Dakobinaawaswaan (Baby in a Cradleboard) gathers more than 100 cradleboards representing Indigenous communities from across North America. In the language of Aninishaabeg peoples, “dakobinaawaswaan” describes a baby being wrapped up and placed in a cradleboard, or tikinagaan. Spanning generations and geographies, this living collection —including miniatures, toy cradles and baskets— presents a wide range of imagery, beadwork, and specialized materials. As functional objects and cherished works of art, cradleboards speak to a connection to the land and knowledge passed down. Here the beauty of the cradleboard is honoured as a vessel for cultural traditions, community, and healing. Each one tells the story of a child bundled with love and care.
Brought together by Shirley Stevens and the Cradle Keeper Co-operative of Northwestern Ontario, this exhibition is dedicated to the late Freda McDonald, the Elder for this initiative, who encouraged the project from the beginning.
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