Gifts of Pride and Love - Kiowa and Comanche Cradles
Edited by Barbara A. Hail. University of Oklahoma Press, 2000
This book is part of a project by the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthopology at Brown University and the contributors, who offer insights about the material culture and lives of people of the world. Kiowa and Comanche baby cradles have been selected from the collection with background on the tribal people who made and used the cradles. Tribal consultants helped with the history of the families and the cradles.
This was also a project which was part of a catalogue, including an exhibition. One hundred and eighty cradles were studied. Kiowa and Comanche cradles are unique and beautiful examples of Plains Indian iconography. There are many colored and black and white historic photographs of cradles with Kiowa and Comanche people in this book. The book is oversize with a soft cover, for a nice depiction of the photos. The earliest known cradles from these tribes date from the middle of the nineteenth century. During this time there was despair among the people with the loss of their land and so many transitions in their lives. It is suggested that the cradles began at this time with hope for the children, that they might live full lives and carry the blood of their ancestry beyond this time when even extinction of the people was predicted. When examined in this light, you behold sacredness, and a blessing.
They made the cradles with love, faith, strength, and beauty.
Book review by Donovin Sprague.