Model tikinagan, or cradle

Cree, before AD 1743
From North America / Canada

This model cradle is constructed from a wood board, with a skin covering. The fringe of the skin covering is decorated with wrapped quills, and edged with ochre pigment, and the back with both blown and wire-wound glass beads.

It was collected by John Potts, surgeon under James Isham, for the Hudson's Bay Company at York Factory, Manitoba, in about 1743. Isham drew a nearly identical cradle and commented that the Cree 'have no Notion of cradles for children as the English has, but use other methods, which seem's much better, they make a board....'

This type of cradle was used through much of the north-east of North America, as well around the Great Lakes and north-eastern Plains. Elsewhere in the Subarctic cradles were constructed of birchbark; or babies were swaddled in bags filled with sphagnum moss, a material which is not only absorbent, but has disinfectant qualities, ideal as a nappy (diaper) substitute.

This is from the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, whose collections first formed The British Museum. He corresponded with fur traders and even acquired an Arctic fox, which he kept at his home in Great Russell Street (next to what is now The British Museum), to see whether it would go white in winter.

Find in the collection online

Model tikinagan, or cradle

  • Angled view of model

    Angled view of model

 

More information

Bibliography

Dimensions

Length: 38.000 cm

Museum number

AOA SL 2040

ENA222

Sloane Collection

Location

Find in the collection online


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