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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2011.02.01
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. On top of this there is a strip of hide running down the lateral edges, attached to the frame with smaller strips of hide. An additional strip of hide is attached to these lateral strips at alternating sides, zig-zagging down the carrier. This strip of hide is used to secure the baby in the carrier. There is a scoop-shaped sunshade attached at the top of the carrier that has seven rows of plain twining in white commercial string. The slant of weft is up to the right. The start is likely to be the broad end based on the way that warps are reduced to narrow the shade. 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 zig-zag band made with red commercial string. This band is made by passing the string over one warps at a time and then wrapping it around the sticks that make up the sunshade supporting arch. The sides of the supporting are decorated with zig-zag patterns in white string. The ends of this arch are also covered in hide trimmed with pinking shears and then tied to the carrier's frame with additional strips of hide. The warps at the narrow end of the sun shade have been crushed.

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) Miniature Maidu cradle with buckskin and cotton twine binding. Pattern on hood is a zigzag (guessing male). Frame looks like valley oak, with ladder back of peeled sandbar willow (S. exigera). Hood is also willow. Maidu.

(Sue Campbell 5/2/2017) This is a doll sized cradle basket and it is in the Mountain Maidu style. It's got the oak fork, one side is taller and it's pulled all the way over, spliced, and married on one side of the basket. It looks like willow going across on the lattice and it has string tying the sides on. They use string to go up on each side of the basket to hold the sticks in place going all the way up. It also has a very small gray willow hood, which has damage on the top. It has a zigzag design, which normally you would make a design either boy or girl, but since it's a doll sized, I think they were just practicing their zigzags. They did it with yarn in the color red. They also used yarn to go back and forth to hold the hood in place on the sticks. It has white deer hide for the front of the hood, and it also is tied to the sides of the hood to hold it in place. Also, on the very back of the hood where the damage is, again it is deer hide that is stitched to hold the backside of the hood. The deer hide is also used for the lacing to hold the baby, or the doll, in. It's all white deer hide and it's still pretty soft too. They made the cradle pretty straight on the bottom and as they went up, if they would have alternated the sides of the willow, like there is a small side and a big side it would have stayed uniformly straight up, but it got cricked, so as you get to the top you can see the crookedness. It's a very pretty basket. It's in a Mountain design, but I'm not sure who did it. It could come either from somebody up around Susanville, Greenville, or all the way to Oroville, even here in Machoopta, I'm not sure.
Place of Origin northern California
Provenance Maidu (Heather Martin 5/23/2016)
Maidu (Maggie Hill)
Maidu (Sue Campbell 5/2/2017)
Maidu (Don Hankins 10/27/2016)
Dimensions Dia-18.5 Cir-57 cm
Imagefile 004\20110201-3.JPG
Caption 2011.02.01 image showing the cradle from the top