The craftsmanship of native North American peoples is now regarded as art of a high order, yet not until the early twentieth century did it become the subject of aesthetic discussion. The varied and vital forms of Indian artifacts--from the totem poles of the Northwest Coast to the rock engravings of the Anasazi--create an extraordinary record of native traditions and their subtle interactions with European influence. Classifying surviving works by material and technique, the author covers a huge field--a thousand tribes and about 200 languages. The works described and illustrated range from an Arapaho Ghost Dance dress to Buffalo Meat's self-portrait, from Seminole applique work of the 1890s to a Tlingit spoon carved from mountain goat horn; all of them works of art that testify to a vast field of human achievement. 193 illus., 20 in color.