Pit River Nation Cradleboard Basketry
Cradleboard-making is essential to transmit cultural beliefs and traditions to our family and community. It… tells a story of where you are from, who you are a family member of… It contributes to a sense of belonging and identity.” – Beverly Cantrell
Beverly Cantrell learned to make cradleboards in the ancestral lands of the Pit River Nation. As a child, she gathered basket materials with her grandmother, Lillian Cantrell Snooks, a basketmaker of the Atsugewi bank of the Pit River Nation renowned for sharing her culture with tribal members and the larger community. Cantrell started making baskets at the age of eight, completing her first at twelve. The art form connects her with the earth and with her loved ones, from sharing stories while gathering materials to gifting cradleboards to her grandchildren.
Cantrell will guide and Taweah Garcia in increasing her traditional knowledge, to carry forward their culture. With good intentions for all aspects of the project, they will gather cradleboard materials in person, prepare willows, and make designs that are unique to their tribe. Ultimately, they will complete a cradleboard.