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Aboriginal art styles may be regional, tribal within a region, family, and/or individual styles within a tribal group. Based on research and analysis of styles, we have chosen to group Pacific Northwest Coast aboriginal art into north coast, mid coast, south coast and west coast art styles. Boundaries are not as definite as the lines on a map would make them appear. There has been considerable overlap and borrowing over time among all the groups.




North coast art style would include the art of the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Haisla, Nisga’a, Gitksan, Heiltsuk (and possibly Nuxalk) people.


Mid coast art style would include the art of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Oweekeno, and Comox people (who exhibit both mid and south coast styles).


South coast style would include the art of Coast Salish groups like the Homolco, Sliammon, Nanoose, Qualicum, Se’shait, Sne-Nay-Muxw, Squamish, Quwutsun, Sto:lo, Semiahmoo, Burrard, Musqueam, Tsawassen, Nanoose, T’sou-ke (Sooke), Esquimalt, Songhees, and Saanich people, then south along the U.S. coast to the Columbia River delta.


West coast art style would include the art of Nuu Chah Nulth groups like the Opetchesaht, Tse-shaht, Kyuquot, Ehattesaht, Nuchatlaht, Mowachaht, Hesquiat, Ahousaht, Clayoquot, Ucluelet, Toquaht, Uchucklesaht, Ohiat, Ditidaht, Pacheenaht, Klahoose and Makah.”


(from Learning by Designing: Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 1 p17. Map p15. www.ravenpublishing.com)