Cradleboard, Nez Perce

Summary: 
A teardrop shaped cradleboard with buckskin and decorated with glass beads, dentalium shells with elk teeth attached to top fringe. Made circa 1846 and is part of the Spalding-Allen Collection
Description: 

The teardrop shaped wooden board is covered with buckskin and decorated with black, white, and red glass beads, dentalium shells with elk teeth attached to top fringe. ​There are several holes in the bucksin indicating wear.

Cultural Narrative: 

After the purchase of the Spalding Allen Collection by the Nez Perce Tribe, on May 30, 1996, Nez Perce National Historic Park curator, Bob Chenoweth flew to Columbus Ohio to hand-carry the deer skin cradleboard back to the Nez Perce. The cradleboard returned to Idaho after a seven-hour flight. Upon seeing the cradleboard, Chenoweth immediately noticed that it had the same design elements as one of the dresses in the Spalding-Allen Collection (NEPE 8758). Chenoweth remarked, “it was instantly clear the person who made the dress also made the cradleboard… it has a lot of touches, those extra little things you'd do for your baby to show your pride.” Tots Tatoken, June, 1996