This week began our Cradleboard Workshop which teaches attendees how to assemble their very own cradleboard from start to finish. Our 5-day event hosted at the Ziibiwing Center teaches the history and traditional methods used to make a cradleboard. There are also teachings of the male and female energy balance, making and discussing the willow dream catcher, head bow making, group photos, and more. Here is a little information on cradleboards along with a few pictures from past years’ workshops:
The Cradleboard, or in the Ojibwa language “Tikkanaagan,” have been used for generations to carry infants while keeping babies safe and comfortable. North American Indians indicate that it was common practice to cradleboard newborn children until they were able to walk, although many mothers continued to swaddle their children well past their first birthday.
Cradleboards keep the child’s backbone and legs straight, further strengthening the neck muscles, and provide an opportunity for the infant to enhance their vision and hearing senses while being stimulated by his environment and family.
Today, many aboriginal people across Canada still use a traditional cradleboard to keep their babies safe and protected. They are typically made with pine or cedar wood and laced together with thin strips of leather. Natives believe the flat boards will give a baby a strong, straight back, and that a soft supporting pad will help the infant form a nice rounded head. The Cradleboard is smudged with prayers, songs and good thoughts for the baby.
Source: http://nativecradleboards.com/ Accessed June 15, 2010.
Be sure to check back later for photos from this years Cradleboard Workshop!