Apache Woman with Baby
detailsErwin Baer Unknown ina0111pb.jpg IN-A-0111 B&W 1500.0111.0002 ina0111pb Photo Card Print 6x9 Historic Photographs 1890s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives
An Apache woman with a baby in a cradleboard.
A cradleboard is a traditional kind of Native American baby carrier. The baby is swaddled (wrapped tightly in a small blanket) and strapped to a specially designed flat board, usually made of a wood plank (although some tribes wove them from basket fibers.) The cradleboard can then be carried in the mother's arms, worn on her back like a backpack for travel, propped up on the ground like a baby chair, or secured to a sled or travois for longer journeys. After horses were introduced to the Americas, cradleboards in some tribes began to be designed to hang off the side of a horse as well.
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