Skip to main content

Cradleboard

Artist Culture
Tsistsistas / Suhtai (Cheyenne)
or Hinono'ei (Arapaho)
Date
c.1890
Material
Tanned hide, rawhide, glass seed beads, cotton cloth, silk, wood, metal tacks, and metal bells
Made in
United States, North and Central America
Classification
Containers, mixed media
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
44 × 13 1/2 × 11 in. (111.8 × 34.3 × 27.9 cm)
Credit Line
The Donald Danforth Jr. Collection, Gift of Mrs. Donald Danforth Jr.
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
80:2012
NOTES
This cradle features allover beadwork with repeating geometric patterns organized around mirrored triangles and diamonds. The focal point of each beaded design gives way to a profusion of silk ribbons, large beads, and brass bells. This approach to materials exemplifies the historic Plains aesthetics of excess, where artists created powerful assemblages using diverse textures, colors, and objects that produce sound. Cradles swaddle babies tightly and furnish a secure place to keep children while adult relatives work. At its back, this cradle attaches to a wooden framework that provides structural support for mounting to hooks or resting against vertical surfaces. Today, many Tsistsistas/Suhtai families cherish cradleboards as heirlooms.
Scroll back to top