INSTITUTE FOR AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES
38 Curtis Road, Washington CT
This beautifully carved Cradle Board is more ornate then most but reflects the love of Native children.
This Cradle Board is more an example of what most Eastern boards might have looked like. Simple swaddling secures the infant on mother's back or the board could be leaned against a tree near the mothers work. A curved bar protects the baby's head from branches or other objects. Moss was employed as "diaper" material to keep the baby dry.
"Stem Knife" is a typical, general cutting tool. The Obsidian blade is attached to a wooden handle by slitting the wood , inserting the blade and then wrapping it tightly with a strip of hide which has been secured with glue made from deer hooves.
As trade items such as scissors and thimbles became available, they were treasured items for both Native and Colonial women. Small sheaths and baskets were made to protect them.
Pins, another metal item not originally available to women here and not easily replaced by settlers were also highly valued. Beautiful baskets made as pin cushions found favor among both Native and colonial women.
Leather moccasins of moose or elk hide consisted of a single seam from the ankle to the toe. In winter, these were lined with rabbit fur, the cuffs were turned up and separate legging piece was added to turn them into boots. In the rear is a pair of moccasins made from braids made of corn silk. These provided cool foot wear for summer. Some were made in the shape of today's flip flops.
Beautiful "ribbon" style baskets illustrate the artistry of the eastern basket makers.
Three different weaves were employed to create the mini baskets made from ash.
Two baskets which exemplify the artistry of basket makers today. Building on techniques originally used to make utilitarian items, basket makers continue to challenge their abilities with more sculptural designs.
Small potato stamped basket made of ash.
These baskets are older ash baskets varying in size and shape.
Fine examples of various ways of using ash strips to make baskets. Notice that the one leaning has also incorporated sweetgrass.
Beautiful examples of bark baskets which have been inscribed with woodland designs.
This grouping shows the various sizes baskets were made. The cone shaped item is a moose call. It was not used to make sounds through. Instead, water was poured through it. The bull moose would think there was a lady nearby and come to investigate.
Bow drills were used to put holes in the bark so it could be stitched and hung.v
Natural dyes and additives were used to decorate bark pockets or baskets.
This chart shows samples of Hickory, Black Ash and White Ash.
Other natural materials like cattails were also used for making baskets.
Other items were made with bark. This is a folded, black ash seed storage bottle with a wooden stopper. Corn cobs were also used as stoppers.
This is an example of a folded Hickory bark rattle.-Iroquois.
All photos and text copyrighted to Morningstar Studio