Native Baby Baskets and Cradleboards: Reclaiming the Medicine of Traditional Mothering | Sarah Sunshine Manning 

"Jo Jo" and mother Hillary Camas, Warm Springs, Wasco, Paiute, in 2013. Photo courtesy Sarah Sunshine Manning

Generations of tender and conscious Native parenting produced nations of children who were grounded, mindful, and confident

To the Native mother, our children have forever been the center of our world, our most sacred beings, and the earth dwelling spirits closest to our Creator. We adore our babies, and historically, our motherly predecessors demonstrated this profound love through limitless and deeply affectionate actions. Mothers were armed with an unparalleled love medicine known to bolster spirits, impart valuable spiritual teachings, and most importantly, build entire nations.

Enveloping our precious babies with beautifully decorated cradle boards was commonplace, as was dressing them in intricately embellished clothing and baby moccasins. Conferring them with sweet and honorable names was a communal honor and privilege.


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