Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

doll cradleboard
  • Cheyenne peoples
  • doll cradleboard, late 1800s
  • Where object was made: United States
  • wood, buckskin, cotton, metal, silk ribbon, paint, beading
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: approximately 68 x 18.5 x 15 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: approximately 26 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 7/8 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2328

The cradleboard has a wooden frame of two wooden pickets that extend above the baby wrapping portion. The pickets are angled slightly away from each other, and joined with a slat at the top of the baby wrapper, with another at the bottom. The wood is tied together with strips of buckskin and painted yellow above the baby wrapper. The tops of the pickets are embellished with metal rivets outlining the picket, dividing it into three sections, and two crosses on each picket.

The baby wrapping portion is fully decorated with lane-stitched beading and lined with pink cotton cloth with red flowers.

The beaded decoration consists of a white field with a band of red blocks with blue triangles around a white diamond going up one side and down the other. This is the center line for the two repeating designs, the intersection is marked with a fringe of found beads and yellow silk ribbon. One design is a light blue rectangle in a red diamond with a pink outline then a green outline. The other design is two triangles, point to point, in dark blue with a yellow and red rectangle inside. The baby wrapper opening is edged wih medium blue beads, and clusters of blocks in red, pink, white and dark blue or red, yellow, white and dark blue.