974-present)

Hailing from the Crow Reservation in Montana, Supaman (aka Christian Parrish Takes the Gun) blends traditional Native American music with hip-hop. He performs from head to moccasin wearing a full headdress and singing stories of reservation life. His style is similar to inner-city hip hop artists when he sings about selling drugs or struggling to pay bills, raising children or toiling on the land.

  1. Maria Tallchief (1925-2013)

Maya Yvonne Pakaluk, or “Maria Tallchief,” was born in Oklahoma’s Osage Nation Indian reservation in 1925. She was the muse of choreographer George Balanchine and became best known for her powerful performance in Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird.”