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Model Cradle Decorations

Catalogue Description:
The backboard for the cradle is missing, only the quilled ornaments remain. These consist of two large sections of smoked skin, which wrapped around the cradle and were decorated with orange, white, red, brown, light blue and yellow porcupine quills. The design may be called "otter tail” design as the fretwork moves from left to right as if the otter was doing this: jump-jump-slide-jump-jump. Another suggestion is that he "fret" design may be an abstract thunderbird. There are also two straps decorated with quill wrapped thongs, tin cones, and blue and white pony beads. The cradle model is exceptional in two respects. First it is a model and only 3 are known. (The other being in the NMAI and the Peabody Salem Essex). This suggests it was might have been made for sale as pieces that are missing perhaps were not made, or were lost after it was acquired. The cradle decorations are displayed on this mount condensed, as the piece would have been longer. The rectangular piece below might not be in correct location. B Hail, "Hau, Kola,” pg. 144, fig. 127, shows an early Dakota cradle with three of these rectangular forms dangling down from the bottom of the cradle board not from the wrappings.


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