Unidentified Yakima Indian woman w/pack horses, "An Indian Belle Yakima Washington,"


A photo of a woman and baby in a cradleboard mounted on a horse, with a pack horse (undated).

Cultural Narrative: 

Unidentified Yakima Indian woman with pack horses, "An Indian Belle Yakima, Washington." This photo was taken in what we call "in the old days," the time of our grandfathers. This woman is traveling with her child hooked or tied onto her saddle horn by its baby board (baby cradle). By the looks of what she is taking with her, she will be visiting for a few days. Who knows, she may be on her way to a camp where relatives stay while they're digging roots. Or she may be going to a relative's home for some occasion. The babyboard, or baby cradle, is made in the traditional Plateau style. The flat board is covered with buckskin or cloth. A surface covering is sewn onto the backing and a fluffy cradle comforter serves as a pillow and mattress. The top of the board has a loop made from a wild rose branch, considered as a protector from harmful spirits and to keep baby's face protected should the board topple.Whatever her reason for traveling with her baby, she has her pack horse loaded with necessities. Both horses undoubtedly possess the gentle, patient personalities one would want when carrying precious cargo. These are the kinds of horses we used to call "huckleberry picking" horses or "gramma" horses because they are so slow and chosen to mind the needs of the elderly. In fact, the saddle horse looks like a pregnant mare.