Pre-Columbian Art

Hacha, effigy ax, El Salvador

Hacha, effigy ax, El Salvador

Pre-Columbian Art was primarily inspired by religious thoughts and practices.  It is made up of the endeavors of many artists to create reverent works to please their gods, hence the high frequency of the symbolic and the abstract in Pre-Columbian work.  Thus, while every artist had great creative ability, they were limited by the need to adhere to traditional canons because every detail had a specific function.

While there was change in stylistic shapes and patterns, these happened very slowly and often within their own geographic regions.  New art styles that were introduced were accepted selectively, and still often blended into the existing styles of a region.