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The ExpeditionFort ClatsopTour the FortCaptains' Quarters Center
Clatsop Hats of a Conic Figure

Coastal Indian Cradleboard


J. Agee photos

The board hanging on the wall in the captains' quarters is of the type used by Northwest Coast Indians such as the Chinooks and Clatsops to shape the heads of their infants. William Clark drew a sketch of one.

The rigid cradleboard shown in the sculpture at left, used by many Indian women, with the infant facing to the rear, has become a stereotype. However, Hidatsa Indian women, from whom Sakakawea (or Sacagawea) would have learned mothering, commonly carried their babies in a shawl or blanket slung over the shoulder, facing forward, as in the photo at right.1

--Joseph Mussulman 01/99

1. See The Faces of Sacagawea/Sakakawea/Sacajawea
Clatsop Hats of a Conic Figure

From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)