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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2011.02.18
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collection Dorothy Hill Cradleboard Collection
Description (Heather Martin 12/5/2016) This is a baby carrier made with a wood frame. This cradle is most similar to Farmer's classification of a basketry platform with a one-ply platform that is covered (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. This covering makes it impossible to see how the platform warps are lashed to the looped frame stick. There is an additional supporting stick that runs the length of the carrier to which the platform sticks are attached with a patterned green cotton fabric in a kind of braid that incorporates the supporting stick and the platform sticks. The canvas cover is sewn to the frame using strips of leather. The opening of the cover is also laced closed with strips of leather and there is a patch of leather covering the bottom of the cradle for reinforcement. On the back of the cradle there is a row of fringe created by unraveling the weave of the canvas and twisting the strings into loose strips of cordage.

The documentation identifies this as a "Shoshone Bannock" cradle. The construction is almost identical to another cradle in the same collection, 2011.02.09, identified as Northern Shoshone and made on the Duck Valley reservation. The documentation for 2011.02.09 contains 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. The Bannock are closely related to the Northern Paiute and spoke the same language, however they shared a territory and overall cultural practices with the Northern Shoshone (Murphy and Murphy 1986:284). This cradle could have been made by either a Northern Shoshone or a Bannock weaver.
Material wood, canvas, leather
Place of Origin Nevada or Idaho
Provenance Shoshone Bannock (documentation)
Imagefile 004\20110218-3.JPG
Caption 2011.02.18 image of the back of the cradle