Navajo Cradleboard Story
Navajo cradleboard is a traditional protective carrier for kids. Cradle board comes in different styles and designs, reflecting the different artisan cultures of indigenous practices. Even today, cradle boards are still common in Navajo as baby carriers.
How Navajo Cradleboards Are Made
The cradleboards are made from various kinds of materials such as pine or cottonwood for back support. The back board signifies Mother Earth or Nahasdzaan, while the left board signifies Father Sky or Ya dilhil. The two boards are laced as one with buckskin, the upper end of the board is engrave to form a V-shape. Close to this V-shape are two tine holes which signify Ears or Jeeyi’.
There is an oak that thinly cut so as to twist into a bow and is linked close to the top. This signifies rainbow or Naatsi iilid, and gives security for the kid’s head. There are loops made of buckskins attach in the sides of the board that represent Lighting or Atsiniltl’ish. On the right part of the board is long buckskin that is utilized in order to tie these loops and lace the infant. This signifies Sun Beam or shabitl ool.
There is a wood situated at the base of the board that serve as a foot rest that signify small rainbow or Naats iilid.
Using a Cradleboard
The infant is positioned on a mantle in the cradle board. The arms are put down at the sides, and then the mantle is folded warmly around the infant. Then the buckskin tie is drawn in the side loop, criss-crossing the whole body of the infant, fastening it safely into the cradle board. A cloth of buckskin can then be place on the top to secure the infant from UV rays and from insects as well.
Infants love the safety provided by this carrier. Frequently, a fussy infant can be comforted easily through putting the baby in this carrier. This carrier has the additional advantage of keeping the infant safe while parent is doing her household chores. This can be place against a tree or wall. When accidentally fall over, your baby’s head will keep safe because of bowed head piece. The snug mantle will secure his or her body as well. It could be carried. It could be laid even.
Belief Behind Navajo Cradleboards
There is a belief that when a kid spends lots of time in this carrier, his or her body will develop straight as well as tall. Once a kid tied into this carrier, there is a perception that he or she is “under the rainbow.”
Once the baby outgrows the protective carrier is keep back and when another angel is born the carrier can be utilized again. On the other hand after using the cradle boar is disassembled and is cleaned using yucca. The cloths are also cleaned and dried under the sun, when dried red pollen or chii is added and given a prayer in order to avoid baby from having a nightmares. Up until now, cradle board is still common in Navajo as baby carriers.