Cradle Boards:

Infants were carried in cradle boards made of woods like maple,willow, or birch bark.

Depending on the family, different styles and designs of cradle boards were used. Sometimes an extra pad was inserted so that if someone stood the board up, the child would not slide down, The family may also choose a type of fur to lay at the foot of the board.

Most cradle boards were covered with buckskin to snugly secure the baby in place. A piece of hide hung over the raised hoop over the head of the carrier was useful in protecting the baby from the sun, wind and rain. Sometimes the raised hoop was also decorated or the umbilical cord was hung from it..

Children were revered as gifts entrusted not only to the parents, but to the whole village. Child-rearing was seen as cultivating the potential in the child. This was the responsibility of the parents and the village.

Babies were involved early in all community social activities and soon became used to the people and noises of the community. It was important that children had the opportunity to observe work being done and learn about what was happening on a daily basis. It is only natural that when old enough, the child would want to participate.

Children Playing

One belief was to prepare a cream, made from larva collected from rotting wood, and rub it over the child. While doing this, the adult applying the cream prayed over the child so that he would learn to work hard and fast with few errors. It was believed that this helped the child use common sense in all matters.

The child would learn through hearing and observing other members of his immediate and extended family. As he learned many people would see by his actions and behaviour that he was mature and responsible. He would learn to have friends of all ages and backgrounds. Through his determination he would succeed at anything he wanted to achieve.





Activity: Art

If you were to make a cradle board for your baby what type of fur and design would you use? Design your own cradle board using cardboard, cloth and fur,

Important Information to Remember:
  • Children were considered gifts and were not only entrusted to the parents, but to the whole community.
  • Infants were carried in cradle boards made of different types of wood such as; maple, willow or birch bark.
  • Children would learn what they needed to know from hearing and observing other members of their immediate and extended families.