Tribal Art

Tribal Map of Central America

Tribal Art
Carved Mask in Making

Introduction to Tribal Art

Indigenous and tribal art featured by Galería Namu includes three characteristics:

  1. Traditional tribal arts
  2. Contemporary expressions of today’s indigenous artists
  3. Reproductions of Pre-Columbian pieces by indigenous artists and non-indigenous artists specializing in this arts tradition

Traditional Tribal Arts

Native Americans of Costa Rica have been producing beautiful objects for daily or ceremonial life.  As is typical of Native American aesthetics, these objects are often crafted with intentional elegance, or possess decorative elements that are pleasing to the eye. When you view our selection of indigenous and tribal art, it is important to remember that much of it comes from remote areas. The painstaking and often difficult job of seeking out the art presented in Galería Namu has become a labour of love.

Contemporary Indigenous Art

Woven Baskets
Woven Basket

Galería Namu has become a venue for contemporary native artistic expression infused with the spirit of their ancestor’s art and inspired by the knowledge of centuries old traditions. This knowledge, plus their own creative expression, gives rise to a synthesis that shows the dynamic nature of a living culture’s art.

Pre-Columbian Reproductions

In Costa Rica there exists an arts tradition where impressive reproductions of the country’s pre-Columbian art is created. It is interesting to note that some of these accomplished artists in the past were pre-Columbian grave raiders (huaqueros) and their knowledge of archeological pieces is impressive. When an awareness of national patrimony changed their direction, some began to use the clays, stones and minerals that were available to artisans in ancestral times to re-create the pieces they know so intimately. Through their art, these authentic-looking reproductions recreate for us the spirit of the original piece.