Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

cradleboard cover
  • unknown Lakota maker
  • cradleboard cover, 1900s
  • Where object was made: United States
  • buckskin, rawhide, ribbon, metal, beading
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 68.5 x 16 x 30 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 26 15/16 x 6 1/4 x 11 3/4 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2329

The long wide strip of buckskin is nearly covered with lane-stitched beading, doubled over to make a hood, with an undecorated panel added to close the back of the cover. There are three buckskin ties at the front edge and a red ribbon at the top tie. There is a beaded rawhide tab at the top back, with fringe of round black beads and "Indian head" pennies at the end of each fringe.

The beaded decoration consists of a white field where two repeating designs alternate. The first design is a red cross with a green center, flanked by two dark blue tipis, with green doors, and two red triangles (each with a square of metal beads) above each tipi. There is string tassel in the center of the cross. The second design is two green tipis (with red and metal bead doors) with medium blue to make a square. Each corner of the square has the right angle of a yellow triangle outlined in dark blue with a metal bead rectangle inside. There is red ribbon, possibly silk, at the center of the design. The bottom edge of the field on either side has alternating red and dark blue triangles.

The tab decoration consists of a white cross in the center, with dark blue squares around it. The border is alternating blocks of white, some with red triangles, and dark blue with yellow. The beading folds over onto the underside, there is one band of decoration on left and right.

The edge of the decoration is a block of white edged in dark blue with a red square alternating with a block of green with two red triangles and a yellow square outlined in dark blue.