Darius Charley . Award winning Navajo woodworker, painter, and sculptor.
Cradleboards are made from various kinds of materials such as pine or cottonwood for back support. The back board signifies Mother Earth or Nahasdzaan, while the left board signifies Father Sky or Ya dilhil. The two boards are laced as one with buckskin, the upper end of the board is engrave to form a V-shape.
Many Navajo’s still use a traditional cradle board to keep their babies safe and protected. Cradles are made of cedar, laced together with thin strips of leather and feature a wide wooden hoop in the shape of a rainbow over the baby’s head to protect the child. Navajo’s believe the cradleboard helps the infant grow to be a strong willed person. A flat cradleboard will give the baby a strong, straight back. The cradle board is blessed with corn pollen, prayers, songs and good thoughts for the baby before use.