Collections: Arts of the Americas: Cradle Board with Quill Work

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    X1126.36_PS2.jpg CUR.X1126.36_view1.jpg CUR.X1126.36_view2.jpg CUR.X1126.36_view3.jpg

    Cradle Board with Quill Work

    • Culture: Arapaho, Native American
    • Medium: Muslin, willow, porcupine quill, dye, deer hide
    • Place Made: United States
    • Dates: 1870s
    • Dimensions: 13 x 32 in. (33 x 81.3 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: X1126.36
    • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Collection
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Arapaho (Native American). Cradle Board with Quill Work, 1870s. Muslin, willow, porcupine quill, dye, deer hide, 13 x 32 in. (33 x 81.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X1126.36. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, X1126.36_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    • Catalogue Description: This is a classic style of Northern Arapaho cradle except instead of hide it was made of muslin. The quilled disc is a design element that is symbolic for protecting the brain of the baby and is made with sacred colors of red, yellow and black. The lacings represent the baby's ribs, arms, and legs. There are ladder like bands of quillwork that frame the child's face flopping over like braids. The cradle is fashioned over a bent willow hoop. The Arapaho had a Sacred Guild of Quill workers. After initiation quill workers were allowed to make a type of holy embroidery with symbolic designs. Work was restricted to a few objects and four specific colors representing four directions. The cradle is like a tipi as it houses the baby like a tipi houses the family and tribe so both men and women are represented. The disc is a traditional Arapaho design done a lot by the Women's Society of Quill workers. The Shoshone/Arapaho started making these types again in the 1970s and they might still be making them. Possibly matches with cradle strap 05.568.
    • Record Completeness: Good (73%)
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