Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Cradleboard Project - Douglas K. Limón


The artist Douglas K. Limón of White Bear Lake, MN has been awarded a $19,980 Folk and Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for The Cradleboard Project. The artist hopes to rekindle the art of the

traditional cradleboard by constructing four cradleboards with his signature beaded inlay designs

White Bear Lake, Minnesota, April 27, 2010: Douglas K. Limón will create four traditional Ojibwe cradleboards or dikinagons with original appliqué beadwork designs inlaid on the cradleboard. Four is a sacred number in the

Native American community and the theme will be related to the Four Directions. “I hope to revitalize the endangered tradition of the cradleboard enhanced by traditional appliqué beadwork. I will use my 50 years experience as a bead artist to create four original beaded inlay designs.” He first learned to bead at the age of 5 the traditional way from his mother. Four cradleboards with appliqué beadwork and a photo journal presentation of the process will be created for the exhibitions.

The artist got the idea a couple years ago when he and his wife Rachel Limón made a traditional Ojibwe cradleboard for their youngest son. That cradleboard made a positive impact on his family and the community. “What I learned from the experience is that too many people in the community had little or no knowledge of how to construct a traditional Ojibwe cradleboard. This is why I decided to do The Cradleboard Project”, said Limon. “I will bring the community together to rekindle the tradition of the cradleboard before it is lost to the Minnesota Ojibwe forever.”

Limón will document the creation of the cradleboard process in a photo journal during his workshop at the Osseo Drum & Dance program in the 2011-2012 school year. After the workshop the cradleboards and the photo

journal will go on exhibit. Two exhibitions are scheduled in April and May of 2012. One at the Elder’s Lodge in St. Paul, MN and one at the 16th Osseo Area Schools Indian Education Day and Wacipi in Osseo, MN. The Osseo event marks Mr. Limón’s 5th year as a featured artist.

The total project cost is $24,980. The major expense goes to labor (artist, photographer, seamstress and wood crafter), materials for four cradleboards, conducting the workshops and coordinating two exhibitions. The beadwork is very labor intensive. The inlay is 10 inches in diameter and takes approximately 140 hours to complete.

The artist has to raise an additional $5,000 to cover administration and marketing costs for the project. He has set up a Kickstarter page at to raise additional money. He has provided some great rewards for contributors to the project. The rewards range from Turtle’s carved from natural stone for a $5 contribution to a one-of-a-kind traditional Ojibwe cradleboard for a $1,000 contribution. Any money he raises beyond his goal will go to coordinate more exhibitions.

Limon has also set up a FaceBook page at Fans and Kickstarter contributors can follow the progress of The Cradleboard Project on FaceBook.

Douglas K. Limón is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of a Folk and Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


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