Art: Teeth to Trees

In Oregon's Portland Art Museum last week, gallerygoers were treated to a show that had as much interest for anthropologists as for art-lovers in general. It was the cream of a collection of 5,000 objects (from prehistoric times to the present) that had been carved, painted and woven by the Indians of the Northwest Coast, from Alaska and the Aleutians to northern California.

As anthropologists are fond of pointing out, the Indians knew nothing of art for art's sake. Their masks, rattles and totem poles were just as functional as their bone fishhooks and...

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