Kiowa, Native American

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In most historical Plains cultures, a new mother’s relatives made a cradleboard for the baby. The complex and colorful beaded panels on this example are part of traditional Kiowa designs created by women, though many tribes favored the painted and brass-tacked frames produced by men. The cradleboard allowed the baby to be carried on the mother’s back, suspended from her saddle, or propped against the tipi. This one shows considerable use: preceding generations likely passed it down.

Cradleboard, Tanned leather, rawhide, wood, pigment, glass beads, wool cloth, cotton cloth, brass tacks, and brass link chain, Kiowa, Native American

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