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Cheyenne Artist



Cradle Hood, n.d.
Beads and cloth on leather
7 1/4 x 44 (approx) x 19 (approx) in. (18.42 x 111.76 x 48.26 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2089
Cradle hood made of cloth and rawhide over a wire frame. Completely beaded with blue and white stripes and a large yellow and red cross in center. Traditional Cheyenne stripes. A rectangular piece of beadwork protrudes from the top, and there is a red cloth attached to the hood.

Materials
leather, red silk, glass beads and wire

Bibliography
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 46 (illustrated/bw) fig. 130.
Circle beadworkers guild---See "Material Culture Notes," Denver Art Museum.
See Alice Merriot, "Cheyenne Ornamentation."

Attribution
See R. Conn report (1978).

Commentary
A circular medallion on the top of the craddle hood is a significant and frequently found motif in Plains art. Earlier versions, worked in quils, were often placed across the fronts of men's shirts and across the backs of hide robes. And later, they were also beaded across the backs of blankets. In this context the circle represented the baby's brain and was a protective pattern ensuring the child's health.

Among the Cheyenne, only women chosen for membership in prestigious guilds and societies were allowed to design and execute sacred decorative patterns with quills, or later, with glass beads. The colors used--red, yellow, black, and white--symbolize four directions, which represented the homes of the Sacred Persons, protectors of the universe and sources of power. In this example, dark blue beads have been substituted for black ones, a common practice.
-from the Native American Art from the Permanent Collection catalog, 1979

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