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Catalog Number 265.007
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collector unknown
Description (Heather Martin 6/30/16) This is a miniature baby carrier made with a wood frame and sun shade that holds a small doll. Following Farmer's classification, this cradle is designated as basketry platform with a one-ply platform that is covered (Farmer 2013:22). The front of the frame is covered with vertical shoots to create a platform for the baby to lay on. The platform warps are held together by widely-spaced plain-twining and has a down-to-the-right slant of weft done with strips of cotton fabric. The frame is covered with hide, making it impossible to see how the platform is attached to the frame. There is a scoop-shaped sunshade attached at the top of the carrier with three visible rows of plain twining in commercial cotton string. The warps of the shade have broken near the attachment of the supporting arch, with portions of the warp sticks missing across the majority of the shade. There are many areas of this break that appear to be coated with a clear glue. There appears to have been, at one time, a fourth row of twining across this broken area. Although the warps are missing, the twining row is still attached and hangs from the shade in the form of two twisted strings with two warp segments still passing through. The slant of weft is down to the right. At the widest point of the sunshade there is a zig-zag band made with white or yellow string. This band is made by passing the string over one warp at a time and then wrapping it around the sticks that make up the sunshade supporting arch. However, this area is where warps are missing and the remnants of the design can be seen in the loose string that is looped around the arch sticks. It is difficult to determine the start and finish end of the shade because the edges are covered with brown velvet and green plaid material. At the wide end of the sun shade, the velvet is decorated with a zigzag in blue glass beads, as well as a coral-colored bead of unknown material around the margin of the shade. The sides of the supporting arch have remnants of twining, though it appears that most of it is missing. The majority of the cradle is covered in leather, with only the sun shade, platform behind the doll, and the looped frame at the bottom exposed. The cover has two rows of fringe on the front which is decorated with additional coral-colored beads. On the back, there are four leather strips, probably used to attach the shade to the front, that are decorated with blue, clear, brown, and green glass beads. The opening of the cover is laced closed with a leather strip to secure the doll. The leather is very stiff, brittle, and dirty.

Covered one-ply platform cradles with a looped frame such as this were made by the Washoe, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Mono Lake Paiute, and Northern Paiute (Farmer 2013:150-181). As there are no particular distinguishing features on the cradle and there is no documentation on the origins of the basket, it is impossible to narrow down which culture group this basket originated from.


Doll: 19cm long and 6cm wide. Doll is strapped within cradleboard. Doll is painted a copper color with dark hair and eyes, clothed in green. Paint is chipping over 20-30% of body. Material underneath is cork-like. Doll’s left arm and leg are hanging by cotton twine. Right arm is in raised position, and paint has chipped from hand and wrist. Pencil marks are present on lips.

Material Paint, Cork-Like Material, Cotton Twine, Wood, Cordage, Leather
Place of Origin Western great basin
Provenance Washoe, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Mono Lake Paiute, or Northern Paiute (Heather Martin 6/30/16)
Dimensions W-18 L-44 inches
Imagefile 004\265007-6.JPG
Caption 265.007 image showing the cradle from the back