Content Area 5: Indigenous Americas

 To access PowerPoint Notes & other resources OR are looking for online tutorials/support/AP Exam Prep for the exam on May 6, 2022, contact Teacher Oz at


  14 ARTWORKS - 6% of AP EXAM


  Indigenous Americas  

 Major Civilizations

Andes Civilizations
* Chavin (900-200 BCE) Coastal Peru
* Inca (1400-1521) Peru (no writing but a kept a record system, khipu)

* Mayan (300-900 CE) Belize, Gautemala, Honduras, Yucatan
* Aztecs (1400-1521) Central Mexico

North America
* Anasazi (550-1400 CE) American Southwest
* Mississippian (800-1500 CE) Eastern United States
* NW Coast Native American (18th c - present) Pacific Northwest



* Indigenous cultures of North America date back to 10,000 BCE but  most artifacts date only from the last 2,000 years
* Geography plays a huge role in Andean Art. Coastal plains acted individually while in the mountains they united against the elements.
* Old civilizations are used as foundations for new ones. (building upon preexisting sites)
* Artworks were often part of a workshop where many worked on one piece
* Pre-Columbian cultures occupy what is now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and parts of El Salvador before Christopher Columbus invaded the area
* The Aztec Empire was the dominant power in Mesoamerica before Henan Cortes overthrew them
* Developed huge city-states that prominently featured temple complexes rivaling any on Earth
* Rapid decline of civilizations in the 16th c. due to the introduction of disease by the Europeans
* With the arrival of the Europeans, the native people of North and South America were destroyed and persecuted. Archeology, oral tradition, documents, and museum records are the basis for research


Student Resources

* YouTube: Serpent Mound
* YouTube: Kwakiutl Ceremonial Dance
* Read more on Chavin de Huantar by Stanford University
* National Geographic: BBC Aztec History 
  * National Geographic: The Maya: Lost Civilization 
* Machu Picchu by National Geographic * Ghosts of Machu Picchu documentary by Nova (Alternate link)
* Video describing the City of Cusco 
  * Visit the National Museum of the American Indian: Navajo Paintings 
* Maria Martinez, 1972 documentary (26 minutes)
* Brooklyn Museum: painted elk hides 
  * Danielle Kay's dance presentation
  * Visit Khan Academy's SmartHistory AP Art History section on Indigenous Americas.
* Artwork List (in Google Drive PowerPoints)
* Q Cards & Snapshot Sheets with Images
* Vocabulary


1. Mesoamerica
2. pre-Columbian
3. effigy mound
4. earthwork
5. ashlar masonry
6. courses
7. comb roof
8. repousse




 Mrs. McConnell's lectures on the art of the Indigenous Americas  

   (NOTE: Test format of Mrs. McConnell does NOT refer to how this unit will be tested in the same manner. More info to come!)

  AP Art History Student-created Indigenous Americas Review  





Thank you so much to Lynn Wilkinson, Mary McConnell, Valerie Park and Martha Kunz for all their quidance and resources.