A very fine early Nez Perce , Plateau Indian hand woven Cornhusk bag made by the Indian women of the Columbia and Snake River Plateau. Cornhusk bags – the warp is hemp, the weft is twine, wrapped with cornhusk .The bag features bold striking patterns on both sides and displays beautifully. No two patterns are the same—they are improvised as the bags are woven—and each weaver relies on an intuitive sense of pattern and color in creating the designs which are integrated with a keen sense of awareness of traditional forms. These are Indian tribes who until the late 19th century inhabited the Columbia River plateau, from the Rocky Mountains west to the Cascades, from the Columbia River north to British Columbia, an area that now includes parts of Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Southern British Columbia. The material proved most successful esthetically and functionally. The fiber responds beautifully to vegetable and analine dyes; it is strong, durable and makes these bags virtually waterproof.
Both sides of each bag are shown to demonstrate the different but complementary nature of the designs featuring diamonds, zigzags, blocks, chevrons, arrows and lozenges. These bags were passed down in families, traded with other Indians, but seldom sold to non-Indians. Outstanding examples have been identified as the work of Shahaptin women of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakima, Klikitat, Tenino, Wallawalla and Palouse tribes.