As Grandmother Taught: Women, Tradition and Plateau Art was a special exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, Washington. The Plateau Culture Area is basically the area between the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.
“The finished basket, with its complexities of spacing, balance, symmetry, and placement of design elements onto a three-dimensional framework, had to be conceptualized at the start. Nothing was written; the weaver carried this intricate image in her mind even as she focused on the technical demands of basket construction.”
Writing in 1904 about Indian basketmakers, Otis Mason, in his book American Indian Basketry, reports:
“Her patterns are in her soul, in her memory and imagination, in the mountains, watercourses, lakes, and forests, and in those tribal tales and myths which dominate the actions of every hour. She hears suggestions from another world.”
Otis Mason also writes:
“In ultimate structure, basketry is free-hand mosaic or, in the finest materials, like pen-drawings or beadwork, the surface being composed of any number of small parts—technically decussations, stitches, or meshes, practically separate from one another so far as the effect on the eye is concerned.”
Shown below are some of the baskets from this special exhibit.