The vast expanses of the Americas range from polar regions to tropical rain forests and encompass a huge diversity of natural environments. Peoples adapting to these environments developed distinctive lifeways. Then came conquest and colonization by European peoples, with foreign influences permeating everyday life. Here our focus is on clothing, diet and religion. While clarifying the relationship between their underlying diversity and historical influences, we also draw attention to traditional artists and craftmakers who creatively combine tradition with modern values in their works.