Some Plateau Beaded Bags (Art Diary)

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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.

 photo P1070415_zpscns83sj8.jpg The Columbia River Plateau is shown above.

According to the Museum display:

“Women have been the primary makers of the functional forms necessary to everyday life; materials and techniques are time-honed, having been perfected over generations. Though traditional ways of life have evolved, women still carry forward this knowledge.”

One of the displays in this special exhibit presented some beaded bags. Glass beads were introduced to American Indian cultures during the fur trade and were soon adapted to traditional Indian designs. The use of beads did not result in any Europeanization of art styles. In his book Native Arts of North America, Christian Feest writes:

“Only those foreign features that were compatible with traditional design found easy acceptances: floral patterns prospered where curvilinear designs had been the rule.”

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