In the 18C, European and American artists used the images of Native American women as allegorical representations of the American continent, the American colonies, and the United States of America. These fanciful images had changed in form and substance during their several hundred of years of use. First depicted as an "Indian queen" in printed engravings, tapestries, and sculptures, this representation of a native woman carried implements of war and postured near severed heads and exotic plants and animals. These images reflected European reactions to the "new world," which they perceived as a foreign and hostile environment. As European exploration progressed, artists began to depict an opulent, heavyset Indian queen sitting or standing among the abundant natural resources of the Americas.
From 1755 to the War of Independence, an Indian princess replaced the queen as a symbol of America. The younger, thinner, less warlike princess became a representation of the American colonies, distinct from Great Britain. A feathered headdress and skirt became her customary dress and her complexion became lighter. This new allegorical native woman adorned political and non-political prints, serial publications, map cartouches, figurines, medals, and other objects. She most frequently appeared in images pertaining to British-colonial relations, the American pursuit of liberty, and issues of commerce and trade. Following the Revolutionary War, Columbia and neo-Classical female figures gradually replaced the Indian princess as the symbol of America.
These symbols were propaganda tools to draw together the country's diverse peoples, who spoke many languages, in order to promote national political union & purpose. Lady Liberty evolved throughout the decades of the early republic to meet the propaganda needs of the current situation.