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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2011.02.28
Object Name Cradle, Basket
Collection Dorothy Hill Cradleboard Collection
Description (Heather Martin 5/23/2016) This is a miniature baby carrier made with a wood frame and sun shade. Following Farmer's classification, this cradle is designated as having a forked stick frame (Farmer 2013:18). The front of the frame is covered with horizontal shoots that are lashed to the frame with commercial string to create a platform for the baby to lay on. There is a scoop-shaped sunshade attached at the top of the carrier that has at least three rows of plain twining in white commercial string. The slant of weft is down to the right. It is difficult to determine the start and finish end because each side is covered with hide. At the widest point of the sunshade there is a bordered zig-zag band made with raffia. This band is made by passing the raffia over the warps and then wrapping it around the sticks that make up the sunshade supporting arch. The sides of the supporting arch are decorated with zig-zag patterns in raffia.

This baby carrier is typical of those made by Maidu cultures, which corroborates the information in the object record. The Maidu commonly made forked frame cradles with a platform made with horizontal shoots (Farmer 2013: 145; Shanks 2006:147).

(Don Hankins 10/27/2016) Ultra Miniature Maidu baby cradle. Frame is willow with willow ladder back. Cotton twine for lashing. Hood is willow with chamois trim and raffia twine.

(Sue Campbell 5/2/2017) This is a palm-size cradle basket, it is a Maidu one, and it was made with an oak fork but the fork or the bend of the fork was cut off so it doesn't really have a stick too big on the bottom. It is curved over to adhere to one side, and it has willow sticks that are tied with strings, but on this one it was tied with two sticks together, so instead of going every other stick they went every two. At the bottom they did one, and then they would do two sticks, two sticks, two sticks as they go up. It has a very small, very tiny hood, probably as big as my thumb, and that hood has split willow on the top to attach it to the ribs. It has three rib sticks to hold the hood up. It has a white deer hide over the front of the hood that ties to the sides of the ribs. Also on the very back, the very bottom of the hood is tied to the top of the curved spot on the basket. The hood is also a grey willow. It is really tiny and looks really old. The sides were done with string, and it is really interesting how they tied two together: instead of doing every one, they did one and then they did two, two, two… Very cute.
Material oak, willow, string, hide
Place of Origin northern California
Provenance Maidu (Heather Martin 5/23/2016)
Maidu (Don Hankins 10/27/2016)
Maidu (Sue Campbell 5/2/2017)
Dimensions H-2.8 W-3.8 L-10.6 cm
Imagefile 004\20110228-2.JPG
Caption 2002.02.28 image of the cradle from the side