University logo Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2011.02.21
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collection Dorothy Hill Cradleboard Collection
Collector Dorothy Hill
Description (Heather Martin 6/27/16) This is a trapezoidal-shaped baby carrier. Following Farmer's classification, this cradle is designated as a basketry platform cradle in the one-ply platform style with vertical warps (Farmer 2013:21). Both the warp and weft material are probably willow (Salix sp.). The cradle is likely started at the narrow end where the warp ends are covered in leather. Weaving begins at this end, about one inch above the leather covering, by doubling he weft strand over the first warp and weaving to the right with an up-to-the-right slant of weft. At the end of the row, both wefts are wrapped around the edge warp to create an "X" pattern as it is carried up one and a half inches to the next row. The platform is then flipped over to twine the next row, continuing to the right with an up-to-the-right slant of weft. Weaving continues in this manner to the top edge of the basket, where the warp material is used to conceal the warp ends and a reinforcing stick. There are two horizontal reinforcing rods lashed at even intervals to the back of the platform. A leather carrying strap is tied to the upper-most horizontal reinforcing rod. One the front bottom two-thirds of the platform there are two strips of leather running down the lateral edges, tied at even intervals. A third strip of leather is woven between the lateral strips in a zig-zag pattern.

One-ply platform cradles such as these are common among the Native people of the southern Sierras and western great basin. However, cradles with two horizontal reinforcing rods are known only from Washoe and Mono Lake Paiute weavers (Farmer 2013:157, 177). The only difference in this cradle type between the two groups is in the overall shape of the cradle, with Washoe cradles tending to more straight-sided and tapering only in the bottom half (Farmer 2013:157). This cradle does not fit that description, implying that it is more likely to be a Paiute cradle. This corroborates the documentation provided by the basket's collector.
Material willow, leather
Place of Origin Mono County, California
Provenance Mono Lake Paiute (Heather Martin 6/27/16)
Dimensions W-31 L-70.5 cm
Imagefile 004\20110221-4.JPG
Caption 2011.02.21 image of the back of the basket