Native-tanned hide, cotton cloth, glass beads, metal beads, brass bell, sinew thread, cotton thread
Overall: 22.9 x 25.4 cm (9 x 10 in.)
Bequest of David S. McMillan 1984.1047
In the past, young Plains children spent much of their time in cradles, which remain in occasional use today.
Many Plains peoples hold lavishly quilled or beaded cradles in high esteem—they bestow spiritual benefits on the infant and prestige and honor on the family and the maker, usually a female relative. Indeed, today and in the past, creating such a cradle is often regarded as equal to counting coup, the ultimate act of male bravery in which a warrior touches an enemy with a stick known as a coup stick. This cradle was held in the arms; others have wooden frames that can be propped against a support, such as a sofa or a tree, to ease the baby’s socialization into the community.
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