Wooden Sculpture Origins

The origins of wooden sculptures started from woodcarving, one of the oldest forms of art. This art form is so old it is almost impossible to trace its origin, and has been seen throughout different regions of the world. Though it is so hard to trace there are many cultures that have used wood carvings as an art form for a long time.  Below is  a look at three different cultures with long history of woodcarvings.

Chinese woodcarvings: Before the Qin Dynasty in 221-207 B.C.E. the chinese had already mastered some of the techniques used for woodcarvings. Typically it was used for furniture and building elaborate beams in building structures. The Ming dynasty saw the turn of woodcarving from craftsmanship to art.

Wood Carving

Polynesian woodcarvings: Polynesian tradition of wood carving is rooted in their culture and history. Their carving often featured gods, wooden bowls, jewelry, and weapons. The style varies from each different region Tahiti, Maori, Hawaiian, Fiji, etc all have different looks to their carvings but typically represent the gods they worshiped and made war clubs that were carved from wood.

Polynesian Carving

Another culture with a long and deep tradition for woodcarvings are the Native Americans. One of the most popular form of woodcarvings were totem poles that represented animal spirits to the great chiefs. The first record of Native American woodcarvings came from tribes in the Pacific Northwest



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1 Comment. Leave new

  • miles radakovitz
    April 12, 2020 12:03 pm

    I really like how you went back really far to explore some of the actual origins of wood carving. It would be interesting to know how much of it was made, but due to the degradable nature of wood, did not survive until today.


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