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Flathead Mother

January 07, 2020 1 min read

Flathead Mother

In volume 7, page 70 of The North American Indian – The Vanishing Race, you’ll find this photograph of a Flathead Mother. The Flathead originally lived in an area west of Billings, Montana extending to the continental divide in the west and south of Great Falls, Montana extending to the Montana-Wyoming border. The name “Flathead” was a term used to identify any Native tribes who had practiced head flattening. It was seen as an act of caring for a new baby and ensuring they were seen as new members of the community in which they lived. It was a sign of status, identification and prestige. The baby in the photograph is seen in a traditional cradleboard made from a wooden frame and an animal hide cradle bundle.