NATIVE AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS
A cradleboard consists of a rigid frame with a softer pouch attached in which a baby is placed. Long before contact with Europeans, Northern Plaines and Eastern Woodland mothers would strap their infants snugly into soft leather pouches, called moss a few weeks after the child was born. Various materials, including moss were used to keep the baby dry and comfortable. The moss bags were then attached to wooden frames. Most cradleboards were made with safety features, including support for the baby's head and a hood or shade to shield the child's face from the sun, and some had a narrow shelf on the bottom to keep the baby from slipping. Tribes throughout what is now the United States and Canada made use of this convenient way to care for a child. Native Americans of the southern plains and the Southwest tribes used wood and leather to construct their carriers. California tribes wove their carriers like baskets.