A Jicarilla by Edward Curtis, 1906.
The North American Indian: The Photographic Images, 2001 Northwestern University Library.

North America


The First Nations of the American Southwest inhabit a varied environment of sacred mountains, vast canyons, arid deserts and wind swept plains in the regions now known as Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Some groups settled in permanent villages, building strong agricultural ties to the region while others maintained a semi-nomadic horse-based lifestyle. All groups in this region however have created unique artistic expressions, with the most settled Apache and Navajo tribes creating beautiful textiles and pottery. In the nineteenth century southwestern footwear was typically made of asymmetric rawhide-soles with deer skin uppers, pigmented, and embellished with beads, silver, tin and fringe.

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