Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • unknown Apsáalooke (Crow) maker
  • cradleboard, late 1800s–2007
  • Where object was made: Montana, United States
  • canvas, wood, buckskin, wool, beading
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 146 x 30 x 15 cm height includes buckskin fringe
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 57 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 5 7/8 in height includes buckskin fringe
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2324

The long wooden snowshoe-shaped cradleboard has a back panel that is wood, with about 1/3 of it extending above the baby wrapper portion of the cradleboard. The wood is wrapped with unbleached cotton, though it is not continuous behind the baby wrapper. The portion that extends above the baby's head is beaded with a red wool border. The top edge has long buckskin fringe.

The baby wrapper is canvas, with a red woold edging around the opening. It appears to be sacklike, and rather than having a slit with laces, it has three beaded strips that tie in front of it, holding the baby in place. There is a small The amount of canvas covered wood under the baby wrapper is beaded with a red wool edge on top and it once had buckskin fringe below.

The large beaded panel has a light blue field and a white border with dark green triangles with red lines. The two decorations on the field are each the same. They consist of a green-blue vertical rectangle with a dark blue cross with a yellow center. There is a white outline for a rectangle, which is inside a diamond created by red triangles on the long sides and there are dark blue triangles on the short sides of the rectangle. There are green triangles at the points of the dark blue triangles, with yellow and dark blue triangles, topped with a red line. The entire design has a thin white outline.

There are six beaded strips, each with the same design on a light blue field. The stripe down the middle has a white outline, but coloration changes according to the triangles on either side of it. The middle triangle has a green stripe with white bars on either end, and red triangles on either side. The top and bottom triangles have a yellow stripe with dark blue bars on either end and dark blue triangles on either side.

The small beaded panel has a pink field with a thin medium blue outline and thick white border. The inverted triangle is outlined in white, stripes of light blue, medium blue and yellow.