tihkinaakani ‘Cradleboard’ with wrap

Katrina Mitten
tihkinaakani ‘Cradleboard’ with wrap, 2010
Poplar, pine, wool, cotton batik and glass beads
Collection of Katrina Mitten

Katrina Mitten made this cradleboard and wrap. Prior to the 20th century, cradleboards were used to swaddle and protect young children from their birth until sometime after their first birthday. Cradleboards allowed young children to always be at the heart of family activities, observing and learning. This board has angular forms at the top that are common in Myaamia designs across time. The cloth wrapper, used to secure a child to the board, is a contemporary example of color selection that parallels older ribbonwork. As in many ribbonwork patterns, black serves as the foundation and red and white are used to represent the forms of Ciinkwia (on top) and Lenipinšia (below).