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  • Cradleboards

    I'm trying to find accurate info on how to make Lakota and Cheyenne cradleboards. The article in Whispering Wind is out of print. Does anyone have anything they can share? I'll even barter if I have to to get the instructions and info.
    I don't want to make toy cradleboards, I want to make ones to give as gifts for those that can't afford them and are too far away to get them made by family.I was given one by my family with my first baby, but (I think) it was made for wall decoration and so small my son used it for about 4 weeks.

  • #2
    have the tried one their special Crafts issue which also has the article?
    Also, there is a good set of directions in the History of the Tipi book written by the Laubins. In fact, there are great instructions on mocs, cradle you are talking about, parfleche boxes, beaded bags...all done in the traditional way. You can get the book on Amzon or Whisperind Wind site.

    I have huge amounts of infomration on making the cradle you are talking about. It takes great deals of time if fully beaded or if you just want to short cut the way...less time..just basic structure.

    Lakota do not use the sticks or a wood platform and the Cheyenne, kiowa, Arapaho and some others use the sticks.
    Crow, shoshone and Plateau using the board for the back.

    So....what do you need?

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    • #3
      does anybody still use cradleboards?
      Ohenton Kariwahtekwen

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      • #4
        Check out this thread:

        http://www.powwows.com/gathering/showthread.php?t=23439

        I based the instructions on the frameless soft cradles my grandpa's sis made. Just reduce the size of the stiffener (the stiffener in the back helps support the head and in the top keeps the hood from drooping onto the babies face) and omit the frame.

        Frameless cradles are fairly straight forward. They are not much more than a U of beaded buckskin, sewn to a trapiziodal backing. There is a decorated tab on the top, which is sewn into the seam at the top.

        Heavy canvas as a supstrate for the beadwork is better, in my opinion, than lap pad or buckskin. The canvas will breathe. And using a calico liner whihc can be removed will help keep down -- uh -- permanent stinky stuff transfer.

        As for using cradleboards... Ever seen those yuppies in the mall with their kids strapped their back, LOL. Yeap they are still used, if only for ceremonies.

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        • #5
          Yes people still use cradleboards, like I said my son was in one for a while. Indian Health still promotes their use. Less risk of SIDs in a cradleboard. Thanks for the answers, I was hoping you could share some instructions??? My house is still half packed from the move here and I can't find half my stuff !! I know I have the Tipi book somewhere........

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          • #6
            thanks, OL, I read the post on cradleboards you did but I have one question- what are the proportions for the frame? Could you be more specific on the making of the frame? where and how many cross-members?

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            • #7
              There are 4 members to the frame. The long sticks are about 36 to 48 in. tall and the the cross sticks ...top can be 12" to 15" with the bottom stick 7 to 10" or so. All of this can varry with the maker. Now know...Lakota cradles did not have sitcks...they were known for the soft cradles if you are sticking to traditional styles. But,if you are a todays girl...it doesn't matte.

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              • #8
                So a good proportion for the side supports of say a 24" long cradle would be 36" ? I'm not quite a modern girl but technology is a good thing LOL

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                • #9
                  24 on a 36" stick could work.

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                  • #10
                    I used two cross pieces. You can use more. I did my frame in 1/4' thick red oak and used mortise and tenison joints and wood glue in addition to rawhide ties.

                    I'd use more, if I was just using the ties or a softer wood.

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                    • #11
                      Next question- Is buff or cow rawhide better and do you use it in a rectangle to form a U shape?

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                      • #12
                        I never had a choice of what kind of rawhide to use.

                        In mine, I use a rectangle with rounded corners. And I taper it off, as I go down the sides.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OLChemist
                          I never had a choice of what kind of rawhide to use.

                          In mine, I use a rectangle with rounded corners. And I taper it off, as I go down the sides.
                          But how wide is the piece?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blacktail
                            does anybody still use cradleboards?
                            Of course; I used mine with both my kids 15 and 12 years ago. They loved it and would sleep very peacefully in theirs. My mom has made a new cradle board for each of her 7 grand-children over the years.

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                            • #15
                              The Cradle Board I have is made with a cedar board, the board is 1 foot wide at the foot end and 20 inches wide at the top, the length is 30 inches. The board is hand hewn and is about 1 inch thick. The surface is done with buckskin, a split down the middle with lacing to hold the baby in. The inside backing is covered in racoon skin and the beading was done in a blend of quills and trade beads. The head end has a bent thin ash handle, it has as you all know two functions, one to carry the young one and second if it tips to protect the babies head. in the center of the top and bottom center of the board are holes drilled through to make it like a modern day back pack strap holding assembly. The cradle like this is woodland back ground, Ojiway.
                              The bent hadle also holds small spiritual toys for the baby to focus on.
                              Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

                              It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

                              Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
                              Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

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