A pot made by an Indian artist of the south-west has a break in the encircling line of the jar, the 'exit trail of life', because the pot has a life of its own.

A child's moccasin, made by a Plains Indian, is embroidered with a zig-zag snake pattern as a protection against snake-bite.

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His cultivation of agriculture was limited and semi-nomadic, using a 'slash and burn' method of cultivation, harvesting a crop and moving on.

His way of life was bound to conflict with the new settlers from Europe, whose agricultural enclosures drove the Indian from his home ground.

Due to this practice, the cultures as a whole are referred to as the Mound builders.

The Woodland Period spanned roughly two thousand years: c.1000 BCE - 1000 CE, and is usually dividied into three periods: early, middle, and late.

A settled culture, based on maize agriculture, its people built a more complex form of platform mound and evolved more advanced pottery techniques.

Mississippian culture artifacts include shell chokers and cups, small-scale figurative stone sculpture, copper plates like the Wulfing cache, and ceremonial masks.For too many 19th century Americans living in the large cities and towns of the east coast, the nearest they got to native American art was the pictures of Frederic Remington (1861-1909) - the famous portrayer of the Cowboy West - and the frontier landscapes of Thomas Cole (1801-48), George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), and Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902).To appreciate the nature of the tribal art of the Indian peoples of North America, one has to visualise cultures in which daily life, religious belief and artistic expression are not seen as separate activities but as communal rituals, celebrating either the power of nature and supernatural forces or some essential human activity such as hunting.However, most wooden items that are carved and painted, date from the 1st century CE onwards.They include animal carvings, face masks, tablets, plaques and human effigies from the unique Key Marco Hoard, uncovered by archeologists in 1896, which included some of the finest Neolithic Native American Indian art ever found in the United States.The Mississippian culture of the south-east Woodland culture flourished (800-1500 CE) throughout an area east of the Mississippi river which includes today's Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States.