Wood Carvings

Of the materials used in Native American Indian art pieces, wood is the most popular and supreme material. Their wood carvings range from boxes to masks, totem poles to sculptures, etc. The different types of woods used for carving include Cedar, Spruce, Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and others; some types of wood have a symbolic meaning for the First Nations people.

The most popular wood used for carving is Cedar and it plays a big role in their traditions. There are two types of indigenous cedars; Western Red Cedar and Yellow Cedar. Cedar is a valued resource for the First Nations as every part of it is used in one way or another. The bark, root, branches and core are used to make materials ranging from baskets all the way to totem poles and even houses. Shamans traditionally wear cedar bark neck rings that they use for ritual cleansings during important Winter ceremonies. Generally, stories referring to any Tree of Life, unless specified otherwise, refer to Cedar trees.

Wood Carving Masters

The popularity of Cedar is largely due to the tree itself growing very tall and straight and resisting decay. This makes it perfect to be used for large wood carved art pieces such as totem poles and sculptures and Native American Indian artists are quite knowledgeable when it comes to the material. As masters of their trade, they know which part of the tree can be used best for the art they envision. For example, the wood from a branch is much harder and denser than the wood from the core of the tree. They use that knowledge in their art which results in the beautiful work you see in our gallery.

he popularity of Cedar is largely due to the tree itself growing very tall and straight and resisting decay. This makes it perfect to be used for large wood carved art pieces such as totem poles and sculptures and Native American Indian artists are quite knowledgeable when it comes to the material. As masters of their trade, they know which part of the tree can be used best for the art they envision. For example, the wood from a branch is much harder and denser than the wood from the core of the tree. They use that knowledge in their art with beautiful results.

At Canadian Indian Art, we ensure our gallery contains many such examples of beautiful wood carvings by master Native American Indian Artists.