Havasupai Woman With Baby


Unknown Unknown inh401p.jpg IN-H-401 B&W 1501-0401-0000 inh401p Print 5x7 Historic Photographs 1890s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Havasupai woman with a baby in a cradleboard. 

The Havasupai mother uses the cradleboard for the safety of the baby while the cradleboard helps to keep the baby warm and content.  The cradleboard provides stability to secure the baby when the mother performs other chores.

The Havasupai people are a Native American tribe who have lived in the Grand Canyon for at least the past 800 years. Havasu means "blue-green water" and pai "people".

Havasupai is a dialect of the Upland Yuman language and is nearly identical to the variety of the Hualapai, although the two groups are socially and politically distinct. It is a little more distantly related to the Yavapai language.

The tribe had traditionally relied heavily on agriculture, hunting and gathering as their means of survival. Although living primarily above and inside the Grand Canyon, which consists mostly of harsh terrain, the tribe's territory was also home to some lush vegetation. They stored their food in small caves or crevices in the slopes of the canyon walls above the level reached by flood waters.

The Havasupais in aboriginal times wore simple clothing of animal skins. After the arrival of Europeans, they acquired cottons and woolens.

Their dwellings were simple brush huts. They built sounder walls for their winter huts on the Plateau than for their summer dwellings in the canyon. During floods in the canyon, they took refuge in rock shelters in the canyon walls.

(Source: The Havasupai People, Henry F. Dobyns, Indian Tribal Series, Phoenix, 1971.)


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