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Catalog Number 2011.02.09
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collection Dorothy Hill Cradleboard Collection
Description (Heather Martin 12/5/16) This is a baby carrier made with a wood frame and sun shade. This cradle is most similar to Farmer's classification of a basketry platform with a one-ply platform that is covered made in the Western great basin (Farmer 2013:22). However, this basket differs from that classification in that the platform is made with horizontal sticks and the entire frame is covered with no portions of the frame exposed. The platform warps are lashed using strips of white cotton fabric to the looped frame sticks as well as to two additional supporting sticks that are evenly spaced and run the length of the carrier. The edges of the platform and frame are covered in a heavy beige canvas material that is sewn using a cotton string that passes between the platform sticks to incorporate the front and back sides. The opening of the leather cover is laced closed with an additional strip of leather. There is a scoop-shaped sunshade attached at the top of the carrier with sixteen visible rows of plain twining in split, peeled willow (Salix sp.). The slant of weft is up to the right. At the widest point of the sunshade there was a band of "Xs" and diamonds in green yarn with a border in purple yarn. The lines were made by passing the yarn over a varying number of warps at a time and then wrapping it around the sunshade supporting arch. It is difficult to determine the start and finish end because the wide end is covered with leather and the narrow end is covered in a coil of willow. At the wide end of the sun shade, the leather is decorated with a scalloped finish. The sides of the supporting arch are twined in a zigzag pattern, with the ends covered in leather. The shade is attached at the narrow end and the two ends of the arch with a strip of leather tied in a bow, however one end of the arch as become detached. The cover has a row of fringe on both sides of the front and an additional row on the back. The fringe is decorated with red plastic pony beads, one bead on every third piece of fringe.

The documentation for this cradle indicates that it was made by Elsie Hall and purchased in 1981. Elsie Hall was from the Duck Valley Reservation of Owyhee, Nevada. The documentation includes two photographs of Elsie Hall, one in which she poses with this cradle. The cradle is identified as Shoshone in origin, and there is a hand drawn note that indicates that Shoshone cradles have horizontal platforms while Paiute cradles have vertical platforms. This difference between Shoshone and Paiute cradles in corroborated by Martha Dick, a Shoshone weaver from the Duck Valley reservation during a radio series by the Folk Arts Program of the Nevada Arts Council in 1986. It is worth noting that there are Northern, Western, and Eastern Shoshone groups and that this particular style of cradle was traditionally made by the Northern Shoshone. The Paiute referred to by the hand-drawn note and by Martha Dick are the Northern Paiute.
Material cotton, leather, willow, yarn, plastic beads
Place of Origin Owyhee, Nevada
Provenance Shoshone (documentation)
Dimensions H-3 W-36 L-94 cm
Imagefile 004\20110209-2.JPG
Caption 2011.02.09 image showing the cradle from the top