First Nations baby baskets cosy and practical

This may be peculiar to my family, but when my boys were babies, they looked alike.

This may be peculiar to my family, but when my boys were babies, they looked alike.

They don’t now, but in  some of their first  pictures   I wouldn’t know who was who  if it wasn’t  for  their clothes or the backgrounds, and they each  had different kinds of  beds or carriers.

Our youngest son had the best of all bed/carriers, a First Nations baby basket.  He spent his first months in it.

You don’t see these baskets much these days, more’s the pity.  If I had more space I’d explain just how great  they are.

They are narrow, made of woven willow branches. Mine was lined in sheepskin  and covered in a bright cotton print.

It had a buckskin attachment to  lace baby in  during transport, and straps for carrying it like a back pack or for suspending it from something (like a hook in the  ceiling) so baby was at eye level for socializing.

It had a wooden hoop  over the middle for holding a blanket or mosquito net.  It was a great carrier for camping or travelling (no car seat rules then.) Unfortunately, I loaned it to a neighbour and never got it back.

Son #1 remembered how handy the basket was and he wanted one for his first born.

By then they were hard to come by, but we managed to get one.

His wife wasn’t overly enthusiastic, she’d never seen one before and she had a cradle and crib ready.

However,  when son went to fetch her and baby from the hospital, he took the basket. Baby (GS#2) made it clear from the start that was where he wanted to be and  he slept and travelled in it until he outgrew it.

Ditto his sister, GD#2.

GD#2‘s  brand new son (GGS#3)  inherited  the basket.

Re-covered,  it’s as good as new. He  too knows  a good thing. According to his mom, he loves  it.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

The City of Williams Lake is awaiting the arrival of seven terrain park features typically found at ski hills to create more winter recreational opportunities in Boitanio Park. (Arena Snowparks Instagram)
City shows cool side with winter, Boitanio rail park

“We’re just waiting for their arrival and a little more snow,” Atkinson said.

Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars provides a community COVID-19 update from his home Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Williams Lake First Nation Facebook image)
WLFN chief reports 11 members fully recovered from COVID-19

23 active cases remains, says Chief Willie Sellars

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed on Jan. 5, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Most Read