The California region includes most of the modern state, except for a portion of the north and east, which can be considered parts of other regions. Californian cradles from the Pomo (4) and Hupa (3) are included in MPM’s collection. The cradles of these groups are known by two names. They are called “sitting” cradles, because the base of the cradle forms a seat for the child, and they are also called “cradle baskets” because of their construction. This type of cradle is unique to the region.

Great Basin

The Great Basin stretches across portions of Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, and Wyoming. The MPM collection contains items from the Washoe (1), Paiute (1), as well as the Northern Paiute of Pyramid Lake (4) and Walker River (2) Reservations. Cradles of the Great Basin were either basket-like, woven of woody shoot materials like willow or sumac, or they were the “inverted U” shaped cradles influenced by those of the northwestern Plains. The cradles in MPM’s collection are of the first variety.


The Southwest stretches from Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of southeastern California to central Mexico. The MPM collection has examples from the Western Apache (1), Cochiti Pueblo (1), Hopi (8), and Navajo (1).


The Plains region stretches from the Mississippi River west into parts of southern Canada and northern Texas, to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. While the number of tribes and cradle styles is vast in this area, the MPM collection from this region is just six, representing the Iowa (2), Kiowa (1), Osage (1), and Sioux (2).


The Northeast region includes portions of southeastern Canada, and is bordered in the United States by the Mississippi River and Atlantic Coast. The tribes of this region represented in the Museum’s cradleboard collection are the Iroquois (4) and (1) Oneida example specifically, Menominee (1), Mexican Kickapoo (2), Ojibwa/Chippewa (7), Potawatomi (3), Sauk (1), and Winnebago/Ho-Chunk (3).

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