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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2011.02.05
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collection Dorothy Hill Cradleboard Collection
Collector Dorothy Hill
Description (Heather Martin 6/27/16) This is a sunshade made to be attached to a baby carrier. Both the warps and wefts are probably willow (Salix sp.). It is difficult to determine where the start of the shade is because both ends are concealed. The body of the shade is diagonally open twined, with each row about half of an inch apart, with the exception of the last three rows at the broad end, which are not spaced. The narrow end is covered with leather, while the broad end is concealed in a coil. The slant of weft is up to the right. At the widest point of the sunshade there is a band of diagonal lines made with blue yarn. This band is made by passing the yarn over one warp at a time and then wrapping it around the sticks that make up the sunshade supporting arch. The sides of the supporting are bound together in a coil of weft material. At the end of the support coils there is piece of red yarn that wraps around one and extends across the width of the shade and is anchored to the other support coil.

The construction of this sun shade is very common to all scoop-shape shades with the exception of the supporting arch. The legs of arches are typically open twined, whereas the legs of this arch are bound and coiled. This style of arch legs is most similar to Hat Creek Atsugewi sun shades, except these shades have two supports on each side, rather than the one seen here (Farmer 2013:132). The documentation for this piece attributes it to the Maidu. It is possible that the supports were unfinished when purchased and the weaver wrapped them in a coil to secure them, or simply that the shade was made in an innovative style that does not conform to traditional styles.

(Don Hankins 10/27/2016) Cradle head made of willow. Scraped willow rods with split willow twining. Support rods are bounded and wrapped with willow. Buckhorn fur attachment to cradle. Blue yarn pattern, many rods have stem borer exit holes. Paiute.

(Sue Campbell 5/2/2017) This is a full-size hood for a cradle basket. It is made of willow, and I would say the willow is a winter willow because the sap that turns rusty red is still on a lot of, what we call the rib sticks. The ribs are the ones that hold the hood together and that they adhere all the little sticks to. It has a blue yarn to make the boy design, which is the lines going across. On the sides it has maple wrapping all the sticks together, all the way down to a deer hide which is a white- yellow, so it could be a smoked deer hide at one time. On both sides the rib sticks are wrapped with maple so that you do not see them at all from the side. The willow sticks that are going across look like winter willow because, again, you can still see a lot of the sap on the skins. They haven't been sanded, it looks like they've just been scraped and used because there's a lot of "hair" from the willow on it. It looks like they used maple to go across to twine the sticks that make the hood together. There was also at one time maple wrapped on at least on one side, and it doesn't have leather on the front like you normally would with a Maidu basket, nor does it have any hanging decoration. The very back of the hood where the sticks gather together which would attach to the top of the cradle basket has leather over it. It's one of these baskets that I would say is really influenced by the Paiute or Washoe style, but yet it has a lot of the Maidu materials on it. It looks like it might have been rushed a little bit because of the sticks not being completely cleaned. Maybe a baby was coming and they did their best they could do. It's a really pretty little hood.
Material willow, yarn, leather
Place of Origin California or Nevada
Provenance Possibly Maidu (Heather Martin 6/27/16)
Paiute (Don Hankins 10/27/2016)
Paiute or Washoe (Sue Campbell 5/2/2017)
Dimensions H-32 W-26 L-34 D-7 cm
Imagefile 004\20110205-3.JPG
Caption 2011.02.05 image showing the side of the hood