The Plateau Culture Area is the area between the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, and Western Montana. From north to south it runs from the Fraser River in the north to the Blue Mountains in the south. Much of the area is classified as semi-arid. Part of it is mountainous with pine forests in the higher elevations.
The High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, has a gallery which takes visitors on a journey through some of the most dramatic periods in the High Desert. According to the Museum display:
“Thousands of years ago, more than one hundred Native American tribes inhabited the High Desert. During the early 1800s, newcomers began arriving—starting with fur traders and continuing with homesteaders through the early 1900s. A diverse array of immigrants added their stories to the region’s history.”
One of the dioramas in this gallery shows the Paiutes.
The High Desert Museum, located just south of Bend, Oregon, has a large gallery devoted to Plateau Indians.
The High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, has a display Family and Reservation Community which shows how Plateau Indian identity has been preserved by families.
Basketry is probably the oldest art form, although the archaeological record is devoid of the earliest basketry. In his 1904 book American Indian Basketry, Otis Mason 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.”